Latest News

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

News

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.

City & County of SF Deferred Compensation Plan is Moving to Prudential Retirement

On January 29, 2014 the City and County of San Francisco 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (SFDCP) will be transitioning to a new Third-Party Administrator (TPA). These accounts will be moving from Great-West to Prudential Retirement.

What You Need To Know

  • Your investment options will remain the same
  • No action is required by you
  • The last day you can conduct a transaction on your current account at Great-West is January 22.
  • Your current account at Great-West will transfer to Prudential Retirement on January 29
  • There will be a no-transaction “blackout period” from January 22 to February 7

SF Firefighters Toy Program - Thank You for Your Support

A huge thank you to everyone who donated toys, money or their time to the SF Firefighters Toy Program this year. We were able to raise $15,000 for this great organization!

The SF Firefighters Toy Program distributes toys seasonally to over 40,000 kids in need and responds on a year-round basis to children and families in crisis. They are the oldest volunteer-run program of their kind in the nation and rely solely on donations.

Ways to Support the SF Firefighter Toy Program

There are many ways you can help support the Toy Program in the future if you were unable to this holiday season:


  • Donate in Online Banking (during the month of December), in one of our branches, or over the phone
  • Bring unwrapped toys to one of our branches, or to any San Francisco firehouse

For more information, login to Online Banking or call us at 1.888.499.FIRE (3473)

We’d like to give a special thanks to our visitors: retired SFFD Firefighter Bob “Sarge” Cuff and his SFFD “Elves” for taking the time to visit our branches this year.

Rules and Regulations: Mortgage Rule Changes Coming in January 2014

On January 10, 2014, new regulations that are part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) will go into effect for mortgage lenders, establishing new standards for granting home loans to borrowers.

Two of these new rules-the Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule and the Ability to Repay Rule have led to some news outlets predicting that mortgages may be harder for consumers to get in 2014, while others estimate that the impact will be negligible for the majority of responsible lenders. In this quarter’s look at the regulations that impact our membership, we’d like to explain these new rules in more detail so that you know what to expect starting in January when looking for a mortgage.

New Guidelines

The new mortgage rules prohibit interest-only loans, “balloon” loans, and loans with negative amortizations (when the principal balance doesn’t decrease over time as a borrower makes minimum loan payments).