Review of NASA FCU | Everything You Need to Know about NASA Federal Credit Union
NASA Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution. Every member is considered an equal owner and, therefore, holds one vote. Further, the board of the credit union is made up of all volunteers. This is one large advantage that NASA FCU holds over large banks like Bank of America and Chase: NASA FCU is accountable to the members, not to shareholders.
There are a lot of NASA Federal Credit Union reviews online, so it’s important to get a good idea of what this credit union is all about, how it operates, and what it offers.
Image Source: NASA FCU
A Brief History
NASA Federal Credit Union has been serving NASA employees and their families since 1949. In addition to providing personal banking services, like checking and savings accounts, NASA FCU also offers financial services, such as loans, mortgages, retirement planning, insurance, and much, much more. Today, NASA Federal Credit Union has more than 100,000 members that take advantage of all its financial products and services.
However, there are still a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a credit union. Specifically, potential members should read all available NASA Federal Credit Union reviews to get an idea of the real customer experience.
NASA Federal Credit Union Review: Checking Account Options
NASA Federal Credit Union offers several types of checking accounts to accommodate the needs of its members. Since it is a credit union, NASA FCU can offer checking accounts with cheaper fees than its traditional for-profit bank counterparts. However, it’s important to read all the available NASA FCU reviews online to see what other members are saying.
Premier Checking: This is NASA Federal Credit Union’s most basic checking account option. It includes no monthly fees if an individual is a Gold, Silver or Platinum member. If the member does not qualify, the monthly fee is $7. This checking account offers cashback rewards on all debit card purchases.
Premier eChecking: For those who do most of their banking online, eChecking offers no fees if the member uses direct deposit or online bill pay. If not, then the monthly maintenance fee is $8. This is a great option for those who don’t have a need for paper checks. A preliminary search for NASA Federal Credit Union reviews online showed no negative comments about its eChecking option.
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Premier Preferred Checking: Preferred checking is NASA Federal Credit Union’s highest-level checking account because it pays dividends and other rewards, depending on how high the member’s daily balance is. The minimum daily balance to avoid any monthly fees is $2,500.
Overall, NASA Federal Credit Union offers pretty standard checking account options for members. Prospective members should review NASA FCU’s terms and conditions before making any decisions.
Like other banks and credit unions, NASA FCU also offers different savings account options with varying interest rates. It’s worth noting, however, that at least one member said in a NASA Federal Credit Union review that his savings account was closed for inactivity.
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What About Overdraft Protection?
NASA Federal Credit Union offers members overdraft protection on their checking accounts. It protects members from overdrafts by linking the checking accounts to a savings, money market or cash line of credit. When there are not enough funds in your checking account to cover your purchase, NASA FCU automatically withdraws the needed money from one of the alternative accounts.
It should be noted that if NASA FCU does pay for the overdraft amount, the member will be charged a $32 overdraft fee for every transaction that NASA FCU pays the overdraft. On the other hand, if the overdraft is not paid by NASA Federal Credit Union, then the transaction will be declined. Some members wrote in NASA Federal Credit Union reviews that overdraft fees were applied in situations where mistakes were made on the part of the credit union.
Further, NASA FCU also offers a service called Account Guardian. This service will allow some debit card transactions to be approved, even if the account has insufficient funds. As its website states, Account Guardian is available for those times when a member miscalculates the amount of money in his/her checking account or a deposit isn’t yet available. Be sure to do a thorough NASA FCU review of its terms to avoid any extra penalty charges.
The benefit of Account Guardian is that it protects the member when he/she overdraws using a debit card whereas NASA Federal Credit Union’s standard overdraft protection only covers members when the transaction is through a written check.
According to some NASA Federal Credit Union reviews, however, at least one customer complained that there was no way to opt out of the overdraft protection for non-debit card transactions. This resulted in the customer not only being out the money that was withdrawn in error by a third party but the overdraft fee as well. Granted, this is only one customer’s experience at one particular location, but it’s good to keep this in mind before applying to be a member at NASA FCU.
NASA Federal Credit Union Credit Card Review
According to NASA Federal Credit Union’s credit card page, it offers three choices, distinguished by the maximum amount of credit offered and the rewards each card is eligible to receive. Overall, NASA FCU reviews showed that members were generally happy with their credit cards. However, there were some problems that are addressed further down.
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Visa Classic Credit Card: This card is for the person who wants to build up a credit history. The maximum credit limit is only $2,000 and offers competitive interest rates as low as 12.9% APR. No rewards are offered.
Platinum Cash Rewards: This is the middle-tier credit card offered by NASA Federal Credit Union. Members can earn up to 2% cash back on qualifying purchases. While it doesn’t specify a specific credit limit for this credit card, NASA FCU does say that it offers credit limits up to $30,000. Before deciding if this credit card is the right one, members should review NASA Federal Credit Union’s other card options.
Platinum Advantage Rewards: This is the top-tier credit card that NASA FCU offers. Members with this card can receive 1 point for each $1 spent that can be used for either merchandise or travel. Interest rates can go as low as 10.15% APR.
NASA Federal Credit Union keeps its credit card choices simple. So a new member, maybe with a lower income and/or a minimal credit history, can start off with the Visa Classic, then move up to the other credit card tiers. Before deciding which credit card is correct, members should do their due diligence by doing a NASA FCU review of all the credit cards’ rates, fees, and other terms and conditions.
The negative is that NFCU only offers Visa. Members looking for other cards, like MasterCard or American Express, will have to go elsewhere. Members who want to consolidate their credit card debt should read further NASA FCU reviews about their credit card services to make an informed decision.
Financial Services – NASA Federal Credit Union Review
NASA FCU offers a large selection of financial services for all its members who qualify. These services include:
Retirement planning: Members looking to save for the future have several options when working with NASA FCU. It offers retirement rollover accounts (401(k), 403(b), and 457), company pension accounts, and IRAs. Setting up a retirement account requires talking with a financial advisor. An appointment is required to speak with an advisor, and members can schedule their appointment on NASA Federal Credit Union’s website. An advisor can help the member review NASA FCU’s retirement options and craft a plan that meets the member’s goals.
Investment services: NASA Federal Credit Union offers investment services for members looking for increased returns on their money. Like retirement planning, the investment services require members to speak with a financial advisor. The advisor will evaluate the member’s investment goals and then create a comprehensive strategy to achieve those goals.
NASA Federal Credit Union’s website does offer several different calculators to allow members to gain more insight about how to better invest their money. Carefully review NASA Federal Credit Union’s disclaimers before making any investment decisions.
For members who would rather manage their investment portfolios on their own, NASA Federal Credit Union directs members to the eVision online trading service. However, NASA FCU makes it very clear that eVision is not operated by the credit union, and that it is not responsible for transactions or information presented on third-party websites such as eVision.
Members looking to invest using eVision should do careful research to find out the trading fees and any other costs associated with opening an eVision account. Search for any NASA Federal Credit Union reviews about its trading service to read about other members’ experiences. Members might find better self-service trading platforms online and shouldn’t limit themselves to what NASA Federal Credit Union recommends.
Tax Planning: While NASA Federal Credit Union does not offer in-house tax planning services, it does recommend members use a third-party CPA firm to help with everything from real estate transactions to tax advice on significant inheritance transactions and gift giving.
Like with NASA FCU’s use of a third-party online investment service, members looking for tax services should read NASA FCU reviews of the CPA firm that the credit union recommends, as well as other CPA firms, especially in the member’s own state.
Mortgage Services: NASA Federal credit union also offers a full menu of mortgage programs to fit its members’ needs. NASA credit union mortgage options includes:
- Fixed-rate mortgage
- Adjustable-rate mortgage
- FHA loans
- Mortgage options for veterans
- Customized mortgage options
All mortgage services are offered by NASA Federal Credit Union and not by third parties. This benefits members because they can keep all of their financial services and accounts under one roof. Since rates and terms vary, members need to speak with a NASA credit union mortgage specialist to see if they qualify.
NASA Federal Credit Union Reviews from Members
Members of NASA Federal Credit Union have posted their reviews of their individual experiences online. Many customers report feeling satisfied with the products and services offered to them by NASA FCU. Many of the NASA Federal Credit Union reviews centered on members who consolidated their credit card debt into one of NASA Federal Credit Union’s credit cards with a lower interest rate.
Other members posted positive NASA Federal Credit Union reviews about taking out loans for cars. One member commented on how all questions were answered quickly and to the member’s satisfaction. Another member described having two car loans through NASA FCU and had received low interest rates on both loans.
Though there are exceptions where members felt that they haven’t been treated fairly, the credit union was responsive to the member’s needs. NASA Federal Credit Union reviews on a different website say that the service at one particular branch was horrible. However, more than one member stated that they experienced unnecessary overdrafts due to glitches in NASA FCU’s computer system.
Contacting NASA Federal Credit Union
NASA Federal Credit Union makes it easy to get in touch for any reason. Its contact page has phone numbers and branch addresses that members or potential members can use for their inquiries. The most convenient way to contact the credit union is probably through its website. Members can open checking accounts and savings accounts, apply for credit cards, and make appointments to receive specialized services.
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