People continue to migrate west in search of a better way of life—one with more possibilities and less stress. West Coast credit unions have adapted and innovated in response to these changes in order to serve their members better. This guide will look at five credit unions in California, Oregon, and Washington State that can help you with your finances.
What is a credit union?
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that provides services to its members. Instead of shareholders, it has members who own the organization and share in its profits. Credit unions can offer lower interest rates on loans because, unlike other lenders, they don’t need to make money from their lending decisions – they simply want their membership’s financial success.
Membership is open to anyone who meets the minimum requirements to join a credit union, so it doesn’t matter if you are an employee or the child of an employee. There are different types of membership available at credit unions – family memberships, student memberships, and religious affiliations, just to name a few – but individuals can also choose whether they want to be a member or not.
Credit unions are different from banks because they offer lower interest rates and better customer service overall. They also often have more locations than other financial institutions to make it easier for members to access their finances when needed.
Why choose a credit union over big banks?
People choose credit unions over big banks because they offer lower interest rates and charge fewer fees. The goal of a credit union is to help its members succeed financially, so it makes sense that the services are priced in such a way that allows them to do just that.
Credit unions also have more locations than other financial institutions, making it easier for members to access their funds when needed. Some credit unions even have accessible ATMs, which is great because some banks charge exorbitant fees if you use another bank’s machine.
There are numerous advantages to joining a credit union rather than using other financial services such as cash advances or check-cashing services. Members of many credit unions are offered low-interest loans and no-strings-attached free checking.
What are some of the top west coast credit unions?
Some examples of top West Coast Credit Unions include:
The Golden One Credit Union
Golden One is a credit union with 70 locations in California and Oregon that has been around since 1933. They offer low-interest loans, free checking accounts, and financial literacy courses to their members. Membership is open to anyone who joins the Financial Wellness Center, which gives them access to all of these services.
Benefits and Features:
- Credit cards with low rates
- Low-interest loans
- A free checking account that has no minimum balance required or monthly fees
One of the best things about Golden One is the financial literacy course they offer to members. They have great online courses and in-person classes, so it’s easy for anyone to learn more about personal finance even if you don’t have time to take the course. They also offer free financial counseling, so if you struggle with getting your finances under control, this is a credit union worth checking out.
The BECU (Boeing Employees’ Credit Union)
This credit union has over $25 billion in assets and is the largest financial institution in Washington State. Membership here is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in Washington State.
The BECU has also been recognized by Forbes as one of the best companies to work for and has an A+ rating on BBB.
This credit union is an excellent example of how people can trust financial institutions that prioritize their customers while still making sound business decisions, such as maintaining healthy capital ratios.
Benefits and Features:
- The first order of checks is free
- Low-interest loans on new vehicles, RVs, boats, and more.
- An interest-bearing checking account that has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
It’s also worth noting that BECU is a great place to bank if you are looking for an institution that offers low-interest loans on used vehicles as well!
The Wauna Federal Credit Union
This credit union has been around for over 70 years and is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in various counties in Oregon and Washington. They also have many different locations from Seaside to Astoria, so it’s easy for members to access their services when they need them.
To meet the needs of its members, the Wauna Federal Credit Union provides a wide range of services. The first is a checking account with no minimum balance requirement, free online banking, mobile banking, text alerts for deposits/withdrawals, and the option to create your own debit card. They also provide savings accounts that are tier-based on the amount of money you choose to deposit.
The Wauna Federal Credit Union also offers credit cards. They offer cards with varying spending limits and interest rates, making it easier to find one that fits your financial situation without jeopardizing your bank account!
Third, they provide personal loans at competitive rates, allowing their members to obtain additional funds for various purposes. They also offer small business loans to help members start or expand their businesses so that everyone can benefit from the services of this credit union.
As you can see, the Wauna Federal Credit Union has everything you need for your banking needs and more such as:
- A free checking account with no minimum balance requirement
- Online and mobile banking, personalized debit cards, text alerts for transactions or deposits/withdrawals.
- Personal loans at competitive rates to help members get the money they need while staying safe financially.
People who belong to this credit union also have access to a free financial literacy course which is great if you are looking for someone with great resources when it comes to how best to manage your money.
The First Tech Credit Union
First Tech is another credit union that has many different locations throughout Washington State and Oregon. Membership here is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in a select area of Oregon, California, Colorado, or a select area of Washington State – check out their website here to see if you qualify!
This credit union has been around since 1952 and is part of the shared branch network, allowing customers to bank at over 40 locations nationwide. They also have a great app for both Apple and Android devices which makes it easy to do banking on the go.
Benefits and Features:
- Over 500 free ATMs for members nationwide – $0 non-network ATM fee
- Nice app and online banking capabilities with great customer service to help you out when you need it most.
- Free checking account with no minimum balance, free Bill Pay, and more!
First Tech is one of the top credit unions throughout the west coast because they offer excellent customer service, convenient banking options like accessible ATMs across town or nationwide. They also have great online capabilities with their app for both Apple and Android devices.
The Mountain America Credit Union (MACU)
The Mountain America Credit Union is another credit union with many different locations throughout Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, and Idaho. Membership here is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in a select area of either state – check out their website here.
This credit union was founded back in 1934 and continues to be one of the top financial institutions in the area. Unlike most credit unions, they are open to nearly everyone on the west coast and serve over 800k members.
Benefits and Features:
- They have a mobile app that allows you to view your statement, make payments, deposit checks, etc. – all from the convenience of their phone!
- This credit union offers many different services, including loans and checking accounts for both businesses and individuals. They also provide an auto loan option with low rates, which is helpful in today’s market.
- $0 non-network ATM fee – Nice app and online banking capabilities with excellent customer service to help you out when you need it most.
The Mountain America Credit Union is an excellent option for anyone looking to join a credit union. Their mobile app makes it easy for you to view your account balance, transfer money between accounts, and more, all from the convenience of their phone.
They have great customer service representatives who are available if you need assistance with anything at any time. They also have many branch locations throughout several states, so it’s easy to access your money and pay bills whenever you need to.
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