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Navy Federal Credit Union Surpasses $100 Billion in Assets


The nation’s largest credit union, Navy Federal Credit Union, has reached an important milestone. Earlier this year, its total assets surpassed $100 billion. We recently imported first quarter call reports for all banks and credit unions. Navy Federal’s first quarter call report, dated March 31, 2019, listed total assets of $103,146,570,699. This is an increase of 6.4% from the previous quarter when total assets were $96,962,446,018. Navy Federal’s fact sheet which is dated May 16, 2019 lists total assets of $103.8 billion.

If Navy Federal were a bank, it would rank as the 29th largest bank in the nation. There are 15 banks larger than Navy Federal with assets under $200 billion. Five larger banks have assets between $200 and $300 billion, and four have assets between $300 and $500 billion. The largest four banks all have assets over $1 trillion; the largest is Chase Bank with $2.3 trillion in assets.

See how credit unions and banks rank in size using our Table of the Largest Banks and Credit Unions by Assets.

When compared with credit unions, Navy Federal's size far exceeds its competitors. The second largest credit union is State Employees' Credit Union in North Carolina ($40.3 billion in assets). The third largest is PenFed Credit Union ($24.4 billion in assets).

Navy Federal has seen very strong growth in recent years. In the last year, Navy Federal’s assets have grown by 15%, and its member count has grown by 12%. In the last five years, assets have increased 77% and the number of members has increased 76%. These numbers are based on Navy Federal’s call reports that are available from the NCUA.

In addition to listing the number of members, credit union call reports include the number of potential members. While reviewing Navy Federal’s call reports, I noticed a huge change in the number of potential members. In 2016, the call report listed the number of potential members as 12,045,800. In 2017, this number dramatically increased to 150,000,0000.

In February 2017, Navy Federal’s field of membership (FOM) had an important expansion. First, veterans of the Armed Forces who were honorably discharged became eligible to join. 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. Another change had an even larger impact to the FOM. Family members of the military also became eligible. If you have an immediate family member who is serving or has ever served in the Armed Forces, you were eligible to join.

An earlier FOM expansion also allowed membership to increase. In 2008, Navy Federal expanded its FOM to include all branches of the Armed Forces rather than just the Navy.

One thing that Navy Federal has not done is to allow membership based on an association membership. There were short periods when it was possible to qualify based on an association membership. However, these did not last. This is unlike Navy Federal’s competitor, PenFed, which has allowed membership via an association for many years. I reviewed PenFed’s latest call report, and it lists the number of potential members as 328,649,020. This is exactly the estimated population of the United States on March 31, 2019 according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Clock.

For savers, Navy Federal has long been a popular source for competitive CDs. I’ve written about their CDs and IRA CDs since 2006.

Currently, Navy Federal continues to offer several competitive CDs. One is a 10-month Certificate Special with a 2.75% APY that allows add-on deposits up to $100,000. For those who want to lock in 3% CD rates before they’re gone, Navy Federal still has many options. A 3.00% APY is available on a 5-year certificate with a $1k minimum deposit. The rate rises to 3.25% APY for a $100k minimum. The highest rate is 3.35% APY for a $100k minimum and a 7-year term.

Lt. G
  |     |   Comment #1
Navy Federal is a wonderful, customer/member focused Credit Union. 24-7 phone service with superb polite knowledgeable employees. Excellent statements and tax reporting. Branches are scattered in many states --California included. Their IRA personnel are very knowledgeable and accomplish rollovers or transfers in a expeditious and accurate manner. As a retired officer and proud member of Navy Federal, I recommend it.
Never Trump Republican
  |     |   Comment #8
#1: Oh ... yes ... The CSRs are very helpful polite.
  |     |   Comment #2
I was lucky and got into Navy Federal when they bought out a credit union I belonged to and the only reason I belonged to that credit union was because Ken reported on here that Navy Federal was going to take them over. I quick joined and sure enough Ken was right and I got grandfathered into Navy Federal, one of the best moves I've made as far as credit unions and CDs go....been a member for at least 10 years now..... btw, thanks Ken...:)
  |     |   Comment #12
I echo that comment and most of the other comments as well. That's how I got in and I am grateful to Ken as well.
  |     |   Comment #3
I wonder how much PenFed's assets have dropped since they have now fallen WAY behind the competition (and seem to not care about their longtime customers). I used to have a large amount of money in CDs there--including IRAs, too--but I have now pulled it all out as the CDs matured and moved it to Navy Federal and/or other credit unions that offered much better rates. I used to really like PenFed, but my goal is to maximize the interest I earn on my money, so that means moving it out as rates dictate, and now nothing I have nothing left at PenFed (except for a little over $5).
seeker jona
  |     |   Comment #4
Interesting incite.

No need to wonder, read the financial reports, patriot.
  |     |   Comment #5
Bigger isn't better for service and rates, just look at the big banks and other big credit unions, they are no longer competitive.
More customers, more headaches and lower rates, just look at PenFed, the upper management and the supervisors are lost playing golf around the country for charity events and giving away the customer money for "good causes".
  |     |   Comment #6
If Penfed was the model of past, the reason a private regulatory letter that was noticed on this blog several times. Penfed is under restraint and, most importantly, other CUs know it and are on notice to “toe the line.” If you are competitive...Navfed growth records is a model and if it has good auditors should be fine.
Never Trump Republican
  |     |   Comment #7
From time to time Navy FCU offers low balance transfer on their credit cards with zero "transfer fees". A few month ago they had offered 0% rate for 12 or 18 months (forgot which) . I made transfer, converted the transferred amount to cash (NWFCU, and PenFed has no 'cash advance' fees) and earned 3% to 4% on it     !!

Navy FCU has offered me - Aircraft Carrier sized - credit limit on my multiple cards ... so ... it's profitable to be a member of Navy FCU for me.
Never Trump Republican
  |     |   Comment #9
Also Navy FCU's credit cards do not have "currency conversion" fees when used in foreign country.
  |     |   Comment #16
To each her/his own, I have only received one of those 0% BT from NFCU for the twenty years I have been a member.

Their credit cards can be smartly positioned to get a few more dollars.

Their CDs are usually ok.

But definitely not a credit union I would brag about. :)
Never Trump Republican
  |     |   Comment #17
$16: Yes. You (nautical) miles may vary. :-)
Golden Years
  |     |   Comment #10
I discovered (by accident) a new Navy FCU branch just a couple miles away. Looking forward to learning more about them, and staying up to date on their cd specials. And regarding PenFed I can't believe that my measly little NPCD has a higher interest rate (2.60%) than ALL of PenFed's current crop of cd's.
  |     |   Comment #11
I've been a member of Penfed for a long time and still have a couple 3% CDs with them, they didn't help themselves when they offered a 5% 10 year for members whose CDs were maturing that month, I had one maturing there the next month so I supposedly missed it..... I found out later that members that didn't have CDs maturing were still allowed to open the 5% 10 year CDs when it clearly stated that was not to be the case... I kicked myself for following the rules and not trying to open it so I'm not surprised by their low CD rates, maybe when those 10 year CDs mature they can be more competitive like they once were.
  |     |   Comment #13
I still have 3 at PenFed, and one matures next month. They sent me an email today and suggested I put the maturing CD money in their 2% savings account.
  |     |   Comment #14
I'm not surprised. I know some people will give them glowing reviews -- but those people most likely have never banked at a decent credit union like Alliant before. If they have, they'd see the night-and-day difference.

Navy is the most backwards CU I've encountered. Their banking software takes a few days before deposits are shown if not made in person or at a NavyFed ATM -- with all other CUs I have (over 10) even CoOp deposits show up IMMEDIATELY. Not Navy. You can ACH into a Navy savings account but NOT OUT OF (only if you have a checking account with them -- which I am not foolish enough to have). Plus, for banking done in a NavyFed branch on the west coast, anything after 2pm is considered the "next day" because they go by EST. Nobody at the branch level has any power to do anything except forward things along to their head office for review. Everything must go thru the head office. They have among the worst customer-unfriendly policies (like their funds availability policy -- you have to wait over a week to have access to ANY funds -- even cash -- deposited at a CoOp ATM. All other CUs I bank at, such as Alliant, with give you at least some fund availability. Not Navy. Navy also lies (had to fight them for months to get them to honor a promotional mailing they mailed out to me. If I hadn't kept the mailing for months, their lie would have stood. They constantly make mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake (I can't tell you how many times). Note: in dealing with them, ALWAYS deal with their Customer Service Reps on the phone at the head office, they're somewhat (somewhat) better on the ball than anyone in the branch.

I would never, ever have any type of loan or "active" account with them. You're just asking for trouble.

They have a few good points: unlike at the ranches, their phone CSRs are usually friendly (not always helpful, but at least friendly), they have occasional good CD offerings (if they don't **** up your CD opening like they constantly do with me), and if you have an IRA CD with them, they will let you add on to the IRA CD during certain times of the year. As well, their credit cards have decent offerings -- though don't expect them to stand by you if there's a problem with a merchant -- they did not recently where everything was documented and clear as day, whereas another large CU I have credit cards with has always stood by me in a dispute process. Navy refused to even send the complaint along to Visa Inc.

Again, I'm not trying to flame. If you're happy with them, great. To those though, I'd invite you to join another credit union (Alliant, as an example, since they're open to all -- or look in your area for a different/local credit union) and have both Navy and the other CU for half a year. Have the same accounts with both, and you'll see the difference. I've been with Navy for years, and have learned just to stay clear of them except for their CD specials (and maybe a backup credit card, though I'm paying for that now).
  |     |   Comment #15
Thanks anon321. It's always good to hear the other side. I have read similar comments as yours about Navy. But like all banks or CUs there's good and bad. Some worse than others. I can't really recall any problems during my years with PenFed. However they do seem to lower rates quicker and more often than any other financial institution I've dealt with.
Never Trump Republican
  |     |   Comment #18
#14: I use Alliant as my primary Hub Account, and advantages of Alliant are well known.

The choice for the savers - us - is not an either Alliant, or Navy, rather the choice is how about using Allaint where it's advantageous/quicker/better, and use Navy where it's advantageous/quicker/better. (Oh ... and I retain the membership with likes of PenFed, North West, Andrews also.)
  |     |   Comment #19
#14 - None or nearly none of the problems you mentioned regarding Navy CU has ever happened to me, but since Navy had so many members it's certainly credible that it has happened to some people. The very worst experience I've had with Navy has been that once, a few years ago, I initiated a 0%, no-fee balance transfer offer on one of my Visa cards with them, and they incorrectly processed it as a different offer (I think 1.99%). I'd saved the email or letter I received outlining the targeted offer, and when I called them they readily and cheerfully corrected it and reimbursed all interest.

One question for you - it's true that they will not let you ACH out of a savings account (and that "irregularity" has been discussed elsewhere on this forum more than once). But why not simply set up a checking account to get around this? My "Everyday Checking" account has no fees, no significant minimums (I have $20 there right now), and if I recall, free checks for those few situations where it still makes sense to use a paper check.

I use Alliant also, and others. But Navy's CD rates and frequent 0%, no-fee balance transfer offers trump Alliant's.
  |     |   Comment #20
I've been with Navy close to 4 years now and have been happy with their offers on the CD front which often have been more than competitive and often well over and above that which any bank has been offering. For example, up and until April 30th of this year you could have locked in a 3.75% 40 month IRA CD I don't know of any other banks that were offering a national deal that good. Even now they are offering a 7 year 3.35% deal (100k minimum) and I'm hard pressed to find many other banks that will match this.Navy non-special "regular' rate on a nationwide basis. As long as they run a special 1-2x a year I likely will keep some of my money here. Customer service has been solid as well.
  |     |   Comment #21
I never joined Navy Fed when there was a back door because of similar stuff elsewhere. Now I can't join which is fine...until I see them advertising on national tv. If you are going to advertise on national tv, you need to open up a back door.
  |     |   Comment #23
Yes, good CU overall, however, most of their branch offices can't do much in the way of paperwork service, especially IRA work. it's mostly all done online now. So if you think you will be getting better service going into a office, your wrong. You will always get better service just doing online. I speak from experience.
  |     |   Comment #25
  |     |   Comment #26
At the home show near my house Navy had a booth and was signing up people. I didn't check things out as my daughter wanted to leave. I should have seen if they would have signed me up.

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