Help me find a credit union
April 3, 2014 11:07 AM   Subscribe

I do most of my banking with a megabank but would like to open a second account at a credit union. Can you recommend one that will let me join?

I don't have a particular pressing reason for this, like needing a mortgage -- I just like the idea of supporting credit unions and want to try it out.

As far as I'm aware, there are none that I qualify for based on location or professional/govt affiliations. But I also know that many of them will let anyone join through a simple backdoor, like joining an affiliated charity or consumer group with a modest membership fee.

Can anyone here recommend a particular credit union that you've had good experiences with, which also has this kind of de facto open membership?
posted by neat graffitist to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If your location is accurate, you qualify for Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union due to living in Manhattan Community Board 3.
posted by saeculorum at 11:23 AM on April 3

Without knowing your geographic location, it's hard to say. Many credit unions are not national and are open only to people within a specific city/county/employer.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 11:25 AM on April 3

I've had good experiences with Pentagon Federal, Alliant, and NASA. All of them have little hoops to jump through that effectively means anyone can join.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:27 AM on April 3

saecolorum, I live in manhattan but not in cb3 ...I think the location in my profile is just whatever coordinates it uses for "New York, NY."
posted by neat graffitist at 11:50 AM on April 3

I have checking and savings accounts with Alliant. I had a loan with them for a time too. I'm very happy with them - I'm in New York too and they've never seemed to care about my location. There was a small hoop to jump through, but it was just making a $10 donation to a specific nonprofit and forwarding the receipt. Well worth it in the rearview.
posted by superfluousm at 11:57 AM on April 3

Nerd Wallet search for Credit Union (credit cards) by zipcode, qualifications and credit rating, but it doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment, which is a shame.

NASA FCU (yes, that NASA) is open to anyone who is a member of a number of related associations that have open membership.

See also: Credit Union Access, which apparently lists all credit unions that are regulated or insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]

I was able to join Navy Federal Credit Union because my brother was in the navy and a member. Are/were any of your family in the armed services? There might be a way for you to become a member if they were a member or were willilng to become one with you.
posted by Green With You at 12:28 PM on April 3

I joined Pentagon Federal Credit Union by making a small donation to a veterans' organization. I've been very pleased with them so far.
posted by invisible ink at 6:05 PM on April 3

You can try using a tool like this to find credit unions that you can join. When I've tried it has sometimes been able to find some I'm eligible for based on where I live.
posted by flug at 7:35 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

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