In Review: First Entertainment Credit Union

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

“Selected an Excellent Choice Credit Union. First Entertainment CU is 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:

Name: First Entertainment Credit Union

Location: Hollywood

Headquartered: 6735 Forest Lawn Drive, Hollywood, CA 90068

Branches: 11

Year Established: 1967


Review:


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.


Coogan Account


Thanks to the Coogan Act [4], 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 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.


Hardship Assistance:


In keeping with their core values First Entertainment CU is focused on of helping members working in the entertainment business through two two Hardship Assistance programs available to members a Skip a pay and Stretch Loans:


Skip-A-Pay


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.


Stretch Loans


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:


Insurance


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

Pet Insurance


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 [2]. 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 [1].

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.


Services Offered:


Full Service Credit Union: Yes

Part of the CO-OP Shared Branch network: Yes

Routing Number: 322274158


Banking:


Checking Accounts

First500 & Secondary Savings

Money Market Savings

Term Savings Certificates

IRA's

HSA's

Holiday Savings Account


Youth Accounts & Services:


Coogan Accounts

Teen Checking Services

FIRST500 Youth Account


Credit Union Loans:


Auto Loans

Lifestyle Loans

Home Loans

Real Estate and Mortgage Loans

Home Equity Line of Credit

Personal Loans

Union Initiation Loans[3]

Secure Loans

Stretch Loans


Insurance


Auto and Homeowners Insurance

Auto Protection Gap and Mechanical Breakdown

Accidental death & Dismemberment

Covered California Healthcare Marketplace

Pet Insurance


Business Banking


Business Checking

Business Savings

Business Money Market Accounts


Business Lending


Business Loans and Lines of Credit

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Business Vehicle Loans


Credit Card: First Entertainment Visa® Platinum Credit Card


Credit Union Online

Online and Mobile Banking: Yes


First Entertainment CU Branch Location:


Hollywood (Corporate Office) 6735 Forest Lawn Drive Hollywood, CA 90068 M-Th 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

F 8:30 am - 6:00 pm


Warner Bros 4000 Warner Blvd, Bldg. 19 Burbank, CA 91522 M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

NOTE: This branch is only accessible for those cleared for access to the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.


Burbank 2520 Olive Ave Burbank, CA 91505 M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Studio City 4067 Laurel Canyon Blvd Studio City, CA 91604 M-Th 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

F 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

S 9:00 am - 2:00 pm


Paramount Studios 5555 Melrose Ave Hollywood, CA 90038

M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm NOTE: This branch is only accessible for those cleared for access to the Paramount Studios Lot.


Los Angeles 5750 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036 M-Th 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

F 8:30 am - 6:00 pm


Sony Pictures Lot 10202 Washington Blvd., Jimmy Durante Room 104-105 Culver City, CA 90232 NOTE: This branch is only accessible for those cleared for access to the Sony Pictures Lot.


Culver City 11052 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 Enter parking through Tilden Ave.


Encino 17656 Ventura Blvd Encino, CA 91316

Santa Monica 2425 Colorado Ave., Ste. B119 Santa Monica, CA 90404

Santa Clarita 25828 McBean Parkway Santa Clarita, CA 91355

(Check location for hours of service).


Fee Schedule:


Yes: Click Here


A partial list of First Entertainment CU's Organizations that are part of their charter, see if your eligible:



Filmed Entertainment

Art Directors Guild

Castle Rock Entertainment

Cinergi Pictures

Gracie Films

GRB Entertainment

Hallmark Entertainment/Crown Media US

Harmony Gold U.S.A

Harmony Holdings/Media Pictures

Imagine Entertainment

IMAX Corporation

Interscope Communications, Inc.

Jim Henson Company

The Jon Avnet Co. ll

Landmark Entertainment

Landmark Theatre Group

Lions Gate Entertainment

LMNO Productions

MGM

Miramax

MRG Entertainment, Inc.

New Regency Productions

Nu Image

Outfest

Overture Films

Phoenix Pictures

Playboy TV, LLC

Quincy Jones Productions

Ralph Edwards Production

Roadside Attractions

Row8

Soapbox Films

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Summit Entertainment

Triage Motion Pictures Svc.

Troika Design Group

Village Roadshow Pictures

Warner Bros. Distribution

Warner Bros. Home Video

Warner Bros. Inc.

Warner Bros. Studios


Interactive/Communications Companies


Activision

The Cannery

Captions, Inc.

Control Room/Casbah Productions LLC

Fandango, Inc.

Insomniac Games

Pandemic Studios

Sony Computer Entertainment

SVG Distribution


Internet Entertainment


Bold New World

Genex / MXM

Hulu LLC

MediaDefender, Inc.

Nielsen Benefits Group

Yahoo, Inc


Television


20th Century Fox

20th Century Props, Inc.

2929 Entertainment

Authentic Entertainment

Beachbody

Bunim Murray Productions

Carsey-Werner, LLC

CBS-TV and Distribution

CNN/Turner Entertainment

Cosgrove Meurer Productions

Crown Media United States, LLC

Dick Clark Productions

E! Entertainment

Estrella Communications

Fonovisa

Fuse Media (formally Si TV)

International Media Group

KCET

KCOP Television Inc.

KMEX Television

KRCA TV

KSCI TV

KTLA

KTTV Fox Television

MTV Neworks

Scripps Food Networks

Si TV

Tennis Channel

TVN Entertainment Corp

Univisa

Univision Television

Venture Technologies

Viacom - part of MTV

Warner Bros. Television Dist.

Weller Grossman/W.G. Lonstore


Themed Entertainment


IWERKS Entertainment

Miziker & Company

Rando Productions

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Over Mid-America

Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Theme Parks

Technifex, Inc.Valencia


The information provided on this site is for your convenience. This in no way implies an endorsement by mysmallbank.com for any companies listed including 1st entertainment credit union.

Notes:


1. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. depository institutions. NCUA's standard maximum share insurance amount at $250,000.00.


2. Periodically Mysmallbank.com will name a credit union as a top choice (Top credit union) based on a number of criteria such as customer and employee reviews, complaints, satisfaction, growth, locations, brand and social responsibility. We only select the best credit unions, so they must meet minimum standards of excellences (Excellent Choice) in order to be reviewed by Mysmallbank.com


3. A Union Initiation fee is a fee charged by the union to a newly hired employee who joins the union. The union initiation fee normally covers the administrative costs of joining the union but it could also include other costs as well. 1st entertainment credit union provides such loans.


4. The California Child Actor's Bill (also known as Coogan Act or Coogan Bill) is a law applicable to child performers, designed to safeguard a portion of their earnings for when they reach the age of majority, and protect them from exploitation and abuse.This law requires a child actor's employer to set aside 15% of the earnings in a trust (often called a Coogan Account), and codifies issues such as schooling, work hours, and time off.


In Review is a segment of the MySmallBank.com blog written by Allan R Kirby, who writes and produces Personal Finance articles and videos along with My Success Magazine.

Disclosure: mysmallbank.com nor the author received any compensation from the mentioned credit union for this article. The article is our opinion only and is written to help readers learn more about local credit unions.

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