LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019
Lake Michigan Credit Union has been providing checking accounts, home and refinance loans and saving accounts for the citizens of Michigan since October 1933. To gain membership, there are a few criteria. While there aren’t many LMCU ATMS to choose from, the credit union does refund ATM fee charges at the end of each month, up to $15.00 per account. Currently, there are 575 employees throughout approximately 40 branches in Michigan.
- Online and mobile perks
- Checking interset rate
Lake Michigan Credit Union is an obvious top-choice for residents of Michigan, but customers in surrounding areas should take notice too. Lake Michigan has the resources to offer just as great as service to people not in the direct area as people who do. Lake Michigan Credit Union is a top-performing credit union for a reason, and many more people should look into their benefits.
Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is solely for people who live, work, worship or attend school in lower Michigan along with their immediate family. However, they now allow eligibility for those who are willing to make a one-time $5 donation to an ALS foundation. This means that basically anyone can sign up for their credit union. While some credit unions have strict requirements to join, Lake Michigan Credit Union opens its door to anyone (who is willing to make the small donation).
LMCU has 38 locations which is about the average number of most credit unions, but members have access to more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide. This isn't limited to the Lake Michigan Credit Union ATM network. Customers can also go to any Allpoint ATM to access their accounts. Allpoint is one of the world's largest surcharge-free ATM network, this is a huge advantage over most other credit unions.
Online and Mobile Perks
For questions, Lake Michigan Credit Union has provided an online chat option. During typical business hours, there are online agents available for live chat. This is a nice feature that can help speed up the process of answering any basic questions you may have.
Also, one unique feature to LMCU is the fact that consumers can open accounts online. This isn't all. Checking accounts offer all the new standard features including online and mobile banking as well as mobile check deposits and mobile wallet storage. This puts Lake Michigan Credit Union in the forefront with other top credit unions when it comes to mobile financial management features.
Checking Interest Rate
LMCU has pretty good checking interest rates at 1.50% APY. Typically, any rate for checking accounts over 1.0% is a better than average earning. This isn't the best rate we have seen, but it is still a good one. Lake Michigan Credit Union's rates for automobiles, savings accounts, and personal loans aren't as good. We found that most of the rates for these only fell average. LMCU's best rate they offer is definitely through their checking account.
- Average rates in other areas
- No overdraft protection or EMV technology
Lake Michigan Credit Union can improve in a lot of their financial aspects, but they also seem to fall off the board with small details that consumers view as important. With minor changes, Lake Michigan can be a lot more competitive.
Average Rates in Other Areas
As mentioned above, Lake Michigan Credit Union's savings account interest rate falls short in comparison to what they offer for checking accounts. Savings account rates only earn 0.25% APY which isn't great when the average is approximately 0.45%. For their automobile rates, they start at 2.25% which is actually very good for the lower end of the range, but there is no information as to how high that rate range can go. The personal loan rates start at 10.25% which is average with the rest of the industry. Overall, most of Lake Michigan Credit Union's rates are pretty standard. Customers should continue to shop around if this is the focus of signing up with a credit union.
No Overdraft Protection or EMV Technology
LMCU does not offer overdraft protection. This is a feature that automatically moves money from your savings account to your checking if you don't have enough funds for a transaction. This means that you would automatically be charged the overdraft fee which is $30 each time. That is a costly fee, especially if it happens more than once. Overdraft protection is a really nice feature to have and about half of credit unions now offer it.
EMV technology is a chip inserted into a card that is supposed to help transactions be more secure and to hopefully limit fraudulent activity. A lot of credit unions are transitioning to this technology, especially for debit cards, and Lake Michigan Credit Union still hasn't done that.
The Bottom Line
Lake Michigan Credit Union has some great perks to their program. They allow people to start accounts online, which is a unique and great convenience feature. They allow almost anyone to join and even though they only have 38 locations, customers will have access to approximately 55,000 ATM machines, both LMCU ATM network and Allpoint ATMs. Their checking account rates are a good and they have great online and mobile perks as well. LMCU shines in a lot of areas but they could improve in other areas such as making other rates (savings account, personal loans, etc) a little more competitive. Lake Michigan Credit Union is better than most other credit unions, but we recommend looking into the specifics before signing up. If they have great options for the one or couple of things you are looking for, then you won't be disappointed in their service.
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