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TIAA Direct Customer Reviews

(22 Reviews)
2 out of 5 stars
5 Star 0
4 Star 1
3 Star 2
2 Star 2
1 Star 17

The Most Helpful TIAA Direct Reviews

The most helpful favorable review
Reviewed By Jason R. Feb 22, 2012

Best rate out there

I ended up making three calls to their customer service to get everything I wanted.

1. I completed the application over the phone due to a bug on their application form
2. I was locked out of my account (most likely my password was reset)
3. I wanted remote deposit on my iPhone

They have the best rates available as of today (2/22/2012). I'm in the process of transferring my other savings accounts (0.80% APY and 0.70% APY).

So far the online experience is clean and simple. I'll update this review when I've finished my transfers.

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The most helpful critical review
Reviewed By bankuser12 Aug 14, 2013

Don't be fooled by the rates, they'll get you back with fees and bad service

My account was assessed a fee. The customer service agent did not even know where any documentation of the fee was buried, but still refused to waive the fee as a one-time courtesy. They clearly do not value their customers and are more interested in assessing fees. They also bait and switch with their interest rates.

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Latest TIAA Direct Reviews

  • K
    Reviewed By ksmichael Dec 22, 2015

    I guess they just aren't that good at basic checking

    I have been a loyal customer and proponent of TIAA-CREF for over two decades.
    When my bank of about two decades decided to "fee" me to death, I was only too happy to switch my account to "TIAA Direct."

    It was really all pretty easy until my debit card, which I use multiple times every day, developed a crack. In an effort to be pro-active (never a good choice) I called TIAA Direct to request another card. Somehow they interpreted this as a "stolen card" and reported it as such. I had no idea until I went to use the "old" card, which still should have been active, and the lady at the gas pump register actually asked me for my card. Then I waited two weeks for a new card. Driving across three states for work, this was a nightmare.

    Well, I figure, a glitch is a glitch and I survived. However, now my phone app won't work, which isn't the biggest deal, except that is how I deposit money. Three calls and one email later, I have been referred to "web tech support," which is closed.

    I am not sure if this Internet bank thing is just not my thing or if TIAA Direct is just problematic. I think I will give them one more chance, just because it is such a pain to switch banks (again) and then if they can't permanently rectify the problem, I will have to go back to "brick-and-mortar."

    I would suggest you wait for TIAA-CREF to work out the kinks before you rely on them for everyday banking services.

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    TIAA Direct

    Replied on Dec 23, 2015

    We’re so sorry you had a bad experience and want to help. Email us at social@tiaadirect.com with the best way to reach you and we will be in touch shortly.

  • B
    Reviewed By Bill Hefley Aug 12, 2015

    We fired them!

    I laughed when I read the claim about excellent service. We thought that too, until we encountered many of these problems also. We even filled out a survey for the Executive Office of the President, and spoke to them, but they sent us back to the same Processor instead - there were no Executives or Presidents minding customers. After fighting for days about their needing information they had for weeks, and didn't like our contract because it didn't have certain clauses pulled out as Addendums titled they way they expected to see them, we fired them, even though we have just over a week left before our close. We have no confidence that they will ever rise to a level of competence to complete our loan in time. They are already five times over their committed duration for approval after they said they had all they needed and are still asking for things they had almost a month ago. My speciality is service management and these people are so bad I would not even take them on as a consulting client, and I've put them on notice that we will review the entire portfolio of investments we have at TIAA as a result of this experience.

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  • M
    Reviewed By Melody Mellodia Jul 31, 2015

    Complete lack of customer service and no transparency

    TIAA Direct is an e-bank purporting to offer attractive savings account interest rates, available
    only to members holding retirement accounts in TIAA-CREF. I became interested after attending a free investment counseling session with a representative Mark Largent from their Tempe, Arizona office. He made a big pitch about the attractive interest rates and how easy it is working with TIAA Direct, even for someone like myself, an older person limited in skills with computers and unfamiliar with doing online transactions, I decided to try it. What a blunder. I have invested hours and hours of valuable time struggling with TIAA Direct and have concluded I must spend my limited number of years on Earth doing something more meaningful than fighting with TIAA Direct's unhelpful fatheads. From the getgo, it was like pulling teeth just to open the account. At first, one of their mouthy representatives told me that if I can't make their computer system work to set up the account, then I am "too old" to open an account. I complained to several state and federal agencies about this. To finally open an account took several lengthy phone calls with a representative of theirs, VP Timothy Shinn of their Charlotte, NC office, because their computer system doesn't WORK. Then TIAA Direct failed to give good support during the period the account was open (April-July 2015) and I lost money to unfair 'withholding taxes' because they failed to tell me how to avoid them. It occurred to me that had I opened the account in person at a real bank, the officer would have made sure I signed all required forms. I decided to empty out my money from TIAA Direct 3 days ago. I have had to phone them 5 times because of their failure to timely act on transaction requests. As soon as you have a problem, bigwigs like their Mark Largent and Timothy Shinn become snotty and unresponsive and won't reply to calls and emails. I've had to call their main number over and over to get assistance. Investors be warned.

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  • D
    Reviewed By DE_ABC Jun 25, 2015

    Worst Mortgage Service Ever

    They tried draw customers into their trap by offering the impossible low rate, and then make a number of stupid requests and comments about documents you sent, just to make sure your case cannot be closed within 60 days. A number of fault statements made by mortgage processor. In my case, for example, the request for extensions of closing date one day before the closing day. Asking for additional documentation, again made after four weeks of their receipt of all my documents. One day before closing date, they requested me to quit my employment. After I talkied with my realtor lawyer, we realized that they played game of extending the mortgage decision and closing date, until the rocked low rate was expired. We then fired them and canceled their mortgage service. One week later after my mortgage cancellation and 2 weeks after they missed the closing date, they issue the letter of mortgage declination. What the awful mortgage services they provide!!!

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  • S
    Reviewed By Sogden1966 Jan 27, 2015

    HELOC Nightmare

    I recently also had a horrible experience with TIAA with respect to a simple home equity loan. My issues stem from what appears to be a hugely bureaucratic organization that is ponderous at best. I jumped through every hoop asked, complied with all documentation requests only to be denied at last second because of an improperly performed appraisal. Understood that it isn't the banks fault necessarily, however no one seems to care that the error was not my fault either. The appraisal was for homes in completely different areas than mine that were nothing like my house, yet there are comparable homes 50 feet away that sold in 2014!

    My complaints were not handled or addressed either by TIAA nor the horrible company THEY hired to erroneously appraise my house. I called the appraiser, who agreed with me but then asked me what" I expected him to do about it" I said perhaps your job? I had no support or recourse from TIAA nor the stepford wife loan processor who blithely apologized without really hearing me. Stay away from this company for financing, CLEARLY amateur and not ready for prime time. I have bought and sold 11 properties with several refinancing settlements as well and have never experienced this level of disconnect or incompetence. Utterly wasted 5 weeks of my time. Never again . [Redacted]

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    TIAA Direct

    Replied on Jan 27, 2015

    Thank you for your feedback. Providing excellent customer service is important to us and we apologize for your recent experience. We want to resolve the situation to your satisfaction. Email your full name and best way to contact you to bankingservices@tiaadirect.com and we will be in touch.

  • D
    Reviewed By Deevanj Oct 3, 2014

    Terrible Experience With a Mortgage- And the Followup

    We are in the middle of a horrendous mortgage experience that brought us up to the wire of one day before closing, only to be rejected at the 11th hour. We have been jumping through hoops for weeks to provide all document ion. the mortgage consultant even called our real estate agent for a rental property we own in New Jersey to verify why we have to both tenant and landlord names on the security deposit bank account and that our tenant is not really a family member. They would not believe that its actually the law in NJ. We have great credit scores (791 and 747) and have 20% down etc. Got preliminary approval and moved ahead with the process only to be told one day before closing that the rental income from our house in NJ won't count as income because we haven't rented it out for at least two years. Huh??? They couldn't tell us that at the beginning of the process? They even made us get an appraisal on the rental home-cost over $600 ! Really? I own that home already! So now we have paid for an appraisal on the house we want to buy and the house we already own that's rented. Total cost $1300. We stand to lose close to $10,000 now on the house we are trying to buy in NC. One day before closing it all falls apart because TIAA Direct is irresponsible and unprofessional. I only went with them because I have a retirement account with TIAA Cref. I am planning on initiating a lawsuit to recover damages but this has been an awful experience. The worst ever. Stay away from TIAA Direct. They are simply awful.

    TIAA Direct Responded to My Post
    Last week we were denied a mortgage one day before our scheduled closing. In frustration, I posted a negative review on mybanktracker.com. I am happy to report that I got calls from top management and the decision about the mortgage was reversed. We closed on our house within the week. I respect the fact that this company cared enough to do the right thing, however their business practice put us through a roller coaster of emotion.

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  • K
    Reviewed By kgrondell Aug 8, 2014

    Incredibly Unprofessional

    Well I had a pre-approval from another bank but I had a real estate agent say something to me about the company which made we think I should get a second option. I have a retirement acount with TIAA CREF so called.

    I called up and told them every detail of my financial situation and was pre-approved within a few days. Great! I decided to go with them because the woman on the phone seemed nice and helpful. Also since I had a retirement account with them I figured they would be a good partner in this.

    Every communication from them was positive. I asked if she needed anything else and she told me all she needed was a signed P&S so I went forward and got a home inspection costing $600 and a Lawyer to look over the P&S costing $900 and made deposits of 11,000 with the offer and P&S. I was excited. I told my daughters. They are excited. I send my P&S to the rep at TIAA Direct and ask if she needs anything else. She says not yet.

    The next morning I receive an email asking how much I had available to put down. Bear in mind this is information I already submitted. I tell her then make a correction letting her know that sum minus the inspector fee. I get this reply:

    "Hahahaha. I am going to be honest. They are giving me pushback. I don’t know if we should wait to hear from them or if I should tell you to go somewhere else. That is NOT what I want to do, but they aren’t making it sound 100% a go. I am still waiting to hear but they took forever to get to us yesterday and by the time they did it was 7pm and I was long gone. Pain in the rear. Im really sorry.
    I just wanted to put it out there. "

    Now she keeps saying she can't get in touch with the loan people and does not want me to lose time. I feel this was poorly handled by the company and would like and explanation. I know the company monitors this. I am working hard now to get another loan but feel left high and dry by TIAA Direct. Unprofessional

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    TIAA Direct

    Replied on Aug 08, 2014

    Providing excellent customer service matters to us. Email your full name and best way to contact you so we can resolve the issue to bankingservices@tiaadirect.com. Thanks

  • D
    Reviewed By dehayes Jun 27, 2014

    Not a good experience!

    I have been banking with TIAA DIRECT (checking and savings) for barely a year and have already had three extremely unsatisfactory experiences.

    Most recently, I went to use my debit card at a market one morning, and it was declined. I was busy at work and waiting until the following evening to call. I was told that my debit card that I had been using nearly daily for months "looks like it's never been activated". Um? The phone representative was useless and gave me some bs about a banking analyst addressing my issue in 24-48 hours.

    But it wasn't just the card. I had no access to my checking. Not even my payroll deposit went through. But the phone rep had assured me that the account had not been frozen. I had an auto mortgage payment due in a few days and was getting really angry.

    This is not the first time I have been left without access to my own money. Disgusting. These are the big issues that I've had with TIAA DIRECT but I've had smaller issues too, that probably aren't worth going into detail about. It's such a pain, but it's to the point that I will have to switch banks.

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    TIAA Direct

    Replied on Jun 27, 2014

    Providing excellent customer service matters to us. Email your full name and best way to contact you so we can resolve the issue to bankingservices@tiaadirect.com.

  • K
    Reviewed By Keenan Mar 19, 2014


    This bank advertises great interest rates for money markets but it's not worth the trouble. I can't even make deposits to my own bank because every time I try to log in to mobile banking it says my password is reset. I've spent an hour on the phone with customer service and I received FOUR emails saying that my password has been reset. They were unable to resolve the issue. I actually ended the conversation letting them know that I'd be withdrawing my money and literally taking my money to the bank...elsewhere.

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    TIAA Direct

    Replied on Mar 22, 2014

    Providing excellent customer service matters to us. Email your full name and best way to contact you so we can resolve the issue to bankingservices@tiaadirect.com.

  • CR
    Reviewed By Cody R. Dec 9, 2013

    Threatening Letter

    Received a Threatening Letter From TIAA DIRECT telling me I need to call them with information they need to comply with the patriot act. or they may restrict access to my account or close it.
    The letter states the call will "take no longer than 5 minutes"
    I have now been on hold listening to a recorded apology for the hold time for more than an hour.
    Worst customer service I have ever encountered from a financial institution.
    I will try to call again tomorrow.

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