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Credit Unions, their Membership & Banks- Very Essential Questions Answered

Friday, July 25, 2014

Credit Union: the What and the How

Credit Union and The Merchant of Venice

With life becoming tremendously expensive, loans are taking consumeristic dimensions. This is not untrue of the people walking out in the streets. You have to be financially cultured nowadays to live the life you call modern. Does it sound grim?
Well, if you admit it you should be happy that you do not live in the age of Antonio, the Merchant of Venice protagonist. Hopefully there are banks. More hopefully, there are the community banks—the credit unions.

Credit unions—why more hopefully? Because being non-profit, they charge you at a much less interest rate than a bank does. You pay an APR much less than what you pay to your bank. This is the prime reason they are popular for.

So you have a hint at what (and why too) credit unions are! YES…

Credit Unions 

are banks of a type or a type of bank…. however the definition fits for you. However, it is ‘of a type’ because it is framed to work its own way that very much differs from a bank. It is more a cooperative than a bank while a bank is all the way down a bank, never a credit union or co-operative.

That Is to Say…

Credit Unions provide you several, many or even all the services of a traditional bank. You can…

deposit money with them into

your checking account or savings account

as well as

borrow money from them as

personal loans, mortgage loans, equity loans, student loans, auto loans, bike loans, home loans the whole gamut of it.

like you can get (them) from a bank!

They provide you (any of these) services only when you are a member with them. Remember however, they are not open for you like a bank. You are to be eligible for this. And your eligibility builds..


You are member of a common bond society. Didn’t get it? Perhaps you remember guilds from your reading of Chaucer. Common bond for a credit union stands much the same with the Chaucerian guilds. You are in a common bond when you are a member of….

a community like a church, an office or any organization.

Here is an excerpt from Georgia United’s eligibility list to make your understanding clearer:
When it comes to membership, Georgia United offers lots of ways to qualify!
You’re eligible for membership if you belong to any one of the following member groups:
·         Catholic Community (Members and employees)
·         Georgia Tech (Faculty and staff)
·         Employees and retirees of Select Employee Groups, and Georgia State Agencies (including all state agencies, colleges, and universities)
·         School Systems
·         UGA Community (Faculty, staff, students, and alumni)
·         Immediate family members of a Georgia United member or an eligible non-member
·         Persons residing in the same household as a Georgia United member or eligible non-member
·         Volunteers of any school, church, parish, hospital or association within Georgia United’s field of membership
·         County Employees of Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG)
Persons who live in the following areas are also welcomed to join us:
·         Clarke County
·         City of Cumming
·         City of Norcross
·         DeKalb County
·         Forsyth County
·         Gwinnett County
·         Henry County
·         Laurens County
·         Rockdale County
·         Whitfield CountyExpand allCollapse all

In fact, there are THREE ways bonds work—

ONE, community bond, TWO,association bond and THREE, occupation bond.

So, if you are a member of a certain church and that church is registered with a credit union, you build up the community bond eligibility.  Similarly you are considered eligible when you have lived in a county as a permanent resident.  These are examples.
On the other hand, you stand eligible to be a credit union member if you are occupationally bonded. For example, if you are a nurse in Bear Valley and you are member of Bear Valley Nurses’ Association, you stand eligible for becoming a member of a credit union working there.

Likewise, if you are an auto-mechanic in Bakersfield and a member of Bakersfield Auto-Electric-Plumber Union (supposed), you build eligibility to be a member of a credit union there.

If …

You do not fall in any of the groups mentioned above but anyone of your family or immediate family is already a member of a credit union, s/he goes to make you eligible. So cheers! It may prove helpful to know that your employer is often a member of a credit union.

To Build More Calories

of knowledge only that you need to read this part of the discussion. Else you may SKIP it. Credit unions are not banks in that they are not financed by moguls’ money to do money biz. These are, rather, your banks. They lend you from the money that thousands of members like you deposit with them. So you are not a client with them. Instead, you are owner of the bank. You vote for the management and even may be a member of it. You are a both a lender and a borrower with your credit union. The difference with a bank is big here. However bolder in font size a bank’s logo declares it is your bank, you actually are never a part of it. But you own your credit union, collectively.

The Way You Go at It

If you have already decided, you should be a member of a credit union, go ahead the following way—

Find a credit union in your area and talk to the officials in person. Get some reference or recommendation from another common bond member (or your employer). Either physical or documentary reference or recommendation will do.
If you have no idea about the existence of a credit union in your area, take help of the online locator from — mycreditunion.gov
If you are applying online, follow the instructions given to you. Even then you will need to see the officials in person. 
Get the documentary back-ups like your photos, ID, social security number, driving license or recent utility bills.  These are only for identifying purposes.

Be ready with 15 to 20 dollars with you for enrollment and the first deposit. Enrollment fee is often ten dollars while the monthly deposit you are going to have to pay as a member is usually minimally five dollars. 
Fill the application form as directed and make a deposit.

That’s it!

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