top 50 credit union in the US

Best Credit Unions in the U.S. for 2019

Why choose a credit union? Credit unions usually offer low fees and high interest rates, making them an attractive alternatives to banks. How are they able to afford these competitive rates? Because credit unions are not-for-profit — they’re owned by their own members, not high-salaried CEOs. While banks use profits to pay owners and shareholders, credit unions use their profits to enable higher member returns and lower fees.​  The best credit unions can offer considerable advantages and benefits over traditional banks.

In addition to their competitive rates, credit unions also tend to provide more personalized customer service. They’re often more sympathetic to borrowers who are struggling to make payments on their loans.

However, there are some downsides to credit unions, particularly smaller ones.

Downsides to credit unions

For instance, credit union members must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as working at a certain company or living in a certain area. The credit cards issued by credit unions will typically offer lower rewards. Credit union accounts may not have all the bells and whistles that wealthy individuals need to manage their money.

And not all credit unions are created equal. Credit unions with more assets and more members can afford to provide their members with more services, better rewards, higher interest rates and lower fees. The key is to choose the strongest credit union that you are eligible to join.

Looking to apply to a credit union? Most of the organizations listed below will accept anybody who makes a small, one-time donation to a charity or association that they sponsor.

Our top 50 best credit unions

We’ve listed these credit unions in order of assets managed, from largest to smallest. The information below provides a general idea of the benefits and fees you can expect from each. This should help you make an educated decision on which credit union is best for you.

1. Navy Federal Credit Union    Vienna, VA

 Assets Managed: $97 billion 
 Number of Members: 8.23 million
 Return on Average Assets: 1.65%

Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest U.S. credit union, with over $97 billion in assets and over 8.23 million members. Its return on average assets was 1.65% in 2018. There is no minimum dollar amount required to open an account. There are no monthly service fees, but there is a $29 penalty for non-sufficient funds.

2. State Employees Credit Union Raleigh, NC

 Assets Managed: $38 billion
 Number of Members: 2.3 million
 Return on Average Assets: 1.23%

State Employees Credit Union has $38 billion in assets and 2.3 million members. In 2019, its return on average assets was 1.23%. You must deposit a minimum of $1 to open an account and there is no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $29.

3. PenFed Federal Credit Union Alexandria, VA

 Assets Managed: $23 billion
 Number of Members: 1.60 million
 Return on Average Assets: 0.72%

PenFed Federal Credit Union has $17.6 billion in assets and 1.30 million members. Its return on average assets was 0.72% in 2013. There is a $25 minimum amount to open an account, and a $10 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

4. BECU Tukwila, WA

 Assets Managed: $17.5 billion
 Number of Members: 1.06 million
 Return on Average Assets: 1.36%

The Boeing Employees Credit Union has $12.6 billion in assets and 858,000 members. In 2013, its return on average assets was 1.79% — the third highest in the United States. It has an account yield of 0.05%, a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

5. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Santa Ana, CA

 Assets Managed: $15.2 billion
 Number of Members: 863,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.09%

The SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has $10.3 billion in assets and 595,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.14% in 2013.It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $20.

6. The Golden 1 Credit Union Sacramento, CA

 Assets Managed: $8.5 billion
 Number of Members: 668,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.31%

The Golden 1 Credit Union has $8.5 billion in assets and 668,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.31% in 2013. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $27.50.

7. Alliant Credit Union Chicago, IL

 Assets Managed: $8.2 billion
 Number of Members: 282,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.48%

The Alliant Credit Union has $8.2 billion in assets and 282,000 members. Its return on average assets was 0.48% in 2013. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

8. Security Service Federal Credit Union San Antonio, TX

 Assets Managed: $8.0 billion
 Number of Members: 971,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.66%

The Security Service Federal Credit Union has $8.0 billion in assets and 971,000 members. Its return on average assets was 0.66% in 2013. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $27.50.

9. Star One Credit Union Sunnyvale, CA.

 Assets Managed: $6.7 billion
 Number of Members: 92,100
 Return on Average Assets: 0.83%

The Star One Credit Union has $6.7 billion in assets and over 92,100 members. Its return on average assets was 0.83% in 2013. It has an account yield of 0.25%, a $100 minimum amount to open an account, and a $3 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $13.

10. First Technology Federal Credit Union Mountain View, CA.

 Assets Managed: $6.7 billion
 Number of Members: 370,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.53%

The First Technology Federal Credit Union has $6.7 billion in assets and over 370,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.53% in 2013. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $28.

11. San Diego County Credit Union San Diego, CA

 Assets Managed: $6.5 billion
 Number of Members: 264,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.45%

The San Diego County Credit Union has $6.5 billion in assets and over 264,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.45% in 2013. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $2 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $27.

12. America First Credit Union Riverdale, UT

 Assets Managed: $6.2 billion
 Number of Members: 648,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.86%

The American First Credit Union has $6.2 billion in assets and over 648,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.86% in 2013, which is the highest ROAA for a credit union in 2013 tied with Lake Michigan Credit Union, #43. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $2 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $27.

13. Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Live Oak, TX

 Assets Managed: $5.9 billion
 Number of Members: 471,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.29%

The Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has $5.9 billion in assets and over 471,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.29% in 2013. It has an account yield of 0.05%, no minimum amount to open an account and a $0 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $24.

14. Suncoast Credit Union Tampa, FL

 Assets Managed: $5.9 billion
 Number of Members: 471,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.39%

Suncoast Credit Union has $5.9 billion in assets and over 471,000 members. Its return on average assets was 1.39% in 2013. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $29.

15. American Airlines Federal Credit Union Fort Worth, TX

 Assets Managed: $5.7 billion
 Number of Members: 236,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The American Airlines Federal Credit Union has $5.7 billion in assets and over 236,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has a 0.05% account yield, a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

16. Digital Federal Credit Union Marlborough, MA

 Assets Managed: $5.6 billion
 Number of Members: 429,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.39%

The Digital Federal Credit Union has $5.6 billion in assets and over 429,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.39%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

17. Bethpage Federal Credit Union Fort Worth, TX

 Assets Managed: $5.6 billion
 Number of Members: 237,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Bethpage Federal Credit Union has $5.6 billion in assets and over 237,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

18. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Anchorage, AK

 Assets Managed: $5.6 billion
 Number of Members: 497,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.79%

The Alaska USA Federal Credit Union has $5.6 billion in assets and over 497,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.79%. It has a $5 minimum amount to open an account and a $5 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $20.

19. VyStar Credit Union Jacksonville, FL

 Assets Managed: $5.2 billion
 Number of Members: 453,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.03%

The Vystar Credit Union has $5.2 billion in assets and over 453,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.03%. It has a 0.1% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $32.

20. Citizens Equity First Credit Union Peoria, IL

 Assets Managed: $5.1 billion
 Number of Members: 300,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.78%

The Citizens Equity First Credit Union has $5.1 billion in assets and over 300,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.78%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

21. Teachers Federal Credit Union Hauppauge, NY

 Assets Managed: $5.0 billion
 Number of Members: 258,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.74%

The Teachers Federal Credit Union has $5.0 billion in assets and over 258,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.74%. It has a 0.15% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

22. ESL Federal Credit Union Rochester, NY

 Assets Managed: $4.8 billion
 Number of Members: 324,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.22%

The ESL Federal Credit Union has $4.8 billion in assets and over 324,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.22%. It has a $1 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $37.

23. Delta Community Credit Union Atlanta, GA

 Assets Managed: $4.6 billion
 Number of Members: 296,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.94%

The Delta Community Credit Union has $4.6 billion in assets and over 296,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.94%. It has a 0.02% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

24. Police and Fire Federal Credit Union Philadelphia, PA

 Assets Managed: $4.3 billion
 Number of Members: 221,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.38%

The Police and Fire Federal Credit Union has $4.3 billion in assets and over 221,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.38%. It has a 0.15% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $19.

25. PSECU Harrisburg, PA

 Assets Managed: $4.3 billion
 Number of Members: 416,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.42%

The Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union has $4.3 billion in assets and over 416,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.42%. It has a 0.1% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

26. Patelco Credit Union San Francisco, CA

 Assets Managed: $4.1 billion
 Number of Members: 279,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.31%

The Patelco Credit Union has $4.1 billion in assets and over 279,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.31%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $28.

27. United Nations FCU New York City, NY

 Assets Managed: $4.0 billion
 Number of Members: 105,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.64%

The United Nations Federal Credit Union has $4.0 billion in assets and over 105,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.64%. It has a 0.05% account yield, no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

28. Wings Financial Credit Union Apple Valley, MN

 Assets Managed: $4.0 billion
 Number of Members: 200,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.87%

The Wings Financial Credit Union has over $4.0 billion in assets and over 200,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.87%. It has a 0.15% account yield, a $1 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

29. Ent Federal Credit Union Colorado Springs, CO

 Assets Managed: $4.0 billion
 Number of Members: 235,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.15%

The Ent Federal Credit Union has $4.0 billion in assets and over 235,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.15%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

30. Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Poughkeepsie, NY

 Assets Managed: $4.0 billion
 Number of Members: 284,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.84%

The Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union has $4.0 billion in assets and over 284,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.84%. It has a 0.05% account yield, a $5 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

31. State Farm Federal Credit Union Bloomington, IL

 Assets Managed: $4.0 billion
 Number of Members: 131,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.49%

The State Farm Federal Credit Union has $4.0 billion in assets and over 131,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.49%. It has a $5 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $15.

32. Mountain America Credit Union West Jordan, UT

 Assets Managed: $3.9 billion
 Number of Members: 461,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.64%

The Mountain America Federal Credit Union has $3.9 billion in assets and over 461,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.64%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and a $2 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

33. Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union Washington, DC

 Assets Managed: $3.9 billion
 Number of Members: 82,700
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Bank Fund Staff Federal Credit Union has $3.9 billion in assets and over 82,700 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

34. Desert Schools Federal Credit Union Phoenix, AZ

 Assets Managed: $3.8 billion
 Number of Members: 308,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.68%

The Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has $3.8 billion in assets and over 308,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.68%. It has a 0.2% account yield, a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $5 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $35.

35. Logix Federal Credit Union Burbank, CA

 Assets Managed: $3.8 billion
 Number of Members: 131,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Logix Federal Credit Union has $3.8 billion in assets and over 131,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $2.95 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $29.

36. DFCU Financial Dearborn, MI

 Assets Managed: $3.7 billion
 Number of Members: 215,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.94%

The Dearborn Federal Credit Union has $3.7 billion in assets and over 215,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.94%. It has a 0.05% account yield, a $20 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $32.

37. Redstone Federal Credit Union Huntsville, AL

 Assets Managed: $3.7 billion
 Number of Members: 369,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.75%

The Redstone Federal Credit Union has $3.7 billion in assets and over 369,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.75%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

38. OnPoint Community Credit Union Portland, OR

 Assets Managed: $3.5 billion
 Number of Members: 265,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.05%

The OnPoint Community Credit Union has $3.5 billion in assets and over 265,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.05%. It has a $50 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service

39. Kinecta Federal Credit Union Manhattan Beach, CA

 Assets Managed: $3.3 billion
 Number of Members: 262,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.75%

The Kinecta Federal Credit Union has $3.3 billion in assets and over 262,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.75%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and a $2 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $29.

40. Visions Federal Credit Union Endwell, NY

 Assets Managed: $3.3 billion
 Number of Members: 165,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.95%

The Visions Federal Credit Union has $3.3 billion in assets and over 165,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.95%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and an $8 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

41. Tinker Federal Credit Union Oklahoma City, OK

 Assets Managed: $3.2 billion
 Number of Members: 292,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.61%

The Tinker Federal Credit Union has $3.2 billion in assets and over 292,000 members. The biggest by assets and members in the state of Oklahoma. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.61%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $22.5.

42. Space Coast Credit Union Melbourne, FL

 Assets Managed: $3.2 billion
 Number of Members: 288,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Space Coast Credit Union has $3.2 billion in assets and over 288,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $6 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

43. Lake Michigan Credit Union Grand Rapids, MI

 Assets Managed: $3.2 billion
 Number of Members: 224,000 
 Return on Average Assets: 1.86%

The Lake Michigan Credit Union has $3.2 billion in assets and over 224,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.86%: the highest ROAA for a major credit union. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

44. Eastman Credit Union Kingsport, TN

 Assets Managed: $ 3.0 billion
 Number of Members: 146,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Eastman Credit Union has $3.0 billion in assets and over 146,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has a 0.05% account yield, a $1 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

45. Wright-Patt Credit Union Fairborn, OH

 Assets Managed: $2.8 billion
 Number of Members: 275,000
 Return on Average Assets: 1.27%

The Wright-Patt Credit Union has $2.8 billion in assets and over 275,000 members. It is the biggest credit union in Ohio. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 1.27%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

46. SECU Credit Union Linthicum, MD

 Assets Managed: $2.8 billion
 Number of Members: 230,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.75%

The State Employees Credit Union has $2.8 billion in assets and over 230,000 members. It’s the largest credit union by assets and members in Maryland. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.75%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and a $5 monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $30.

47. SEFCU Albany, NY

 Assets Managed: $2.8 billion
 Number of Members: 303,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.58%

The State Employees Federal Credit Union has $2.8 billion in assets and over 303,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.58%. It has no minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

48. Wescom Credit Union Pasadena, CA

 Assets Managed: $2.8 billion
 Number of Members: 194,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.75%

The Wescom Central Credit Union has $2.8 billion in assets and over 194,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.75%. It has a $1 minimum amount to open an account and an $8 monthly service fee.

49. Credit Human San Antonio, TX

 Assets Managed: $3 billion
 Number of Members: 234,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.64%

Credit Human has $2.7 billion in assets and over 250,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.64%. It has a $25 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

50. Tower Federal Credit Union Laurel, MD

 Assets Managed: $2.7 billion
 Number of Members: 132,000
 Return on Average Assets: 0.38%

The Tower Federal Credit Union has $2.7 billion in assets and over 132,000 members. Its return on average assets in 2013 was 0.38%. It has a 0.05% account yield, a $10 minimum amount to open an account and no monthly service fee. The penalty for non-sufficient funds is $25.

Credit Unions FAQ

What is a credit union?

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by its members. Credit unions typically serve groups of people who have something in common—where they work or live, for example.

What is the difference between banks and credit unions?

Banks are for-profit and credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. Banks are owned by shareholders, while credit unions are owned by members (all individuals who have established an account with the credit union). Because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, they are able to offer lower loan rates, higher savings yields, and more personal service than many other financial institutions.

How are credit unions operated?

Credit Unions are not-for-profit, which means that any profits are returned to the membership in the form of better rates on loans and savings, lower fees and improved services.

Do credit unions offer the same services as banks?

Yes, most credit unions offer a lot of the same services as big banks. 

Is it difficult to become a credit union member?

It depends on the requirements of the credit union. Typically, a nominal fee and professional or geographical affiliation is required.

Bottom line

Credit unions are a powerful financial tool, particularly in communities that are far from large financial hubs. Most credit unions started because a community was in need of basic financial services. Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU), for instance, started in 1938 because civil servants didn’t have access to a bank in the area. Now it provides competitive rates on mortgages, student loans, and personal loan.

Although credit unions can’t always compete with banks on cutting-edge tech or member rewards, they’re unparalleled in transparency. Curious about best credit unions in your area? You can compare side-by-side reviews and offerings from best credit unions and banks with SuperMoney.