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Military Credit Unions: NerdWallet’s Picks for Veterans Day

by on November 2, 2012

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Veterans Day is a great day to recognize our brave servicemen and women, and the organizations that support them. Along similar lines, it’s also the perfect time to recognize all the great ways credit unions support the military community. All credit unions are consumer-friendly. However, a few really go above and beyond to show support for our military with special discounted products or financial literacy resources. NerdWallet scoured the Web to bring you the best deals out there for active and retired members of the military. Whether it’s a better rate on a loan, higher interest on a savings account or a comprehensive deployment checklist, these services are shining examples of how not-for-profit credit unions support our national heroes and their families. Take a look at NerdWallet’s picks for checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and military resources.

Best Checking Accounts

Military Account – Global Credit Union (Spokane, WA)

Global Credit Union’s Military Account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees. If you sign up for the Advantage Early pay program, you can receive your direct deposit 2 days early. Global Credit Union will even waive your membership fee. If you regularly make purchases with your debit card, you may want to consider the eVelocity checking account, which pays 2.03% APY on your balance up to $10,000 when you meet the minimum monthly requirements. Global Credit Union has branches in the Kennewick, Spokane and surrounding cities in Washington, and Post Falls and surrounding cities in Idaho. They also have 4 military locations. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Washington State, or Kootenai, Benewah, Shoshone or Latah counties in Idaho. Eligible affiliates of Fairchild Air Force Base are automatically eligible for membership.

Military Checking – Arkansas Federal Credit Union (Jacksonville, AR)

Arkansas Federal Credit Union’s Military Checking account is free with direct deposit. It comes with free online banking and bill pay, free checks, and a 0.20% discount on all loans (except for mortgages, HELOC and credit cards). If there’s ever an emergency, their overdraft program doesn’t slap you with fees for each transaction. Instead, you’re given a personal line of credit. Arkansas Federal Credit Union has 14 locations in Little Rock, Jacksonville, Cabot and surrounding cities. The credit union was originally created to serve affiliates of the Little Rock Air Force Base, but their membership has expanded to include over 500 select employee and associational groups, and family of eligible members. Please click here for complete details.

Best Savings Account

Deployment Club – Marine Federal Credit Union (Jacksonville, NC)

If you’re being deployed, it’s a good idea to put your savings to work. Marine Federal Credit Union offers a fabulous Deployment Club account for their active duty military members that earns 3.00% APY on any balance of $5 $25,000. Sign up before you leave and set up automatic payments from your paychecks, and your money will be waiting for you in your share savings account when you return home. Marine Federal Credit Union has branches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and area military installations. Membership is open to active and retired members of the military, affiliated organizations and businesses, and immediate family of eligible members. For complete details, please see their membership page.

Best Loans 

Deployment Loan – Kirtland Federal Credit Union (Albuquerque, NM)

At Kirtland Federal Credit Union, military members get the best deal on a personal loan: 6.00% APR with approved credit. This Deployment Loan is designed for active duty members of the military who need to borrow up to $1,000. If you’re preparing to deploy and need extra cash fast, Kirtland has your back. Kirtland Federal Credit Union has 4 branches in Albuquerque. Membership is open to military and civilian personnel affiliated with the Kirtland Air Force Base, the U.S. Reserve Forces in New Mexico, the New Mexico National Guard and other select employee groups. Family of anyone in these eligible groups may also join. For a detailed description of membership requirements, please click here.

Military Advance Line – Travis Credit Union (Vacaville, CA)

Travis Credit Union offers a great alternative to payday loans for their military members. They can sign up for a limited number of two-week payday advances that are automatically repaid when the member receives their next direct deposit. They also offer financial counseling and financial literacy resources. Travis Credit Union regularly assists networks that support military families like the Enlisted Spouses Group the Officer’s Spouse’s Club and KUDOS (Kids Understanding Deployment). Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the 12-county Northern California region, military and civilian personnel of Travis Air Force Base, and immediate family and housemates of eligible members.

Best Military Support Services

Deployment Preparation Page – North Island Credit Union (San Diego, CA)

It’s tough to manage your money once you’re deployed, so it’s important to be prepared. Check out North Island Credit Union’s Deployment Preparation page for all the information you need and necessary links to other helpful resources. They’ll tell you where you need to go for help with setting up a Power of Attorney, creating an active duty credit alert, getting an extension to file your federal tax return, and finding the best community support programs for your family. North Island Credit Union has branches in San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon and surrounding cities. Membership is open to all residents of San Diego, including active and duty and retired members of the military, civil service employees, and San Diego-based businesses. Family of eligible members may also join.

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