Credit Union Power

Credit Union

When starting out and building your credit or in healing from a financial disaster such as bankruptcy, short sale and foreclosure, joining the right credit union is a marvelous first step in the building or recovery. Credit unions are different from other financial institutions in that they are member owned and operated. And like for profit banks, your deposits are Federally Insured up to $250,000.00.

According to an April 3011 article in the Denver Post, credit unions are quite financially healthy in Colorado. I believe you will find this true across the Country and, frankly around the globe. It is quick and simple to check the easily understood financial rating of any credit union, click this link and enter the name of the credit union. Click here for an explanation of the star rating.

A significant key to rebuilding your credit is to prove you are properly managing same. The best way to do this is to establish a significant deposit in your savings account with the credit union. A great benefit of a credit union is direct deposit and you can direct a certain amount to your savings on a regular basis which allows you to save significantly without ever missing the money you are saving.

Most credit unions will issue at least a $2,500 secured credit card, and one I have researched will issue a $50,000 secured credit card. The credit union will report your good payment history on the credit card which is of great help while you are healing your credit. Keep in mind the key 10% rule as discussed in my blog titled Fico Facts 101b.

Free checking with no strings attached is a standard benefit for credit union members. This is also true for ATMs as opposed to paying nearly $5.00 per transaction according to a recent report. If you are still with a for profit bank, check your monthly statement to see how much the fees are as of 2011.

Vehicle lending, signature loans, and credit cards are very strong features of credit unions. Many credit unions are simply third-party originators of mortgages and tend not to have the most highly seasoned or experienced mortgage loan officers.

How do you go about joining a credit union? As discussed in an earlier blog there are numerous ways to join a credit union. One may do so by employment, profession, geographic location, an affinity group, family, organization, association. I joined Coors Credit Union due to the fact I live in Jefferson County Colorado. And to illustrate how many credit unions are available to most of us, I am also eligible to join The Credit Union of Denver, Westerra Credit Union, Elevations Credit Union, Bellco Credit Union and Public Service Credit Union. If I researched further I would find even more credit unions for which I am or could easily be eligible.

Here is how I learned which credit unions were available to me. I clicked this link and reviewed the membership eligibility in my zip code. This is yet another link which just needs your home or work address zip code to look up the credit unions nearest you.

CU Shared Branch


It is quite easy to find a cooperative credit union that acts very much as a a branch office of your ‘home’ credit union. You can conduct transactions, pay bills, make deposits, cash checks, etc.,  as though you were at your home credit union. You may need to speak with a supervisor if the front line teller is not familiar with the concept of Credit Union Shared Services. I’ve found that management is always happy to help the teller learn how to do these transactions.

As a final observation, many of my clients have had greater results by seeking a credit union that is simply too big to offer personalized service to help one build or rebuild credit.

I wish you the best success with your credit union experience. I certainly enjoy doing business with my CU!

Image attribution: National Credit Union Administration and Co-Op Shared Branch

Financially Speaking™ – James Spray RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 | NMLS 257365 | Updated October 25, 2016

 Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

16 comments on “Credit Union Power

  1. […] Credit Union PowerDescription : How do you go about joining a credit union? As discussed in an earlier blog there are numerous ways to join a credit union. One may do so by employment, profession, geographic location, an affinity group, family, organization, association. … is prohibited without express written consent from James Spray. Protected by US Copyright Law – Title 17 USC Section 101 et seq., Title 18 USC Section 2319 – Violations can be punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $250000 in fines. .. […]


  2. Coors Credit Union says:

    Hello James,
    We’re glad to have you as a member at Coors Credit Union and appreciate you sharing good information about credit unions.
    Thanks a bunch


  3. James Spray says:

    Found a great Credit Union Article on the AOL Financial News channel today – FYI on rate comparisons both savings and loans, also emphasises free ATM access nationally –


  4. James Spray says:

    Daily Finance Debunks 5 Common Myths About Credit Unions


  5. James Spray says:

    And I’d guess that credit unions, for all sorts of reasons, don’t really want to get into the super-expensive-super-risky loan business. That’s why they focus on figuring out how to help you not need the money. Obviously, that is going to be a bad outcome in some particular cases, because no system is ever perfect. But on balance, I can understand why credit unions aren’t eager to get into the payday loan game.


  6. James Spray says:

    ENT Credit Union pays significant dividend to members –


  7. James Spray says:

    Here is a link to the CUNA newsletter – interesting graphs showing where the assets of a credit union are invested, along with other great information.


  8. James Spray says:

    Credit Union Deposits Outpaced Banks Since WaMu Failure, Study: via HuffPost


  9. James Spray says:

    4 Lessons From Bank Transfer Day:


  10. Edra Seiters says:

    Utterly pent articles, Really enjoyed reading through.


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