California Credit Union Review 2020: Simplify your student loan repayments

Founded in 1933, California Credit Union aims to provide ‘reliable, rewarding and convenient financial services’ to its members. Unlike many industry competitors, its student loan options are limited purely to student loan refinancing, which is available for those with private and federal loans.

California Credit Union
Student Loan Refinancing Best for
2 /5
$ 5,000 /mo
Starting Price
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Table of Contents

    Why refinance student debt with the California Credit Union?

    Eligible candidates can enjoy certain benefits when refinancing with this provider:

    • Pay off loans more quickly - Ideal if you have the means to pay off your debts faster, and therefore reducing overall interest payments
    • Reduce monthly payments - This would significantly increase overall interest payments, but reducing the monthly fee could ease any current financial pressures you face
    • Simplify your debts - Consolidate your existing loan into one monthly payment. It’s clear, it’s structured, it’s easy
    • Refinance up to $125,000 (undergraduates debt) or $175,000 (graduate debt) with a range of fixed and variable rates available

    What Exactly Does California Credit Union offer?

    It offers the opportunity to refinance your student debt in order to consolidate and refinance student loans into a single payment. Your interest rates and monthly payments are likely to decrease. Not only that, but there’s no limit to how many loans can be refinanced in this manner.

    It’s possible to refinance both federal and private student debts but be aware that for federal loans, certain existing options you might have like loan forgiveness or extended terms might be permanently lost by refinancing. It’s important to research and consider this decision very carefully before signing up to an agreement.

    Loan amounts for undergraduates

    $5,000 to $125,000

    Loan amounts for graduates

    $5,000 to $175,000

    APRs (variable & non-variable)

    From 4.36%

    Auto-pay interest reduction



    5, 10, 15 years

    Origination fee


    Who can apply?

    This is the critical area where this provider falls down in comparison with many other lenders, as the eligibility criteria are rather strict.

    • Applicant (and cosigner in some cases) are US citizens or permanent residents
    • Graduated or studying at one of a limited list of eligible schools (contact lender for more details)
    • LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE classes aren’t permitted for refinancing
    • A member of or eligible to join the California Credit Union (call for further details)

    How to apply

    Applications are made online and should generally take less than 15 minutes. Please note that upon your application, a credit report will be obtained on the applicant (and cosigner in some cases), which could negatively affect your credit score.

    You may be asked to provide some of the following:

    • Proof of identity, e.g driver’s license
    • Graduation certificate
    • Proof of income
    • Statements and information regarding the loans you seek to refinance

    Following your application and credit check, a decision will be made on your eligibility, APR, and the amount and terms.

    Pros and Cons


    • Setting up auto-pay reduces interest payments
    • No origination fees
    • Low APRs in some circumstances
    • Co-signer options available


    • Exceptionally limited scope in terms of the variety of student loans available
    • Most students in the US won’t be eligible to apply


    California Credit Union offers a reasonable refinancing service, but the vast majority of US students will be ineligible. Check out Citizens One for a variety of more inclusive loan options. Ascent is another superb option, even offering an incredible 1% Cashback Graduation Reward upon the successful completion of your degree.