The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Watch Out For Offers That Sound Too Good To Be True

On July 7th, 2008, posted in: Uncategorized by 1 Comment

Small print frustrates me.  My pet peeve is getting excited about an advertised special only to find out that, in order to fully benefit, I have to comply with a ton of restrictions.  The implication, of course, is that there really is no special offer for me.  Where are these restrictions and qualifications found? In the small print, of course.

What’s the old saying?  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Well, that is great advice these days as it relates to so many offers from area financial institutions.  The fancy advertising talks about how you’ll get enough money to fill up your gas tank a couple of times – just for opening a checking account.  That’s all it takes.  Just walk in and open a checking account.  Really?  Yep, and out you go with at least $100.  Really?

Our credit union members are smart.  How in the world can a financial institution afford to give someone $100 for a small balance checking account?  Well, (1) there are rules…in many instances, lots of them; (2) fees are punitive if you break those rules; and (3) it’s easy to break the rules.

Sadly, some institutions count on you to mess up. And you know what? We’re all human, so (even with best intentions not to) we mess up according to their plan.  Think of the “too good to be true” offer like this: It’s like going to a casino to get rich. You rarely beat the “house.”

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