Reader Help Requested: Choosing a New Bank or Credit Union

A reader, who is looking to make an educated decision about choosing a bank, asked if I could put together a list of banks and credit unions that post active duty pay one day early.  I’m not really sure how I find that out, unless I hear it from you.  If your bank or credit union allows you access to your direct deposit pay funds earlier than the actual paydays, please let me know in the comments.

In addition to what day they post deposits, please include any other information that would be helpful to someone considering using your bank.  How is their customer service?  Is it easy to find a branch or ATM?  Are there ways to make deposits without going into a branch?  Anything else helpful is great!

Please, however, be reasonable.  For example, I heard a ton of people this weekend who were angry that they didn’t get their USAA deposit on Friday.  Payday is on Tuesday.  One business day early is Monday.  Why would you be angry that you didn’t get paid on Friday?  I understand that you need the money, and it is frustrating to see other people get paid before you, but payday is still Tuesday.  Anything earlier than Tuesday is a bonus, in my book.

If we all pitch in, we can put together a good resource that will help other military families choose a bank or credit union that is right for their needs.  Thanks in advance!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • USAA is awesome for servicemembers. We get access to pay a day early (ie, payday is Tuesday, we got it on Monday). We have all of our insurance, a CD through them, a car loan against our CD through them and several bank accounts with them. They’re for servicemembers and by servicemembers. Their online banking and smartphone banking services are second to none.

    The only drawbacks are 1) they haven’t set up mobile check deposit for everyone. There are still a lot of hoops to jump through to be able to deposit a check by phone. So, if you don’t live in San Antonio (where USAA is based), depositing a check can take a while as you have to mail it in. 2) They don’t have branches anywhere but San Antonio. That can be kind of a pain if you need to to any personal banking (like getting checks cashed, deposited, setting an IRA, CD, etc.)