Bellco Credit Union is headquartered in Greenwood Village and is the 2nd largest credit union in the state of Colorado. It is also the 38th largest credit union in the nation. It was established in 1936 and as of December of 2019, it had grown to 351 employees and 342,563 members at 26 locations. Bellco Credit Union has an A health rating.
Membership in Bellco Credit Union is open to anyone by joining the Bellco Foundation ($10 minimum donation). All Colorado residents are eligible by joining Consumers United Association ($5 annual membership fee). Membership is also open to those who live or work in the Colorado counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Moffat, Mesa, Rio Blanco, or Weld, as well as the employees of over 1,600 Select Employee Groups.
See current membership details
I joined Bellco to take advantage of their Index Advantage CD. Joining was quick and quite easy, however:
I joined via the Bellco Foundation. There was no way to fund my Foundation contribution over the internet. I was required to download the Foundation application, fill it out, and snail mail them a check together with the application, instead. Allowing funding over the net might have saved a day or two. Still, my snail mailed contribution was received, processed properly, and my membership went forward thereafter without a hitch.
For out of state applicants Bellco has a VERY internet-centric application process. Be ready for that if you apply. There is only a single person at Bellco who handles internet applications. She knows her stuff and is a good person with whom to work. But other Bellco employees, those not oriented to or trained for out-of-state memberships, might not have answers applicants need. And BTW, all of my interaction with her was via e-mail. I never, not one time, spoke with her on the telephone. Nevertheless, I did have the sense she is very, very busy. That is no surprise, I guess, when you consider some of the amazing deals Bellco is offering.
ETA on 20 September 2017:
Insofar as I'm able today to determine, the Index Advantage CD is no longer available. At least I no longer am able to find it offered anywhere.
In an environment where rates are generally expected to increase, the 22 month and 44 month Index Advantage CDs seem to be quite competitive. At this time, the 44 month has a rate that beats those that Ally and others are offering for 5 year. The 90 day early withdrawal penalty seems to provide a reasonably easy out if the forecast for interest rates change and someone else offers a great special. 90 days EWP with a 3+ year CD seems to be quite rare. According to the EWP calculator, the 22 month CD should only be taken if you plan to keep the money there for 21 or 22 months (or less than 3 months).
Approval of membership and and funding of accounts is way more difficult than it should be. The online application process is straight-forward enough, but when the application is reviewed by a human requests start coming in for other things - fresh scans of ID's, utility bill to "prove" residence, etc. I was also told that since I was out of state I would need to make a donation to their charity. That's not a big deal, but it shows that they didn't read my application where I indicated that I work for one of the companies in their field of membership.
The beneficiary and signature card that they provide is a scan provided through docusign. I was not told ahead of time that they would be providing it that way. I'm a bit leary of unexpected docusign requests as I know at least one person that received a fraudulent docusign request in the past couple of months.
Because of the way that they prepare the beneficiary form in docusign, you are not able to check boxes (e.g. joint tenants, POD, etc.) that you would like to check. In the withholding requirements section, the docusign form doesn't align with the scanned document, causing the checks to go in the wrong boxes. There is at least one misaligned box that I legally must not check that the form had as a requirement. Because of this, I resorted to having blank forms sent to me in PDF then used their document upload feature on their site to upload scans of documents I filled by hand.
Unlike other institutions, they were unable to lift a hold on deposited checks so I could fund CDs. That is, money sat in a savings account for several days for no good reason. This despite the fact that I deposited cashiers checks from my old bank.
The "Truth in Savings and Fee Disclosure" was last updated in 2015, apparently before the 44 month CD was introduced. This document describes the EWP for CDs that are 3 years or less and 5 years. It is silent about the 44 month CD or any time period that includes 44 months. The certificate disclosure does properly disclose the 44 month CD's EWP. I tried to convey the deficiency in the Truth in Savings document that is available via the web to a CSR and she quoted me from some other document and claimed the TIS document was current. The TIS document that was provided to me as part of the account opening process was the 2015 version that I found before opening the account.
Customer service was bad enough at first that I nearly didn't go through with setting up accounts. I eventually got in touch with one CSR that was quite helpful and stuck with me for a few days as the account was funded and holds cleared.
Web / Mobile Experience
Even after opening the account, the web interface is not great. It doesn't allow you to see who is a joint owner, beneficiaries, or a decent consolidated screen of all your holdings. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Ally.
The authentication system is out of step with the rest of the world in that it applies complexity criteria common for passwords to both usernames and passwords. Usernames are not visible, as they are implemented as password fields. Session management is poor, requiring re-authentication in way too many circumstances.
A bright spot of the web interface is that it does allow you to set alerts on a per account basis for deposits, withdrawals, etc. The alerts can go to email or SMS.
As far as I can tell, the "mobile banking" (different from web interface) was last updated sometime before smart phones were introduced. Rather than a web or app interface, you can text commands to check balances, transfer money, etc. If you have a phone that runs a browser, you are better off with the web interface. The one redeeming feature of the mobile interface is that it defaults to off and you can choose which accounts, if any, are enabled.
I was told that a software update is expected in August of this year that should improve the account application process as well as web/mobile banking. Fingers crossed.
I have been charged no fees and know of none that are coming. The EWP is outstanding for a 22 month or 44 month CD.
My dad cosigned me into my account when I was a teenager and I haven't left in over a decade. My neighborhood teller was always friendly. I have a Checking, Money Market, and a credit card they helped me set up. I particularly like the Boost Checking account and it works great for me. Online banking has been great both online and on my mobile. The system has had growing pains but their new app works great. I have even used their financial advisors in the past.
I also have a small account with Wells Fargo (for when I'm out of the state) and everytime I'm there it seems like I'm trying to be sold on another product or to open another account. I don't get that at Bellco, let get me in and out but are always willing to help if I have any other needs.
Bellco pays 2.25% on their Boost Checking. Where else can you get that rate without tying up your money. The debit card is really the only requirement and 15 debit charges a month is quite easy. I have been a member since the 70's had several loans and really never had a problem.
|Return on Assets - YTD||0.92%|
|Return on Equity - YTD||8.86%|
|Annual Interest Income||$209.0MM|
|Assets and Liabilities|
|Assets||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$5.17B$4.52B|
|Loans||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$4.22B$3.63B|
|Deposits||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$4.09B$3.56B|
|Equity Capital||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$520.8MM$470.7MM|
|Loan Loss Allowance||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$53.3MM$44.6MM|
|Unbacked Noncurrent Loans||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$28.5MM$28.1MM|
|Real Estate Owned||Q4 2019vs Q4 2018||$589.00K$28.00K|
Rates for Bellco Credit Union are currently being reviewed.