First Financial CU (CA) Boosts 60-Month CD Rate


Deal Summary: 60-month Share Certificate, 2.75% APY, $500 minimum deposit.

Availability: Active and retired members of the California Teachers Association; employees of more than 70 Southern California SEGs.

Over the weekend, First Financial Credit Union (First Financial) raised the rates on all of its Share Certificates. Surprisingly, the 60-month (2.75% APY) is now the most competitive Share Certificate offered, having gained 87 bps. The minimum deposit is $500, with no stated balance cap.

3.95%$500-First Financial Credit Union60 Month CD
3.95%$500-First Financial Credit Union60 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
Rates as of May 28, 2024.

This is the first time in more than six years the 60-month Share Certificate has had a good rate: from May 2011 to May 2016, the APY was only 0.75%.

The 60-month Share Certificate is also available as an IRA (Traditional), earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.

As stated on First Financial’s Truth in Savings disclosure, the EWP reads as follows,

If the Account has a term of greater than one (1) year, then you may impose an early withdrawal penalty equal to:

1. All dividends that would have been earned for the remainder of the term assuming all funds remained on deposit in the Account for the remainder of the term; and

2. If a withdrawal reduces the Account balance below the required minimum, the Account may be closed; and

3. An Early Withdrawal Fee ($15) will be imposed as set forth on the Rate and Fee Schedule (this may reduce principal).

In simpler terms, the EWP is $15 plus all dividends that would have earned for the remainder of the term on the amount being withdrawn.


Headquartered in West Covina in Southern California, First Financial Credit Union’s field of membership is primarily the state’s educational community.

Affiliation: Active and retired members of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and its subsidiaries are eligible to join, as are employees of CTA. Active and retired members of the Congress of Faculty Associations (CFA) also qualify for membership.

Associations: Members of six California education associations are eligible for membership.

Employment: Employees of more than 70 SEGs, including Spectrum Communications, and Three Valleys Municipal Water District, also qualify.

Joining First Financial can be done online, or at any of ten Southern California branches located in Brea, Granada Hills, Lakewood, Los Angeles, Montclair, Pasadena, Redlands, San Diego, Torrance and West Covina. Opening a CD requires an in-person visit to any of the above mentioned branches.

Credit Union Overview

First Financial Credit Union, has an overall health grade of "B+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 3.91 (excellent), based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, First Financial has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $67.03 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.17%. Please refer to our financial overview of First Financial Credit Union (NCUA Charter #68404) for more details.

For more than 40 years, First Financial Credit Union has been serving the educational community of California. First Financial is currently California’s 74th largest credit union, with more than 31,400 members and assets in excess of $574 million.

How the Share Certificate Compares

When compared to the 310 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar minimum deposit and are available to California residents, First Financial Credit Union’s 60-month Share Certificate APY currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 10/9/2017.

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table or our Rates Map page.

Related Pages: Los Angeles CD rates, 5-year CD rates

Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
Once a nationally available certificate at this rate or above becomes available that bank or credit union will be so inundated with money they will not know what to do with it all.
  |     |   Comment #2
I believe this is a very very bad offer --- not because of the 2.75% interest rate with a duration of 5 years but for the potentially disastrous EWP --- "all of the dividends that would have been earned for the remainder of the term" is incredulous for me. If someone put in $100K, the dividends for one year would be $2750. Let's say for argument's sake that you kept the CD for 1 year, then cashed out. You would owe them approximately $2750 x 4 or $11,000 plus the $15.

Is there something I am not seeing here?
  |     |   Comment #3
Yeah, there's something quite obvious you're not seeing (or perhaps you see it and just don't like it), which is that FFCU doesn't want depositors for this Certificate who might withdraw funds from it before the term is up. Their prerogative. Don't invest if you like to play that game.
  |     |   Comment #4
If CU has, in effect, a call upon x days notice to change the rates, terms, etc. then that CU should similarly provide a put upon x days notice from the depositor. Otherwise, one can argue it is a penalty and illegal under most state laws!
  |     |   Comment #7
Not true. When you open the CD you enter an agreement with the institution and to the terms. If you don't like the terms then one should not open a CD with them.
  |     |   Comment #9
Go read the purpose of illegal provisions...merely b/c in a contract does not make it legal...but difficult to overturn.
  |     |   Comment #10
And what is illegal with a change terms with 30 days notice clause? They do not have to provide a reciprocal clause which you are stating.
  |     |   Comment #11
But coupled not providing a put and given the EWP? Don't reactivate any atty's the penalty aspect
  |     |   Comment #13
Many institutions have change of terms clauses. Even Ally has a change of terms clause. Thankfully most institutions don't use them.
  |     |   Comment #19
They're not calling the CD.
  |     |   Comment #5
Anonymous: +1 EWP, So bad. Run don't walk away.
  |     |   Comment #18
I think this might just be terrible phrasing by the CU... at first glance the wording sure makes it sound like they are planning on charging you the amount of what the future interest would've been, but the fact that they DIDN'T put a parenthetical note on that point saying "(this may reduce principal)", which they did put on the third point about the $15 fee, makes me think they were really just trying to state that you just won't receive that future interest on money that's no longer in the CD (as anyone would expect) - since also charging you the amount of that interest would've darn sure reduced anyone's principal by a lot more than the $15 fee would. Anyone considering signing up for this CD should definitely demand official clarification in writing about this from the CU before proceeding.
  |     |   Comment #6
How high would the rate have to be for a draconian EWP like this becoming acceptable? 3.5%? 4%?
At what point would all the whiners shut up and give FFCU their money?
  |     |   Comment #8
They are giving one of the highest rates available for a 5 year and maybe the high EWP is a reason they are offering a high rate. Many here say they never even consider the EWP when opening a CD and would not close a CD before it matures.
  |     |   Comment #12
Honestly, I think it's Ken whose substantially responsible here for promoting the exploitation of EWP as an investment strategy. After all, each of his bi-weekly CD rate summaries drums into us the idea that reneging on our commitments is always a viable option should other more attractive opportunities arise and EWP mild enough to justify an about face. But who, I ask, that's been investing in CD's over decades like I have ever calculated in such a fashion before sites like DA (and others) began to promote such a mindset. We made our decisions, deployed our funds, and carried through our commitments to the very end of their terms (almost sancrosanctly), with EW being no more than an allowable out in case of emergency or so drastic a change of circumstance as to be entirely unforseeable in advance of its occurrence. Apparently a rather quaint and naive practice among the emerging generation of young bucks and hustlers always on the make for a better deal regardless of the historical traditions and protocols implicit in the financial instruments they now so heedlessly manipulate.
  |     |   Comment #14
I have used an EWP once when Penfed offered a 5% rate around 2010 - 11.
  |     |   Comment #17
Sorry, but I can't help but chuckle a bit at the visual image of "young bucks and hustlers" apparently raising havoc in the rather sedate world of FDIC and NCUA-insured CDs. Penny stocks? Synthetic CDOs? 10x leverage? The "Wolf of Wall Street"? All those bring up images of high-risk, perhaps questionable players. But I just can't imagine Ken's readers (of which I am gratefully one), as little Gordon Gekkos.
  |     |   Comment #15
The reality that most people are financial illiterates is revealed by those comments below complaining of the EWP terms. You don't put money into a 5 yr certificate with the probability that you will have to withdraw it before maturity. That term is reserved for funds which are highly unlikely to be needed before maturity.
  |     |   Comment #16
But you also have banks offering no penalty CDs like Ally. The marketing ok the banks causes some of the problems.

If it is advantageous for me to close a CD and pay a penalty so will do it.
First Financial Credit Union (CA) Increases Mid-Term CD Rates
Availability: Active and retired members of the California Teachers Association; employees of more than 70 Southern California SEGs.

Last week, First Financial Credit Union (First Financial) raised the rates on most of its Share Certificates, with the 18-month (1.50% APY) and 24-month (1.625% APY), now the most competitive in the product line. The minimum deposit is $500, with no stated balance cap.

Both Share Certificates are also available as IRAs (Traditional), earning the same APYs with the same funding requirements.

First Financial’s Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) is different than...

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4.65% 18-Month / 4.55% 30-Month CD at a California CU (First Financial).
Update 3/22/08: The CD rates have gone down. Please check the financial institution's website for the latest rates.

First Financial Credit Union is offering many high certificate rates. The highest rate is 4.65% APY on the 18-month term with a minimum deposit of $100,000. Other high rates include a 4.30% APY for a 12-month term, a 4.55% APY for a 30-month term and a 4.60% APY for a 60-month term. The yields for a minimum of $10,000 are 10 basis points lower. Under the rate table it states that rates effective...

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