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Golden 1 Credit Union mortgage review

Offers low down payment conventional and jumbo loans, but you must live in California to apply.

  • Choose this lender for low down payment jumbo loans
  • Choose another lender for VA and USDA loans
  • A good option for California residents who live near a branch
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Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, Home Equity/HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityOnly available in: CA
NMLS #669333

Golden 1 Credit Union requirements

To find out if you’re eligible for a Golden 1 Credit Union home loan, visit the company’s website. Basic eligibility for a mortgage loan includes:

  • Residency in California
  • Two years’ history of employment
  • A FICO credit score of 620 or higher
  • No history of bankruptcy in the past two years

Documentation

Golden 1 Credit Union doesn’t clearly state on its site what documents it requires to apply, but expect to provide:

  • Photo identification
  • Social Security card
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Most recent pay stubs
  • W-2s for the past year
  • Recent tax returns
  • List of assets, such as retirement accounts
  • List of debts, such as auto loans

Costs and fees

Golden 1 Credit Union charges a flat rate $995 origination fee on its home loans. Additionally, you can expect to pay closing costs, which can run anywhere from 2% to 5% of your home loan’s total value.

Closing costs typically include:

  • Appraisal
  • Credit report
  • Document preparation
  • Home inspection
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • State taxes
  • Title charges
  • Taxes

How to apply for a mortgage with Golden 1 Credit Union

To get started:

  1. Go to Golden 1 Credit Union’s website.
  2. Select the Credit Cards & Loans menu option, then choose Home Loans.
  3. Scroll down until you see the loan types listed and select Apply Now.
  4. Choose Buy a Home, Refinance or Home Equity.
  5. Enter your name and contact information to create an account.
  6. Complete the application by providing information about the property, your current address, Social Security number, employment history, assets and bank account numbers.
  7. Answer the declaration and demographic questions and agree to a credit check and electronic disclosures. Review and submit the application.
  8. Go through a checklist where you may be asked to upload additional documents. At this point, you can call the bank or wait to be contacted by your designated loan officer.

What types of mortgages can I get through Golden 1 Credit Union?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products offered by Golden 1 Credit Union

Golden 1 Credit Union also offers these specialized types of mortgages.

  • Equity My Way line of credit. An adjustable-rate, revolving line of credit that allows you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s equity on an as-needed basis.
  • Home equity loan. A fixed-rate, lump sum loan that lets you borrow up to 80% of your home’s equity, which is paid back in even monthly installments.
  • Low down payment jumbo loans. Golden 1 Credit Union offers jumbo loans with down payments as low as 5% for qualified borrowers.
  • Mortgage refinancing. Mortgage refinancing can help reduce your interest rate, lower your monthly mortgage payment and get rid of PMI if your equity is 20% or more.

How Golden 1 Credit Union’s mortgage products compare to other lenders

Compared to other lenders, Golden 1 Credit Union offers a basic range of home mortgage options. When we asked a loan officer what makes Golden 1’s mortgages different, we were informed that it strives to provide “aggressive” interest rates and fees. It also offers risk-based PMI, which can significantly reduce monthly costs for good credit borrowers.

While credit unions offer similar loan pricing, Golden 1 claims it has saved customers anywhere from $50 to $100 off their monthly mortgage payments compared to other lenders. Also, the credit union doesn’t sell its conventional and jumbo loans on the secondary market, which means you’ll have Golden 1 as your servicer for the entire life of your conventional or jumbo loan.

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Golden 1 Credit Union reviews and complaints

Golden 1 Credit Union doesn’t have a large number of online reviews, but the reviews that exist are mixed. As of May 2021, Golden 1 Credit Union has a 1 out 5 customer rating on the Business Bureau (BBB) website, a 3 out 5 rating on WalletHub and a 2 out of 5 rating on Yelp. While not registered with the BBB, Golden 1 has an A+ rating with 74 complaints closed in the past three years.

While many customers report being happy with the service, helpfulness and interest rates provided by Golden 1 Credit Union, other customers report feeling abandoned by the credit union when things went awry with their financial accounts.

Pros and cons of Golden 1 Credit Union

Pros

  • Low down payment options. Golden 1 Credit Union’s conventional loans have down payment options as low as 3% and jumbo loans as low as 5% down.
  • Risked-based PMI. Instead of charging a flat rate percentage on your PMI, Golden 1 uses a risk-based PMI model, which can significantly lower monthly PMI payments for good credit, low DTI borrowers.
  • Buyer Advantage Program. If you purchase your home through a Golden 1 Credit Union Preferred Real Estate Agent, you can have up to 25% of your agent’s commission credited towards your closing costs.
  • Rates listed online. Golden 1 Credit Union advertises its current rates online and allows you to get a personalized rate quote without doing a hard credit pull.
  • Lenient membership requirements. Any California resident is eligible to become a Golden 1 Credit Union member.

Cons

  • Only available in CA. Only California residents can get a home loan through Golden 1 Credit Union.
  • Uneven lending locations. While Golden 1 has multiple branch locations with home loan advisors, they’re mostly clustered near Sacramento and the Bay Area.
  • Limited loan options. Unlike some credit unions, Golden 1 has a relatively limited selection of loan options.
  • Customer complaints. Many customers online have complained about poor service on their financial accounts at the credit union.

What is Golden 1 Credit Union?

Founded in 1933 in Sacramento, California, Golden 1 Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative offering a range of financial products, including bank accounts, auto loans and mortgages. The credit union has one million members, 70 branches and over $17 billion in assets.

Members are part owners of the company and earnings are given back through higher returns on savings accounts and lower interest rates on loans.

Review by


Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.

Expert review

Offering competitive rates and free checking accounts, Golden 1 Credit Union may be a good option for Californians who prefer a credit union for their financial needs. Unfortunately, many customers have reported problems with customer service. And because branches with loan officers are limited to certain regions in California — mostly Sacramento and the Bay Area — you may want to compare other mortgage lenders if you prefer in-person support.

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