SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Overview / Commentary
15332 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Tustin and is the largest credit union in the state of California. It is also the 4th largest credit union in the nation. It was established in 1934 and as of March of 2024, it had grown to 2,686 employees and 1,391,901 members at 72 locations. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union's CD rates are 5X the national average, and it has an A health rating.

Field of Membership Restrictions

Membership in SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is open to current or retired school employee living in California. Immediate family members of a SchoolsFirst FCU member also qualify for membership.
See current membership details

Raymon Riverside Call Center

Posted by: |

Best customer service ever love this bank and customer service
But especially Raymon he was great

No Fees For Checking

Posted by: |

I cannot for the life of me find the ach transfer limits daily. The checking account has no fees compared to Chase. I believe they give you a checkbook, but there is no interest paid on checking.

Not What They Used To Be

Posted by: |

I've been a member of SchoolsFirst for over 25 years. Though there are definitely some good things about the credit union, they're no longer any kind of industry leader, and their offerings are surprisingly weak compared to what many other credit unions now offer (I suspect most members just don't take the time to look elsewhere).

First off, the good. Customer service (once you finally speak to someone after LONG hold times) has always been good, both in the branch and on the phone. Mistakes rarely happen, and when they do, SchoolsFirst usually gives the customer the benefit of the doubt. The credit union's policies are generally member-friendly, and in 25+ years I've never had a problem with a bad fee or anything that someone didn't quickly fix. That's good.

Now the bad: As SchoolsFirst has grown into one of the nation's largest CUs, they've become complacent.

Here's the basic problem:
While there is really nothing "bad" about SchoolsFirst, there's no longer anything all that "great" about them either, the way there was, say, 15 years ago. If those of you who've been members for years take a few minutes to look around elsewhere at the offerings of other credit unions now (and I don't mean temporary come-ons, but the consistent offerings of SchoolsFirst's competitors), you'll see what you're missing.

Their savings rates are constantly now FAR below what other CUs offer, whether it be normal savings accounts, CDs, or Money Markets. And it's quite a difference -- and has been for quite a few years now. I have both CDs and large liquid savings accounts, but they're all at other CUs now, because SchoolsFirst's savings rates have remained far, far below other places.

Their credit card offerings are, honestly, pretty bad as well. It's now MasterCard only (no VISA cards), and the features, rates and perks of the cards offered are far below what other CUs offer. Whether you're looking for a basic no-fee card or a rewards card, the SchoolsFirst ones have only a few minor perks, and fall far behind what other CUs offer in rates, fees, and perks. I still "have" my SchoolsFirst credit card, but haven't used it in a few years now. Instead, I use cards from other credit unions.

I still have a checking account with them, though I also have a checking account with another CU, and there's nothing SchoolsFirst offers that the other doesn't (in time, I may shift the checking account away as well).

SchoolsFirst does not even offer something as basic as a Health Savings Account after all these years (had to go elsewhere). Nor do they offer small business accounts.

If you can join SchoolsFirst, you might want to join them just to do so. They're not a bad place to bank and are very customer-friendly, but as they've grown big, their offerings are now far below what other CUs consistently offer.

I don't think I'll ever "leave" them completely, but most of my banking has honestly shifted to other large credit unions.

Disappointed In Service

Posted by: |

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! 



Health Grade Components

NCUA #24212
Year Chartered1934
Primary Regulator
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD0.4%
Return on Equity - YTD3.98%
Annual Interest Income$311.3MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$30.6B$28.57B
LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$19.22B$17.37B
DepositsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$25.33B$24.62B
Equity CapitalQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$2.98B$2.8B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$155.2MM$134.2MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$140MM$79.8MM
Real Estate OwnedQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$0$0
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* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Savings Account Rates

6.50%$0-Summer Saver - School Employees Only
6.50%$0-Paycheck Planner - School Employees Only
1.00%$10-Accumulation IRA
0.10%$5-Share Savings

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Money Market Rates

1.50%*$100k*-Liquid Advantage Money Market
OTHER TIERS: 0.75% $2k - $10k | 1.00% $10k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.10%*$25k*$100kInvestment Checking
OTHER TIERS: 0.05% $0 - $25k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union CD Rates

5.25%$50-60 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
5.00%$50-36 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
4.85%$500-37 Month Promotional Share Certificate
4.75%$50-12 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
4.75%$500-15 Month Promotional Share Certificate
4.55%*$250k*-60 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.35% $500 - $20k | 4.40% $20k - $50k | 4.45% $50k - $100k | 4.50% $100k - $250k
4.50%$500-6 Month Add On Promotional Share Certificate
4.40%*$250k*-18 - 23 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.40%*$250k*-24 - 35 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.40%*$250k*-36 - 47 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.40%*$250k*-48 - 59 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.40%*$250k*-12 - 17 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.30%*$250k*-6 - 11 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.10% $500 - $20k | 4.15% $20k - $50k | 4.20% $50k - $100k | 4.25% $100k - $250k
4.30%$200-12 Month College Saver
4.05%*$250k*-3 - 5 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.85% $500 - $20k | 3.90% $20k - $50k | 3.95% $50k - $100k | 4.00% $100k - $250k
3.15%*$250k*-30 Day Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.95% $500 - $20k | 3.00% $20k - $50k | 3.05% $50k - $100k | 3.10% $100k - $250k
1.00%$0-6 - 18 Month My Club Certificate

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union IRA Rates

4.95%$500-37 Month Promotional IRA Certificate
4.85%$500-15 Month Promotional IRA Certificate
4.65%*$250k*-60 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.45% $500 - $20k | 4.50% $20k - $50k | 4.55% $50k - $100k | 4.60% $100k - $250k
4.60%$500-6 Month Promotional IRA Certificate
4.50%*$250k*-12 - 17 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.30% $500 - $20k | 4.35% $20k - $50k | 4.40% $50k - $100k | 4.45% $100k - $250k
4.50%*$250k*-18 - 23 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.30% $500 - $20k | 4.35% $20k - $50k | 4.40% $50k - $100k | 4.45% $100k - $250k
4.50%*$250k*-24 - 35 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.30% $500 - $20k | 4.35% $20k - $50k | 4.40% $50k - $100k | 4.45% $100k - $250k
4.50%*$250k*-36 - 47 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.30% $500 - $20k | 4.35% $20k - $50k | 4.40% $50k - $100k | 4.45% $100k - $250k
4.50%*$250k*-48 - 59 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.30% $500 - $20k | 4.35% $20k - $50k | 4.40% $50k - $100k | 4.45% $100k - $250k
4.45%$100-12 Month Coverdell Education Savings Account
4.40%*$250k*-6 - 11 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 4.20% $500 - $20k | 4.25% $20k - $50k | 4.30% $50k - $100k | 4.35% $100k - $250k
4.15%*$250k*-3 - 5 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.95% $500 - $20k | 4.00% $20k - $50k | 4.05% $50k - $100k | 4.10% $100k - $250k
3.25%*$250k*-30 Day IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.05% $500 - $20k | 3.10% $20k - $50k | 3.15% $50k - $100k | 3.20% $100k - $250k


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