Golden 1 Credit Union Mortgage Review 2023

Good for: California residents who want to work with a homegrown credit union that offers a variety of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, including home equity loans.
By Barbara Marquand and  Phil Metzger 

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Golden 1 offers a cost-saving real estate agent program, plus a range of loan types, including jumbos.

Golden 1 Credit Union
Golden 1 Credit Union: NMLS#669333
Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a variety of purchase and refinance loans, including jumbo mortgages.
  • Has a preferred real estate agent program that can save a borrower money on closing costs.
  • Offers some flexibility on guidelines for loan qualification.

Cons

  • Does not offer VA or USDA loans.
  • Products available only to California residents.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Reverse, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, Home Equity

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

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Full Review

What borrowers say about Golden 1 mortgage

NerdWallet’s lender star ratings assess objective qualities, including rates, fees and loan offerings. NerdWallet assesses borrowers’ subjective experiences with lenders using customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power and Zillow. Golden 1 Credit Union didn’t have sufficient data from either source for NerdWallet to share.

Golden 1 mortgage loan types

  • 5 of 5 stars

For California residents, Golden 1 Credit Union has a full menu of purchase and refinance mortgages, including 15- or 30-year fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages and jumbo loans up to $4 million. The credit union’s Buyer Advantage Program credits members up to 25% of their agent’s commission toward closing costs when they work with a Golden 1 preferred real estate agent.

Golden 1 HELOC and home equity loan

The lender also offers a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, and a home equity loan. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access existing home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation.

Golden 1’s HELOC allows homeowners to borrow up to 80% of their home’s equity with no application fee or annual fee. It allows a draw period just short of 15 years and a repayment period of up to 15 years after the draw period. The HELOC has a variable interest rate, with the ability to convert portions of the money drawn to a fixed rate. The home equity loan is a fixed-rate loan with fixed monthly payments.

Golden 1 mortgage ease of application

  • 5 of 5 stars

You can begin the mortgage process by visiting a local branch or home loan center, contacting a home loan advisor or filling out Golden 1's online mortgage application for preapproval. The Golden 1 website has a directory of home loan advisors, listed by location. You can click on a name to get contact information and reach out to one directly.

The online application form asks about your finances, your employment and the property you want to buy or refinance. It's possible to upload documents, track loan status and sign forms electronically.

Golden 1 mortgage rates and fees

  • 2.5 of 5 stars

  • Golden 1 earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Golden 1 earns 3 of 5 stars for average mortgage interest rates.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

Golden 1 mortgage rate transparency

  • 5 of 5 stars

Golden 1's website publishes sample mortgage rates for the purchase, refinance and home equity loans it offers. The sample rates for purchase and refinance mortgages are based on a credit score of 740 and assume the property is in Sacramento. The sample home equity loan rates assume a borrower credit score of 720.

You can also fill in a form to see personalized rates according to purchase price, down payment, location and your credit score.

Alternatives to Golden 1 mortgage

Here are some comparable lenders we review that borrowers can consider.

San Diego County Credit Union offers similar options for jumbo loans, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers a comparable variety of loan types.

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for mortgage lenders are evaluated based on four major categories: variety of loan types (purchase, refinance, fixed and adjustable, for example), ease of application, rates and fees and rate transparency. Among the factors we consider when scoring these categories are options to apply for and track loans online, the level of detail about mortgage rates on lender websites and our analysis of the rates and fees lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. These scores generate ratings from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).