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Envíos de Dinero a Latinoamérica

Use Credit Unions for Your Remittances to Latin America

by Anna Peña

If you send loved ones in your native country the average of $300 approximately seven times a year and you use a service with the typical charge of 10%, you will pay $210 annually in fees! Throughout five years, you will have paid more than $1,000 in fees that neither you nor your family will benefit from! Couldn't you use that money? Wouldn't you rather save at least a portion of this money - maybe even invest the money and earn interest or obtain another benefit from the investment?

Each year, Latino immigrants send around $60 billion from the United States to their loved ones in Latin America. Usually, families in Latin America depend on the money sent periodically throughout the year for truly important uses - to pay debts, to pay for public services or to make purchases, to build or remodel their homes, and for education, among other uses.

The majority of us Latinos in the United States have sent money through some remittance service, contributing to anywhere between $180 million to $600 million in fees to send our money. While we have depended on these services to support our family, have we really gained the maximum benefit from our money, or are there opportunities to stretch the dollars that we save so that we can send?

Think about the services that you have used, be it Western Union, MoneyGram, Vigo, Ria, or others. These are the most popular services in the United States, mostly because they are friendly and they have an extensive network of agencies. However, how much do they charge for the service? What are the hidden fees? How do they respond to your complaints? How convenient are the receiving agency locations? How does it benefit you to be loyal to one company or another? What services do these companies offer that can help you economically? If you look closely, you will probably see that you are not receiving the great benefit that you and your family deserve through these companies.

That's why we recommend that you seek to forma relationship with a credit union. Many credit unions have seen how important money transfers are to our Latin American community. In addition, advances in technology and industry competition have allowed these institutions to charge less for these services than the remittance agencies. And, the fact that credit unions are non-profit cooperatives owned by each depositing member, means that they will protect your money and that they will act on your concerns and complaints.

Often, credit unions collaborate with common remittance companies to offer you lower fees and thereby providing the reliable service you have come to expect, but at lower prices.

But most importantly is the fact that credit unions have a lot more to offer. While you have no access to other financial services at independent remittance agencies, at a credit union, you can reliably send the remittance but also access services such as savings accounts, debit, credit, and pre-paid cards, loans, investments, insurance, and much more.

You can start your membership with the credit union to benefit from the low-cost remittances, and as you save and strengthen your relationship with the credit union, you will benefit from a lot more!

Visit credit unions in your area to compare and to learn more.

Published 12-24-2012



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