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Golden 1 Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of California and the seventh largest in the United States. Today, the credit union has more than 600,000 members and over $8 billion in assets. Like all credit unions, Golden 1 is not-for-profit and owned by its members. Membership is available to most citizens of California – you must live in one of the 34 participating counties out of about 58 total counties in CA – state employees, and employees of select groups and companies in the state. Golden 1 was originally created as a credit union for California state workers in 1933, and over the years it has been allowed to expand its customer base to take on members who are generally in Northern and Central California counties, not including the Bay Area. Today, in addition to its nearly 600,000 members the credit union has over 80 branches, more than 250 ATMs, and is part of a network of 30,000 ATMs across the US that members can use free of charge. When it comes to consumer loans, credit unions tend to be much more favorable in terms of approval versus big, traditional banks. Part of this difference has to do with the fact that credit unions tend to serve specific local communities and the average person far more, while big chain corporation banks are far more interested in commercial lending and international financing. The credit union can help with new & used auto loans, along with mortgages and mortgage financing. In terms of rates, at the beginning of 2013 the Golden One's loan costs were approximately 3 percent for a 5-year auto loan, and 7.65 percent for a new boat or RV. Motorcycles were slightly cheaper at 7.25 percent. A used boat or RV was charged at a higher level of 9 percent. However, regardless of new or used, if a borrower is a first-time application without any history, the Credit Union charges a much higher rate to offset risk, applying a 9 percent rate on new or used cars and an 8.5 percent rate on new or used boats or motorcycles. In this respect, the Golden One is probably not near as competitive as other banks in the same regions for first-time buyer auto loans. This bank profile is not an endorsement or advertisement for the bank's products and services. RateZip is an independent publisher of bank information.