Navy Federal Credit Union: Valor Thief

Don’t believe the commercials, Navy Federal Credit Union sucks.

They don’t care about the military, veterans, or anything like that. Like all banks, all they care about is money Your money.

If you’ve seen the commercials, Navy Federal Credit Union makes a concentrated effort to project an image of being the bank of war heroes. When I enlisted into the Navy years ago, I don’t remember having problems setting up my finances with Navy Federal Credit Union. I even remember a “sailor overdraft forgiveness” which would allow active duty sailors to spend up to $300 of their next check if they were in a pinch, presumably to pay for dry cleaning a uniform or a haircut. But in the years since, they’ve grown fat and gluttonous off the military.

NFCU is an obvious financial wing of the military. They are not FDIC insured. They take the money earned from enlisted sailors and marines and manipulate it, the way all banks do, to enrich themselves. Like Chick-Fil-A, they are selective about whom they hire. If you visit one of their branch locations by a military installation, you will note that they are strikingly polite and accommodating (more so if you are in uniform). They are pretty good about helping servicemembers set up loans, and things like that.

But in the end, they are just another bank, no different from the cold and compassionateless Wachovias and Bank of Americas. They get to play with the guaranteed federal government money allotted to servicemembers, which is like hitting the jackpot for a financial institution. What makes NFCU worse than your average scam-bank like Wachovia or Bank of America is the hypocrisy of constantly crowing about doing what it takes to support the military and ramming it down your throat.

Case in point: President’s Day. A national holiday. All banks take the day off and put everyone’s finances on hold, regardless of the consequences. In essence, this is a 3 day weekend to completely hold people’s finances hostage. I deposited my check on Saturday, and I won’t have the funds available until Thursday. I called to lob a complaint. The crux of my argument is that a bank that makes such a spectacle about supporting the military should be better about working around holidays to prevent these types of situations. Taking 5 days (technically, it’s six since funds won’t be available until Thursday) to equal 2 business days is unacceptable, especially when we are talking about finances.

The military doesn’t take holidays off, so why should their bank? Maybe it’s time Navy Federal Credit Union took a cue from their customers and learn the difference between working and serving. NFCU is just another bank, with the same lousy customer service and hours expected with big financial institutions. But, what makes NFCU more nefarious, hypocritical, and unpalatable is that they proudly claim to be a better bank, with the flexibility to serve our servicemembers. They usurp the valor of our servicemembers all for the sake of a commercial.

They are just another crappy bank.

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