Where to Find the Best Bank or Credit Union in Detroit, and Which 2 Should Be Avoided

The city of Detroit, Michigan is known for its contribution to the auto industry and the R&B of Motown during its heyday. Although the city has been in decline for many years, there’s been a recent resurgence and the population is growing and companies are investing in redevelopment.

If you live or work in the Motor City, then you’ll want to find the best credit unions or banks in Detroit for startup loans, investment options, and regular checking and savings.

Red Award Emblem for Best Credit Unions & Banks in Detroit, MI

Award Emblem: Top 5 Best Credit Unions & Banks in Detroit, MI

There are plenty of places to bank in Detroit, including through traditional banks or a not-for-profit Detroit credit union. Whichever type of financial institution you prefer, we have some great options to consider in our list of the Top 5 Detroit, MI Banks & Credit Unions.

In this ranking, we’ve chosen the best credit unions and banks in Detroit, Michigan based upon their reputation for customer service, convenience, popularity, and other factors. We’ll, first give you an overview of each bank in Detroit, and then get into the details of what makes them special.

And don’t miss our FAQ below, where we’ll go over credit unions versus banks in Detroit to tell you the main pros and cons of each type of financial organization.

Top 5 Best Credit Unions & Banks in Detroit (and 2 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Bank or Credit Union in DetroitRatings
DFCU Financial5
Flagstar Bank5
Michigan First Credit Union5
Fifth Third Bank3
One Detroit Credit Union3
Chase Bank1
Credit Union One1

Table: Top 5 Detroit Bank & Credit Union Options (& 2 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating

Best Detroit Banks FAQ | Detroit, Michigan Banks vs. Credit Unions

One of the questions you may ask when looking at the banks and credit unions Detroit offers is, “What’s the difference?” While you can get pretty much the same types of accounts, loans, and other banking services at both banks and credit unions in Detroit, there are a few key differences.

credit unions in detroit

A Detroit credit union is non-profit and considers their customers “members.” They can often offer lower interest rates on loans and better interest rates on CDs because of the flexibility that allows them. You have to meet eligibility requirements to join, unlike Detroit banks, where anyone can go.

A Detroit bank is for profit, and often will be public companies with shareholders. Some of the larger financial institutions, like a Chase Bank, Detroit, MI may have more resources to offer because of their size. Banks don’t have the same flexibility in interest rate offerings as credit unions in Detroit do.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Detroit Banks & Credit Unions (and 2 to Avoid)

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top banks & credit unions in Detroit, Michigan. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these banks or credit unions Detroit offers to score so highly in our selection ranking

Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.

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DFCU Financial Review

DFCU Financial is headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan and has branches throughout the Detroit metro area. This credit union in Detroit began as Ford Engineering Employees Federal Credit Union in 1950, started by seven Ford engineers.

Below are the highlights that make DFCU Financial stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Banks and Credit Unions in Detroit.

DFCU Financial Services at a Glance:

  • 16 branch locations in Detroit & surrounding areas
  • Recognized by the National Association for Business Resources as one of Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For
  • Payment protection plans
  • Group insurance rate offers
  • Better Business Bureau A rating

Member Group Discounts

DFCU Financial is one of the credit unions Detroit has where you can find discounts on insurance products by taking advantage of group rates. They work with Members Home and Auto Insurance Network and TruStage, which has access to Liberty Mutual or Esurance group discount offers.

Rating Summary

DFCU Financial has a full suite of banking products to offer so it’s hard to tell them from one of the Detroit, MI banks. We gave them a 5 rating on our Ranking of Best Banks in Detroit, Michigan.

Membership is easy to qualify for at this Detroit credit union. Anyone that lives, works, worships, or goes to school anywhere in Michigan’s lower peninsula, which is pretty much the whole state, is eligible to become a member.

You’ll also find many of the perks people like at DFCU Financial, like cash back rewards, member discounts, financial advice seminars, and easy online and mobile banking.

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Flagstar Bank Review

One of the younger banks in Detroit, Michigan on our list is community-based in Michigan and was first chartered in 1987. Flagstar Bank is the fifth largest savings bank in the U.S. and operates 99 branches across the state of Michigan.

Below are the highlights that make Flagstar Bank stand out on this 2018 Ranking of the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Detroit.

Flagstar Bank Services at a Glance:

  • 30 branch locations in Detroit & surrounding areas
  • A top 5 U.S. mortgage originator
  • Awarded Fannie Mae’s STAR Performer Award for outstanding performance and best practices in servicing mortgages
  • Real estate owned (REO) properties for sale
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

High Interest Rate Savings

Looking for a Detroit bank that offers a decent rate of return on a savings account? Flagstar Bank offers three account choices starting at 1.15% APY for the first 12 months. The more you deposit, the higher your introductory rate ¾ their rate is 19 times higher than the national average.

Rating Summary

We rated Flagstar Bank a 5 on our list of the best credit unions and banks in Detroit. They have a few mixed reviews online, but they’re mainly related to the mortgage division, rather than personal or business banking.

From their high interest savings to their tailored business bank accounts, this is absolutely a Detroit bank that thinks out of the box to provide unique financial solutions to their customers.

If you’re looking for Detroit, Michigan banks that are community-based and dedicated to The Wolverine State, then you’ve found a perfect match in Flagstar Bank.

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Michigan First Credit Union Review

Michigan First Credit Union was started by teachers as Detroit Teachers Credit Union in 1926. In the early 1950’s, it earned the distinction as the largest credit union in the world. Anyone that lives, works, or worships in the state of Michigan can become a member.

Below are the highlights that make Michigan First Credit Union stand out on this 2018 Ranking of Best Credit Unions & Banks in Detroit.

Michigan First Credit Union Services at a Glance:

  • 8 branch locations in Detroit & surrounding areas
  • A member of the CO-OP shared branches network with 5,000+ nationwide branches
  • Their website banking/bill pay earned a Gold Medal from W3 Awards
  • Member perks and contests
  • Better Business Bureau B+ rating

365 Live 24-hour Call Center

No matter what your schedule, if it’s 3:00 a.m. and you want to check on a deposit, this is one of the credit unions Detroit offers with a live person 24 hours a day. Their 365 Live call center is there for you any time of day or night to help with all types of banking or loan needs.

Rating Summary

Michigan First Credit Union earned a perfect 5 on our Ranking of the Best Credit Unions and Banks in Detroit. Their 24-hour a day live support really puts them over the top when it comes to going the extra mile to support their customers.

Their membership requirements are also one of the easiest to meet of any Detroit credit union, any Michigan resident automatically meets them.

This credit union in Detroit, MI offers all the same conveniences you’ll find at many other banks and credit unions in Detroit, including credit/debit card rewards, insurance products, and bank accounts tailored to your needs.

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Fifth Third Bank Review

Fifth Third Bank is a large regional bank in Detroit whose roots go back to 1858. They’re headquartered in Cincinnati, OH and serve 10 U.S. states in the South and Midwest, offering hundreds of locations throughout the region. 

Below are the highlights that make Fifth Third Bank stand out on this 2018 Ranking of the Best Banka and Credit Unions in Detroit.

Fifth Third Bank Services at a Glance:

  • 33 branch locations in Detroit & surrounding areas
  • Recognized as Employer of Choice as a Disability Matters honoree
  • Awarded Best Brand in Small Business Banking by Greenwich Associates
  • Community donations and involvement
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Student Debt Help

Fifth Third is one of the banks in Detroit, Michigan that has a program dedicated to helping people pay off their student loans. Their Fifth Third Momentum™ program automatically rounds up debit card purchases and applies them to a student loan balance, making it an easy way to get ahead and save on interest.

Rating Summary

Fifth Third Bank is one of the excellent larger regional Detroit, Michigan banks. We gave them a high 3 on our Ranking of Best Credit Unions and Banks in Detroit. The only thing holding them back from a higher score were some negative review averages on sites like ConsumerAffairs and Credit Karma, mainly due to customer service.

This is definitely one of the top banks in Detroit with a lot of to offer, especially if you like the convenience of multiple branches in the area. They also have a robust financial advice section with tips on family budgeting and more.

They’re an award-winner in small business banking support and they offer both insurance and investment products. Fifth Third is a great option for people wanting to go with one of the larger Detroit, MI banks.

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One Detroit Credit Union Review

This Detroit credit union was formed in 1935 by workers in the newspaper industry. One Detroit Credit Union is Motor City born and bred and today serves members that live, work or worship in Wayne County.

Below are the highlights that make One Detroit Credit Union stand out on this 2018 best credit unions & banks in Detroit ranking.

One Detroit Credit Union Services at a Glance:

  • 3 branch locations in Detroit & surrounding areas
  • A member of the CO-OP shared branches network with 5,000+ nationwide branches
  • Recognized with a Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Award from Credit Union National Assoc. for their 0% interest home-rehabilitation loan program
  • Financial counseling services
  • Better Business Bureau not rated

Attractive Loan Rates

Are you thinking of becoming a member of a credit union in Detroit to take advantage of lower loan rates? Then you’ll want to consider One Detroit Credit Union. They offer auto loans as low as 2.99% APR and home equity loans as low as 5.00% APR. They also offer personal lines of credit and more.

Rating Summary

One Detroit Credit Union is an excellent choice if you’re looking for Detroit, MI banks or credit unions that are local and with a mission to help those in the community overlooked by the mainstream banking system.

We gave a 3 rating to One Detroit Credit Union, with the only things holding them back from a higher score being their more limited membership eligibility and a number of dedicated locations.

If you’ve been looking for more personalized customer service than you can find at larger banks in Detroit, Michigan, then One Detroit Credit Union could be the perfect fit.

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Chase Bank Review

Now, we are going to take a look at the two Detroit, Michigan banks & credit unions that we recommend avoiding until they make some improvements. Chase Bank is of course very well known but has had some serious reputation issues that they’re still working to clean up.

Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Chase Bank in Detroit, MI earn a spot on a future best banks in Detroit listing.

Fix Their Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ranking

When looking up Chase Bank Detroit, MI, or in any other city, a glaring F rating for parent company JPMorgan Chase & Co. is listed right next to three government actions against them. Once their reputation is cleaned up, they’ll have a much better chance at being considered a good financial partner.

Rating Summary

We rated Chase Bank Detroit, MI a 1 as a bank to avoid for the time being. Although with the over $100 million investment that JPMorgan Chase & Co. is making toward economic recovery in Detroit, we feel they’ll soon have a chance at a higher rating.

Chase Bank in Detroit, MI is a case of a large bank making some bad decisions and their local city banks getting a reputation hit because of that. We think this is one of the banks in Detroit to keep an eye on for improvements on the horizon.

detroit bank

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Credit Union One Review

This second financial institution that we recommend avoiding for now also has a dismal F rating at the BBB. Credit Union One serves members throughout the state of Michigan and is also a member of the CO-OP network of shared branches.

Below are some of the improvements we feel would help Credit Union One earn a spot on a future best banks and credit unions in Detroit listing.

Address Negative Customer Reviews

When you delve into the reason for their rock bottom rating at the Better Business Bureau, you can see they aren’t far off from improving that dramatically. They have a total of 7 customer complaints and only need to address them in a meaningful way to move the dial on that score.

Rating Summary

Credit Union One gets a 1 rating as a credit union in Detroit you may want to bypass for the time being. We found that most complaints centered around problems with their service or billing and collection issues.

Problems with new technology was also noted as an issue for this Detroit, MI credit union, which could be an easy fix by taking a close look at the mobile and online banking experience or their customers. 

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Conclusion – Top 5 Best Detroit Banks & Credit Unions (& 2 to Avoid)

With the Detroit economy on a comeback, it’s a great time to review the financial benefits offered by the best banks and credit unions in Detroit. Low loan financing, high interest savings, and member insurance discounts are just a few ways you can come out ahead.

We’ve found that most credit unions in Detroit, Michigan have very easy to meet membership requirements. This puts them pretty much on the same level of consideration as the for-profit Detroit banks, giving you even more great choices for your financial future.

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Ranking of Banks & Credit Unions in Detroit, MI
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Banks & Credit Unions in Detroit, MI