AdvisoryHQ, which is an independent media outlet that provides rankings for financial institutions, recently ranked Tyndall Federal Credit Union, as one of the 15 best credit unions in Florida, and this is due to their many unique features.
For this reason, I have decided to include them in my reviews.
Tyndall Federal Credit Union is a federally-chartered financial institution that was established in 1956. It is headquartered in Panama City, Florida, and has a network of 23 branches across Florida and Alabama.
Currently, Tyndall has over 112,000 members and has managed to amass an asset base worth over $1.2 billion. They are among the credit unions in Florida with a low-income designation.
Let me digress a little and explain what this designation means.
Tyndall Federal Credit Union has a low-income designation, which is a component of NCUA, – The body that regulates credit unions. Credit unions that have this designation can offer additional banking services to their customers.
For a credit union to qualify for this designation, most of their members must meet the low-income thresholds which is based on the data available on the US census bureau.
Benefits of this designation
The credit union receives a statutory exception cap for the member’s business dealings. This means that, as a member, you can expand your business by accessing capital loans, which also helps to diversify their portfolio.
Members of the credit union become eligible for grants and low-interest loans from the community development loan fund.
The credit union can accept deposits from non-members, which helps to increase their ability to offer loans to members.
The credit union also gets the authority to supplement its capital from other sources.
Okay, now let’s get back to Tyndall Federal Credit Union.
Products and services
This credit union is mostly customer-centric, and their main focus is offering quality products and services that their members will need with the convenience of being able to use your mobile phone, computer or even telephones to transact.
Currently, they offer two different types of checking accounts.
Classic checking account – this is an old school account that is perfect for people who do most of their business transactions without using the internet.
Smart checking – This Account is for people who meet the criteria provided. The Account offers you most of the benefits of a checking account and some of the best APYs you shall find in the market.
Tyndall understands your need to save, and as such, they have a well-established savings account, whose primary purpose is to ensure that you earn some good amount of money as a result of keeping your money in their Account.
Their saving account doesn’t require any initial deposit when opening, and neither does it require a minimum operational amount or monthly charges.
They have well-trained employees, whose primary purpose is to assist their members in buying homes, and making critical decisions when it comes to significant purchases.
Tyndall works one-on-one with first-time buyers, and they will answer all of your pressing questions about the home buying process. In addition, they will offer you the best areas and locations where you can purchase your home.
Money Market account
Now, a money market account is similar to a high-yield savings account, with a slight difference. High-yield savings accounts are found in banks, while money market accounts can be found in any other investment company such as a credit union.
The FDIC insures money markets. FDIC means Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and it is an independent agency that was created by the US government for the primary purpose of protecting consumers while maintaining stability and public confidence.
At Tyndall Credit Union, a money market account will earn you more interest compared to a savings account and has a minimum initial deposit of at least $1,000.
They have a vast network of branches within the Florida Pan Handle and Alabama areas that benefit their customers extensively.
Why should you consider Tyndall Federal Credit Union?
This is one of the reasons why most people choose to use credit unions rather than banks. When you are a member of a credit union, you are actually one of the owners, and as such, you get to experience what it feels like to own your own company.
We have talked about this in details, and if you meet the low-income thresholds which is based on the data available on the US census bureau, then, you get to enjoy exclusive benefits from the credit union, such as receiving grants, and the ability to get low-interest loans.
It is a nonprofit organization
Being a member-owned entity means that they focus more on the members rather than profit maximization, and hence, most credit unions are nonprofits. This also means that their services are mostly customer-oriented and mostly free.
Excellent customer service
Being the boss, as you are an owner of the company means that you get to receive excellent customer service whenever you visit their offices. This is a great experience, and most people absolutely love to be treated with respect.
Better interest rates
This is one of the main reasons why most people opt to use a credit union rather than a bank. Their loan interest rates cannot be compared to what you shall find in a bank, and they enable you to earn more from your deposits compared to a bank.
As a nonprofit, they pass most of their surplus income to their members, by making the interest to be earned on deposits higher.
Low fees – Tyndall will pass savings to their members by charging less for operating your Account, such as withdrawals.
Working as a community– Since it is owned and operated by the members, there is a strong sense of community and the fact that most of the services are geared towards helping everyone in the neighboring community.
Limitations of Tyndall
Well, as much as we claim that credit unions offer the same services as a bank, they are not banks, and as such, they tend to fall short in one or two areas. Here are some limitations of Tyndall that you need to be aware of.
Membership: Unlike banks, where you can walk in, open an account, and begin operations, Tyndall credit union requires you to become a member first. You must also qualify for membership since they have rules and regulations that must be followed to achieve this.
There may also be a membership fee of about $5-$25 and a minimum operating deposit in some of their accounts, as shown in the table below. When you need to take a loan, in most cases, they will give you a specific amount based on your savings, which is not always a great thing.
Branch locations – Unlike banks, Tyndall, has limited branch locations. You may not find one in the nearest block, and their ATM’s are also scarce as well. Although the small and community-based quality of a credit union is what attracts most people, the inability to find a branch near you can be inconveniencing.
Fewer services compared to banks – if you compare what a bank has to offer to what is available at Tyndall, there are some significant differences. Credit unions have come a long way, and they try their best to provide similar services to banks, but there is so much more to be done to have them on the same level.
Tyndall offers similar services to a bank, which means that you can open an account, deposit and withdraw funds, receive a debit card, get a personal, business, or mortgage loan, among others.
The beauty of Tyndall is that they do accept loan applications online, or even over the phone. If you have a credit score that is above 680, you can qualify for one of their low-interest rates at 5.99%.
To apply and qualify for a loan, you must be a member of Tyndall, and you can be eligible for membership through employment, membership to an organization that is related to the company, or if you live within the credit Union’s area.
What are their loan interest rates?
Their lowest loan interest rate if you have good credit is 5.99%, for a loan repayment period of 48 months. You can also qualify for an interest rate of 6.49% for a 60-month repayment plan.
These interest rates, however, are for members who have set up automatic payment plans through Tyndall. If you do not have an automatic payment plan, you will get a 0.5% increase on the current interest rate.
How much can you borrow?
Their loans range from $1,000 to $10,000. If you want to borrow $10,000 for 48 months, then you shall be required to pay back $234.80 per month. This loan will cost you $11,270.40.
If you want to borrow the same amount and repay it over 60 months, you shall be given a higher interest rate of 6.49%, and your monthly installments shall be $195.61 with a total loan cost amounting to $11,736.60.
How long does a loan take to be approved?
They usually take 24 hours or less from the time you submit your loan application form to disbursement into your Account. You can do this over the phone, online or in person. If you happen to apply for a loan in the morning, you can receive it the next day.
Tyndall Credit Union is one of the best in the region, and if you reside around Florida, or any other location where they have a branch, it is a good idea to open up an account and start saving with them, because they have excellent products and services.
If you are a student coming from the low-income threshold, I would strongly advise you to visit their offices and find out how they can be of help. They have been known to assist primarily with needy students, and it really doesn’t hurt.
You can also be able to get big loans such as car loans and mortgages at extremely affordable rates, so, if you are employed, they are worthy of your consideration.
I always say that, when it comes to financial freedom, you’ve got to do what you can to secure your future. Tyndall has had some few negative reviews over the past, but this is very common with almost all companies, and it is, therefore, essential that you try them out before writing them off.