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P.O. Box 11547
Santa Ana, CA 92711

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Santa Ana and is the largest credit union in the state of California. It is also the 5th largest credit union in the nation. It was established in 1934 and as of December of 2013, it had grown to 1,135 employees and 584,134 members. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union's savings rates are 6X the national average, and it boasts a A+ health rating.

Field of Membership Restrictions

You must be in the educational industry AND love or work in the following California counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura. - See Details

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Reviews (5)

Disappointed In Service

I have been a member of this credit union since 1997.  I became a teacher 8 years ago and for the past three years have been dealing with furlough days (usually 8-10 per year).  This time around I am dealing with up to 27 furlough days.  In my circumstance, due to the furlough days, I racked up my credit card with SchoolsFirst (sometimes having to pay my rent on it).  Recently, I asked SchoolsFirst what they could do for me.  I have my credit card and car loan through them.  I asked if I could skip summer payments on one or the other, or defer car payments for 2-3 months.  I cried, begged, pleaded with them to help me.  Their response:  There are worse people off than you, so you do not qualify for hardship and we cannot give you three months deferrment on your car or lower your credit card payment.  The only thing they told me, please feel free to make an appointment with our "balance" department so you can manage your money.  I cannot believe they could not grant me this request, especially since I am a person who pays my bills ON TIME and has great credit.  Being a teacher has been very difficult for me financially.  I know I chose this profession and will continue to stay in it.  However, the economy is worse than it has ever been and because I want to maintain paying my bills on time, I asked for (what I feel was very minor) some grace period to help me get back on track and SchoolsFirst shut the door on me with the advice of "Balance your Budget". I do not deny needing to balance my budget (95% of this world needs to budget their money better) however, when there is a struggle to pay bills and I am told I don't qualify for hardship ... I INVITE YOU TO WALK A YEAR IN MY SHOES and tell me I don't qualify for hardship.  I am so disappointed with this service that I only have my checking account now through them.  I will NEVER get a credit card through them, nor finance a vehicle through them.  They are supposed to put teachers first, they absolutely do not! 

Schoolsfirst Is The Best!

I am sorry to hear that the other reviewer had a bad experience with SchoolsFirst. I have always been treated more than fairly by them in the past. I have always financed my cars through them. Their service is the best as far as I am concerned. I have banked with others in the past and SchoolsFirst is far and away better in every aspect. I reccomend them to everyone I know, thats eligible for Membership ofcourse. I don't think I will ever bank with any one else again. Thanks SchoolsFirst.!

Great Service

I moved out of southern California 6 years ago and joined a credit union in my new area, but I kept my Schools First accounts open.  The new credit union's website was cumbersome to use and sometimes did not work at all.  The new credit union's branches had too few tellers working the windows during peak hours and most of the tellers were not competent nor friendly.  I immediately missed Schools First!  I then went back to using Schools First as my main bank.  Since I am out of the area, I use Schools First's website often.  It is reliable and easy to use.  When I do speak with customer service, they are always courteous and knowledgable.  I cannot say enough great things about Schools First.  It is not until you see how other financial institutions operate, that you understand how great Schools First really is.

Schools First Is The Best -- If You're Able To Join, JOIN Them!

I've been a member of SchoolFirst (used to be OCTFCU) for years, and yes, they are the best credit union I've ever been lucky enough to be able to have (I currently am a member of two other "closed" credit unions besides SchoolsFirst as well as an open credit union).

I won't waste time writing up everything, but I'll sum it up: they're fantastic. They're responsive. They're willing to do what they can to help you out. Most things are fee-free, and have been. I have my choice of 4 credit unions, and I continue to choose SchoolsFirst for my everyday banking needs (checking, credit card, etc).

By the way, though they don't advertise it, not only do they offer CREDIT Cards (Visa) and DEBIT Cards.. but they are one of the few institutions that STILL will offer an ATM CARD (ie, NOT a Debit-ATM card, but just a plain old ATM card) if you request it. That's what I have, and I love it. I'd much rather have a credit card and an ATM card than a debit card, but that's my personal preference. If you like debit cards, a debit card is the default they'll give you now. But I like how they'll let people request a non-debit old-fashioned ATM card if that's what you want.

Online banking is easy and fast, in the branches lines are fast, tellers are nice, customer service, from normal CSR reps to Card Services reps are fast, responsive, and know their stuff (card services reps are fantastic if you ever have a problem with a merchant that you used your SchoolsFirst Visa card to buy!) and it's just an all-around great place.

Unfortunately it's a closed credit union. But if there's anyway you can join them, DO so! You'll get spoiled very quick...


I have had schools first credit union for a little under a year now. In that time, they have made an impressive amount of mistakes. While everyone has been very nice, incompetence makes for lousy service.


Data for Q4 2013

Institution Health


Texas Ratio


The Texas Ratio is an indicator of how much funds a bank has available compared to the total value of loans considered at risk. As of December 31, 2013 SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union had $56.42 million in non-current loans and owned real-estate with $1.22 billion in equity and loan loss allowances on hand to cover it. This gives SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union a Texas Ratio of 4.62% which is excellent. Any bank with a Texas Ratio near or greater than 100% is considered at risk.

Texas Ratio Trend


The Texas Ratio for SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union experienced no significant changes from 4.56% as of December 31, 2012 to 4.62% as of December 31, 2013, resulting in a negative change of 1.36%. This indicates that the balance sheet and financial strength for SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has had no significant changes in recent periods.

Deposit Growth


In the past year, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has increased its total deposits by $428.05 million, resulting in 5.48% growth for the year. A strong track record of growth is an indicator of consumer confidence and the bank's ability to strengthen its balance sheet. The growth SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has shown is excellent.



Both FDIC and NCUA consider capitalization levels of banks and credit unions to be of high importance. Higher capitalization allows for a greater buffer when cover loans that may fail in the future. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has $9.87 billion in assets with $1.22 billion in equity, resulting in a capitalization level of 12.36%, which is excellent.

Institution Statistics

NCUA #24212
Year Chartered1934
Primary Regulator
Assets and Liabilities
Assets$9.87 billion
Loans$4.46 billion
Deposits$8.24 billion
Equity Capital$1.14 billion
Loan Loss Allowance$80.44 million
Unbacked Noncurrent Loans$55.37 million
Real Estate Owned$1.05 million
Historic Data - December 2012
Assets$9.38 billion
Equity Capital$1.03 billion
Loan Loss Allowance$102.50 million
Unbacked Noncurrent Loans$55.37 million
Real Estate Owned$4.80 million
Profit Margin - Quarterly
Net Interest Margin4.31%
Return on Assets1.13%
Return on Equity9.77%
Interest Income$273.09 million

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SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Savings Account Rates

3.00%--Summer Saver - School Employees Only
3.00%--Paycheck Planner - School Employees Only
0.20%--My Club Account
0.20%--Accumulation IRA
0.10%--Share Savings

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Money Market Rates

0.30%$100k-Liquid Advantage Money Market

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.10%$100k-Investment Checking

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union CD Rates

2.00%$100k-60 Month Share Certificate
2.00%--60 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
1.50%--36 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
1.35%$100k-48 - 59 Month Share Certificate
1.20%$100k-36 - 47 Month Share Certificate
1.01%--12 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
0.95%$500$500k15-Month Step-Up Promotional Share Certificate
0.90%$100k-24 - 35 Month Share Certificate
0.70%$100k-6 - 11 Month Share Certificate
0.60%$100k-18 - 23 Month Share Certificate
0.50%$100k-12 - 17 Month Share Certificate
0.45%$200-12 Month College Saver
0.40%$100k-3 - 5 Month Share Certificate
0.30%$100k-30 Day Share Certificate

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union IRA Rates

2.05%$100k-60 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
1.95%$100-12 Month Coverdell Education Savings Account
1.40%$100k-48 - 59 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
1.25%$100k-36 - 47 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.95%$100k-24 - 35 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.75%$100k-6 - 11 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.65%$100k-18 - 23 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.55%$100k-12 - 17 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.45%$100k-3 - 5 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)
0.40%$100k-30 Day IRA Certificate (Traditional,Roth)

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has 42 locations. Click to view all SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union locations.