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.
Many people are looking for the safest investments they can make, while still being able to get a return on their money. Fortunately, credit unions offer a wide variety of products for every risk tolerance level. A certificate of deposit, also called a CD, is one of the safest and most secure investments available. The competitiveness of local, national and online credit unions have made it possible to compare CD rates and find one that will give you the most for your money.
Getting Access to Your Money When You Need It
But beyond helping you save safely, CDs also have several other benefits. If you’re worried about the early withdrawal penalty, you can always buy multiple CDs with varying deposit amounts and maturity dates (the length of time that you keep the money deposited). This process is called laddering and can give you access to cash reasonably soon depending on how you layer each certificate of deposit. This helps to ensure that you almost always have the ability to access at least some of your saved money in the event of an emergency or other instance when you need quick cash.
Insured and Guaranteed
Another great benefit of a certificate of deposit is that it’s federally insured to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Unless you invest more than this, there is no risk that you will lose any of the money that you have invested.
Multiple Deposit Amounts and Maturity Dates
Perhaps the best advantage of a certificate of deposit is how flexible it can be. Many credit unions welcome smart savers, even if you only have a small amount to save or a short timeframe to save it in. For example, some credit unions let you buy a CD with as little as $500 and for as short a time frame as just six months. That makes it perfect for helping you save for important purchases such as a car or planning a special family vacation. You can also deposit larger amounts or keep them deposited for a longer timeframe, which can give you a better rate on your certificate of deposit.
In order to find the best CD rates available, an investor will typically have the most success if they look for CDs with long maturity periods, and if they focus on online Credit Unions. The longer the maturity period, the more time the Credit Union has to earn interest on the funds.
Start saving today! At Oak Trust, you can invest in a CD with as little as $500 and for time periods ranging from 6 months to 5 years. You will not only earn a competitive yield, but you’ll also be guaranteed safety as there’s no risk in reaching your savings goals.
For many Americans struggling to make ends meet and harried by fees, having a bank account is not financially feasible
This is supposed to be the year of credit unions. This is their time. Or at least according to the Credit Union National Association, CUNA, which just celebrated its latest milestone: reaching 100 million members.
We know the background: banks have severely disappointed people. Credit unions promise to hold customers in a warm embrace of low fees and personal service. Over the past few years, the credit union memberships has been on the rise. CUNA chief economist Mike Schenk says that’s partly due to banks increasing the fees they were charging for their debit cards. In the last year, the credit union membership grew by 2.9%, adding 2.85 million new members. It was the largest increase in more than 25 years.
But who’s really leaving?
There might be another cause for the growth of credit unions. It’s not really the consumers who are leaving banks for credit unions. It’s banks who are leaving poor Americans behind. Many Americans are not banks’ ideal customers – not enough money, not enough transactions – and they are punished for it with a barrage of fees. In some cases, they are denied bank accounts altogether.
Fees punish those who don’t have extra money to spare. In fact, there are fees for not having enough money. Don’t have enough money to maintain minimum required balance in your account? There’s a fee for that. Wrote out checks for more money than you currently have in your account? There’s a fee for that. A new study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that often, the purchases or payments that trigger overdraft fees are actually less than the overdraft fee.
Many banks currently charge monthly “service fees” just to keep your checking account open. For example, Citibank customers have to pay $10 a month. The only way to avoid the fee is to maintain $1,500 in their accounts each month or have one direct deposit and one bill payment linked to your account. For many Americans, neither are an option. Bills add up. All of a sudden, their balance is less than $1,500.
Not every employer offers direct deposit, especially not those employing low-wage workers. So not only are these Americans struggling to keep money in their bank accounts, they are now being charged additional fees. At that point, for them, having a bank account is just not financially feasible.
Small financial missteps, like bounced checks or overdraft fees, can keep Americans locked out of the US banking system, according to the New York Times. Using a database that tracks consumers’ banking transgressions, banks are able to weed out customers who they felt are not worth the risk, preventing them from opening basic checking accounts in the first place.
About 72% of nation’s 50 largest credit unions currently offer free checking to their customers, according to Bankrate’s 2014 Credit Union Checking survey. As for banks, that number dropped from 76% in 2009 to 38% in 2013.
Banks are in the business of making money. Poor Americans are not a good bet for them – they have too little money. It’s not the consumers who are turning their back on the banks, it’s banks who did it first. Left out in the cold, they go to the one place that welcomes whatever little amounts of money they have: credit unions.
If you want to have more money to do stuff with, then setting up a savings account at a credit union is one powerful way to do so. Whether you want to save more as an individual or as a family, for emergencies or vacation, there is no shortage of information touting the benefits of setting up multiple savings accounts to reach your goals. Better yet, however, is setting up these other savings accounts at financial institutions that are different from your routine checking account. For instance, if you have a checking account at Bank A, you should aim to have a savings account at Credit Union A. By creating a higher barrier, and ultimately reducing the temptation, to transfer money from savings and checking, you increase your chances of hitting your savings goals.
Credit unions are special because they offer an alternative financial services experience to traditional banking institutions and might offer you the services you need to utilize those savings once you reach your goal. While you might be familiar with many of the benefits of credit unions over banks, none is more powerful than the lower rates (on average) one receives on financial products like mortgages and car loans. According to data provided by SNL to the National Credit Union Association, the biggest difference in rates between banks and credit unions shows up in car loans, both new and used. As a result, once you save enough money in your credit union savings account for a down payment on a car, you will be already be familiar with the level of service. While credit unions still have a ways to go in offering new financial products, such as a student refinanced loan, some regional banks and private companies like CommonBond (to reduce graduate school loan payments) and SoFi (to reduce undergrad and graduate loan payments) are filling in the gap to help consumers save thousands of dollars.
Nonetheless, history has played a huge role as to why these credit unions offer a differentiated experience to traditional banks. Originally, President Roosevelt’s 1934 Federal Credit Union Act created a system to make credit available and promote thrift through a national system of nonprofit, cooperative credit unions. Over time, credit unions have expanded their service offerings to ensure that they can meet the basic financial demands of a growing clientele. Earlier this year, credit union membership surpassed the 100 million-member mark, a significant milestone for any system and an even greater feat for a system that is picking up the slack of traditional banks, as purported in The Guardian.
Similar to large banks, many credit unions offer you the ability to deposit checks right on your mobile devices. If you receive your regular income or extra money via check, then you will be able to deposit these funds into your savings account very easily. The list of credit unions with mobile check deposit is expanding too, and you can search for a local credit union to find out if they have the perks you need to make the leap. In order to make an informed decision on the right credit union for you, make sure that it actually offers you savings, simplicity, and service — three pillars of any financial service. Many credit unions tout great service, but call and check out their online platform to see if it exceeds your needs.
Once you chose your credit union, or even if you already have one, commit to automatically depositing money into a credit union savings account from your paycheck if your employer offers direct deposit. If there is no salaried direct deposit or you get paid hourly, commit to writing yourself a check to your credit union savings account every month. In order to hold yourself accountable, ask a trusted friend to check in with you to see if you are making progress toward your savings goal. A good savings amount to strive for in this separate account is $3,000, and whether you use the money for a down payment or some trip in the future, it will be yours for the taking.
So, join a credit union and open up a savings account separate from your checking account at another financial institution. Remember that many credit unions have membership requirements, but even these eligibility restrictions started loosening five years ago. If you already have a credit union account, explore ways to increase your savings amount and reap the benefits of what credit unions have to offer.