SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Personal Loans

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Personal Loans

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About SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Personal Loans

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SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union (SchoolsFirst FCU) is a member-owned financial institution that focuses on the financial needs of school employees and their families. Founded in 1934, SchoolsFirst FCU has since become the largest credit union in the only state it serves, California, and the fifth largest in the entire nation. Among its offerings, which cover everything from traditional banking to investment planning, are three different personal loan products.

    Pros & Cons

    • Low borrowing minimum
    • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
    • You must be a current SchoolsFirst FCU member
    • Only available in California

    Our editor’s take

    With low borrowing minimums, as well as a safer payday loan alternative, Schoolsfirst is a good option for those with small and immediate borrowing needs. However, its limited eligibility means only California school employees, including educators and support staff and family members, are candidates for a SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan.

    If you aren’t qualified for a SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan, you’ll need to seek out alternative lenders that can offer comparable rates and terms, such as other credit unions or an online lender.

    SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan products

    SchoolsFirst FCU offers three different personal loan products:

    Personal loan
    SchoolsFirst FCU personal loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $100 to $50,000 for just about any purpose. With these loans, you can take up to 60 months to repay your loan and even skip as many as three payments during this period.
    Overdraft Protection Loan
    An Overdraft Protection Loan from SchoolsFirst FCU works by extending you a line of credit, which will cover the cost of your purchase should you overdraft your checking account. With this loan, you can borrow anywhere from $100 to $5,000.
    Payroll Savings Loan
    A payday alternative loan (PAL), the Payroll Savings Loan is a short-term loan that can help you quickly cover expenses up to $500. These loans can be paid back over 12 months, and 5% is deposited into a SchoolsFirst FCU Payroll Savings account for you to withdraw at a later date.

    SchoolsFirst personal loan rates

    Each personal loan at SchoolsFirst FCU has its own annual percentage rate (APR) range. As of publishing, you can expect: 

    • Personal Loan: 9.49% - 18.00% APR
    • Overdraft Protection Loan: 10.50% - 17.90% APR
    • Payroll Savings Loan: 17.90% APR

    To get a 0.75% discount on your personal loan rate, you’ll need to enroll in automatic transfers from your SchoolsFirst FCU account.

    SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan fees

    SchoolsFirst doesn’t disclose what fees it charges for personal loans. However, SchoolsFirst FCU specifically states that it doesn’t charge origination fees or prepayment penalties.

    How to apply for a SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan

    To apply for a SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan, you’ll need to first become a member. To be eligible for membership, you must:

    • Be a current school employee at an eligible school in California
    • Be a retired employee of an eligible school in California
    • Have an immediate family member who is a member of SchoolsFirst FCU
    • Be an employee of a company that provides a direct service to an eligible school or district in California
    • Be a college student in California who is completing an eligible education program that requires student teaching

    In addition to your application, you’ll need the following to apply:

    • A valid form of identification
    • A deposit of $5 to open your Share Savings account
    • Your most recent pay stub

    Once approved for a membership, you can apply for one of SchoolsFirst FCU’s three personal loans. However, it doesn’t provide much insight into its application process. That said, you can apply for a SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan in three ways:

    1. Online: You must log into your online banking account to access the SchoolsFirst FCU personal loan application.
    2. Over the phone: You can apply over the phone by calling SchoolsFirst FCU.
    3. In person: By visiting a branch in person, you can fill out a loan application face-to-face and with the guidance of a SchoolsFirst FCU employee.

    How do SchoolsFirst FCU personal loans compare?

    Compared to other lenders, SchoolsFirst FCU offers superior personal loan options. For example, when you compare it with Best Egg, SchoolsFirst FCU’s max APR is nearly half of Best Egg’s, and it offers a wider range of loan amounts and terms.

    Here’s how the two companies stack up side-by-side:

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    SchoolsFirst FCU personal loans FAQ

    What is SchoolsFirst FCU?

    SchoolsFirst FCU is a federal credit union that serves Californians who work in schools. Operating as a cooperative, FCU passes its profits back to member-owners in the form of lower rates and better loan terms.

    Can anyone open an account at SchoolsFirst FCU?

    In order to open a SchoolsFirst FCU account, you’ll need to work within an eligible California school or district. Additionally, you can become a member if you:

    • Are an immediate family member of a SchoolsFirst FCU member
    • Work for a company that provides a direct service to an eligible school or district
    • Are a retired employee of an eligible school
    • Are a college student with a student teaching requirement
    Does SchoolsFirst FCU charge a prepayment penalty?

    No, SchoolsFirst FCU doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty. If you wish to repay your loan early, you can do so without worrying about being charged an extra fee.

    Is SchoolsFirst FCU legit?

    SchoolsFirst FCU has a long history of helping those who work in the education field, gaining the trust of over 1.2 million members since its founding nearly a century ago. It is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), so members are protected should an issue arise.

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    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Personal Loans Company Information

    Company Name:
    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union