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Founded in 1934 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Telhio Credit Union claims to be "one of the largest and most trusted credit unions in Central Ohio." Telhio is a not-for-profit institution with six locations that offer the same benefits as a traditional bank, including offerings in personal banking, business banking, loans/credit, and investment planning. The credit union claims to be the "#1 SBA credit union" and a top-10 overall banking institution. Telhio is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties in Ohio.

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The Good

  • Member service
  • Variety of loan options

"Member Service" Rather than Traditional Customer Service

Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives between people who share a common bond, such as an employer, an association or a community group. Members can borrow from pooled deposits at low-interest rates and are entitled to a say in how the credit union is run. In addition, Telhio offers members discounts on a number of restaurants, retailers, auto dealers, insurers and more.

Variety of Business Loan Options

Telhio's lending department offers a variety of business loans, including:

  • Commercial and business real estate loans
  • Small business association (SBA) 7a loans
  • Small business association (SBA) 504 loans
  • Business lines of credit
  • Business credit cards

The Bad

  • Must speak to a representative
  • A regional institution

Must Speak to a Representative for Additional Info

While Telhio touts great member benefits like low-interest rates and customer service, it is difficult to actually get real numbers without speaking to a representative on the phone (we also tried the "live chat" feature to no avail). Though the most basic information was curated in a quick, four-minute conversation, the nearly 20-minute wait leading up to this is not a mark of speedy or helpful customer service.

A Regional Institution

While some prefer the local business service and charm regional credit unions offer, institutions like Telhio are often limited by location-in this case, seven branches in Central Ohio. In addition, many online reviews claim that Telhio's "hands-off approach" in putting the onus on customers-another side effect of regional credit unions-is actually detrimental and often results in little transparency and "hidden" fees.

The Bottom Line

There are definitely a large number of consumers who prefer the service of regional credit unions versus large banking institutions. However, Telhio is lacking a great deal of information that we find important. We do not recommend working with Telhio at this time.

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