Our universe is Sonoma and Mendocino counties - where YOU live.
Deposits are recycled right back into the local economy - helping property values stay strong (which fund local schools), and keeping local businesses striving, thriving and hiring.
That makes for a sustainable economic environment.
History and Background
Community First Credit Union is a Member-owned financial cooperative. We were founded in 1961 by seven Sonoma County teachers who were not happy with the profit-making fees charged by banks, and the unwillingness of banks to lend to working people with average or below-average salaries.
Today, 12,000 Sonoma County residents are Members-Owners-Users of Community First. The people who use us are the owners. At national banks, the owners are shareholders, who likely aren't even customers they just want the bank to make their stock go higher (by whatever means necessary).
We offer the kind of personal service that big banks gave up long ago as unprofitable. We call it competency with a smile. Our Members call it banking with family.
Branch staff is always at the ready to help, explain, and show. Our in-house Call Center is here not outsourced to Indiana or India and staffed by smart people who are empowered to help you immediately.
We have what's called a Community Charter from the California Department of Financial Institutions. This means our primary mission is to promote (through education, actions and lending) the financial sustainability of Sonoma County. We can only take deposits from residents and students in our charter area; we can only make loans to residents and students in our charter area. It's simple: local deposits can only be re-used locally to help create jobs, purchase homes and vehicles, and help fund vitally needed services where YOU live.
Why Bank with Us?
We have all the products that 95% of Sonoma County households need financially:
Full range of fixed- and adjustable-rate loans for home purchase or refinance
Low-cost vehicle loans that you can get conveniently/directly while at any Sonoma County car dealer
SaversEdge®, which rounds up every debit card purchase to the next dollar and transfers the difference to your savings account (we match rounded-up monies to 100% for first 90 days; 5% thereafter)
YouthSaver, which earns a ridiculously high 7.07% (APY) on the first $500 of a saving account for those under 20 years
Free checking that (without any hoops or traps) is actually FREE!
28,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationally (52% more than BofA!)
Smart ATMs locally that don't require cumbersome (and wasteful) envelopes to make deposits of cash or checks (and that we had years before those big banks that are currently advertising them)
Free online banking with free online transfers to other financial institutions
The first decade of the 21st century has shown how inept our business and political leaders have been about financial matters. It's like they didn't have any BASIC financial sense. Or ethics. Our Sonoma County youth can do better. To help, we offer the basics (that will last a lifetime) of financial literacy. It's a 30-minute in-class program that teaches savings, compound interest and credit scores. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, or to schedule a classroom presentation.