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, 2014

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, 2014

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, 2014

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, 2014

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, 2014

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, 2014 [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, 2014

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, 2014

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, 2014 [1 favorite]

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