Latest News

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

Latest News & Firefighter's Corner

Important Election Notice

The Annual Meeting of the Members and elections of the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee will be held on Presidents Day, Monday, February 19th, 2018, at the Spanish Cultural Center located at 2850 Alemany Blvd. in San Francisco.

There are three volunteer official positions up for election. Nomination petitions must be recieved at the Main Branch of SF Fire Credit Union by November 22nd, 2017.

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

Coming this Fall: All-New Online & Mobile Banking Systems

Fall Is The Season of Change … For Online & Mobile Banking | SF Fire Credit Union is happy to announce a fall launch of a new Mobile & Online (Desktop) Banking Platform.

This Fall: New Online & Mobile Banking

We have partnered with an established vendor to provide updated tools & features, including:

  • Usernames
  • Touch ID Log-In
  • Secured Messaging Systems
  • Increased Security with Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Learn More And Take Action

    Log in to the current Online (Desktop) Banking System to learn more about new features and services, as well as critical steps to take now to prepare for a smooth transition.  

Changes to ACH Debits

As of September 15th, 2017 originators of ACH debit transactions will have the option of processing and settling transactions (debiting your account) on the same day the payment was scheduled. This change is being implemented at all financial institutions in the United States, so it’s important to be aware of how your transactions may be affected.

What is an ACH Debit?

A payment initiated by any given originator using your routing and checking account number.

Who is an Originator?

An originator is any entity – such as a merchant or another Financial Institution – that can initiate an ACH transaction. Examples include:

  • A merchant such as Comcast processing (debiting) a payment for a monthly bill from your account.
  • A lender such as Wells Fargo processing (debiting) a mortgage or consumer loan payment from your account.
  • Another bank or credit union initiating a transfer of funds, pulling from your account at SF Fire Credit Union and depositing to an account at that institution.

Debits May Clear Your Account the Same Day As Scheduled

Up until now these ACH transactions (once they have been initiated on the scheduled due date ) have typically required 1-3 business days to post against (to be debited from) your checking account. Originators will now have the option of “Same Day Debits”. This means a payment or transaction scheduled for on a particular date could clear (be debited from) your checking account with SF Fire Credit Union that same day. It will be up to each individual originator to decide whether to exercise this same-day debit option and cause this change.

Managing Your Expectations

Previously, it was common to schedule a payment with a merchant, have the payment credited to your loan or bill that day, and then still have time to make a deposit or transfer to your SF Fire Credit Union checking account prior to the payment clearing your account. This may no longer be a safe strategy, as you should assume the payment could be taken the same day.

Possible Consequences

It is possible you will see payments rejected if they post to your account sooner than you expected. This could trigger returned item fees from both the Credit Union and the originator.

What You Can Do To Prepare

You may need to adjust when you schedule payments and transfers. There are a few options to consider:


  • Contact originators of ACH debit transactions to change any automatic payment dates or due dates.

  • Adjust dates of scheduled transfers to or from your SF Fire Credit Union checking account

  • Review your Overdraft Protection options for your SF Fire Credit Union checking account, to cover any of these same-day debits.

If you have any questions or need assistance reviewing your Overdraft Protection options or account history, please feel free to contact us at 1.888.499.3473 during our Contact Center hours, 7 am – 8 pm, Monday through Saturday, or visit our branches 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 8:30 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday.

New Options When Calling The Credit Union

You have new choices when you call our Contact Center. When calling, please listen to the initial message carefully as our menu options are changing.

New features of our Phone Tree include:

  • An updated interactive phone tree menu to route your call to the right person to help you, whether you’re calling about Loans, Online & Mobile Banking, Cards & Account Activity, or general inquiries about your account.
  • Updates on the number of calls ahead of you while waiting for an agent.
  • A Call Back feature to request a direct call from an agent; when you choose this option, you keep your place in line in the queue and receive a call as soon as your turn arises.

We are making this change to give our members the best service experience possible by making it easier to get the answers you need.

Turn the Keys On Great Auto Loan Rates

Car dealers can’t wait for 2018. Model year-end clearance prices make this a great time to finance cars from 2017 or older. Auto loan rates with SF Fire Credit Union start as low as 2.44%*.

Getting Started: Finding the Right Car For You

Whether looking for a car to get to work or for your child starting college, now is the time to take advantage of great deals offered by car dealerships. You can start your search for the perfect car by using our Auto Buying Services: Autoland or AutoSmart.

  • Autoland is a complete car buying service – agents will help identify, purchase, and even deliver your car to you.
  • AutoSmart allows you to find the vehicle you want at a convenient dealership that participates in the Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL) program.

Buy Out A Lease Or Refinance For Better Rates

Our rates are not just for purchasing a vehicle from a dealership. They also apply to private party sales, lease buy-outs, or refinancing a loan you have elsewhere for a better rate or lower monthly payments.

Visit our website for additional details on rates, features, and requirements for our auto loans.

*Annual Percentage Rate as low as indicated, based on credit worthiness, and reflects a 0.25% discount on loans that have been authorized for a recurring electronic payment method. Special rate of 2.44% applies to purchases and refinancing of non-SF Fire Credit Union auto loans only up to 60 months. A $50 fee will be applied when refinancing an existing SF Fire Credit Union auto loan.

2017 San Francisco First Responders Stair Climb

SF Fire Credit Union is proud to support the 2017 San Francisco First Responders Stair Climb.

The San Francisco First Responders Stair climb was started to bring awareness and support to first responders suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Injuries. We hold the event each year around the time of 9/11 in remembrance of those that gave their lives and those Fire Fighters, Police EMS and dispatchers whose lives are forever affected by exposure to traumatic events. The non-profit funds raised will pay for first responders throughout the state of California to attend PTSD programs. We climb to save the lives of those that save yours.

Date and Time: Saturday, September 9th 2017. 9AM to 2PM.

Building Location: 555 California Street

Number of floors: 52 above the mezzanine / 1197 stairs

Map and Directions: 555 California Street. https://goo.gl/maps/8EtNdSbgHoF2

To Register please visit https://www.classy.org/events/-/e136676

For More Information please visit http://sfstairclimb.com/

Avoid Restrictions on Your Card : Notify Us of Your Summer Travel Plans

Our members travel for different reasons: business, vacation, education. Regardless of why you are traveling, the last thing you should worry about is whether your credit union credit card will work. Travel Notifications can eliminate this worry.

What are Travel Notifications?

Travel Notifications are alerts for your credit or debit cards that detail when and where you are traveling.

Why should you load a Travel Notification?

Our fraud analysts monitor our members’ accounts for activity that suggests fraud. If there is an unusual charge; such as a meal in Paris when you live in San Francisco – our analysts may restrict activity on your card. Travel Notifications give the analysts the information they need to recognize such activity as valid.

How do you load a Travel Notification?

For your convenience, Travel Notifications can be submitted at any time through Online Banking or Mobile Banking.

Online Banking

  • Click on ‘Travel Notifications’ under the ‘Special Services’ Menu

Mobile Banking

  • Click on ‘Travel Notifications’ under the ‘More’ Menu

You may also submit a Travel Notification directly with our Contact Center Representatives during business hours (7 am to 8 pm, Monday through Saturday) by phone or live chat, or with our Branch Representatives when you visit us. We recommend loading Travel Notifications at least 1-2 business days prior to your departure.

Home Loans Just Got Easier: Purchase or Refinance

If you are buying a new home, or if you want to refinance an existing loan, we want to help. Our dedicated real estate loan officers will guide you through the process of determining what loan is right for you. We offer a variety of Fixed or Adjustable Rate Loans to meet your needs.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

  • Locks in a set interest rate for the life of the loan
  • Often best for homebuyers who will stay in the home for many years
  • Often best for homebuyers who expect their income to be stable over time

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

  • Interest rate adjusts with the market
  • Often best for homebuyers who plan to sell their home in a few years
  • Often best for borrowers who expect their income to increase over time

Home Equity Loans & Credit Lines

  • Use your home’s value to get cash to accomplish current goals
  • Affordable options for one-time loans or multi-year credit line access
  • Potential tax advantages (consult your tax advisor)

Apply Today

  • Online:Mortgage Application
  • Over the Phone: Contact a mortgage loan consultant directly 415.674.4800 ext 778
    Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 6:00pm | Saturday from 8:30am – 3:00pm

Rates are subject to change on a daily basis; to view the current rates and learn more, click here

Visit www.sffirecu.org or call for current real estate credit rates, terms and restrictions. All loans subject to credit approval.

Protecting Your Accounts from Identity Theft

Identity theft is the fraudulent use of a person’s personal identifying information. Often, identity thieves will use another person’s personal information, such as a Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or account number to open fraudulent new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write share drafts, open share accounts, or obtain new loans.

Here are a few basic steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

STAY SECURE ONLINE AND OVER THE PHONE

  • Protect your PINs and Security Questions. Avoid using information that has been shared (or can be discovered) on social media such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, your pet’s name, school mascot, etc.
  • Use Unique Passwords Reset and create passwords which are complex and unique from accounts held elsewhere (other financial institutions, email accounts, online retailers, etc).
  • Keep It Personal When resetting or creating new passwords, do so from your own personal computer, smartphone or tablet. (Do not make these changes on public or shared computers).
  • Do not share sensitive information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing. Remember, SF Fire Credit Union will never contact you to obtain your account/credit card number.

SAFEGUARD YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNTS

Many people save sensitive information and documents in their email systems, which can be used by Identity Theft Criminals to commit fraud.

  • Be Wise About Wi-Fi Before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, or other public place, see if your information will be protected. If you use an encrypted website, it protects only the information you send to and from that site. If you use a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected.
  • Avoid Phishing Emails Don’t open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. Opening a file from someone you don’t know could expose your system to a computer virus or spyware that captures your passwords or other information you type.
  • Protect yourself Use firewall software to protect computer information. Be sure to keep virus and spyware software updated and current.

CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR TAX RETURN FILINGS

  • Make Sure Your Website is Secure To protect personal data when e-filing taxes, experts suggest users look for clues that the website you are using is encrypted. Most browsers display either green in the browser bar, or a closed lock symbol, that shows users the site is secure.
  • File Your Taxes on Time Experts suggest you file your taxes as soon as possible. This decreases the ability of cyber criminals to file in your name.

MONITOR YOUR CREDIT REPORT

  • Make it a habit to check your credit. Free annual credit reports are available from all three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and Transunion. one report from each agency over the course of the year, to monitor for any unusual activity. (For example: Request Experian in February, Equifax in July and Transunion in November).

IF YOU SUSPECT FRAUD IS TAKING PLACE

  • If your accounts have been compromised, notify us as soon as possible. Our Contact Center can be reached at 1.888.499.FIRE (3473), and is available Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7AM and 8PM (Pacific).
  • Place a verbal password on your accounts to prevent thieves from calling in and finding out more about your financial transactions.
  • File a police report and maintain a copy in your file for future reference.
  • Keep an eye out for future attempts. Identity Thieves often will lay low for months and then strike again, hoping to catch you off guard.

CEO Update: Kathy Elser Named New CEO of SF Fire Credit Union

Our Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine “Kathy” Elser as the new President and Chief Executive Officer. “What impressed us about Kathy is that she demonstrated the ability to balance prolonged growth while maintaining safety and soundness. She has the experience to lead during a time when credit unions continue to face disruptive and competitive forces. Her robust industry network will also serve our members well.” stated John Sweeney, San Francisco Fire Credit Union’s Board Chairman.

“San Francisco Fire is a vibrant and growing credit union that is deeply committed to its members and the communities it serves. A commitment to members is a top priority and passion of mine. I’m excited to see how I can lead the credit union to new levels while never losing sight of delivering an exceptional member experience.” said Elser.

Prior to San Francisco Fire, Ms. Elser was the CFO/SVP of Finance & Administration for Boeing Employees Credit Union where she was responsible for overall strategic positioning of the credit union and served as an Executive Management Team member. Elser’s career includes 20 years with BECU, a period during which she laid the foundation for and managed the institution’s exceptional performance and growth. She earned a reputation for being a collaborative leader, a dedicated mentor and a member advocate. Earlier in her career she worked in public accounting at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, and at various other financial institutions in both financial reporting and internal audit.

In 2012, Ms. Elser was awarded the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “2012 CFO of the Year”; category- Large Private Company. She serves on various community and industry executive committees and boards of directors. She also participates as a panelist and presenter at various credit union education forums and conferences. Elser is a graduate of the CUES CEO Institute and Cardwell 360 Leadership Institute. She holds a BS in accounting from Central Washington University and a MBA from Pepperdine University.