First Credit Union
Despite these times of huge difficulty for most financial institutions, Valley First Credit Union expanded and
managed to grow - indeed, an impressive feat.
From 7 branches, the number has increased to 10. Last year, it took over the financially troubled Tracy Federal
Credit Union. In 2009, the credit union purchased one of the branches of County Bank in Ceres and merged with the
financially-distressed Yosemite Credit Union.
In its 11-year history, the asset base of Valley First Credit Union grew from $110 million to $360
million. It increased its staff from 110 to 130 people while other companies were laying-off personnel. Of the
expansion, Valley First President and Chief Executive Officer Hank Barrett said in an interview, “This isn't growth
for the sake of growth. It's growth for the sake of service. The tree is yielding fruit and we're going to harvest
it when it's there. When things start moving for the economy again, it's not going to be there for us anymore."
Membership and Locations
Valley First Credit Union currently has more than 60,000 members. You are qualified to be a member of the credit
union if you live, regularly work, regularly worship or attend school in Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San
Joaquin, Stanislaus or Tuolumne County; if you are employed with a member company; and are immediate family members
of a member.
Valley First Credit Union’s 10 branches are in Modesto (3 branches), Ceres, Fresno, Madera, Oakdale, Tracy (2
branches) and Turlock.
Credit Card Programs
The VISA Credit Card Programs of the credit union are:
• Classic/Youth with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 14.40%
• Shared Secured with an APR of 14.40%
• Gold Advantage with an APR of 12.90%
• Gold Prime 1 with an APR of 4.25%
• Platinum Preferred with an APR of 12.90%
There is no annual fee for all the cards except for Platinum Preferred where the annual fee is waived only during
the first year and the subsequent annual fee is $35.00. It offers a 25-day "interest-free" grace period on new
purchases and no cash advance fees. However, there is a late charge of $10 and an over the limit fee of $ 10.
Other Loan Products and Services
Valley First Credit Union offers other loan products such as: real estate loans (home equity and home improvement
loans, purchase and refinancing of homes, home equity lines of credit); and consumer loans (unsecured personal
loans, share-secured and certificate-secured personal loans, overdraft protection loans, auto loans). It also
offers savings and checking account services.
Bad Credit and No Credit History
According to Valley First Credit Union, it was founded based on the “people-helping-people” philosophy. This
implies that it may accommodate credit card applications of qualified members who have a bad credit history or
those without a credit track record.
Most credit unions have a compassionate nature than other financial institutions - and Valley First Credit
Union is no exception. They give second chances, so to speak. But there will definitely be special
requirements that it may impose such as higher interest rates to cushion the risk for taking people with bad credit
history or those just starting to build a credit background. You may also be required to secure the card being
applied for. Your credit limit may be lower than the regular one -and you may be required to look for a member who
will guarantee your timely payments.
Source: Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit Rating
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