In the last few months I've come across several credit unions that have made it easy for anyone to qualify for membership. These credit unions have added associations to their fields of membership which allow anyone to join. Once you join the association, you are then eligible to join the credit union. I call these all-access credit unions.
New all-access credit unions give savers more options for higher CD, checking and savings account rates. Yesterday I reported on an all-access credit union offering a 2% 5-year CD. Back in July I reported on an all-access credit union with top 2-year and 3-year CD rates (which are still available). There are also good checking account deals. In July and last week I reviewed two all-access credit unions with competitive reward checking accounts.
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. In my opinion, this supposed unfairness pales in comparison with the unfairness of today's suppression of interest rates.
To learn more about these all-access credit unions and to see a list of them, please refer to my post The Big List of Credit Unions Open to Anyone.
I just added the following 6 credit unions to this big list:
- Capital Educators Federal Credit Union - Meridian, ID
- Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union - Indianapolis, IN (online application)
- 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
- The Golden 1 Credit Union - Sacramento, CA (online application)
If you have come across other all-access credit unions that are not on the list, please leave a comment. As I described in the big list post, there have been cases when credit unions have added membership restrictions. So some credit unions may need to be removed from the list. The more credit unions that make it easy to join, the more competition will exist and the more it helps savers. As we all know, savers need all the help they can get in this awful interest rate environment.