Updated: Jun 6
“Selected an Excellent Choice Credit Union. First Entertainment Credit Union (FECU) is a great credit union that has served members who work for the entertainment industry and supporting companies in the Hollywood California area since 1967."
By: Allan R Kirby
We review Credit Unions:
Mysmallbank.com feels compelled to find the best credit unions and community banks in order to write a small review. These reviews are to help you learn more about community banks, possibly one that's in your area that you might be interested in. In this review we are choosing the following local Credit Union:
Headquartered: 6735 Forest Lawn Drive, Hollywood, CA 90068
Year Established: 1967
First Entertainment Credit Union is a unique credit union that provides premier financial services and is available to those working in the entertainment community and living in the Hollywood CA area. It's also a credit union that is packed full of great service offerings and will not disappoint prospective members. Our decision to name First Entertainment CU, Excellent Choice Credit Union, was based on reviews, services offered as well as their commitment to their membership and the communities they serve. What we found was a great credit union that potential members should take a serious look at. The following details our review..
First Entertainment Credit Union currently has close to $1.7 Billion in assets, 11 branches and nearly 88,000 members. ibanknet. Additionally, they have a history of providing services to their members since the Credit Union's founding in 1967.
"Overall we did not find any serious problems with this Credit Union, they provide a depth and breadth of services for their members"
This credit union had a lot of reviews, we had to go through about 200 reviews to get an idea on how current and past members felt. Overall the credit union has an above-average rating on Yelp as well as other review websites. When we reviewed this credit union we were pleasantly surprised with all the positive responses with regard to the opening of Coogan Accounts for younger members. Digging further we found customer service was one of the issues some members have, however since each situation is unique and the number of complaints is small relative the size of the credit unions membership we do not see any concerns. We fully understand not every banking experience will be perfect so we do expect to see some bad experiences.
"Love it! First Entertainment offers CU offers a product called Stretch Loan which is a low-cost alternative to payday loans."
A number of members provided positive reviews that highlighted the wide range of products services the credit union provides. This is something that we noticed very quickly when we started our review. We found this credit union is packed full of great services that help their members especially members who are having financial difficulty as well as other products to help younger members. We will now provide you some of the products and services First Entertainment CU provides its members. We will let you judge for yourself if these are the types of services you are looking for.
Helping out the Younger Generations:
We were pleased to see First Entertainment is providing banking services to younger members, which is a great idea to help younger generations develop good financial habits early. Their services offered include the following:
First500 Youth Account
The First500 Youth Account earns a significantly higher Annual percentage rate on the first $500 in the First500 Youth Account.
Younger members (17 & under), including those with Coogan Accounts enjoy the same benefits as the adult First500 Savings Accounts.
Thanks to the Coogan Act , every time young performers work under an entertainment contract, 15% of their gross earnings must be set aside for them until they reach legal majority.
First Entertainment Coogan Account ensures that child actors and athletes (and other young performers) receive this portion of their earnings when they reach the majority age of 18. Safely insured, a First Entertainment Coogan Account is easily set up to directly accept these funds. Remember, these earnings are the legal property of the minor.
Teen Checking Account
Designed for members ages 13-17, the Teen Checking Account is designed to teach the importance of good financial management. There's no monthly service charge or minimum balance requirement and the account features checks issued in the teen's name.
A Chip-Secured EMV Debit Card is also available for members who are 16-17. The account doesn't earn dividends and must have a parent or legal guardian as Joint Tenant. First Entertainment's Teen Checking features unlimited check writing, and there are No per check charges regardless of the youth members' balance.
In keeping with their core values First Entertainment CU is focused on helping members working in the entertainment business through two Hardship Assistance programs available to members a Skip a pay and Stretch Loans:
First Entertainment provides a service called Skip-A-Pay which provides qualifying members a method to skip a regular monthly loan payment for a $25 fee.
This is a great idea and allows members to gain the flexibility and freedom to skip a monthly loan payment without impacting their credit rating. Skip-A-Pay gives qualified members the convenience of deferring a monthly payment on their First Entertainment Auto or Personal Loan.
First Entertainment has come up with a product called Stretch Loans, it's a way to get a small amount of money between paychecks. We love this service overall because it's a low-cost alternative to payday loans. We at mysmallbank.com will always advocate finding cost-effective ways to get loans that are not related to the payday loan industry. Stretch Loans can be for either $200 or $400 and qualifying members can get approved by a simple verbal request with the credit union.
Ideally would have liked to see the APR rates to be a little lower however First Entertainments' comparable annual APR is still significantly less than the average annual APR of 400% for a payday loan which in some cases can be as high as 780%. That is not a typo, payday loans are incredibly expensive and we applaud the credit union for providing such a valuable cost-effective service.
Please review the details on their website on eligibility.
Other products and Services:
Yet another great service provided by First Entertainment CU, Through Media Benefits Insurance Services (MBIS), a wholly-owned insurance agency of First Entertainment Credit Union provides free insurance reviews in order to find the right plan that meets your needs at the best prices. As per the Credit Unions website, specialized agents will compare your current home or auto policy with more than 10 different insurance carriers and find the right plan for you, they can also look for gaps in your existing coverage as well.
Auto and Homeowners Insurance
Auto Protection Gap and Mechanical Breakdown
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
First Entertainment Visa® Platinum Credit Card
This is a credit card backed full of add ons, we love what you get with this credit card. If you are looking for a great credit union along with a top-notch credit card we suggest you look at their Visa Platinum Credit Card. It's crazy what you get such as; purchase security, Travel accident insurance, Warranty manager service (Double the manufacturer's warranty ), Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Emergency Cash Disbursement & Card Replacement, Visa Concierge Service, Lost Luggage Reimbursements, Travel, and Emergency Assistance Services and Visa's Zero Liability.
Financial Seminars and Webinars Center
Finally, we need to mention that First Entertainment offers these complimentary financial education seminars and webinars. We love it when credit unions provide financial services to help members understand more about personal finance.
Our Lineup of Informative Sessions
Understanding Your Credit
Budgeting and Debt Management
1st Time Homebuyers
Tapping into Your Home's Equity
Teaching Finances to Your Children
Excellent Choice Credit Union:
With all the services provided, it's not hard to see why this is such a great Credit Union. This is why Mysmallbank.com believes First Entertainment CU is well deserved to receive the designation of Excellent choice, Credit Union . So if you're looking for a great community-based credit union and you live or plan to live in the Los Angeles County, California area or work in the entertainment industry this could be a great financial institution for you.
Finally, we found that First Entertainment CU is a federally insured credit union through NCUA .
Who is Eligible:
Membership in First Entertainment Credit Union is open to the employees, their families and retirees of companies served by First Entertainment, along with any and all persons who live, regularly work, currently attend school, or currently worship in Los Angeles County, California, as well as eligible businesses and/or other legal entities in Los Angeles County, California.
Credit Union Family Membership permits relatives of members to join, even if they are not employed in the entertainment industry.
A partial list of companies and entertainment industry organizations currently offering the benefits of First Entertainment membership can be found at the end of this article or click here
Apply Now to become a member.
The following provides additional information on First Entertainment CU services, branches as well as fees.
Full-Service Credit Union: Yes
Routing Number: 322274158
First500 & Secondary Savings
Money Market Savings
Term Savings Certificates
Holiday Savings Account
Youth Accounts & Services:
Teen Checking Services
FIRST500 Youth Account
Credit Union Loans:
Real Estate and Mortgage Loans
Home Equity Line of Credit
Union Initiation Loans
Auto and Homeowners Insurance
Auto Protection Gap and Mechanical Breakdown
Accidental death & Dismemberment
Covered California Healthcare Marketplace
Business Money Market Accounts
Business Loans and Lines of Credit
Commercial Real Estate Loans
Business Vehicle Loans