Step 1: Playing the Field
In order to join a credit union, you have to be a part of that credit unions field of membership. That means you have to have some kind of common bond with other members of the credit union. Find one that youre eligible to join and that youre comfortable with.
If you need to find a credit union that youre eligible to join, you can try the National Credit Union Administrations credit union search.
Step 2: $25 Please
Walk on in and ask for an application. Youll want to bring your drivers license or other ID with you.
Most credit unions require that you make a modest deposit in order to become a member. Typically, the required deposit is about $25. Simply deposit cash or a check, and youre in business. You may have to keep a minimum balance on hand going forward, so find out at this time.
Be aware that your credit union may run a credit check if youre going to want a checking account or debit card. Make sure your credit files are accurate I recommend using the US Governments free credit report program.
They might also check for a history of bad checking habits through a service like ChexSystems, so make sure you dont have errors there either.
Step 3: Start Using It!
Once youre a member, you can use all of the services. Credit unions are usually most competitive on:
Step 4 (Optional): Come Back and Tell us About It
Please share your experiences with the rest of us. Tell us what you liked and didnt like. Why did you choose a credit union in the first place?
Share your thoughts in the forums.