Students: join a credit union ASAP
Halibutboy Flatfish stashed this in Money cash
Credit unions are definitely going to give you the best deal on all kinds of loans in the future -- but they have rules about who can join, so you want to do it while it's easy. The best thing to do is just throw whatever the minimum amount of money is into an account there and then forget about it.
Alumni can still join many (but not all) credit unions online, and a lot of big employers -- including the military -- also have excellent ones. Just get hooked up with one ASAP, preferably one with a lot of people who have excellent credit -- your nerds and scientists are ideal for this purpose. You'll thank me later when you save thousands of dollars!
I'm a member of two credit unions I joined in college, both of which have been good for savings rates, and one of which has been good for refinancing a car loan.
I'm still not sure what criteria to use to evaluate a credit union. The two that I'm a member of have their differences.
But to your point, ANY credit union is usually more favorable than most banks for savings, and they are competitive with loans and credit cards, too.