Back around Christmas time I wrote a post about the holiday loan offered by our local credit union. I gave plenty of reasons at that time why you shouldn’t get one of these loans.
But then they came back to surprise me with a vacation loan advertised on their digital sign. Seriously? A loan to go on vacation? They advertise it by showing a beach and saying “it’s only a vacation loan away.” This is accompanied by a “spring into a home equity loan” ad. I’ve also seen one advertising their great rates on car loans.
You know what I haven’t seen? Anything about savings rates, investing, or getting into better financial shape. I had them advertise Financial Peace University once on their digital sign and it worked out great. That was until I got a call telling me they had to take it down because it was a conflict of interest because they wanted their members coming to them to discuss financial problems. Hmmm, maybe for consolidation loan?
All of this begs the question, is your bank or credit union for or against you? Do they have your best interest in mind when they offer you a product or service or are they just trying to maximize their shareholder value, pad their pockets, or make a quick buck?
Banks and credit unions make money when you borrow money and not so much you save it. They can be extremely giving when they’ve got incentive.
Keep this in mind the next time you’re bank or credit union has something new to offer you. Consider how they’ll end up coming out ahead in the end before accepting anything.
What crazy debt products have you seen offered? Do you have any stories about your bank or credit union where they helped you get ahead? Leave them in the comments below.