As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, owned and operated for the members, you’re more than an account number – you are part of the Oak Trust family! Since there are no stockholders to pay, we are able to offer higher dividend rates on deposit accounts and charge lower rates on loans. Additionally, we offer a full range of convenient low-cost financial services that fit your lifestyle.
Mortgages – Perfect for New or Experienced Home Buyers
Whether you are financing your first home or moving to a new home, we offer smart, simple solutions to fit your needs. Choose from a full range of home financing options, including fixed and adjustable rate loans. Special programs are available for first time home buyers and borrowers with imperfect credit.
You can count on Oak Trust for competitive rates, low closing costs and knowledgeable professionals to guide you through the entire loan process.
Homeowners Insurance Program – Rent or Own, the MEMBERS® Auto and Homeowners Insurance Program will protect it all. Click for a FREE rate quote.
Stay connected to your finances in the most convenient way – in the palm of your hand! Take advantage of our mobile offering (It’s Me 247) for immediate account access on the go.
At Oak Trust Credit Union, there are varying levels of mobile access to It’s Me 247. The level you choose will depend on the following:
- The type of wireless handheld device you have
- The types of transactions you’ll need while on the go
- The levels of service available from Oak Trust credit union
Grasp the opportunity of having a fully functional computer in your pocket 24/7. Enjoy the advantages that come with having Oak Trust Credit Union at the click of a button!
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By Allison Martin – February 12, 2014
While out and about, you may have passed by the local credit union without looking twice because you don’t have a need for their services. Well, at least that’s what you thought.
Which brings me to the following question: Are you aware of how credit unions operate and what they entail? If so, you may be inclined to open up an account at one closest to you or even make the switch from your bank.
What exactly is a credit union and why is it better?
MyCreditUnion.gov defines credit unions as “not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits.” They operate similarly to banks, as they make loans to members and accept deposits.
So, why should I choose the local credit union over big boy banks?
The sole purpose for a credit union’s existence means that it should have your best interests at heart, and not the bottom line of the institution. Big banks, on the other hand, are there to turn a profit and will seemingly do whatever it takes to meet their numbers.
Because they follow a cooperative structure, credit unions are owned and operated by their members. Upon making the initial deposit, you will be granted voting rights along with surplus income returned in the form of dividends because cooperatives are owned and operated by members.
As a member, you may be also able to conduct transactions at other affiliate locations outside of your institution. And some credit unions reimburse their members for ATM fees incurred outside of their machines. This was a major lifesaver when I arrived at college and discovered that one of the local credit unions near campus was partnered with my credit union in my hometown.
Credit unions have lower expenses, so they are able to pass on the savings to their members. For instance, many credit unions offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance constraints, but you will often have to pay a fee at the big boy banks if your funds fall below a certain number or you fail to meet other criteria. You likely will also be assessed a fee for each transaction that is processed using overdraft protection.
4. Loan rates
Every loan I’ve ever gotten has been from the credit union, even after shopping around at the big boy banks. They usually have better rates because they are nonprofit and aren’t looking to make their wallets fatter. According to the the National Credit Union Association, as of Sept. 30, the average interest rate on a 48-month new-car loan was only 2.91 percent at the credit union, but 4.21 percent with major banks.
5. Credit card offers
The NCUA also indicated that the average interest rate for credit cards was 10.99 percent for credit unions and 11.82 for banks. So there isn’t much of a variance in terms of APR, but the plastic from credit unions are usually less costly in terms of fees.
Been turned down by all the major banks? Try your local credit union, as its borrowing standards are more flexible and they may be willing to work with you, especially if you are a member in good standing. And if you’re self-employed, you already understand how tough it can be to get approved for anything with major banks.
7. Earnings on savings accounts
Although the interest rate is still on the low side, it beats the major financial institutions. According to the NCUA, as of Sept. 30, credit union savings accounts yielded earnings of 0.15 percent on average while banks earned only 0.06.
8. Customer service
The credit union may not have a 24/7 customer service line for you to call at 2 a.m. when you have a burning question about your account, but rest assured that the focus will always be on you. Every credit union I’ve ever been a member of was staffed by friendly representatives who knew me by name. I can’t say I’ve had that experience with banks.
Also, there’s no need to worry if your card is lost or stolen because there is typically an after-hours hotline you can call at any time to report these unfortunate occurrences.
You can rest assured that your funds are safe in the credit union’s hands. Similar to most major banks, all accounts are federally insured up to $250,000 and backed by the U.S. government.
If you find yourself staring longingly at interior design layouts but think you’ll never be able to afford that elusive dream home, think again. Your dream home might not be too far out of reach if you consider renovating your existing dwelling. A home improvement project can not only add quality to your life, it may also add financial value to your home.
Homeowners in the United States spent nearly 300 billion on remodeling projects in 2010, according to a report from the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies. The report concluded that even with the recent mortgage crisis, the amount of money spent on remodeling projects is on the rise.
Many homeowners decide to use their home’s equity to finance home improvements instead of relying on consumer credit, where interest rates are typically higher. There are different ways to access home equity: through mortgage refinancing, a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.
Cash-Out Mortgage Refinancing
If your property’s value has increased or interest rates are lower than your current rate, this option would allow you to take out a new mortgage in an amount that exceeds the existing balance on your current mortgage. If you choose to cash-out the excess, the extra money can be used to finance a home improvement project. Some home improvement financing programs will estimate the value of the home after improvements are made, qualifying the homeowner for a larger loan.
Although interest rates with a refinance are typically lower than those of a home equity loan, there are costs involved. Refinancing fees range from three to six percent of your outstanding principal. Costs involved with a refinance are similar to those of buying a home and may include appraisal fees, application processing fees and loan closing costs.
Home Equity loan
Another way to borrow against the equity in your home is through a home equity loan. This may be a good option for homeowners who are satisfied with their current mortgage rates and who aren’t interested in refinancing. With a home equity loan, you use your home as collateral and borrow a fixed amount at a fixed interest rate.
A home equity loan is a great way to go when interest rates are low and you know exactly how much money you’ll need. With a home equity loan, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to pay back (in principal and interest) each month. Additionally, homeowners may qualify to deduct up to $100,000 of interest paid on a home equity loan from their taxes.
However, because your home is used as collateral with a home equity loan, it’s especially important to borrow only what you can pay back or the bank can foreclose.
Home Equity Line of Credit
With a home equity line of credit, a homeowner is approved for a specific amount of credit. The amount is determined by a percentage of a home’s appraised value minus the amount still owed on the existing mortgage. The interest on these loans is typically variable rather than a fixed rate. Because your home is used as collateral, the U.S. Federal Reserve advises that this line of credit should only be used for major expenses such as remodeling, medical or educational expenses rather than day-to-day expenses.
With this line of credit, you pay back only the money that you actually borrow. Payments will fluctuate based on the current interest rate and the outstanding balance.
Costs of Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
Home equity loans and lines of credit usually have the same costs and fees applied to them that a refinance does. Some lenders will waive closing costs, appraisal fees and application fees for loan processing. However, some costs may still apply.