Credit union possible

By Dana Netzel

NIU students will answer questions on a possible student credit union for next fall.

NIU independent study members are trying to start a non-profit credit union which might be located in the Holmes Student Center.

Benefits for the credit union include proximity, check cashing, direct deposits, lifetime membership, low interest rates for loans and high interest rates for checking accounts.

The non-profit credit union would be student-run and operated soley for the benefits of NIU student and alumni members, said NIU senior and study member Michael Rice.

A short survey asking for student opinions will be available in the student center’s Diversions Lounge on Wednesday and Thursday.

NIU’s study was the idea of Joseph Newman, assistant finance professor. But the University of Illinois, Champaign, started a successful credit union about a year ago, said study member Bruce Hawver.

The credit union is owned by members similar to stock holders, said study member Brian Levitan.

There are five finance majors working on the study, each receiving three credit hours for the project, “but we are really doing it for the students,” Hawver said.

Newman said the credit union is a “real benefit to students on campus.

John Castle, First National Bank of DeKalb chairman, said he questions whether there is a need for a student credit union at NIU.

Levitan said he wants to make people aware of a possible credit union. Study members will visit U of I’s credit union and meet with state officials to find more information.