Take control of your brain health with Staying Sharp! Visit today.
by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, October 22, 2010
Q. I want to join a credit union to get a lower-rate credit card, but I'm retired. What are my options?
A. Traditionally, credit unions were open only to people working for certain employers or belonging to groups such as labor unions. But many credit unions have since adopted a less restrictive "field of membership" — meaning you can often join based on where you live; your place of worship, civic group or past school affiliations; or by having an eligible family member.
A good first step to find a CU: Contact your state's credit union league or call the Credit Union National Association at 1-800-358-5710.
Also worth checking is the National Credit Union Association, a government agency that oversees federally insured CUs, and findacreditunion.com, a collaboration of state leagues and the NCUA.
Along with lower-cost loans and higher returns on CDs, credit unions typically issue "no-frills" credit cards with interest rates up to 4 percentage points below those offered by banks, and usually without annual fees.
Of course, credit unions can be a pain to get to — they're not on every corner. But in sum, many people prefer them to banks.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
25% off the first healthy meal delivery of $99+.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at