Why Do Credit Unions Require Memberships?

Though many people may conflate banks and credit unions, there is one major difference between the two. Credit unions require memberships. If you have only used traditional banks, you might be confused as to why you need a credit union membership and what it encapsulates. But have no fear, credit unions operate very similarly to banks, but the members are the top priority, rather than stockholders or investors. Keep reading about why credit unions require memberships, explained by us, True Sky Credit Union.

What is A Credit Union? 

A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative that is created and operated by members and shares profits with owners. There are over 5,000 credit unions in the United States and they serve millions of people daily. In 1909, The first credit union in the United States was opened in Manchester, New Hampshire and was called St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association. In 1909, the Massachusetts Bank Commissioner, Pierre Jay, and wealthy Boston merchant Edward A. Filene collaborated and came up with the Massachusetts Credit Union Act. This bill was the first general statute for establishing credit unions in the United States. Under the act, credit unions were defined as “cooperative associations formed for the purpose of promoting thrift among its members.” 

What Does it Mean To Have A Credit Union Membership?

When you have a membership at a credit union, it means you are part-owner. Unlike banks that are owned by corporations and investors, credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that are owned by each member of the union. When you first join a credit union, you pay a small deposit, typically between $5 and $25, that gives you one share of ownership of the company. This membership allows you to have a voice in the way the credit union operates. The board of directors for credit unions are chosen by the members, with each member having an equal vote. Members of credit unions also receive all the benefits that are associated with the union. The mission of credit unions is to improve the financial well-being of every member, while also helping the communities they serve. The profits that credit unions make go back to the members in the forms of higher interest rates on checking and savings accounts, lower fees, and lower loan rates. So if you’re looking to take out a personal loan, an automotive loan, or a home loan, credit unions most likely have the best rates for you. A credit union’s main goal is to serve every member equally.

How Do You Get A Membership At A Credit Union?

Each credit union is required to have a field of membership. This is the legal definition of who is eligible to join the credit union. These requirements can vary from union to union. Some of the most common qualifications to join a credit union are working for a certain employer, living in a particular area, having a family member that is already part of the union, or being a member of a specific group. Memberships are a crucial part of credit unions because they give each member ownership in the union, which allows the institution to operate the way that it does. Each credit union is unique and may function a little differently from any other you’ve ever used, so if you are interested in becoming a member, you should contact the branch or visit in person to see what the membership process is like. 

True Sky Credit Union

There are many benefits you can reap from being a member of True Sky Credit Union. Some of the great ones are complimentary coin redemption, annual interest rebate/bonus dividend, true friends discount, and free year-round document shredding. True Sky Credit Union Membership is open to anyone who is an employee of one of True Sky’s business partners, an immediate family member of a True Sky member, or a member of the American Consumer Council (ACC). True Sky values each and every member they serve and aims to help improve whatever financial situation they may be in. True Sky believes that once you’re a member, you’re always a member, so even if you move away, we still want to serve you. You can do your banking anywhere with your mobile phone! We also have shared service centers located across the country. 

At True Sky, we strive to make the Oklahoma City metro area a better place with everything that we do. We offer so much, from financial education to automotive loans, we’ve got you covered! If you’re looking to become a member at True Sky or have any questions about credit unions, please feel free to visit our website or stop by one of our multiple locations so we can chat about the process! 



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