How to Get in on the Action
If you are new to the whole banking, saving and investing in general, you probably have not realized yet that credit unions are the gold mines with the high interest savings accounts. The only catch is that you have to be a member in order to enjoy those rates.
However, because credit unions are making it easier to enter into their system of banking nowadays, all you have to do is a little work to figure out how you can get in.
Most beginning workers or people who are not too savvy on investing do not realize that credit unions usually offer more competitive interest rates that you will not find at banks. In addition, more credit unions are beginning to offer more services similar to regular banks making them an all-around attractive place to do banking, saving and investing.
On average, credit union members earn about 1.9 percent on money market accounts while regular bank customers earned only 1.2 percent according to Datatrac. It may not seem like a lot, but when compounded over the years, the difference in percents could mean several thousands of dollars more or less for you.
Since 1996, membership of credit unions has gone from 71 million to 89 million members – indicative of the loosening of restrictions when it comes down to who can join a credit union.
To find out if you are eligible to become a credit union member, check with your employer’s human resources department. Even if it seems that the company you work for would not make you qualified to join a credit union, check HR anyways to see if there is some sort of clause or other factor that may get you in.
If this gets you nowhere, then ask around. Tap resources such as family members who may already be a credit union member. Chances are likely that if they are a member, you may be able to sign up through them. Check with them and if they don’t know, then just go directly to the credit union they are signed up at to see if you are eligible.
If you still are not having much luck, you can always just check directly through the Credit Union National Association to see if you can somehow get in somewhere.
Remember, it’s your money and it pays to be aggressive when doing research. If you can put your money in an account that earns high interest without having to lift a finger, isn’t that something you would be interested in doing? A lot of times people think investments automatically mean stock, but investing can be as simple as comparing and contrasting bank and credit union rates to find the highest yield you are eligible for.