Reva Rao is senior vice president, lending, at Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif.

Home loan centers expand mortgage footprint

Golden 1 Credit Union provides brick-and-mortar facilities devoted solely to home loans.

February 28, 2022

Despite the pandemic and its lingering impacts, 2021 was both an extraordinary and challenging year for homebuyers.

As more employers adopted work-from-home policies, many people saw their housing needs shift, in particular the need for more space. But one thing proved certain: The housing market erupted throughout much of the country. 

Prices soared, and inventory lagged behind demand. This trend is expected to continue into 2022, with prices projected to climb even higher.

Still, historically low interest rates and a recovering job market are helping many people get into the housing market. As the number of mortgages continues to climb, $17.2 billion asset Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif., is making it easier for homebuyers to achieve the dream of homeownership. 

Golden 1 believes in being there for its members, especially when it comes to mortgage lending. In a time when many companies are moving their services to a digital-only platform, Golden 1 is committed to meeting its members where they are by offering digital options and building more brick-and-mortar home loan centers throughout California. 

Golden 1 is one of the first credit unions to offer a center dedicated solely to home loans. The first Golden 1 Home Loan Center opened in the Bay Area in 2018, followed by centers throughout the state. 

The Golden 1 advantage

The Golden 1 Credit Union Home Loan Center is a one-stop shop for home lending. Home loan advisers help members with the entire mortgage, refinance, or home-equity loan process in a comfortable atmosphere dedicated to personalized lending. 

Experienced home loan advisers can connect homebuyers to real estate agents who specialize in the local market and offer Golden 1’s Buyer Advantage program, which provides a discount on closing costs among other benefits.  

Golden 1 also focuses on demystifying the mortgage process through a financial wellness program that hosts on-site events for first-time homebuyers and real estate agents. 

Building a network 

The home loan centers are an investment in the communities Golden 1 serves. Beyond physical locations, the credit union is constantly establishing new relationships with area real estate agents, insurance agents, and financial advisers. 

This network spreads the word to potential homebuyers and helps Golden 1 develop strategic synergies with other professionals who play key roles in the real estate market, including real estate agents and community organizations that focus on lowering the barriers to homeownership.  

Additionally, the credit union partners with chambers of commerce throughout the state to build relationships. 

A superior mortgage experience 

Golden 1 is committed to enhancing the member experience as they navigate what is, for many, the largest financial transactions of their lives. Consumers also prefer specialized support from experts who focus exclusively on home loans.

Understanding differences in pricing, including the interest rates and loan options, can have a huge effect on the long-term cost of the loan. Finding the right product to meet members’ goals is essential and puts a premium on face-to-face advice to ensure they have the right loan, not only for today but for the future.

Golden 1 home loan advisers partner with homebuyers to evaluate the myriad options available and ensure members make the right decision for their unique situations.

Sometimes, a computer or a voice on the telephone may not offer the personal information, time, or resources needed to make a homebuyer feel confident when making a huge financial decision.

Homeownership helps build strong, vibrant communities, and is a key part of Golden 1's vision to enhance the financial well-being of Californians and their diverse communities.

California has long been one of the nation’s hottest housing markets. Golden 1 leaders know that by providing this type of specialized member service, the credit union can help make many homebuying dreams come true.

Reva Rao is senior vice president, lending, for Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento, Calif.