Monday, February 27, 2012

Public Deposits - Letter to the Editor

The Huntsville Times published my "letter to the editor" this past weekend. I appreciate the newspaper publishing this submission. Below is the text of the letter;

Rep. Mike Ball and Sen. Bill Holtzclaw have filed bills in the House and Senate that would allow credit unions to become qualified public depositories. HB 315 and SB 299 seek to give credit unions the ability to accept public deposits, providing municipalities such as fire departments, schools, libraries, and local government entities a choice in where to put their money.

There is no legitimate reason credit unions should be prevented from being public depositories. Municipalities deserve the right to choose where to deposit their money. Credit unions are locally-owned and federally insured. Credit union profits get returned to the membership through lower fees, better loan rates, and better returns on deposits. Permitting credit unions to compete for deposits not only helps keep bank savings rates higher, it creates flexibility for municipalities and the opportunity for higher yields on the public deposits.

At a time when local and state government are tightening their budgets to find effective ways of managing public money, credit unions should not be forced to turn them away. This legislation is about choice – and the choice should be in the hands of municipalities working for the public, not in the hands of banks working for themselves. Thirty-three other states allow credit unions to accept public deposits, it’s time Alabama gives its municipalities a choice.


Greg A. Olmsted, President/CEO
North Alabama Educators Credit Union

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Children Away at College?

Parents with children attending college away from home know the difficulties of transferring money to their child for unknown expenses. College students also receive checks for a variety of reasons while at school. How can the parent and college student stay connected financially when they live far apart from one another?

North Alabama Educators Credit Union has a solution to meet a variety of financial needs for students attending college away from home. The Credit Union Service Center (CUSC) network provides over 4,400 branches nationwide where a member can transact basic transactions like deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, and check cashing services. For example, college students attending the University of Alabama and Auburn University have a branch nearby that is available for these type of transactions. Best of all, the branch access is free of charge.

A parent or guardian could deposit money into the student's account here in Huntsville and the student could withdraw the money from the CUSC location close to the school. If a student received a check for some reason at school they could deposit that check at the CUSC location as well. Again, these transactions do not have a charge which is better than withdrawing money at another financial institution's ATM that might have a hefty surcharge fee for a withdrawal. North Alabama Educators Credit Union is a member of the CO-OP ATM network which provides over 28,000 ATM's nationwide for free cash withdrawals.

Most college towns have a CUSC location nearby since most colleges and universities have a credit union nearby. To search for available CUSC locations, visit the online site at The cooperative nature of credit unions working together to provide this expanded branch access is a valuable benefit for credit union members.