One of the disadvantages credit unions have relative to other financial institutions is that in most cases they are not open to just anyone. Given that there are almost 5,000 federally insured credit unions in the United States, finding the right credit union which you’re also eligible to join is anything but a trivial task. This limitation is one of the few disadvantages, albeit a significant one, of credit unions and a point in favor of banks in the credit union vs bank debate.

Finding Credit Unions Anyone Can Join

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) which oversees and regulates federal credit unions, requires each credit union to have a stated field of membership which they operate within. The field of membership frequently has geographical limitations (e.g. certain counties within states), employment limitations (e.g. certain companies) and religious limitations (e.g. members of certain churches or faith). For example, to be eligible to join Mountain Crest Credit Union, prospective members have to live, work or worship in Washington state. Prospective members of Southern Lake Credit Union are eligible if they live or work is selected counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. In many instances credit unions have some combination of eligibility criteria between geographical, employment, religious and more. But clearly as a consequence of these limitations, we all have do more research to find credit unions that are available to us, which can be time consuming and tedious. These factors were the motivation behind this post which we plan to update regularly. Through our researching of thousands of credit unions we identified several credit unions that anyone can join and that are also (importantly) excellent credit unions. We found a total of 25 credit unions that fit this description. Further below we’ve also highlighted 5 great credit unions where all that’s required to join is living or working in a particular state.

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Benefits of Joining a Credit Union

There are many benefits to joining a credit union including but not limited to the fact that the financial products they offer tend to be cheaper than what many banks offer (in some cases dramatically cheaper) which is a characteristic that can become very substantial over many years.

credit-unions-vs-banks-interest-rates

But the benefits don’t stop at just the cost of products and some might even argue that the other benefits outweigh the strictly financial benefits. You can read more about this in our comparison of credit unions vs. banks but you should also take note that in detailing these 23 credit unions that anyone can join, we have in several cases also highlighted products being offered by some of the credit unions. We chose to highlight these because of their uniqueness compared to other offers available by credit unions and banks in the market today.

Chevron Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 124,246 (3 Year Growth: 6.4%)
  • Charter Number: 24326
  • Total Assets: $4,895 million
  • Total Deposits: $4,264 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $4,941 (Net Worth Ratio: 12.5%)
  • Website: http://www.chevronfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: if you don’t meet any of the credit union’s eligibility criteria you can gain eligibility by becoming a member of one of these two nonprofit partner associations: Financial Fitness Association (costs just $8 a year) or the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

Cascade Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1952
  • Total Members: 9,786 (3 Year Growth: 3.3%)
  • Charter Number: 7748
  • Total Assets: $356 million
  • Total Deposits: $321million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $4,826 (Net Worth Ratio: 13.3%)
  • Website: http://www.cascadefcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: If you don’t meet the other Cascade Credit Union criteria, you can join the Great Northern & Cascade Railway Association (GNCR) after which you’ll be eligible to join Cascade Credit Union. The GNCR is open to anyone and regular membership costs $40 per year – Cascade Credit Union might also be able to help with paying for the membership fee.

Lafayette Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1959
  • Total Members: 51,339 (3 Year Growth: 109%)
  • Charter Number: 619
  • Total Assets: $1,426 million
  • Total Deposits: $1,075 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $4,504 (Net Worth Ratio: 16.2%)
  • Website: http://www.lfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can become eligible for Lafayette Credit Union if you become 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.

Stanford Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1959
  • Total Members: 81,223 (3 Year Growth: 9.9%)
  • Charter Number: 13392
  • Total Assets: $3,952 million
  • Total Deposits: $3,209 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $4,298 (Net Worth Ratio: 8.8%)
  • Website: https://www.sfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can become eligible for the credit union by joining the Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) or the Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) both of which are open for anyone to join. FOPAL costs $20 a year to join and MOAH costs $35 a year.

Nextmark Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1958
  • Total Members: 16,872 (3 Year Growth: -2.6%)
  • Charter Number: 24658
  • Total Assets: $501 million
  • Total Deposits: $382 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $4,160 (Net Worth Ratio: 14.0%)
  • Website: http://www.nextmarkcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a sustaining member of Herndon Elementary PTA which is a Title I school. This type of membership, the NextMark CU Sustaining Sponsorship, has a total cost of $10.

United Nations Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1947
  • Total Members: 184,392 (3 Year Growth: 22.1%)
  • Charter Number: 5588
  • Total Assets: $7,656 million
  • Total Deposits: $6,993 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,889 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.4%)
  • Website: http://www.unfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can become eligible to join the United Nations Credit Union by joining the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). Members of the UNA-USA are eligible to join the credit union. It costs $25 for the first year of membership which is all you need to qualify for the credit union.

SRI Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1957
  • Total Members: 3,323 (3 Year Growth: 3.6%)
  • Charter Number: 11872
  • Total Assets: $139 million
  • Total Deposits: $121 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,857 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.2%)
  • Website: http://srifcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that is a member of the Financial Fitness Association is eligible to join the credit union. San Diego County Credit Union will actually open your account through the Financial Fitness Association – all it costs is $8 a year.

San Diego County Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1938
  • Total Members: 432,813 (3 Year Growth: 1.3%)
  • Charter Number: 61004
  • Total Assets: $11,232 million
  • Total Deposits: $9,510 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,698 (Net Worth Ratio: 14.2%)
  • Website: http://www.sdccu.com
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that is a member of the Financial Fitness Association is eligible to join the credit union. San Diego County Credit Union will actually open your account through the Financial Fitness Association – all it costs is $8 a year.
  • Currently the credit union is offering no closing costs on adjustable rate home loans.

Skyward Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1941
  • Total Members: 17,976 (3 Year Growth: 4.5%)
  • Charter Number: 63300
  • Total Assets: $417 million
  • Total Deposits: $333 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,239 (Net Worth Ratio: 13.9%)
  • Website: https://www.skywardcu.com/
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that is a member of theĀ Kansas Aviation Museum is eligible to the credit union. 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.

First South Financial Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1957
  • Total Members: 68,560 (3 Year Growth: 1.7%)
  • Charter Number: 68084
  • Total Assets: $791 million
  • Total Deposits: $573 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,001 (Net Worth Ratio: 26.0%)
  • Website: http://www.firstsouth.com
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can gain eligibility for the credit union by joining the Courage Thru Cancer Association which supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1937
  • Total Members: 75,476 (3 Year Growth: 8.2%)
  • Charter Number: 60137
  • Total Assets: $2,230 million
  • Total Deposits: $2,019 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,880 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.7%)
  • Website: http://www.dcecu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that makes a $10 donation to the credit union’s scholarship fund is eligible to join the credit union. The scholarship fund is the Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union Endowed Scholarship Fund and potential members can simply make the donation as part of their application to the credit union and that’s all that is required to become eligible.

Technology Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1960
  • Total Members: 157,232 (3 Year Growth: 25.2%)
  • Charter Number: 68383
  • Total Assets: $4,155 million
  • Total Deposits: $3,716 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,911 (Net Worth Ratio: 11.0%)
  • Website: http://www.techcu.com
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that is 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.

State Department Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 90,982 (3 Year Growth: 3.6%)
  • Charter Number: 435
  • Total Assets: $2,626 million
  • Total Deposits: $2,280 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,875 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.0%)
  • Website: http://www.sdfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can be eligible to join the credit union if you are 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.

Lake Michigan Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1933
  • Total Members: 437,602 (3 Year Growth: 14.8%)
  • Charter Number: 62514
  • Total Assets: $12,113 million
  • Total Deposits: $10,560 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,845 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.3%)
  • Website: http://www.lmcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: to become eligible for the credit union you can make a $5.00 donation to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Foundation.
  • The credit union currently will pay a 3.00% interest rate on its checking accounts on balances up to $15,000. This account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance required, which makes it stack up extremely favorably to the 5 best free checking accounts which we recently wrote about.

United States Senate Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 44,932 (3 Year Growth: 7.2%)
  • Charter Number: 624
  • Total Assets: $1,223 million
  • Total Deposits: $1,105 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,591 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.5%)
  • Website: https://www.ussfcu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: you can become eligible to join the United States Senate Credit Union by becoming a member of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society which costs $65, and submit your receipts to the credit union when you apply.

Alliant Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 668,274 (3 Year Growth: 30.9%)
  • Charter Number: 67955
  • Total Assets: $15,440 million
  • Total Deposits: $13,152million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,370 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.3%)
  • Website: http://www.alliantcreditunion.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: if you are not eligible through Alliant Credit Union’s main criteria you can join the credit union by joining the non-profit Foster Care to Success (FC2S). It costs $5.00 to join the non-profit and Alliant Credit Union will actually pay the one-time $5.00 fee for you.
  • Alliant Credit Union currently offers a 1.00% APR on its savings accounts compared to the national average of 0.05%. In addition, this credit union was one of the 15 fastest growing credit unions in 2021.

First Technology Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1970
  • Total Members: 629,940 (3 Year Growth: 7.7%)
  • Charter Number: 19976
  • Total Assets: $15,011 million
  • Total Deposits: $11,591 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,499 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.5%)
  • Website: www.firsttechfed.com
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: anyone that is 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. You can also join if you are a member of the Computer History Museum which costs $15 per year for a digital membership.

Genisys Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1964
  • Total Members: 254,221 (3 Year Growth: 11.8%)
  • Charter Number: 68536
  • Total Assets: $4,116 million
  • Total Deposits: $3,492 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,481 (Net Worth Ratio: 15.3%)
  • Website: http://www.genisyscu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: Anyone can become eligible to join this credit union by becoming a member of the Arthritis Foundation or the Paint Creek Center for the Arts.

Veridian Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1934
  • Total Members: 286,872 (3 Year Growth: 15.4%)
  • Charter Number: 64418
  • Total Assets: $5,975 million
  • Total Deposits: $5,122 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,291 (Net Worth Ratio: 11.0%)
  • Website: http://veridiancu.org
  • How Anyone Can Join This Credit Union: although the credit union’s main field of membership consists of people living or working in the state of Iowa or in select counties of Nebraska, it is also open to registered users of Dwolla, the financial technology company. So all you need to do is sign up for a personal account at Dwolla to become eligible for Veridian Credit Union.
  • The credit union currently is offering a “10 & Done” mortgage option to members where if you structure your mortgage to be paid off in 10 years you can pay zero closing costs and get an introductory rate as low as 1.99% while also securing a rate for the rest of the loan term as low as 2.99%.

Self-Help Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1983
  • Total Members: 88,468 (3 Year Growth: 9.8%)
  • Charter Number: 66258
  • Total Assets: $1,635 million
  • Total Deposits: $1,256 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,297 (Net Worth Ratio: 12.4%)
  • Website: http://www.self-help.org
  • How Can Anyone Join This Credit Union: anyone that becomes a member of the credit union’s nonprofit, the Center for Community Self-Help, is eligible to join the credit union. Becoming a member of the nonprofit costs a one-time fee of $5.00, and that’s it.

Teachers Federal Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1952
  • Total Members: 414,861 (3 Year Growth: 12.0%)
  • Charter Number: 8116
  • Total Assets: $8,874 million
  • Total Deposits: $7,992 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,137 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.0%)
  • Website: http://www.teachersfcu.org
  • How Can Anyone Join This Credit Union: to join you have to be a citizen and resident of the United States and open either a Smart Checking or Share Draft Checking account with the credit union.

Hudson Valley Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1963
  • Total Members: 323,321 (3 Year Growth: 4.8%)
  • Charter Number: 68705
  • Total Assets: $6,405 million
  • Total Deposits: $5,657 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,297 (Net Worth Ratio: 11.6%)
  • Website: http://www.hvcu.org
  • How Can Anyone Join This Credit Union: anyone can join the credit union by opening a primary savings account and depositing $0.01 or more – that’s all it takes.

Boeing Employees Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 1,358,591 (3 Year Growth: 8.4%)
  • Charter Number: 62604
  • Total Assets: $30,444 million
  • Total Deposits: $26,745 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,181 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.7%)
  • Website: http://www.becu.org
  • How Can Anyone Join his Credit Union: this is by far the largest credit union on this list (and one of the largest credit unions, period) and it might be a surprise to many people that they can become a member of BECU. If you are a member or a donor to the KEXP (a nonprofit art organization) or the Sea Hawkers Central Council, you can gain eligibility to join the credit union. In other words, by making a one-time donation of $10 (the minimum) you can become a donor of KEXP and gain eligibility to BECU.
  • The credit union has a long list of benefits for members, but one that stands out is its first-time homebuyer grant where eligible member applicants can receive up to $7,500 towards their down payment or closing costs.

Ascend Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1951
  • Total Members: 244,096 (3 Year Growth: 15.3%)
  • Charter Number: 7397
  • Total Assets: $3,788 million
  • Total Deposits: $3,239 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,078 (Net Worth Ratio: 13.4%)
  • Website: https://ascend.org
  • How Can Anyone Join This Credit Union: in the event that you don’t meet the main eligibility criteria for Ascend Federal Credit Union, you can become a member of the The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter, which would automatically make you eligible to join the credit union. The cost to join the TNC is $25.00 and is one-time.

Credit Union of America

  • Year Established: 1935
  • Total Members: 87,749 (3 Year Growth: 9.4%)
  • Charter Number: 60062
  • Total Assets: $1,319 million
  • Total Deposits: $1,101 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $1,924 (Net Worth Ratio: 12.8%)
  • Website: http://www.cuofamerica.com
  • How Can Anyone Join This Credit Union: 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.

5 Great Credit Unions with Statewide Eligibility

In addition to the 23 credit unions that anyone can join, the below credit unions are open to almost everyone that lives or works in a given state, which in many cases also applies to people that are relatives of eligible members. The state-wide accessibility of these credit unions is in addition to the fact that they are each great credit unions, which we also wanted to highlight.

Diversified Members Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1929
  • Total Members: 25,879 (3 Year Growth: -5.8%)
  • Charter Number: 62339
  • Total Assets: $508 million
  • Total Deposits: $414 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $3,483 (Net Worth Ratio: 17.7%)
  • Website: http://dmcu.com
  • Who Can Join: anyone living or working in the state of Michigan.

GreenState Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1938
  • Total Members: 369,644 (3 Year Growth: 63.9%)
  • Charter Number: 60269
  • Total Assets: $9,480 million
  • Total Deposits: $7,818 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,640 (Net Worth Ratio: 10.3%)
  • Website: http://greenstate.org
  • Who Can Join: anyone living or working in the state of Iowa.
  • GreenState was also among the 15 fastest growing credit unions in 2021.

Desert Financial Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1939
  • Total Members: 397,180 (3 Year Growth: 20.6%)
  • Charter Number: 68713
  • Total Assets: $8,374 million
  • Total Deposits: $7,552 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,077 (Net Worth Ratio: 9.9%)
  • Website: http://www.desertfinancial.com
  • Who Can Join: anyone that lives, works, attends school, volunteers or worships in Arizona with the exception of four counties: Apache, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz.
  • Desert Financial Credit Union is the largest credit union in Arizona, and has an asset base that rivals some of the banks in Arizona.

Harborstone Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1955
  • Total Members: 85,143 (3 Year Growth: 3.4%)
  • Charter Number: 66399
  • Total Assets: $1,863 million
  • Total Deposits: $1,673 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,453 (Net Worth Ratio: 11.2%)
  • Website: http://www.harborstone.com
  • Who Can Join: anyone that lives, works or worships in the state of Washington.

Wildfire Credit Union

  • Year Established: 1937
  • Total Members: 49,779 (3 Year Growth: 1.6%)
  • Charter Number: 60057
  • Total Assets: $1,094 million
  • Total Deposits: $985 million
  • Net Worth Per Member: $2,415 (Net Worth Ratio: 11.0%)
  • Website: http://www.wildfirecu.org
  • Who Can Join: anyone that lives, works, worships or attends school in the state of Michigan.