a Latinx-owned and operated credit union working in Santa Ana, CA
Santa Ana is an unusual city within the Los Angeles metropolitan area, more densely populated than any other part of L.A. and a commercial and political hub for the surrounding Orange County. However, what really makes this city remarkable is the profound influence the city’s 80% Latinx population has had on the neighborhood. In 2016, the New York Times characterized Santa Ana as the “face of a new California, a state where Latinos have more influence in everyday life – electorally, culturally and demographically – than almost anywhere else in the country.”
While Orange county is still majority white, and historically has voted Republican, in both Santa Ana and California, Latinx individuals have more political clout than they do in much of the country. Many of the government representatives and administration from the area are Latinx. However, there is still significant economic inequity between whites and Latinx people in California. More than 23% of Latinos in the state live below the poverty level, significantly higher than the 16% overall rate.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for those in areas with a non-white racial majority to invest in credit unions owned and operated by the people that actually live in that area. Santa Ana Federal Credit Union (FCU) is a Latinx-majority credit union in Santa Ana which has been serving the community there for 70 years. Founded in 1950 with just 18 members and $829 in assets, they’re still a wholly local institution with the intention of improving their neighborhood through exceptional banking services.
Santa Ana FCU only has one branch, located in a low- and moderate-income (LMI) census tract, and all of their employees and board members are volunteers. These volunteers are community leaders and professionals in finance, management, and education, who are dedicated to getting capital flowing in the area and narrowing the wealth gap between Latinx people and whites. They’re an LICU, an MCU and a CDFI. Unlike a lot of small credit unions, Santa Ana FCU also does a significant amount of quality lending, which are housing or small business loans. They’re the second Better Banking Option that shows up when you look up Santa Ana in our search engine.
We recommend this Better Banking Option to anyone living, working, or worshiping in Santa Ana, as they have limited eligibility and only accept local members. They do, however, offer both online and mobile banking options to their members and are a fantastic choice for anyone in Santa Ana looking to support Latinx communities and culture in the area.