Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Review 2022: A Solid Choice For Community Banking

GOBankingRates Score

3.6
Quick Take: Los Angeles Federal Credit Union is a local credit union in L.A. that provides quality service and convenient financial products. While they might not be able to compete with other institutions on rates, they certainly deliver on service.
  • CD Rates
    3.0
  • Savings and Checking
    3.5
  • Banking Experience
    5.0
  • Overdraft Fees
    3.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Personal service from a community-based institution
  • Plenty of modern banking features
  • Access to a wide range of financial products

Cons

  • Restrictive account requirements
  • Lower interest on savings and investments than some competitors

    About Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

    The Los Angeles Federal Credit Union is a longstanding financial institution that provides a wide range of financial services to its members in L.A. and Southern California.

    As a federal credit union, LAFCU doesn’t have customers but rather members who all have a share in the ownership of the institution. This co-op approach keeps LAFCU focused on providing quality financial products at affordable prices rather than concentrating on shareholder profits.

    How Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Earned Its Scores

    Los Angeles Federal Credit Union earned its scores based on the following factors.

    Certificate of Deposit Rates

    LAFCU provides certificates of deposits with a range of terms from three months to 60 months. Their regular and starter CDs have minimum deposit requirements of $1,000 and $100, respectively. The 12-month CD offers an APY of .

    The jumbo CDs have higher APYs but a minimum deposit of $100,000.

    The CD rates at LAFCU are considerably lower than some competitors but higher than national averages, which range from 0.20% to 0.90%, for similar terms.

    Savings and Checking

    LAFCU offers both savings and checking accounts with competitive interest rates.

    • Share Savings: The Share Savings account is required for membership and requires a $10 minimum opening deposit — of which $5 is a one-time membership fee.
      • There is a $50 minimum balance requirement after six months.
      • On balances over $10,000, account holders will earn an APY of , with a lower APY on lower balances.
      • Savings accounts with the credit union are insured up to at least $250,000 for each depositor by the National Credit Union Administration.
    • Checking: The checking account offered at LAFCU doesn’t require any minimum balance and can be used for free at over 30,000 ATMs nationwide. Anyone signing up must already have a savings account. You can waive the $5 monthly fee by meeting the monthly requirement of having a single direct deposit or using your debit card.
      • Account-holders can even gain interest on balances, starting at $10,000.

    The bank provides a range of other account options as well, including health savings, money markets, holiday savings, youth accounts, business accounts and more. As a credit union, LAFCU pays dividends out to savings accounts, varying in rate by the type of account and account balance. It also provides easy access to the account through online and mobile banking.

    Banking Experience

    From a co-op credit, the banking experience at LAFCU is what you might expect. Account-holders enjoy the benefits they would expect from larger banks, like online banking, account alerts, automatic transfers, mobile check deposit and more.

    Credit union members also get access to LAFCU’s Relationship Rewards program. This program provides points to members for holding checking, savings or investment accounts, along with credit products. The rewards are serious, too, providing discounted rates on loans and even reduced mortgage closing costs.

    Overdraft Fees

    LAFCU has an overdrawn of $29 per occurrence. When a charge is returned, there is a $29 non-sufficient funds fee. The credit union also has a courtesy pay service where at their discretion, they will allow an account to be successfully overdrawn, and this also carries a fee of $29.

    What Else Does Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Have To Offer?

    Beyond basic checking and savings, Los Angeles Federal Credit Union offers many different financial services, including a variety of bank accounts, loans and credit options. Their offerings are on-par with many private banking institutions.

    They have a wide range of loan and credit options, including:

    • Visa credit cards
    • Vehicle loans
    • Mortgages
    • Personal loans
    • Energy loans
    • Student loans
    • Business loans

    LAFCU members can enjoy essentially the full range of financial products that they would find at any private institution while also being a part of the co-op.

    Los Angeles Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

    LAFCU is a relatively small credit union with just seven branches and 73,000 members. However, this allows them to maintain a more personal connection with members than the much larger credit unions throughout California.

    Credit Union Best For
    Los Angeles Federal Credit Union A more personal approach local to the L.A. area and great loyalty rewards.
    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union The best rates available for CDs and other investments.
    Golden1 Credit Union Little to no account restrictions or requirements.

    Los Angeles Federal Credit Union vs. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has better CD rates than LAFCU, with their 12-month CD having a rate of on a minimum balance of $500 compared to LAFCU’s . However, this option is many times larger than LAFCU and doesn’t offer the same personal experience.

    Los Angeles Federal Credit Union vs. Golden1 Credit Union

    Golden1 Credit Union has less restrictive savings account options with just a $1 opening deposit. However, it doesn’t have the personal incentives and loyalty rewards that LAFCU offers through its Relationship Rewards program.

    Final Take

    LAFCU is a solid choice for banking, loans and credit in the L.A. area. While better rates can be found elsewhere, the appeal of going local and staying within the community is a major advantage for LAFCU.

    FAQ

    These are some common questions and answers about Los Angeles Federal Credit Union:
    • Who can join Los Angeles Federal Credit Union?
      • As a community credit union, LAFCU restricts membership to individuals who live in or have immediate family in Southern California.
    • What is the largest credit union in California?
      • The largest credit union in California is SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, with more than $25 billion in assets and 69 locations, compared to the smaller $971 million assets held by LAFCU.
    • How many branches does LAFCU have?
      • LAFCU has seven branches located in:
      • – Cerritos
      • – Culver City
      • – Gardena
      • – Glendale
      • – El Monte
      • – Van Nuys
      • – Los Angeles

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 18, 2022.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Los Angeles Federal Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Los Angeles Federal Credit Union.

    Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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    About the Author

    Teddy Garcia is an experienced freelance writer who develops a wide range of content across many industries. He has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and has created blog posts, website copy, use cases, and more for a variety of chemical industry and manufacturing organizations. 
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