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Official Credit Unions Guide

Super Contributor

Official Credit Unions Guide

Due to the closure of the 100 Credit Unions Journey thread, I have agreed to start a new and improved thread to collect data on the various CUs we are all currently members of or are interested in joining. For those in search of new CUs to join, here is a link to an article that lists many with open membership. Click expand article to view list:


American Consumer Council membership allows eligibility to many CUs. $5 fee waived when using promo code "consumer". List of ACC eligible CUs:


I will start things off with my list of CUs.


1) Navy Federal CU - the first CU I joined. Very generous to rebuilders! Known for high limit credit card approvals for those with less than stellar credit. TU pull for membership. EQ(usually) for credit. Platinum MC $25k, Cashrewards Visa $17.5k, CLOC $15k. POI was required for CLOC app. Those with no military connections can join via the below route:


2)Penfed - EQ hp good for 90 days. Now according to a Penfed rep, it's only 30 days. Donation to Voices For America's Troops for eligibility. You can also donate to National Military Families Organization for eligibility. Platinum Rewards Visa $18k. Waiting for future quarterly preapproval for any more products. No POI required for me. But, they do ask sometimes.


3)Alliant CU- EQ sp. Donation to Foster Care to Success for eligibility. My main banking hub. Their rates are hard to beat! Known for their Share Secure Loans that are great for those with no installment loans reporting. Waiting on a quarterly preapproval for cc. They routinely email 30k or 50k signup bonus to preapproved members that's worth a free $300/$500! Instant mobile and ATM deposits! LOVE this feature! Did I mention the $50k max mobile check deposit limit? Absolutely unheard of!


4)Security Service Federal CU - TU hp good for 60 days. Membership geographically restricted to parts of Texas,Utah and Colorado. Power MC $4.8k, PLOC $1k. They said I have too much available credit. 😂 POI was required for cc.


5)Digital CU - EQ hp. $10 Donation to Reach Out For Schools for eligibility. But, they have several organizations you can join. Future auto refi. Monthly EQ 04 Fico.


6) State Department Federal CU - EX sp. Which is now a hp I believe. ACC membership eligibility. Lowest rate secured card on the market @ 7.24%! No annual fee! No credit check! Minimum $250! MUCH better way to start a rebuild than Credit One or First Premier! Highly recommend! Possible 2017 low apr Visa app. Apparently very inq sensitive and require POI. UPDATE 11/19/16: Sent me a $4500 check for a personal loan that I was preapproved for. Nice way to establish credit with them for future use.


7)Unify(formerly Western CU) - EX sp. They paid my membership to Friends of Hobbs for eligibility. Eyeing their 4.99% apr Visa for 2017. Very rebuilder friendly. Approves as low as 560 EX fico. Require POI for apps and clis.


8)First Community CU - EQ hp. Local CU. Used for share branch banking with Security Service FCU and State Dept FCU.


10/20/16 Update:


9)University Federal CU - EQ sp for membership. Open membership with $20 donation to the Longhorn Foundation. However, I used "None of the above but still want to join" as eligibility option. And was approved membership. No Donation required.

623 REPLIES 623
Moderator Emeritus

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

These are mine:


NFCU- been with a very long time.  Unbeatable CU.  $25K CC and $15K LOC


PenFed - been a member for a year. Have been very generous for me.  Now have auto refi, CC with $42K limit and $25K LOC.  Love the 90 days for using same inquiry (generally works though not all the time)


NASA - very conservative CU and has been taking some AA against members which is very unusual for credit unions.  $25K CC


SDFCU - no products with them but can tell you that they are very big in requiring POI which hasn't been the case for me with the 3 listed above


Apple FCU - used to be very hard to get into unless you lived or worked in Northern Virginia but now you can pay $20 to join NVADAC and become member.  No credit product with them as my membership was just approved today but they do offer a Platinum CC that has a rate as low as 5.99%.  No HP required to join but do check ChexSystems





Message 2 of 624
Super Contributor

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

Thanks Irish! I thought you were a member of more than that! I will be adding Apple soon. Thanks again for that heads up! 😉


NASA and I recently parted ways for the reason you stated. Plus the fact they denied me twice for too much credit. Very quirky CU. Plus from what I hear, a nightmare for self employed. Good riddance!

Message 3 of 624
Moderator Emeritus

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

@baller4life wrote:
Thanks Irish! I thought you were a member of more than that! I will be adding Apple soon. Thanks again for that heads up! 😉

I was a member of a local CU but closed that account couple months ago.  I'll be checking on this thread for more possibilities.  Thannks for starting it Baller

Message 4 of 624

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

1) Penfed - EQ pulled for membership during this time I applied for a Thrifty LOC only asking for $500 along with PenFed Promise for 5k Initial Approval a month and a half later got it to $7500 all under the HP of joining. After 9 months with PenFed I decided to hit up PenFed for a CLI on Promise and got that to 15k along with picking up the Travel Amex for 15k as well. Should of been one HP, but ended up with being two, but due to this confusion I ended up getting no Hard Pulls as they were removed, but got to keep the CLI along with the Amex due to their mistakeSmiley Happy.


2) NFCU - TU pulled for membership. Went for CLOC only asked for 10k(didn't ask for 15k) and was instant approval with a EQ HP. Also during this time applied for GoReards and was instantly approved for 23.7k and a TU HP. After three months and three statement hit the "Max" button and got to 25k on a SP from the last AR.


3) Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union - No HP to join. Sitting on this one still. A PITA to join as everything is Snail mail initially, but they have extremely low APR credit cards and a TU04 puller. I will be going for very low apr CC with them sometime next year.


4) Alliant - EQ sp. Donation to Foster Care to Success for eligibility. Sitting on this one and seeing if they come out with any better cards. Also keep some money here due to their good rate of return.

Message 5 of 624

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

I hope to have more data points later on, but I'll provide what I have now...


I'm a member of NFCU for the reasons already stated; I keep a couple hundred dollars in my share/savings account as one of my 'stashes', and I have their Platinum MasterCard with a $20k credit line.  I don't have checking with them, so I don't have the CLOC.  My initial approval was last November for $15.3k and I still had two six year old 'baddies' reporting at the time of approval.  This is my first significant credit union experience, and it's been a very positive one.  Smiley Very Happy


I'm looking at Alliant; their CD rates are slightly better than NFCU and I am "in need" of an installment loan for FICO purposes; they have a well-documented share secured loan available to members that is said to be good if you need an installment loan to report to all three bureaus.  I'm drawn to them primarily because of their CD rates and the high satisfaction level of the good people on here.


I'm also looking at a small credit union... APCO Employees Credit Union.  There's no GEO restriction, but their membership is limited to employees or retirees of Alabama Power (or any of the Southern Company subsidiaries; GA Power, MS Power, Gulf Power, etc.) or their families, with a few local companies and churches thrown in for good measure; I have a way in via a family member.  Their CD rates are comparable to Alliant, and they have branches near my family which is a plus.  They are "old school", though (they still require a paper application for membership) and from what I can tell their online services are limited, which might push me closer to Alliant if all other things are equal.  In the coming weeks/month or so I'll be driving over to get more info from them in person, and I'll be able to share here.  They do have a Visa card that has 1% rewards with a 10.9% fixed APR, which could be a good match for someone who wanted a straight-forward credit card (I realize that is not most of us... LOL).


Thanks again to baller for starting this thread!  Smiley Very Happy

Message 6 of 624
Established Contributor

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

New Thread... cool!

App'd for the SDFCU credit card today; they sent a request for last 2 pay stubs. I sent a request to payroll so I should get them tomorrow & will scan it and find out my fate.

Also, for anyone interested in joining American Consumer Council (you definitely want to join) the cost is $zero with promo code "consumer". This code waives the fee to join.

I'm still interested in joining 1 or 2 more credit unions - one is UNFCU and the other is USSFCU.

Navy CashRrwards arrived today. It's a very grown up, err, mature looking card.

Thinking about closing our lone ''typical' bank account. Our banker gives us good personal service but their tellers and csr's are uninspiring. Our home loan is with them, but that will change within the next 18 or so months when we sell & buy a new home.

Thanks for the thread baller.. you always be ballin' up in here.
Original Scores: EQ FICO 645, TU 672, EX FICO 663 (4/2014)
Current Scores: EQ FICO 824, TU 840, EX FICO 826 (3/2018)
Message 7 of 624
Senior Contributor

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

  • Bellwether CCU - Local CU in New Hampshire. Joined in 2005 (was Telephone Credit Union of NH) with just a share account. Opened a credit card in 2010 and was approved for a car loan the same year. Limit on card was $500 and auto loan rate of 4.99%. Anyone in NH can join, or communications industry in Maine, Mass, or Vermont. Family members of members can also join. Rates aren't the best and they had most of my daily banking until recently.
  • NASA - Joined in March 2015. Both membership and CC approval done via SP. Cash Rewards card $25k
  • PenFed - Joined March of 2015. EQ for membership and got the Platinum Rewards card at $7.5k and then May got the Cash Rewards for $5,000. Currently only have the Platinum Rewards card now and sitting at $15,000.
  • Navy - Joined in June 2016 via the membership to the San Diego Navy League. Membership, $25k GoRewards and then in July got the $15k CLOC. Doing my daily banking with Navy and have not been disappointed.
Message 8 of 624
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

Here's a link to the top 100 HP or SP CU's and Banks

Hopefully it's useful for some folks.

My most prized tradeline.
Message 9 of 624
Regular Contributor

Re: The Official Credit Unions Guide

NFCU- My first go around with a credit union. They needed my latest W-2 to open an account. Why? I have no idea, but I sent it to them. A week later they email saying they can't read it. I email the same attachment, this time they must be able to see it because they open my accounts, savings and Flagship checking. Apllied for Flagship Visa on Friday and it goes to 24 HR review. They pulled TU for the membership and TU for the credit app. Totally clean file, 736 fico 8, AAoA 3 yrs., income $248k. Saturday denied, "You don't meet our underwriting guidelines." I changed the checking to everyday(no min balance) and transferred $50 to it where it can sit until I figure out what I will do. I'm looking to change banks and had every intention of moving my direct deposit to them. Instead I moved it to USAA. 

Message 10 of 624
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