Credit unions might look and act like banks, but there are some important differences. America First Credit Union is easy to join if you live in the area it serves, and it offers some nice perks to its members.
Keep reading to see if America First is the right credit union for you.
Joining a Credit Union
America First, like all credit unions, does not have stockholders — it is owned by the members. This is why credit unions often have better interest rates than banks that operate to make a profit, and is one of the major benefits of a credit union.
When you join, you purchase a share in the credit union. At America First, your share costs $1 and is deposited into a share savings account. You can use it like a regular savings account, adding money to it and earning interest on your balance. You have to keep that $1 in the account. If you don’t, you’ll lose your membership to the credit union.
Some credit unions have strict membership requirements. You might have to be in the armed services, for example, or work for a specific company. Others, like America First, only require that you live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school in the specific counties the credit union covers, making it one of the best credit unions to join if you have ties to the area. The membership area includes certain counties in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Arizona. The credit union has over 100 branches.
America First Checking and Savings Accounts
America First Credit Union offers basic checking and money market accounts. Both types of accounts include the following features:
- No monthly maintenance fee or low-balance fee
- Unlimited transactions
- Earns dividends (interest)
- Online banking
- Free bill pay
- Direct deposit
- Mobile app with mobile payments
- Money Manager spending tracker
- FICO score tracker
As of May 1, 2018, America First share savings accounts paid 0.10% APY interest on all balances of at least $1. Money market savings account rates range from 0.10% APY on balances up to $9,999 and up to 0.30% APY on balances over $250,000.
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America First Home Loans
American First Credit Union members can apply for various types of home loans such as home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. The credit union offers fixed mortgages for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. They also offer adjustable-rate mortgages that have a fixed rate for three to 10 years and then adjust based on prevailing interest rates. FHA, VA and USDA loans are available, as is Nevada down-payment assistance.
As of May 1, 2018, American First Credit Union offers a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.5 percent interest, with zero points and a 0.5 percent origination fee, making the APR 4.5591 percent.
Home equity loans are available for up to 100 percent of the home’s value, with terms of five, 10 or 15 years, and can be fixed or variable. A 10-year loan for 90 percent of the property value would carry an interest rate of 6.74% APY fixed or 6.24% APY variable, as of May 1, 2018.
Other Loans at America First
America First Credit Union offers many other types of loans, including auto, RV, motorcycle and watercraft loans. Personal loans, business loans, construction loans and reverse mortgages are also available to members.
America First Credit Cards
Visa Classic, Platinum and Secured cards are available to members of America First Credit Union. These cards include cash-back rewards and special offers like discounts at movie theaters, the Utah Jazz store, Las Vegas attractions and more.
America First Credit Union offers the account choices and features that the big banks have, but often with more attractive interest rates. Those who live in the area served by the credit union might be able to have all their financial products in one place and save money while doing it.
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