Best Credit Unions in 2020 That Anyone Can Join - MagnifyMoney
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Credit Unions Anyone Can Join

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Credit unions are nonprofits that are owned by their members. Generally, the benefits of joining a credit union — instead of a traditional bank — include fewer fees, higher rates on deposit accounts and more personalized customer service. The drawback is that they typically limit membership based on location or other criteria. Still, there are many credit unions that are easy for anyone to join regardless of where they live or work — we’ve compiled them below.

Credit unions anyone can join

Affinity Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Be an employee or member in one of over 2,000 businesses, associations or clubs.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

AgFed Credit Union

Air Force Federal Credit Union

Alabama Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

  • How to join: Join Foster Care to Success – Alliant will pay a $5 fee on the member’s behalf.

America’s Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union

  • How to join: Join Community 1 Cooperative with a one-time $3 membership fee.

American Heritage Federal Credit Union

Andrews Federal Credit Union

Bellco Credit Union

Blue Federal Credit Union

Cadets Federal Credit Union

Capital Educators Federal Credit Union

Chartway Federal Credit Union

Chevron Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join through one of over 2,000 organizations.

Christian Community Credit Union

Clark County Credit Union

  • How to join: Join KNPR, the Clark Country public radio station. The credit union will pay the initial donation of $40 for one year. Ongoing membership in the radio station is optional.

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union

Credit Human

Credit Union Of New Jersey

Digital Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join through one of thousands of organizations, including Reach Out for Schools, which has a starting membership fee of $10.

Dover Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join the Friends of Bombay Hook, which has an annual membership fee. An individual membership is $15.

Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union

EFCU Financial

Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union

Expedition Credit Union

Financial Resources Federal Credit Union

First Flight Federal Credit Union

First Technology Federal Credit Union

Garden Savings Federal Credit Union

Genisys Credit Union

GTE Financial

  • How to join: Pay a one-time membership fee to join CU Savers.

Hanscom Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join a partner organization, such as the Air Force Association, which has a $20 individual membership.

Hiway Credit Union

Hope Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Two one-time donations of $5 for Hope Credit Union and $5 for Hope Enterprise Corporation.

Hughes Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Make a small, one-time donation to a community interest group, such as the Tucson Audubon Society.

Ideal Credit Union

Interior Federal Credit Union

Kinecta Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Kinecta will cover your one-time $10 membership fee to the Innovision Society.

La Capitol Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join the Louisiana Association for Personal Financial Achievement; dues are $20 per household for the first year and $5 per year thereafter.

Lafayette Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Pay a one-time membership fee of $10 to join the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council.

Lake Michigan Credit Union

  • How to join: Make a one-time donation of $5 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation.

Latino Credit Union

Market USA Federal Credit Union

Matadors Community Credit Union

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union

Money One Federal Credit Union

MTC Federal Credit Union

NASA Federal Credit Union

Northwest Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join one of hundreds of organizations, such as the National Wildlife Federation, which asks for at least a one-time donation of $30.

NuVision Federal Credit Union

Ohio University Credit Union

Oklahoma Central Credit Union

  • How to join: Anyone affiliated with another credit union may join.

Parda Federal Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union

Pen Air Federal Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union

  • How to join: PenFed membership is open to everyone.

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union

People’s Trust Federal Credit Union

Pinnacle Federal Credit Union

Premier Members Credit Union

  • How to join: Join Impact on Education, the primary charity for the Boulder Valley School District.

Puerto Rico Federal Credit Union

RTN Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join one of several organizations, such as the Danvers Historical Society, which has a $40 individual membership fee.

Salal Credit Union

San Diego County Credit Union

SCE Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Credit Union

Signature Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. can join.

Spectrum Credit Union

Stanford Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join one of several organizations, such as the Museum of American Heritage, which has individual membership that starts at $35.

State Department Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join one of several dozen organizations, including the American Consumer Council, for which a lifetime membership costs $15.

Sun East Federal Credit Union

SunWest Credit Union

Taleris Credit Union

  • How to join: Pay a one-time $5 membership fee to join the Public Animal Welfare Society or the Seven Hills Historical Society.

Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Pay a one-time $5 membership fee to join the Prime Time Club.

Teachers Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Anyone may join.

Technology Credit Union

Thrivent Federal Credit Union

UNIFY Financial Credit Union

United States Senate Federal Credit Union

Utah First Federal Credit Union

Vision Financial Federal Credit Union

  • How to join: Join the North Carolina Consumers Council with a $20 membership fee.

Wheelhouse Credit Union

Wings Financial Credit Union

Workers Credit Union

Xcel Federal Credit Union

Zeal Credit Union

Joining a credit union: FAQs

A credit union is a nonprofit institution that offers its members financial products, ranging from checking accounts to mortgages. Credit unions are formed by entities such as corporations and community groups, and are controlled and owned by their members.

The main difference between credit unions and banks is that credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by their members, while banks are for-profit businesses owned by shareholders. Nearly anyone can open a bank account, but you must meet certain criteria to open an account at a credit union.

A key benefit of credit unions is that any revenue made by the financial institution is returned to its members through perks such as dividends, discounted loan rates and higher interest rates on savings products.

In many cases, credit unions may not be hard to join — many have membership requirements that allow you to qualify by making a nominal donation to a nonprofit.

Most credit unions membership requirements include that you live, work, study, volunteer or worship within a limited geographical area. You can often circumvent this by donating to a nonprofit that the credit union supports.

Yes, many credit unions allow members to join online by filling out a form and uploading a photo of an ID, such as your driver’s license.