Why Do Credit Unions Require Membership?

There is a radio advertisement running on the Denver stations that says something like, “Why should I have to be a member to get a mortgage?” Obviously, this ad is for a mortgage lender and is supposed to be a dig at credit unions.

Then there was a posting on our Facebook page that stated that Coors was a corporation. The person posting said that she would rather keep her money with a bank.

Clearly friends, it’s time to clean up some misconceptions about credit union membership.

Now, this could be preaching to the choir…well, it is almost literally if you are already a credit union member than you are part of the credit union choir. Still, we hope this information helps you sing the praises of credit unions.

Let’s address the second thing first. Coors Credit Union is not a corporation. We realize the name can be confusing, but it’s also an important part of our history. Coors Credit Union was founded by employees of the Brewery in 1954 as a means to help each other build their savings and attain affordable loans.

Which leads us to the answer to the first question (Why should I have to be a member…?) Well, you want to be a member because credit union loans are typically lower AND credit unions practice honest lending–it’s in our mission/vision. Credit unions can make this claim because they are in business for the benefit of their members. Credit unions became popular because they made it possible for people to get loans. At the time, commercial banks were not interested in lending to individuals.

It’s true, you don’t have to be a member at a bank–that’s because you are a customer and their goal is to make a profit off of you. Banks operate for the profit of a small group of shareholders.  Credit unions are not-for-profit (and we don’t mean non-profit, that only applies to charities). This means that credit unions are supposed to make a profit, that profit is returned to the members in the form of better rates on loans and savings accounts. The credit union board is composed of volunteer members. Every member has a right to say how the credit union should operate. Every member is equal, no matter how much money they have in savings or loans.

It used to be that membership requirements were rather tight, but now pretty much anyone in Jefferson County can enjoy the benefits of membership at Coors Credit Union.

So why should you or your friend, or neighbor, or family member, or loved one be a member, because it’s the smart way to manage your money.

P.S. If you are curious and want to learn about how credit unions were created read this from the California Credit Union League and/or this from the National Credit Union Association.


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