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My wife and I had a great experience going through Maureen for our mortgage on our condo. We had never purchased a house before and didn't really have anyone to turn to when we had questions on the process of any of the meanings. Luckily, Maureen was great at explaining and outlining the entire process of purchasing and was willing to answer any of our questions without hesitation, even if they did seem kind of stupid. The process was quick and we were able to get locked in at a great rate and even got a free checking account upgrade when our mortgage closed. Maureen works by appointment only, but she is easy to get a hold of and quickly responds to emails. I'd highly recommend going through Maureen if you're looking to buy a home in or around Phoenix!
When I first started attending Arizona State University I opened a savings account with Arizona State Credit Union because they had a small branch in the Memorial Union building in the center of campus. I just had the basic savings account that I could make withdrawals at whenever I needed money to buy lunch or food. The account opening process was simple and there were no real catches or issues with the account. There were no hidden fees or issues until I moved off of campus. I was living in a different part of the valley and needed to deposit some checks when I was in Gilbert. I remembered them telling me that they participated in Shared Branching when I opened the account, so I found a TruWest CU in that part of town to do a Shared Branching deposit. However, when I went in to access my account they said that Arizona State CU didn't participate in shared branching, and hadn't for nearly a year at that point. I was completely unaware of the change and never informed. I still have the savings account over there with a few hundred dollars in it with no real issues, but I have trouble finding locations to access the funds. If the credit union had a few more locations and better communication my experience so far would have been better.
I've had limited experience with BMO Harris, but the interactions that I've had have not left me with the best feeling. My wife and I had a joint checking account with M&I Bank here in Arizona. We were satisfied with the account and the fees were fairly limited or easily avoidable. However, BMO Harris recently bought out M&I and changed all of their locations to BMO Harris branding and changed their regulations and policies to be in line with the company. While others seem to have had a smooth transition, it was not the case for us. We got a notification only when we went to our branch to see the name had changed! We were worried that our location had moved, but we went in to ask and were politely informed of the company switch/buyout. The staff was very friendly and helpful, but the fee changes were what have caused us a headache since then. We have to have a direct deposit of at least $500 a month, but my wife's isn't consistently over $500, we often have 2 direct deposits for around $450, sometimes over $500 a month. For whatever reason, we still get the $7 monthly fee on our account when it's under $500. We're giving them the benefit of the doubt to allow them to fix their systems and work out the kinks here in Arizona, but if this continues to happen we'll need to look for a new bank for my wife to use.
Two months ago I bought a used car through a local dealership. I decided to get financing at the dealership, so they completed my application and shopped me around to find a local institution that would offer me the best rate, and that is how I got my accounts with Hughes Federal Credit Union. Apparently, they offered me the best rate at 3.59%, which seemed good at the time. Only after buying the car and signing the documents did I realize that all of their branches are in Tucson and I live in Phoenix. I called Hughes and they were helpful in my short experiences with them, they explained that the payments could be made via shared branching. This was how I completed my payments for the first month, but it just seemed to be too much work for me. I've decided to refinance with a credit union in Phoenix that is running a promotion with 1% cash back and they offered me a rate at 3.09%, not sure why the dealership didn't offer that to me initially. Overall I found that Hughes had great customer service and their rates are definitely competitive. I'd recommend them to anyone that lives near a branch in Tucson and I'd likely have an account with them still if I lived in Tucson.
I've had a couple of different experiences with USAA, but never actually became one of their direct customers. About a year ago I was hit while riding my bike home from a class. As it turns out, the person that hit me was a customer of USAA. As a result, I had the opportunity of dealing with USAA through my recovery period and found them to be extremely kind and helpful. I had a direct contact at USAA and she helped me take care of my healthcare bills, purchase a new bike, and get a small settlement for pain and suffering (which I was NOT expecting!). They were such a helpful company that I went back to them to try to become one of their customers. My grandfather served in the armed forces in the 1940s, so I believed that I was eligible for an insurance policy with them, as did they. However, my grandfather already had a bank account when he joined the Navy, and as a result never established an account with USAA and as it turned out that made me ineligible. They explained it to me very well and seemed genuinely sad to turn me away. Overall, my experiences with USAA have been pleasant and they are a great company that I wish I could join. Just know if you are a member, they will represent you well and take care of those who need to use the insurance.
TruWest Credit Union was a credit union that I decided to open accounts with for a short amount of time a few years ago. Originally, TruWest was the credit union that would have accounts for those people who worked for Motorola, so their charter made it hard for people to get in. Eventually, as with other credit unions, things changed and I had a good friend that had been a member her entire life. Around 2010 the credit union that I have been with for my entire life (Desert Schools FCU) started charging a $5 monthly fee for their checking accounts. Naturally, I looked for an immediate alternative. My friend told me about her free checking account at TruWest and I went and opened an account there. I was only a member for about 4 months before Desert Schools adjusted their policies, but I enjoyed my time with TruWest. Their service was fine and their accounts had great features. If there were any complaints that I might have, it would be the lack of locations. Desert Schools had more and was just more convenient overall, so that is why I went back to them. I'd recommend TruWest to anyone that has a conveniently located branch that just needs their basic needs covered.
Vantage West credit union is one of the biggest credit unions in Tucson, Arizona. I was in Tucson for business for a short time, but I wanted a secondary credit union that I could use while I was down there for a few months. My primary accounts are still at Desert Schools credit union, but they have no locations in Tucson. I found a Vantage West down the street from the extended stay hotel I was in and it was a great solution for me to go and deposit my checks. I opened a simple savings account to negotiate my checks and I found it to be an easy, painless process. Their employees are friendly and seemed happy to be there. It was a great experience and I still have the account there, but I haven't used it in years. They're a great credit union that I recommend for anyone in the Tucson area.
Desert Schools is one of the best financial institutions that I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with. I have been a member of their credit union for many years and have been so pleased with the experience that I have had over the years. Namely, their member service is top notch. While they have the features of a larger institution (mobile banking? yes please!), they still have a personal touch that is unavailable at a nationwide bank. I love the fact that I can walk in to a branch and not have the tellers push a product at me. I also only see their bankers when I need to have help on my account, they're not sitting out in the lobby ready to hound me down. The personal touch and wonderful products that they offer are refreshing and definitely in my (the member's) best interest. If you're in the greater Phoenix area, you need to be a member of this credit union!
I have had the pleasure to work with LPL Financial through my local credit union, Desert Schools FCU in Phoenix Arizona. I have written many reviews here of different banks and financial companies that I have accounts with, but my credit union is the one I trust the most and use the most. Luckily they have a partnership with LPL Financial and also offer financial planning in their branches. Our advisor, Joe Greenberg, is (as he explained to us) an employee of Desert Schools and LPL Financial. All of the products that he has discussed with me are offered through LPL Financial's system and we have been incredibly pleased with the variety and security of the products. We have chosen a relatively conservative plan for my 401k that we rolled over, I have noticed that the yields have been higher and more consistent than what I used to get with my old employer. Joe does a great job explaining their products and makes me feel confident about my decision based on the information he has given me. If all of the representatives are as helpful as Joe and the products stay as strong as they have offered thus far, I will always recommend LPL Financial to my friends and family.
The first condo that we bought has a mortgage through Bank of America. There have been good times, and times that have not been so good. I wanted to wait to post my review until we had some resolution to our situation, and now that has come to pass. Initially, we bought out condo when the market was going crazy (2007). As a result, we bought much MUCH higher than we should have. Since then, life happened, and we needed to move to something bigger. We put our condo on the market in 2010 and it took nearly 2 years to sell. Now, while we had the mortgage and were living in the condo we had no problems with Bank of America. However, once we tried to sell the condo we ran in to some serious issues. Over the course of 2 years we had 2 people willing to buy our condo above the current market value, but Bank of America was unwilling to do a short sale. Unfortunately, there was no way we could make the monthly payment and there was NO way somebody would be able to pay for the entire mortgage that was left. They seemed unwilling to work with us. We went to a branch to talk to somebody, but the information wasn't passed along to the mortgage department. They were unwilling to work with us until now, and at this time we're working with a representative to complete a final short sale. It has been a long and tiring experience, but I'm sure experiences like this does not lie only with Bank of America. I can't recommend them explicitly, but I wouldn't turn anyone away from using them for their own mortgage.
Earlier today I left a review about my poor experience with GEICO's auto insurance policy. I had a terrible experience with them and ended up unexpectedly canceling my auto insurance policy on the spot. This left me with only a few days to get new insurance in order on my new car before my bank would contact me. I was anxious to shop around and called all of the other discount insurance providers. I read reviews and still didn't feel comfortable with my options until I found Travelers. I called Travelers and actually spoke with a real agent on the phone, it was a great experience. There was no need to put information in online or anything like that, it was a simple, pleasant conversation and before I knew it they had an auto insurance quote for me. It was slightly higher than my old policy, but I felt that I could trust this company more. They had a personal touch that I have missed for years and I have my own personal agent that I can call in case of a claim or issue. Luckily, over the past 3 years there have been no issues. My agent still calls me to check up and see how things are going. Overall this is a great insurance company and I appreciate there emphasis on customer service. I highly recommend them to everyone.
Wells Fargo was my first experience with banking. I remember walking in to one of their local branches here in Arizona when I was 18 and feeling like I was finally going to be an adult. I had all of the hopes and aspirations a young person has and now I was really going to be somebody! I was going to have a checking account! The application was pretty straight forwards. I met with a banker and they asked for my information and I had an account within minutes. No problems, no struggles, it was simple. Unfortunately, that was about the only simple thing that came from this experience. Wells Fargo crushed those teenage dreams and aspirations quickly with their seemingly hidden fees and cash grabs. At this time, I was still learning how to budget and their (then) $25 NSF fees would seem to hit my account harder as they would clear the largest items first on my account while charging the smaller ones later, no matter what order I charged them. At the time I was making $6.25 an hour and couldn't afford the fees much longer. Within 6 months I had already paid at least $125 in NSF fees and decided it was enough before switching to Chase bank. Walking in to a branch made me feel as if I was nothing more than a bag of flesh with a big dollar sign on my forehead to the tellers and the service would decrease once they saw I was not signing up for another credit card or a loan. Unfortunately Wells Fargo didn't work for me at that time in my life and would recommend a more simple, smaller financial institution (credit union!) for anyone just starting out.
Progressive insurance is well known for their semi-annoying commercials that run every ten minutes. I always complain to my wife about how annoying "Flo" is, but the commercials worked because Progressive was the first company that I thought of when I learned we'd need renter's insurance at our new apartment. The application process was simple and quick. I went to Progressive's website and typed in my information and the quote came out within seconds. At just over $100 a year for renter's insurance, we couldn't complain. The policy has done well so far. We haven't had to use it or make a claim with it, but we never hope to. One issue that did occur after 3 months was that they stated that they could not give us a multi-policy discount even though we also have motorcycle policy with them. After spending about 30 minutes on the phone trying to sort it out, the agent calculated the difference, said it was $5 more a year, and then waived the added cost for me. This just shows how good their customer service really is. I recommend them for small insurance needs and commend them for their customer service.
I've been a customer of GEICO's on two separate occasions in my life. Each time they left me with with a bitter taste in my mouth. The problems the first time took place many years ago, so I'll let that situation slide, but the most recent experience left me unhappy and forced me to end my policy and leave. I had just purchased a new vehicle and as a result needed to get car insurance before I could leave the dealership. I immediately shopped and found GEICO to be the cheapest. I called an agent to get everything put in place and get the policy approved on the spot. I give him my information and he approves the policy and emails me my documents and everything is great for the first few weeks. Around a month after my policy has started I got a notice in the mail that they needed my school transcript to get my "good student discount." There was one problem, I wasn't a student. I never told anyone I was a student. I called GEICO to resolve the issue and was told that my policy's price would then be increased nearly $150 every six months. I explained to them that this wasn't my fault, but they were unable to do anything and apologized for the mistake of their agent. Needless to say, I cancelled my policy with them on the spot and found a better deal through a private broker. This was a terrible experience that left me unhappy with GEICO once again. I'll never be back and recommend you look elsewhere!
The idea of a bank that was based 100% online was something that took me a while to warm up to. I opened my first online account with INGDirect in 2005 and I was satisfied with the way the system worked. However, their savings rates fell hard and quick, leaving me to look for another option to put my funds in to a liquid high-yield account. I scavenged the Internet, reading reviews and looking for one that would fit my needs and I found Ally. Ally is a relatively new bank, but they sure do know their stuff! Their website is easy to use and they offer the BEST rate you can find on your savings account at 0.89% APY right now. That’s almost a full 0.10% better than INGDirect offers and 0.05% higher than what American Express Savings offers. I’ve found their customer support to be second to none and their response time quick. Deposits and transfers are quick and painless. I love this bank!
I've had an account with TCF National Bank for a few years, ever since they moved to Arizona and opened one of their branches in Mesa. Their claim to fame (as seen in their logo) is being open 7 days a week. This can be really useful because I might not have time to get to the bank on my Saturday. However, the employees do not seem to be happy to be there on Sunday and I've felt as if I'm an inconvenience to them when I do show up on Sunday, so I actually avoid going there most of the time. The account minimum in the checking is kind of a ridiculous policy. I should be able to use my account how I want to, but they seem to charge the most fees to those with the least amount of money. That's not a sustainable business practice if you ask me. Overall, it's a decent bank with some interesting policies, but I definitely do not plan on using them as my main financial institution any time soon.
I have been a customer of ING Direct for nearly 6 years now and I absolutely love their services and products. They are definitely my favorite institution out of the 4 that I use. The rates that they offer are some of the best that you can find right now. My savings accounts get about 0.8% while my savings account at my local credit union gets 0.01%. I love the fact that the accounts have no service fees and that I can open as many of them as I want. I currently have about 6 savings accounts with them for different purposes, and I have a checking account with them as well. Their transfers to external accounts have become much speedier over the years and their deposit via their mobile app is slick and useful. I love this institution and recommend it to everyone I know.
I have been a customer of JPMorgan Chase for about 8 years and have found it to be a mixed experience. Chase is always on the cutting edge in terms of technology and adopting new policies. I've used their mobile application since day 1 and have found that it makes paying bills, checking balances, and making transfers easy and convenient. The biggest complaint that I have about Chase is their fee schedule and constant changes. I have been lucky enough to have a free checking account since I became a customer, but I have not found the changes to affect morale and opinion of their customers. I often avoid preforming transactions in the branch because I feel that their tellers or bankers are constantly selling me some product. Overall the experience has been average and I've become more partial to my local credit union as they have started to advance.