Can someone recommend a good resource on moving off of corporate banking and to more socially responsible alternatives, like credit unions?
In particular, curious about how one would get and evaluate the alternatives. Both for everyday checking account type stuff and for retirement savings (eg alternatives to Vanguard?), ideally.
Quick notes on what I've learned from the advice on here and some of my own research:
* A lot (most? all?) of CUs have membership requirements of various sorts; sometimes that involves e.g. donating to a particular charity, which could be a deal-breaker if you're not into that charity
* There doesn't seem to be much published in terms of comparing CUs. NerdWallet has some lists comparing them, but it is unclear to me what their motivations and objectivity are.
* CU co-op shared branching is a thing (thanks @elplatt for this tip). It is nice to join a CU that participates in this, as it gives you more possibilities if you care about physical branch access. Locator here: https://co-opcreditunions.org/locator/
* From recommendations on here and online, https://alliantcreditunion.org kept coming up as a good option. For SF Bay Area folks, https://www.firsttechfed.com also keeps coming up as recommended.
* Didn't find much about retirement savings, yet.
@anaulin Good question, actually... and I have no clue.
@anaulin The choices for credit union are going to be specific to your area. In the US, it's helpful to join one that participates in co-op network shared branching.
As far as retirement savings, there don't seem to be a lot of non-corporate options. I'm excited about groups like EBPREC as a way to invest ethically and locally. In general, equity in cooperative housing seems to be the closest thing there is.
@elplatt thanks for that, that's helpful.
@anaulin My approach was to ask someone at the worker-owned bookstore if they used a local credit union, and then drop by the one they recommended and have a conversation.
In my area, several credit unions were restricted to employees of certain companies or government agencies, so there turned out to be only four that I was eligible to join with branches in the area. Not too much to research, then, for me.
As for retirement accounts, please boost any good advice you get; I also want to know.
@anaulin I don't know of a good comparative resource, but I personally use Alliant FCU because their savings and certificates rates are some of the highest I found, and they have a good online platform.
You just have to donate to a charity to join them if you're not in their geographic vicinity.
@anaulin It takes time, but asking people I like & trust where they bank is my fav technique.
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