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Many consumers don’t know it’s easy to join a CU.

Banks and fintechs present increasing competition in the financial services marketplace and credit unions must take steps to protect their existing market share – and expand their reach to more Americans. This shouldn’t be hard, as Americans want to join credit unions and every single consumer is eligible to join multiple credit unions. The problem is that credit unions’ fields of membership create obstacles and confusion that prevent consumers from easily joining them.

Consumers are ready and able to join credit unions. The average consumer can join a minimum of eight credit unions for free (and more than 100 if they are willing to pay $25 to join an association). Additionally, the credit union difference resonates with consumers. CUNA Awareness Initiative research demonstrated very strong positive responses from consumers on basic credit union characteristics, with 87% responding positively to credit unions’ ability to return earnings to members through lower loan rates and higher savings rates, 83% liking the fact credit unions are run by boards of elected members and 82% favoring their not-for-profit status.

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