Four Ways to Find a Credit Union
Although credit unions exist solely to serve their members, they are limited by law to the people they may serve. They serve members from defined “fields of membership,” or the groups of people who qualify as members of a credit union. These fields of membership are limited to those that have a “common bond.” A common bond is a group of people who share certain characteristics which set them apart from the general public, such as being part of certain companies or organizations, certain nationalities, or people that live in a specific geographic location. If you are not currently a member, here’s how to find a credit union you are eligible to join:
- A Smarter Choice. A good resource is the aSmarterChoice.org website, which contains a comprehensive locator for credit unions across the country.
- Ask your boss. Your company may sponsor a credit union or may know of a credit union to which you have access. Plus, many employers offer direct deposit of payroll to your credit union.
- Ask your family. Is your spouse, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle a member of a credit union? If so, most credit unions allow their members’ families to join. Each credit union, however, may define “family” differently – at some, only members of your immediate family are eligible. At other credit unions, family may include extended family members, such as cousins,uncles, and aunts.
- Ask your neighbors. Some credit unions have a “community” field of membership, serving a region defined by geography rather than by employment or some other association. Ask friends in the community if they know of a credit union you may join.