Who is Eligible for Credit Union Membership?

Credit union membership can be a wonderful financial move. There are many benefits to joining a credit union. You will receive great rates on loans and credit cards. You are often extended credit more easily since you can have payments automatically deducted from your paycheck or your credit union accounts. Savings and CD rates are good, and usually profits are shared. Fees are minimal, and many offer free checking and online banking. Credit unions have many advantages over banks, and most people can join. Every credit union has different rules, but these are general guidelines to who is eligible for membership.

Government Workers

Federal, state and local government workers will be eligible for a credit union. Which level of government you are in will determine which credit union you can belong to. Often, this is part of your benefits package, and the credit unions make it very easy to sign up and start your direct deposit. As soon as you have an account, you can apply for credit if you need to.

Private Institutions

Many private institutions like universities and private hospitals offer a credit union membership. They will have ATMs in the hospitals or other institutions that belong to the credit union so you can make easy withdrawals.


Students are eligible to join a credit union. Sometimes they can join the local state credit union, or other times the school will have a partnership with a credit union. This can be a great way for students to learn to manage their money, get credit and establish a bank account before they graduate and start working.

Friends, Family, Community

Most credit unions that offer memberships to the above customers offer the same membership to their friends, family and neighbors. A credit union may offer membership in a certain city, and it will be available to those who work in the city, live in the city, worship in the city or go to school in that city. And then any of those members can offer the membership to their families. Because of this, virtually everyone can join a credit union. If you don't personally qualify, look for a credit union that allows anyone in the community to join. Also ask friends and neighbors if they are eligible and can refer you. You need to fill out an application and state how you are eligible. You will be asked who you are using as a contact for eligibility.

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