Golden 1 Credit Union Mortgage Review 2024

Good for: California residents who want to work with a credit union that offers a variety of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, including jumbo loans and home equity lines of credit.
Phil Metzger
By
Last updated on January 31, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Johanna Arnone
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

4.0

Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Golden 1 offers a cost-saving real estate agent program and a range of mortgage types, including a high volume of jumbo loans. Its rates are on the low side when compared with other lenders, but products are mostly limited to borrowers in California.

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Golden 1 Credit Union
Golden 1 Credit Union: NMLS#669333

Min. credit score
N/A
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Pros

  • Has a preferred real estate agent program that can save a borrower money on closing costs.
  • Offers some flexibility on guidelines for loan qualification.
  • Customized sample rates are available online without contacting the lender.

Cons

  • Does not offer VA or USDA loans.
  • Products mostly available only to California residents.
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans, only HELOCs.
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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's mortgage loan options

  • 4 of 5 stars

For California residents and relatives of those who are members, 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. In 2022, jumbo loans accounted for nearly 40% of the lender’s home loans, likely a reflection of the higher home prices in California.

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

The lender does not offer a home equity loan but does offer a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. 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. The HELOC has a variable interest rate, with the option to convert portions of the money drawn to a fixed rate.

What it's like to apply for a Golden 1 mortgage

  • 2 of 5 stars

You can begin the mortgage process by visiting a 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 has two mobile apps, a highly rated one for general banking, and a home loans-specific one, which receives slightly lower marks for functionality.

Golden 1's mortgage rates and fees

  • 3.5 of 5 stars

  • Golden 1 Credit Union earns 3 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Golden 1 Credit Union earns 4 of 5 stars for average mortgage interest rates.

NerdWallet analyzes federal data to compare mortgage lenders’ origination fees and offered mortgage rates. We measure annual averages across all loan types, as reported by the lenders. Overall, Golden 1 had origination fees that were average in the industry and interest rates that were below the industry average.

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's mortgage rate transparency

  • 5 of 5 stars

Golden 1's website publishes sample mortgage rates for the purchase and refinance loans it offers. The model rates are based on a credit score of 740, assume the property is in Sacramento and clearly display whether they include discount points.

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

Alternatives to a home loan from Golden 1

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).

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