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 5th largest credit union in the nation. It was established in 1934 and as of June of 2022, it had grown to 2,458 employees and 1,230,359 members at 72 locations. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union's CD rates are 3X the national average, and it has 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.
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Cypress (CA) Branch Is Five Star Always!!

Posted by: |

I have been a Schools First FCU member for 41 years. I started as a member of ORCO FCU that was at CSUF, but later was merged into Orange County Teachers FCU (later renamed Schools First FCU).

I live very close to the Cypress, CA branch. Everyone at that branch are super!! From Laurie on the front desk to all the tellers and also the new accounts staff. Even the branch Manager helps out when the branch gets busy. My whole family has memberships here also.

The CU has helped me through family member deaths and delayed closing of accounts and distributions to joint or POD account holders They will print 12 checks for accounts that I do not use much, so that saves me check printing charges too.

Christmas special new currency orders are easy to do. On-line account access is easy, as is frequent transfers to other family member accounts. On transfers you even get maybe 40-50 character explanations that can be added and be visible to both the sender and receiver. This is really helpful as I am an accountant and like to remember the purpose of each transfers.

The staff at this Cypress branch are very helpful and work to get you out the door as soon as possible. The accuracy of transactions is very good also. This branch even has two coin counting machines that you can use for no fee.

Love this credit union

I love this bank. I joined because I was a teacher in the area. I like that there are no fees associated with their accounts. They also offer great rates compared to other regular banks. I have a checking account, savings account, and a retirement (457) account with them. While no banks have exceptional savings account rates at the moment, this bank is consistently near the top so you never need to worry about potentially throwing away money when interest rates do rise. On top of the financial reasons to stay with this bank, they also have the friendliest staff of any bank that I've ever been a member of. I would almost prefer to go into the bank rather than use an ATM just because they are a pleasure to talk to. They have many branches in the Southern California area, plus ATMs all over the place as well. All in all I highly recommend Schools First Federal Credit Union.

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.

Poor Service

Posted by: |

They are too big for their own good. I am a County Schools employee. They never sent me a PIN to use my ATM debit card. even after phones call to them. and then were very quick to close my account even when i had funds in my savings account. Just so you know. I see many positive reviews and maybe justly so but if I had poor service you know that there others that have or will also



Health Grade Components

NCUA #24212
Year Chartered1934
Primary Regulator
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD0.69%
Return on Equity - YTD7.25%
Annual Interest Income$338.5MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$28.07B$25.87B
LoansQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$14.90B$11.79B
DepositsQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$24.90B$22.80B
Equity CapitalQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$2.66B$2.50B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$83.6MM$94.4MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$54.9MM$40.6MM
Real Estate OwnedQ2 2022vs Q2 2021$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

5.00%--Summer Saver - School Employees Only
5.00%--Paycheck Planner - School Employees Only
3.00%$5-JV Club Account
3.00%$5-Varsity Club Account
0.60%$10-Accumulation IRA
0.10%$5-Share Savings

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Money Market Rates

0.70%*$100k*-Liquid Advantage Money Market
OTHER TIERS: 0.45% $2k - $10k | 0.60% $10k - $100k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.10%*$25k*$100kInvestment Checking
OTHER TIERS: 0.05% Up to $25k

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union CD Rates

4.25%$50-60 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
3.85%*$100k*-60 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.70% $500 - $20k | 3.75% $20k - $50k | 3.80% $50k - $100k
3.75%$50-36 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
3.60%*$100k*-48 - 59 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.45% $500 - $20k | 3.50% $20k - $50k | 3.55% $50k - $100k
3.50%$50-12 Month Deferred Compensation Certificate - School Employees Only
3.45%*$100k*-36 - 47 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.30% $500 - $20k | 3.35% $20k - $50k | 3.40% $50k - $100k
3.35%*$100k*-24 - 35 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.20% $500 - $20k | 3.25% $20k - $50k | 3.30% $50k - $100k
3.30%*$100k*-18 - 23 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.15% $500 - $20k | 3.20% $20k - $50k | 3.25% $50k - $100k
3.10%*$100k*-12 - 17 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.95% $500 - $20k | 3.00% $20k - $50k | 3.05% $50k - $100k
3.05%$200-12 Month College Saver
2.60%*$100k*-6 - 11 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.45% $500 - $20k | 2.50% $20k - $50k | 2.55% $50k - $100k
1.85%*$100k*-3 - 5 Month Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.70% $500 - $20k | 1.75% $20k - $50k | 1.80% $50k - $100k
0.70%*$100k*-30 Day Share Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.55% $500 - $20k | 0.60% $20k - $50k | 0.65% $50k - $100k
0.60%--6 - 18 Month My Club Certificate

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union IRA Rates

3.90%*$100k*-60 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.75% $500 - $20k | 3.80% $20k - $50k | 3.85% $50k - $100k
3.80%$100-12 Month Coverdell Education Savings Account
3.65%*$100k*-48 - 59 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.50% $500 - $20k | 3.55% $20k - $50k | 3.60% $50k - $100k
3.50%*$100k*-36 - 47 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.35% $500 - $20k | 3.40% $20k - $50k | 3.45% $50k - $100k
3.40%*$100k*-24 - 35 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.25% $500 - $20k | 3.30% $20k - $50k | 3.35% $50k - $100k
3.35%*$100k*-18 - 23 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.20% $500 - $20k | 3.25% $20k - $50k | 3.30% $50k - $100k
3.15%*$100k*-12 - 17 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 3.00% $500 - $20k | 3.05% $20k - $50k | 3.10% $50k - $100k
2.65%*$100k*-6 - 11 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 2.50% $500 - $20k | 2.55% $20k - $50k | 2.60% $50k - $100k
1.90%*$100k*-3 - 5 Month IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 1.75% $500 - $20k | 1.80% $20k - $50k | 1.85% $50k - $100k
0.75%*$100k*-30 Day IRA Certificate
OTHER TIERS: 0.60% $500 - $20k | 0.65% $20k - $50k | 0.70% $50k - $100k


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