Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Popular Accounts at this Credit Union

2.20%5-year CD60 Month Share Certificate
3.00%Reward SavingsPaycheck Planner - School Employees Only
1.15%1-year CD12 - 17 Month Share Certificate

Overview / Commentary
2115 N Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92706

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 2016, it had grown to 1,402 employees and 731,832 members at 49 locations. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union's CD rates are 28% higher than the national average, and it boasts an A+ health rating.

Field of Membership Restrictions

Membership in SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is open to employees and retirees of public or private schools, community colleges, authorized universities or colleges, or members of authorized education foundations in Imperial, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, or Ventura Counties in California.
See current membership details

Related Posts

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Schoolsfirst credit union

Posted by: NariZ | Aug 3, 2016

I've had an account at this credit union for many years. Long ago, it had a different name and went through a couple of mergers. I had old checks from before the mergers with my old credit union name and account number. The representative at the bank offered to give me new checks with the new credit union name (after the merger) and new account number. It was really nice of her, and I got the box of checks with the new information for free. When I suspected someone had my account information, I called the credit union, and they were very helpful at getting my account protected. Their customer service is really superb, and they were very patient with my problems. The only problem I've had with them is that sometimes it could be difficult to find parking space because it was in a busy area.

School's First

I have been a member of this bank for a little over a year now. It's a huge improvement compared to my previous bank. They never give us unnecessary overdraft charges. Whenever I have had to call to speak with someone regarding questionable transactions I have always been pleased with the results. One time I had to argue against a company charging my bank account twice for a one time purchase that refused to refund the second accidental charge, my bank stepped in and gave me a credit of the amount taken and went after the frauding company. I like the fact I can have multiple checking and savings accounts and I don't get a monthly service fee for them either. Their site is really easy to handle as well. I like that I can transfer money without charges or an issue between my accounts. There is even a budget tool on the site that helps me keep better track and save my money better. Overall I am very happy with this bank and recommend them to anyone that is involved in working with schools and education and needs a trustworthy bank account.

SchoolsFirst Credit Union at home and abroad

Posted by: AriRC | Jan 16, 2017

I've been a member of SchoolsFirst Credit Union for about eleven years now and they've served my needs very well. At the time I signed up, I opened checking and savings accounts and, now, as of earlier this year, a CD account. At the time I first started banking with them, they didn't have the most convenient location in the area where I live (although they were convenient to my work), but since then, they've expanded into other spaces, one of which suits me very well. The interest on my savings account is low, but it's better than nothing considering the ease with each I can move money in and out of this account. The interest on my CD is, of course, better, although rates weren't too great at the time I started out, and I'm happy to see it each month on my account statement.

The employees at SFCU have been universally helpful, when I've gone in to do such things as open that CD account, when there was an error regarding the amount of money in my checking account, and when I needed to make sure I would be able to use my bank card to withdraw money while on a trip in Japan. (Yes, you can use your debit/bank card to easily withdraw money at both the Japanpost ATMs and the 7-11 international ATMs and the fees are quite minimal! I believe it cost me less than $2 a transaction each time)

I think the only thing I've had some annoyances with it their online experience. Mainly I prefer to do my banking on paper, so, of course when I tried to log in and check something, I couldn't recall my password. No big deal, right? But I wasn't able to reset it online- I would have to get on the phone with them...and, not that that's so horrible, but I don't try to do something online to have to call. At that point, I probably just end up waiting and going in.

Overall though, the reliability of SFCU really does it for me. I really do feel that the credit union wants me to do well with my finances.

Not What They Used To Be

Posted by: goo | Apr 3, 2017

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.



Health Grade Components

NCUA #24212
Year Chartered1934
Primary Regulator
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD0.8%
Return on Equity - YTD7.08%
Annual Interest Income$354.9MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$13.06B$11.75B
LoansQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$6.45B$5.73B
DepositsQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$11.10B$9.83B
Equity CapitalQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$1.46B$1.35B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$57.0MM$56.3MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$35.5MM$32.3MM
Real Estate OwnedQ4 2016vs Q4 2015$0$1.6MM
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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

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
OTHER TIERS: 0.15% $2k - $25k | 0.20% $25k - $50k | 0.25% $50k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.10%*$100k*-Investment Checking
OTHER TIERS: 0.05% $25 - $25k | 0.08% $25k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union CD Rates

2.60%--60 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
2.20%*$100k*-60 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.05% $500 - $20k | 2.10% $20k - $50k | 2.15% $50k - $100k
1.80%*$100k*-48 - 59 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.65% $500 - $20k | 1.70% $20k - $50k | 1.75% $50k - $100k
1.65%*$100k*-36 - 47 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.50% $500 - $20k | 1.55% $20k - $50k | 1.60% $50k - $100k
1.60%--36 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
1.40%*$100k*-24 - 35 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.25% $500 - $20k | 1.30% $20k - $50k | 1.35% $50k - $100k
1.20%*$100k*-18 - 23 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.05% $500 - $20k | 1.10% $20k - $50k | 1.15% $50k - $100k
1.20%--12 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
1.15%*$100k*-12 - 17 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.01% $500 - $20k | 1.05% $20k - $50k | 1.10% $50k - $100k
1.10%$200-12 Month College Saver
0.90%*$100k*-6 - 11 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.75% $500 - $20k | 0.80% $20k - $50k | 0.85% $50k - $100k
0.60%*$100k*-3 - 5 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.45% $500 - $20k | 0.50% $20k - $50k | 0.55% $50k - $100k
0.35%*$100k*-30 Day Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.20% $500 - $20k | 0.25% $20k - $50k | 0.30% $50k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union IRA Rates

2.25%*$100k*-60 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.10% $500 - $20k | 2.15% $20k - $50k | 2.20% $50k - $100k
2.15%$100-12 Month Coverdell Education Savings Account
1.85%*$100k*-48 - 59 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.70% $500 - $20k | 1.75% $20k - $50k | 1.80% $50k - $100k
1.70%*$100k*-36 - 47 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.55% $500 - $20k | 1.60% $20k - $50k | 1.65% $50k - $100k
1.45%*$100k*-24 - 35 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.30% $500 - $20k | 1.35% $20k - $50k | 1.40% $50k - $100k
1.25%*$100k*-18 - 23 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.10% $500 - $20k | 1.15% $20k - $50k | 1.20% $50k - $100k
1.20%*$100k*-12 - 17 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.05% $500 - $20k | 1.10% $20k - $50k | 1.15% $50k - $100k
0.95%*$100k*-6 - 11 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.80% $500 - $20k | 0.85% $20k - $50k | 0.90% $50k - $100k
0.70%*$100k*-3 - 5 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.55% $500 - $20k | 0.60% $20k - $50k | 0.65% $50k - $100k
0.40%*$100k*-30 Day IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% $500 - $20k | 0.30% $20k - $50k | 0.35% $50k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has 49 locations. Click to view all SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union locations.