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Choosing a banking institution can be confusing for those looking for a loan. There are thousands of institutions, all with their own products, fees, and policies, and the fine print is often the only difference. For employees of certain companies, however, that choice is made a bit easier by credit unions created specifically for them. FedEx Employees Credit Association is one of those institutions.
FedEx Employee Credit Association is not actually a bank, but a credit union, which means it’s owned by its members who share in profits. FECA opened in 1974, with a vision to meet the financial needs of FedEx employees and their families.
As a credit union, FECA has lower fees and slightly different policies than a typical bank. That doesn’t, however, translate to an inferior experience; in fact, FECA is rated with 5-stars for financial strength and stability by Bauer Financial, Inc., a firm that rates financial institutions.
While FECA is not insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, your money is still insured up to $250,000 through the credit union’s version, the National Credit Union Administration.
FECA has eight in-person branches, most of which are in the Tennessee area, where FedEx headquarters are located. There is also a branch in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and in El Segundo, CA. Members can access their money at a number of FECA ATMs located in several states, and those out of area can rely on their robust online banking engine.
Who Can Get an Account at FECA?
As the name implies, the credit union is designed for employees of FedEx. Membership, however, is also open to their families and household members, including spouse/children, parents, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. That means even if you’re not a FedEx employee, if you have an immediate family member who is, you can still apply for membership.
Members pay a $25 par value membership to start, and that money stays in your savings account; if you ever end your membership you get that money back. Your membership is good for life as long as you maintain the minimum balance – regardless of your employment status with FedEx or that of the employee who got you into the credit union. While the par value membership is a condition of becoming part of the credit union, there are other fees charged by traditional banks that you won’t see at FECA.
Does FECA Offer Student Loans?
Yes! The Student Choice Loan is a private educational loan offered by FECA to students pursuing an undergraduate degree. The funds are paid to the student directly, and can be used for tuition, books, or any other education-related expense, and has no origination or application fees. Application for the loans can be made at the FECA Student Choice website, or on the main FECA page.
FECA also offers a Student Choice Line of Credit, which disburses funds to the school. The minimum amount is $1,000, up to whatever amount the school certifies or $50,000, whichever is greater. Lines of credit are only offered to students who attend an approved school; the list of eligible educational institutions is available on the FECA Student Choice website.
Interest rates are competitive, and while you don’t need to be a member of the credit union to apply, you will need to set up a membership in order to receive the loan proceeds. It’s recommended that you apply with a co-signer as well, to increase your chances of approval as a student.
What About Auto Loans?
FECA offers a variety of auto loan products as well, including 100% financing for new and used vehicles. One of their more popular loans is the First Time Auto Buyer Program, which allows those who have never purchased a vehicle before to do so at reduced interest rates – as low as 1.49%, even with limited credit. Some loans may require a co-signer; interested applicants are encouraged to contact FECA.
There is also an option for those who are recovering from poor credit or bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy is discharged and no FECA obligations were affected, the credit union can still offer a loan product to purchase a vehicle – and at 6.99% annual percentage rate.
The concept of an unsecured personal loan seems like a thing of the past; most banks now only offer loans if they are secured by a home, vehicle, or certificate of deposit. As a credit union, however, FECA offers a wide variety of personal loan products, meant to serve as an alternative to payday lenders and other high interest programs.
The 12-12-12 Specialty Loan allows borrowers to take out a loan for $1,200, for a term of 12 months, at a fixed rate of 12% APR. Other options include lines of credit with limits up to $10,000, or even an unsecured signature loan for up to $20,000 and financing terms extending out to 60 months.
These products generally come with a much higher interest rate than vehicle or home equity loans, but for borrowers who find themselves in a temporarily short cash flow or want to consolidate other types of debt, this can be a viable option.
Loans for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business owner – or want to be – FECA can help with loan products specifically geared for business. As a credit union that is non-profit and owned by members, FECA can work more closely with business owners to find products that best fit their situation. Whether you need a real estate loan for investment property or storefront, or a line of credit to help with expanding your business, FECA has specialists to sit down with you and work through the best option for your financial situation. In fact, FECA even offers a loan product to help you get a business vehicle.
As a credit union, FedEx Employees Credit Association is owned by members, and does not operate for profit. This means they can offer different products than a traditional bank, as well as work more closely with their customers on individualized options and loan packages.
Their website can be found at https://fecca.com.
Author: Jeff Gitlen