Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union was started over 80 years ago in 1933 during the Great Depression. While many people were struggling at this time with their finances, state workers could barely manage to make ends meet. Banks would not lend to state workers as they were viewed as a credit risk and had little to no collateral. That is when 22 state employees decided to take control of their finances and start making a better life for their families and each other. They pooled their money together and had a meager $90 and started Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, or PSECU. Today they are a fully functioning credit union and offer various services to their members.
- Easy access to accounts
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Certificates of deposit
PSECU members are state employees; faculty, staff, students and alumni of the universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and Harrisburg Area Community College; Penn State faculty and staff; employees of local governments; employees eligible for membership in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System or the State Employees' Retirement System; select school districts; members of approved associations and employee/occupational groups; and persons in the immediate family or household of a current PSECU member.
Easy Access to Accounts
PSECU is a credit union that is about giving their members account access where it is the most convenient for them. If it's in their living room, backyard, or cell phone. They have apps available for Android and Apple devices that are well designed and rated highly by its users. Using technology, PSECU can give their members around-the-clock access to their accounts using PCs or the telephone. Many PSECU members take advantage of [email protected] online account access. This convenient service allows them to pay bills, transfer funds to pay loans or add money to separate accounts, view (and print) check images, and receive notices that report account activity.
PSECU offers checking, savings, and Certificated of Deposits to any of their members; PSECU's goal is to provide members 12 years of age or older with hassle-free, no fee, dividend-earning checking. The benefits of their free checking are basic checks with unlimited check writing, free online statements and check images, free online account access, bill pay services, and credit score services. There is no minimum balance required to earn interest, and there are no monthly service fees or additional requirements to earn the dividend. Their checking accounts earn a .10% APY.
PSECU allows their members to save the way they want to. They have a variety of Personal Savings Shares or Money Market accounts to help their members reach their financial goals. Their basic savings account earns a .15% APY on all balances, without any withdrawal penalties. PSECU members can make deposits at any time for any amount into their savings accounts. With the PSECU Savings Shares, you control the structure of your savings. Choose from several pre-established savings shares for an upcoming vacation or holiday, or start making a nest egg. A PSECU member can also choose a federally insured Money Market Share to earn higher dividends.
Certificates of Deposit
PSECU Certificates of Deposit is a safe and easy way for members to invest their money. PSECU offers certificates for various terms and rates. PSECU requires a $500 minimum balance to open and earn dividends and have terms starting at 3 months up to 60 months. They do not have any monthly service fees for their certificates. When a member goes in to create a certificate the rates are declared weekly and fixed for the term of the certificate.
- Limited credit card options
- Limited locations
There isn't anything that sticks out as very bad for Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union. They don't seem to have any bogus monthly account maintenance fees and they don't make you jump through hoops to get those fees waived by pushing you to use their products.
There were only a few fees that stood out, PSECU charges $5 per account quarterly to receive paper statements. There is a fee for any dormant accounts. If the account has not been used for at least one year but remains open PSECU will assess a $2 monthly fee to that account. To avoid the fee, members can simply make a deposit/withdrawal or contact PSECU. The last fee is for address change. PSECU will assess this service charge if you move and fail to update your new address for the entire previous calendar year, the fee is $10.
Limited Credit Card Options
As of right now PSECU only offers 1 credit card option, it has a low fixed rate but that is about it. There are no other rewards for using their card.
Lastly, PSECU only has three walk-in branches. Part of their philosophy is "By not spending money on branches, we can give members competitive rates for loans and savings, as well as a host of low or no-cost services." In the long run this is potentially a good thing for their members, however for those who don't use PCs or mobile apps banking with them could be difficult. Besides, compared to other credit unions there are many that have multiple branches in the 50s that offer slightly higher rates.
The Bottom Line
Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union has decent rates and no hidden fees, allowing their members to maximize their financials, instead of take away. Compared to other credit unions PSECU is low with their rates for savings and for their Certificates of Deposit. PSECU offers every tool to their members to find success in reaching their financial goals, including well designed and rated apps for Android and Apple devices. PSECU needs to improve on the more important financial aspects before qualifying as a top credit union.