In Review: MIT Federal Credit Union, Lexington, and Cambridge Massachusetts

“Selected an Excellent Choice Credit Union, MIT FCU is an incredibly well run credit union celebrating 80 years of service in Lexington, Massachusetts."


By: Allan R Kirby

We review Credit Unions:


Mysmallbank.com feels compelled to find the best credit unions and community banks in order to write a small review. These reviews are to help you learn more about community banking, possibly one that's in your area that you might be interested in. In this review we are choosing the following local Credit Union:

Name: MIT Federal Credit Union

Location: Lexington

Headquartered: 70 Westview St.

Lexington, MA, 02421-3142

Branches: 2

Year Established: 1940


Review:


Congratulations to MIT Federal Credit Union, celebrating 80 years of great service to its members working Cambridge and Lexington Machatuchses. This is a three-branch credit union that got its start when Frank Conant, the Director of the MIT Graphic Arts Department, and eleven fellow MIT employees got together in the basement of Building 3 to establish the MIT Federal Credit Union branch office in 1940. We made the decision to take a closer look at this credit union after doing research on customer reviews, services offered as well as their commitment to their membership. For example, we found great loan offerings such as the MIT Federal Credit Union's Private Student Loans. These loans are offered to bridge the gap for undergraduate and graduate students and allow them to complete their studies. Additionally in 2020, in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic impact, MITFCU added Personal Payroll Protection (SBA) loans, and a variety of other support options to their product portfolio.


MIT Federal Credit Union currently has close to $642 million in assets, three branches, and nearly 35,722 members, ibanknet.


We fully understand that not everyone will have a great banking experience no matter how good a financial institution is, which means there will be times when customers with specific issues which could result in a bank banking experience for them. However, overall we did not find any problems or concerns based on all the reviews we read on WalletHub, Yelp, indeed, etc. In fact, given this credit union has over 35,000 members with only three branches tells us most are in fact very satisfied with the credit unions' products and services. Additionally along with their loan support for students and their d Personal Payroll Protection (SBA) loans we found other things to like about this credit union. We highlight them below.


Credit Cards


We liked the number of credit card offerings provided by MIT Federal Credit Union. We specifically liked the build your credit, credit cards, which we highlighted below. These types of credit cards are great for either repair or build your credit. All information came directly from MIT Federal CU's website.


Visa Signature® Real Rewards Card

  • Earn 1.5 points monthly for every $1 you spend on eligible net purchases (equal to 1.5% cashback).

  • Reward bonus - $25 value awarded after first purchase, redeemable as a cash deposit, or a statement credit.

Premier Rewards American Express® Card

  • Earn up to 4x on eligible net purchases, 4x on restaurant purchases, 3x on airline purchases, 2x on gas station purchases, and 1x on all other eligible net purchases.

  • $100 cashback after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

  • $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year. After that, $99 Annual Fee.

Cash Rewards American Express® Card

  • Earn up to 3% cashback at gas stations.

  • Also earn up to 2% cashback at supermarkets and 1% on all other eligible net purchases.

  • Reward bonus - $25 value awarded after first purchase, redeemable as a cash deposit, or a statement credit.

Visa® Platinum Card

  • Extended introductory offer.

  • Save on interest and pay down your other credit card balances faster.


Build Your Credit

Secured Visa® Card

  • Excellent opportunity for someone starting a credit history or for someone who has been turned down for a credit card.

  • $35 Annual Fee.

  • Remember, late payments and going over the credit limit may damage your credit history.

Visa Signature® College Real Rewards Card

  • Excellent opportunity for someone starting a credit history.

  • Earn 1.5 points monthly for every $1 you spend on eligible net purchases (equal to 1.5% cashback).

  • Reward bonus - $25 value awarded after first purchase, redeemable as a cash deposit, or a statement credit.


Smart Money Rewards


This was of interest to us while reviewing MIT FCU's products and services. When you use direct deposit with an MIT Federal Credit Union Checking Account, you qualify for Smart Money Rewards that enhances the value of your membership. There are no fees associated with this program, and you can receive the following benefits:


  • Receive a 0.25%** interest rate reduction when you select automatic payments on a new consumer loan, excluding Visa®, Home Equity Loans, and Mortgages.

  • Reimbursement up to $5 in ATM surcharges each month when you use an out-of-network ATM.

  • Replacement of your lost, stolen, or damaged MIT Federal Credit Union ATM, Debit MasterCard®, or Visa® credit card free of charge.

  • Receive free orders of basic, single checks when you contact the credit union.


Giving back to the community


We applaud MIT FCU commitment to helping the communities they serve by providing support for the following organizations:


Cambridge Family & Children's Services, Cambridge Family YMCA, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Housing Assistance, The Children's Room, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England (CCCS), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, The Greater Cambridge Youth Foundation, Inc., The Home for Little Wanderers, The Cambridge Community Foundation for the Kendall Community Group, The Food for Free Committee, Inc., March of Dimes, MIT Community Service Fund, MIT Public Service Center, New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Pine Street Inn.


Excellent Choice Credit Union


It was a pleasure taking the time to review a credit union that is celebrating its 80th year of providing great service to faculty, staff, students, and affiliate members. Our detailed review of their products, services, employee, and customer reviews showed us this is a credit union you can trust and bank at. Overall Mysmallbank.com believes MIT Federal Credit Union is well deserved to receive the designation of Excellent choice, Credit Union. (Note 2). So if you're looking for a great community-based credit union and meet the membership requirement MIT Federal CU operates this could be a great financial institution for you.


Finally, we found that the MIT Federal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union through NCUA (Note 1).

Who is Eligible


As per their website: MIT Federal Credit Union membership delivers a higher degree of banking through our valuable products and services. Membership is extended to Select Employee Groups (SEGs), which include MIT and other Cambridge-based organizations such as Novartis, Draper Labs, and Whitehead Institute. It also extends to Lexington-based Lincoln Laboratory (see below for a complete list). Membership also is extended to family and household members of all eligible groups.


MIT Federal Credit Union Membership

MIT Employees Membership is open to employees of MIT Corporation, Novartis, Draper Labs, Whitehead Institute, Lincoln Laboratory, and more affiliates.


MIT Student Membership

Current undergraduate and graduate students at MIT improve their finances by joining the MIT Federal Credit Union.


MIT Alumni Membership

MIT graduates are eligible for membership and can immediately access all of the products and services to simplify money management. 


Sponsored members (spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, stepchild, stepsibling, stepparent, and adoptive relationships) and people living in the same household (persons living in the same residence maintaining a single economic unit) of the above groups are eligible. Retired pensioners or annuitants from the above employment groups or spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of MIT Federal Credit Union also are eligible.


Contact Now to become a member.

The following provides additional information on MIT Federal CU services, branches as well as fees.


Services Offered:


Full-Service Credit Union: Yes

Part of the CO-OP Shared Branch network: Yes

MIT Federal Credit Union Routing Number: 211381754


Banking:

  • Checking

  • Saving

Credit Union Loans:

  • Mortgages

  • Home Equity Lines & Loans

  • Auto Loans

  • Recreational Vehicle Loans

  • Student Loans

  • Personal Loans & Lines of Credit

  • Insurance & Coverages


MIT Federal CU Online

Online and Mobile Banking: Yes


MIT Federal CU Branch Location:


Technology Square Branch & ATM Building NE48 700 Technology Square Cambridge, MA 02139 Hours:

Monday–Wednesday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Thursdays: 8:30am to 5:30pmATM Available

Student Center Branch & ATM Building W20, Room 116 84 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 Hours:

Monday-Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Thursday: 9:00am to 5:30pmATM Available


Lincoln Laboratory Branch & ATM Hanscom Air Force Base - Building A-100 244 Wood Street Lexington, MA 02420

Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8:30am to 4:00pm

(Check location for hours of service).


Fee Schedule:


Yes: Click Here

Membership acceptable organizations (please visit MIT FCU for complete list)

  • Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. employees

  • Bright Horizons Family Solutions

  • Broad Institute employees

  • Draper

  • Forsyth Institute

  • GCR Professional Services, Inc.

  • HealthFitness Corporation employees

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) employees

  • Kendall Square Association employees

  • Lincoln Laboratory employees

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation employees

  • MIT Alumni

  • MIT Federal Credit Union employees

  • MIT Office of Religious Life (MIT clergy) employees

  • MIT Students - undergraduate and graduate (currently enrolled)

  • Novartis employees (Cambridge-based)

  • P3I, Incorporated (Lexington-based)

  • Philips (Cambridge-based)

  • Ragon Institute

  • Toyota Research Institute

  • Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research employee

More About Credit Unions


Major advantages of credit unions are:

  1. Better rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposits.

  2. Competitive mortgage rates.

  3. Fees tend to be lower at community banks.

  4. Local deposits are used to make loans to local businesses.

  5. Federal Credit Unions tend to have a better understanding of the communities they serve.

  6. Federal Credit Unions tend to have a more personalized customer service experience and have higher customer satisfaction rates.

  7. Federal Credit Unions provide local jobs and support local charities.

Is my money safe in credit unions?


Yes, Your money is safe in credit unions, Credit unions are regulated financial institutions that are required to ensure their customers' deposits are insured in case of failure. Most credit unions in the USA are insured under The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) which insures customers deposits to a maximum of $250,000.00. [1].


Are credit unions covered by FDIC?


No, Most credit unions in the USA are insured under The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) which insures customers deposits to a maximum of $250,000.00. [1].

Notes:


1. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. depository institutions. NCUA's standard maximum share insurance amount at $250,000.00.


2. Periodically Mysmallbank.com will name a credit union as a top choice (Top credit union) based on a number of criteria such as customer and employee reviews, complaints, satisfaction, growth, locations, brand, and social responsibility. We only select the best credit unions, so they must meet minimum standards of excellences (Excellent Choice) in order to be reviewed by Mysmallbank.com


Note: We take care when looking at reviews, especially emotionally charged negative reviews based on unique circumstances. These reviews may not accurately reflect the true experience you will receive when visiting a credit union.


In Review is a segment of the MySmallBank.com blog written by Allan R Kirby, who writes and produces Personal Finance articles and videos along with My Success Magazine.

Disclosure: mysmallbank.com nor the author received any compensation from the mentioned credit union for this article. The article is our opinion only and is written to help readers learn more about some of the best small credit unions in the USA.


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