A credit union is a nonprofit institution that’s owned by its members. Compared to a traditional bank, a credit union tends to offer more personalized service.
You can turn to a credit union for various financial products, like checking and savings accounts, credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. Some regional and federal credit unions also offer wealth management services and other extras.
A typical credit union only accepts members who live in a specific region or work for an eligible employer. For example, they may require that you’re a resident of Atlanta, Georgia or work as a teacher.
The good news is some credit unions require less and make it easy for just about anyone to join. If you’d like to join a credit union but don’t want to worry about the strict membership requirements at most institutions, you’ve come to the right place.
37 Best Credit Unions Anyone Can Join
There are hundreds of credit unions that anyone can join, but we’ve done the heavy lifting and found the best ones for you. The credit unions below, which are overseen by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) may be an option for you, regardless of what you do for a living or where you’re located.
Just keep in mind that you may have to make a donation, join an organization, live in a certain state, or meet some other eligibility requirement. We encourage you to explore this lengthy to list of credit unions anyone can join so you can hone in on the ideal credit union for your unique situation.
1. Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union made its debut in 1935 to serve the employees of United Airlines. It stands out for it high-interest savings and checking accounts with low minimum opening deposits, as well as excellent customer service.
You’ll also receive access to more than 80,000 free ATMs across the U.S. and get reimbursed up to $20 in out-of-network ATM charges per month. Since it only has two brick-and-mortar locations, you should feel comfortable with online banking. If you’d like to join Alliant Credit Union, make a $5 donation to Foster Care to Success.
2. Connexus Credit Union
Connexus Credit Union was founded in 1935 and has a widespread presence in Wisconsin, as well as more than 54,000 ATMs across the country. It couldn’t be easier to join the credit union, as all you have to do is pay a one-time $5 fee to the Connexus Association, which supports financial education through college scholarships.
As a member, you can open one of its three checking options with high APYs and a traditional savings account or one that’s specifically designed for the holidays.
3. Pentagon Federal Credit Union
Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed, was founded in 1935 as a credit union for military and civilian government. Today, this Virginia-based credit union has opened it doors to anyone as long as they open a savings account and deposit a minimum of $5. It offers two savings accounts, including the Regular Savings and Premium Online Savings.
In addition, you can find checking accounts, CDs, and money market accounts. Other products include Coverdell Education Savings Certificates, IRAs, credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans, and student loans. Plus, you can enjoy modern perks like mobile check deposits, online bill pay, and instant transfers.
4. First Tech Federal Credit Union
First Tech Federal Credit Union is headquartered in California. The credit union offers many benefits, such as excellent customer service, many branches throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, online banking, and mobile banking.
It also has the Dividend Rewards Checking Account, which gives you 1.00% APY on balances below $1,000. You don’t have to live in California to join, as long as you donate to a nonprofit called the Financial Fitness Association.
5. Consumers Credit Union
Consumers Credit Union was established in 1951 as a local credit union. Based in Illinois, it’s one of the largest credit unions in the state, with over 100,000 members and more than $1.2 billion in assets.
You can join it, even if you don’t live in Illinois. All you have to do is donate the $5 membership free to an affiliated nonprofit. You can open almost all of its accounts online, except for the checking accounts and IRAs. The credit union also offers a high-yield checking account that offers high interest if you meet certain criteria.
6. Langley Federal Credit Union
Langley Federal Credit Union is based in Virginia and made its inception in 1936. At that time, members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA, chartered the credit union.
Today, Langley offers membership to anyone who pays a fee to support an important cause in Virginia and deposits at least $5 into a savings account. You can choose from a checking account without a monthly fee, various no-fee savings accounts with competitive interest compounds monthly, and Visa Cards with cash back rewards.
7. Lake Michigan Credit Union
Lake Michigan Credit Union made its debut in 1933 by a group of teachers. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it has 51 branches in Michigan and southwest Florida. Since it’s part of the Allpoint ATM network, members can enjoy free access to more than 55,000 free ATM.
To join, donate $5 to the ALS Foundation and deposit $5 into a Member Savings account. Once you do, you can earn perks through the MORE rewards program and redeem them for complimentary checks and free out-of-network ATM transactions.
You may also open the free, no frills Max Checking account. Note that the Member Savings account, which you must open to become a member, requires a minimum daily balance of $300, or you’ll be charged a $5 monthly fee.
8. Lafayette Federal Credit Union
Lafayette Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 as an alternative to traditional banks. It offers numerous perks, like no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fees, online banking, mobile deposits, free direct deposit, and special discounts.
You can join it if you live, work, worship, or attend school in Washington D.C. If you live outside the D.C. area, you may still become a member as long as you invest in a lifetime Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council (HOFLC) membership for only $10. This nonprofit focuses on helping consumers on their journey to homeownership.
9. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has 26 branch locations across Minnesota. APFCU offers MyPlus Rewards that gives you points if you keep a certain amount of money in your bank account or use its debit or credit card.
To be eligible to join, all you have to do is donate $25 to the Affinity Plus Foundation and open a basic savings account. If you live and work in Minnesota or have a family member in the state, there are other ways to become a member.
10. Chevron Credit Union
Chevron Credit Union has been around since 1935 and has 19 branches that span six states, including California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Utah and Virginia. It operates under two brands: Chevron Federal Credit Union and Spectrum Credit Union.
To become a member, join one of its nonprofit partner organizations, such as the Contra Costa County Historical Society. You’ll also need to deposit $25 into a primary savings account and maintain a $25 minimum balance.
Chevron also offers a second chance checking account called New Solutions for those who need help rebuilding their banking history.
11. Ascend Credit Union
Since its inception in 1951, Ascend Credit Union has offered various products, like checking and savings accounts, a money market account, Christmas Club account, youth accounts, credit cards, and loans.
If you’re interested in these services, join The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter, and you’ll be eligible automatically. Note that there is a one-time fee of $25.
12. Hope Credit Union
Hope Credit Union is a black-owned credit union that was organized in 1995 by the Anderson United Methodist Church in Mississippi. You can join if you pay a $10 membership fee and show a foreign passport, permanent resident card, or Matricula Consular. Plus, you may use an ITIN number instead of a Social Security number.
Hope Credit Union provides a number of personal bank accounts, business banking accounts, and transformational deposits. With its transformational deposits, you can participate in socially responsible investing.
13. Boeing Employees Credit Union
Boeing Employees Credit Union, or BECU, was established in 1935 for Boeing employees and currently caters to more than 1 million members. But despite its name, you don’t have to work at Boeing to join.
Its products and services are available to you if you become a member or donor to the KEXP, which is a nonprofit art organization, or the Sea Hawkers Central Council. The most noteworthy benefit of joining is the first-time homebuyer grant, in which you can receive $7,500 toward your down payment and closing costs.
14. GreenState Credit Union
GreenState Credit Union was founded in 1938. It provides its members with personal accounts, business accounts, credit cards, loans insurance, wealth management services, and more.
GreenState was named one of the fastest growing credit unions in 2021. As long as you live or work in the state of Iowa, you can become a member and take advantage of its services without any issues.
15. Cascade Credit Union
Cascade Credit Union made its debut in 1952 to serve employees of the Cascade Division of the Great Northern Railway. Today, it’s open to many people and offers great perks like members-only sweepstakes, competitive rates, online banking tools, financial counseling, and group insurance benefits.
If you’d like to join, simply become a member of the Great Northern & Cascade Railway Association (GNCR) and pay an annual membership cost of $40. The credit union can help you fill out your application online or in-person at a local branch.
16. Wildfire Credit Union
Wildfire Credit Union began in 1937 as Saginaw Telephone Employees Credit Union, its original credit union name. Its first location was in the basement of the home of Hank Kosk, the credit union’s treasurer.
After some office upgrades, the credit union opened the doors to its current location on Bay Road in Saginaw and merged with Flint Telephone Employees Credit Union that same year. Today, Wildfire Credit Union offers several deposit accounts as well as personal banking and business banking services. You can join if you live, work, worship, or attend school in Michigan.
17. Nextmark Credit Union
Nextmark Credit Union made its debut in 1958. Its offerings include personal and business checking, home equity loans, personal loans, credit cards, gift cards, and more.
To join, you must live in a qualifying county in Virginia or make a donation to Herndon Elementary PTA, a Title I school.
18. Technology Credit Union
Technology Credit Union, or Tech CU, was established in 1960. It’s based in Silicon Valley and provides its members with no shortage of benefits. These include competitive rates, online banking, access to fee-free ATMs, free credit score monitoring, conference room space, and easy online appointment booking. To become a member, join Financial Fitness Association for only $8.
19. Veridian Credit Union
Veridian Credit Union was established in 1934. Most of its members are those who live or work in Iowa or certain counties of Nebraska. However, it’s open to anyone who is a registered user of Dwolla, a financial technology company. This means you can join as long as you sign up for a personal account at Dwolla.
You’ll also need to open a savings account and deposit at least $5. If you’re already a member of a credit union or bank but would like to switch to Veridian Credit Union, the switch kit may be helpful.
20. Harborstone Credit Union
Harborstone Credit Union’s roots date back to 1955, when it was known as McChord Federal Credit Union and served airmen on the McChord Air Force Base. In 1996, the credit union expanded its membership to anyone in the state of Washington and changed its name as a result.
As long as you live, work, or worship in Washington, you may join Harborstone Credit Union and enjoy various financial products and digital tools.
21. NASA Federal Credit Union
NASA Federal Credit Union began in 1949 to serve NASA employees. Since then, it’s grown to more than 177,000 members. While the credit union is headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Massachusetts, there are 12 branches in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Its product lineup includes a simple checking account with no minimum opening deposit, a savings account with a great rate, and several CDs. You can also monitor your credit score and make deposits with the mobile app. If you don’t work for NASA, you can still join. Simply sign up for a one-year membership at the National Space Society (NSS).
22. Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union opened in 1953. The credit union has over 20 branches in and around Boston, as well as one in McLean, Virginia. It offers fee-free checking accounts, savings accounts with rewards, credit cards, and loans.
To join, you’ll need to support one of its partner organizations, such as the Burlington Players, a volunteer theater group. In addition, you’ll be required to deposit $25 into a free primary savings account.
23. Pen Air Federal Credit Union
Pen Air Federal Credit Union was founded in 1936 to support civil service employees of Naval Air Station Pensacola. It has 16 locations in northwest Florida and southeast Alabama. You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to be an active duty or retired military member to join.
You’ll be able to take advantage of Pen Air Federal Credit Union if you become a member of the Friends of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and deposit a minimum of $25 into a savings account. As a member, you can enjoy the Pen Air Platinum Mastercard, Share Savings account with the Round It program, and more.
24. State Department Federal Credit Union
State Department Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935. To join, you can become a member of the American Consumer Council for $8. This is a non-profit organization with a focus on consumer education and financial literacy.
The State Department Credit Union offers a long list of products and services, including basic, advantage, and privilege checking, a money market account, share certificate accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), credit cards, and loans.
25. United Nations Federal Credit Union
United Nations Credit Union made its debut in 1947. As long as you join the United Nations Association of the United States of America, you can become a member.
UNFCU has a vast product lineup that includes a checking account, membership savings account, credit cards, debit cards, and loans, like car loans and debt consolidation loans.
Other membership perks include loyalty rewards, credit card rewards, and the member referral program.
26. Premier Members Credit Union
Premier Members Credit Union was established in 1959 for members of the Boulder Valley School District. You’re eligible to join if you make a donation to Impact on Education, a charity in the Boulder Valley School District, and open an online savings account or youth savings account.
As a member, you can expect perks, such as high interest rates on checking accounts, no monthly service fee, no overdraft fees, and free overdraft protection. The credit union also offers an extensive network of branches and ATMs for your convenience.
27. SRI Federal Credit Union
SRI Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. It was founded in 1957 and offers membership to anyone who joins the Financial Fitness Association for $8 per year.
The credit union’s account offerings include a checking and savings account, money market account, IRA, health savings account, and youth, teen, and gradate accounts.
28. United States Senate Federal Credit Union
United States Senate Federal Credit Union has been around since 1935. Its mission is to “improve the financial wellness of members throughout all stages and circumstances of life.” Its products are similar to what most credit unions offer.
As a member, you can enjoy access to a number of checking and credit union savings accounts, mortgage loans, personal loans, auto loans, Visa debit cards, and business advisory services. To join, you’ll need to become a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for $65.
29. Wings Financial Credit Union
Wings Financial Credit Union was founded in 1938 by seven employees from Northwest Airlines. To date, it serves more than 320,000 members with more than $7.5 billion in assets. You can join if you donate $5 to the Wings Financial Foundation, even if you don’t work in the aviation industry.
There are no fees on its basic banking accounts, including its checking and savings accounts, a money market account, and CDs. Its high-yield savings and checking accounts offer competitive rates to help you grow your money.
30. Skyward Credit Union
Skyward Credit Union was chartered in 1941. It offers a share savings account with competitive rates, an aim higher checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, affordable mortgage and home equity loans.
It also offers online banking, various insurance products, and access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Like most credit unions require membership, so does this one. To become a member, join the Kansas Aviation Museum.
31. San Diego County Credit Union
San Diego County Credit Union has been around since 1938 and has over 430,000 credit union members. It’s considered the largest locally owned financial intuition in San Diego.
As a member, you can enjoy a free checking account, secured and unsecured credit cards, a wide range of account options with no service fees, and access to over 30,000 ATMs without ATM fees. To join San Diego County Credit Union, become a member of the Financial Fitness Association.
32. Bellco Credit Union
Bellco Credit Union is a Denver-based credit union that opened its doors in 1936. You can join it even if you don’t live in Colorado as long as you donate at least $10 to the Bellco Foundation, pay a one-time $5 membership fee, and deposit at least $25 in a savings account.
Once you do, you’ll have access to several noteworthy products, like the Boost Interest Checking account, which offers a competitive interest rate, the Premier Money Market Account, and two, no-fee credit cards.
33. Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Bethpage Federal Credit Union was founded in 1941 and currently has over 30 branches across Long Island and New York City. It has a reputation for competitive rates on it money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
The credit union also offers three checking accounts, a few savings accounts, retirement planning services, IRAs, insurance, and more. You don’t have to live in New York to join if you open a $5 savings account. As a member, you may meet with credit union staff virtually and bank on the go with a handy mobile app.
34. First South Financial Credit Union
First South Financial Credit Union opened its doors in 1957 to serve those on the Millington base. Since then, it has become of the safest financial institutions in the U.S., as stated by independent rating agencies. While the credit union has locations throughout Tennessee and Mississippi, its online banking services make it a suitable option if you live elsewhere.
Like other credit unions, it offers a full suite of checking, savings, CDs, and IRA accounts. To join, become a member of the Courage Thru Cancer Association, which supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
35. Dow Credit Union
Dow Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Midland, Michigan. It provides numerous products, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), HSAs, deposit trust accounts, and loans.
Fortunately, you don’t have to work at Dow Chemical to take advantage of them. To join, make a $10 donation to the Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union Endowed Scholarship Fund.
36. Blue Federal Credit Union
Blue Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1951 as Warren Federal Credit Union. If you’re looking for a high-yield checking account, you’ll appreciate its Blue Extreme Checking Account, with no minimum opening deposit or monthly service fees.
Other perks include a tiered membership rewards program and round-the-clock customer service. The easiest way to become a member is to donate $5 to the Blue Foundation and open a Membership Share Savings Account with $5.
37. Digital Federal Credit Union
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, was established in 1979. Today, it is known for its comprehensive range of financial products that includes checking and savings accounts, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and wealth management services.
Perhaps one of DCU’s standout features is its commitment to digital banking, offering robust online and mobile platforms that compete with larger, nationwide banks. This makes DCU a fitting choice for those who prefer online banking, no matter where they live.
Membership is open to those who are a part of participating organizations or live, work, worship, or attend school in eligible communities. If you don’t fit those criteria, you can still join by becoming a member of a participating nonprofit organization, such as Reach Out for Schools, which requires a nominal donation.
See also: Best Nationwide Credit Unions of 2024
Not all credit unions are created equal. Some have strict membership criteria, while others are more flexible. Before you join a credit union (or several credit unions) on this list, be sure to consider numerous factors.
You’ll want to look at eligibility requirements, branch location, monthly maintenance fees, accounts offered, interest rates, mobile banking, digital banking, reputation, and customer service. Best of luck as you explore the best credit unions and search for the perfect credit union.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can civilians join Navy Federal Credit Union?
Yes, civilians can join the Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU), the largest credit union in the U.S. However, this is limited to immediate family members of service members in all branches of the armed forces. This broad eligibility criteria is one of the reasons why NFCU has grown to be the largest credit union in the country.
Can anyone join American Airlines Credit Union?
No, not anyone can join the American Airlines Credit Union. Membership is limited to those who work in the air transportation industry, including airlines, airports, and related businesses, as well as their family members. While this broadens the scope beyond just American Airlines employees, it still doesn’t include everyone.