Have you ever tried to join a credit union and been denied? Don't take it personally. Credit unions are required to limit their customers (or "members") to a specific group of people. In some cases, that group is defined as:
- Employees at a certain company
- Residents of a community or town
- Members of an organization
If you're not part of a group that the credit union works with, the credit union can't work with you -- the institution will get in trouble with its regulators and can even be shut down if it opens accounts for outsiders.
Ken Tumin explains in more detail how a credit union's field of membership works, and how membership rules are sometimes confusing.
If you're having a hard time finding a credit union that you're eligible to join, consider joining one that's open to almost anybody (there's a list at DepositAccounts.com). You should also ask if your employer has a relationship with any local credit unions.