Who Can and Should Join a Credit Union?

Posted on November 2, 2021

IMAGE: Man sitting at computer with small boy on his lap watching his dad's hands on keyboard.Maybe you’re thinking, “I already have a bank that I’ve used for many years. Why would I want to join a credit union?” Or, “I’ve heard great things about credit unions, but am I eligible to join?” Read on to see why you can — and should — join a credit union.

Banks vs. Credit Unions

Credit unions can offer the same services and financial products as banks. These include savings and checking accounts, credit cards, loans of all types (personal, auto, mortgage, secured, short-term, commercial, and more), certificates of deposit, etc. At Texell, for instance, we also offer insurance through Texell Insurance.

Credit unions typically offer lower fees, higher savings rates, and a more hands-on, personalized approach to customer service. That’s why many people experience easier loan approvals from a credit union than a larger bank. Best yet, credit unions may offer lower interest rates on loans.

The Credit Union Difference

Let’s consider what makes a credit union unique from banks.

  • Best rates and service: Members pool their savings to provide low-cost loans and low-fee services to each other. Credit unions return net income to all members in the form of better savings rates, lower loan rates, and low or no fees for services. Texell routinely looks at what competitors are offering to ensure that they are highly competitive in the market.

  • Local lending decisions: Credit unions often have more discretion than large national banks regarding approving or denying loan and credit card applications. Rather than being locked into stringent corporate-wide lending criteria, the best credit unions should look at the entirety of the member’s financial state when making a lending decision. Those decisions can be more relationship-based, though all lenders must gauge and account for risk. If you’re considering applying for a credit card or loan, contact Texell to see what we can do for you.

  • Not-for-profit: Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that make decisions based on what’s best for members. They exist solely to serve their members. Profits are returned to members through educational programs, low fees, better rates on loans, and higher returns on savings.

  • Community service: Credit unions serve the communities in which they are located. Texell supports many local organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Miracle Network, Feed My Sheep, Love of Christ Food Pantry, The Caring Place, Baylor Scott & White Blood Center, and Carter BloodCare. Texell team members donate more than 700 volunteer hours, provide meals for 2,000+ families, and save more than 120 lives through blood donation each year. Learn more about our philanthropic work.

Who’s Eligible to Join a Credit Union?

Each credit union has its own requirements on who can join. But if you’re reading this article, you can likely join Texell. Read on.

Some credit unions are specifically for employees of a certain type (e.g., educators) or a single company/organization. More commonly, you’ll see membership open to a local community or county. This means anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the area the credit union serves can join.

Texell has expanded membership eligibility to residents anywhere within the state of Texas. Specifically, Texell Credit Union membership is available to:

  • Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in Bell, Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, Falls, Hill, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Travis, or Williamson County, Texas

  • All Texas residents are existing members of — or would like to join — the Texas Consumer Council. Texell covers the membership fee, free of charge

  • Those with an immediate family member who is currently a Texell member

Trust and Safety

Funds in deposit accounts are insured, just as they are for funds on deposit with banks. Whereas the FDIC insures banks, credit unions often are insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Texell members have deposits insured through NCUA for up to $250,000 and gain insurance on an additional $250,000 through private insurance Texell has secured from Excess Share Insurance Corp. (ESI).

Additionally, Texell has been serving members since 1948, and is a steadily growing financial institution that is often awarded “Best Credit Union” recognition by community publications. Our commitment is serving our members with exceptional service, financial products, and services that enrich their lives.

Texell is 5-star rated by BauerFinancial, “the nation’s bank rating service,” which uses comprehensive financial data to evaluate the financial strength of banks and credit unions. A 5-star rating, BauerFinancial’s highest, is a mark reserved for financial institutions with the highest level of fiscal strength and responsibility.

A good credit union should provide everything a large bank can, with some additional unique benefits. Open your Texell Credit Union account today, you can apply online in just four minutes. Join today!

If you wish to comment on this article or have an idea for a topic we should cover, we want to hear from you! Email us at editor@texell.org.

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