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  • Camino CU logo

    Camino Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Camino Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Montebello, California serving members since 1941
    • Currently $176.66 Million in assets and serves over 13,000 members.

    Membership: Live or work in Southern California.

  • Cooperative Center FCU logo

    Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Martinez, California and has been serving members since 1942.
    • Manages $134.82 Million in assets and serves over 8,000 members.

    Membership: If you work for one of the employers, or belong to an association within the Cooperative Center’s field of membership, or have a family member who is currently a member.

  • SchoolsFirst FCU logo

    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Membership

    • SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union serves the educational community in California.
    • The largest credit union in California with assets totaling $21.62 Billion and serving over 1.12 million members.

    Membership: If you are a school employee, retired school employee, or an immediate family member of a SchoolsFirst FCU Member, you’re eligible.

  • Golden 1 CU logo

    Golden 1 Credit Union Membership

    • Golden 1 Credit Union is headquartered in Sacramento, California, offering financial services with more than 70 branches. 
    • The 2nd largest credit union in California with assets totaling $14.95 Billion and serving over 1.07 million members.

    Membership: All Californians can join!

  • First Tech FCU logo

    First Tech Federal Credit Union Membership

    • First Tech Federal Credit Union is headquartered in San Jose, California, offering banking services, investment, insurance, and tax services.
    • The 3rd largest credit union in California with assets totaling $14.41 Billion and serving over 620,000 members.

    Membership: There are hundreds of ways a person can join within the field of membership of First Tech.

  • Star One CU logo

    Star One Credit Union Membership

    • Star One CU is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The 4th largest credit union in California and the 10th largest in the United States with assets totaling $9.77 Billion and serving over 111,000 members.

    Membership: Eligibility to individuals in Santa Clara County and several other counties in California.

  • Global Credit Union logo

    Global Credit Union Membership

    • Alaska Federal State Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • The 17th largest in the United States, with assets totaling $9.54 Billion and serving over 692,000 members.

    Membership: If you live in Alaska, Washington, California’s San Bernardino County, and Arizona’s Maricopa County, you are eligible to join Alaska USA.

  • San Diego County CU logo

    San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) Membership

    • San Diego County Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services.
    • Manages assets over $12.72 billion and serves over 435,000 members.

    Membership: Everyone living or working in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties.

  • Patelco CU logo

    Patelco Credit Union Membership

    • Patelco Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The 6th largest credit union in California with assets totaling $7.95 Billion and serving over 384,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, attend school, or worship in certain counties in California.

  • Logix logo

    Logix Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Logix Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • The 7th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $7.19 Billion and serving over 209,000 members.

    Membership: Residents of AZ, CA, DC, MA, MD, ME, NH, NV, and VA, but primarily serves transportation (as Lockheed) equipment employees.

  • CEFCU logo

    Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) Membership

    • Citizens Equity First Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services, including savings, and loans.
    • The 2nd largest credit union in Illinois with assets totaling $6.79 Billion and serving over 352,000 members.

    Membership: Individuals living or working in certain Illinois and California counties.

  • Redwood CU logo

    Redwood Credit Union Membership

    • Redwood Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services, including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The 8th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $5.69 Billion and serving over 286,000 members.

    Membership: Open to anyone living or working in the greater North Bay and San Francisco.

  • Kinecta logo

    Kinecta Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Kinecta Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • The 9th largest credit union in California with assets totaling $5.06 Billion and serving more than 241,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends schools in select SoCal zip codes.

  • Wescom logo

    Wescom Credit Union Membership

    • Wescom Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing banking services, including savings, loans, and other financial services.
    • The 10th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $4.48 Billion and serving more than 196,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone living, working, or going to school in Southern California is eligible.

  • Mission FCU logo

    Mission Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Mission Federal Credit Union is a community-based financial institution that provides banking and loan products.
    • The 11th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $4.48 Billion and serving over 259,000 members.

    Membership: Living, working, or attending school in San Diego County, CA is eligible.

  • Chevron FCU logo

    Chevron Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Chevron Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial banking services.
    • It’s the 12th largest credit union in California, with assets totaling $4.02 Billion and serving more than 116,000 members.

    Membership: A current or past employee of a qualifying employer, related to a member, an eligible family, or a household member.

What is Banking?

Banking is a form of money management using products and services related to savings and loans.

Different Types of Financial Institutions

Banks

Banks are what we typically associate with banking. They come in different sizes: local, national, traditional and online-only. Federal or state agencies supervise banks. The FDIC insures deposits of participating banks.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer products and services similar to banks with a focus on member service, not profit. The NCUA insures deposits from participating credit unions.

Alternative Financial Services

Many fintechs are non-chartered financial services companies that offer banking services. You might think of them as an app offering checking and savings accounts, debit cards, payments, etc. They are not banks but work with partner banks or credit unions to hold your deposits.

Types of Banking Accounts

Banking accounts help make financial transactions convenient.

Savings Account

A savings account helps you save your money. You’re storing your money for future use and hopefully earning a reasonable interest rate. Interest is the money you earn for letting the bank keep your money. Some financial institutions impose minimum deposits, withdrawal limits, and fees.

Checking Account

A checking account is a transactional account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals of your money anytime. Checking accounts is not the best place to store your money, as the goal of the account is for use, not saving.

Most checking accounts do not pay interest, but some do. Be mindful of transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, and fees.

Debit Card

Checking accounts come with a debit card enabling you to spend your money conveniently. A debit card allows for making purchases at stores and online shopping. You can only spend the money that’s in your checking account. Additionally, you can use your debit card at ATMs to make deposits, withdrawals, check balances, and transfers between accounts.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a type of hybrid savings and checking account. It tends to have higher deposit requirements but often pays more interest than a savings account.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, helps you save money with a set interest rate for a specific amount of time. Your cash is term-locked. In exchange, you get a higher interest rate compared to a traditional savings account. Certificate terms can start at 30 days and go to 5 or more years.

How to Choose the Best Banking Service

You have many choices on the type of account to use and the variety of financial institutions available. So, shop around. Ask the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:

  • What are the products and services offered?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there minimum balance requirements?
  • Do I need a physical location (like a branch) or prefer better mobile app services?
  • Does local banking matter or is national big bank convenient?
  • Are deposits FDIC or NCUA insured?
  • How to access your money?
  • Debit card? ATM network?
  • Can I set auto-transfers, auto-payments, and alerts?

You want to determine how the banking provider aligns with your needs, the cost of services, safety, security, and overall convenience.

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