Credit unions are nonprofit organizations run by their members.
Employees join a credit union by depositing money and then become eligible
for all the offered services. In many credit unions, immediate family members
are allowed to become members.
An employer may sponsor a credit union itself or may contact
an existing credit union to inquire about making its employees eligible for
membership. Under the Credit Union Member Access Act of 1998, employers
with up to 3,000 employees may associate with an existing credit union that
is seeking new affiliates. Employers may want to evaluate an existing credit
union for financial soundness, variety of services offered, competitive interest
rates, and convenience of location for employees before affiliating.
Employer involvement in setting up and running a credit union
can vary. Some companies provide professional management advice and expertise
either at the time the credit union is organized or on an ongoing basis. Others
subsidize the credit union's payroll. Many companies provide indirect assistance
in the form of office space or telephone services for use by the credit union.
Employers that make a credit union available to their employees
typically publicize the service in new-employee orientation packets, handbooks,