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PFFCU Changes Eligibility Requirements for the Worst

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After I posted on PFFCU's 4.00% 5-year CDs on June 28th, readers reported being able to qualify for credit union membership via the Weavers Way Cooperative Association, an association that was allowing anyone to join with a $30 fee. Last Friday morning I confirmed with the credit union that Weavers Way Co-op members were able to join the credit union. During Friday there were signs that the credit union was changing their mind. Later Friday morning a reader commented that he was told by PFFCU that they were putting all new accounts through Weavers Way Co-op "on hold" because of a surge of applications from all over the country. On Tuesday after the holiday weekend, the credit union changed the list of eligible associations in their Membership group page from

Weavers Way Cooperative Association

to

Weavers Way Cooperative Association
  --must be a resident of PA, NJ or DE

Update 7/29/10: PFFCU has made yet another change. PFFCU now allows only PA co-op members. Here is what is now shown on the list of associations:

Weavers Way Cooperative Association
  --must be a resident of Pennsylvania

Only Weavers Way Co-op members who live in PA NJ or DE can now qualify for credit union membership.

In the past credit unions have sometimes updated their membership lists on their websites to make them consistent with their official charter. This appeared to have happened at PFFCU in May 2009 when they used to list Pennsylvania SPCA members as being eligible to join the credit union. After receiving many applications, PFFCU moved the PA SPCA from the association list to the employer list. In this latest case, I find it hard to believe that PFFCU's charter specifically limits credit union membership to only Tri-State members of Weavers Way. In my opinion, PFFCU does not want out-of-area members.

I know the NCUA has cracked down on credit unions which extended membership to more people than what their official charters allowed. I don't know if the NCUA ever does the opposite: cracks down on credit unions which restrict membership to fewer people than what the charter allows.

As I mentioned in my weekly summary, there have been similar cases. One example was at MidWest America Federal Credit Union. For a while people were able to join MidWest America via an association and open its 7.01% reward checking account (rate has fallen). The credit union changed the eligibility to require not only the association membership but also to require that you live within a certain distance from one of their branches.

In another example the credit union didn't limit membership, but it limited the products that certain members could qualify for. The product in this case was a 6.01% reward checking account, and the credit union was Golden Plains in Kansas. For a little while, people from outside of Kansas could join Golden Plains via an association and open its 6.01% reward checking account (it's still at 6.01%!). However, Golden Plains limited their reward checking account to only members who are Kansas residents.

I'm afraid when a credit union wants to limit membership or limit certain accounts, they have many ways to accomplish that. It's sad to see a credit union trying so hard to limit membership.

For more info on PFFCU and its 4.00% 5-year CDs, please refer to the following posts:


  Tags: Police and Fire Federal Credit Union

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