- Can I join Minnco?
- Uhh…what’s a field of membership?
- So what is Minnco’s FOM?
- What does it mean to be a “member?”
- What do I need to join? Does it cost anything?
- What are the benefits of joining Minnco?
- How can Minnco pay more on savings while charging less for loans?
- Let me see if I got this right. You offer the same products and services that a bank does, but you’ll save me money?
- Are you like a cut-rate, no-frills, warehouse for financial services?
- What if I move out of the area?
Yes, you can! While many credit unions’ original fields-of-membership were quite selective, many have expanded to include everyone in the communities they serve. That means that if you live in, work in, attend school in, or worship in a particular geographic area, you can join. Or, if you are a blood relative of a member, you can also join!
A field of membership (FOM) defines a group or groups of people who are eligible to join. For instance, some credit unions were started to serve the employees of a particular business (Target, General Mills, etc.). Other credit unions were formed to serve teachers, government employees, communities and even parishes. Minnco’s original FOM served the members of the local farmer’s coop, which is now a part of Federated Co-ops (whom we still happily serve!)
Membership in Minnco Credit Union is composed of those who are members of Federated Co-ops, Inc., a Minnesota corporation, all persons who live, work, worship, volunteer in, attend school in, businesses and other legal entities located in Isanti, Chisago, Anoka, Benton, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Washington, Ramsey, Hennepin, Wright, Pine and Kanabec counties. In addition to the regularly qualified member, the spouse of a member, the blood or adoptive relative of either of them and their spouses may also be members.
First of all, credit union terms can be confusing. Even the term “credit union” misleads people. We are not a “union” in the typical sense, nor are we affiliated with any unions. There are no dues to pay, other than your initial deposit into your savings account. The term “union,” in our case, simply means a united group of people. Everyone who has an account with Minnco is a “member.” Each “member” is an “owner” of the credit union. Each member has one vote, regardless of how much money they might have on deposit. So, when you “join” the credit union, you become a member/owner of Minnco.
All that is needed to open a savings account with Minnco is a valid I.D. and a small initial deposit. Once the account is open, you must maintain at least $5.00 in your savings account. This money stays in your account until it is closed.
As almost 25,000 people have discovered, there are many benefits to “banking” with Minnco. In general, Minnco pays higher dividends on savings, checking and certificates; charges lower interest on car loans and home equity loans; and has fewer and lower fees than a bank does. Minnco does this while providing the same overall products and services as a bank: savings, checking, check cards, credit cards, loans, safe deposit boxes, direct deposit, online banking, online bill pay, mobile banking, ATMs, drive-thrus, and extended hours. Recent studies indicate that the typical consumer can save over $190 annually by using a credit union!
Simply put, we’ve eliminated the “middle man.” Banks are owned by stockholders, and stockholders demand returns on their investments. Banks are PROFIT-driven. Minnco, and other credit unions, are SERVICE-driven. We’re not here to generate a profit, but to provide a service to our members. Any “earnings” are turned back to you, the member/owner, in the form of better rates, lower fees, more offices, more hours, more staff, etc.
Let me see if I got this right. You offer the same products and services that a bank does, but you’ll save me money?
That’s right. And many of our products and services are better than you’ll find at a bank.
Not at all. We don’t skimp on service. We don’t cut back on hours. We make it EASY to do business with us. If anything, you’ll notice faster and more personal service at Minnco offices. We operate 5 full-service offices and 5 24-hour ATMs in East Central Minnesota. No one—bank or credit union—has made a larger commitment to serve this area than Minnco has. That’s why it’s called “Minnco Country!”
No problem. “Once a member, always a member.” Though it may be more convenient in some instances to open an account at a credit union or bank near your new home (we’d recommend the credit union!), there’s no need to end your relationship with Minnco. With Direct Deposit of your paycheck and using your Minnco Check Card and ePay, there’s really no need for a local office near you. Plus, you’ll always have access to your accounts with eBranch, our online banking program, and TouchBanking, our mobile banking service. You can always call us direct using our toll-free number. And you can keep up-to-date with any new developments at Minnco via our website or eNews newsletter.