Who Uses Credit Unions?

Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk

The initial credit union idea was focused around small collectives of people who shared a common bond being able to form nonprofit organizations to provide access to low-cost financial services. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) fulfills that idea by categorizing memberships. CUNA states, “Credit unions cannot serve the general public. People qualify for a credit union membership through their employer, organizational affiliations or social networks, or a community-chartered credit union.”

As the economy grows and changes, membership regulations have softened but stay true to the idea of a common bond among credit union members. So let us dive in a bit further into who is using credit unions.


Many employers sponsor their own credit unions, so if you work for a company with its own credit union, you are eligible to join! Additional perks, aside from lower rates and fees, may include HSA accounts, discount tickets, and no additional costs to employees.

2.Families, including children

Most credit unions allow members’ families to join. This includes children! Bigger banks do not allow individuals to open a checking account until the age of 14 years, but until the age of 18 years this account must have a legal guardian co-owner. Many credit unions allow children under the age of 13 years to open an account with a legal guardian; once the child is 13 years old, he/she can open accounts on his/her own.

3.Geographic location

Many credit unions serve anyone that lives, works or attends school in a particular geographic area. Being local allows for decisions to be made by people who live in the same communities as the credit union members. It also keeps employment local, which ultimately reinvests into the community.

4.Membership in a group

Membership in groups, such as schools, labor unions, associations or a place of worship qualifies people to join a credit union. Many credit unions are community-based thus with a particular shared interest it leads to more meaningful ways for members to support and give back to the group.


Written by Carly Simon-Gersuk