Fortunately since I live outside of a major city there are many CU's in my area. Based on where I live I qualify for membership in 7 and qualify for one through work though their offices are out of state (they do the internet banking thing). Because of this, I can basically pick and chose by rate and by the product offerings that will work for me. My goal is to get established and obtain a secured loan (either CD or savings) and then in about six months pay down and refinance my vehicle to a lower rate. The one downfall I have heard is that not all CU's report loan activity to the CRA's. I have checked with three of the credit unions that I am most interested in and they do report all loan history to the credit bureaus. Right now, I am trying to be really careful about inquiries. I know some banks pull credit reports for account openings and others use either Chexsystems or Scan. So I am just curious. I really appreciate the posts about the benefits of being a member of a CU that others on the board have shared.