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Anyone familiar with Affinity FCU? - Joined (Aug)

SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Anyone familiar with Affinity FCU?


@CBartowski wrote:

@SouthJamaica wrote:

I've been a member for around 5 years. They're a nice, small outfit, personalized service, a tad conservative as lenders in my opinion. (I believe they have a 1-person underwriting department, and I actually got to speak to the underwriter herself Smiley Happy)

 

Website is fine, same software as some other small credit unions.

 

Reasonable rates.


Small outfit, do they have Geo restrictions?

 

Thanks!


Nope, they're open to all. Anybody can join by making a "$5 donation to support financial literacy and become a member of the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE) or Connecticut Jump$tart. (Your donation will be processed as part of your membership application)".


Total revolving limits 699000 (597000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 732 TU 721 EX 698

Message 11 of 135
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Anyone familiar with Affinity FCU?


@Citylights18 wrote:

They do have geo restrictions but if you call that will help you get around that.


No, it's not geo fenced. Anybody can join by making a $5 contribution to NJ Coalition for Financial Education or to CT Jump$tart as part of the application process.


Total revolving limits 699000 (597000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 732 TU 721 EX 698

Message 12 of 135
coldfusion
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Anyone familiar with Affinity FCU?

I think there's an echo in here Smiley Very Happy

(8/2022)
FICO 8 (EX) 830 (TU) 834 (EQ) 831
FICO 9 (EX) 839 (TU) 848 (EQ) 846

$1M+ club

Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 13 of 135
KLEXH25
Valued Contributor

Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union

I first read about this CU while reading @ChazzieT ‘s post CU's to join for Savings Rate now and possible Credit Products later! I was intrigued by their SmartStart Savings Account rate of 2% on the first $2,500, and 1.00% on the next $2,500, given that rates have been steadily going down across all HYSAs. Apparently, the rate was even higher pre-pandemic. I was also intrigued by their Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card, which gives 5% at all bookstores, including Amazon.com (as well as 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets). After mulling it over for a couple of months, I finally decided to join on Monday. Since I have not found much information about this credit union in the forums, I figured I would share the process with you all here for future reference.

 

The joining process was easy. Their geographical areas in NJ and CT are TINY, so I joined by donating $5 to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE). The application readily gave this option and allowed you to make your donation simultaneously. I selected the SmartStart Savings Account as my CU product, and they give you a $1,000* limit to fund your account(s) with a debit or credit card. If you opt for ACH or check, the funds would take several days to transfer. Since I didn’t want to wait (& to avoid a possible cash advance fee using a CC), I used my Discover debit card (FYI, this did not seem to trigger the 1% cashback like I was hoping). NOTE – the $1,000 limit includes the $5 donation and the $5 CU member share, so the remaining $990 went to the savings.

 

Towards the end of the process, they asked three questions to prove my identity. For me, they were:

  1. In what month was (my brother’s name) born?
  2. Which of the following addresses have you lived at (numerous options were given)
  3. What is (my mother’s name)’s state of residence?

 

The application specifies that the quicker you answer the better, so if they ask you tough questions, you may have some trouble if you take too long. According to comments on the Doctor of Credit website, some people complained that it asked them questions about family members that they were not close to and were denied membership for failing to answer correctly. Apparently, there was no getting around this during recon. This was one of the main reasons I did not apply for one of their credit products during the member application, since I wanted to make sure that my membership was accepted first. Also, they did not do a hard pull for membership (I wasn’t sure about this one).

 

Once the application was completed, I created a log-in (luckily you can make up your own user name, unlike DCU, which makes you wait to get your member number first). I also downloaded their app on my phone. My first impression of their website is that it is almost identical to DCU’s layout. It also appears that they do SP loan and credit card approvals. The quarterly FICO score that they give seems to be Experian 8, which is what I am guessing they use for lending decisions. I will have to confirm these points, but it certainly looks promising! The money transferred over to the account by the next day (Tuesday), and I was able to connect my other checking accounts to my Affinity account so that I can transfer over more money.

 

*According to comments on Doctor of Credit, the funding limit at some point was $3,000 - $5,000, but as of August 10, 2020 they limited the transaction to $1,000.



Message 14 of 135
AllZero
Mega Contributor

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union

Congratulations on your membership.

Thank you for sharing the excellent data points!
Message 15 of 135
ChazzieT
Frequent Contributor

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union

Congrats on the new membership! They've been great to me so far. Everything has been smooth and by the numbers.

 

That card is a definite winner as well. The only reason I don't have it yet is that I'm "being good" for US Bank, right now, so I can get their Cash + in December.

 

Be certain to also take a look at their "Hi 5" program. It adds 5% rotating cats to your cards (and I believe, checking account).

 

These cats are stackable with whatever rewards you're already receiving and they usually do Bookstores/Amazon in Q4, so you would get 10% back on all your Christmas shopping!

Message 16 of 135
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union


@KLEXH25 wrote:

I first read about this CU while reading @ChazzieT ‘s post CU's to join for Savings Rate now and possible Credit Products later! I was intrigued by their SmartStart Savings Account rate of 2% on the first $2,500, and 1.00% on the next $2,500, given that rates have been steadily going down across all HYSAs. Apparently, the rate was even higher pre-pandemic. I was also intrigued by their Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card, which gives 5% at all bookstores, including Amazon.com (as well as 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets). After mulling it over for a couple of months, I finally decided to join on Monday. Since I have not found much information about this credit union in the forums, I figured I would share the process with you all here for future reference.

 

The joining process was easy. Their geographical areas in NJ and CT are TINY, so I joined by donating $5 to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE). The application readily gave this option and allowed you to make your donation simultaneously. I selected the SmartStart Savings Account as my CU product, and they give you a $1,000* limit to fund your account(s) with a debit or credit card. If you opt for ACH or check, the funds would take several days to transfer. Since I didn’t want to wait (& to avoid a possible cash advance fee using a CC), I used my Discover debit card (FYI, this did not seem to trigger the 1% cashback like I was hoping). NOTE – the $1,000 limit includes the $5 donation and the $5 CU member share, so the remaining $990 went to the savings.

 

Towards the end of the process, they asked three questions to prove my identity. For me, they were:

  1. In what month was (my brother’s name) born?
  2. Which of the following addresses have you lived at (numerous options were given)
  3. What is (my mother’s name)’s state of residence?

 

The application specifies that the quicker you answer the better, so if they ask you tough questions, you may have some trouble if you take too long. According to comments on the Doctor of Credit website, some people complained that it asked them questions about family members that they were not close to and were denied membership for failing to answer correctly. Apparently, there was no getting around this during recon. This was one of the main reasons I did not apply for one of their credit products during the member application, since I wanted to make sure that my membership was accepted first. Also, they did not do a hard pull for membership (I wasn’t sure about this one).

 

Once the application was completed, I created a log-in (luckily you can make up your own user name, unlike DCU, which makes you wait to get your member number first). I also downloaded their app on my phone. My first impression of their website is that it is almost identical to DCU’s layout. It also appears that they do SP loan and credit card approvals. The quarterly FICO score that they give seems to be Experian 8, which is what I am guessing they use for lending decisions. I will have to confirm these points, but it certainly looks promising! The money transferred over to the account by the next day (Tuesday), and I was able to connect my other checking accounts to my Affinity account so that I can transfer over more money.

 

*According to comments on Doctor of Credit, the funding limit at some point was $3,000 - $5,000, but as of August 10, 2020 they limited the transaction to $1,000.


Congratulations. They're a good outfit. I've been with them for quite a while.

 

They're conservative about lending.

 

When I applied for credit there seemed to be a one-person underwriting department. She was willing to communicate with me directly. She was tough.


Total revolving limits 699000 (597000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 732 TU 721 EX 698

Message 17 of 135
Ragdollkitty
New Contributor

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union

Thank you for the write up.  I initially axed them from my list as I had a 1.4% rate and didn't feel like opening another account at the time.  Also, I remember reading someone said they had problems not being in the service area.  It's good to see that it's not a problem to open outside the service area.  I'll probably be opening an account soon.

Message 18 of 135
AdamC
Valued Member

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union

I was going to join as Ally just cut the online savings account rate to 0.8%, however when I put in my identification they rejected it because my ID expires in 2050 Smiley Happy

 

Oh well, if it really gives me an itch I will try calling in, otherwise wait until I have to get the updated Travel ID which I believe knocks down the expiration date.

Sapphire Preferred/Freedom/Freedom Unlimited, DoubleCash/ThankYou Preferred, Blue Cash Everyday, It, Quicksilver, Apple, Signature Connect, and a few store cards
Message 19 of 135
KLEXH25
Valued Contributor

Re: Joining Affinity Federal Credit Union


@Ragdollkitty wrote:

Thank you for the write up.  I initially axed them from my list as I had a 1.4% rate and didn't feel like opening another account at the time.  Also, I remember reading someone said they had problems not being in the service area.  It's good to see that it's not a problem to open outside the service area.  I'll probably be opening an account soon.


It appears results may vary, but so far so good. 



Message 20 of 135
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