I'm looking for a good credit union in NYC.
March 6, 2009 2:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good credit union, but I don't know what I'm eligible to join.

Basically Washington Mutual / Chase is god-awful and I'd like to join a small community credit union or something like that. I live in NYC. So, uh, what the heck do I do?
posted by Optimus Chyme to Work & Money (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Scour the family tree for military connections. I have yet to find a bad thing to say about USAA. Even though they aren't local, I can scan in my checks for instant deposit, and then mail it to San Antonio.
posted by politikitty at 2:41 PM on March 6, 2009

I've found that some small local banks are just as nice as credit unions. You may want to check some of those out too.
posted by All.star at 2:46 PM on March 6, 2009

USAA isn't exactly a credit union, but close enough for what you are looking for. I'm a member, and very satisfied with them.

What about via your employer? Here's a list of largest credit unions.

Here's a list of credit unions in NYC.

For USAA, you can't scan the family tree too far. Here are the eligibility requirements:
* Active-duty officers and enlisted personnel.
* Children whose eligible parents have or had a USAA auto or property insurance product.1
* National Guard and Selected Reserve officers and enlisted personnel.
* Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
* Former military personnel:
o Retired officers and enlisted personnel.
o Former officers and enlisted personnel who separated from the military on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
* Former USAA members who had USAA auto or property insurance.
posted by Houstonian at 2:47 PM on March 6, 2009

Here's a search engine for credit unions. Type in as much information as you can, then search.

You may be eligible based on employer, but also based on where you live, where you went to school, and so on.
posted by Houstonian at 2:57 PM on March 6, 2009

Here are the steps I've taken to find a credit union:

1. Walked into a credit union that is in a good location for me.
2. Asked if I was eligible to be a member and found out I was.
3. Applied.

Just because they have a specific name does not always mean that their membership is exclusive to people related to that name.
posted by 517 at 3:00 PM on March 6, 2009

http://www.findacreditunion.com/search.cfm pop in your info and it'll help you to find some that you might be able to join.
posted by legotech at 3:01 PM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: The Lower East Side People's Credit Union may be one to try, if you live in and/or work in the LES. Otherwise, the artist formerly known as Commerce Bank (TD Bank now) sucks less than most other banks in NYC. If neither of those work, check the links above. For what it's worth, I am a USAA member and cannot for the life of me find anything bad to say about them after over 15 years of membership.
posted by bedhead at 4:08 PM on March 6, 2009

I am a member of two credit unions which I love, though neither are local. Both, though, have good ATM branch networks which, combined with online banking, fit all of my needs. Both may cost a small fee to join but have been totally worth it for me.

The first is Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Here are the . Here is the ATM locator, and it looks like they have ATMS all over NYC. Penfed is great for loans and credit cards in particular (for example, current auto loan rates are 3.99% and their rewards credit card pays 1.25-5% on purchases, credit monthly. Their credit lines are also pretty huge).

The other credit union I use and love is Alliant Credit Union. Here are their membership criteria (I joined by being a member of the PTA). Their savings account rates are always among the highest in the nation, and they also have high-yield checking with very minimal requirements (no debit-card transactions like most HY checking). Their ATM network is also impressive, and in my experience they credit deposits immediately. Their ACH transfer times are also very good (generally 2 business days) and they do have a deposit-at-home service.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:17 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're a member of _any_ organization, you may be able to have that organization align with an existing credit union. I'm pretty sure that it's easy for an organization to join our local Research Triangle Park credit union, for example - as in, trivial, costs nothing, they just wanted a letter. I researched this for our condo association, for example, and it seemed quite doable (we didn't because I stayed with my old credit union, which had better services).

So, yeah, find one you like and see what's necessary.

I'm in my credit union because of the college I went to.
posted by amtho at 5:17 PM on March 6, 2009

I loooove Pentagon FEderal Credit Union. I joined after paying $20(?) to join the Military something something something. They offer it to you during sign up. Great service.
posted by SirStan at 5:38 PM on March 6, 2009

adding to the advice that you don't have to give the name too much weight. i use to belong to the denton teachers credit union. i never went to denton schools, taught in them, or even knew a denton teacher that i know of.
posted by nadawi at 6:58 PM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: They aren’t a small community CU, but you can join the NASA Federal Credit Union after becoming a member of the National Space Society.
posted by ijoshua at 6:38 AM on March 7, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks. Looks like I'm eligible for LESPCU, and NASAFCU just sounds awesome. Much obliged to you all.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:29 PM on March 9, 2009

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