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  • Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska and has served members since 1960.
    • 8th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $193.34 Million in assets and serving over 9,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or worship in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

  • Northern Skies Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Northern Skies Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has been serving members since 1967.
    • 7th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $194.77 Million in assets and serving over 13,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, attend school, worship, or volunteer within the state of Alaska.

  • MAC Federal Credit Union Membership

    • MAC Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Fairbanks, Alaska and has been serving members since 1952.
    • 6th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $198.27 Million in assets and serving over 19,000 members.

    Membership: Persons who live, worship, work (or regularly conduct business in), or attend school, and businesses and other legal entities in the specific areas in Alaska.

  • True North Federal Credit Union Membership

    • True North Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Juneau, Alaska and has served members since 1948.
    • 5th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $218.48 Million in assets and serving over 13,000 members.

    Membership: Eligible people who live and work in designated areas served by the credit union in Alaska.

  • Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Palmer, Alaska and has served members since 1948.
    • 3rd largest credit union in Alaska, managing $893.98 Million in assets and serving over 58,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, attend school, or worship in one designated area served in Alaska and Hawaii.

     

  • Credit Union 1 Membership

    • Credit Union 1 is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has served members since 1982.
    • 2nd largest credit union in Alaska, managing $1.44 Billion in assets and serving over 91,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone living or working in Alaska can join Credit Union 1.

  • Alaska District Engineers Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Alaska District Engineers Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska and has served members since 1949.
    • 9th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $13.76 Million in assets and serving over 500 members.

    Membership: All employees and immediate family members of the Alaska District Corps of Engineers are eligible.

  • Tongass Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Tongass Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Ketchikan, Alaska and has served members since 1963.
    • 4th largest credit union in Alaska, managing $223.16 Million in assets and serving over 14,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, worship, or attend school in Alaska’s Southeast Economic Region or Gulf Coast Economic Region.

  • Global Credit Union Membership

    • Alaska Federal State Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • The 17th largest in the United States, with assets totaling $9.54 Billion and serving over 692,000 members.

    Membership: If you live in Alaska, Washington, California’s San Bernardino County, and Arizona’s Maricopa County, you are eligible to join Alaska USA.

What is a Credit Union?

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives offering many banking products and services. These include:

  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Money Market
  • Certificates
  • Car Loans
  • Personal Loans
  • Credit Cards
  • Mortgages
  • Debit cards
  • Direct deposit and other electronic transfers
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Mobile banking and deposit via an app
  • Investment services, insurance, and more.

As financial cooperatives, credit unions exist for the mutual benefit of their members. In fact, you’re a member, not a customer, when you bank with a credit union.

Read more: Learn All About Credit Unions

Why Join a Credit Union

Credit unions offer competitive interest rates.

Credit unions are highly competitive when it comes to savings rates and interest rates on loans and credit cards. This is due to the lower cost of operations and the tax exemptions that allow them to invest profits back into the membership.

Credit unions are democratically governed.

This means you get a voice, and elections are based on a one-member, one-vote philosophy. As a credit union member, your participation is vital. Make your voice heard at your credit union by communicating and attending the annual member events.

Credit unions are regulated and insured.

Credit unions are highly regulated financial entities, and federally chartered credit unions are supervised by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency that regulates, charters, and supervises federal credit unions. State-chartered credit unions are regulated by the state for which they operate.

Differences between credit unions and banks

Because of their not-for-profit structure, making profits for shareholders isn’t a goal. Profits are reinvested into the membership to grow financial offerings and support members.

Like other not-for-profit organizations, some credit unions enjoy federal tax exemptions, allowing them to offer better rates on savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and little or no fees. It’s also important to understand that credit unions pay other types of taxes, such as state, sales, and payroll taxes. They contribute taxes back into the community for which they serve.

How to Join a Credit Union

There are thousands of credit unions all across the United States. This means you have plenty of choices.

Each credit union has membership eligibility requirements. You’re eligible to join a credit union because of where you live, work, worship, attend school, or are related to an existing member.

Here are the steps to join a credit union.

Step 1: Find a Credit Union

You can search the marketplace to find a credit union in your state. There is a good chance you’ll meet the eligibility requirements for membership.

Step 2: Verify Your Membership Eligibility

Review the requirements listed in the description of each credit union. You’ll notice they’ll have eligibility listed, such as:

  • having family belonging to a local credit union
  • living in a particular area
  • working for a company
  • belonging to a group
  • a member of a church
  • student or alumni of a school
  • or even by joining an association when you apply

Step 3: Open Your Membership Account

Credit unions allow you to apply for membership online or by visiting the local branch. To verify your identity, bring your valid ID and proof of address.

Most credit unions require a membership share account that establishes your relationship.

You must have this share account to become a “member-owner” of the credit union. Additionally, this share deposit is “locked in” and cannot be used for the entirety of your membership.

Each credit union has a specific membership share deposit requirement. It’s often between $5-$50.

*Note: Once you close your credit union membership, you get back the share deposit.

Step 4: Make Use of Your Credit Union Membership

After becoming a member-owner, you’re eligible to open accounts at the credit union. It’s good to know that credit unions often use different names for the same products you’ll find at banks. For instance, they might refer to checking accounts as “share draft accounts.”

Most importantly, “Once a member, always a member.”

Once you’ve joined a credit union, you’re a member for life. You can keep your credit union even if you move out of your city, leave a job, or change churches or associations.

With convenient online services and mobile apps, it is easy to keep your membership going. And once you’re a member, you can invite your immediate family to join, too.

Remember, you’re a member-owner, so do more with your credit union.

Your participation is vital to the credit union’s success. That means using more of your credit union’s banking services, loans, and other services. The revenues made from these services help the cooperative cover its expenses, grow its offerings, and remain financially stable.

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