The Big List of Credit Unions Open to Anyone
I thought it would be useful to have a list of all credit unions in which anyone can join. For most of these all-access credit unions, you can join an association and that will qualify you for membership into the credit union. All credit unions are required to have a field of membership which defines a common bond for members. When credit unions started, common bonds typically involved employers. This expanded to include community bonds in which anyone who lives or works in an area can qualify. Now many credit unions have fields of membership that include members of associations, and those associations can often be joined by anyone.
As you might expect, banks consider this as unfair competition since credit unions receive tax breaks. This 2010 New York Times article reported on this issue and the history of how large credit unions like PenFed evolved into an open membership. I'm more concerned with the massive size of the mega banks than I am with credit unions being unfair to the banks. The more competition we have, the more it helps savers, and as we all know, savers need all the help they can get in this awful interest rate environment.
The main reason to join a credit union that's not in your city is to take advantage of competitive banking products. Most of the all-access credit unions that I've reported on have offered competitive CD rates or reward checking accounts. Often the rates are better than what internet banks offer.
Like internet banks, many of these credit unions have online applications that make it easy to join. Also, the credit unions' online banking can make managing accounts easy without having to visit a branch. If you do need to visit a branch, many belong to the shared branch network. This allows you to conduct many banking transactions at any credit union in the network as if it were your own credit union.
Overview of the All-Access Credit Union List
In the alphabetical list of all-access credit unions, I included links to our hub pages for those credit unions. The hub page lists all of my blog posts for that credit union. It also includes the credit union rate tables, financial health, branch locations and readers' reviews.
The list also includes the cities and states of the credit unions' headquarters. It should be noted that many of these credit unions have branches in multiple states.
I've also noted the credit unions which provide online applications. Some of these also allow applicants to join the association at the same time they join the credit union.
Don't See a Credit Union on the List?
As I was putting together this list, I was surprised by how long the list was becoming. I'm sure I left out some credit unions. If you don't see an all-access credit union on the list, please leave a comment. I plan to keep updating this list.
There are two associations which many credit union include in their fields of membership: American Consumer Council and the GettingAhead Association. Both of these association websites list their credit union partners. It should be noted that not all of the credit unions that partner with these associations allow everyone in the country to join. Some require association members to live in their local area. For example, Coastal FCU only allows NC, SC and VA members of the American Consumer Council to join.
It should also be noted that some all-access credit unions may not allow all members to open some accounts. Certain accounts like IRAs and business accounts may require a branch visit. Also, there may be some popular account that is limited to certain members. An example is the reward checking account offered by Golden Plains Credit Union in Kansas. The account is only available to members who reside in Central or Western Kansas.
Future updates to this list may not just be additions. I may have to remove some. We have seen several cases in the past when credit unions have put restrictions on association members. One example is Police and Fire FCU. Membership used to be open to all members of the Weavers Way Cooperative. Police and Fire FCU changed this so that only Weavers Way members who reside in Pennsylvania can join. If you see that a credit union on this list has added restrictions on new members, please leave a comment.
In summary, membership requirements can change so please check with the credit union for the latest information.
Last Updated on 3/27/2013:
- ABCO Federal Credit Union - Rancocas, NJ
- Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union - Saint Paul, MN (online application)
- Agriculture Federal Credit Union - Washington, DC (online application)
- Air Force Federal Credit Union - San Antonio, TX (online application)
- Alliant Credit Union - Chicago, IL (online application)
- America's Christian Credit Union - Glendora, CA (online application)
- America's Credit Union - JBLM, WA (online application)
- Andrews Federal Credit Union - Suitland, MD (online application)
- Apple Federal Credit Union - Fairfax, VA (online application)
- Astera Credit Union - Lansing, MI (online application)
- Belvoir Federal Credit Union - Woodbridge, VA (online application)
- California Credit Union - Glendale, CA (online application)
- Capital Educators Federal Credit Union - Meridian, ID
- Chartway Federal Credit Union - Virginia Beach, VA (online application)
- Communitywide Federal Credit Union - South Bend, IN
- Connexus Credit Union - Wausau, WI (online application)
- Consumers Credit Union - Waukegan, IL (online application)
- Corporate America Family Credit Union - Elgin, IL (online application)
- Crane Federal Credit Union - Odon, IN
- Credit Union of New Jersey - Ewing, NJ
- Delta Community Credit Union - Atlanta, GA (online application)
- Digital Credit Union - Marlborough, MA (online application)
- E-Central Credit Union - Pasadena, CA
- Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union - Indianapolis, IN (online application)
- First New England Federal Credit Union - East Hartford, CT (online application)
- First Technology Federal Credit Union - Palo Alto, CA (online application)
- Fort Knox Federal Credit Union - Radcliff, KY (online application)
- Garden Savings Federal Credit Union - Parsippany, NJ
- Great Lakes Credit Union - North Chicago, IL (online application)
- GTE Financial Credit Union - Tampa, FL (online application)
- Hanscom Federal Credit Union - Hanscom AFB, MA (online application)
- Hughes Federal Credit Union - Tucson, AZ (online application)
- INOVA Federal Credit Union - Elkhart, IN (online application)
- Justice Federal Credit Union - Chantilly, VA
- Kinecta Federal Credit Union - Manhattan Beach, CA (online application)
- Lake Michigan Credit Union - Grand Rapids, MI (online application)
- Logix Federal Credit Union - Burbank, CA (online application)
- McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union - East Windsor, NJ (online application)
- Melrose Credit Union - Briarwood, NY (online application)
- Michigan State University Federal Credit Union - East Lansing, MI (online application)
- Money One Federal Credit Union - Largo, MD
- Mountain America Credit Union - West Jordan, UT (online application)
- NASA Federal Credit Union - Upper Marlboro, MD (online application)
- Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union - Gardena, CA (online application)
- Northwest Federal Credit Union - Herndon, VA (online application)
- NuVision Credit Union - Huntington Beach, CA (online application)
- Oceanside Christopher Federal Credit Union - Oceanside, NY (online application)
- Pacific Community Credit Union - Fullerton, CA (online application)
- Pacific Resource Credit Union - Los Angeles, CA (online application)
- Patelco Credit Union - Merced, CA (online application)
- Pen Air Credit Union - Pensacola, FL (online application)
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union - Alexandria, VA (online application)
- People's Trust Credit Union - Houston, TX
- Pinnacle Federal Credit Union - Edison, NJ
- Premier America Credit Union - Chatsworth, CA (online application)
- Provident Credit Union - Redwood City, CA (online application)
- Quorum Federal Credit Union - Purchase, NY (online application)
- RTN Federal Credit Union - Waltham, MA
- Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union - Albuquerque, NM (online application)
- San Diego County Credit Union - San Diego, CA (online application)
- Sierra Point Credit Union - South San Francisco, CA
- Self-Help Credit Union - Durham, NC (online application)
- Signal Financial Federal Credit Union - Kensington, MD (online application)
- South Division Credit Union - Evergreen Park, IL (online application)
- Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union - Nashville, TN
- Stanford Federal Credit Union - Palo Alto, CA (online application)
- State Department Federal Credit Union - Alexandria, VA (online application)
- The Golden 1 Credit Union - Sacramento, CA (online application)
- United States Senate Federal Credit Union - Alexandria, VA
- University Federal Credit Union - Austin, TX (online application)
- USAlliance Federal Credit Union - Rye, NY (online application)
- U.S. New Mexico Credit Union - Albuquerque, NM (online application)
- Velocity Credit Union - Austin, TX (online application)
- Western Federal Credit Union - Manhattan Beach, CA
- Xceed Financial Credit Union - El Segundo, CA (online application)
- XCEL Credit Union - Secaucus, NJ (online application)
Edit 3/27/13: Added Belvoir FCU and Great Lakes CU
Edit 1/31/13: Added Pacific Community CU
Edit 1/24/13: Removed Firstmark Credit Union. Association membership removed from FOM (see comment). Edit 12/13/12: Removed 20th Century Fox Credit Union (see comment) & RiverLand Credit Union (see review), Added USAlliance FCU & Chartway FCU, Changed names (Lockheed to Logix, GTE to GTE Financial)
Edit 10/08/12: Added Air Force FCU & Communitywide FCU
Edit 09/12/12: Added Capital Educators, Eli Lilly, Sandia Labs, San Diego County, Sierra Point & Golden 1
Edit 07/02/12: Added Signal Financial Federal Credit Union Edit 06/08/12: Added Credit Union of NJ
Edit 05/18/12: Added Astera, Hughes, MSU and Pen Air
Edit 11/19/11: Added Affinity Plus
Edit 11/18/11: Added Oceanside & Kinecta. Removed A+ due to TX limitation in online app.