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  • Altura Credit Union

    Altura Credit Union Membership

    • Altura Credit Union headquarters is in Riverside, California and has served members since 1957.
    • Manages $2.58 billion in assets and serves over 187,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, worship, or attend school in select California counties.

  • Credit Union of Southern California

    Credit Union of Southern California Membership

    Credit Union of Southern California is headquartered in Anaheim, California and has served members since 1954.

    Manages $2.09 billion in assets and serves over 154,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone who lives, works, attends school or religious services in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, or Riverside County.

  • Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

    Santa Cruz Community Credit Union Membership

    • Santa Cruz Community Credit Union is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California and has been serving members since 1977.
    • Manages $195.9 Million in assets and serves over 15,000 members.

    Membership: Serving Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County in California.

  • SCE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION INC

    SCE Federal Credit Union Membership

    • SCE Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Irwindale, California and has served members since 1952.
    • Manages $1.05 Billion in assets and serves over 67,000 members.

    Membership: You live, work, worship, or attend school in a specific California or Nevada community served by the credit union.

  • SESLOC Federal Credit Union

    SESLOC Federal Credit Union Membership

    • SESLOC Federal Credit Union is headquartered in San Luis Obispo, California and has been serving members since 1942.
    • Manages $1.2 Billion in assets and serves over 58,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, or attend school in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara County in California.

  • Siskiyou Central Credit Union

    Siskiyou Central Credit Union Membership

    • Siskiyou Credit Union is headquartered in Yreka, California and has been serving members since 1962.
    • Manages $140.08 Million in assets and serves over 10,000 members.

    Membership: Anyone who lives, works, or worships in Siskiyou County.

  • SMW 104 Federal Credit Union

    SMW 104 Federal Credit Union Membership

    • SMW 104 Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Livermore, California and has served members since 1962.
    • Manages $106.91 Million in assets and serves over 9,000 members.

    Membership: Serving specific SMART and SMW Local Unions.

  • Sun Community Federal Credit Union

    Sun Community Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Sun Community Federal Credit Union is headquartered in El Centro, California and has served members since 1954.
    • Manages $722.69 Million in assets and serves over 51,000 members.

    Membership: Live, work, worship, or volunteer in the geographic area served by the credit union in California.

  • Tucoemas Federal Credit Union

    Tucoemas Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Tucoemas Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Visalia, California and has served members since 1948.
    • Manages $323.07 Million in assets and serves over 29,000 members.

    Membership: People who live, work, worship, or attend school in Tulare County, California

  • USC Credit Union

    USC Credit Union Membership

    • USC Credit Union is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and has served members since 1973.
    • Manages $720.74 Million in assets and serves over 79,000 members.

    Membership: Current USC employees, faculty, staff, or enrolled students.

  • Vocality Community Credit Union

    Vocality Community Credit Union Membership

    • Vocality Community Credit Union is headquartered in Garberville, California and has been serving members since 1980.
    • Manages $158.39 Million in assets and serves over 9,000 members.

    Membership: You must live, work or worship within a geographic area as explained in the credit union’s Field of Membership.

  • Valley First Credit Union

    Valley First Credit Union Membership

    • Valley First Credit Union is headquartered in Modesto, California and has been serving members since 1956
    • Manages $1.02 Billion in assets and serves over 78,000 members.

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

  • Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union

    Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union is headquartered in San Jose, California and has been serving members since 1950
    • Manages $982.08 Million in assets and serves over 47,000 members.

    Membership: If you are an active or retired employee of one of the credit union’s corporate partners.

  • Rolling F Credit Union

    Rolling F Credit Union Membership

    • Rolling F Credit Union is headquartered in Turlock, California and has served members since 1948.
    • Manages $64.93 Million in assets and serves over 5,000 members.

    Membership: If you live, work, or worship in Stanislaus or Merced County.

  • Partners Federal Credit Union

    Partners Federal Credit Union Membership

    • Partners Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Burbank, California and has served members since 1968.
    • Manages $2.47 Billion in assets and serves over 178,000 members.

    Membership: An employee of The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) or one of its subsidiaries

  • Orange County's Credit Union

    Orange County’s Credit Union Membership

    • Orange County’s Credit Union is headquartered in Santa Ana, California and has served members since 1938.
    • Manages $2.54 Billion in assets, serves over 131,000 members, and employs 310 people as of February 2024.

    Membership: For anyone who lives or works in Orange, LA, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties.

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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