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Good credit union to join?

Established Member

Good credit union to join?

Not sure if this belongs in this forum but it seemed to be the only place for it. I see credit unions are fairly popular here, are there any recommendations for a good one? I live in Michigan and my university has a CU, but I don't want to join it as my university is horribly inefficient, frequently messes up or loses paperwork, etc...just not the kind of place I want to store my money.


I've heard it's fairly easy to get into the NASA credit union, but also that they pull your credit report when you apply to join? Is that true? I really don't want a new hard inquiry as I have many of them and they're all about to become a year old. Do all credit unions do a hard inquiry?


Any other suggestions? Thanks Smiley Happy

Message 1 of 7
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Good credit union to join?

So your goal is to build up some savings?


Aside from rate shopping, there are a large number of CUs out there that would be great to build a relationship with. I belong to NFCU, Penfed, NASA, and a local one here. When you open a share savings with a CU you'll more than likely to get hit with an inquiry. It's pretty much unavoidable. Some CUs (like NASA) will also check Chexsystems too. Show around for the best rates or investment deals and then see if you qualify for that CU. And ignore your actions from your university. The CU at your university and the school itself are two different entities and one doesn't have anything to do with the other, except for qualifications maybe.

Message 2 of 7
Established Member

Re: Good credit union to join?

I don't exactly have many savings to build up, but I have heard great things about credit unions in general and would like to build some history in one for the future.


Does anyone know anything about DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union)? They provide a free monthly FICO score, which is very appealing to me, and I could become eligible by joining one of a few organizations first.

Message 3 of 7
Established Member

Re: Good credit union to join?

I'm fairly sure I will apply to DCU or my university's credit union, and I'm wondering about whether I should apply for a credit card at the same time? DCU's app allows that.


The only line of credit I have is Paypal buyer credit, which is not actually Visa or MasterCard. I would like a real credit card to help me build my credit score. I have about 4-5 inquiries on Experian and Equifax that are between 8-10 months old depending on the inquiry. More on TransUnion. This happened to me last year when I was stupid and applied for credit cards without realizing I had a new negative item on my credit report (that has since been taken off.) My credit history is now perfect. I am about to pay off my Paypal buyer credit line to around 5% utilization. I have an auto loan I cosigned on that is going to be 3 years old on the 18th of this month. I am a college student in school full time (including this summer) and have no income other than financial aid.


I REALLY don't want to waste an inquiry with so many on my report! But I do want to join a credit union and have a real credit card reporting to the three bureaus. Do you think it's worth it to apply for a credit union and credit card at the same time? Should I wait until these inquiries become a year old? The first one becomes a year old in September, the last one in mid-November.

Message 4 of 7
Senior Contributor

Re: Good credit union to join?

Personally, I'd look at your local CUs. Go through your yellow pages and calll and ask them questions about opening an acct. At that time, you can also ask if they pull your credit and if so, if it's hard or soft. They're NOT all the same. I just recenlty joined a local CU and they did a SOFT pull, but another local one will only do hard pulls.


I think there's a convenience of having a local branch and getting to know the people. But that's just me. Smiley Happy


EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 5 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Good credit union to join?

Apparently about two weeks ago DCU changed the structure of their rewards program claiming it became too expensive and many of their members are extremely upset with them because they were suddenly unable redeem things like trips they were once eligible for..they don't give cash rewards...

Starting Score: TU 686 EX 641 EQ 690
Current Score: TU 779 EX 767 EQ 740
Goal Score: 800 Club

BCE $12.5K, 5/3 Sig $10K, Wally Discover 10K, Cash+ $9K Sam's Discover 10K, Freedom $6K, Zales $5.5K, More $5K, Cap one $5K, Barclay 2.5K, Household Plat $1.5K, Household Gold $1.5K, Credit One $1K, First Premier Plat $.675K First Premier Gold $.65K
Message 6 of 7

Re: Good credit union to join?

I've recently joined 3 CUs, Alliant, PSECU, and SDFCU.


PSECU is a very generous lender, and they provide EX Fico scores monthly, however it seems like it has gotten extremely difficult to join them starting this month. Oh, and they HARD pull EX to join.


Alliant has some excellent online banking, and their rates are great (as long as you make a monthly electronic deposit, the checking account pays 1.1% interest). They are a bit hit and miss as a lender, some people start high, some start at like 1k, but from what I've seen, most people get generous CLI after a reasonable amount of time. They HARD pull EQ to join, also, during the application process you may be preapproved for things like an auto loan or CC, if you Accept them, it's instant approval without an additional pull.


SDFCU I just joined recently, haven't apped for credit yet, probably will hold out at least 6 months. From what I've heard they are a very generous lender and the other nice thing is they only SOFT EQ to join.



The one thing I would definately recommend doing is checking to find out if you qualify for NFCU, they are supposed to be one of, if not THE, most generous lenders there are. I'm dying to find a way in, as are alot of people. You must either be active or retired military, or have a direct relative who is active or retired military. But they are known for giving out generous lines.

Starting Score: EX FICO: Unknown EQ FICO: 717 TU (CreditKarma): 713
Current Score: EX FICO: 737 EQ FICO: 752 TU (CreditKarma): 717
Goal Score: EX FICO: 760 EQ FICO: 760 TU (CreditKarma): 760

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Message 7 of 7