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Recovering? Here are Some of the Best Credit Unions for Bad Credit

Key Takeaways

Credit Scores are Dumb

WE think credit scores are a pretty lousy (and biased) metric.

But For Now, They Matter

Until the rest of the country catches on, credit scores are here to stay.

So What Do You Do?

You find a financial institution that wants to help you, not just profit off you.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we 👏 got 👏 screwed 👏

By the economy, that is.

So because we weren’t necessarily set up for success in the first place, there are plenty of reasons you could have bad credit.

Maybe your parents tried to help you build credit, but they fell on hard times.

Maybe your car broke down and there’s a few thousand dollars sitting on a credit card that you can only make minimum payments on.

Maybe you didn’t realize you had a balance on a card and you got sent to collections.

Maybe student loans. (No explanation needed.)

Or maybe you just … wanted to take a trip and have some fun because you’d like to enjoy your life, dammit.

can i live gif

We’re not here to judge why you have bad credit. (We’ve been there, too, obvi.) And we’re not here to shame you for your past financial decisions.

Because we believe everyone should have access to the financial resources they need, we also believe that you should be able to get the financial help you need, no matter what your credit score is.

And because we believe in wealth distribution, we also believe that credit unions are the best solution for everyone (not just those of us with bad credit).

Tired of Making the Rich Richer with Fees and Interest?

A Credit Union is Different.

Learn More

Why Credit Unions?

We’ll keep it simple:

At a bank, there’s a bunch of guys inventing fees and raising interest rates so they can make more money off you.

At a credit union, you and all the other members own the credit union. Any money made goes back to you, usually in the form of fewer fees and better interest rates.

Wayne's World cha-ching gif

Credit unions were made for the working class with the purpose of distributing wealth and supporting communities — not making the rich, richer. That means many credit unions are less concerned with your credit score and more concerned with giving you the resources you need to be financially healthy.

Sounds like a win to us.

Best Credit Unions for Bad Credit


Alliant is one of the biggest credit unions in the nation and one of the most popular. It’s an especially good credit union if you travel a lot and need ATM access. They claim to have more ATMs than Chase and Bank of America combined! They also have a hefty online and mobile banking system.

As an Alliant member, you also have access to GreenPath Debt Solutions, which can help you manage your debt (thus repairing your credit).

And like most credit unions, they also have higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. Alliant’s goal isn’t to just give you a place to put your money; their goal is to help you manage that money. Once glance at their blog shows that improving your credit score is a big part of that mission.

Bad Credit? Juggling Debt?

Credit unions like Alliant can help.

Navy Federal Union

Good news: most lenders cap their interest rates at a certain percentage.

Bad news: that cap for online lenders is 36%. THIRTY-SIX!

More good news: Navy Federal caps their interest rates at 18%, which makes it far easier for those of us with bad credit to get loans. They’re also more likely to lend to those without any credit history at all, and because they don’t charge origination fees, Navy Federal credit union loans are particularly useful for debt consolidation as you try to repair your credit. Check to make sure you’re qualified for membership. If you are, you can quickly join online and get started on repairing your credit.

FirstTech Federal

In addition to capping their interest rates at 18% just like Navy Federal, FirstTech Federal also openly states on their site that getting a personal loan with bad credit isn’t impossible, and that they work with their members to understand each unique situation to find the best solution.

SchoolsFirst Credit Union

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a credit union that specifically catered to people like you? The good thing about many credit unions is that they do exactly, well … that.

While Navy Federal caters mainly to military and government personnel, SchoolsFirst Credit Union caters to those working in education. At SchoolsFirst, “your character counts more than your credit score.” They’ve served educators for over 80 years, and have thus had ample time to create services that meet the unique requirements and financial needs of educators and their families. And, like all credit unions, they’re not-for-profit, meaning they can give you better interest rates to help you get the financial help you need to repair your credit score.

The Best Credit Unions for Bad Credit are … Almost Any of Them!

If you don’t qualify for any of the above credit unions, don’t fret! There are many other credit unions out there, and nearly every single one is working to help people like you get the financial help they need to repair their credit, pay off debt, save for the future and more.

Search for a credit union that fits your needs and then either join online or give them a shout to talk through your specific needs. You’re far more likely to talk to a real person at a credit union than you are at a bank.

Bad Credit? No Problem.

Find a credit union that can help you repair that credit and pay off debt faster.

Find Your Credit Union

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