This is your friendly AAWE treasurer’s regular post on financial matters. If you have any specific questions or subjects you’d like to see addressed here, please email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you missed the ThunFinancial webinar on Tuesday, click here for the link to the presentation, which was very informative.
How many of you received your Covid stimulus payment this year in the form of a check? Did you scratch your head trying to figure out how to cash it, like many expats did, judging from the numerous Facebook posts? Technically, it is possible to deposit a USD (US $) check in a French bank account, but not all banks are willing to do so, and when they do, the exchange rate is often not the best, and it is accompanied by hefty service charges. Yet, it is nearly impossible for someone living outside of the United States to open a bank account in the US.
What to do? I said “nearly” impossible…thankfully, there is a relatively easy solution for us. The State Department Federal Credit Union was originally created to serve State Dept. employees, but it has since expanded to serve members of a variety of organizations. As an expat, one easy option is to simply join the American Consumer Council for a lifetime membership of $15, and that membership entitles you to use the SDFCU: www.americanconsumercouncil.org/membership.asp
To apply for an account with the SDFCU, you must provide a color copy of your US passport, a color copy of your signed Social Security card, and a utility bill confirming your foreign address. The bill must be translated, but you can handwrite a translation on the copy of the bill that you send them. All of this can be done online, and is relatively simple. The SDFCU also offers three levels of credit cards for which you can apply. Good luck! www.sdfcu.org