H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, would restore multiple-group membership opportunities lost in a U.S. Supreme Court decision last February. That decision denies access to credit unions for 62% of the American work force and makes critical lawmaker support of H.R. 1151.

The House overwhelmingly passed the bill in April, while a vote in the Senate is expected this month.

"There are many reasons senators should support [H.R. 1151, The Credit Union Membership Access Act]," says Steve Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a nonprofit organization of some 240 consumer advocacy groups in Washington, D.C. Here are CFA�s top 10:

  1. For more than a century, credit unions have been one of our nation�s most successful voluntary organizations.
  2. Existing members of credit unions should not have to give up their credit union membership.
  3. Millions of consumers who do not currently belong to a credit union should not lose the ability to join one.
  4. Credit unions charge much lower prices--lower fees and lower loan rates--than do for-profit institutions.
  5. In the future, this consumer choice will become even more important as a few huge financial services companies emerge.
  6. Even consumers who remain customers of for-profit banking institutions benefit from the ability to join a credit union.
  7. The 1934 law on which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled is out of date and needs to be modernized to suit current realities.
  8. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supports this modernization and preservation of the ability of consumers to join a credit union.
  9. Consumer groups representing tens of millions of Americans strongly support Senate action to preserve this consumer choice.
  10. Most important, the American people want all consumers to have the ability to join a credit union.
So send your senator a message now. Ask him or her to support consumer choice to join a credit union and preserve Americans� right to affordable financial services.

©1998 Credit Union National Association, Inc.