Like what you're hearing about credit unions?
I mean, what's not to like. Credit unions are member-owned, not for-profit financial institutions. CU's put people before profits. And yes of course, credit unions need to make a profit to survive, but when the annual expenses are paid, the surplus earnings go back to the members in different ways. For example, lower rates on loans, high savings rates, and low to no fees at all!
That's all good. Now how do I join?
Becoming a credit union member is easy! Each credit union serves what's called their “field of membership." In other words, that's the commonality between the members. If you work, live, worship, or go to school within a credit union's field of membership you can join!
What do I need to join?
You'll need a photo I.D. and some money to set up your account. When you join a credit union, you'll make a deposit into a share account (which is just another name for a savings account). The required deposit amount at each credit union is different. It's usually between $5 and $25.
This money hangs out in your share account as long as you're a member of the credit union. But what does that deposit do? It buys a piece of the credit union! How cool is that?! Remember, credit unions are member-owned financial institutions.
So, first things first:
There you go! You have all the details you need to become a credit union member! Go ahead, leave your bank behind!