Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 5:47 PM
Re UniWyo FCU membership: bottom line is it will be local only, Wyoming and what they call the "front range" of Colorado. Now that I'm posting this, I see someone else also contacted them today. Well, I went deep into it and high up.
The question arises because they list that one way to qualify for membership is to be a member of the American Consumer Council. Anyone can join that council, and membership in the Council is free if you join as part of joining the CU.
I made a DEEP query into this today with UniWyo -- and here are the important points of the results (I spoke with various people). Turns out, American Consumer Council is broken into various regional chapters. UniWyo says I would have to be a member of the Wyoming-Colo chapter, and that I must be in that area for that.
Well, I doubted I had to be in the Wyoming area to be in that chapter as I joined the Council a couple months ago as a means of joining Fort Knox FCU in Kentucky -- and there wasn't even a mention of regional chapters at that time. I live in California.
OK, so I contacted the American Consumer Council. They tell me that yes, they are broken into regional chapters. But they said I can join any regional chapter no matter where I live -- I do not have to live in that regional chapter's area. You also can join any one of the chapters direct at the Council Web site, although to do so would cost $12 -- its free to join if I do so via the credit union.
(They also told me that the credit unions typically report the new members quarterly, and that explains why I have not gotten any membership info since joining via Fort Knox FCU in the early half of April. The Council, and I at this point, are presuming I was signed up in the Kentucky chapter.)
So, I got back to UniWyo. I spoke with a management level person. We went round on it, me pointing out that I can join the appropriate chapter, whether through the credit union or directly, so will that make me eligible for CU membership. Bottom line, THEY apparently are adding on the local residency requirement for those joining via the Council, although there are some other ways to join the CU without being a local resident.
There was a little stumbling on their part about that point, and I'm not positive they really understand their flexibility. They first said the local residency was part of the agreement with the Council, then changed the story that it was part of their charter requirements imposed on them by the NCUA because they are federally chartered (I pointed out that Fort Knox also is federally chartered and doesn't have that restriction, either with the Council or the feds).
But in the end, whether they are right or wrong about being required to restrict residency, they are not flinching and will not let you join via the Council if you are not a local resident.
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Jan 16, 2010
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