Credit Union Review for Government Officials: Low Rates and Competitive Pricing (2023)

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By Daria Uhlig January 19, 2022
  • about Secu
  • Products
  • best qualities
  • banking experience
  • Taxa
  • competitors
  • Tom Finale


Credit Union Review for Government Officials: Low Rates and Competitive Pricing (2)

North Carolina Employee Credit Union



GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our editorial/research team. Our ranking formula takes into account many factors that differ from category to category based on what consumers expect from different products and banks.

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quick shot:SCredit union for government employeesfrom North Carolina (SECU)has a wide range of banking, lending, credit card, insurance and investment products and services, all under one roof.One of the reasons why it is ranked #34 on GOBankingRatesTop 100 Banksthat's itOffers ranging from children's bills to estate planning.However, you must be qualified (or related) as a member of the state or in the public service.This State Employees' Credit Union review has everything you need to know.

how do we calculate it


  • One stop shop for financial services
  • Multiple tax-deferred accounts to choose from
  • low account fees
  • Customer service available in 272 branches or by telephone around the clock via the hotline

In contrast

  • $25 membership fee ($5 for children under 12)
  • There is no way around monthly maintenance fees
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About the Government Employees' Credit Union

Founded in North Carolina in 1937 with assets of $437, the State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) worked part-time to serve its few members. Today with more270 branchesand more than 1,100 ATMs, the credit union serves more than 2.6 million members statewide.

Like everythingcredit unions, SECU is a non-profit, member-owned organization. To become a member, you must be an employee of the state of North Carolina, a public education agency, or an association that serves government employees. Immediate family members of these persons are also eligible.

SECU stands out from other financial institutions for its wide range of products and excellent customer service, ranking 4th on the annual list of GOBankingRatesThe best credit unions.

SECU products

Iscredit cooperativeoffers a variety of account types, retirement plans, investment services, insurance, and financial management for high net worth clients.

verify accounts

SECU intervenes stronglychecking accountOptions There is no minimum deposit to open the standard SECU checking account and only a minimum balance of $1 is required to maintain the account. In addition, you will receive up to 50 free checks per billing period, then 20 cents each. Dividends currently pay 0.05%. SECU also offers a Z-Checking account for teens ages 13-19 as part of its Zard program, which earns the same amount of interest.

If a standard checking account doesn't meet your needs, consider a CashPoints Global account and debit card. The Checkless account lets you pay bills online and save on overdraft fees, making it a cost-effective option. There is a $1 monthly maintenance fee, but there is no minimum balance requirement.

keep account

Members automatically receive a standard "stock savings account" when they join SECU. A minimum deposit of $25 is required to open, but your balance earns 0.10% APY. However, SECU offers many othersSavings accountoptions

You can also open a Holiday Cash Club accountvacation expensesor a Summer Cash account designed specifically for faculty and other staff who only get paid for part of the calendar year. No account has a minimum opening deposit.

There are also Zard and FAT CAT Share accounts for children, as well as tax-deferred options for education, retirement, and health savings. Expect the standard dividend of 0.10%APYfor most SECU savings account options except for the Summer Cash account, which earns 0.35% APY.

money market accounts

If you have $250 to open a savings account and can keep that as a minimum balance to save a $2 monthly fee, consider opening a SECU Money Market Share account. You can achieve higher interest rates with a call money accountthat the stock savings account(0.15% APY vs. 0.10%) and there are no expiration restrictions like a certificate of deposit.

money market accountsallows you to write checks and make some monthly bill payments and withdrawals for added convenience. However, the SECU Money Market Share account does not allow for bill payment, ACH transfers, or check writing, which limits your withdrawal options.

CD prices

A futures stock certificate is the credit union equivalent of adeposit receiptand SECU only offers one. Maturities range from six to 60 months with interest rates ranging from 0.30% to 0.55% APY.

You can start with as little as $250, members with more money can do so"Leader" CertificatesSo you end up with all the highest interest 60-month certificates that expire each year so you can access the funds when you want.

best qualities

GOBankingRates uses specific criteria to rank and identify the best financial institutions in the country. SECU's strongest characteristics included four specific categories:

product range

Not everyone has time to bank optionand maintain multiple accounts with multiple institutions. Therefore, it is desirable for credit unions to be large enough to offer a variety of services, including accounts, financial advice and planning, and insurance and credit. Receiving special relationship rates for your loyalty is an added bonus. SECU ranks high when it comes to providing almost everything you may need on your financial journey.

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Easy to use

SECU makes it easy to open an account online or at over 200 locations across North Carolina. The credit union requires people to first qualify for membership. Fortunately, the process of qualifying for an account and opening an account can be done simultaneously. For members familiar with digital banking, the website and mobile app are robust enough to handle everyday financial needs like balance tracking, bill payments, and mobile check filing.

Customer service

In addition to the local service of the SECU branches, the credit union can be reached by telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Ask SECU knowledge base can answer frequently asked questions.


Credit unions often have lower fees than traditional banks. SECU is no exception.overdraft fees, which are typically the most expensive fees charged by a bank, are free in SECU, or just $12 when the overdraft grace period ends.

Editor's favourite

One of SECU's greatest strengths is the development of products that meet the specific needs of its members. Payday loans and Summer Cash savings accounts are particularly useful for educators.

banking experience

Branch offices and ATMs throughout North Carolina mean SECU is always within reach. However, you can avoid personal banking for most transactions by using SECU's online and mobile banking services. Both options offer a positive banking experience.

Customer service

Local branches take calls during normal business hours from 8:30am to 8:30pm. M. at 5:30 p.m. Or you can call Member Services 24/7 for assistance. Self-service for account information and activity is available through Member Access, Mobile Access and the ASK SECU 800 number.

store availability

SECU operates 273 stores in North Carolina. Visit the SECUbicanPage to find your nearest branch or browse a full list of locations.

digital experience

SECU's online and mobile platforms have all the usual features such as wire transfers, bill payments, peer-to-peer payments, account notifications and account activity. Online banking also integrates with Quicken, allowing you to download information for most SECU deposit, credit card, and loan accounts. With some types of instant loans, you can even get an advance on your available balance.

The mobile application is available foriOSjAndroid. App Store reviews only give it 3.1 stars out of five, but it has four stars out of five on Google Play.


With more than 270 locations and toll-free ATMs in all North Carolina counties, SECU earns high marks for convenience.

How to open an account

Visit a branch office or call Member Services at 888-732-8562 to apply for membership. Once your eligibility is verified, set up your membership by opening a stock savings account with an initial deposit of $25. You can then sign up for member access, which gives you access to online and mobile banking to open additional accounts.


While SECU has monthly fees you can't avoid, you only pay $1 and you can donate it to the SECU Foundation if you prefer. SECU charges an underfunding fee, but your stock savings account, which establishes your membership, automatically provides overdraft protection., and may designate other accounts and lines of credit for this purpose.

  • Credit union membership dues: $25
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $1, can be described as a SECU Foundation grant
  • Overdraft/Insufficient Funds: $12
  • Overdraft transfers: 50 cents after the first two days of the calendar year in which you would normally incur fees
  • Checks returned: $5
  • ATM fee: 75 cents per transaction or request at a VISA/Plus ATM; 35 cents per transaction or incomplete query
  • Bank Transfers: $10 for domestic transfers, $25 for international transfers

Civil Servants Savings and Loan Cooperative vs. Competitors

Before making your final decision on a financial institution, there are several options to consider. Here are some details on SECU's competitors to help you determine how SECU compares.

Bancobest for
Credit union for government employeesInnovative savings products that help members stay in control of their finances
Navy Federal Credit UnionMembership benefits are aimed in particular at members of the German Armed Forces
Coastal Federal Credit UnionBroad eligibility for North Carolina members
distant wellsLarge volume of products and services available

Government Employees Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union members are current or former military personnel or their family members, so the credit union offers specialized services such as: B. An overseas customer service number that you can call during the secondment. SECU also specifically caters to its members, which include North Carolina educators, with products like the Summer Cash account that make managing irregular paychecks easier.

Government Employees Credit Union vs. Coastal Federal Credit Union

Coastal Federal Credit Union is easier to join because eligible members include individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or do business in multiple counties in North Carolina, while SECU affiliation is more specific and narrow. But if you are eligible, SECU offers more account options for your kids, especially teens.

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Government Employees Credit Union vs. Wells Fargo

As one of the largest banks in the country, Wells Fargo offers a dizzying array of financial products and services, and many options within each category, such as: B. Checks. Unlike banks, credit unions are non-profit financial institutions owned by their members. As such, SECU maintains a more local focus and strong commitment to its members and community.

Tom Finale

With a wide range of banking options, as well as credit cards, loans, insurance and investments, SECU can help members manage their money from their teens through their golden years. If you are eligible for membership, or think you might be, it's worth calling or stopping by your local branch to speak to a credit union representative about membership.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Credit Union for Government Employees

Some other points that might interest you are:

  • Who Can Join the Government Employees Credit Union?
    • To become a member, you must be an employee of the state of North Carolina, a public education agency, or an association that serves state officials. Immediate family members of these persons are also eligible.
  • Are SECU employees state employees?
    • SECU is licensed or authorized by the State of North Carolina but is not a state agency. Like other credit unions, it is owned by its members.
  • Is SECU only in North Carolina?
    • Although other states have credit unions called the State Employees' Credit Union, the credit union in North Carolina by that name is specific to North Carolina. Its more than 270 branches and more than 1,100 ATMs are located in the state.
  • What is the difference between SECU and LGFCU?
    • Membership in local government state credit unions is open to employees and volunteers of North Carolina state or local jurisdiction departments and agencies, while SECU also includes individuals working for associations that serve state employees.
  • Does SECU offer free money for registering an account?
    • SECU is not currently running any free money promotions, but they do offer some freebies. All branches have FAT CATtypes of coinsYou can use it for free, and SECU also offers free notary services and free shredding days where you can safely dispose of paper documents.

Cynthia ArcherReports contributed to this article.

Prices are subject to change. Account information is correct as of January 12, 2022.

Editorial note: This content is not provided by SECU. Any opinion, analysis, revision, or recommendation expressed in this article is the sole responsibility of the author and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by SECU.

Credit Union Review for Government Officials: Low Rates and Competitive Pricing (3)

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