A few years back, I had a friend who belonged to a local credit union. She told me of how the credit union was a very good one and that it was really easy to get into and the fees were low. I also learned that she was happy that many members lived close by so they could all meet at the credit union. However, I learned that a few things had changed since then.
I had been informed that in order to join the community-owned banks in Idaho, you had to have a property in Idaho and you had to live in Idaho for six months before being allowed to open an account. But I had recently moved to Idaho from New York City and was not familiar with the requirements there. So when I phoned up and asked if I qualified for a free trial, they said that they didn’t know. I explained that I was moving in from New York and I needed a latah federal credit union account in Idaho. The answer I got was that they didn’t do those kind of background checks.
I found out later that the original reason that the national credit unions required such an inquiry on potential members was because they did not want to be liable if someone became a victim of identity theft. So they wanted to be sure that the person opening an account in Idaho had a genuine ID and was not trying to hide their identity. So they asked for an interview and demanded that all applicants show proof of a valid social security number. If you didn’t have a social security number, they made you go to the nearest office where you could bring in a copy of your birth certificate. I suppose that they wanted to be sure that the person opening an account in Idaho had the ability to pay taxes. It makes sense.
So I went to the Idaho state government website and looked up all the requirements for becoming an Idaho credit union member. My first concern was to see if they required a photo ID. Then I looked at their financial information requirements and noted that they did not. Then I looked up the federal government website again and found out that they do. I contacted them and asked if the ID they wanted was still valid. I also asked if they still required a faxed signature or verified phone number.
A representative from the national credit union contacted me shortly after and informed me that they only require a faxed signature. I told them I had been trying to get an online credit union account and I was turned down by all the national credit unions. They also asked if I had any federal income tax returns and I told them no. She replied, “You may not need a tax return if you are joining an Idaho credit union.” That was rather convenient.
I then went on to ask about the fees that would be charged for being a member of any one of the credit unions in Idaho. Again, I was turned down by every one of them. The representative from the national credit union then went on to tell me about a local credit union in Idaho that was accepting applications for the fall. I asked if I could apply and she said sure.
So I went online and filled out the necessary forms and mailed in my Faxless Federal Direct Loan Refinancing Application. I received a call from the national credit union within twenty-four hours with all the information needed to know to fill out the federal direct loan refinance application. Less than one week later, I received my approval notice and began making payments on the loan that the federal credit union set up for me. I was very impressed with how easy it was to obtain all the information I needed to complete this process.
I have been using all that information to help me with my finances ever since. I have repaid all of my debts with a federal credit union loan. If you’re in need of financing of any sort, I highly recommend that you look into getting your loans and bills set up through a local credit union. You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you will be able to make a payment. The sooner you start, the sooner you can begin reaping the benefits of having lower interest rates and more money in your pocket!