Smaller local and regional banks as well as credit unions are great resources for those with less than huge credit. They frequently provide credit-challenged people items that are not subject to the scrutiny of larger institutions. Smaller organizations may provide lower interest rates and account fees.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, and USAA are more likely to offer higher limit secured and unsecured credit cards. If you or a member of your family did not serve in the military, it might be difficult to become a member of one of these military-affiliated banks or credit unions. Don’t worry, you can still get in and become a member so you can take advantage of ALL they have to offer.

The steps below will guide you through the process of becoming a member of a non-profit organization that will grant you admission to military-affiliated institutions.

Step 1

Become a member of the Navy League of San Diego. Visit the website below.
Fill out the application.

The Navy League is a non-profit organization supporting America’s sea services such as; Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and the Navy. They have several branches, referred to as a “Council”.

It is important that you select the San Diego Council —this is the only chapter where non-military members are accepted into certain banks or credit unions.

Step 2

After completing the application and paying your $25 membership fee (which is tax-deductible), be sure to print out your confirmation receipt and the email you will receive.

Step 3

Now you have the military affiliation proof you need to apply for membership with USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, and PenFed. A good place to start is by applying to Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Members of The Movement Academy are being approved for auto loans and huge credit card limits from PenFed as you are reading this. Start building your credit with PenFed today! Go here:

Step 4

Fill out the online application. The first drop-down asks you to select how you are eligible. Select “I belong to the following association or organization”.

Then select “Navy League of the United States”.

Step 5

You will need a debit/credit card to fund your membership account with $5 bucks. You must maintain a minimum balance of $5 for the duration of your membership. Remember that once you’ve joined PenFed and any other military-affiliated institutions, you can cancel your membership.

Once you’re a member of these banks, you’re a member for life.

Step 6

CALL them and apply for some credit! DO NOT APPLY ONLINE! Why?

If you have negative points on your credit report so the systems that they use to check eligibility will reject you. When you call, they also allow you to explain the items and can make a manual approval or may reject.