Conrad Bain, an actor you may recognize from Diff’rent Strokes, established the Actors Federal Credit Union with six other actors because it was difficult for actors to obtain credit. They wanted to create a place where it was easier for actors to secure the credit they needed. Actors Federal Credit Union was chartered as a not-for-profit organization in 1962 and has grown into one of the top credit unions for actors.
You are eligible to apply as long as you are a paid-up member of the agency’s accepted member organizations. They have 151 accepted member organizations, including Actors’ Equity Association, AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists), The Dramatists Guild of America, and SAG-AFTRA. The Actors Federal Credit Union accepts applications from organizations that would like to be included on their accepted member organizations list, so this number may increase. Below we will cover why this credit union is a good match for actors and how it can help you.
14 Benefits of the Actors Federal Credit Union
1. Fellow Actors Are in Charge of the Credit Union
Because the people who are in charge of the credit union are actors, you can feel more at ease knowing that decisions are made to benefit those in the profession. They have an understanding of this profession that comes from being actors themselves. As Denise Nolin, a member of the credit union said:
“They understand what it’s like to be in a show one day and looking for a job the next.”
The Actors Federal Credit Union isn’t a member of any other organizations or unions because they want to ensure that their services only benefit customers. As stated on their website’s “about us” page:
“Saving here benefits only you and other Credit Union members.”
2. Credit Union Members Are Viewed as Owners
In addition, members of this credit union are viewed as owners. For each dollar you have deposited in the credit union, you own one “share” of the institution. The Actors Federal Credit Union works by pooling members’ money for the benefit of everyone. Interest received on loans is distributed to members as dividends, used to increase savings rates, and used to offer lower loan rates. Their interest and dividend rates are either competitive with or better than the rates of for-profit banks.
Credit union members have a say in who serves on the Board of Directors and Credit Committee as well. Voting for the Board of Directors and Credit Committee occurs every year during the Annual Meeting, which usually takes place in February. Those who serve on the Board of Directors and Credit Committee aren’t paid. They work on a volunteer basis. Only the office staff at Actors Federal Credit Union is paid.
3. It’s a Not-For-Profit Credit Union
The Actors Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization, meaning the owners don’t earn a profit from the agency. Money earned by the Actors Federal Credit Union goes toward maintaining operations and pursuing the organization’s objectives. And their objectives are always to fulfill the best interests of their members.
4. Immediate Family Members May Join
This actors credit union allows immediate family members of their customers to join. That means, your spouse, kids, and even your parents and grandparents can join the credit union if they wish.
This is convenient and offers your family access to a potentially better financial organization than they currently do business with. If one of your immediate family members would like to apply for the credit union, have them fill out this form.
5. Actors Can Obtain a Mortgage
Jerry Orbach, best known for his role in Law and Order, was the first person to receive a mortgage from ActorsFCU. Since then, it has become easier for actors to obtain mortgages through this credit union due to the growth in membership.
Types of home loans that ActorsFCU offers are:
- 1/1 ARM,
- 1/1 Jumbo ARM,
- 3/1 ARM,
- 3/1 Jumbo ARM,
- 5/1 ARM,
- 5/1 Jumbo ARM,
- 7/1 ARM,
- 7/1 Jumbo ARM.
You should also know that starter rates on home loans range from 2.74% to 5.69%.
6. Access to ATMs
A common concern people have when they are new to the concept of credit unions is whether or not they can withdraw money from an ATM. Actors Federal Credit Union provides access to ATMs in numerous states in the United States.
They installed their first ATM in 1999 and continued to increase the number ATMs available throughout the 2000s. The Actors Federal Credit Union also expanded their network of credit union shared branches to improve members’ access to their checking and savings accounts.
7. Branch Office Locations Are Available
In addition to ATMs, the Actors Federal Credit Union has branch office locations available for their members. The first ActorsFCU branch office opened its doors in 2007, and they continued to open new locations throughout 2007-2014. There is likely a branch office location where you live.
8. Their Mobile Apps Make It Easy to Check Your Account Wherever You Are
The Actors Federal Credit Union has a mobile app available for Android and iOS devices. With the app, you can find a branch office location, find a nearby ATM, check your account, deposit money, make transfers, and call customer service. It’s convenient to have access to your accounts anywhere you go.
9. Good Savings Rates
This federal credit union for actors has good APYs on their savings accounts. You can expect to earn 0.02% on $100-$499.99, 0.04% on $500-$1,499.99, 0.06% on $1,500-$2,999.99, and 0.08% on $3,000 and up. Keep in mind that their savings rates change four times each year.
EMax$ online accounts deliver a 0.02% APY on the one-star level, 0.05% on the two-star level, 0.08% on the three-star level, and 0.10% on the four-star level. Furthermore, with an eMax$ savings account, you don’t have to maintain a minimum balance and interest is awarded monthly. They calculate the interest you earn via the average daily balance computation method.
Other types of savings accounts that you can open with Actors Federal Credit Union are IRAs, certificate accounts, and Holiday Club. You can view the APYs and APRs on these savings accounts on the ActorsFCU’s website.
10. You Can Apply for Credit Cards
Another great benefit of becoming a member of the Actors Federal Credit Union is that they offer credit cards. You can apply for a Visa Platinum Premium, Visa Platinum Preferred, Visa Platinum, and Secured Visa.
11. A Multitude of Loans
In addition to home loans, you can apply for a multitude of other loans, such as auto, personal, balance transfer, cash draw, body image, income tax, vacation, musical instruments, union initiation, share-secured, and certificate-secured.
It’s nice to be able to take out a vacation loan when you need some off-time from your career. A vacation loan with a 3-year term has a 7.40% APR. Also, this type of loan is also available on 4-year and 5-year terms at 8.40% APR and 9.40% APR respectively.
12. Special Offers Available
The Actors Federal Credit Union partnered with several companies to provide special offers to members. These offers include better terms on Enterprise car sales, discounts on Enterprise and National car rentals, discounts on ZipCar, and better insurance policies. You can even receive a 15% discount on flowers when you want to surprise your loved one.
13. Refer a Friend Program
You can earn $50 by referring one of your actor friends to the Actors Federal Credit Union. The organization deposits the money in your savings account, while donating an additional $50 to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
You must submit the refer-a-friend form to receive your referral credit. The form only asks for your name, the referred member’s name, the new member’s account number, the date they opened the account, and your account number.
14. Investment Options
As a well-rounded credit union, ActorsFCU also offers investment options for their members. They even offer financial education to help you make wise investment decisions. Also, the types of investment services which you can find at Actors Federal Credit Union are mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, fixed and variable annuities, and alternative investments.
The ActorsFCU is one of the best financial institutions for actors to choose for their banking, savings, and investment needs. It is a well-rounded organization that offers a wide variety of services geared at providing great credit and banking options for their members. Even more, the Actors Federal Credit Union isn’t concerned with making a profit like most big banks are; they only care about benefiting their members.
They are a not-for-profit organization, preventing any possibility of the owners or founders from profiting. The real owners of the ActorsFCU are its members. Another reason this credit union is one of the best for actors is those who are in charge are actors too. And the members vote annually on who will serve on the Board of Directors and Credit Committee.
Have you had a hard time finding loans or credit cards as an actor? Do you have any experience with the Actors Federal Credit Union? Please share your experiences below.
Photo credits: pixabay.com.