SEFCU, which stands for State Employee Federal Credit Union is currently my choice in financial institutions. Originally, SEFCU was available only for employees of New York State, and their families, but has recently branched out so that anyone can become a member. They have also recently created several more branches, going from only a few branches in the capital region, to being all over the capital region (Albany).
SEFCU offers savings accounts, checking accounts, Certificates of Deposits, car loans, house loans, and much more. They also offer free Visa Check Cards (aka Debit Cards) with also checking accounts, which you can earn points on every time you use it, and get prizes. SEFCU was one of the few banks and credit unions that offered interest on checking accounts (although it wasn’t much, a little bit is better than most banks, which offer you nothing). Of course, with the downturn of the economy, SEFCU’s rates have decreased, and the interest on checking accounts has disappeared.
Despite these downturns, SEFCU’s rates still stay higher than most other banks in the region. Usually, credit unions offer higher interest rates for savers, and lower fees, as they don’t operate for profit. SEFCU lives up to this reputation for credit unions. To be honest, SEFCU recently hasn’t been much better than some of its competitors, or around the same as its competitors. It’s tough to say whether or not this is because the huge amount of increased spending they’ve incurred by opening new branches, expanding, advertising, etc or if this is because of the economy, and things will return back to normal once the economy has improved.
Overall, I’ve made a good amount of money keeping my money saved in SEFCU certificates of deposits and savings accounts over the years. I’ve recently moved most of my money out into higher earning accounts, outside of banks and credit unions, but overall they’re about as good as they get. I’ve written other articles about the advantages of credit unions, as well as others about how to make more interest by keeping your money elsewhere, other than banks.
The service at SEFCU is also exceptional, as I’ve never not had a pleasant experience at SEFCU; despite the fact I used to be there at least once a week and that they’re always busy. The counter people have always assisted me, no matter what type of transaction I’ve done, whether it’s deposited a lot of checks, cash, depositing savings bonds, or changing my pin number. They’ve always been able to help me out, and have gotten to know my face and name, which is always great to get that personal service every time I go to the bank. SEFCU also offers online banking, which is my favorite feature of SEFCU, being able to check balances, transfer money, etc right from my computer!