credit union SA featured Jan 2017

Credit Union SA: Supporting South Australians with their banking

Credit Union SA pays no dividends to shareholders, instead using profits to keep interest rates and fees low.

Born of the merger of two South Australian credit unions, Credit Union SA is a customer-owned financial institution with a membership of around 50,000 people. Since all profits are ploughed back into the organisation, Credit Union SA prioritises personal service, low fees and contributions to community projects.

What is Credit Union SA?

Credit Union SA offers financial products to help members achieve their financial goals and maximise their personal wealth. Besides supporting a variety of community and education projects, Credit Union SA takes a special interest in teachers. New and existing members who work in education benefit from the Teachers' Banking Benefits package, as well as the Teacher Home Loan, designed specifically for education workers and their families.

What is internet banking like for Credit Union SA?

Members can access and manage their accounts 24/7 through online banking and the Credit Union SA mobile app. Your information and money are safe and all transactions are 100% secure. Once you complete and submit the New Accounts and Access Services form, you will be sent a default password to set up your online account.

With Credit Union SA internet banking, you can:

  • Pay bills
  • Access the BPAY facility (only through the VIP Security application)
  • Transfer money

Members have the option to boost online security with the VIP (VeriSign Identity Protection) application. Available as a free download, VIP Security generates temporary codes to conduct restricted transactions and functions. VIP Security also allows you to increase daily limits for external transfers and make BPAY payments through your internet banking profile.

What transaction accounts are offered by Credit Union SA?

Credit Union SA members can choose between the following transaction accounts:

  • Access Account. This is a low-cost day-to-day account with low monthly and withdrawal fees. Transaction fees are waived for members who make deposits of at least $2,000 a month, those with existing home loans and full-time students.
  • 55+ Account. This transaction account is designed for members aged 55 years and older. Members earn interest on the balance in their accounts, starting at 2.50% on $2,000 or less. Account holders pay no monthly, transaction or withdrawal fees, and can access money from a wide network of rediATMS across the country.
  • Home Loan Offset Account. Besides functioning as an everyday account, this product helps reduce your interest on an outstanding home loan amount. If you have $180,000 left on your home loan and $30,000 in the offset account, you will only be charged interest on $150,000. This translates into considerable savings over the course of the loan period.
  • Association Account. Ideal for groups and organisations, this account comes with the option for a cheque book and a competitive interest rate.
  • Easy Budget Account. This account’s functions are integrated into Credit Union SA’s internet banking. You set up a checklist of bills to be paid from your account and make regular deposits. This way your payments are always on time and you avoid late fees. No interest will be charged if this account is temporarily overdrawn.

What high interest savings accounts are offered by Credit Union SA?

  • Netsave Account. Account-holders benefit from high interest rates irrespective of their account balance or the number of withdrawals per month. You have the option to set up regular direct deposits and conduct free internet, phone and mobile transfers to other Credit Union SA accounts. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

What term deposits are offered by Credit Union SA?

  • Term Investment Account. This account allows members to build wealth on deposits of between $5,000 and $250,000, starting with a minimum term period of three months. Interest can be paid into a savings account or reinvested. The interest rate is fixed, and for terms of between one and five years, interest can be paid out fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or yearly.

What are the pros and cons of banking with Credit Union SA?

The pros

Here are some of the advantages of banking with Credit Union SA:

  • Owned by its members. Credit Union SA is owned by its members instead of shareholders. All profits are poured back into the institution to keep fees and rates low.
  • Internet banking. Members have access to a safe, sophisticated internet and mobile banking system to conduct transactions independently. The VIP Security application provides an additional layer of security.
  • Varied portfolio of products. Much like a traditional bank, Credit Union SA offers a full range of banking products, from savings accounts and home loans to insurance and financial planning.
  • Low fees. Members pay low - sometimes zero - transaction and monthly fees. Depending on the account type, fees are waived for students and seniors.
  • Advantages for teachers. Special benefits and packages apply to members who work in education, including the Teacher Home Loan and the Teacher Benefits Package.
  • Savings for children and young adults. This account pays bonus interest at the end of the month when there’s been at least one deposit and no withdrawals.

The cons

Some disadvantages include:

  • Membership is compulsory. Only Credit Union SA members can open accounts and apply for loans. Forms must be downloaded, filled in and then posted to a Credit Union SA office.
  • Inability to increase limits for internet banking. You must get in touch with Customer Service to increase limits on internet banking.

How do I apply for a Credit Union SA account?

The first step is becoming a member. Fill in the membership form and post it to a Credit Union SA office. You’ll be asked to supply copies of positive identification like a passport, birth certificate or tax assessment notices. Applicants must be 18 years or older. Minors must produce a birth certificate. The next steps include:

  • Highlighting credits and debits
  • Transferring account details
  • Closing old accounts

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