Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union (or Navy Federal) is a credit union
Credit union
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members...

 headquartered in Vienna, Virginia
Vienna, Virginia
Vienna is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in zip codes with the Vienna postal addresses bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to...

, chartered and regulated under the authority of the National Credit Union Administration
National Credit Union Administration
The National Credit Union Administration is the United States independent federal agency that supervises and charters federal credit unions...

 (NCUA) of the U.S. federal government. Navy Federal is the largest natural member (or retail) credit union in the world, both in asset size and in membership. As of June 2011, Navy Federal had over $46.0 billion USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 in assets, and over 3.7 million members.

Navy Federal was ranked number 78 on the 2008 Fortune's
Fortune (magazine)
Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

100 Best Companies to Work For list, which is produced by the Great Place to Work Institute.


Navy Federal was originally incorporated on January 17, 1933 as the Navy Department Employees' Credit Union of the District of Columbia (NDCU). Only Navy employees who were members of the Federal Employees' Union were eligible to join. The next year, President Roosevelt signed into law the Federal Credit Union Act
Federal Credit Union Act
The Federal Credit Union Act is an Act of Congress enacted in 1934. The purpose of the law was to make credit available and promote thrift through a national system of nonprofit, cooperative credit unions...

, which would eventually become the basis of business for the credit union. In 1947, the credit union was officially dissolved and rechartered as a federal credit union, named Navy Department Employees Federal Credit Union (NDEFCU). It also expanded membership to include all Navy personnel in the Washington, DC area, both military and civilian. It was not until 1951 that the day to day operations of the credit union were officially turned over to professional management; until that time, the Board of Directors were personally involved in each major financial decision and loan approval that the credit union made.

In 1954, the credit union changed its charter again to open membership to all Navy employees, regardless of geographic location, and changed its name to Navy Federal Credit Union. At first, only officers were eligible, but eventually membership was opened to enlisted personnel as well. By 1962, the credit union reached a milestone, becoming the biggest credit union in the world, a distinction which it still holds today. In 1977, the credit union moved into its current headquarters in Vienna, Virginia, eventually undergoing several major expansions of its facility there.

In 2003, the credit union opened its membership further, to include Navy contractors. There have also been several times in the credit union's history that NCUA has asked Navy Federal to merge with or absorb other credit unions that were experiencing financial or other difficulties. Members of these prior credit unions remained members of Navy Federal after the merger (following NCUA's policy of "once a member, always a member"). One of these instances included absorbing the credit union which served the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, with the result that to this day, students at the Academy are eligible to join Navy Federal, and to remain members for life, while actively serving members of the Coast Guard are not. (Although Navy Federal now serves the entire Department of Defense, the Coast Guard is not a part of that department in peacetime; it is instead under the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

.) On September 22, 2010, Navy Federal Credit Union announced plans to absorb/merge with USA Fed
USA Federal Credit Union
United Services of America Federal Credit Union was a credit union headquartered in San Diego, California, chartered and regulated under the authority of the National Credit Union Administration of the U.S...

, stating that joint operations would begin October 4, 2010 under the Navy Federal banner.

In May 2008, the Navy Federal Credit Union widened its membership to include the entire Department of Defense. Their new field of membership includes all active duty, retired, and reserve Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force personnel, as well as civilian personnel within the Department of Defense.


Navy Federal's field of membership is set by the National Credit Union Administration
National Credit Union Administration
The National Credit Union Administration is the United States independent federal agency that supervises and charters federal credit unions...

 (NCUA). As with all credit unions, membership in Navy Federal is limited to individuals sharing the common bond defined in its credit union charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

. Membership in Navy Federal is limited to:
  • All Department of Defense (DoD) uniformed personnel — Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, retirees and annuitants
  • All Department of Defense reservists — Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps — regardless of drill status — retirees and annuitants
  • All Army and Air National Guard personnel — regardless of drill status — civilian employees, retirees and annuitants
  • All DoD Officer Candidate programs: midshipmen and cadets at the United States Naval Academy, United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy; personnel in Officer Candidate programs
  • All DoD civilian employees
  • U.S. government employees assigned to DoD installations
  • DoD contractors assigned to U.S. government installations
  • Employees of Navy Federal
  • Family members, including grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children (including adopted, foster and stepchildren) and household members


Navy Federal is chartered with NCUA as a single-sponsor credit union, with its sponsor being the Department of Defense. Like all credit unions, Navy Federal is governed by a board of volunteers, elected by and from its membership. Navy Federal also has a separate subsidiary, named Navy Federal Financial Group, which operates as a Credit Union Service Organization
Credit Union Service Organization
In United States federal law, a Credit Union Service Organization allows a credit union the ability to conduct business that they would otherwise be restricted from due to regulatory constraints. Most CUSOs are limited liability companies which also provide a measure of protection to the credit...

 (CUSO). CUSOs were established by NCUA as a way for credit unions to pursue product offerings that would normally be outside of the purview of a credit union.


Navy Federal offers the typical suite of account services offered by most financial institutions, including savings account
Savings account
Savings accounts are accounts maintained by retail financial institutions that pay interest but cannot be used directly as money . These accounts let customers set aside a portion of their liquid assets while earning a monetary return...

s, checking accounts, IRA
Individual Retirement Account
An individual retirement arrangement is the blanket term for a form of retirement plan that provides tax advantages for retirement savings in the United States...

 accounts, and certificates
Certificate of deposit
A certificate of Deposit is a time deposit, a financial product commonly offered to consumers in the United States by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions....

. The savings product is named "Share Savings" to reflect the fact that a member's initial savings deposit ($5) literally represents their share of ownership in the credit union. Navy Federal also offers members consumer loan
A loan is a type of debt. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower....

s, credit card
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

s, mortgages and home equity
Home equity
Home equity is the market value of a homeowner's unencumbered interest in their real property—that is, the difference between the home's fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. The property's equity increases as the debtor makes payments against the...

 lines of credit
Line of credit
A line of credit is any credit source extended to a government, business or individual by a bank or other financial institution. A line of credit may take several forms, such as overdraft protection, demand loan, special purpose, export packing credit, term loan, discounting, purchase of...

, as well as some small business services. Navy Federal's CUSO, Navy Federal Financial Group, offers more extensive investment services, online brokerage services, and insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...


As of January 2011, Navy Federal has over 200 branches and over 450 ATMs
Automated teller machine
An automated teller machine or automatic teller machine, also known as a Cashpoint , cash machine or sometimes a hole in the wall in British English, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public...

, located both inside the United States and abroad. Navy Federal offers extensive online services via its corporate website, Navy Federal Online. In addition, members can make ATM transactions through the CO-OP network at 5,500 7-eleven locations (and other Credit Unions) in the U.S. and Canada without any surcharge fees.

Due to the nature of its membership (which includes actively deployed military personnel in every time zone), Navy Federal maintains 24-by-7 operations in its three call centers located in Vienna and Herndon, Virginia, and in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

 (its largest call center), as well as round-the-clock online services.


Navy Federal is not the only financial services company which specializes in serving the military. The credit union competes with other military credit unions, like Pentagon Federal Credit Union
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a federal credit union headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, chartered and regulated under the authority of the National Credit Union Administration...

 and NavyArmy Federal Credit Union
NavyArmy Federal Credit Union
NavyArmy Federal Credit Union is a credit union headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas, chartered and regulated under the authority of the National Credit Union Administration of the U.S. federal government. NavyArmy is third largest military credit union and the largest credit union in the...

 as well as with some large banks including Bank Of America-Military Bank
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

 and USAA
United Services Automobile Association is a Fortune 500 financial services company offering banking, investing, and insurance to people and families that serve, or served, in the United States military. In 2011, there were 8.4 million members. The company reported a net worth of $19.3 billion in...


External links

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