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  • bcu logo

    BCU Membership

    • BCU is a member-owned financial cooperative providing savings, checking, loans, and other financial services.
    • Illinois’s 4th largest credit union has assets totaling $4.31 billion and provides banking services to more than 272,000 members.

    Membership: Living or working in one of six community charter counties in Illinois and Wisconsin.

  • Virginia CU logo

    Virginia Credit Union Membership

    • Virginia Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing checking, savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • Virginia’s 3rd largest credit union, with assets totaling $4.29 Billion and serving more than 308,000 members.

    Membership: Employees and retirees of partner companies. Live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend schools in select Virginia cities and counties.

  • Citadel logo

    Citadel Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Citadel Federal Credit Union is a community-based financial institution providing savings, checking, consumer loans, mortgages, credit cards, and more.
    • Pennsylvania’s 4th largest credit union with assets totaling $4.26 Billion and serving more than 216,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or study in select Pennsylvania counties.

  • Summit CU logo

    Summit Credit Union Membership

    • Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative that offers banking services, including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The largest credit union in Wisconsin with assets totaling $6.78 Billion and providing banking services to more than 203,000 members.

    Membership: You live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school within designated areas in Wisconsin. Membership is also open to the immediate family of current members.

  • SECU logo

    SECU MD Membership

    • SECU MD is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services, including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The largest credit union in Maryland, with assets totaling $4.21 Billion and serving more than 253,000 members.

    Membership: Open to all Marylanders and state employees.

  • Gesa CU logo

    Gesa Credit Union Membership

    • Gesa Credit Union is a community-chartered credit union that offers financial services in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
    • It’s the 2nd largest credit union in Washington with assets totaling $4.11 Billion and serving more than 257,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in the State of Washington, are a close relative of someone who qualifies as a member.

  • Chevron FCU logo

    Chevron Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Chevron Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • It’s the 12th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $4.02 Billion and serving more than 116,000 members.

    Membership: A current or past employee of a qualifying employer, related to a member, an eligible family, or a household member.

  • TDECU logo

    TDECU Membership

    • TDECU (Texas Dow Employees Credit Union) is a member-owned financial cooperative offering checking, savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • It’s the 4th largest credit union in Texas, with assets totaling $3.96 Billion and serving more than 341,000 members.

    Membership: Lives, works, worships, or attends school in one of the select Texas counties.

  • UW CU logo

    UW Credit Union Membership

    • UW Credit Union is a federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of consumer financial services.
    • Wisconsin’s 3rd largest credit union, with assets totaling $3.9 Billion and serving more than 285,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or attend school within 5 miles of any branch location.

  • Northwest FCU logo

    Northwest Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Northwest Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services.
    • It’s the 4th largest credit union in Virginia with assets totaling $4.01 Billion and serving more than 247,000 members.

    Membership: Eligible as an employee of company partners, belong to a community partner, work or have worked for government agencies, and many other ways to join.

  • Service CU logo

    Service Credit Union Membership

    • Service Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The largest credit union in New Hampshire with assets totaling $4.26 Billion and serving more than 315,000 members.

    Membership: Active duty military, veterans, and their families.

  • Travis CU logo

    Travis Credit Union Membership

    • Travis Credit Union operates as a financial cooperative offering banking and loan products.
    • The 13th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $3.92 Billion and providing banking services to more than 215,000 members

    Membership: The credit union is open to everyone who lives, works, attends schools, or worships in any of the 12 Northern California counties.

  • Community First logo

    Community First Credit Union Membership

    • Community First Credit Union offers banking accounts, personal loans, insurance products, award-winning low-interest rate credit cards, and more.
    • 4th largest credit union in Wisconsin has assets totaling $3.88 Billion and serves more than 143,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, and attend school in select counties in Wisconsin.

  • Everwise Credit Union

    Everwise Credit Union Membership

    • Everwise Credit Union offers banking solutions including checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans, HELOCs and much more.
    • The largest credit union in Indiana has assets totaling $5.17 billion and provides banking services to more than 306,000 members.

    Membership: Live or work in select counties and townships in Michigan and Indiana.

  • WSECU logo

    Washington State Employees Credit Union (WESCU) Membership

    • Washington State Employees Credit Union (WESCU) is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • 3rd largest credit union in Washington with assets totaling $3.74 Billion and serving more than 283,000 members.

    Membership: Open to those who live and work in the state of Washington .

  • Coastal CU logo

    Coastal Credit Union Membership

    • Coastal Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative located in Raleigh, North Carolina offering checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, HELOCs, auto loans, and more
    • 2nd largest credit union in North Carolina with assets totaling $3.73 Billion and serving more than 272,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, and attend school in select communities in North Carolina.

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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