Thursday, June 02, 2005

Another reason to love (or not hate) Texas

As a native Texan I get a little sensitive when I hear people bash the Lone Star State (which happens more often than you might think!). Sure, Texas is an easy target for ridicule. For example, I recently visited the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in downtown San Antonio where their brochure proudly reads, “…the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum features thousands of dead animals and dead animal parts for your enjoyment.”

But, Texas has a lot of great things going for it too, like its abundance of credit unions. According to an article I read on the web, there are over 670 credit unions in the state of Texas. I was just there a couple weeks ago and I really did notice more credit unions than banks. In fact, one of the credit unions that particularly caught my eye was Velocity Credit Union in Austin, whose tagline is “If you love music, you can bank here.”

Another unique Texas credit union, based in Dallas, is Women’s Southwest Federal Credit Union. This credit union was started in 1974 after Gloria Steinem made a visit to Southern Methodist University. According to the WSFCU website, a group of activists asked Ms. Steinem what they could do for the feminist movement and she replied, “Start a credit union.”

My favorite Texas credit union is University Federal Credit Union, based in Austin, where I opened my very first checking account. My checks and ATM card (I used to call it my PULSE card) had longhorns on them and I thought that was so cool.

So, if you’re planning on going to Texas, rest assured you will have no problem finding a surcharge-free cash machine. Of course, I don’t recommend that you spend all your time driving around checking out credit unions. Be sure and eat some great Mexican food, go for an inner tube ride down the Guadalupe, dance the night away at Flores Country Store in Helotes, listen to a mariachi band on San Antonio’s River Walk and check out a Spurs Game!

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