HIWAY Credit Union Review (BEST CREDIT UNION EVER!) – Vekhayn

HIWAY Credit Union Review (BEST CREDIT UNION EVER!)

I always had problems with banks growing up. Tons of useless fees, horrible customer service, everything was confusing. When I started working in St.Paul, MN, I was offered membership at this incredible credit union. Here’s an actual unbiased HIWAY Credit Union Review.

I will say that online there are a lot of bad reviews of HIWAY Credit Union. However, you need to consider most people won’t write good reviews if they are satisfied, and are more vocal when they are mad. As a member of HIWAY Credit Union for over 5 years now, I’ve had my fair share of ups/downs with them.

Heck, I’ll admit it- even one time, I overdrafted my account! I’m not some financial wizard, but I will still vouch for them in this HIWAY Credit Union Review and for good reason.

HIWAY Credit Union is the best credit union/bank I’ve EVER been with. From incredible customer support, nonexistent fees, fast banking, no problems, great online banking + app, low loan rates- it’s a no brainer for me to stay with HIWAY forever.

But let’s cover this more in-depth.

HIWAY Federal Credit Union Review, the log-in screen.
HIWAY Credit Union Review, the log-in screen.

The Best Part, Tiny to Little Fees

So, if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re in the Minnesota area. HIWAY Credit Union (at the time of writing this) really only has offices in Minnesota. I started with them when they were a very small credit union, and admittedly- they have expanded very far.

But, the point is, I’m going to compare them to some other banks in the area. One of the biggest banks in Minnesota is TCF bank.

TCF Bank has a ton of fees and in my experience, bad customer service. Sure, TCF claims they have this “free checking experience”- nope, not true at all.

If you want a free checking experience, HIWAY Credit Union will ACTUALLY give you one.

At TCF, basically, anything you want TCF to do for you will cost you money.

Sure, they’re not the worst bank in the world (Don’t get me started on Bank of America). But compared to HIWAY, they are nothing.

HIWAY Federal Credit Union Review, a picture of their building.
HIWAY Credit Union Review, a picture of their building.

HIWAY is Literally Non-Profit, They Don’t Want Money From You

Just to be clear, HIWAY is literally a non-profit. This means they don’t want money from you. Obviously, they have employees to pay, buildings to build, transactions to process, etc. But- they don’t want to make a profit at the end of the day.

That’s a big difference between credit unions and banks, the banks are there to make money for the big guys on top, HIWAY not so much.

So, that’s where you see HIWAY having little-to-no fees for just about anything.

I’ve been banking with HIWAY for roughly 5 years and have never been charged a single fee.

HIWAY’s Awesome $5 Requirement

So, to bank with HIWAY, you just need to have $5 in your savings account. That’s it.

You can’t even touch that $5, so don’t worry about spending it. That’s technically your “fee” for banking with them. They loan that $5 out and make some profit on it and that’s all you have to do.

For 2 years straight, my bank account basically had no money in it. My checking account sat at under $10.74 for 2 years straight.

Remember TCF bank from earlier? If you don’t have at least $250 in your account over a few months (this is according to their website by the way) you’re getting charged a fee for that.

At HIWAY, they understand if you’re broke and can’t have hundreds just sitting in your bank. I didn’t have a lot of money, had a hard time getting a job, and was barely making ends meet.

The last thing I wanted was my one bank to call me and give me another fee. Thankfully, HIWAY never did that. They literally don’t care about that, they just care that I have a safe and good place to bank.

They treat you like a member, not someone to try and harass.

HIWAY’s Customer Service Is Phenomenal

Let me just share something with you.

When I overdrafted with TCF bank, I called and explained the situation. Nope, nada. They told me to pound sand. Which is why I eventually left their bank anyway.

Now I get it, it was my fault I overdrafted. But I was getting paid in less than 4 hours, as far as I knew, TCF just hadn’t cleared my paycheck yet.

When I overdrafted with HIWAY. I called and explained the situation. I said, “look, I’m having a really hard time making ends meet, I get paid tomorrow, I can transfer some money, is there anyway I can get forgiven?”.

The person at HIWAY laughed at me because I was so scared over nothing. She just said “don’t worry about it, it’s good” and that overdraft fee was gone.

I’ve had a few times where my HIWAY account got locked out (They have a pretty good anti-fraud team too). But I needed money right away.

They’ve always had the situation resolved in mere minutes. Let’s talk about one time that happened:

I Almost Lost My Website, HIWAY Helped

In fact, this website you’re reading right now, almost went away forever. I forgot to pay the bill for the hosting, and my debit account was locked out because some hacker tried pulling money out of my debit card.

I called HIWAY and I said, “look, I’m trying to be nice, but I really need money right now, I need that debit card”.

TCF Bank? You’re going to have to pay $10 (again, according to their website if you don’t believe me) and they might not get you that card until the next business day.

HIWAY told me to show up in 2 hours at their main office and my new card will be ready. This was during the height of COVID-19 in the Twin Cities. I needed a new debit card in literally 2 hours, and they pulled through, plus I didn’t have to pay a dime.

Literally, an emergency on my end, and not theirs. It was not their fault any of this had happened, but they still cared immensely!

The entire time all the staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. And quick, they got me in and out of the bank without any time to waste.

I’m not one who likes sitting at the bank for 30 minutes-1 hour, HIWAY moves quick.

Had To Cash a Bond on Zero Notice

I really am having a hard time making ends meet. But, it’s a part of life, right? We struggle through it together.

I had to cash a bond on zero notice. The HIWAY main office was going to close in 30 minutes and I just pulled in.

At other banks, I’d likely get scoffed at or attitudes by the bank workers. (and to be honest, I’m a pretty nice person to employees).

At HIWAY I walked in, and I was expecting it to take maybe 30 minutes to an hour? The incredibly polite teller asked me what I needed, I told her I needed a bond cashed fast, and well, she did it fast.

She was incredibly polite and helped me through the entire process, cracked a few jokes, and I was out in 3 minutes with a full printed receipt and all money available in my account.

On the way out, another incredibly nice employee (who was like the COVID screener) who wished me a great night and made sure all my problems were solved. That right there is excellent customer service I will NEVER forget.

Everytime I Call HIWAY, It’s Always Phenomenal Customer Service

I’ve had to call randomly to open/close random savings/checkings accounts. Sometimes I have bills that aren’t clearing.

Honestly, I’m a mess of a customer to have. There’s no reason they should keep me (other than I’m polite). (I mean now, it’s paid off for them, I have like $20 in my savings account now)

But, if you don’t believe me, ask my dad. My dad is notorious for just not accepting bad customer service. Growing up he worked in a lot of customer service fields and owned a restaurant. He does not tolerate bad customer service at all.

He’s always yelling on the phone at DIRECTV or Spectrum, but he’s never once yelled at HIWAY. He’s never even complained about them.

With all my dumb questions, useless queries, and endless requests. HIWAY staff have never given me attitude or anything at all, and have been incredibly polite. They always ask if there’s anything else they can help with, and it genuinely feels like they want to help me.

This is one of the most important parts of this entire HIWAY Credit Union review. There’s no way I could bank with someone who treats me like dirt.

And if my dad who ran a restaurant for nearly 10 years says HIWAY’s customer service is incredible? You know he’s telling the truth.

Again, It’s Great Not Having Random Fees

My friend David (who I’ve known for 9 years now) has Bank of America. He’s always talking about how he has random $35 charges for just having an account, and his mom is always yelling at them on the phone.

I can’t help but smile knowing HIWAY has never done that to me. I mean, I even stopped this post to search if HIWAY has ever given me any fees or charges, but they just haven’t.

Okay, I know I said this point once before, but I have to say it again.

We work hard for our money, it’s annoying having it siphoned away by anybody, especially banks. Thankfully, HIWAY just doesn’t do that. And even with some small fees that pop up, it’s far cheaper than other banks.

But What About The Benefits Plus Checking Account? That Costs Money Right?

HIWAY does have some things that do charge fees. I know they have a premium checkings account which actually isn’t that bad if you look at the details of it. My dad uses it and he actually saves a ton of money on it.

It’s really good if you go to the twin cities a lot, or even travel a lot. It basically gives you a ton of discounts on many normal things that people buy. It costs around $5/month.

(Plus, you get 2.22% APY on your checkings account. So, even if you only have $2,000 in that account, you’re getting paid $40 back when you’ve spent $15 for the account. So, it’s free, basically?)

I personally don’t use it, but my dad likes it. Here’s a list to the benefits if you’re interested.

They have things like free credit reports, purchase protection, discounts on some flights/hotels/dinners, movie discounts, etc.

If you go out a lot on the weekend or travel a lot, I’d definitely look into it.

HIWAY Offers a Ton of Benefits To Their Members

A big part of this HIWAY Credit Union Review is just some of the benefits it offers its’ members.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just select a few of my favorite benefits you get for banking with them.

  • You can do all debit/credit stuff through them.
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Checks (do people use checks anymore?)
  • Low loan rates
  • Incredible Customer Service (their quote is: you’ll never talk to a machine)
  • You can do IRA/HSA/other money accounts through them.
  • Online banking + online banking app.
  • Dividends on checking account aswell
  • Discounts on many twin cities attractions
  • Low-non existent fees
  • Money tracker (free budgeting app online)
  • Great web design

I mean seriously. A bank is supposed to manage your money for you, give you a few dividends, and be there for you. The general agreement is that a bank loans out the money in your savings and in turn, they give you money back and treat you good.

HIWAY Credit Union has definitely nailed that idea on the head. The other banks just treat you like you’re worthless, HIWAY treats you like an actual human.

HIWAY Credit Union Has Great Family Plans (Debit Cards For Kids)

Look, I disagree with the notion that people shouldn’t be able to open bank accounts until they are 18 or whatever.

I started an online business a long time ago and was able to have a debit card with HIWAY at the ripe old age of 13. It was a joint-account set up with my dad, but I had full control over it and I had my own debit card.

This is incredibly important. Look at America right now, tons of credit card companies target kids in high school turning 18 and they don’t know how to finance or do any banking.

This leads to those kids being taken advantage of by predatory loan procedures. It’s no wonder that all these kids have 24% APR loans on a brand new car. Having ‘unlimited money’ and not understanding how banks work is a huge problem.

Thankfully, HIWAY has an incredible joint-account system that taught me and my brothers/sisters how to bank the right way. It gave us full control of our money (our parents could oversee, of course) but overall we were on our own.

We could spend money as we pleased, had our own debit card, could buy things unrestricted, etc.

If you have kids, definitely look into this. It will give them a great head start on managing money properly. That way, when they turn 18, they don’t waste all their “money”. (Because let’s be honest, it’s much easier to spend money when it’s on a debit card).

But, maybe they’ll like HIWAY’s low rates on loans?

Incredible Loan Rates

Okay, this might be something you weren’t expecting to read in this HIWAY Credit Union Review, but the loan rates are incredible.

Here’s the thing. At a bank, they are looking to make a profit off of you for a loan. HIWAY isn’t aiming to make a profit, they’re just trying to cover the overhead costs.

Also, ALL OF THEIR RATES ARE PUBLIC. Seriously, there’s a link to them right under me. Try and find the rates for TCF bank, good luck! (But, I was a member of TCF, so I know firsthand, unfortunately)

This means, naturally, you’ll have lower loan rates. Here’s a current link to their loan rates, but as of now they look like this:

  • Mortgages: 2-3% (Which is actually incredibly low comparatively to TCF’s 4% minimum)
  • Visa Rates: Around 10% (Visa rates are pretty standard, but some banks will put a 20% visa rate on you)
  • Boat Rates: 4.2%
  • Motorcycle: 4.2%
  • Car Loan Rate: 2-4%

Now obviously, those loan rates will be a little different depending on your credit history, age, etc.

But, I’ll be honest, my dad didn’t have the best credit score growing up. (He’s been steadily improving and now almost has a perfect credit score!!) But HIWAY still understood him.

It’s one of those things with talking to a person instead of a machine. HIWAY understood that my dad was actively improving his credit score, they understood he wouldn’t always be able to make every single payment right away, but he was trying his hardest.

HIWAY’S Loan Department is Awesome

In our family’s lowest point, HIWAY still helped us out. They looked at the bigger picture, and we’ve been more than happy to pay those loans.

Regardless, most places were trying to charge nearly 26% interest on those cars. HIWAY gave us an incredibly fair rate for nearly good cars with bad credit.

And at competitive rates too. It’s nice working with a loan that they aren’t trying to gain profit from. It means it is a much better rate than any other bank is going to offer, and you’ll walk away much happier.

Any Downsides?

Well, I guess there are a few.

One thing is that HIWAY doesn’t have many locations outside of the twin cities area. They do have things where you can go to some other credit unions in the country and deposit checks there. But, that’s easier said than done.

Also, their rates for dividends isn’t necessarily great. If you’re trying to accumulate a lot of interest from a savings account, you’re probably better off with Ally, but truthfully, it’s not worth it.

HIWAY gives roughly half of Ally’s rates with zero frustration. Furthermore, trying to make money off of a savings account just isn’t really possible anymore. That was something easy back in the 1920s, but definitely not in 2020. Only really works if you’re a millionaire.

Read: The Millionaire Fastlane Book Review (How to actually get rich with no gimmicks)

Other than that, there really aren’t much downsides!

Conclusion of The HIWAY Credit Union Review

Here’s the conclusion of the HIWAY Credit Union Review.

Don’t waste your time anywhere else, sign up for HIWAY today. I’m not sponsored or anything, I don’t work for them, or anything like that. I am just an incredibly happy banker with them that has had horrible experiences with other banks.

HIWAY is the credit union I want to be with for life. Not kidding, there’s just no downsides to banking with them.

About the author

Vigilant

Vigilant is an author extremely dedicated to his blog. From a hard life of growing up paycheck to paycheck, he somehow took advantage of the opportunity to make himself a stronger person and pushed through to keep on pursuing his career an Emergency Medicine doctor, wrestles, and lifts 2 hours a day all with a full-time job and in college. Learn more about Vigilant and the "mustang gang" here at the About Me section.

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