The 10 Biggest Credit Unions in America

There are more than 5,000 credit unions in the United States. These nonprofit institutions have grown in recent years and now serve upwards of 100 million people. Credit unions tend to be member-owned, and membership is often tied to being part of a specific community. These factors may help explain why credit unions have become more popular in recent years. However, if you think credit unions are small enterprises with limited reach, think again.

 There are quite a few credit unions that rival traditional banks in terms of size. Even so, these credit unions haven’t forgotten their roots, especially during these difficult times. Credit unions offer some distinct advantages and have developed programs to assist members struggling to get through the pandemic.

The biggest credit unions in America

Rank Name Locations Assets
  1Navy Federal Credit UnionBranches in 30 states and 11 countries $111,986,000,000
  2State Employees’ Credit UnionBranches in North Carolina $41,376,686,562
  3Pentagon Federal Credit UnionBranches in 11 states, three countries and two U.S. territories $24,774,360,962
  4Boeing Employees Credit UnionBranches in Washington State and South Carolina $22,178,675,266
  5SchoolsFirst Federal Credit UnionBranches throughout California $16,761,721,612
  6First Technology Federal Credit UnionBranches or shared branches in nine states and Puerto Rico $13,110,528,514
  7Golden 1 Credit UnionBranches in California $12,993,881,497
  8Alliant Credit UnionATMs across the United States $12,244,742,402
  9America First Credit UnionBranches throughout Utah and parts of Nevada $11,712,643,978
  10Suncoast Credit UnionBranches in and around Tampa, Florida $10,534,613,558

1. Navy Federal Credit Union

Virginia-headquartered Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) regularly tops the list of largest credit unions in the United States. NFCU offers zero-down mortgage loans to qualified borrowers. The organization stepped up during the pandemic and offers a range of relief options, including deferred payments and loan extensions to members who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NFCU also offers generous personal loans ranging from $250 to $50,000 and has a robust mobile banking system available on all major platforms.

2. State Employees’ Credit Union

North Carolina-based State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) offers a wealth of different services. One of the more intriguing is the Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows for “tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualified elementary, secondary and higher education expenses.” SECU is offering payment extensions on different loans to members in the wake of COVID-19. The institution also has different mortgage options for borrowers, depending on their situation. SECUs mobile banking is available on most platforms and allows members to move money and pay bills, among other services.

[Read: Best Credit Union Student Loans of 2020 ]

3. Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PFCU) has ties with other organizations and this means discounts — lots of them. PFCU has roughly 1.8 million members and is willing to work with those in need right now. The institution has a program to help members skip payments if necessary. PFCU’s hardship page mentions different options for those who need a forbearance or who are looking to change the terms of their agreement. The credit union’s mobile banking app also offers a broad spectrum of services, including virtual deposits.

4. Boeing Employees Credit Union

Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) has been a staple in the Seattle area since 1938. BECU offers the Early Saver Youth Account, which allows a 4.07% APY on the first $500. The organization has deferral options for consumer loans and credit cards, as well as a six-month suspension of mortgage payments for members impacted by the pandemic. BECU also offers personal loans that come with no application fees. Boeing’s mobile banking system is available on most platforms and comes with a host of features.

5. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union (SFFCU) is open to school employees in California. SFFCU has a unique loan for its members. The classroom supplies loan offers 0% APR and loan amounts of up to $1,000 for qualified borrowers. The organization responded to the pandemic by offering members in need the option to skip payments on auto, personal or consumer loans for three months, or reduce payments by up to 50% for six months. SFFCU also makes personal loans available to its members. A 0.75% discount is applied to payments made through automatic transfer. The SchoolsFirst mobile app comes highly rated, with reviewers noting its ease of use and range of options.

[ Read: Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review ]

6. First Technology Federal Credit Union

First Technology (First Tech) Federal Credit Union serves “employees and family members of the world’s leading technology companies.” FirstFed has a pretty substantial emergency assistance program, including emergency loans and different payment options for low-income borrowers and those whose finances have been hurt by the pandemic. With a name like First Technology, you’d expect the company to have healthy online and mobile banking options, and it does.

7. Golden 1 Credit Union

Sacramento-based Golden 1 Credit Union has an impressive financial wellness center. This commitment to its members’ well-being extends to different relief options made available during the pandemic. Golden 1 offers different payment plans, as well as forbearance options on mortgage and home equity lines of credit. The organization also offers personal loans with a 7.70% APR for qualified borrowers and personal lines of credit.

8. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is based in Chicago but has members around the world. Alliant is known for having high-quality savings accounts. Alliant also offers its members personal loans that can be used to consolidate debt or for home expenses and emergencies. The credit union’s app is available on Android and iOS. Among its many mobile features, the Alliant app allows users to set up travel notifications, so funds can still be easily accessed while traveling.

[ Read: PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Review ]

9. America First Credit Union 

Utah-based America First Credit Union (AFCU) is offering free financial counseling to help members navigate the current financial landscape. AFCU is also offering relief loans to members and has a program that will allow people to skip payments. The institution’s online banking options allow users to do everything from transfer money, see pending transactions and even apply for loans.

10. Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast first opened its doors in 1934. The credit union mostly serves the Tampa, Florida area. Suncoast is providing technology loans with rates as low as 6.75% APR. The organization is providing mortgage relief during the pandemic, and members in need can also request 30-, 60- or 90-day extensions on auto or personal loans. Suncoast’s app includes “Pay a Person,” which allows members to send money to anyone, regardless of financial institution.

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Eric Wilson Edge

Contributing Writer

Eric Wilson-Edge is a freelance journalist who has covered personal finance, banking, the economy and other topics for The Simple Dollar, The Seattle Times, Narratively and elsewhere.

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  • Andrea Perez
    Andrea Perez
    Personal Finance Editor

    Andrea Perez is an editor at The Simple Dollar who leads our news and opinion coverage. She specializes in financial policy, banking, and investing.