This week Navy Federal Credit Union made a nice change to their field of membership. Veterans of the Armed Forces who were honorably discharged are now eligible to join the credit union. Previous to this change, an active member, a retiree or annuitant of the Armed Forces were eligible to join, but someone with just a “veteran” status was not eligible.
You can see this change at Navy Fed’s eligibility page. In this page it leads you through a series of questions to determine eligibility. The first question now states:
Are you or have you ever been affiliated in any way with the Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard or National Guard? This includes Active Duty, reservists, veterans and retired personnel.
If you answer “yes” to this question, it then asks:
Are you currently Active Duty, Reserve or Guard for the DoD or Coast Guard?
If you answer “no” to this question, it then asks:
Are you an honorably discharged Veteran of the Armed Forces?
If you answer “yes” to this question, it then says you are eligible to join:
Congratulations! You're eligible for membership with Navy Federal.
Family Members of the Military Are Also Eligible
In addition to veterans, people with family members who at any time were affiliated with the military are eligible to join. However, this can’t be done online. You have to apply by phone or at a branch. This should make it easy for many more people to join. I think most people have at least one immediate family member who has served in the Armed Forces. Remember that immediate family members include grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children and household members.
You can see this path to joining at Navy Fed’s eligibility page. by first answering “no” to the first question above. This leads you to the following question:
Do you have a family member who at any time was affiliated with the military? Family members include grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children and household members.
If you answer “yes” to this question, it asks the following question:
Is your military-affiliated family member already a Navy Federal member?
If you answer “yes” to this, it says you’re eligible to join and gives you a “join now” button that allows you to join online. If you answer “no” to this, it says the following:
Please call 1-888-842-6328 or visit a branch for further assistance.
I called that number, and I confirmed that if your immediate family member had ever been in the military (even if they’re now deceased), you are eligible to join. You just have to apply by phone or at a branch. It can’t be done online. I asked if there was any documentation Navy Fed might need to indicate that your family member was in the military. The CSR stated that you might need to provide a DD 214 form which is issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces.
Thanks to DA member itserich for posting on this news in the DA forum.
The Backdoor to Membership
UPDATE 5/15/17: Navy Federal Credit Union has removed this backdoor. Joining the Navy League, San Diego Council will no longer qualify you for Navy Federal membership.
If you’re not a veteran and if you don’t have an immediate family member who has ever served in the Armed Forces, the backdoor to Navy Fed membership appears to still be available. Please refer to this blog post for the details.
Hot CD Deal Is Still Available
Navy Fed’s CD special is still available as of 2/9/2017. This CD special has a 2.00% APY for a 17-month term. It also allows add-on deposits. The only downside is that the maximum balance allowed is $50,000. Please refer to this blog post for the details.