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  • Lake Trust Credit Union Membership

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    • Lake Trust Credit Union is headquartered in Brighton, Michigan and has been serving members since 1944.
    • 8th largest credit union in the state of Michigan, managing $2.58 Billion in assets, serving over 178,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or attend school in Michigan.

  • Rutgers FCU logo

    Rutgers Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Rutgers Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey and has been serving members since 1954,
    • Manages $89.68 Million in assets and serves over 7,000 members.

    Membership: Open to faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Rutgers University.

  • Midwest Community FCU logo

    Midwest Community Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Midwest Community Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Defiance, Ohio and has been serving members since 1954
    • Manages $233.7 Million in assets and serves over 14,000 members.

    Membership: You are eligible if you live, work, worship, or go to school in Defiance, Henry, Fulton, Paulding, Williams, and the northern two-thirds of Putnam County in Ohio.

  • Sentinel Credit Union logo

    Sentinel Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Sentinel Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota and has been serving members since 1955.
    • 9th largest credit union in the state of South Dakota, managing $165.22 Million in assets and serving over 9,000 members.

    Membership: You are eligible if you live, work, worship, or go to school in certain South Dakota counties in and around Rapid City.

  • Seattle CU logo

    Seattle Credit Union Membership

    • Seattle Credit Union is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has been serving members since 1933.
    • 18th largest credit union in the state of Washington, managing $1.09 Billion in assets and serves over 56,000 members.

    Membership: Eligibility applies if you live, work, worship, or attend school in the state of Washington.

  • Stage Point FCU logo

    Stage Point Federal Credit Union Membership

    • StagePoint Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Laramie, Wyoming and has been serving members since 1935.
    • It is the 12th largest credit union in the state of Wyoming, managing $78.46 Million in assets and serving over 6,000 members.

    Membership: Open to residents and businesses within the greater Laramie area.

  • Sierra Pacific Credit Union Membership

    • Sierra Pacific Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Reno, Nevada and has been serving members since 1936.
    • 10th largest credit union in the state of Nevada, managing $165.64 Million in assets and serving over 11,000 members.

    Membership: Work with select employer groups or a member of specific groups such as the Nevada Alumni Association.

  • Tucson Old Puebloe CU logo

    Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union Membership

    • Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and has been serving members since 1935.
    • 20th largest credit union in the state of Arizona, managing $217.45 Million in assets and serving over 18,000 members.

    Membership: You are eligible for membership if you live, work, or go to school in Tucson, Arizona.

  • Zing Credit Union

    Zing Credit Union Membership

    • Zing Credit Union is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and has been serving members since 1934.
    • 12th largest credit union in the state of Colorado, managing $420.25 Million in assets and serving over 37,000 members.

    Membership: Eligible if you live and work in specific counties in the Greater Denver area.

  • West Community Credit Union logo

    West Community Credit Union Membership

    • West Community Credit Union is headquartered in O Fallon, Missouri and has been serving members since 1936
    • 7th largest credit union in Missouri, managing $471.72 Million in assets and serving over 32,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone who live or works in designated counties in Missouri or MIZZOU, Stephens College, and Columbia College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and student organizations

  • Tigers Community Credit Union

    Tigers Community Credit Union Membership

    • A not-for-profit financial organization dedicated to serving the needs of MIZZOU students, alumni, faculty, and staff at our 3 branches in Columbia.
    • A partnership with West Community Credit Union.

    Membership: Faculty and students of the University of Missouri, Stephens College, Columbia College, plus anyone who lives or works in Boone County, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Franklin County, Lincoln County, and St. Louis City.

  • Clearwater Credit Union

    Clearwater Credit Union Membership

    • Clearwater Credit Union is headquartered in Missoula, Montana and has been serving members since 1956.
    • 2nd largest credit union in the state of Montana, managing $999.41 Million in assets and serving over 59,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, go to school, or worship in the Montana counties served by Clearwater Credit Union.

  • Navy Federal Credit Union logo

    Navy Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Navy Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative offering banking products, credit cards, loans, and financial services.
    • The largest credit union in the United States with assets totaling $125.58 Billion and serving over 9.2 million members.
    Membership: The credit union services are available to U.S. military members.
  • State Employees' Credit Union logo

    State Employees Credit Union Membership

    • State Employees is the largest credit union in North Carolina, offering banking and financial services.
    • Assets total $42.85 billion, and serving more than 2.49 million members.
    Membership: Membership is limited to employees of the state of North Carolina.
  • PenFed CU logo

    PenFed Credit Union Membership

    • PenFed was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, offering financial services.
    • The 2nd largest credit union in Virginia with assets totaling $25.92 Billion and serving over 2.04 million members.

    Membership: Open to everyone.

  • SchoolsFirst FCU logo

    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Membership

    • SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union serves the educational community in California.
    • The largest credit union in California with assets totaling $21.62 Billion and serving over 1.12 million members.

    Membership: If you are a school employee, retired school employee, or an immediate family member of a SchoolsFirst FCU Member, you’re eligible.

What is Banking?

Banking is a form of money management using products and services related to savings and loans.

Different Types of Financial Institutions

Banks

Banks are what we typically associate with banking. They come in different sizes: local, national, traditional and online-only. Federal or state agencies supervise banks. The FDIC insures deposits of participating banks.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer products and services similar to banks with a focus on member service, not profit. The NCUA insures deposits from participating credit unions.

Alternative Financial Services

Many fintechs are non-chartered financial services companies that offer banking services. You might think of them as an app offering checking and savings accounts, debit cards, payments, etc. They are not banks but work with partner banks or credit unions to hold your deposits.

Types of Banking Accounts

Banking accounts help make financial transactions convenient.

Savings Account

A savings account helps you save your money. You’re storing your money for future use and hopefully earning a reasonable interest rate. Interest is the money you earn for letting the bank keep your money. Some financial institutions impose minimum deposits, withdrawal limits, and fees.

Checking Account

A checking account is a transactional account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals of your money anytime. Checking accounts is not the best place to store your money, as the goal of the account is for use, not saving.

Most checking accounts do not pay interest, but some do. Be mindful of transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, and fees.

Debit Card

Checking accounts come with a debit card enabling you to spend your money conveniently. A debit card allows for making purchases at stores and online shopping. You can only spend the money that’s in your checking account. Additionally, you can use your debit card at ATMs to make deposits, withdrawals, check balances, and transfers between accounts.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a type of hybrid savings and checking account. It tends to have higher deposit requirements but often pays more interest than a savings account.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, helps you save money with a set interest rate for a specific amount of time. Your cash is term-locked. In exchange, you get a higher interest rate compared to a traditional savings account. Certificate terms can start at 30 days and go to 5 or more years.

How to Choose the Best Banking Service

You have many choices on the type of account to use and the variety of financial institutions available. So, shop around. Ask the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:

  • What are the products and services offered?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there minimum balance requirements?
  • Do I need a physical location (like a branch) or prefer better mobile app services?
  • Does local banking matter or is national big bank convenient?
  • Are deposits FDIC or NCUA insured?
  • How to access your money?
  • Debit card? ATM network?
  • Can I set auto-transfers, auto-payments, and alerts?

You want to determine how the banking provider aligns with your needs, the cost of services, safety, security, and overall convenience.

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