A List of Affordable Credit Unions and Banks in NYC

I set the hyperlinks below, if you see words that are UNDERLINED below, it’s linked to something (news article from a website, the home page website of the CU, etc).

News update: Forget Bieber Fever, Lady Gaga, Tebowmania and Linsanity, for the average American fed up with excessive bank fee and the Small Business owners in need of business loans but get rejected by Mega Banks and community banks, the hottest thing right now is CREDIT UNION. Press release on April 12, 2012: Credit Union Industry Assets Hit $1 Trillion in the first quarter of 2012.

Would your Bank give back $10 Million Profit to YOU the customers? Well, Credit Unions would give back because they are member-owned entities very mindful of profit-sharing with their members-owners. Read this news about Founders Federal CU in South Carolina giving back $10 Million PROFIT to its members in November 2011 in the form of BONUS DIVIDEND. And watch their TV commercial via YouTube.

Deluxe Company’s new software called “SwitchAgent” makes switching to Credit Union easy. Cut the hassle of changing automatic monthly payments to new account. Or ask for a Switch Kit at the Credit Union.

See a listing of some of the largest Credit Unions in the US broken out by states.

CU are not-for-profit entities, when you become a member, you become a part owner with voting rights and other perks such as PROFIT-SHARING. Founders Federal CU in South Carolina Shares $10 Million ($10,000,000) PROFIT with its members in the form of BONUS DIVIDEND in November 2011.

Watch this 2 minute 15 second YouTube video to learn about the major differences between Banks vs. Credit Unions

I personally prefer to open accounts at Credit Unions in my local area (with more than 2 dozens CU in the NYC area as listed below and the convenience of CU Service Centers (aka: Shared Branch Network) or call 1-800-919-CUSC (2872) for locations near you), so that I can attend the annual meeting without long distance travel and I know the CU make loans to support my local small business and residents. CO-OP ATMs can accept deposits as well as withdrawals, call 1-800-919-2872 for deposit-taking CO-OP ATMs near you. But if you want to open accounts at Credit Unions that anyone can join simply by donating anywhere from $5 to $25 to a charity organization. Here are a few CU on the list. NOTE: there are more than 7,000 credit unions in the United States.

Scroll down to SECTION 2 to see a list of Credit Unions with offices and branches in New York City.

1) Affinity Federal Credit Union (Basking Ridge, New Jersey) – If you don’t belong to any of the eligible organizations, but you’re a resident of New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, you can still join Affinity FCU by making a $5 donation to “Friends of Whittemore” which is a non-profit organization that supports the environmental education and habitat improvement programs of the Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary in Oldwick, NJ. Affinity FCU is a member of CO-OP network, Allpoint network, Alliance One network, with over 40,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, etc. This CU offers Online Deposit by Scan & Mobile Deposit (via Android and iPhone) allowing its member to use a computer scanner to scan checks for deposits.

2) Allegacy Federal Credit Union (Winstem-Salem, North Carolina) – If you don’t meet the residency or the organization requirements, you can join Allegacy FCU by making a $10 membership fee to the Center for Smart Financial Choices, a non-profit organization offering personal finance education courses to the local community. Allegacy FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide, and it is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. Ask Allegacy FCU about its WebDeposits allowing its member to make deposits online, saving you a trip to the CU.

3) Alliant Credit Union (Chicago, Illinois) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can still join Alliant CU by making a donation of $10 or more to “Foster Care to Success” to support foster teenagers who are “too old” on the foster care systerm, then you’re eligible to join Alliant CU as a member. Alliant CU in Illinois offers savings rates 2 times the national average and earns 5-star healthy rating. Per NerdWallet, Alliant CU garners the “Best Loan Assistance” program for its willingness to make loan modifications due to members’ special circumstances. Alliant CU is a member of CO-OP network, Alliance One, Allpoint network and others with over 80,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, etc. Alliant CU offers Mobile Check Deposit for its members to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

4) Andrews Federal Credit Union (Suitland, Maryland) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Andrews FCU via membership with the Maryland chapter of American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Andrews FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU has its own overseas branches in the military bases in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium as well as branches in Maryland, Washington DC and New Jersey. If you need to travel overseas, Andrews FCU offers Reward Credit Card with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip technology with PIN and NO Annual fee. Where the “old-fashioned” American magnetic-strip cards simply not accepted overseas.

5) Coastal Federal Credit Union (Raleigh, North Carolina) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join the non-profit, statewide consumer advocacy organization called North Carolina Consumers Council Membership (NCCC) by donating a one-time $18 fee to the NCCC, then you are eligible to join Coastal Federal Credit Union. Coastal FCU is a member of Shared Branching with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP and Allpoint networks with over 40,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and Walgreens, etc. Coastal FCU offers Mobile Deposit for its members to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

6) Connexus Credit Union (Wausau, Wisconsin) – If you don’t meet residency or organization requirement, join the Connexus Association in support of such charitable activities as the American Cancer Society, United Way, American Red Cross and more by making a one-time, $5 donation, then you are eligible to become a member of Connexus CU.

7) Consumer Credit Union (Waukegan, Illinois) – according to its website, Consumer CU is open to everyone in America, regardless of where you live or work, you are eligible to joinConsumers CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

8) Digital Federal Credit Union (Marlborough, Massachusetts) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Digital FCU by donating $10 or more to the list of various charity organizations, then you can Digital FCU. Digital FCU offers E-Services including Mobile Deposit of Checks via smartphones, computer scanners and other types of E-services. Digital FCU is a member of Shared Branches (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide and the CO-OP ATM network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM.

9) Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union (Indianapolis, Indiana) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Eli Lilly FCU via membership with TruDirection which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financial literacy for a one-time $5 membership. Eli Lilly FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of Allpoint and CO-OP networks with over 70,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, CVS, Walgreens, 7-Eleven. Eli Lilly FCU offers My Deposit which is a Mobile Deposit service allowing members to deposit checks via smartphones.

10) Endura Financial Federal Credit Union (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you join Endura Financial FCU via membership with the Minnesota chapter of American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Endura Financial FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center). This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

11) Financial Resources Federal Credit Union (Bridgewater, New Jersey) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Financial Resources FCU via membership with the New Jersey chapter of American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Financial Resources FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU has thousands of surcharge-free ATM nationwide. Contact the CU for specific information.

12) Fort Knox Federal Credit Union (Radcliff, Kentucky) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Fort Knox FCU via membership with the American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Fort Knox FCU is a member is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP, Alliance One and Credit Union 24 with over 80,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide. In addition, this CU may waive up to 4 foreign ATM surcharge per month, ask the CU for details.

13) Georgia’s Own Credit Union (Atlanta, Georgia) – If you don’t meet the residency or affiliation requirements, you can join Georgia’s Own CU via membership with GettingAhead Association for $5. Georgia’s Own CU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of Allpoint and CO-OP networks with over 70,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, Walgreens, CVS, 7-Eleven. Allpoint ATM network is available in the US, UK, Mexico and Australia.

14) Georgia United Credit Union (Duluth, Georgia) – If you don’t meet the residency or affiliation requirements, you can join Georgia United CU via membership with GettingAhead Association for $5. Georgia United CU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CU24 ATM network with over 100,000 surcharge-free ATM worldwide including US, UK, Puerto Rico, Canada, Guam, and Japan. Georgia United CU is currently offering “Holiday Skip-A-Payment” program in December 2012 and January 2013.  Georgia United CU offers Mobile Check Deposit via smartphone to its members.

15) The Golden 1 Credit Union (Sacramento, California) – If you don’t meet the residency or the organization requirements, you can join The Golden 1 CU via membership with Financial Fitness Association for a one-time $5 fee. The Golden 1 CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven. The Golden 1 CU is offering Mobile Deposit for its members to deposit checks via smartphones.

16) Grow Financial Federal Credit Union (Tampa, Florida) – If you don’t meet the employer groups or military affiliation requirements, you can join Grow Financial FCU by making a one-time $5 fee to Friends of Military Families, LLC to improve the lives of military personnel and their families. Check out Grow Financial FCU’s efforts to support little girls’ dreams of perfect Quinceanera celebration via the Project Quince savings accounts. Grow Financial FCU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven.

17) GTE Federal Credit Union (Tampa, Florida) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can make a one-time $10 fee to CUSavers which is a non-profit educational financial club providing continual free financial assistance and resources to members. GTE is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. GTE FCU offers Deposit2GO for its members allowing them to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

18) Indiana State University Federal Credit Union (Terre Haute, Indiana) – If you don’t meet the school affiliation or organization requirements, you can join Indiana State University FCU via FREE membership with the American Consumer Council provided that you live in certain counties in Indiana and Illinois. ISU FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide.

19) Lake Michigan Credit Union (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, make a one-time $5 donation to the West Michigan Chapter of the ALS Association. (ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,) then you can join Lake Michigan CU. Contact this CU about their ATM network and branches if you are travelling outside of the counties it serves.

20) Logix Federal Credit Union (aka: Lockheed FCU) (Burbank, California) – Effective July 9, 2012, Lockheed FCU will change its name to Logix FCU to minimize confusion on membership restrictions. If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can still join Logix (fka: Lockheed) FCU by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Logix (fka: Lockheed) FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

21) Maine Savings Federal Credit Union (Augusta, Maine) – If you don’t meet the residency or the organization requirements, you can join Maine Savings FCU via FREE membership with the American Consumer Council. Maine Savings FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide.

22) Melrose Credit Union (Briarwood (Queens, NYC), New York) – Melrose CU is an open-charter CU under the state of NY, it is opened to everyone in the US. You just need to make a one-time $1 membership fee to join. Melrose CU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. Melrose Credit Union is ranked #1 for the 2012 Best-Performing Credit Union in the US, see the link for the charts on the Top 50 best-performing CU and the top 50 CU by states.

23) Mountain America Credit Union (Salt Lake City, Utah) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Mountain America CU via membership with the American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Mountain America CU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. Mountain America CU offers Mobile Deposit for its member to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

24) NASA Federal Credit Union (Washington, DC) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join American Consumer Council for FREE, then you can become a member of NASA FCU. NASA FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. NASA FCU offers Mobile Remote Check Deposit for its members to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

25) Northwest Federal Credit Union (Herndon, Virigina) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Northwest FCU via Financial Awareness Network for a one-time fee of $10. Northwest FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP and Alliance One with over 33,000 surcharger-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

26) Patelco Credit Union (San Francisco, California) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Patelco CU by becoming a member of Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y).  CAFE-Y is an association of youth and adults working together to promote youth-driven community involvement as a vital force for social change. Patelco CU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

27) Pen Air Federal Credit Union (Pensacola, Florida) – If you don’t meet the military or employer affiliation requirements, you can make a donation to The Friends of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society which is founded by Pen Air FCU, then you can join Pen Air FCU. For details on the charity and the donation amount, call Pen Air FCU Marketing Department at 1-850-505-3200 and read the PDF brochure here for detailsPen Air FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. Contact this CU about its ATM locations. Pen Air FCU offers deposIT for its members to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones.

28) Pentagon Federal Credit Union (Arlington, Virginia) – If you don’t meet the military affiliation requirements, you can make a one-time fee of $20 to the National Military Family Association or $15 to Voices for America’s Troops to join Pentagon FCU. Contact this CU about its ATM locations and branches in the US and at overseas military bases. Pentagon FCU’s credit card is rated as the #1 Best Travel Reward Card in America in 2012 with NO annual fee and NO foreign transaction fee. If you prefer to get cash or retail rewards instead of travel rewards, there are other credit cards with deals more suitable for your needs.

29) Provident Credit Union (Redwood City, California) – If you don’t meet the residency requirements, you are eligible to join Provident CU via membership such as American Cancer Society, the Sierra Club or the Sierra Club Foundation. Provident CU offers Super Reward Checking with high yield interest for up to $25,000. See details on restrictions and requirements. Provident is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP, Alliance One, Money Pass networks, etc with over 50,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. Provident CU offers eDeposit for its members to deposit checks via desktop computer scanner and Blackberry, iPhone and Android smartphones.

30) Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (Universal City, Texas) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Randolph-Brooks FCU via membership with the American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Randolph-Brooks FCU ??appears?? to be a member of CO-OP network, contact this CU about its free ATM locations nationwide and whether it is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center). Randolph-Brooks FCU offers eDeposit for its members to deposit checks via desktop computer scanner, iPhone and Android smartphones.

31) San Diego County Credit Union (San Diego, California) – If you don’t meet the residency or the organization requirements, you can join San Diego County CU via membership with Financial Fitness Association for a one-time $5 fee. San Diego County CU is  a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven. San Diego County CU is offering Mobile Deposit for members to make Check Deposit via smartphone.

32) Scient Federal Credit Union (fka: Ledge Light FCU, read news about the name change) (Groton, Connecticut) – If you don’t meet the residency or organization requirements, you can join Scient FCU via membership with American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Scient FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

33) Securityplus Federal Credit Union (Baltimore, Maryland) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Securityplus FCU via FREE membership with the American Consumer Council. Securityplus FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of Allpoint network with over 40,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, CVS, 7-Eleven, Walgreens.

34) Stanford Federal Credit Union (Palo Alto, California) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Stanford FCU via membership with Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) or Friends of the Palo Alto Libraries. Stanford FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP and Allpoint network with over 50,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and Walgreens, etc.

35) State Department Federal Credit Union (Alexandria, Virginia) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join State Dept FCU via membership with American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. State Department FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven. State Department FCU offers Mobile Deposit for its members to deposit checks via iPhone and Android smartphones. State Department FCU offers Visa Credit Card with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip technology with PIN for overseas travel. Where the “old-fashioned” American magnetic-chip cards simply not accepted overseas.

36) Transportation Federal Credit Union (Washington, DC) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join Transportation FCU via membership with American Consumer Council, there is no fee to join this consumer council. Transportation FCU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

37) XCEL Federal Credit Union (Bloomfield, New Jersey) – If you don’t meet the organization requirements, you can join XCEL FCU via Free membership with the American Consumer Council. XCEL FCU is a member of Shared Branching (aka: CU Service Center) with over 4,000 Shared Branches nationwide. This CU is a member of CO-OP network with over 28,000 surcharge-free ATM nationwide including at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven.

Share this information with your friends and family. My blog is updated frequently when I find additional information.

Section 1: News update and money-saving tips
Section 2: List of Credit Unions in New York City you can shop around. A few Credit Unions in the suburbs of NYC that you may also qualify.
Section 3: Benefits of credit unions vs. banks and the HOW-TO guide on bank switching if you have Automatic Bill Pay and Direct Deposits.
Section 4: List of Banks and Credit Unions participating in the NYC SafeStart program co-partnered with the NYC Government for affordable checking accounts.
Section 5: Information from my original blog entry about Melrose Credit Union
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Section 1: News update and money-saving tips

News Update: Pity the *cash-strapped* bankers for making less money on overdraft fee – in 2011, the Fat Cat bankers *only* made $31.6 Billion in overdraft fee according to this Daily Finance report.

News Update: Avoid any Banks or Credit Unions that offer you Pay Day Loans. Read this Los Angeles Times article dated March 11, 2012 for more details about how these financial institutions are ripping people off.

News Update: You can now submit your complaints about banking issues with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) headed by Richard Cordray. The 5 categories of complaints you can submit to CFPB are: (1) Bank Account, Bank Fees & Services (2) Credit Card issues (3) Mortgage complaints (4) Student Loan issues (5) Vehicle & Consumer Loan issues. In addition, you can submit your complaints as a Confidential Informant (aka: Whistleblower). Go to the CFPB “Submit A Complaint” section.

Money-saving tip 1: If you need to buy Cashier’s Check or Money Order, try US Post Office’s Money Order. Avoid the “highway robbery charges” at the Big Banks ($10 or more). It costs less than $2 to buy US Postal Money Order in value up to $1,000. The fee is only $4.45 for International Money Order that can be cashed in 29 countries. For example, if you need to buy $2,000 Domestic Money Order, you only pay $1.55 x 2 = $3.10 in fee for US Postal Money Order.

Money-saving tip 2: If you need to order personal or business checks, it’s generally cheaper to get checks from mail-order check-printing companies than through the bank or credit unions (cut out the middleman’s commissions).
Pay attention to the weekly coupon in your Sunday newspapers for more mail-order check-printing companies and DISCOUNTS for FIRST-TIME customers.
Get $2 discount when ordering at 4Checks.com using Coupon Codes: DB4377, DB4386 or DB 4388. Likewise, when ordering at Check Gallery using Coupon Code GB9682, you get $2 discount. Coupon codes expire on 1/15/2013. Check out: Artistic Checks, 4Checks.com, Carousel Checks , Check Gallery offers Green Checks option printed on recycled paper, Checks In The Mail , Checks Unlimited , Current Catalog Checks , Costco Checks, Designer Checks, Sam’s Club Checks , Walmart Checks .

Section 2: List of Credit Unions in New York City you can shop around.

See the Benefits and Conveniences of Credit Union vs. Banks below. You may be surprised but Credit Unions on the CO-OP network have MORE surcharge-FREE ATM nationwide (28,000+ FREE ATM, including surcharge-Free ATMs at McDonald’s and 7-Eleven) and 4,000+ Shared Branch Network locations (aka: CU Centers) nationwide that none of the Big Banks can match. What is Shared Branch network? If your CU is a member of Shared Branch network, even if you have moved from NYC to Miami, you can use human-tellers (as well as ATM) at THE OTHER Credit Unions in Miami for deposit & withdrawals as though you are still in NYC – no need to close Credit Union accounts if you move to another town or state.

A list of Credit Unions in New York City that you can shop around for the ones that best fit your needs, ask them about their Fee Schedules, the interest rates on loans and deposits, the minimum balances required and how to avoid fees, what ATM-network they belong to (how many surcharge-FREE ATM nationwide?), whether they are members of CU Service Centers (aka: Shared Branch network,), and whether they are members of the NCUA (similar to FDIC for banks) insuring each depositor up to $250,00o. Don’t be shy to ask the Credit Union employees to help you switch your accounts, they are there to provide service. As a member of a Credit Union, you are a part-owner of the Credit Union.

1) Actors Federal Credit Union – see membership eligibility by clicking on the name of the CU. Open to more than just actors, see the complete list of guild/union/affiliation eligible. If you are eligible to join Actors FCU, you may also be eligible to join 2 other similar Credit Unions based in Los Angeles, CA, see Section 3 in this LINK here for information.
2) American Airlines Credit Union – see this CU’s Priority (free) Checking details . American Airlines CU has branch offices in the 3 major airports in Metro NYC area: JFK (Kennedy), LaGuardia and Newark Airports. AA CU is opened to anyone who work in the Air Transport Industry (see definition in the link above) and their immediate family. If you’re eligible to join AA CU, you may also be eligible to join Wings Financial CU listed below. See the link above for the complete list. AA CU is a member of the Shared Branch network, so you can go to THE OTHER Credit Union for services as though you are at American Airlines CU.
3) Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union – click on name of CU to see membership eligibility. People in Brooklyn can also join People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union for NO minimum balance, NO monthly maintenance fee Checking account.
4) Bethex Federal Credit Union – See membership details, this CU charges $15 membership fee. But it participates in the NYC SafeStart affordable checking (see Section 4 of this blog for more details).
5) Brooklyn Coooperative Federal Credit Union – see membership details, and the various  Checking Accounts offered by this CU. This CU participates in the NYC SafeStart program with a bit more affordability (see Section 4 in this blog for NYC SafeStart details). People in Brooklyn can also join People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union for NO minimum balance, NO monthly maintenance fee Checking account.
6) Education Affiliates Federal Credit Union – see membership details by clicking on the name of the CU. This CU is located in midtown Manhattan.
7) ERDA Federal Credit Union – see press release on April 28, 2010 about its Grand Opening with Mayor Bloomberg, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NYC Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Vallone, Jr. present. See the CU’s branch location, business hours, etc. This CU is opened to everyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or goes to school in Queens Community Districts 1 and 2.  This includes the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Astoria, Woodside, and Sunnyside. Family members of those eligible for membership can also join. ERDA Federal Credit Union’s address: 13-03B 40th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101. Phone: (718) 784-5050, . ERDA stands for East River Development Alliance.
8) Justice Federal Credit Union – see this CU’s various NO-fee Checking accounts. Justice FCU is opened to employees, retirees and contractors of the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Homeland Security, employees of the US Court Systems, and members of certain law enforcement organizations and their immediate family members. See the link above for the complete list. It has a branch in Lower Manhattan. Justice FCU is a member of Shared Branch network (aka: CU Service Centers), so you can use THE OTHER 4,400+ member credit unions as though you are in Justice FCU.  Justice FCU is responding to its members’ requests and announcing its plan for expansion in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL.
9) Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union – see membership eligibility by clicking on the name of the CU. See this CU’s Free Checking account with NO minimum balance, NO monthly fee.
10) McGraw-Hill Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details or call 1-800-226-6428 to explain if there are any membership eligibility requirements.
11) Melrose Credit Union –  Melrose CU is the 10th largest CU in the State of New York. this CU has NO restriction in membership eligibility because it is a NY State open-charter credit union. Melrose CU is located near the E and F train in Queens with FREE on-site parking for customers. ****Melrose CU offers EZ Checking with NO minimum balance requirement, NO monthly fee, NO per-check charges, you earn interest on checking when the balance is over $500.**** Melrose CU is a member of the Shared Branch network (aka: CU Center) and CO-OP ATM network. Ask Melrose CU about the extra Deposit locations (some are opened 24 hours/day)  in the 5 boroughs in NYC because Melrose CU has a large number of members who are owners of Taxi Medallion and Taxi Drivers (this CU is one of the biggest lenders to NYC Taxi Medallion owners). Melrose CU has this service for Taxi Drivers, but all its members should be able to use it. Melrose Credit Union is ranked #1 in SNL’s rating of the 2012 Best-Performing Credit Union in the US, see the link for the charts on the Top 50 best-performing CU and the top 50 CU by states.  
12) Montauk Credit Union – this CU has NO restriction in membership eligibility because it is a NY State open-charter credit union. Montauk CU is located in Manhattan.
13) Municipal Credit Union – Municipal CU is the 8th largest CU in the State of New York. This CU has 15 branches in NYC five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. The latest new branch opening was in Harlem, NY – the new branch just had its ribbon cutting ceremony in early April 2012. See this CU’s FasTrack Checking with NO minimum balance, NO monthly service charge, NO per check charges. Municipal CU is opened to many types of Federal, State and New York City workers and their immediate family members. It’s also opened to employees at private and public colleges, hospitals and healthcare fields in NYC and its suburbs. See the complete list in the link above. Municipal CU is a member of the CO-OP ATM network. Municipal CU reports that it has gained 40,360 new member accounts and $116 million increase in assets during 2011.
Former baseball player John Franco is a member of Municipal Credit Union through his father who worked at the NYC Dept of Sanitation. John Franco’s children are also members of MCU.

14) Navy Federal Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership eligibility. See this CU’s various Checking Acccounts listing, the Basic Checking has NO minimum balance, NO monthly service fee and other benefits. Navy FCU is opened to active and retired military (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and others) and their immediate family members, and the civilian workers and contractors of the Department of Defense and their immediate family members. See the complete list in the link above. Navy FCU does not have a branch in NYC, but it may fulfill the needs of the members of the military better than other types of CU or bank. Ask Navy FCU about their Shared Branch network (aka: CU Service Centers) where you can do banking at THE OTHER credit unions as though you are in Navy FCU. You can apply for membership by mail or online.
15) New York Times Credit Union – click on the name of the CU to see membership details, this CU offers Checking Account with NO minimum balance, NO service charges, NO per check charges.
16) People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union –  this CU is opened to people who live, work, worship, attend school in Brooklyn, NY, parts of Long Island and Miami, FL. See this CU’s Standard Checking Account with NO minimum balance, NO monthly maintenance fee.
17) Polish Slavic Credit Union – Polish Slavic CU is the 11th largest CU is the State of New York. Click on the name of the CU for membership details. See their Checking Account details.
18) Progressive Credit Union – this CU has NO restriction in membership eligibility because it is a NY State open-charter credit union. Progressive CU is located in Manhattan.
19) QSide Federal Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details. Qside CU is located in Queens. See this CU’s Free Checking account with NO minimum balance, NO monthly service fee, you can earn Interest and Reward with this Free Checking account.
20) Union Settlement Federal Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details. This CU is located in Upper Manhattan. Union Settlement FCU participates in the NYC SafeStart affordable banking. See Section 4 on this blog for more details on NYC SafeStart.
21) United Nations Federal Credit Union – United Nations FCU is the 4th largest CU is the State of New York. Click on the name of the CU for membership details. See this CU’s Checking Account details.
22) US Postal Service Federal Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details, see the various Checking Accounts offered. USPS FCU does not have a branch in NYC, but it is opened to Postal workers, their immediate family and select group of companies are eligible to join. USPS FCU is a member of CO-OP ATM network and it allows eDeposits of paper checks without the need to go to a branch or ATM.
23) Van Cortlandt Cooperative Federal Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details, see Free Share Draft Checking with NO minimum balance, NO monthly fee, NO per-check charges. The CU’s address is: 3960B Hillman Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463. Phone: 1-718-549-5858. NOTE: Check with this CU about their policy on surcharge-free ATM. I could be wrong but it looks like they’re not in the CU Center network.
24) Wings Financial Credit Union – click on the name of the CU for membership details, see their Checking Account details. Wings Financial CU has a branch office at JFK (Kennedy) Airport. Wings Financial CU is opened to anyone who work in the Air Transport Industry and their immediate family members, people in the Metro Seattle/Tacoma WA area, in the Minneapolis/St. Paul MN area. If you are eligible to join Wings Financial CU, you may also be eligible to join American Airlines CU – see above. This CU allows Check Deposit via smartphones, and it is a member of All-Point ATM network.

NOTE: If you or your immediate family member go to work, attend school or church in the suburbs of NYC, you may also be eligible to join the following Credit Unions as family members.

Long Island, NY
1) Bethpage Federal Credit Union – Bethpage FCU is the #1 largest CU in the State of New York. Read this news article that the members of Bethpage FCU cite low fee as the reason for joining. See this CU’s Free Checking details. open to people in Nassau & Suffolk Counties who live, work, attend school or church in Long Island + their immediate family members. Bethpage FCU is a member of the Shared Branch network (aka: CU Center) and CO-OP ATM network.
2) NEFCU – NEFCU is the 9th largest CU in the State of New York. See this CU’s Free Checking details. open to people in Nassau & Suffolk Counties who live, work, attend school or church in Long Island + their immediate family members. NEFCU is a a member of the Shared Branch network (aka: CU Center) and the All-Point ATM network.
3) Teachers Federal Credit Union – Teachers FCU is the 2nd largest CU in the State of New York. See this CU’s Free Checking details. open to everyone in Nassau & Suffolk Counties who live, work, attend school or church in Long Island + their immediate family members. Ask them about their ATM network and whether they are member of Shared Branches.

Section 3: Benefits of credit unions vs. banks and the HOW-TO guide on bank switching if you have Automatic Bill Pay and Direct Deposits.

For a Step-by-Step HOW-TO guide on how to switch from the Big Banks to Credit Unions. Follow Sections 2-4 in this LINK for the HOW-TO guide with standard bank forms for the switching process. You may be eligible for Community-based, or work affiliation-based Credit Unions with better deals than the ones listed above. Shop around for the Credit Union that best fits your needs. The Step-by-Step HOW-TO guide (see link above) has useful information on how to search for credit unions based on ZIP code/address.

Let me briefly state the benefits of having Credit Union accounts vs. Bank accounts.

(1) Credit Unions with over 28,000 Surcharge-Free CO-OP network ATM nationwide (including surcharge-free ATMs at 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and many more),
(2) Thousands of Shared branches nationwide –if you have moved from NYC to Miami, you can use human-tellers (as well as ATM) at THE OTHER Credit Unions in Miami for deposit & withdrawals as though you are still in NYC – no need to close Credit Union accounts if you move to another town or state,
(3) Online Banking & Account Access
(4) Some credit unions offer Check Deposit via Smartphones or Scanners
(5) Secure Funds: look for Credit Union that are members of NCUA insuring up to $250,000 per depositor
(6) Bonus Checks: Credit Union share profits with members – For real, they do!
(7) If You’ve Been Denied Credit at banks, Credit Unions are Less Restrictive about Credit Eligibility Requirements than the Big Banks.

Section 4: List of Banks and Credit Unions participating in the NYC SafeStart program co-partnered with the NYC Government.

UPDATE as of Jan 9, 2012:  Besides Melrose Credit Union in Queens, NY (see the description of Melrose CU below), if you are in New York City, the NYC government has partnered with the following banks and credit unions to offer the “NYC SafeStart” account for people to avoid costly bank fees and help protect your money. When you talk to the participating bank or credit union, you need to mention “NYC SafeStart” account so they do not steer you to high-cost bank accounts.

NYC SafeStart Account special features avoid costly fees and help protect your money:

  •   No overdraft fees
  •   No monthly fees, provided minimum balances are met
  •   Minimum balance requirements of $25 or less
  •   ATM Card (no debit card)

See the NYC government link here for the list of participating banks and credit unions broken out by the boroughs (with their phone numbers and branch addresses): LINK to NYC SafeStart

I am only able to count 9 participating banks and credit unions in the NYC SafeStart account (not 10 as stated in the NYC SafeStart official website). [NOTE: as of March 5, 2012 I can see that one additional bank is added to the list of participating banks and credit unions accepting NYC SafeStart program]

1) Amalgamated Bank (this bank is 100% owned by labor union members, ask this bank about their Basic Checking which seems to have NO minimum balance requirement with a Debit Card – possibly better deal than NYC SafeStart). See the various Checking accounts offered by this bank.
2) Banco Popular (se habla español, this bank is bi-lingual, serving Latino & non-Latino population). See this bank’s Totally FREE Checking which also seems to be a better deal than NYC SafeStart program. The CATCH: In the fine print regarding the Totally FREE checking, you MUST make at least 5 in-branch or electronic Debit or Credit transactions per month to avoid bank fee, otherwise Banco Popular will charge you a FLAT FEE. If you are worried that you cannot always make 5 debit/credit transactions per month, ask for the NYC SafeStart program instead. This bank lets you deposit checks via Smartphone, they are on All-Point Network with over 35,000 surcharge-Free ATM nationwide.
3) Bethex Federal Credit Union (This CU charges $15 membership fee. If you do not ask for NYC SafeStart program features, this CU requires $100 Minimum balance in checking account, likewise, $100 minimum balance in savings account.)
4) Brooklyn Coooperative Federal Credit Union (open to residents in certain Brooklyn area)
5) Capital One Bank (no love for this big bank which received $3.6 Billion TARP Bailout from taxpayers)
6) Carver Federal Savings Bank (this bank is 100% owned & managed by African-American)
7) CheckSpring Bank
8) M&T Bank (no love for M&T bank which received $700 Million TARP Bailout from taxpayers. I noted on March 5, 2012 that this bank is added to the list)
9) Ridgewood Savings Bank
10) Union Settlement Federal Credit Union 

Now that I have shared the good stuff (money saving NYC SafeStart account), please read and help the parents of Baby Annie case, see this LINK to read their story. Thanks for your support!

Section 5: Information from my original blog entry about Melrose Credit Union

Original entry on October 24, 2011

Melrose Credit Union – contact them at 1-800-235-0118 or 1-718-658-9800

I spent the past week researching on credit unions that are
  1. financially strong,
  2. members of the NCUA which insures up to $250,000 per depositor,
  3. open to everyone in America (no restrictions on membership),

So far I have found one credit union that fits all 3 requirements. There may be more credit unions that meet the conditions, but I am happy to announce that Melrose Credit Union fits the requirements.

Melrose CU offers EZ Checking with NO minimum balance requirement, NO monthly fee, NO per-check charges, you earn interest on checking when the balance is over $500.

The state charter in New York permits “open charter” credit unions. Melrose Credit Union in the state of NY has been an “open charter” credit union since 1922. By “open charter”, it means credit unions that are open to everyone in America. You can either open the accounts online, by mail or in-person. Technology allows people to do banking services remotely on 24/7 basis. However, I personally prefer opening financial accounts either by mail or in-person for security reasons (avoid hacking online).

Melrose Credit Union address:  139-30 Queens Boulevard, Briarwood, N.Y. 11435 in Queens County, NY.  FREE parking available at its gated parking lot next to the office.

Public Transit: via subway F train to Briarwood/Van Wyck Blvd. station, or E train to Jamaica/Van Wyck station.   via Buses Q20A, Q20B, Q44 Local and Q60 stop in front of Melrose CU.

Check out official website of Melrose Credit Union HERE – see what services are offered. It has more than 23,000 members, of which 75%-80% live in New York, 10% live in Florida and California, and the remainder is spread across the country. You can also contact Melrose Credit Union by calling 1-800-235-0118 (Outside of New York) or 1-718-658-9800 (in New York). Melrose CU is part of the CO-OP network where members can get cash at over 28,000 ATM nationwide without surcharge (including at 7-Eleven, McDonald’s). You can also make deposits at thousands of CU network branches nationwide as though you’re banking at Melrose. You can call to find out additional services they offer.

Bankrate.com gives Melrose CU a 4-star Sound Rating. See the LINK for the complete analysis.

See the LINK for the 3 year Comparative Financial Statements of Melrose Credit Union.

See the LINK on an article called: The Secrets to Melrose’s Great Rates: Taxis

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1 Comment

Filed under Bank, Credit Union, Occupy Wall Street, OccupyWallStreet, OWS

One response to “A List of Affordable Credit Unions and Banks in NYC

  1. Pingback: Some of the Largest Credit Unions by States in the US | ny121asil

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