Popular Picks

The Best Credit Unions in California for People with Bad Credit

Trying to get a loan from a bank when you have bad credit can be difficult or troublesome. Having bad credit doesn’t mean that you can’t get a loan. All you have to do is not give up because there are good credit unions in California that are worth your consideration. These credit unions are member-owned institutions which often give loans with fair terms to consumers with bad credit.

How are credit unions different than banks?

Credit unions have the same functions as banks. For you to access a loan, you must become a member of the credit union. They usually charge a small membership fee, which is actually fair for people with bad credit and are searching for a loan. Since these institutions are smaller than banks they tend to offer more personalized services than larger financial institutions. In this article, you will get to discover the best credit unions in California form people with bad credit.

What is Bad Credit? 

Bad credit is a phrase used to describe a record of past mistakes or failures to keep up or make your payments on time on your credit agreements, which results in the failure to get approved for new credit. If you don’t pay your credit and other obligations on time or fail to pay them at all, that leads to a record described as bad credit.

Additionally, there’s something known as credit report which takes into account public records such as state or federal tax liens, bankruptcies, or even legal judgments against you. The credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies collect your credit history and the compile into a credit report. Each credit bureau maintains its own separate report, and this explains why your credit history and scores could vary from one agency to the other, due to errors and omission of information.

What services do credit unions offer?

A credit union looks a lot like a saving bank. Both credit unions perform various functions such as checking and savings accounts, debit and credits, and offer a variety of consumer loans.

However, there are certain differences between credit unions and banks. Here we’ll look at the differences that are most relevant to people with bad credits: 

  • Credit unions are member-owned. Members here are the depositors. Banks, on the other hand, are owned by shareholders. If you hold an account with a particular credit union, then you are one of the owners or members of the credit union. For that reason, credit unions are always focused on serving their members. In other words, it works to please its members. Note that credit unions are nonprofit organizations so they don’t really focus on generating the most profits possible but rather on creating and offering the best customer service and support experience. This is why you will find that many credit union policies are more customer-friendly.

  • As earlier mentioned in the above point, credit unions are nonprofit institutions. Therefore, any profits generated are invested back into the institution or better yet distributed as dividends among the members.

  • Certain credit unions have specialized membership requirements and services to match. For instance, some credit unions accept members from a particular geographic area. Others only accept certain groups of people, for instance, members of a labor union or the U.S military services or members of a specific profession such as firefighters.

  • Since credit unions focus on members and are owned by members, they tend to have greater flexibility than banks when it comes to deciding whether to issue a credit or not. Therefore, various people would have an opportunity to get a loan that they would otherwise not get from a bank.

  • Being a nonprofit institution, credit unions are exempted from paying taxes, and thus they don’t focus on making money from borrowers as banks would. Therefore, credit unions are willing to accept riskier borrowers than banks would, and at the same time, they can charge lower interest rates and fees than banks.

 Who are the best credit unions in California

Applying for a Loan at the Best California Credit Unions 

The lending policies of credit unions differ from those of the regular banks, however, the loan application processes look the same with the only difference of one having to become a member of the credit union in order to apply for a loan.

You can submit your loan application online, or even physically. Certain things will be required including your personal ID information and Social Security number to help the credit union check your credit score and credit report.

Before applying for a credit union loan, it’s always important to know your credit score. You need to get a copy of your credit report from one of the national credit bureaus. Checking your credit score and reviewing your credit report will help you try to establish what to expect when you apply for a loan, specifically the rates that you might qualify for.

Which are the Best Credit Unions in California for People with Bad Credit? 

Credit unions in California have proved to be of great value to their members, through personalized customer support, low rates on loans, high dividends, and a variety of service offerings.

California has many excellent credit unions and in this article, we have put together the best credit unions for people with bad credit.

  1. Alliant Credit Union 

Alliant Credit Union is a highly rated credit union in the United States. It is headquartered in Chicago but now operates in California, Colorado, Texas, and Virginia. The credit union offers loans for all sorts of reasons including debt consolidation, home expenses, or even emergencies. Members are offered no-collateral loans. The easiest way to become a member is by having an association with its more than 150 member companies or live in the local area.

  1. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union is another of the best credit unions in California for people with bad credit. Its membership is open to active-duty members of the army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard, army and national air guard, and many others.

You can also become a member if you are an immediate family member of the current member. When you become a member, you will automatically have access to the basic savings accounts which comes with competitive rates and no monthly service charge. Additionally, members can apply for different loans at Navy Federal such as personal loans, mortgages, student loans, equity, etc.

  1. Northeast Community Federal Credit Union

This is a credit union in the bay area. Membership is open to people who live in San Francisco or people who have appropriately associated ties. You can apply for several loans with the credit union, such as personal loans, auto loans, small business loans, tax refund loans, grace loan, home improvement, among others.

  1. California Bear Credit Union

This is a leading credit union in Los Angeles, California, and has two locations in Los Angeles. This credit union offers VISA credit cards and low-rate loans. It doesn’t matter whether your credit is not perfect, California Bear Credit Union will help.

  1. California Credit Union

This credit union has been offering its clients convenient and great financial services for many years now. It offers rewarding loan services at competitive rates. One can enjoy no payments for 90 years, low credit union rates, and flexible terms for lower payments on loans.


Trying to get a loan with bad credit can be difficult. However, there are great credit unions in Californian for people with bad credit. The credit unions give you the opportunity to borrow a loan at competitive rates. Also, it’s important to take steps to improve your credit score over time.

Material Disclaimer:

By using poorcredit.org you agree to all of our terms and condition and privacy policy, see below. We make no attempt to solicit financial products. We are a publisher and not a lender or financial advisor.
All loan terms are between you and the lender that may offer you short term credit. We have no access to the interest rate, loan duration, payment amounts, or annual percentage rate (APR). Not all lenders are able to offer you the amount you request. Annual percentage rate may be dictated by the laws of the state where you reside. This may limit your ability to access credit. All lending decisions are made by lenders, not us. Read all terms and conditions provided by the lender prior to accepting a legally binding loan agreement. 
Short term credit is not a long term financial solution. It should only be use in an emergency until a less expensive option is available. Void where prohibited. 
We receive compensation from lenders for providing your information in an attempt to help you get a funded by one of these lenders. We make no guarantee you will receive the amount you request on your application or that you will receive any loan offer with specific terms. Everything on our website should be considered an advertisement that we may be compensated for.
Our website uses cookies track consumers as they visit our website with a time, date, IP Address stamp.
Most of the lenders in our network do not use a typical credit check, meaning with the 3 main credit bureaus. They may review an personal loan industry specific report such as DataX or Teletrack.
Services on our website are free to use. You will not be charged to submit an application. Installment loans and payday loans should be use only as a temporary solution.
Must be 18 years old to apply and be a full time citizen of the United States.
If you have any complaints about a lender you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at:
Mail a complaint
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
PO Box 2900
Clinton, IA 52733-2900
or call: (855) 411-2372

Terms Conditions

5 Years of Trust

Privacy Policy

Like PoorCredit.org on Pinterest Follow PoorCredit.org on Pinterest Watch PoorCredit.org on YouTube PoorCredit.org on LinkedIn