Latest News

Keeping you updated on what’s happening at SF Fire Credit Union.

Latest News & Firefighter's Corner

Why SF Fire Credit Union?

We’re on a mission to put you first. And it’s been that way from the very beginning – when a group of firefighters pitched in to lend one another money back in 1951. Today, as an open charter credit union, SF Fire Credit Union is also open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in San Francisco, San Mateo, or Marin County, and is committed to giving our members the financial tools they need to thrive.

So, whether it’s your first house, a new car, or you just need a clean break from your bank, we’re here for you:

• Free checking accounts
• Free ATMs nationwide
• Out-of-Network ATM Surcharge Rebates
• Complete offering of savings accounts
• Low-interest, fee-friendly credit cards
• Low-interest home, vehicle and student loans
• Free financial planning tools through our Financial Education Center
• Investment and retirement planning services
• Free quarterly FICO® Score updates

HOW DO I JOIN?

It’s pretty simple. You can apply for membership by just clicking on the link below.

Sign Me Up

2019 Employee Pumpkin Contest

Our Annual Employee Pumpkin Decorating Competition has begun, just in time for Halloween. This year, we’re running a “Pumpkin Contest All-Stars” event using photos of past winners. View the entrants and help us choose a winner by voting here.

Message from Kathy

Fall is arriving at SF Fire Credit Union with some great traditions and exciting updates for members.

We kicked off September as we do every year by participating in the First Responders Stair Climb. This year’s event raised more than $189,000 to support first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries.

As the school year starts, I’d like to extend another round of congratulations to the 2019 Arthur F. McIntyre scholarship recipients Kaitlin Kelly, Katherine Brown, Elise Styles and Kathryn Haberman. We’re proud to have you as members and are excited to see what you achieve in the coming year. Applications for our 2020 scholarships will be due in early February. If you’d like to apply, you can learn more about the process in this edition of Siren News or on our website.

On September 23rd, we also introduced members to our fall auto loan refinancing promotion. If you’re looking for more financial freedom and lower monthly expenses, refinancing with our low interest rates and $150 rebate are a great place to start – it’s the perfect opportunity to move your auto loan out of a bank and into a credit union that puts you first.

Speaking of putting members first, in the coming months we are excited to introduce you to a refreshed look for the SF Fire Credit Union brand. Your experience online and in-person will remain very much the same, but we will be rolling out a modernized logo, updated color palette and new member photography that honors our 68-year tradition of service and celebrates our vibrant community.

As always, thank you for your ongoing membership and support. We’re proud to serve you and are excited for what fall has in store.

Kathy Duvall
President & CEO

2020 Board Election Notice

The Annual Meeting of the Members and election of volunteer officials will be held on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 17th, 2020, at the Spanish Cultural Center located at 2850 Alemany Blvd. in San Francisco.

There is one position on the Board of Directors which is up for election. Nomination petitions must be received at the Main Branch of SF Fire Credit Union by November 19th, 2019.

To obtain additional information regarding election procedures, write to:
SF Fire Credit Union
ATTN: Jennie-Sue Nuccio
3201 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

A Refinanced Auto Loan Can Take You Far

Refinance your auto loan from another institution with SF Fire Credit Union and see how far you can go. With a rate as low as 3.39%*, you’ll have a little more room to move each month with lower payments. Plus, *if you apply by November 23rd, you’ll be eligible for a $150 rebate. Bring your auto loan home to the credit union that puts you first.

HOW DOES THE REBATE WORK?

Once your loan is approved and funded, you’ll have several options to receive the rebate:

  • Deposit it to your SF Fire CU Checking or Savings account
  • Apply it directly to the loan
  • Get a Cashier’s Check
  • Apply it as a payment to another loan or VISA® account at SF Fire CU

CAN I REFINANCE A LOAN I ALREADY HAVE WITH THE CREDIT UNION?

No, this promotion only covers loans for vehicles not currently financed with us.

WHAT IF I OWN A VEHICLE FREE AND CLEAR?

Yes, you can apply for an auto loan to get cash out of a car owned free and clear, and that would qualify for this promotion.

HOW DO I APPLY?

You can load a loan application within Online Banking by using the ‘Apply for a Loan’ widget. You can also apply over the phone at 1.888.499.FIRE (3473) or 415.674.4800 between 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Pacific), Monday – Saturday, or visit our branches between 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM (Pacific) Monday – Friday and 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday.

Apply Now in Online Banking

Not Yet A Member?

Sign Me Up

*$150 Cash Bonus on refinance applies to auto loans refinanced from another lender to SF Fire Credit Union. Cannot be combined with other consumer loan offers and is not valid on existing SF Fire Credit Union loans. Member must have a valid registration to qualify for this offer. Minimum loan balance required is $15,000. Rates based on creditworthiness and the age of the vehicle. Membership and other restrictions may apply. Cash bonus will be deposited into primary member’s savings account within two weeks of the loan funding date. Subject to change or cancellation at any time.
Annual percentage rate (APR) as of September 1, 2019 and is subject to change. Rate as low as 3.39% APR 60 months based on credit qualifications. Maximum term varies based on loan amount. Loans subject to all credit union policies and procedures. Call for details. Representative example: $15,000 @ 3.39%APR for 60 months – $273.00 monthly payment.
Offer is valid for new loans originated September 23 through November 23, 2019. All transactions must close by November 30, 2019. The auto refinance promotion will be available to SF Fire Credit Union members and non-members.

Securing Your Accounts: Best Practices For Phone And Online Safety

More and more financial business is done remotely: Online & Mobile Banking, transferring funds to other people through apps like Venmo, even purchasing or selling items on sites like Craigslist. This convenience comes with the increased risk that you don’t necessarily know to whom you’re talking, not even on the phone with Caller ID. Two recent fraud patterns have emerged which you need to be able to recognize.

Phone/Caller ID Spoofing and Financial Institutions

Some banks and credit unions have reported that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ a financial institution’s name and phone number, so that they appear in your caller ID. When you answer what appears to be a legitimate call from your institution, the fraudster identifies himself as an employee and asks you to verify account information, then uses that information to take over your account(s).

As a reminder, SF Fire Credit Union will never call you to obtain your account/credit card number, nor other personal identification information such as your member number or SSN. If you don’t initiate the contact, don’t share such information over the phone. Call us immediately if you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, or if you suspect someone is impersonating SF Fire Credit Union.

The Online Selling Scam

When you’re selling online, you don’t truly know to whom you’re selling. Be cautious when choosing what payment methods to accept. Many online marketplaces such as Craigslist and Letgo provide tips and warnings on red flags.

The Online Selling Scam works like this: you list something for sale online. The fraudster approaches you to purchase the item with a check or Cashier’s Check, possibly written for more than your listed selling price. Once you’ve completed the transaction, the scammer contacts you to claim they “overpaid” or included “shipping costs” and requests that you refund them via Moneygram, Zelle, or similar options. These channels are like cash: the payments are untraceable, and once the funds are gone, they’re gone. Subsequently, the original check or Cashier’s Check will turn out to be bad.

Some tips on avoiding this scam:

  • Never take a check for more than your selling price.
  • Never send money back to someone who sent you a check.
  • Just because a check has cleared doesn’t mean it’s good. Banks and Credit Unions are required to make deposited funds available quickly, but it can sometimes take several days for the institution to learn that the check was actually bad. Consider waiting a few days before shipping the sold item.
  • Consider using a secure online payment service.

Using Credit Wisely

You don’t have to enroll in school to continue your education. With SF Fire Credit Union’s Financial Education Center, you have access to informative modules and useful calculators to help you learn about financial topics ranging from Banking and Credit Basics to Homeownership and Retirement Planning & Investments.

Using Credit Wisely – Useful Tips in Five Minutes

Whether you’re a college student with your first credit card, or planning for future financial goals like home ownership, we can help you learn how to build and manage your credit and establish good financial habits in four easy-to-remember steps through the module Using Credit Wisely.

Keep Track With FICO® Score Updates

As you build your credit, you can get quarterly FICO® Score Updates to track your progress. If you haven’t already, add this feature through Online & Mobile Banking for free updates.

Auto Loans - Keys To The Process

The end of summer often brings car sales, as auto dealerships prepare for the new models in the fall. Is it time for a new car for you or your family? SF Fire Credit Union has the same low rates for both New and Used Auto Loans.

Things to Consider Before You Shop

How would a new car loan fit your budget? What determines the interest rate? Our Financial Education Center has some useful modules on auto loans, building and using credit, and even a Budgeting Calculator that could help you gauge what you could afford. If this will be your first car loan, you’ll possibly find the overview of Auto Loans particularly useful.

Do Your Research: Auto Buying Services

When it comes to investing in a car, it’s important to find the right one for your needs. We offer complimentary Auto Buying Services, Autoland and AutoSmart – two great services that are available to SF Fire Credit Union members for free and will help you identify, locate, and purchase the car that best meets your needs.

Community Safety Fairs

In an Emergency, Do You Know What to Do?

The San Francisco Fire Department is conducting Community Safety Fairs throughout the year in each of the 10 Battalions. This is an effort to connect the communities they serve with their local Firefighters, EMT’s, and Paramedics, to allow local communities to meet the members of their nearby Fire Stations, and to provide the community with an overview of what the SFFD does.

Who Will You Meet?

Participating at each Community Safety Fair are the following:

1. Public Information Officer
2. Bureau of Fire Prevention Education Team
3. Fire Recruitment Team
4. EMS Medics for hands-only CPR and BP and Stop the Bleed
5. Battalion Members meeting the people they serve
6. NERT for disaster preparedness
7. Department of Emergency Management for 911 calls and disaster preparedness

What Will You Learn?

The Community Safety Fair will include Fire Prevention and Education materials, demonstrations such as how to use a Fire Extinguisher, and answers to inspection questions. Department members will teach hands-only CPR, and a Recruitment team will be available to answer questions related to the hiring process. Free Smoke detectors will be available while supplies last to residents of San Francisco.

When & Where are the Safety Fairs?

You can check the full schedule of dates and locations at the SFFD site here. Not all details for the year’s schedule have been confirmed yet.

Questions?

For questions about SFFD’s Community Safety Fairs, please contact the SFFD Public Information Officer, Jonathan Baxter, at: (415) 558-3404, or [email protected].

Message from Kathy

As we head into the second half of 2019, I’m proud to see our credit union community continue to thrive.

In March, we welcomed Jeanine Nicholson as San Francisco’s next Fire Chief – a well-deserved next step in a career of service spanning more than 25 years. In June, we also celebrated the graduation of San Francisco Fire Department’s 125th Fire Academy Class. I know I speak for all our members when I say congratulations and good luck to all 49 graduates. Your dedication and spirit of service are an inspiration to us all.

With the introduction of our new online Financial Education Center over the past few months, we’ve been excited to see our community digging into their finances in a new way. So far, close to 3,000 members have used the tool. With over 50 lessons on topics including building emergency savings, home buying, investing, and debt management, we have modules to help with just about any financial question. Visit our sffirecu.org/education to check out the library for yourself!

The summer months are also coming with some special services and discounts for our membership. Through Labor Day, all SF Fire Credit Union members can get more for their money through:

Double Points on all SF Fire Platinum Visa® purchases – just in time for booking that summer trip.
Free Appraisals (up to $795 value) if you buy your first home or refinance your home.
Everyday Discounts and special rates for our firefighter members.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support. Our loyal members make everything we do possible and we’re proud to help each of you achieve your financial goals.

Here’s to a great summer!

Kathy Duvall
President and CEO