Best Credit Unions in California for 2020

Key Takeaways

You’re Unique

We may be the “United States” but every state might as well have its own economy.

You Love CA

No state is perfect, but CA might come close. You love your state. Shouldn’t your bank love it, too?

You Need a CU

Okay, so banks don’t love anything — except profit. A credit union is different.

Ah, California. If you live in or have just moved to sunny California, my frozen Northeast heart envies you. Among Disneyland, the Hollywood sign, the Full House house, Redwood National Park and lots of avocado toast, California also has some pretty amazing credit unions that make financing your Golden State adventures simple.

real california avocados gif

Whether you just moved to the area or are looking to walk away from the banking world, we’ve gone ahead and highlighted the top five California Credit Unions here to make switching over easier. You’re welcome.

Don’t Remember Why Credit Unions > Banks?

We got you.

Check Out This Breakdown

1. The Golden 1 Credit Union

First up on our list of Best Credit Unions for California is The Golden 1 Credit Union. The Golden 1 Credit Union opened in 1933, and today is the 3rd largest credit union in California and the 6th largest in the United States. Surely, that must be an indicator that they’re doing something right.

They have a particular focus on education and community, along with the usual commitment to strengthening financial well-being. This could be a great credit union for you if you have a lot of schooling ahead of you and need help financing your student loans. They’re big on paying it forward and have a lot of scholarships available, with community involvement being one of the eligibility requirements.

You can view all their rates here.

2. Star One Credit Union

Star One Credit Union has been open since 1956. It’s the 4th largest credit union in California and the 10th largest in the United States. What makes them stand out? Their financial literacy programs and resources, for one. They also host regular webinars for members and post guides to navigating tax fraud scams and more.

best credit unions for California

In addition to having all of the loans and services you could think of, Star One also has a lot of different types of accounts, including minor and student accounts, so it’s a great credit union for both Millennials who are figuring out the difference between a home equity line of credit and a mortgage and Gen Zers just starting out on their financial independence journey.

Check out the full list of rates here.

3. Santa Fe Federal Credit Union

The Santa Fe Federal Credit Union’s mission is to build lifelong relationships one member at a time. They follow through on that mission through their excellent customer service and friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to help you with any of your loan or savings needs.

They create a strong sense of community and go above and beyond in their commitment to their members’ success — financial and otherwise. For example, they have a $1000 scholarship for any member who is a graduating high school senior or continuous student of any 2- or 4-year college or university.

Check out their full list of rates here.

4. California Coast Credit Union

Next up on our list of Best Credit Unions for California is California Coast Credit Union. It has extensive member benefits including loyalty programs, cash rewards, auto buying services, financial advising and more. They have over 80 locations and great hours (Saturdays included!) and have complimentary workshops, financial consulting and checking.

5. Orange County Credit Union

Despite the name, every business, adult, student and even child in the Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, or San Bernardino counties can be a member of the Orange County Credit Union. They have you covered on all things checking, saving and loaning, and they stand out with their Sand Dollar Savings account designed specifically for children to learn and practice basic financing concepts.

You can check out their full list of rates here.

Not a Good Fit?

This list has some solid options, but it doesn’t have all the best credit unions in California. The cool thing about credit unions (well, one of the cool things) is that if you’re probably surrounded by them and don’t even realize it. And since all credit unions are not-for-profit, they spend any money they make by giving back to you — and the community you love.

Don’t live in California? Check out our Best Of lists for other states!

You love your state.

Your financial institution should, too.

Find Your Credit Union

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