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  • Empower Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Empower Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Syracuse, New York and has been serving members since 1939.
    • 10th largest credit union in New York, managing $3.24 Billion in assets and serving over 260,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or worship in designated areas in NY.

  • Abyssinian Baptist Church Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Abyssinian Baptist Church Federal Credit Union is headquartered in New York, New York, serving members since 1940.
    • Manages $1.09 Million in assets and serves over 300 members.

    Membership: Open to all members of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

  • 1199 SEIU FCU Membership

    • 1199 SEIU Federal Credit Union is headquartered in New York, New York and has been serving members since 1940.
    • Manages $89.3 Million in assets and serves over 15,000 members.

    Membership: Must be an active 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East member

  • Municipal Credit Union Membership

    • Municipal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services, including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • 9th largest credit union in New York with assets totaling $3.62 Billion and providing banking services to more than 589,000 members.

    Membership: Employed by the City of NY or other partner companies in the five boroughs.

  • Jovia Financial Credit Union Membership

    • Jovia Financial Credit Union is a community-based financial institution, a local credit union dedicated to serving the Long Island community.
    • 8th largest credit union in New York with assets totaling $3.74 Billion and providing banking services to more than 196,000 members.

    Membership: Open to people living, working, or worshipping in the credit union’s geographic area can become a member and access banking services.

  • Broadview Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Broadview is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services.
    • The 7th largest credit union in New York, with assets totaling $4.68 Billion and providing banking services to more than 355,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, attend school, or worship in one of the communities served.

  • Visions Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Visions Federal Credit Union is a community-based financial institution providing savings, checking, loans, and more.
    • The 6th largest credit union in New York with assets totaling $4.95 Billion and serving more than 213,000 members.

    Membership: People living, working, or worshipping in select NY, PA, and NJ counties.

  • Hudson Valley Credit Union Membership

    • Hudson Valley Credit Union is a community-based credit union providing financial solutions such as savings, checking accounts, and loans.
    • The 5th largest credit union in New York, with assets totaling $5.91 Billion and serving over 305,000 members.

    Membership: People living, working, or worshipping in the geographic area served by the credit union.

  • United Nations Federal Credit Union Membership

    • United Nations Federal Credit Union provides financial banking services.
    • The 4th largest credit union in New York, with assets totaling $6.44 Billion and serving over 155,000 members.

    Membership: Open to employees, consultants, and retirees of the United Nations and affiliated agencies.

  • ESL Federal Credit Union Membership

    • ESL Federal Credit Union is a full-service, member-owned financial institution providing financial services.
    • Largest locally-led financial services institution in the Greater Rochester area with assets of $7.3 billion and one of the largest credit unions in New York State.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in the geographic boundaries of the City of Rochester.

  • Teachers Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Teachers Federal Credit Union is a community-based financial institution.
    • The 2nd largest credit union in New York with assets totaling $8.13 Billion and serving over 350,000 members.

    Membership: People living, working, or worshipping in the credit union’s geographic area can become a member and access banking services.

  • Bethpage Federal CU Membership

    • Bethpage Federal CU is a community-based financial institution offering banking services in NY.
    • The largest credit union in New York with assets totaling $9.97 Billion and serving over 422,000 members.

    Membership: Qualifying to become a Bethpage Federal Credit Union member is simple.

  • Great Meadow Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Great Meadow Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Granville, New York has been serving members since 1956
    • Currently, manages $62.39 million in assets and serves over 7,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone who lives, works (or regularly conducts business in), worships, or attends school in businesses and other legal entities located in specific counties in NY and VT.

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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