On January 17, 1933 in the District of Columbia, a cooperative known as the Navy Department of Employees’ Credit Union was established. Since then, the group has tremendously grown over the years to serve the active members of the United States Army across the country and even abroad. The credit union reached a milestone in 1962 when it became the largest credit union in the world – a record that it still holds today.
Now called the Navy Federal Credit Union or simply Navy Federal, the credit union is now headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. With 3.9 million members and approximately $48 billion USD in reserves, it is currently considered the largest natural member or retail credit union in the world in terms of membership and asset size.
The Navy Federal Credit Union is aimed at servicing the financial needs of employees and retirees in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Defense Reservists, Department of Defense civilians, and a lot more. The Navy Federal is chartered and regulated under the authority of the U.S. Federal Government via the National Credit Union Administration or NCUA. Since it was founded in 1933, this credit union has never had a layoff. Instead, it chose to move its employees to other departments to avoid layoffs. It was even in fact ranked number 78 on the 2008 Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which four years later landed at number 95.
With the primary objective of catering to its members’ interests and essential needs, the Navy Federal Credit Union can benefit them in various ways, including saving accounts, checking accounts with a free debit card, credit card with low interest rates, IRA accounts, business services and investment and insurance, free online account management for members, impressive rates on financial aids, ATM transactions through the CO-OP network with no surcharges, extensive online services, and a lot more. As of January 2011, Navy Federal Credit Union has more than 200 branches and over 450 ATMs located both in the U.S. and abroad. ATM transactions through the CO-OP network can be made at 5,500 7-eleven locations in the U.S. and as well as Canada.
Due to the nature of its membership the Navy Federal maintains a 24/7 customer service operation in its three call centers in Vienna and Winchester, Virginia, and in Pensacola, Florida (its largest call center). It also maintains a large website, the Navy Federal Online to serve its members anywhere in the world. Their full service website allows for true “Banking From Home” experience wherein members have the ability to get account balance and history reports, apply for loans, transfer money between accounts, make bill payments, and many more. The Navy Federal Credit Union can be found in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Virgina.
Aside from those already mentioned earlier, the Navy Federal also offers many types of mortgages to its members, namely fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, military mortgages, etc. Here is an overview for each type.
* Their fixed-rate mortgages feature 15-year and 30-year loan terms with fixed monthly payments. These mortgages are available anywhere in the U.S. There is usually no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for many conventional loans.
* Navy Federal offers adjustable-rate mortgages that start with a low, constant rate. If your loan-to-value ratio is more than 80%, you are required to purchase a Private Mortgage Insurance. These mortgages are available in initial term of 3, 5 or 7 years followed by 1-year interest rate adjustments and initial term of 2 years followed by interest rate adjustments every 2 years.
* The Military mortgage is available in Veterans Administration (VA) Mortgages and Active Duty Choice. VA Mortgages are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for eligible veterans. These mortgages offer 100% financing and feature the same payments during the term of the loan. Active Duty Choice is a mortgage for active duty members, with easier requirements.
Being a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union almost ensures you that your money is secured for the years to come. Currently led by James C Dawson, it is only expected to grow more and maintain its distinction for being the largest and one of the most successful credit unions in the world.