Patelco Credit Union Reviews

Average Rating:
Based on 19 reviews


Government Shutdown Program And Hard Credit Pulls

Kudos to Patelco for their Government Shutdown Assistance Program, which deserves a 5-star rating. However, the hard pulls on new membership applications brings the rating down to 3 stars.

Patelco: Miserable Experience

A friend and I both applied (separately) for Patelco memberships in order to open multiple Rising Rate CDs. Patelco appears entirely unprepared for the volume of applicants lured by their offer. Over the course of the past two weeks, they made an unending mess of both my and my friend's applications while wasting countless hours of our time. I no longer feel comfortable about the idea of doing business with them.

Stay Away!

Posted by: sbk | Aug 23, 2017

Patelco is such a bad credit union. They are set up to take money from your accounts. The "new" online service is the same type of system from 10 years ago. The customer service is none. They just pass the hat from one "customer service" to the next. Saty away from this place they will steal you blind.

Patelco Credit Union - my personal rating

I've been with Patelco for over 10 years. At the time it was through referral only. They have extremely low fees. As a matter of fact, we have 3 checking accounts and one savings account, and we pay zero fees. We've had car and motorcycle loans with them and each time we received better rates than all the institutions we checked out. Those loans were approved very fast. Their website is very user friendly and customer service is great.

We had our accounts compromised and now they are very proactive in protecting our accounts. When we did have our money taken from us, they were quick to get us our money back as they sent us new cards and changed our account numbers. We also have bill pay through them, and it's very easy to use.

The only drawback is that it's a local credit union with few branches. But for basic banking needs, I can go to almost any credit union to deposit, withdraw, and check balances. For other needs, I find calling them is very easy as well.

Needs Improvement

I've had a CD with Patelco for 5 years.
They have good rates and they appear to be healthy, but they also have hiccups in their phone center and in their online banking. 30 minute waits to talk to a customer service rep is very frustrating.
The customer service person I spoke to said they are working on it, but time will tell.

Funding Accounts Via ACH Debits To External Banks Is Clumsy And Very Slow

Posted by: slovokia | Mar 20, 2017

April 2016: Successfully opened a free checking account and funded it via $10 ACH debit originated by Patelco sent to another credit union.

Thursday March 16th 2017: Opened 5 share certificates via their website and specified they fund them via ACH debit transactions from 2 other institutions (as part of their web new account application process). Was contacted via email the same day and asked to provide scans of my account statements at those institutions - faxed them back the same day.

Monday March 20th I am told that the ACH funding transactions failed due to restrictions on my accounts - I must now provide a scan of a government ID. Had to call in to get a fax number to send in identification. Apparently due to the size of the transfers additional identification documentation was required. Unfortunately their computer system did not make me aware of that requirement when I applied for the share certificates in the first place. I faxed them a scan of my drivers license.

Tuesday March 21rst - My share certificates have still not been funded. No ACH debits have been made to the external accounts I specified as the source of funds. I was told on the 20th that the ACH transactions would be reattempted. Called them again - they said that the ACH transfers were scheduled but could not tell me when they would occur.

Wednesday March 22nd - Share certificates still not funded. One of my source bank accounts has 2 ACH transaction entries for 3/22 labelled "PATELCO/CU PPD" for $0.00 each. The other source bank account shows no activity.

Thursday March 23rd - Share certificates still not funded. No new ACH activity at either of the source funding banks. Called again - told my share certicates would be funded by March 27th.

Friday March 24th - Pending ACH transfer requests scheduled for the 27th finally show up on the Patelco website.

Clearly Patelco's process for handling ACH debit transfers it originates with other banks differs significantly from those of internet banks. Internet banks use test deposits to verify your ownership of the external bank accounts you wish to draw money from before scheduling ACH debits. Patelco does the following instead:

1 - request that you fax over copies of your account statements at those banks.
2 - sends test zero dollar ACH transactions to the banks associated with those accounts.
3 - finally it sends ACH debits for the actual dollar sums involved to those banks.

Unfortunately these procedures were not explained to me so my initial expectations about how this process would work were not met. I also received conflicting information from their customer service agents after my initial ACH transfers were cancelled due to the government ID issue. One person told me that they could not be re-initiated while others said they could be. All in all I found the process exasperating compare to the ACH transfers I have made via other banks (e.g. Ally, Synchrony, etc). If you plan on opening share certificates with them it appears the most efficient way to provide the funds via ACH is to push funds from another institution into a checking account at Patelco and then use that account as a source of funds for your share certificates.

Patelco lacks a way to send file attachments via secure mail so your only option to send sensitive information is via fax. Turnaround time for email questions is at least a day - so if you want to move things along you will need to call them. I waited on hold and then had them call me back - I was able to get them on the phone within 10 minutes or so.

On a side note Patelco's web site does not accept the ACH routing number of GS Bank as a valid routing number.

Granted (And Then Revoked) Membership In 24 Hours

I opened an account with Patelco on a Tuesday, only to find out the very next day that I was locked out of online access. When I called to find out why, I was told that I was ineligible for services from the credit union -- even though I'd been approved for membership the day before and been told how to arrange for direct deposits!

Fantastic credit union for everyday banking

Posted by: JohnE | Nov 14, 2014

I really enjoy being a member at Patelco because they offer great rates on their car loans, free checking, and bonus interest on their CD's for new members. While I was searching for a car to buy I shopped around and found that Patelco Credit Union offered the lowest interest rate at nearly 1.5% for 40 months. They were fantastic and even called the dealer to arrange everything so I could walk in with a down payment and leave with the car. After getting the loan, I signed up for their free checking account (a friend referred me for a $50 bonus) and a 5% APR CD for the first year. They are great and I would highly recommend Patelco to others.

Patelco as my credit union

Posted by: mwrinke | Nov 10, 2014

Since switching to Patelco Credit Union from Chase bank, I have been incredibly satisfied. Patelco Credit Union has the best customer service I've encountered in the banking world. They are kind, efficient and informative. They were also able to answer my questions about my credit score, and how to qualify for a loan. Opening a checking and savings account with Patelco was so easy and fast, too. As soon as I walked through the doors I felt like I was more than just another customer, but part of a community. I trust Patelco with my money. I have banked with Bank of America and Chase prior to opening my account with Patelco Credit Union and the difference is massive. I'm not worried about unknown fees or overdrafts without my knowledge. I love that I can witdraw from so many different ATM locations without the crazy $3.00 fee. I would recommend Patelco as a credit union to anyone who's looking for a new bank.

Excellent CU

Posted by: John2014 | Sep 6, 2014

This is one of the best Credit Union or Bank that I've been with. The people are always helpful. They are always looking out for their customers as well. For instance, I once had my debit card info stolen and they were quick to inform me of strange purchases that had been occurring. We were able to solve the issues and I got a new card and all of my money back. Their customer service is top notch and there's really no fees for me. I highly recommend Patelco if they're in your area.

Car Loan Experience

Posted by: calisaver | Apr 22, 2013

Patelco purchases car loans from dealers/brokers.  This is how I became a member.  The rate was high and I wound up refinancing the loan after six months some where else.  Patelco is no worse or better than any of the big banks.  Fees, deposit rates and loan rates are average. 

Progressively Worse Customer Service

Posted by: lucy08 | Mar 10, 2013

As a Patelco member for more than 20 years, the service and level of skill of branch employees has steadily decreased. One very simple example involves going to the branch office on New Year's eve, 12-15 customers standing in line and two of three tellers working the counter. They were extremely slow. But then it became obvious why: both were trainees! When it was finally my turn, it took the new teller 20 minutes to try and move new money from checking to interest variable money market account. She couldn't do it and suggested I call customer service for help. I refused and asked for the manager. Naturally she was busy too but finally came over to help. Apparently she had to override in order for the teller to move the money all the while the line was growing longer behind me. By the time I left it had taken me 45 minutes to move a measly few dollars from one account to another. I was very frustrated. Icing on the cake: I had the EXACT same experience yesterday over the phone with customer service but this time no one could help me, not even the manager Bobbi. When I asked for a name of the manager who oversees these accounts she said she didn't know anyone. stonewalled. She committed to send my request to a specialist who would get back to me within a day. Well, here I am two days later and no call. Very disappointing.

Poor Service, Low Savings Rates And Sneaky Fees.

Posted by: sfbayman | Dec 13, 2012

A once proud and member focussed CU with great ratres on savings and loans is now a shell of its old self, with poor service, lower than average rates on savings, fees on nearly everything - low balance, inactive account, no daily maximum NSF fees and on and on.  The CEO that built the old Patelco must be turning in his grave. What exists now is a poor service, low staff morale, squeeze every dime out of the members institution.  Antiquated processes for loans and customer paperwork make things even worse. There are nmuch better credit union and banking cholices out there.

Service Charges

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 6, 2011

Beware of inactivity fees and low balance fees with this credit union. I had a free checking and savings account, and although I can't find any reference to these fees on their website, they suddenly started charging a monthly inactivity fee and low balance fee on both accounts.

Patelco Decides Smaller Is Better And Moves HQ Out Of SF

Posted by: de7ye | Aug 25, 2010

Patelco decides smaller is better. http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2010/08/23/focus1.html?b=1282536000^3833261

moves HQ out of SF  http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_15870120

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