Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) is strengthening its commitment to serve and empower members with two major developments – the significant reduction and removal of a range of fees on its products and services, a move that will save members a total of over $1 million annually; and improved accessibility to its BankOn-certified Fresh Checking, which helps those with a poor or limited financial history build or rebuild it for greater future financial opportunities.

GLCU’s fee changes include no out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee, no overdraft protection transfer fee, no monthly Fresh Checking fee, and no replacement debit/ATM card issuance fee. This is true even for members who wish to expedite a replacement debit/ATM card; they can do so fee-free up to three times a year.

With these changes, GLCU hopes to ensure that its members have a little more money in their pockets each month, funds that are needed now more than ever as inflation surges to its highest rate in three decades.

“At GLCU, we regularly review our fee structure and update our fee schedule accordingly. As part of our ongoing commitment to financially empower our members, especially those who are perpetually underserved in today’s financial landscape, we are removing and reducing a number of fees typically charged by other financial institutions as a way to invest back into our loyal members,” said Steve Bugg, GLCU President & CEO.

“We recognize that banking fees deal the strongest blow to vulnerable communities. In addition, many of these fees were utilized to offset the manual processing of the transactions and with our recent investments in technology and process improvements, we no longer need to charge fees for those items and in many cases, we also credited back the fees to members.

“Ultimately, these fee changes will save our members a collective total of $1,103,414 each year,” Bugg added.

GLCU’s Fresh Checking Grants Members with Limited Financial History Access to a Checking Account

GLCU strongly believes that financial wellness should be achievable for anyone, regardless of someone’s starting point. That’s why the not-for-profit organization has made its fee-free BankOn-Certified Fresh Checking account even more accessible and easy to open, granting members who have a blemished or lacking financial history access to a checking account that can help them rebuild their financial profile.

In today’s banking industry, people who have poor or sparse financial history are typically restricted from opening a checking account, often due to their ChexSystem file or credit report. Without access to a checking account, people who are already financially struggling may end up reliant on check-cashing services, which charge them fees just to access money in their paychecks. Besides being costly, managing money in this way also leaves little possibility for these individuals to rebuild their history to escape this situation.

GLCU’s BankOn-certified Fresh Checking provides a seamless solution for members who could otherwise get caught in the vicious cycle of financial problems.

Thanks to the credit union’s recent digital enhancements, individuals can now open a Fresh Checking account in minutes directly from GLCU’s website. Account holders can benefit from the deposit product’s range of benefits, including no monthly fees and the possibility to graduate to GLCU’s interest-bearing Free Checking account after demonstrating a period of healthy financial habits.

“At GLCU, our members come first. That’s why we’re committed to providing members in the incredible communities we serve with the chance to rebuild and improve their financial standing with GLCU’s BankOn-Certified Fresh Checking account,” said Michelle Shelton, Chief Experience Officer at GLCU.

“Empowering our members to reach a point of financial wellbeing is our priority. We couldn’t be more thrilled to help open the door to valuable future opportunities in their finances and lives through our products and services.”

About Great Lakes Credit Union

Founded in 1938 and headquartered in Northern Illinois, GLCU is committed to financial empowerment for you. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative with over $1 billion in assets, GLCU is proud to serve more than 80,000 members in the Chicagoland and surrounding areas. Learn more about GLCU’s accounts, educational initiatives and community development programs at

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