SECU MD was founded in 1951, in downtown Baltimore, with only a borrowed desk and chair, and most of its employees then were volunteers. Within one month, the credit union had grown to 33 members, and assets worth $3,487.
This company continued to grow steadily through the 70s and the 80s, to a point where they were able to set up their headquarters. The reason for their rapid growth was the excellent product and services that they continue to offer their clientele.
Today, SECU has many branches all over Maryland, and they have implemented a sophisticated technology network, that enables them to provide services to more than 230,000 members, and they can manage their asset base of more than 3.4 billion dollars. It is the largest Credit Union in Maryland.
Their membership and branch locations, however, continue to increase year after year.
Here's why SECU is considered one of the best in the industry
SECU is committed to providing you with a convenient and safe environment for you to save money, and the most economical way to borrow. Here are some benefits of becoming a SECU MD member;
No fee checking
When you open a checking account at SECU MD and sign up for the electronic services such as online statements and direct deposits, they will waive the monthly charges on the account, which means that you shall be able to operate the account free of charge.
Most Credit Unions tend to suffer in the area of technology. They are unable to cater to the rising demands of technological needs, and hence cannot be able to compete on the same level as banks.
They usually have fewer ATMs, no online or mobile banking, among other challenges.
This is, however, not true with SECU MD. At SECU, you shall get to enjoy all the benefits of a bank in the credit union by having access to mobile banking apps which you can download on your smartphones, online banking, online bill payment, with the ability to pay people online, among others.
This is quite an advancement in technology, and most people can appreciate it when it comes to SECU, MD.
Their ATM network
When you join a credit union, it always worries you whether you shall be able to find an ATM whenever you need one. SECU MD gives you access to more ATMs than banks, if you can believe it. They have access to thousands of free ATMs that you can use, such as Costco, Target, and the 7-Eleven stores.
When searching for an ATM, simply look for the CO-OP sign. There almost 30,000 of them. These ATM are virtually anywhere and just about the corner, so you shouldn't be worried about it.
Studies consistently show that Credit Unions offer lower interest rates compared to banks, and this is true. With SECU MD, you shall get to experience the lowest interest rates on loans, as well as free operation on accounts, plus if you want to save some money, they shall offer you the highest interest rates so you can be able to establish a saving culture.
Great Customer Service
It has been said time and again that Credit Unions offer the best customer service. I have already mentioned this before, and the main reason why you get to enjoy excellent services is that; If you compare credit unions to banks, with a credit union, you get to become a part owner of the business, and as such, you shall be regarded very highly, and every time you visit one of their branches, you will always receive a VIP treatment.
SECU offers young members an excellent opportunity to establish their credit ratings. This is because, with their wide variety of loan options, such as mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, etc., members have a convenient way to borrow loans at lower rates. The terms are also competitive and economical.
Financial wellness Resource center
They have numerous financial education tools which includes online learning resources and financial counselling plus fraud protection and account security. This enables you to become well informed when it comes to your finances, and you are able always to make informed decisions concerning your money.
A saving environment
One of their main goals is to help members meet their financial goals, and handle money wisely, by fostering a saving mentality among the members. This is usually through their excellent savings accounts that have a high-interest rate and the many other products that are as a result of saving.
This is an area that most members tend to appreciate because SECU makes them responsible to the community they live in.
The Credit union loves being part of the community, and they like to help when and where they can. They usually realize this through financial education of the community and conducting various social activities that support the society.
Here is how they achieve this goal
Through food donations – Each year, their employees usually collect and donate hundreds of pounds of canned foods from different people and organizations, which includes the Maryland food bank, The Joseph House Crisis Center and the Family Crisis Center.
School Supplies – Each year, members of SECU MD will donate one or two thousand school supplies to the needy students at the beginning of the year and send them to these students so they can have a smooth school year.
SECU has a long history of giving back to the community through its scholarship programs through the support of the continuous education and learning needs of its members.
To date, the SECU MD Scholarship Foundation has been able to award more than $465,000 scholarships to more than 180 needy students.
Products offered at SECU MD
There are many different checking accounts offered by SECU MD. All of these accounts include both online and mobile banking, digital wallets, and Online bill payments.
Interest Checking account
You can choose from 2 of their interest accounts;
The premier interest checking account and the choice interest checking account.
Premier checking account
This is a robust checking account that is most ideal for people who use multiple digital banking channels, and people who receive direct deposits in their accounts from their paychecks.
This account helps you manage your finances on your terms, and it also has a full suite of digital banking tools at your disposal, giving you maximum control. These include mobile apps, digital wallets, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc., plus online banking, and many more.
Features of the premier checking account
- Has the best interest rates.
- Doesn't have any operating costs, which means that it is a free account.
- Free check processing.
- A monthly fee of $9 is waived if you deposit directly, access the online statements, and activate the online bill payments or if you can maintain a balance of $10,000 which should be combined with your loan balance and deposit.
Choice interest checking account
This is one of the most popular checking accounts with SECU members, and it helps them with their daily banking needs. With this account, you get access to their numerous banking tools which include the digital wallet, Google and Apple pay, online banking, among others.
It also includes the following;
- Daily interest on deposit.
- No fee charged for ATM withdrawals.
There are three main savings accounts with SECU MD – The Share savings account, The Money Market account, and the Certificates of Deposit.
The Share savings account
This is a feature-rich savings account that offers you a great way to start enjoying all of the benefits of a SECU membership. It actually helps in establishing your SECU membership and pays you high interest, which is above the normal interest rates in the Maryland area.
It is an excellent account to build your saving culture, plus, it sets up for automatic transfers, which quickly and easily grow your savings over time.
You can be able to withdraw and transfer funds from other SECU accounts at all times, without being charged any penalties.
You can hold multiple savings accounts, and you can be able to open a different saving account for each of your saving goals, which means they can be as many as you wish.
There are also custodial accounts available with SECU MD.
Money Market Account
This is a special savings account that offers very high-interest rates than the traditional saving accounts you are familiar with. It is also more flexible than the CD which we shall talk about next.
With a Money Market account, you can enjoy the convenience of having very quick access to your funds, and hence achieve your savings goals faster, since you shall be earning more interest compared to any other account.
You can also be able to deposit, withdraw, and transfer funds without being charged any penalties, just like a traditional saving account.
In order to get you started, SECU MD offers a 2% APY, interest on any deposit that is above $10,000. You can also start small and still get to enjoy some competitive rates, beyond what you would have enjoyed with a simple saving account.
There are two main types of Money market accounts;
This account gives you competitive interest rates with lower deposits, and you can start with as little as $2,000, and get to watch your savings grow with their tiered interest rates. When you open a money manager account with more than $10,000, you shall enjoy a 2% Interest rate on your deposit.
Money Market advantage
This is specially designed for people who wish to earn the highest interest rates and achieve their saving goals as quickly as possible. The minimum deposit requirement is $25,000, and you can make an exclusive 2% introductory APY.
Certificate of Deposit or CD
This is a special type of saving account which offers much higher interest rates compared to the normal saving account and the money market account.
The interest rate you shall receive however depends on the term you choose, which ranges from 3 months to 5 years.
You can open a CD account with as little as $500.
The account restricts you from withdrawing any funds until the time you have set matures, which is one of the most effective saving method available.
This is an excellent option for people who want to save while earning high-interest rates, and the fact that you are not allowed to withdraw funds at any times, secures your money until you need it the most, and therefore, it is advisable to choose a time period that will coincide with your need for the money.
Here is a comparison of some of the CD accounts available in the Maryland area;
Other credit unions I have reviewed include;
- Tyndall Credit Union.
- Wright-Patt Credit Union.
- Suncoast Credit Union.
- Travis Credit Union.
- Arrowhead Credit Union
- America First Credit Union
Savings are significant because they ensure that you have a plan in place in case of emergencies. It is essential to come up with a regular saving plan, where each month/year you set aside some funds from your earnings.
These are all great questions that can be answered by joining a good credit union such as SECU MD, whose main job is to ensure you cultivate a saving culture.
Other products available with SECU MD includes loans for both personal and business, overdraft facilities, credit cards, etc. All you need to do is log into their website and become a member of this prestigious organization.
If you are a student, joining a credit union will help you save for college, give you access to their scholarship fund, and also allow you to borrow student loans.