A credit unit is a special type of financial institution that provides services and products very similar to those provided by banks, but only to their members. In other words, to be able to benefit from the great conditions available with credit union products, you need to become a member first. Here are some important things to know about joining a credit union.
Finding the Credit Union to Join
To become the member of a credit union, you need to share that union’s common bond, the feature or affiliation that is at the base of the union, such as being a member of a particular community or organization, such as charity organization, living in a certain geographical area, working in a certain profession or for a particular employer. To find the credit union to join, you can check whether your employer has one – many large companies do – or ask around among the people you know whether they have experience using a union. You should also ask your family members whether they know a credit union – many unions accept the applications of the relatives of their members, too. Another good source of information about the credit unions that you are eligible for is the internet, especially the website of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the institution that oversees credit unions. With a simple query in our browser, you will be able to find out a lot about how credit unions work as well as about the eligibility requirements. The NCUA website also includes credit union search tool to make the identification process easier for you.
Opening an Account
When you have found the credit union that you are eligible for, you can start the membership application process. With most credit unions, you can pursue the steps online, but you can also choose to open the account at the union’s office. To register as a member, you will be required to provide a proof of ID, such as a passport and a proof of address, for example, a utility bill and you will need to provide the reason why you are eligible to join the credit union. You will also be required to make a small deposit, usually around $25 or less into your account to purchase your membership share. Some credit unions perform checks in various financial data bases before accepting a new member and they might also require additional information.
Using Your Credit Union Account
When your membership application is accepted by the credit union and your account is activated, you can start using the union’s products and services. A respected Parker credit union confirms that you can use your account for:
- Receiving your salary in the credit union account;
- Pay your bills from the account;
- Withdraw money from ATM or in the credit union’s branch;
- Have access to various types of loans with favorable conditions.
Many credit unions also provide financial education to their members as well as a relationship with the union’s consultant that gives members more attention and more help figuring out the financial products to use.