History and Leaders

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LA Financial Credit Union began in the late 1930s, in the wake of the Great Depression—forged by a combination of skepticism and hope, values and a bold new vision.

Many Americans no longer wanted to trust their savings to the banks. And credit, for the average person, was hard to come by. "Loan Sharks" preyed on the desperate needs of honest citizens in every city. Encouraged by the success of Roosevelt's "New Deal," many workers saw what could be accomplished when people worked together, helping each other, in a spirit of cooperation.

It was this vision that gave six men and one woman the inspiration to start the "Los Angeles County Court Employees Federal Credit Union" in 1937.

People helping people

It began as a simple "self-help" organization that could protect the paychecks of many LA County employees from the unscrupulous lenders who inhabited the streets around the Civic Center.

In accordance with the new Credit Union Act, an organization Certificate was submitted in January of 1937. A federal charter was granted on February 11, 1937. And by March of that year, the first financial statement reported assets of $1,003; 10 loans amounting to $585; and a membership of 20. Operations were handled from the bottom desk drawer of Manager/Treasurer Floyd Fisher.

At first, no one had much money to save, so only personal loans were made to the most needy. But the concept worked and caught on quickly. After two years, member savings were $19,705; 196 loans totaled $19,705; and assets reached $22,060. Soon the Credit Union was able to lend money for larger consumer items such as automobiles.

In 1944, the "Los Angeles County Court Employees Federal Credit Union" merged with the "Los Angeles County Hall of Records Federal Credit Union" to create a new, greatly strengthened organization known as "Courts and Records Federal Credit Union." By 1955, we attained our first million dollars in assets. The $5 million milestone was surpassed in 1964... the $15 million mark in 1970… the $100 million mark in 1987 and the $200 million mark in 1999. On January 1, 2003, our name was changed to LA Financial Federal Credit Union. This name reflects our diverse, growing membership and our expanding services. In 2021, surpassed a half-billion dollar milestone, reaching $536 million in assets.

Gail LeGros, Chair
Douglas L. Carden, Vice Chair
Nai-len W. Ishikawa, Treasurer
Joseph Kelly, Secretary
Andrea D. Avila, Director

Darian Chin, Chair
Thomas V. Pilla, Member
Andre Woods, Member

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Better Rates
As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions are generally able to offer lower loan rates and higher deposit rates than the banks.

Valuable FREE Services
LA Financial Credit Union provides members with no-surcharge access to 5,000+ CO-OP Shared Branch Network locations and nearly 30,000 surcharge free CO-OP ATMs.

Member Ownership
Owned by their members (rather than outside stockholders), credit unions are focused on people – not profits. Members elect a volunteer board to oversee their credit union. The Credit Union’s resources are then directed toward the good of the membership as a whole. Credit unions exist to serve their member-owners by helping them to make the most of their money.