FAQs

How do I become a member?
Joining is easy. All you have to do is complete a membership card and deposit at least $5.00. Membership eligibility is required. For more information about eligibility or further details about services, call us at 662-746-0048.

What does "once a member, always a member" mean?
Once you join the BenchSmart Federal Credit Union , you are a member for life as long as you maintain your account with the credit union. Even if you change jobs or move, you can still use the services of the credit union.

What is BenchSmart Federal Credit Union?
BenchSmart FCU is a cooperative, not-for-profit financial institution organized to promote savings, provide credit, and offer quality financial services to its members. It is member-owned and controlled through a board of directors elected by the membership. The board serves on a volunteer basis and hires a management team and staff to run the credit union. The board also establishes and revises policies, sets dividend and loan rates, and directs certain operations. The result: members are provided with a safe, convenient place to save and borrow at reasonable rates at an institution which exists to benefit them.

Who owns BenchSmart FCU?
Most financial institutions are owned by stockholders, who own a part of the institution and intend on making money from their investment. BenchSmart FCU doesn't operate in that manner. Rather, each credit union member owns one "share" of the organization. Since our "members" are our owners, we exist solely for and because of our members, and our goal is to give them the best service possible!

Are savings deposits insured?
Yes. Your savings is federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.

How long do I have to be a member before I can apply for a loan?
Once you become a member, you are eligible for all the services we offer. In the case of loans, you are eligible to apply for a loan as soon as you become a member. Each loan is evaluated according to your individual credit history, and loan interest rates are based on that history.

How much do I have to keep in my account to remain a member?
A minimum $5.00 deposit is required to become and remain a member.

How are dividends calculated on savings accounts?
Dividends are declared and paid quarterly on share and club accounts by the Board of Directors. Dividends are calculated on the average daily balance of the account, and compounded quarterly. Dividends on certificates are calculated based on the account balance and the certificate interest rate. Dividends are compounded quarterly on the anniversary date of the certificate.

Am I automatically approved for a loan if I have Payroll Deduction or Direct Deposit?
No. Payroll Deduction and Direct Deposit are convenient methods of making loan payments, but they are no guarantees that the loan will be repaid. These services simply exist as conveniences provided by the employer, but the member can change or cease either one whenever he chooses. Loans are evaluated based on the member's creditworthiness as determined by a credit bureau report and by his past credit history with us. The use of Payroll Deduction or Direct Deposit does not enter into the loan decision.

I don't live near a branch office. How can I use the services of the Credit Union?
BenchSmart is as close as your telephone or your personal computer. As we've done since our organization in 1953, we handle a great deal of our business over the phone and by mail. This was further enhanced when we added our Voice Response service, our 24/7 audio response system. You can check balances, transfer funds between accounts, and even request a check anytime, day or night! Our home banking product offers the same features as Voice Response, with the addition of being able to print details of your account and its history. As you can see, we offer many ways to manage your account, even if you’'re not close to one of our offices. We have other services planned that will further enhance the ones we now offer.

How often will I receive a statement on my account?
If you have a checking account, a share account with any type of electronic funds transfer each month, you will receive a monthly statement. Your statement includes all the accounts you have with us, including share certificates, club accounts, and loans. If you have a share account with no electronic transfers each month, you will receive a quarterly statement (January, April, July, and October).

If I have a problem with service, whom should I contact?
Your first contact should be the Branch Manager of the office where you experienced the problem. Most times, the Branch Manager can take care of any difficulty you may have experienced. If not, call the General Manager at (662) 746-0048. If you still feel the problem has not been taken care of, notify the Supervisory Committee by writing them at 803 E. 15th Street, Yazoo City, MS 39194. The Supervisory Committee is composed of volunteer members who oversee the operation of the Credit Union. The Committee exists to provide an avenue for solving member problems.

If my loan request is not approved, what should I do?
Your first action should be to obtain a copy of your credit report, which was used to determine your creditworthiness. You'll receive a letter from us letting you know which of the credit bureaus we used to evaluate your loan. You can call that bureau for a free copy of your report. Once you have the report, determine if there is information on it that is not correct. If so, notify the credit bureau and ask them to research the information and correct it, if possible. We will be glad to re-evaluate your loan request as soon as the report is updated and corrected.