Latest News

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

News

Free Identity Theft Resolution Services

With all the recent news surrounding data breaches at large companies, retailers, and payment processors, we want to remind you of a free benefit of membership that can help in the event that you become a victim of identity theft. SF Fire Credit Union partners with Identity Fraud, Inc. to offer free resolution services that can assist with recovery from every aspect of identity theft and help protect you from recurring fraud.

What Identity Theft Victim Resolution Can Do For You

This helpful service is free to SF Fire Credit Union members. In the event that your personal information has been compromised, simply give our Contact Center a call, and we’ll refer you to a specialist who will work on your case. (If you call our Contact Center after hours, just press #4 to be connected to Identity Fraud, Inc.)

Understanding Credit Scores

When you apply for a loan, lenders want to know your credit risk, and credit scores are a near universal criteria in a lender’s decision. There are three major credit reporting agencies that report your credit score to a lender: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These scores can differ slightly based upon the information reported to each of them by all of your creditors. One type of credit score (FICO) is provided to all three major credit bureaus, and these scores affect both how much and what loan terms (interest rate, etc.) lenders will offer you at any given time.

Your FICO Score is calculated from different types of data found in your credit report. The data is grouped into five different categories, with some categories having more impact on your FICO Score than others.

Credit Score Breakdown

Payment History (35%)
Amounts Owed (30%)
Length of Credit History (15%)
New Credit (10%)
Types of Credit Used (10%)

Knowing these percentages, you can get a better idea of how your score may be affected negatively or positively. Let’s dive deeper into each category:

Planning Your Retirement Income

Planning for retirement often involves asking some questions that can be difficult to answer. What will my retirement look like? Have I saved enough? Do I have sufficient assets to cover all of my expenses? Will I be able to maintain my desired lifestyle?

One of the first and most important steps in analyzing one’s retirement picture is creating a detailed budget where expenses can be matched to sources of income. More often than not, shortfalls in income may be uncovered. Once fixed sources of income such as social security, pensions, etc., have been exhausted, an experienced financial advisor can be extremely helpful in determining the assets that may be used to generate additional sustainable sources of income.

Next, it’s necessary to prepare for some of the major risks retirees often face. These risks include but are not limited to: longevity risk, inflation risk, market risk and health care/social security risk.

Streamline Your Next Car Purchase with SF Fire Credit Union

Looking to buy a new car but not sure where to start? Do you have your heart set on a make & model and just need financing? Whatever stage you’re in, we’d love to help. We have options that make it easy for you to finance with us right from the dealership, and we even have a concierge auto buying service if you’d like someone to do all of the research for you!

Great Rates & Flexible Terms

Our competitive rates and flexible terms could come in handy if you’re looking for a used car, or a car that might take a little longer to pay off. Some benefits of an Auto Loan with SF Fire Credit Union include:

Key Features
Rates as Low as 2.24%1
Up to 130% Financing (including tax, license and warranty)
Terms up to 84 Months
No Prepayment Penalties
Dealership or Private Party Sales
Refinancing of Non-SF Fire Credit Union Auto Loans

Budgeting Basics: How to Get Started

Establishing a path to savings is easier than it seems — but it’s the actual saving part that can get tricky. Whether you’d like to save for a big trip or purchase, or would just like to get your spending in check, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Figure Out Where Your Money is Going

The first step to creating a sustainable budget is figuring out why your money seems to “disappear” every month. There are numerous tools that can help you track your spending. Some of the most notable ones include Mint.com, YNAB (You Need a Budget) and good ol’ Google Docs or an Excel Spreadsheet. Our Online Banking platform also allows you to track your spending by category.

When creating a budget for the first time, you might want to also document your cash purchases. This may be an eye opening experience, as small impulse purchases can really add up!

If you’d like to go the “old school” route, you can use a balance book to document your purchases and checking account balance (pick one up for free at any of our branches!).

Message From the President: Summer in San Francisco

July has arrived in San Francisco, bringing with it vacation getaways, our infamous summer fog, and an opportunity for me to update members on what’s happening at the credit union. I’ll start with the credit union’s financials, because as member-owners of this financial cooperative you should know that it continues to perform well. Our profitability is reliably consistent, allowing us to continuously grow the credit union’s capital reserves and ensure long-term viability. We owe this success to members, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet your banking needs. Letting us help you meet your financial goals is how you help us remain a strong and prosperous credit union.

It was a busy spring at SF Fire Credit Union, with a variety of member events and service upgrades to make doing business with us easier. Highlights included the Member Car Sale and Shred Day in April, the first-time homebuyer seminar in June, and enhancements to mobile and online banking that allow you to notify us of travel plans to avoid the blocking of debit or credit card transactions which might otherwise appear unusual.

New Online & Mobile Banking Feature: Notify us of your Travel Plans

We work diligently to protect our members from fraud. Before traveling this summer, remember that notifying SF Fire Credit Union of the places you’ll visit and the dates you’ll be there can help avoid our blocking of debit or credit card transactions that may appear unusual.

To place a travel notification, please log in to Online or Mobile Banking to load a Travel Notification directly from your computer or mobile device. In Online Banking, “Submit a Travel Notification” is under the “Special Services” menu, and in our Mobile Banking apps, you’ll find the “Submit Travel Notification” area under the “More” menu.

As always, you can also notify us of your plans via Web Chat or over the phone by calling (888) 499-FIRE (3473).

Member Notification: Changes to Our Money Market Account Name

Effective March 1st, we have renamed our “Money Market Savings” to “Tiered Savings.”

This change will not affect the rate or terms of the account. We feel this description better reflects the features of our savings account.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this change, please feel free to contact us at (888) 499-FIRE (3473).

Custom-Image Debit & Credit Card Program Changes

At the end of March, SF Fire Credit Union will temporarily suspend production of new custom-image debit and credit cards, as our vendor for custom card production will be ceasing operations.

If you have a custom-image debit or credit card that was created after June 20, 2012, when your current card expires your replacement card will feature the same custom image now featured on your current card. If you prefer, however, we will reissue your card with the SF Fire Credit Union standard card design. You can contact our Contact Center anytime to let us know your desire to switch to the standard image.

Due to the change in providers, you will not have the ability to change an image on file with us, as the image upload tools in our Online Banking system will be removed when our current provider ceases operations.

While we do not have an exact date for the resumption of custom image card production, we expect to offer the service again later in 2014 and we will provide an updated timeline when those dates become available from a new provider. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, and if you have any questions, please contact our Contact Center seven days a week between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time at 888-499-FIRE or via Web Chat.

2014 Arthur F. McIntyre Scholarship Winners Announced at Annual Meeting

The winners of the 2014 Arthur F. McIntyre Scholarship have been announced, and we wish to congratulate the following members:

Amy Smerdel, who attends Notre Dame High School and lives in Belmont, CA.

Marc Cunningham, who attends Lowell High School and lives in San Francisco, CA.

Claire Linney, who attends Sacramento State University and is from Woodside, CA.

Elizabeth Yuen, who attends San Francisco State University and is from San Francisco, CA.