multi generation family outdoors at the beach, mobile view, May 2024 blog, TCU

Benefits of Joining a Credit Union

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that started in the U.S. in 1934 to encourage people to follow sound financial habits during the Great Depression (1929 to ’39). Over the 80 years since then, this movement has grown to about 5,000 credit unions nationwide, all of which offer financial products and services that are similar to banks.

Credit unions, or CUs, operate by charter and serve a specific group of people, such as those who work for particular companies, those in certain professions or those who live in certain geographic areas. Their popularity has been growing in recent years because credit unions tend to have lower loan interest rates than banks, higher returns or yields on savings, and lower fees. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of joining a credit union.

What Makes CUs Different?

The not-for-profit status of credit unions allows them to focus their efforts on serving members. Unlike banks that are focused on profits for their investors, a credit union’s top priority is people. Credit unions are owned by their members and any profits earned go back to the membership to provide lower or no fees, lower rates on loans and higher yields on savings, according to

Another difference is that members of a credit union have a vote in the election of the board of directors of their credit union. At banks, only shareholders, not accountholders, can vote in that bank’s board elections.

By joining a credit union, you’re receiving many of the benefits of a bank but in a more localized, personalized and service-oriented way. Member service and satisfaction tend to be greater with credit unions because they are more connected to their communities and often give back to them through financial education, community partnerships and other efforts.

Can You Save More Money with a Credit Union?

Credit unions by design are focused on providing value and lower-cost options compared to banks. When you join a credit union, interest rates for loans tend to be lower than banks’ interest rates. You’ll also save money because credit unions typically charge lower or no fees compared to traditional banks. Also, profits made by credit unions are returned to the members in the form of improved services, fewer fees and lower rates, according to

What Are the Perks of Credit Union Membership?

Along with lower interest rates on loans and typically lower fees, other perks of credit union membership include better service. Credit unions are focused on helping people so their friendly, welcoming approach to service reflects this philosophy. Also, a survey taken in 2021 showed that credit unions tend to have lower overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees compared to traditional banks, according to

How Does Travis Credit Union Enhance Member Value?

Travis Credit Union, headquartered in Vacaville, CA, is focused on providing financial education to its members so they can reach their financial goals. TCU does this through workshops, scholarships and a variety of community events that promote financial wellness. According to, credit unions tend to give more back and connect more to the community.

How Do CUs Support the Community?

Credit unions support the community in a variety of ways. For example, Travis Credit Union created a foundation so it could channel fundraising initiatives back to the community. During the pandemic, the TCU Foundation raised $2 million in donations that were given to local nonprofit groups that were helping those affected by the pandemic. The funds also helped local wildfire victims. Each year, TCU offers $2,000 college scholarships to 20 youth members who are high school seniors heading for university in the fall.

How Easy Is It to Join and Access CU Services?

Becoming a member of Travis Credit Union or any other credit union is easy to do and takes only a few minutes. If you know you meet the requirements for a credit union’s field of membership, you can become a member at a branch, over the phone or, in many cases, online on that credit union’s website.

Establishing your membership is as simple as opening an account and requires a few pieces of personal information, including your full name, date of birth, address, Social Security number and phone number. When you establish membership, you are required to open a share savings account with a minimum balance as well as pay a one-time membership fee, which is usually a low amount, such as $5.

Once your membership is set up, you’ll be able to access your funds online, at a branch and by phone. Depending on the type of accounts you open, you may receive an ATM or a debit card.

How TCU Can Help

Travis Credit Union’s field of membership spans 12 Northern California counties, including Alameda, Solano, Sacramento, Contra Costa, Yolo, Napa and Merced. TCU is focused on improving your financial wellness so that you can achieve your financial goals.

With competitive rates on loans, high yields on deposits and a personalized people-first approach, TCU has been recognized at the local, state and national levels for its efforts in financial education and financial literacy. Learn more and join today at

Forbes Top 10 Credit Unions in California Award
Desjardins Financial Education Award, 1st place nationwide, adult and youth
US Air Force Distinguished Credit Union of the Year
Travis Credit Union Blog footer logo

© 2024 Travis Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | Third-Party Sites | CCPA | Notice at Collection | Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Notice 
Avoid Foreclosure | Disclosures | Online Security & Safety and How We Protect You | Service of Process

By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Online Privacy Policy.

If you are using a screen reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website,
please call 1-800-877-8328 for assistance.

NCUA logo footer

This Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.