Recently, a friend bought a "new" used car and financed the purchase through a bank. His credit was excellent, so he got the "best rate" according to the dealership. His rate was 5.79 percent.
Having heard about the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union, I decided to check and see what kind of rate he could have gotten if my friend were a REALTOR®. I called the phone number, (866) 295-6038, and spoke with a lovely young lady. She told me the rate on a 36-month loan for a used car would be 4.75 percent for anyone who has a savings account with the credit union, AND that the current promotion is to defer the first payment for 60 days. That was more than one point lower than the bank gave my friend!
So from there I started asking more questions: What is the minimum amount to open a savings account? Answer, $l00. Interest rate for a savings account with a $500 balance? Answer, .50 percent. I just rolled over C.D.'s at the same rate, and they were much higher amounts! What is the monthly fee for online banking? Answer, Zero. Minimum amount in account? Answer, $1.00. The REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, A Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union also offers mortgages, money market accounts, etc. All rates are posted on the website, www.REALTORSfcu.org.
I finally figured out that I have been missing the boat! Besides learning how to make my money work smarter, I learned our moms and dads, brothers, sisters, children, or grandchildren can also join the credit union. Guess who was a hit at the family dinner this week?
Feeling like a kid who just discovered the Easter Bunny brings chocolate, I went to www.REALTOR.org to see what else I may have been missing. Now you may not believe this, but it is a true story. I am having new doors and storm doors installed in my office/apartment building, so I called Lowe's (one of the National Association's affinity partners). I ordered all the doors and storm doors, locks, etc. and then asked about the REALTOR® discount. Since the order was more than $2,500, Lowe's called me back and reported a savings of more than $300. WOWEE!! Not bad.
So, of course, now I am searching the entire website for any other great deals that I can use. I haven't checked all of them out yet, but on the website, you can get discounted products at Dell, HP, and you can get insurance discounted at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. If you need health insurance you can contact the REALTORS® Core Health Insurance, offering low-cost, guaranteed acceptance, medical indemnity insurance. We also qualify for discounts at Fed-Ex, Xerox, Avis, Budget and Hertz for car rentals.
It seems that in this economy, we should all take a look at the REALTOR® benefits that the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is offering us. Sometimes members ask, "What do I get for my dues dollars?" Well, there you go!