Finding The 100 Best Credit Unions

One of the disadvantages of credit unions is the fact that membership in many cases is limited to a select group. This is known in the industry as a credit union’s field of membership. Functionally what this means is that unlike a bank, not everyone can become a member of a given credit union and this is one of the defining differences between a credit union and a bank.

In turn this also means that the various products and services that a credit union offers is limited to a (often select) group of consumers. Therefore, in addition to having to sift through thousands of active credit unions in the United States (or the hundreds available in any state or city), consumers have to hope that their efforts result in credit unions that they are eligible to join.

This was the motivation behind our research effort to compile the list of the 100 best credit unions in America in 2022. We tried to balance quality and rigor with a diverse enough set of credit unions such that the majority of consumers would be eligible to join at least one of the credit unions on the list. In fact there are more than a dozen credit union on this list with eligibility criteria that allows anyone to become a member – these credit unions have been highlighted below.

“Between our screening methods and measurements across 7 categories, we examined the universe of credit unions across more than a dozen metrics,” said David Peterson, co-founder of Bankdash. “The result is one of the most thoroughly assembled rankings of credit unions!”

 

Table of Contents

Facts About Our List of the Best Credit Unions

The below infographic details 5 facts about our list of the 100 best credit unions:100-best-credit-unions-infographic-1

Best Credit Unions in America in 2022

Here is our list in alphabetical order1:

  1. Abound Credit Union
  2. ACIPCO Credit Union
  3. Altra Credit Union
  4. ANECA Credit Union
    • Members: 8,128 | Assets: $180 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,815
    • Website: https://aneca.org
  5. APCO Employees Credit Union
  6. Appletree Credit Union
  7. Arkansas Superior Credit Union
  8. Artesia Credit Union
  9. Ascend Credit Union
  10. Austin Telco Credit Union
  11. Baton Rouge Fire Department Credit Union
  12. BHCU
  13. Brotherhood Credit Union
  14. Campus USA Credit Union
    • Members: 138,449 | Assets: $2,804 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,413
    • Website: http://www.campuscu.com
    • Anyone can join this credit union by becoming a member of the Matheson History Museum, which costs $35 a year for an adult and $40 a year for a family.
  15. Cedar Falls Community Credit Union
  16. Chevron Credit Union
  17. Citymark Credit Union
  18. Communication Credit Union
  19. Community First Credit Union
  20. Communitywide Credit Union
  21. Consolidated Credit Union
  22. Co-Op Credit Union of Montevideo
  23. Cottonwood Community Credit Union
  24. Credit Union of America
    • Members: 87,749 | Assets: $1,319 million | Net Worth/Member: $1,924
    • Website: http://www.cuofamerica.com
    • Anyone can become eligible for this credit union by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, a non-profit dedicated to consumer education, advocacy and financial literacy. It costs $8.00 to join and is open to everyone.
  25. Dawson Co-Op Credit Union
  26. Dort Financial Credit Union
  27. Eastman Credit Union
    • Members: 289,076 | Assets: $7,518 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,997
    • Website: http://www.ecu.org
  28. Elevate Credit Union
  29. ELGA Credit Union
    • Members: 85,340 | Assets: $1,254 million | Net Worth/Member: $1,837
    • Website: http://www.elgacu.com
    • Anyone can become eligible for this credit union by donating $25 to the Salvation Army Bed and Bread Program.
  30. Employees Credit Union
  31. ESL Credit Union
    • Members: 405,189 | Assets: $9,244 million | Net Worth/Member: $3,667
    • Website: https://www.esl.org/
    • Anyone can become eligible for this credit union by joining the George Eastman Museum. The cost of membership for an adult is $40 for a virtual membership, $70 for an individual membership and $95 for a family.
  32. F&A Credit Union
  33. Firefighters Credit Union
  34. Founders Credit Union
  35. Genisys Credit Union
  36. Goldenwest Credit Union
    • Members: 164,392 | Assets: $2,611 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,022
    • Website: http://www.gwcu.org
  37. Grand Junction Credit Union
  38. Greater Springfield Credit Union
  39. Gulf Coast Educators Credit Union
  40. Homeland Credit Union
    • Members: 23,229 | Assets: $548 million | Net Worth/Member: $3,684
    • Website: www.homelandcu.com
  41. Houston Police Credit Union
  42. Hudson Valley Credit Union
    • Members: 323,321 | Assets: $6,405 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,297
    • Website: http://www.hvcu.org
  43. Kemba Financial Credit Union
  44. Kimberly Clark Credit Union
  45. Lafayette Credit Union
    • Members: 51,339 | Assets: $1,426 million | Net Worth/Member: $4,504
    • Website: http://www.lfcu.org
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council, a non-profit that focuses on providing tools to help consumers navigate the path to home ownership. Membership costs a one-time fee of $10.
  46. Lincoln County Credit Union
  47. Lincoln Maine Credit Union
  48. Logix Credit Union
    • Members: 226,187 | Assets: $9,022 million | Net Worth/Member: $5,399
    • Website: http://www.logixbanking.com
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, a non-profit dedicated to consumer education, advocacy and financial literacy. It costs $8.00 to join and is open to everyone.
  49. MAC Credit Union
  50. Marshall Community Credit Union
  51. Members First Community Credit Union
  52. Mobiloil Credit Union
  53. Mon Valley Community Credit Union
  54. NCPD Credit Union
    • Members: 16,129 | Assets: $955 million | Net Worth/Member: $8,166
    • Website: http://ncpdfcu.org
  55. NAHEOLA Credit Union
  56. NASA Credit Union
    • Members: 207,408 | Assets: $3,749 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,068
    • Website: http://www.nasafcu.com
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming an associate member of the National Space Society. Membership costs $10 per year.
  57. Navy Army Community Credit Union
  58. Navy Federal Credit Union
    • Members: 11,423,451 | Assets: $160,441 million | Net Worth/Member: $1,554
    • Website: www.navyfcu.org
  59. NEBO Credit Union
  60. Nebraska Energy Credit Union
  61. Neches Credit Union
  62. Northern Skies Credit Union
  63. Oklahoma Credit Union
  64. Oklahoma’s Credit Union
  65. PAHO/WHO Credit Union
  66. PCM Credit Union
  67. Pioneer Mutual Credit Union
  68. Police & Fire Credit Union
  69. Qualstar Credit Union
  70. Robins Financial Credit Union
  71. San Joaquin Power Employees Credit Union
  72. Self Reliance NY Credit Union
  73. Self-Help Credit Union
    • Members: 90,430 | Assets: $1,797 million | Net Worth/Member: $3,059
    • Website: http://www.self-helpfcu.org
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the credit union’s nonprofit, the Center for Community Self-Help. Becoming a member of the nonprofit costs a one-time fee of $5.00, and that’s it.
  74. Seven Seventeen Credit Union
  75. Signet Credit Union
  76. SJP Credit Union
    • Members: 6,803 | Assets: $122 million | Net Worth/Member: $1,943
    • Website: http://sjpfcu.org
  77. Skyward Credit Union
    • Members: 17,976 | Assets: $417 million | Net Worth/Member: $3,239
    • Website: https://www.skywardcu.com
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the Kansas Aviation Museum. Membership costs $50 for adult non-students and $75 for one household which includes two adults (in the same household) and dependent children and grandchildren under 18.
  78. Star One Credit Union
  79. Sterling Credit Union
  80. Summit Credit Union
  81. Synergy Credit Union
  82. Technology Credit Union
    • Members: 157,232 | Assets: $4,155 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,911
    • Website: http://www.techcu.com
    • Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the Financial Fitness Association (which costs $8 a year to join and is open to anyone) is eligible to join the credit union.
  83. Telcoe Credit Union
  84. TelComm Credit Union
  85. Texasgulf Credit Union
  86. The United Credit Union
  87. Three Rivers Credit Union
  88. Tidemark Credit Union
  89. Trona Valley Community Credit Union
  90. Tulsa Teachers Credit Union
    • Members: 145,510 | Assets: $2,615 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,321
    • Website: http://www.ttcu.com
  91. TVA Community Credit Union
  92. Utah Power Credit Union
  93. Utilities Employees Credit Union
    • Members: 46,438 | Assets: $1,394 million | Net Worth/Member: $4,495
    • Website: http://www.uecu.org
  94. Veridian Credit Union
  95. Visions Credit Union
    • Members: 233,806 | Assets: $5,627 million | Net Worth/Member: $2,596
    • Website: www.visionsfcu.org
  96. Westby Co-Op Credit Union
  97. Whitefish Credit Union
  98. Wichita Credit Union
  99. Wings Financial Credit Union
  100. Wright-Patt Credit Union
    • Members: 455,792 | Assets: $7,204 million | Net Worth/Member: $1,733
    • Website: http://wpcu.coop

Our Methodology for the Best Credit Unions

An important selection criteria for us from the outset was stability. Credit Unions operate the same way that banks do and although the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) provides an important level of protection for customers and their deposits, having a credit union that you are a member of enter conservatorship or face liquidation is a terrifying possibility. Therefore from the outset we limited our list to credit unions that satisfied the following criteria:

  • Credit Union Age: at least 3 years. We believe newer credit unions are by definition riskier.
  • Credit Union Membership: at least 5,000 members. Members are the lifeblood of every credit union and scale matters in financial services for many reasons including stability. We believe this level of members provides the credit union with necessary critical mass.
  • Net Worth Ratio: at least 10%. This corresponds approximately to the median net worth ratio across all active federally insured credit unions in the United States.
  • Net Worth Per Member: at least $1,500. This corresponds approximately to the average net worth per member across all active federally insured credit unions in the country.

Specifically for the last two criteria, we think the net worth of a credit union is one of the most important measures as it is the cumulative value created by the credit union since inception and is net of dividends. As members have effective ownership of a credit union, this is an important statistic to assess how well a credit union has done its job of creating value for its members. But specifically to the question of stability, we found during our research that in 7 out of the 9 cases2 of credit unions entering conservatorship or facing liquidation over the past 3 years, the median net worth ratio3 and net worth per member4 were both negative. In fact, of the 7 cases the highest net worth ratio was 6.6% and the highest net worth per member was $225. Having a strong net worth position as measured not just by the net worth ratio but on a per member basis, we believe is an important measure of stability. After applying our exclusion criteria we graded each credit union in the following areas:

  • Accessibility – how many branches are available to members (credit union members highlighted this as being important during our March Survey)? Online banking and mobile application capability is also a part of our measure of accessibility.
  • Account Fees – what services does the credit union offer and how much do they cost?
  • Community – does the credit union have a track record of giving back to its community?
  • Dividends – how have members benefited from dividends?
  • Membership Trends – does the credit union have critical mass of members and has its membership base been growing over the years?
  • Member Engagement – how much have members deposited at the credit union?
  • Operational Strength – how much net worth has the credit union generated over the years, how does that compare per member to other credit unions? How efficiently is the credit union operated relative to other credit unions.

We selected these 7 areas by balancing what consumers have indicated is important to them when selecting a credit union (customer service, fee transparency, rates and technology) with operational and financial metrics.

Footnotes:
1Data is as of March 31, 2022
2The two excluded cases involved management misconduct, not credit union performance.
3Median net worth ratio was -3.9%.
4Median net worth was -$103