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June 12, 2010

Marketing challenges hinder growth of credit unions

Marketing challenges hinder credit unions' growth

Everyone should be a member of a credit union instead of subjecting themselves to the often harmful whims of a commercial bank. If you are not a member of a credit union, you are giving away your hard-earned money. Do yourself a favor and join as soon as possible one of the 8,000 plus credit unions in this United States (46,000 around the world).  

I will not go into detail about the many benefits of joining a credit union.  (I have already talked about them in previous posts, one of which includes a hilarious video, by the way.)  However, I will say that, in general, credit unions have lower interest rates, provide better service, and care more about you as an individual.  In short, the relationship you will have with your credit union is similar to the relationship you have with your own mother.  Ultimately, she has your best interest at heart and so does the credit union.  

Naturally, you would think that disgruntled consumers would be leaving their banks in droves.  Not quite.  Membership of credit unions grew just 1.4 percent in 2009 and 1.6 percent the year before. Despite the fact that large commercial banks precipitated the financial crisis and continue to gouge their customers, credit unions have not been able to seize this golden marketing opportunity and significantly increase membership.  

Why the modest gains?  A recent The New York Times article explores some of the major challenges credit unions have in marketing themselves, starting with the misleading and sometimes fear-invoking term credit union.    

More articles on credit unions:


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There are challenges to the financial market. It's how you respond to it that matters.

Thanks, Carole. That's a great testimony about the value of credit unions. I especially enjoyed hearing about the photography contest. Congratulations.

I dumped my bank last year when Chase took over WaMu. Even though it was a bank, I was quite happy with WaMu as I always felt like a person at my small branch in town. But when Chase took over, things changed. There were some of the old employees, but also some new ones. And to the new ones, I was just another person. I closed my accounts and opened accounts at the local credit union. What a difference! When I go in there, I am addressed by my name and they are so helpful! They also have a lot of educational seminars that members can attend for free. And they have a wonderful photography contest, and last year one of my photos won and was featured as the photo for the month of June this year. So thousands of people and businesses around the county are looking at my winning photo this month! It has also garnered me some extra income as people have ordered copies and the local cable company used one of my other photos as a background for a commercial they were shooting.

So listen to Kevin and investigate your local credit union! You'll never go back to a bank, believe me!

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About Me

Greetings! I’m Kevin D. Johnson, a business owner who has recently assumed the role of consumer advocate and internet activist. Atlanta, Georgia is my home.

My Story

Upon returning from my wonderful honeymoon in Jamaica in October 2008, I received what I thought was an ordinary American Express bill, but to my surprise it was a disappointing letter informing me that my credit line was reduced by about 65% for a highly suspicious and discriminatory reason. Considering my excellent credit score and pristine payment history, it just didn’t make sense. However, what does make sense are the unfair and insidious policies that I have uncovered when asking why. It is time to change them.

Good Morning America tells my story.

The Goal

I created this web site to document and share my challenging journey to change what is wrong, unfair, and unjust in the credit card industry. The ultimate goal of this web site is to inform consumers of ways to stand up for themselves against treacherous business practices and to educate consumers about how to improve their credit. Finally, I hope to encourage a more open dialogue with credit card companies about their policies–good and bad.


I am proud to say that this blog's unyielding demand for change led to an important amendment in the final Credit CARD Act signed by President Obama on May 22, 2009. Despite this major accomplishment, there is still more work to be done.

View video of bill hearing in Maryland

Testifying at a bill hearing in Annapolis, Maryland

Speaking Engagements

In an effort to educate as many people as possible about financial management, especially about how to manage the current credit crisis, I have begun to speak around the country at colleges, universities, corporations, chamber of commerce meetings, congressional hearings, trade organization meetings, etc. Having acquired a wealth of information that will help to empower people and to improve their financial future, I feel that sharing this information is the least I can do to make a positive impact. For information on my availability for speaking opportunities, please send an e-mail to Jennifer Silverman at [email protected].

Speaking at a university


All information provided on NewCreditRules.com is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for professional financial advice. Information on NewCreditRules.com is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, NewCreditRules.com makes no guarantees of any kind. This web site may contain information that is created and maintained by a variety of sources both internal and external. These sites are unmoderated forums containing the personal opinions and other expressions of the persons who post the entries. NewCreditRules.com does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in these sites or information contained in links to other external web sites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. In no event shall NewCreditRules.com be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services available on or through any such site or resource.

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