Largest Credit Unions in America (2024) (2024)

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Here’s a breakdown of how we reviewed and rated top banks and credit unions

130

Institutions MonitoredOur team reviewed more than 100 of the country’s largest and most prominent financial institutions, from big banks like Chase and Bank of America to credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union and PenFed Credit Union.

688

Products StudiedTotal number of checking, saving, CDs, and money-market accounts that inform our review ratings.

719

Rates TrackedThe accounts with an annual percentage yield (APY) several times the national average rate receive the highest scores. Accounts with the lowest APY offering (under 1%) earn the least points.

10

Professionals ConsultedBefore we began our research process, we consulted with financial advisors and industry experts to ensure our evaluations covered the banking product aspects that matter most to potential customers.

Largest Credit Unions in the U.S.

To build our ranking of the biggest credit unions in the U.S., we sourced the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which insures credit unions nationally and reports a wide range of data for more than 4,600 institutions each quarter. This information includes each credit union’s total assets, which we used specifically to rank the country’s largest credit unions. We also looked at the current customer counts and the number of branches and ATMs for each institution.

Here are the 10 biggest credit unions based on asset size, according to the NCUA’s September 2023 data:

Rank by Asset SizeCredit Union NameTotal Assets
Customer Count
Number of BranchesNumber of ATMs
1.Navy Federal Credit Union$168.4 billion13.2 million35030,000
2.State Employees’ Credit Union$50.68 billion2.8 million2701,100
3.Pentagon Federal Credit Union$35.36 billion2.9 million5085,000
4.Boeing Employees’ Credit Union$29.17 billion1.4 million6030,000
5.SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union$28.78 billion1.3 million7030,000
6.Golden 1 Credit Union$20.5 billion1.1 million6030,000
7.America First Credit Union$19.13 billion1.4 million12030,000
8.Alliant Credit Union$18.94 billion800,000080,000
9.Mountain America Credit Union$18 billion1.2 million10050,000
10.Randolph-Brooks Credit Union$17.94 billion1.1 million6030,000

No. 1 — Navy Federal Credit Union

Launched in 1933 and based in Vienna, Va., Navy Federal Credit Union originally served only members of the U.S. Navy before expanding membership to those associated with other military branches. You’ll still need to have a military affiliation to join, but that hasn’t stopped its growth: Navy Federal now has more than 13 million customers globally. NFCU’s financial products include deposit accounts, loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance. It has special financial services for businesses, too.

Advantages of Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Offering most types of bank accounts and credit products, it’s a one-stop destination for personal banking needs.
  • It has the largest physical presence with 355 global branch locations close to military bases.
  • It focuses on financial education, including helpful guides, calculators and credit-monitoring tools.

No. 2 — State Employees’ Credit Union

Based in Raleigh, NC., State Employees’ Credit Union mainly offers membership to state workers and their families. It launched in 1937 and has grown to over 270 branch locations throughout the state. Members can pick from numerous bank and investment accounts, credit products, insurance policies and planning services.

Advantages of State Employees’ Credit Union

  • Its selection of financial, retirement and estate planning services makes it a good choice for working toward your financial goals.
  • It offers salary advances and multiple mortgage programs to help members facing financial hardship.
  • SECU features educational websites and special Zard and FatCat accounts for minors.

No. 3 — Pentagon Federal Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union began in 1935 as a way to help War Department employees save and borrow money. Headquartered in Tysons, Va., it has since opened up membership to anyone who wants to join and features branches throughout the U.S. and at overseas military bases. Its offerings include deposit and retirement accounts, loans, credit cards and protection plans.

Advantages of Pentagon Federal Credit Union

  • It offers open and accessible membership with a low $5 minimum opening deposit requirement for savings accounts.
  • Members can access financial hardship support, exclusive discounts and networks of investment and real estate experts.
  • Its money market certificates offer very competitive savings rates and many term options.

No. 4 — Boeing Employees’ Credit Union

Boeing Employees’ Credit Union was founded by a group of its employees in 1935 in an effort to help get money for work tools. Based in Tukwila, Wash., BECU now has about 60 branches throughout Washington and South Carolina, where Boeing employs thousands of workers. Membership is mainly open to those associated with Boeing or Washington state. Its offerings include loans, deposit accounts, credit cards, insurance, investments and trust services for both personal and business accounts.

Advantages of Boeing Employees’ Credit Union

  • Its Members Advantage accounts feature the best savings rate among competitors on the first $500 deposited for checking and savings accounts.
  • First-time homebuyers and members of BECU can apply for a potential $10,000 grant through the credit union.
  • Members can access free financial counseling and various online courses, presentations and articles for improving money management skills.

No. 5 — SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Operating since 1934, Tustin, Calif.-based SchoolsFirst serves around 70 branches statewide and offers membership to those professionally affiliated with California schools and close family of current members.

Members can access deposit accounts, credit cards, loans, investment accounts, insurance and financial advisory services. However, some options are only for current school employees.

Advantages of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

  • Its high-yield Summer Saver and Paycheck Planner savings accounts are aimed at helping school employees plan for going without pay during summer vacation.
  • The credit union offers numerous employee loan programs, including options that are interest-free or require no payments during the summer.
  • Its financial wellness resources include counseling services, educational articles, calculators and workshops.

No. 6 — Golden 1 Credit Union

Based in Sacramento, Calif., Golden 1 Credit Union began in 1933 and has about 60 branches in the state. California residents and workers, members’ immediate families and certain affiliated employees can join. The credit union offers credit cards, loans, deposit accounts, investment services and insurance for personal banking. It also has a community focus with various grant and scholarship programs.

Advantages of Golden 1 Credit Union

  • The credit union makes becoming a member accessible with only a $1 minimum savings account deposit.
  • It’s affiliated with the Golden 1 Center, a downtown Sacramento arena, where members can access special discounts, packages and events.
  • It offers a personal finance learning lab with hands-on educational tools as well as podcasts, presentations and videos.

No. 7 — America First Credit Union

America First Credit Union has operated since 1939 and is headquartered in Ogden, Utah. It offers membership to people associated with select counties in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and New Mexico, plus eligible individuals associated with members and certain businesses. The credit union has numerous bank and investment accounts available to its members, as well as insurance options, loans and credit cards.

Advantages of America First Credit Union

  • Highlights include a rewards checking account, flexible and rate-bump CD options, and a no-closing-cost mortgage.
  • It teaches personal finance skills through America First’s so-called FUNDamentals program, and includes some business resources as well.
  • AFCU includes options for businesses such as extensive selection of accounts, credit products and business services like automatic bill pay and merchant accounts.

No. 8 — Alliant Credit Union

Based in Chicago, Alliant Credit Union got its start in 1935 and originally served United Airlines workers. It’s now an online-only institution with a large ATM network, a fully featured banking app and multiple paths to membership – anyone in the U.S. can join. There are personal bank accounts for all ages along with credit cards, loans, investment accounts and insurance.

Advantages of Alliant Credit Union

  • Anybody can make a donation to Alliant’s charitable foundation at no cost to get access to the credit union’s services.
  • Its deposit accounts all feature no monthly fees and have rates that significantly beat national averages.
  • Account perks include $5 for opening a savings account, $20 monthly for covering out-of-network ATM fees and tools for managing savings goals.

No. 9 — Mountain America Credit Union

Operating since the 1930s, Mountain America Credit Union has its headquarters in Sandy, Utah. It offers membership to Utah residents in select counties, certain affiliated employees and eligible individuals associated with members. MACU has more than 100 branches in Utah and five nearby states, offering various bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investment products for individuals and businesses.

Advantages of Mountain America Credit Union

  • Its so-called MyStyle Checking account features rewards points and unique perks such as free telehealth visits, identity theft protection and discounts on entertainment.
  • Businesses of all sizes can utilize MACU’s extensive selection of specialized services (such as fraud monitoring and merchant services) and business advice.
  • Suiting all ages, the financial guidance hub has numerous educational resources including games, counseling, worksheets, podcasts, interactive tools and guides.

No. 10 — Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is based in Live Oak, Texas and has more than 60 branches in select metro areas across the state. Launched in 1952, RBFCU originally served military members. Today the credit union has expanded its access to much more. Its personal banking products include bank accounts, investments, insurance, loans and credit cards.

Advantages of Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union

  • Its Really Free Checking account stands out for early direct deposits and identity theft monitoring. It also has a program in place aimed at helping debit card customers save money by rounding purchases up to the nearest dollar and depositing the difference into a savings account.
  • The credit union offers courses to children on basic financial management skills.
  • It offers comprehensive in-person advisory services and free online resources aimed at helping members reach their financial goals.

>> Related: Learn more about the largest banks in the U.S.

Find a Credit Union

The NCUA has a locator tool that shows credit unions based on your location. You can narrow your search to specific types of credit unions or search by the services offered. Each search result has an option to view more details. Here you can visit the credit union’s website to explore membership requirements, account options and locations.

Doing web searches for credit unions is another option to finding a credit union. You can try looking for options that serve specific groups or areas, or where membership is open to all. You could also ask people in your network where they’re members and whether they recommend their institutions. Just research the credit union carefully and read reviews before joining.

Pros and Cons of Credit Unions

When you do your banking through large credit unions, you may have advantages over choosing traditional banks and some smaller credit unions. While these perks can make large credit unions appealing, there are also potential drawbacks.

Pros of Credit Unions

  • Extensive Banking Services: Like big banks, large credit unions can serve as a single destination for depositing, borrowing and investing money. You’ll often find a wide array account and credit options in addition to financial planning services and insurance products.
  • More Competitive Fees and Rates: Since credit unions don’t focus on profits, members often get lower bank account fees and interest rates on credit products. Plus, these financial institutions tend to pay a more competitive annual percentage yield (APY) on interest-bearing deposit accounts than banks – again because of its not-for-profit status.
  • Larger Number of Branch and ATM Locations: Compared to credit unions serving smaller areas, the biggest ones often cover several cities and sometimes even have branches overseas. Plus, many have thousands of fee-free ATMs.
  • Member Education and Support: Because most credit unions are community based, they are known for offering a personalized customer experience you might not find at big banks. This is less of an advantage of the largest nationwide credit unions, but large credit unions often also include many financial education resources to help members.

Cons of Credit Unions

  • Requirements for Membership: While some open membership to anybody, other large credit unions require that you or an immediate family member has some eligible association. Depending on your situation, you might find it easier to qualify for membership at a smaller credit union in your community.
  • Potentially Fewer Business Banking Options: While many large credit unions offer several business products, some have a small selection or focus only on personal banking.
  • Limited Locations: Large credit unions often only serve specific cities or states, and they usually have fewer branches than big banks. You might find that the biggest credit unions don’t have branches where you live.

>> Related: Learn about the NCUA vs. FDIC

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re interested in savings accounts, low-cost loans or investment services, picking one of the biggest credit unions may very well be the best choice for your banking needs. Just make sure you meet the membership requirements and can get competitive rates and low fees. And unless you choose an online-only credit union, you should check for convenient branches for the best experience.

The largest banks in the country can be excellent choices for banking, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right option for every customer. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of going with a big bank.

FAQ: Largest Credit Unions

Navy Federal is the country’s largest credit union with around $168.4 billion in total assets and 13.2 million customers at the end of 2022, according to the latest data from the NCUA.

Navy Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union and Pentagon Federal Credit Union are the three largest credit unions by total assets, per the NCUA.

Texas comes out on top with 415 federally insured credit unions, according to the NCUA. Pennsylvania (321), New York (298) and California (256) are also top states for credit unions.

*Data accurate at time of publication

**Rates and promotions accurate as of 2/23/2024

Editor’s Note: Before making significant financial decisions, consider reviewing your options with someoneyou trust, such as a financial adviser, credit counselor or financial professional, since every person’s situation and needs are different.

If you have feedback or questions about this article, please email the MarketWatch Guides team ateditors@marketwatchguides.com.

Largest Credit Unions in America (2024) (2024)
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