Saying 'amen' to credit unions
Church-linked credit unions want to save your soul and your money. Run independently from their affiliated churches, these credit unions have great deals for their members.
And some have expanded to serve their communities. For example, St. Mary's Credit Union in Marlborough, Mass., founded in 1913, has offered members in Middlesex and Worcester counties no-fee checking accounts and "Statement Savings" accounts that could be opened with a $10 minimum deposit, and both paid interest.
Others continue serving a very specific membership group. The Alliance Catholic Credit Union in Ann Arbor, Mich., serves dozens of Catholic parishes and has offered 48-month auto loans at less than 2 percent, along with debit and credit cards.
"Many of these credit unions were opened over 40 years ago. They were the only institutions willing to lend to the community," says Owens. "Now, you get the same great perks as other credit unions."
The only drawback is that some church credit unions are very small. "They may not have ATMs or offer cash transactions," she says.