What Is the Best Credit Union in Austin

Austin is the capital of Texas, one of the states in the US. It is the seat and the largest city of Travis County, and its portions extend into Hays and Williamson counties. The latest statistics show that Austin is the 11th-most populous city in America and the fourth-most-populous city in Texas. The city has been among the fastest-growing large cities in America since 2010. With so many people living within, many financial companies within the town and credit unions are notable. We shall look at the best credit union in Austin shortly. 

As of 2022, Austin had a population of about 1,028,225, up from 961,855 in the 2020 census. It is one of the cities with cultural diversity in the country. All these go hand in hand with numerous economic activities that bring a lot of income to the state. And by the way, there are many physical features too, including rivers, lakes, and waterways. Examples of such features include Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, Lake Travis on the Colorado River, and Lake Walter E. Long.

The numerous features show that the place is a tourist destination, which is an additional income generator for the people of Texas. Money generation goes with banking, and I mentioned earlier that the various economic activities in the area have attracted a lot of financial companies. These include banks, credit unions, and various shylock companies. I will mainly discuss the various credit unions in the town.

What is a credit union?

Before we check on the credit unions in Austin, it is good you know what they are. That way, you will understand how the institutions operate before opening an account with one. Their operations are different compared to banks.

Credit unions are member-owned financial institutions. That means people who join the unions should have a common bond. For example, farmers of a specific place can come together and start their credit unions to cater to their financial needs. Usually, the institutions are not profit-oriented. They aim to boost their members’ financial capability.

You can get reasonable interest rates per year when you save money with a credit union. The credit union savings account interest rates are usually higher than those in banks. 

What products do credit unions offer?

credit union in austin

There are various products that you can get from financial institutions. They include the following.

i) Checking accounts

You can get a checking account to keep the money for your everyday uses. Some unions also allow you to earn interest on your money when you maintain a particular balance. And by the way, interest rates for checking accounts are usually high since it takes a lot of discipline to maintain the balance.

ii) Savings accounts

A savings account is another essential product you can get from a credit union and use to save money from your business or employment and earn interest. The account allows you to deposit money for your future use. Again, savings accounts from credit unions have high-interest rates compared to those from banks.

iii) Debit cards

These are very important to allow you to access your checking account balance. You can use a debit card to withdraw money from an ATM point. Again, the cards allow you to shop online or at physical stores. Therefore, you do not need to carry cash around as it is secure on the card.

iv) Credit cards

They allow you to borrow finances from your issuer. We have secured and unsecured credit cards, whereby the secured ones allow you to deposit some money for security purposes. In contrast, the unsecured ones require FICO scores. Even though you can get a no credit check credit union account from various unions, you must undergo a credit check during the application for an unsecured credit card. That is if you apply for the fair to excellent credit score ones. 

v) Personal loans

Loans are significant for personal development. Credit unions issue loans to those eligible account holders. Therefore, you do not need to head to a bank to get a loan since you can get as much as possible depending on your creditworthiness.  

What is the best credit union in Austin?

There are numerous credit unions in the busy city of Austin. They include the following.

1) A+ Federal Credit Union

The credit union is member-owned and operated as it is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by its members. The union is among the best financial companies in the city. It rewards its members through the PlusPoints member loyalty program. Members can earn points when they meet the following.

  • 1 point for every $1 in interest paid on a loan
  • 1 point for every $1 in dividends earned on a deposit account
  • 100 points for every year of being a member
  • One hundred points for members’ birthdays, among other activities.

You can also get monthly PlusPoints for monthly interest payments received on Portfolio loans.

2) Government Employees Federal Credit Union (GEFCU)

From its name, the union is specifically for the government employees, although close family members can join. It is among the oldest credit unions in Austin, with thousands of city residents having accounts with the institution. They have a philosophy that once you become a member of GEFCU, you become a member for life. Members enjoy various features such as;

  • Free notary service
  • Free signature guarantee
  • Money orders
  • Wire services
  • Night depository
  • Home banking
  • Bill pay
  • Mobile app
  • New and used vehicle price information
  • Safe deposit boxes
  • Visa debit card
  • Remote deposit capture, and
  • Free coin counting

3) Alliant Credit Union

The credit union is not only in Austin but also in other areas in the United States. It is one of the best credit unions in California that you can use for your financial matters. It is a member-owned institution headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, which provides exclusive benefits to employees, retirees, and other members of qualifying organizations. The union allows you to access various services online. Its high yield savings account is the best product you can have within the institution.

4) Greater TEXAS Federal Credit Union

The institution started its operations in 1952. It is a member-owned financial institution committed to giving its members low-cost banking services plus financial products. It even gives in-house credit counseling services to help members who encounter economic challenges. A secured credit card to build credit is among the company’s unique products you can get.

5) Public Employees Credit Union

The institution started its operations in 952 under the efforts of a group of state workers. Since it is a non-profit organization, members do not incur any costs to take loans and credit cards. Currently, it has over 23,000 members and assets totaling over $320 million.

6) Amplify Credit Union

Since its foundation in 1967, the union has been serving Austin city in its quest to see the success of its members. The union has 57,000 members and more than $800 million in assets and operates in various locations within Texas, with Austin being among them. You can get various services from the institution, including checking and savings accounts. It is one of the city’s best credit unions for personal loans.

7) Austin Telco Federal Credit Union

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union is another vital financial institution in Texas. It operates 24 branches in the city area and has over 1.3 billion dollars in assets, and members can enjoy its profound insurance services for automobiles, homeowners, renters, motorcycles, boats, watercraft, businesses, travel, and pets. You can also get cheap auto loan rates as low as 1.75%.

8) Capitol Credit Union

The member-owned financial institution is one of the best financial institutions you can have for your financial growth. One of the few credit unions offers reloadable prepaid cards to its members. The cards come in three types to choose from, which include;

  • Reloadable cards
  • Travel cards
  • Youth cards

 You can also have a free checking account that has the following features.

  • No monthly service fees
  • 2.00% cashback
  • No minimum balance
  • Up to $6 cashback
  • $15 ATM refunds
  • E-statements

What is the difference between credit unions and banks?

Some differences arise between banks and credit unions. The first difference between banks and credit unions is that banks are businesses owned by individuals, groups, or companies, while unions are member-owned.

Again, credit unions charge low-interest rates on loans and lines of credit while the rates are very high on banks. Banks aim to generate as much profit as possible, and that is why they charge high-interest rates on loans. Again, you can earn high rates on your savings if you use credit unions compared to banks.

Moreover, decisions in banks do not involve account holders. In contrast, credit unions involve their members through the selected board of governors. Above all, you must share a common bond with members of a union to join them. At the same time, banks allow anyone with the correct documents to open an account.

Bottom line

Austin is the capital of Texas, one of the states in the United States, and is the seat and the largest city of Travis County. Its portions extend into Hays and Williamson counties. There are various financial companies in the city, and credit unions are among the major institutions for banking. They offer checking, savings, personal loans, credit and debit cards. Credit unions charge lower rates on loans and lines of credit than banks.