Looking for the best credit union for small businesses? To determine if a credit union is best for you, consider factors such as accessibility, business account options and fees offered by the institution.
If there are facilities near you and you qualify, a credit union may be an excellent option for a business account. When compared to banks, these nonprofit, membership-based financial institutions frequently receive excellent consumer satisfaction ratings.
The correct business account will eventually provide you with the advantages you desire, such as high interest rates or quick ATM access.
When it comes to application screening, most credit unions do not screen applications based on ChexSystems. Meanwhile we find many banks that use ChexSystems to approve applications. Credit Unions that don't use ChexSystems can be ideal for both your business and personal transactions. However, we also find some banks that don't use ChexSystems.
Finding a financial center for your small business is one of the most key decisions you'll make as a small business owner.
Whether you need to open a business bank account, apply for a loan, acquire a credit card, or simply seek financial guidance from a professional, you should have confidence in your financial institution's ability to meet the majority (if not all) of your small business's demands.
As a result, if you're looking for a financial institution and are put off by the notion of dealing with a large bank, you should know that you have other options—you may check into the best credit unions for small business owners instead.
Because of their individualized customer care and commitment to provide their members with the most affordable financial products possible, business-friendly credit unions are a tempting option to banks.
Plus, it's not hard to discover business-friendly credit unions that offer financing tools tailored to their entrepreneurial members, such as loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, insurance, retirement funds, and health savings accounts—all tailored to small business owners.
Is it possible for your small business to benefit from a credit union? We're here to assist you. First, we'll go through the differences between credit unions and banks, as well as why you might choose a credit union for your small business.
Then we'll go over our picks for the best credit unions for small businesses so you can make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
What is A Credit Union?
If you're looking for a credit union for small business banking, you probably already have a basic understanding of what a credit union is.
A credit union, like a bank, is a financial institution that offers a variety of products, such as bank accounts, credit cards, and loans.
However, much like any of the top banks for small businesses, there are some credit unions that offer a greater range of high-quality goods tailored to business owners.
Credit unions have a number of advantages, including more personalized client service, greater interest rates on checking and savings accounts, lower interest rates on loans, and reduced fees. However, there are a few distinguishing qualities to bear in mind.
Credit Unions Are Non-Profit Financial Institutions
To begin, one of the most significant distinctions between credit unions and banks is that credit unions are non-profit organizations, whilst the banks are clearly for profit.
Not-for-profit organizations do precisely what their name implies: they don't exist to make money for their owners. Rather, they invest all of the money they make back into their business.
As a result of credit unions' cooperative nature and non-profit structure, one member's deposit may become another member's loan. This mutually beneficial structure is a crucial tipping point in favor of credit unions for many.
Furthermore, credit unions' not-for-profit nature is advantageous to members seeking loans, including small company owners. Due to the fact that credit unions do not offer small business loans or other financial products, in order to turn a profit— as a traditional bank or alternative lender would—their interest and savings rates are lower and they have fewer fees.
If you can get a short-term loan from a business-friendly credit union, for example, you'll probably get a loan with considerably lower interest rates than you'd get from an alternative lender or even a bank.
Plus, while you'll still need to fulfill strict criteria to be qualified for a business loan from your credit union, the approval process may be speedier than it would be at a bank, because the credit union's underwriting procedure involves less red tape.
Credit Unions Are Member-Owned
Another significant difference between banks and credit unions is that credit unions are owned by its members. Unlike banks, which are fundamentally profit-driven companies, credit unions are fully community-driven, from their owners to their operations.
As a result, members of a credit union are also part-owners, and they elect a board of volunteers to serve as managers.
Another reason you might want to check into the best credit unions for small businesses over traditional banks is the engagement and transparency of a member-owned organization.
Finally, because credit unions are relationship-driven by nature, they may be able to provide even better and more customized customer service, as well as educational services and other perks to its members, than a large bank.
Credit Union Are Opened Only to Eligible Members
We've talked about the members who make up a credit union so far, but unlike a traditional bank, you must meet certain criteria to join and become a member of a credit union. Different credit unions will have different member qualifying standards, with some being more exclusive than others.
- You may be able (or unable) to join a credit union based on the following factors:
- Employer or industry
- Family member: Many credit unions allow their members’ families to join
- Geographic location
- Membership in a group, like a school, place of worship, or labor union
- Small donation to a partner charity
For instance, to open a Navy Federal business accounts, you must be an active member of the military, a veteran, or a department of defense employee. However, just because there are qualifying conditions does not mean you won't be able to look into the best credit unions for small businesses and discover one that suits your needs.
Some Credit Unions Might Be Federally Insured
Let's look at a key contrast between two types of credit unions in light of these three differences between credit unions and banks.
There's a distinction between federal and non-federal (also known as state-chartered) credit unions, and it comes down to how they're insured and governed.
The vast majority of credit unions are federally chartered, meaning they are governed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and backed by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
Non-federal credit unions, on the other hand, are not regulated or insured by these government entities, as you might have assumed. Credit unions that are not federally insured are privately insured.
The following features can help you identify whether a credit union is federally backed or not:
- The name includes the word "federal".
- The headquarters are in Arkansas, Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming, or Washington, D.C.
- The business and website include the official NCUA sign.
Beyond these two categories, the NCUA divides credit unions into subgroups based on the sorts of members they serve. Credit unions can therefore be classified as community, educational, military, or service industry business credit unions, among other things.
Although it's vital to know the difference between these two types of credit unions, it's unlikely that the differences will matter as you look for the finest credit unions for small businesses.
At the end of the day, both federal and non-federal credit unions will give you the same types of company financial products, despite the fact that federal credit unions are subject to maximum interest rate regulations.
Most of All — "Credit Unions Are Not Banks"
Finally, in light of all we've said so far on credit unions, we must highlight that credit unions are not banks.
With this distinction in mind, in addition to the potential benefits of working with one of the best credit unions for small businesses, you'll want to be fully informed of the potential drawbacks of a credit union business account—and why you might go for a traditional bank instead.
Although credit unions and banks both offer a similar range of financial services, banks typically offer more rewards programs, credit card alternatives, and digital facilities (such as online and mobile bill pay and cost tracking), as well as a larger number of local branches and ATMs.
Furthermore, while credit union business loans often have low interest rates and fees, a loan from a small local bank can have similar rates. Moreover, some credit unions may not even provide business loans or bank accounts for businesses.
As a result, if you're considering putting your money in a credit union business account rather than a standard business bank account, think about how important online banking, accessibility to physical locations and ATMs, and a personal contact with your financial institution are to you.
9 Best Credit Unions for Small Businesses
Let's look at some of the best credit unions for small business owners now that we've covered the key differences between credit unions and banks.
We've made a pick of 8 credit unions based on their amazing assortment of business-specific services, accessible membership criteria, and technological innovation.
As a result, any of these options could provide you with the credit union business account, credit card, or loan you require.
Some of these credit unions are among the best for small business checking accounts, while others are the most accessible.
The equity crowdfunding feature of Digital Federal Credit Union (DFCU) sets it apart from other credit unions, not just among those on our list of the best credit unions for small businesses.
DFCU members can use this service to invest in local firms, and this service is available to both aspiring investors and businesses wishing to generate funds.
DFCU also offers a range of other business financial tools, including as loans, business lines of credit, bank and savings accounts, and credit cards, in addition to this one-of-a-kind service.
The free DFCU business checking account, which has no minimum amount and no maintenance fee, as well as the interest-bearing Premier Business Checking account, are also noteworthy.
These Digital Federal Credit Union business accounts also come with free mobile and online banking.
You must either work for a DFCU qualified company, belong to a DFCU eligible organization, live, work, worship, or attend school in a DFCU eligible town, or be connected to an existing DFCU member in order to join this Massachusetts-based credit union.
Features of DFCU for Small Businesses
- Two business checking accounts are available.
- Employees can save money in a variety of ways, including certificate accounts, money market accounts, and IRAs.
- There are two possibilities for no-fee business credit cards.
- A business line of credit of up to $3 million is available.
- Term loans of up to $3 million are available.
- Commercial loans of up to $5 million are available.
- Commercial construction loans of up to $5 million are available.
The Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is the next credit union on our list of the best credit unions for small businesses, and it also happens to be the country's largest credit union.
NFCU offers a pretty extensive suite of business services in addition to their wide range of financial services for families and individuals.
They provide three different Navy Federal business checking accounts, three different Navy Federal business savings accounts, and two different Navy Federal business credit cards.
NFCU also provides retirement and business insurance, as well as merchant processing systems, business management software, and six different Navy Federal business loans.
However, the Navy Federal Business Loan require a Credit Score of at least 600 and up to 850 by all applicants to be eligible for the loan. The minimum age to be eligible is 18 or the state minimum, whichever is higher.
To join the NFCU, you must be an active service member, a veteran, a family member of an armed service member, or a civilian working for the military.
Features of NFCU for Small Businesses
- There are three types of business checking accounts available, all of which have free or low fees.
- There are three types of business savings accounts, each with a maximum annual percentage yield of 1.35% (for a Jumbo IRA Money Market Savings Account with a minimum investment of $250,000+).
- Up to $25,000 in term loans
- Up to $10,000 in credit lines for small businesses
- With credit limits of up to $15,000, there are two sorts of rewards business credit cards.
- Online and mobile banking, free bill pay, and payroll processing are just a few of the services available.
Another great option on our list of best credit unions for small businesses is the America First Credit Union, which stands out for its business loan program, among other features.
Entrepreneur members can apply for an SBA secured or unsecured business line of credit, both SBA and non-SBA business auto loans, equipment and machinery loans, unsecured capital loans, business acquisition loans and franchise loans, as well as commercial real estate loans at this Utah-based credit union.
Unlike many other credit unions, America First also has a dedicated business credit card that you may personalize for cash back or rewards earnings based on your company's needs.
Additionally, business owners can pick from four types of business checking accounts (including one for non-profits), three types of business savings accounts (including one for employers), and five types of business certificate accounts.
Furthermore, business accounts with America First Credit Union come with free online bill pay, online statements, and E-alerts.
In comparison to other credit unions, America First's membership eligibility is somewhat limited, as it is mostly determined by where you live or work.
It's also worth noting that, while America First only operates in a few states, its participation in cooperative banking means that members have access to over 30,000 ATMs across the U.S..
Features of America First C.U. for Small Businesses
- There are four business checking account options, including a free account and one that pays interest.
- Between standard savings accounts and certificates of deposit, there are nine business savings choices.
- Payroll, business planning, and payment processing are among the many services offered.
- SBA secured credit lines range from $50,000 to $100,000, while unsecured credit lines range from $15,000 to $50,000.
- SBA commercial vehicle loan up to millions of dollars Term loans up to $15,000
Another great pick on our list of best credit unions for small business owners is the Alliant Credit Union.
Alliant Credit Union, based in Chicago, has only two physical branch locations, but members have access to hundreds of ATMs around the country thanks to their involvement in the co-op ATM network, just like America First.
Despite the fact that Alliant doesn't provide many business-specific financial products other from commercial real estate finance, its personal checking and savings accounts are still worth considering.
First, Alliant has a high-yield checking account with a 0.45% APY, no monthly service fee, and no minimum balance required. Alliant also has a high-yield savings account with a 1.90 % APY, no monthly charge (if you choose e-statements), and a modest $5 minimum deposit.
Furthermore, all Alliant Credit Union accounts come with both mobile and internet banking features. As long as you keep your personal and business finances separate, these personal bank accounts may be viable solutions for your company's needs.
Furthermore, joining Alliant is simple—if you don't satisfy their normal membership requirements, you may join their partner charity, Foster Care to Success, and then you'll be qualified to join Alliant. In this situation, Alliant will pay the organization a $5 annual membership fee on your behalf.
Features of Alliant Credit Union for Small Businesses
- No monthly service fee and no minimum amount required for the free interest-bearing checking account.
- They offer high-yield savings account.
- There are three types of IRA accounts.
- Unsecured personal loans of up to $50,000 are available.
- Lending for commercial property.
- Mobile, online, and phone banking services are all available.
Also Read: How to Get a Credit Card Without SSN or ITIN
Consider First Tech Federal Credit Union if you're looking for a business-friendly credit union with comprehensive and user-friendly online and digital banking options.
On your phone, tablet, or computer, you can transfer money between and outside First Tech accounts, examine your transaction history and balances, pay your bills, and make First Tech loan and credit card payments using this California-based credit union's online services.
Although First Tech may not provide as many business loan options as some of the other credit unions on this list, they may be one of the best for small business checking and savings accounts.
With as little as a $0 minimum balance requirement, First Tech provides two business checking accounts and three business savings accounts.
You must work for a First Tech sponsor company, work for the state of Oregon, work or live in Lane County, Oregon, or be a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association to become a member. In addition, members of First Tech's immediate families are welcome to participate.
Features of First Tech Federal Credit Union for Small Businesses
- Fee-free or low-fee business checking and savings accounts are available.
- There are five different types of rewards credit cards available.
- Commercial real estate loans for a period of time with no prepayment penalties and low, fixed interest rates.
- Options to personal loans
- There are more than 40 physical branches and 30,000 ATMs.
Also Read: Get Instant Virtual Debit Cards for Free
Although Blue Federal Credit Union is based in Colorado and Wyoming, it is a member of the CO-OP Shared Branch network. Even if you don't live near a Blue branch, you can open your business banking in person at over 5,800 locations countrywide.
Features of Blue FCU for Small Businesses
- Blue's Basic Business Checking account is a free account that includes 50 deposits per month. Its Business Plus Checking account raises the number of fee-free deposits to 100 and costs $100 to open. Business Plus Checking carries a $5 monthly fee, but if you keep a balance of at least $1,500, you can avoid it and earn 0.25 percent APY interest (as of this writing).
- Other business services include: A business savings account and term shares, which are equivalent to certificates of deposit, are available from Blue. It also owns a stake in Centennial Lending, a commercial real estate lending company that operates in nine states.
- Accessibility: In Colorado and Wyoming, Blue has 18 locations. To open a business account, you'll need to schedule an appointment. Blue is a member of the CO-OP ATM network, which provides fee-free access to nearly 30,000 ATMs around the country.
- Membership: Anyone may join Blue Federal Credit Union for $10, which includes $5 to set up your account and $5 to donate to the Blue Foundation, which is a "independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization formed to support, fund, and celebrate local nonprofit causes," according to its website. On Blue's website, there are other ways to qualify.
Self-Help Credit Union surely deserves its place in our pick of the best credit unions for small businesses because of their stated mission of "creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all," which they accomplish by working with traditionally underserved customers such as people of color, women, rural residents, and low-income families, as well as providing accessible financial tools for nonprofits and small businesses.
Self-Help's small business lending program, which is among the most comprehensive we've seen from a credit union, is particularly outstanding. Self-Help Credit Union also offers commercial loans, SBA 504 loans, and New Markets Tax Credit Loans, which stimulate investment in low-income regions, in addition to term loans up to $250,000.
They can also provide specialist loans, such as green business finance and recovery loans. Self-Help also offers credit union business accounts, such as term certificates, savings, and money market accounts, in addition to small business loans.
You must live, work, worship, or attend school in an eligible county; meet specific family or employer criteria; or join the Center for Community Self-Help for a $5 fee to become a member of this North Carolina credit union.
Features of Self-Help Credit Union for Small Businesses
- Business savings account with no monthly fee and low $5 minimum deposit required to open
- Business money market account
- Impressive business loan program that includes specialized loans
- Term certificates for businesses, with APYs up to 2.48% for a 60-month account
- Online and mobile banking
Consumers Credit Union (CCU), the next option on our list, is perhaps one of the best credit unions for small businesses in terms of eligibility requirements. To join this Illinois-based credit union, you must first become a member of the Consumers Cooperative Association, which costs a $5 one-time charge, as well as a $5 minimum deposit into a membership share savings account.
This option is offered to a wider range of business owners than many other credit unions, which require you to reside or work in a specified location.
The Consumers Credit Union, on the other hand, offers four business checking accounts, one of which is created exclusively for non-profits and the other for higher-volume companies.
Online banking, bill pay, and electronic statements are available on all of these accounts. CCU also provides three distinct business savings accounts and a Visa business credit card.
In addition, CCU offers a variety of business loan options, including commercial mortgages, equipment financing, business lines of credit, and business building and development loans.
Features of Customers Credit Union for Small Businesses
- If you have a business checking account, there is no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement for a business savings account.
- A minimum deposit of $500 is required to start a business money market account, which earns higher rates.
- There are four options for business checking accounts, all of which have free or eliminated fees.
- If you run an online business, you can get Merchant Services with a point-of-sale system or software included.
- No-fee Credit card for business Visa Platinum
- Online banking and bill-paying services are available.
Again, on our list of the best credit unions for small business owners, we've arrived at Boeing Employees Credit Union (BEC).
Again, on our list of the best credit unions for small business owners, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BEC). is another great option for business owners.
This Washington-based credit union, which was founded in 1935 by Boeing employees, has subsequently expanded its membership eligibility criteria to include individuals who reside and work in Washington State, certain Oregon and Idaho counties, and members of certain eligible associations.
Overall, BEC provides a comprehensive business banking program as well as other services. BEC, in particular, offers two types of business checking accounts, both of which have no monthly fees and one of which pays interest.
Free electronic debits and credits, free online banking and bill pay, free e-statements, and remote check deposits are also included with each of these accounts. BEC also offers a no-fee savings account, Money Market accounts, fixed-rate CDs, and investment and retirement accounts, as well as a no-fee savings account.
Boeing Employees Credit Union also provides two no-fee business credit cards, one of which offers 1.5% cash back on purchases. BEC also offers business term loans, auto loans, lines of credit, and commercial real estate loans, among other loan options.
Features of BEC for Small Business
- Term loans for small businesses up to $250,000 are available.
- APRs as low as 3.39% for new automobiles and 4.14 percent for used vehicles are available for business vehicle loans.
- Business credit lines, both secured and unsecured
- Loans for commercial real estate worth up to $15 million are available.
- For small business owners, payroll and merchant services are available.
- Online and mobile banking are both available.
Finally, on our list of the best credit unions for small business owners, we've arrived at Suncoast Credit Union.
Suncoast Credit Union, situated in Florida, is the 12th largest credit union in terms of assets. It has 500,000 members. If you live in specified parts of Florida or attended school there, or if a family member is already a Suncoast member, you can join.
You'll be able to open a business bank account, obtain a loan, and obtain other beneficial services. Account members can also use a fee-free network of tens of thousands of ATMs.
Best Credit Union for Small Businesses in California
For many, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is the best credit union for small businesses in California because of its broad selection of products and services, easy membership qualifications, and business solutions, including merchant services.
Best Credit Union for Small Businesses in Arizona
Desert Financial Credit Union is Arizona's largest and best credit union, and because of that, you're more likely to be approved for a business checking account and have easier access to it throughout the state.
Best Credit Union for Small Businesses in Texas
There are many credit unions considered as the best credit unions in Texas States some of which are Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union, Texas Bay Credit Union, Houston Federal Credit Union, Texas Trust Credit Union and even Navy Federal Credit Union.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most trusted credit union?
Alliant Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, Connexus Credit Union, First Tech Federal Credit Union, are some of the most trusted credit unions.
What is the easiest credit union to get approved for?
Some easiest credit unions to get approved for include; Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Blue Federal Credit Union, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, and Hope Credit Union Savings Account.
Do credit unions require a good credit score?
While most credit unions in the United States require an excellent credit score, some, on the other hand, accept applicants with bad credit.
Final Thoughts on Best Credit Unions for Small Businesses
An the end, any of the credit unions on our list of the best credit unions for small businesses may be able to help you. However, the best option for your business will be determined by which credit union is the most accessible to you and whether or not that credit union offers the services you need.
While a result, as you navigate the available business-friendly credit unions, you'll want to consider first and foremost which ones are geographically accessible to you, as well as whether or not you fit the eligibility requirements.
Then, just as you would when choosing a traditional bank, think about what you want and need from your banking institution: Are you thinking about getting a business loan? Is all you require is a free business checking account? Y ou want to do online banking, or do you want to develop a personal relationship with your local branch?
You'll be able to narrow down your options to the appropriate credit union by answering these questions, or you may discover that a traditional bank is the best option for your company. At the end of the day, it's your decision.