Leaving Your Mega-Bank for a Greener Option? FAQs

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Are you thinking about breaking up with your mega-bank? By switching to a smaller, community bank or credit union, you are choosing to support the green economy by placing your money in the hands of ethical institutions. Joining a green bank is one of the biggest ways you can vote with your dollars, but it is also a major decision. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive when people shift to greener financing.

Are accounts at smaller banks and credit unions safe?

Yes, your accounts at community investing banks and credit unions are insured up to $250,000 per depositor at any bank with FDIC insurance and any credit union with NCUA insurance.

Do community development banks and credit unions pay a competitive rate of return?

Yes. Community development banks and credit unions pay a rate of return comparable with that of banks and credit unions in general. They also provide better customer service and have lower fees.

What if a mega-bank holds my mortgage?

You may be able to refinance your mortgage with a community development bank or credit union. If they are offering a lower interest rate than you are currently paying this may make a lot of sense.

How do I avoid ATM fees when I bank with a small bank without many branches?

Many credit unions have reciprocal relationships, where they will not charge each other’s customers ATM fees. You can find out more information here. You can also take out a week’s worth of cash at your bank and supplement those withdrawals with cash back on debit card transactions from stores. Many pharmacies and grocery stores will let you receive $35-100 (or more) in cash back for free with each purchase.

What does switching credit cards mean for my credit rating?

Your credit score is based on a number of factors and it is very important to ensure that bills are paid on time, in full. If you have a good credit rating, switching your credit card should not be a problem. If you are seeking a loan, ask what information will be used to determine your eligibility. You can also switch to a credit card at a community development bank or credit union as soon as you've secured your loan.

For additional information regarding banking with community development banks and credit unions, turn to our Community Investing Guide.

Green financing is our way to an ethical, green economy, and it starts with you! Break up with your mega-bank and switch to a green bank today.