Who can join a credit union? We hear this question from people all the time. Many mistakenly believe credit unions are exclusive clubs that only take people with the best credit or a certain amount of money.
But the truth is, credit unions provide products and services that can benefit everyone. Like all credit unions, PSECU is member-owned. We were founded by 22 people who wanted to make a better life for themselves by pooling their resources, and that’s the idea that continues to drive us today.
Credit unions have different eligibility requirements for membership. At PSECU, we try to make it easy for any Pennsylvania resident to join.
What Is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that give members benefits such as lower interest rates on borrowing and lower fees for services than many other financial institutions.
In function, credit unions are similar to banks. You can open a checking account or apply for a mortgage at most credit unions. But it’s the dedication to members that sets us apart. Credit unions answer to our members and help them make the most of their money.
Who Can Join a Credit Union?
Many people believe that because credit unions limit their membership, it’s difficult to qualify to join. Actually, it’s quite easy to find a credit union that you’re eligible to apply to.
To join a credit union, you just have to qualify under the membership guidelines. Each credit union has its own “field of membership,” which is the common bond that draws together all the members. Criteria may include:
- Where you live: Credit unions generally serve geographic areas. You may qualify for membership if you live, work, or attend a church in a designated county.
- Where you work: Some employers provide credit union membership as a free benefit for their employees.
- Where you learn: Membership may be available to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of certain universities, as well as many community and private colleges.
- Your family: Many credit unions offer membership to certain relatives of a current member.
- Group membership: Unions, guilds, alumni associations, homeowners associations, or other groups may offer credit union membership as a perk.
Credit Unions Offer More Than Just Credit
Since “credit” is in the name, many people assume credit unions only offer loans or lines of credit. At PSECU, we offer many of the same services banks offer, such as:
- Savings accounts
- Checking accounts
- Digital banking
- Debit and credit cards
- IRAs and certificates (CDs)
Should I Join a Credit Union?
By joining PSECU, you become more than a customer. You are a member and shareholder. We aim to give back to our members, which means we offer many no- or low-fee products and services and low interest rates on loans.
You can contact us to discuss our member benefits before applying to PSECU so that we can answer your questions about how credit unions compare to banks. And don’t forget to check out our WalletWorks page for tips on managing your finances.