Best Credit Unions Anyone Can Join, 2017

Credit unions are nonprofit institutions owned by their members—meaning they tend to offer accounts and services that are more customer-friendly than those of large national banks.

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Credit unions are nonprofit institutions owned by their members—meaning they tend to offer accounts and services that are more customer-friendly than those of large national banks. And like banks, they deliver a full range of options, from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.

Many credit unions limit membership to people who live in the region or work for eligible employers, but some open their doors to any U.S. customer who joins a qualifying organization. With data from economic research firm Moebs Services, we evaluated 22 such all-access credit unions. Among other factors, we examined the fees, minimum-balance requirements and interest rates on checking, savings and CD accounts from the credit unions.

Take a look at the seven outstanding credit unions that rose to the top. Most of them participate in the CO-OP shared branch network, allowing members to use the services of 3,500 credit unions with more than 5,000 branches and providing access to nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent 15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.