Finding the Top Credit Unions in Los Angeles, California

When assessing your banking needs, you may have heard of or driven by a credit union in Los Angeles and wondered if their services would be worth looking into.

What makes Los Angeles financial credit unions worth the time?

Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 9 Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles, CA

First, what are credit unions? Credit unions are not-for-profit financial organizations run by and for their members. Fees and services are usually custom-tailored, and there are far fewer fees overall, compared to banks.

If you’re looking for affordability, convenience, and personalized service, LA credit unions could be a great banking solution.

Read on to see if one of these Los Angeles-based credit unions in California may be right for you!

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 9 Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles, California

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit union)

Click here for 2016’s ranking of the Top 9 Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles

Top 9 Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles, CA

Highlighted Features

California Bear Credit UnionExtensive lending services & products
California Credit UnionExpert mortgage services & products
Firefighters First Credit UnionWide array of professionally managed loans
First City Credit UnionExtensive range of banking services
Kinecta Federal Credit UnionExclusive member benefits & discounts
USC Credit UnionFlexible checking & savings options
Water and Power Community Credit UnionInterest-bearing checking accounts
Wescom Credit Union“Banking on Wheels” through Big Blue

Table: Top 9 Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles | Above list is sorted alphabetically

AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Unions in Los Angeles, California

Below, please find a detailed review of each Los Angeles credit union on our list of top credit unions in and around Los Angeles, California. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit unions in Los Angeles to score so high in our selection ranking.

See Also: Top Credit Unions in Austin | Ranking | Review of the Best Austin Credit Unions

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California Bear Credit Union Review

Since 1933, California Bear Credit Union (CBCU) has been a leading credit union with two locations in Los Angeles, California. Both branches offer the same exciting services and industry-leading expertise backed by a rich history of putting clients ahead of profit.

This credit union in Los Angeles offers a variety of banking, lending, and insurance services, allowing you to keep all of your business with just one bank.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Los Angeles Credit Union

The following is a listing of key factors that allowed California Bear Credit Union to rank as one of the top credit unions in Los Angeles, California.

Checking Account Options

To be honest, it’s quite rare for the same type of checking account to be a good match for everyone. After all, everyone’s needs are different, and they can also change over time.

To help fill the gap from client to client, this top credit union in Los Angeles has initiated three different types of checking accounts. Let’s take a look at what they are and what they each have to offer:

  • Freedom Checking: The simple, versatile way to bank. No required direct deposit, no minimum balance. Receive $5 per month for completing 10 signature-based transactions.
  • Premium Checking Plus: An account which pays dividends on every dollar.
  • Silver Bear Checking: An exclusive service for clients ages 55 and up.

Next, let’s take a side-by-side comparison of account features to better help you understand which account may suit your needs most appropriately:

Trusted Lending Services

California Bear Credit Union offers VISA credit cards and low-rate loans for anything you may need, including debt consolidation. Even if your credit is less than perfect, CBCU may be able to help.

When you choose CBCU, one of the best credit unions in California, you have access to the following lending options: 

  • Auto Loans: Get a flexible rate as low as 3.75% APR that can be used to purchase a vehicle, RV, boat, or trailer. CBCU also offers refinancing to help lower your current monthly payment.
  • Personal Loans: Both secured and unsecured personal loans give you the freedom to take care of what’s really important.
  • Credit Cards: California Bear Credit Union offers platinum and traditional VISA credit cards with attractive features, such as no balance transfer fees, no cash advance fees, and a low rate to top it all off.
  • Home Loans: A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can make your home buying or renovation dreams come true. Get preapproved so that when the time is right, you’ll be one step ahead.

Protect What Matters to You

Flexible insurance plans keep you protected in the case of an unknown.

Give yourself peace of mind through the following protection plans offered through CBCU, one of the best credit unions in Los Angeles:

  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D): CBCU members receive $2,000 of AD&D insurance at no cost! Additional protection is available at an affordable group rate.
  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP): A great option if you are financing a vehicle. If the market value of your car dips below the balance of your loan or the vehicle is damaged beyond repair, GAP can offset your loss and make sure you don’t lose any money.
  • Mechanical Breakdown Protection: An economical option to supplement your manufacturer’s warranty. California bear Credit Union’s plan also costs less than a comparable plan from your dealership.
  • TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program: An exclusive plan that is both high quality and affordable. Discount rates apply for combined services.
  • TruStage Life Insurance Plan: Protecting the people in your life is easier with an underwritten plan from CMFG Life Insurance Group.

Comprehensive ATM Access

California Bear Credit Union works through a nationwide network of over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Locating an ATM is easy with online and smartphone access and a comprehensive network powered by CO-OP ATM.

Leaving Behind a Legacy

California Bear Credit Union offers premium estate and legacy planning services to its clients, led by trusted professionals who understand what it takes to protect your family and your assets for the future.

Clients can also take advantage of free webinars on a variety of topics, which will help them form a knowledge base on estate and legacy planning.

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California Credit Union Review

Offering clients convenient and rewarding financial services has been the basis of operations at California Credit Union (CCU) for over 80 years.

Since then, it has grown to more than 88,000 members with a total of almost $1.5 billion in assets, making it one of the largest credit unions in California.

With 13 branch locations throughout California, including Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Glendale, Carson, Covina, and North Hollywood, it’s safe to say CCU has earned its way to the top.

California Credit Union - los angeles credit union

Image Source: Top Credit Unions in Los Angeles

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Credit Union in Los Angeles

Below is a list of key points that allowed California Credit Union to rank as one of the top credit unions in Los Angeles, California.

Superior Loan Services

CCU is a member-owned business; because of this, it is able to offer its members exceptionally competitive rates on a variety of loan options. Below, we will explore the fundamentals of just a few of these loan options:

Vehicle Loans

Whether you are buying new or used, CCU boasts the ultimate in convenience and a smooth process. Pre-approvals are available, and when buying new, clients may be able to enjoy little or no down payment. Other benefits include:

  • No payments for 90 days
  • Loans for auto, motorcycles, RV, and watercraft
  • 100% financing available on approved credit
  • Low credit union rates
  • Flexible terms for lower payments

Home Mortgages

California Credit Union staffs a team of real estate specialists who are ready to help you buy your first home, refinance your existing home, or even upgrade to your dream home.

Both fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are available, as well as an 80/10/10 program which allows a low 10% down payment. Additionally, CCU offers:

  • Conventional or jumbo mortgages
  • Primary residence and non-owner occupied
  • 15/20/30 year terms available
  • Purchase or refinance
  • Standard ARMs
  • Hybrid ARMs
  • 5/5 ARMs

Banking and Account Services

As one of the best LA credit unions, CCU has a variety of banking and account services that remain flexible to meet the individualized needs of their clients, and they include:

  • Checking accounts
  • Free online banking
  • Savings accounts
  • Overdraft protection
  • Mobile banking
  • E-Statements and E-Notices
  • Text banking
  • Money market savings
  • Summer savings
  • IRAs
  • Investment services
  • Bank-by-phone
  • Share certificates

A Broad ATM Network

Aside from 24-hour access to ATMs at California Credit Union branch locations, CCU members can enjoy a partnership with CO-OP Network, which allows access to over 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs across America.

The ATM locator apps help you pinpoint the nearest ATM from anywhere, making CCU one of the most convenient and accessible credit unions in California.

Services with the Educator in Mind

As one of the premier LA credit unions, CCU has developed an array of products and services designed to meet the special needs of teachers and educators alike.

These services make earning and saving much more effective for those in the education field, and they include:

  • Free Checking Your Way
  • No minimum deposits
  • No monthly service fees
  • School summer savings
  • Expertly tailored lending services
  • APRs as low as 0%

These are just a few of the specials for educators. To learn more and see all CCU has to offer educators, click here.

Related: Best Credit Unions in Texas (Ranking & Review)

Firefighters First Credit Union Review

Since 1935, Firefighters First Credit Union (FFCU) has been serving firefighters and their families with a variety of quality financial products and banking services.

FFCU has 7 California locations, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Loma Linda. Their CO-OP ATM Network includes nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs conveniently located across the United States.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Credit Union in Los Angeles

Next is a listing of key factors that enabled Firefighters First Credit Union to rank as one of the top credit unions in Los Angeles, California.

Banking for Firefighters, by Firefighters

Firefighters First Credit Union understands the pressures faced by firefighters and their families. It has employed a convenient banking model that is always dedicated to service first.

Benefits are too numerous for one review, but below you’ll find some of the most popular services that can help you simplify your financial needs:

Checking Accounts

Flexibility is key, and an FFCU checking account puts you in charge with the following features:

  • FREE mobile banking
  • Funds insured up to $500,000 per account by ASI
  • Overdraft protection
  • No transfer, deposit, or bill pay fees

Savings Accounts

Easy to link and manage, the full-line of savings products from Firefighters First Credit Union is specifically designed around the needs of its members – firefighters and their families.

As one of the best LA credit unions, all savings accounts from FFCU come with convenient features such as ATM cards, direct deposit, and payroll deduction.

Available savings accounts are:

  • Regular Share Accounts (Regular Savings)
  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
  • Holiday Helper Savings Accounts

Money Market Accounts

Simply stated, the more you put in, the more you get out. A Firefighters First Credit Union money market account puts you into a unique position to garner higher returns on your investments and ultimately grow your wealth overall. Benefits include:

  • Direct deposit and payroll deduction options
  • Unlimited deposits
  • Access by check (6 checks per month)
  • ATM/check card, online, and mobile banking
  • Accounts insured up to $500,000 per account by ASI

Fee Schedules

Banking fees and surcharges can really add up and eat into your assets.

As one of the top credit unions in California, Firefighters First Credit Union prides itself in minimizing fees, and it doesn’t charge for basic account services, deposits, ATM withdrawals, or transfers.

When fees do come into play, here’s a look at what FFCU’s rates are:

Firefighters First Credit Union - credit unions in los angeles

Image Source: FFCU’s rates

Professionally Managed Loans

A singular personal loan is how Firefighters First Credit Union started in the first place. Lending exclusively to its Fire Family, FFCU is the “go-to” institution when it comes to all types of loans.

From personal loans and mortgages to solar credits and credit cards, your options are numerous and include:

  • Auto
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Solar loan
  • Lines of credits
  • Aircraft
  • Fire station
  • Mortgages
  • Visa credit cards
  • Balance programs
  • HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit)
  • Vacation homes
  • Investment properties
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Home and personal financing

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First City Credit Union Review

With 8 branch locations throughout California, including two in Los Angeles, First City Credit Union (FCCU) is a co-operative and non-profit financial institution.

It is one of the nation’s leading 5-star credit unions and is owned and operated by its members. Furthermore, FCCU boasts over $600 million in assets among over 60,000 members, making it one of the top LA credit unions to consider.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Credit Union in Los Angeles

The following is a listing of key factors that allowed First City Credit Union to rank as one of the top credit unions in Los Angeles, California.

Lead by Guiding Principles

First City Credit Union has grown from closing with $149 in deposits back in 1937 to being a multi-million-dollar credit union in California.

It has achieved this monumental success through the following set of driving principles that they still abide by today:

  • Value
  • Personal service
  • Trust
  • Convenience

Service Satisfaction

Cost-saving and competitive services allow the focus to remain on you, the client. First City Credit Union is in the business of simply being the best of the best and delivering results to boot.

When you sign up as a client of this credit union in California, you can rest assured you will receive a completely customized package of services that will simplify your financial life and help you get to where you want to be.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile banking and SMS text messaging
  • E-Statements
  • Apple Pay
  • Phone banking
  • Loan payment
  • Verified by Visa
  • Overdraft protection and courtesy pay
  • TeleService Center
  • First CityLink online banking and bill payment
  • Remote deposit capture

Dividend Rates and Yields

For both savings and checking accounts, dividend rates and yields vary. A minimum deposit of just $5 is required for most accounts, and the chart below offers insight into Annual Percentage Yields for various types of accounts:

First City Credit Union - LA credit unions

Image Source: Rates

Banking on the Right Move

Attaining your financial dreams can become a reality. First City Credit Union has expertly curated banking services backed by a highly professional staff that has dealt with just about every variable you can imagine.

They are here for you, and as a client of this credit union in California, you can take advantage of the following banking services:

  • Free checking
  • Interest checking
  • Regular savings
  • Money market
  • Term certificates
  • IRAs
  • FirstStart savings
  • Vacation and holiday savers

Read More: Best Credit Unions in Georgia | Ranking | Comparison of the Top Georgia Banks

To browse exclusive reviews of all top rated credit unions in Houston, Texas, please click on any of the links below:

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Conclusion – Top 9 Credit Unions in Los Angeles, California

When deciding which Los Angeles credit union is going to best serve your needs, take into consideration the following criteria:

  • Do you prefer to do your banking face-to-face or online?
  • Are you looking for basic checking and savings or more?
  • Do you have special needs such as a reverse mortgage, or have you recently acquired substantial assets?
  • Do you need your financial institution to be able to handle a variable flow of deposits?

All these things can impact your choice, and you should have a clear vision of what your financial needs are so that you can get the most out of a relationship with a Los Angeles credit union.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.