I am self-employed, have a 750+ credit score, show $200K+ in earnings the last couple of years on my federal returns, and have minimal debt. After being "approved" for a used car loan and going back and forth sending in requested documents, I was told I was declined for a $12K used car loan. Two days before I was supposed to pick it up. When I asked the customer service rep on the phone why I was declined, he told me the letter they send will have all the details. … In doing research online, [credit union] seemed to have the most competitive rates, so I decided to give it a try. Problem is, I never read the reviews, which I obviously should have. I had to pay $25 to join [credit union]. Then they tell me I am declined. I feel robbed and cheated. Complete waste of time. Decided to check out LightStream, and they approved me in less than 24 hours. Amazing.
— Anonymous, NerdWallet
This might seem unbelievable, but other reviews about this large credit union contain a consistent theme: lousy service. This borrower ended up with an online service of SunTrust Bank and was impressed with the speed. To compete in today’s world, credit unions, especially those as big as this one, need to provide the kind of retail experience consumers have come to expect. Otherwise, credit unions will never get the chance to show off the credit union difference to a lot of consumers who don’t even know there is one.
Great benefits and career advancement opportunities. Flexible hours when needed. Good work-life balance. Team members that believe in the credit union’s mission of “improving the ongoing economic well-being of our members.”
— Current Employee, Indeed.com
This credit union had multiple positive employer reviews with a wide range of comments about positive culture, labor-friendly pay practices, and more. The only con this reviewer cited was the inability to work at home. But it sounds like the credit union provides such a great environment in which to work that employees don’t really care.
I recently closed my account at one of the big banks and opened one at [credit union], and I couldn’t be happier! I never have to wait in line, the employees are friendly and helpful, and the few fees they do charge are much more reasonable ($25 overdraft fee versus $37 with Wells Fargo). Most importantly, they make me feel like a valued customer.
— Tertia D., Yelp.com
Making members feels valued should be baked in to the DNA of every member-owned financial cooperative. In this case, something as simple as an overdraft fee has validated the credit union difference with a new member. That said, there were a number of reviews for this credit union that complained about the service. On the surface, some of those complaints seemed valid and others not so much. Of note, the credit union responded to many of the reviews. That’s great. What’s not so great is that the replies seemed to be generated by an AI bot that changed the language only slightly and in mechanical-sounding ways that barely, if at all, addressed the specific situation. People can spot that easily, more so every day. Responding to replies is a social media best practice, but make that outreach authentic.
Pay is actually above most banking jobs, no sales requirements, low pressure, unbelievable tuition reimbursement, you can even have school completely paid for. The cons: Nowhere to go career wise. With it being such a small company, most of the higher paying and more career-driven positions are filled with long-time employees and are rarely open. Promotions will be given based on who you know. I interviewed for three different positions and was passed on all three for internal candidates in each department. Also had positions in my department filled without even knowing they existed. Management says they want to empower their employees, but employees who give their time and effort in the job rarely get anywhere without sucking up or being good friends with the people who are hiring.
— Current Employee, Glassdoor.com
There were a lot of good things reviewers noted about working at this credit union; however, “friends promoting friends” was cited several times. The credit union seems aware of its reputation because it responded to several of the complaints with what seemed to be reasonable explanations. A positive, proactive approach applied to internal promotion practices, including increasing transparency about open positions, can help a credit union avoid or change negative perceptions about internal mobility.