As an alternative to a bank, a creditunion can make sense. Credit unionsgenerally offer the same consumer servicesthat banks do, and their rates areusually better—higher interest on CD,checking, and savings accounts andlower rates on mortgages, auto loans,and credit cards. The catch is finding acredit union you can join, since membershipis often restricted by a creditunion's definition of its "field of membership,"which can be an employer,school, or community. Membership inan employer-sponsored credit union,for example, may be limited to employeesand their families. The Credit UnionNational Association (800-358-5710;www.creditunion.coop) can help youfind a credit union you may be eligibleto join, along with a credit union'sbranch locations and a list of financialproducts it offers.