From the Blog

Growing our Base of Membership

Posted by Samira Rajan @ August 25th, 2017
Welcome to Brooklyn Cooperative’s blog!  We decided to start a blog as a way to introduce ourselves. Credit unions aren’t as familiar to most people as banks, though our services are likely better suited to their needs. Hopefully, through this blog, we will show that.
Can I join the credit union? We hear this question a lot because not everyone can join any credit union.  Credit unions are different from banks in this particular requirement: all members of a credit union must share a common bond. This bond is described in each credit union’s charter and can only be changed with the regulator’s approval.

Most federal credit unions (FCU) in the US are employer-based. The common bond is the employer, which is why a lot of credit unions have companies in their names: American Airlines FCU or Navy FCU or Municipal CU, which serves New York City employees.  Many other credit unions are faith-based, organized within religious institutions like Concord FCU located in Concord Baptist Church in Bed-Stuy, or Transfiguration Parish FCU located in Bushwick.

Brooklyn Coop is community-based. We started off serving just Bushwick – Brooklyn Community District (CD) 4 – when we opened in 2001.  In 2005 we expanded to serve CD 3, Bedford-Stuyvesant. This year, we’ve expanded our community again, this time to include Brooklyn CDs 5, 8, 9, and 16 plus Queens CD 5. These are the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East New York, Brownsville and Ridgewood and Glendale in Queens.  Check out our home-made map! New FoM effective August 2017

You are eligible to join Brooklyn Coop if you live, work, worship, volunteer, have family, have business relationships, or are a member of an organization based in these Community Districts. If you do, click here to see the documents you should bring with you to open your account, and welcome!

Samira Rajan is the longest-serving employee of Brooklyn Coop and currently the Director of both the credit union and Grow Brooklyn. She started here as an Americorp*VISTA for a single year of service back when we were Bushwick Coop in 2001, got hooked by the challenge of building a community financial institution, and hasn’t left.