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Security First Credit Union Review: Hispanic American-Led Institution

Security First Credit Union Review: Hispanic American-Led Institution

Security First Credit Union Review: Hispanic American-Led Institution

Overall bank rating

Pros and cons

Savings

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.10% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $5 minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly service fees
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • Need to maintain at least $100 in your account daily to earn APY
    • Interest compounds monthly, not daily
    • Credit union that serves a Hispanic American community
    • 8 branches in Texas (Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission, San Benito, Weslaco)
    • Need to maintain at least $100 in your account daily to earn APY
    • To become a member, you need to live or work in the Rio Grande Valley
    • Interest compounded and deposited monthly
    • Federally insured by the NCUA

    The Security First Credit Union Regular Share Account doesn’t charge any monthly fees, but you’ll earn a low interest rate. To earn a significantly better rate, you may want to open a high-yield savings account elsewhere.

    Checking

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0% to 0.20% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • Earn interest on your checking balance
    • No monthly service fees
    • 25% discount on safety deposit box
    Cons
    • $32 overdraft fee
    • $4 overdraft protection fee when you sweep money from savings
    • $1.50 out-of-network ATM fee
    • Credit union that serves a Hispanic American community
    • 8 branches in Texas (Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission, San Benito, Weslaco)
    • To become a member, you need to live or work in the Rio Grande Valley
    • Use ATMs in Rio Grande Valley Credit Union or NAFT Federal Credit Union networks for free, and machines at Stripes Stores
    • No interest earned on balances under $10k; 0.05% on balances of $10k to $24,999.99; 0.10% on balances of $25k to $99,999.99; 0.20% on balances of $100k+
    • Interest compounded and deposited monthly
    • Federally insured by the NCUA

    The Security First Credit Union Free Plus Checking Account doesn’t charge monthly service fees, and you will earn interest on balances of $10,000 or more.

    Share certificate

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.50% to 1.36% APY

    Min Deposit

    $500 to $50,000

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High interest rates; better rates on higher balances
    • Variety of term lengths
    • $500 minimum opening deposit on most term lengths
    Cons
    • Interest compounds monthly, not daily
    • Standard-to-high early withdrawal penalties
    • Credit union that serves a Hispanic American community
    • 8 branches in Texas (Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Mission, San Benito, Weslaco)
    • To become a member, you need to live or work in the Rio Grande Valley
    • Terms range from 6 to 84 months
    • Minimum deposit of $500 for most terms; minimum $1,000 for 84-month term; minimum $25k for 15-month term; minimum $50k for 31-month term
    • Early withdrawal penalties: 50% of dividends you would have earned at maturity OR $25, whichever is higher
    • Interest compounded and deposited monthly
    • Federally insured by the NCUA

    Share certificates are probably Security First’s strongest products. You have a variety of term lengths to choose from, you’ll earn high interest rates, and most of the terms only require $500.

    How Security First Credit Union works

    Security First Credit Union is a Hispanic American-led institution with eight branches in the following Texas cities:

    • Brownsville
    • Ediburg
    • Harlingen
    • McAllen
    • Mission
    • San Benito
    • Weslaco

    To become a member, you must live, work, worship, or study in one of the following Rio Grande Valley counties: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, or Willacy. You’ll then need to open a savings account with $5.

    You can use Rio Grande Valley Credit Union or NAFT Federal Credit Union ATMs for free, and machines at Stripes Stores.

    To contact customer support, call Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., or Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Branch lobbies and drive-thrus are also open Monday through Friday and part of the day Saturday.

    The Security First Credit Union mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store. The latest version of the app is only available on certain Android products, so if you’re an Android user, check the list of eligible devices here.

    Security First Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA. Your deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per account, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

    Is Security First Credit Union trustworthy?

    Security First Credit Union does not have any public controversies.

    The Better Business Bureau gives Security First an A- in trustworthiness. The highest possible BBB grade is an A+, and the website states that Security First has an A- because there are six customer complaints on the BBB site.

    A good BBB score doesn’t guarantee that you will have a smooth experience with a credit union, though. You may want to speak with friends and family who have used Security First, or read customer reviews online.

    The role of Hispanic American-led institutions

    Many Hispanic American banks and credit unions provide services in both English and Spanish. Some, including Security First Credit Union, let immigrants and noncitizens open accounts. Instead of showing a social security card and driver’s license, you can use an ITIN and permanent resident card, foreign passport, or Matricular Consular.

    There is a history of racial prejudice in banking and lending, specifically among Hispanic Americans, so working with a Hispanic American institution can help eliminate unfair bias.

    Many are also involved in their local communities. For example, Security First awards five scholarships of $1,000 each year to students in the Rio Grande Valley.

    How Security First Credit Union compares

    We have compared Security First Credit Union with two other Hispanic American institutions in some of the same cities: Lone Star National Bank and Navy Army Community Credit Union.

    Lone Star and Navy Army may be more convenient options for you, because they have branches in more cities than Security First. However, Security First is the only one of the three that makes it possible for immigrants and non-US citizens without social security numbers to open accounts.

    Neither Security First nor Navy Army charge monthly service fees, so your preference could come down to which type of account matters the most to you. You have the potential to earn higher share certificate rates with Security First. However, Navy Army’s certificate rates are still above average, and it has a high-yield checking account.

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