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Self-Help FCU (CA, IL, and FL)

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I wanted to put the CU on the radar for anyone looking for banking options in California, Illinois, and Florida. I don't believe it's mentioned on MCA's list for CA (they acquired Butte FCU, Community Trust, and People's, among others).


I have a negative Chex entry and believe I may have a negative entry in EWS (still waiting on that report). I will report back if the account ends up being closed, but they were very transparent about having a goal of helping people who have had banking/financial issues in the past, so I am hoping the account will remain in the clear. I'm going to treat it like it's priceless.


I had a great experience at their Oakland branch, and they have branches throughout CA (it can be annoying how many places are only in the north or south), so I would encourage anyone who is struggling with finding local options in CA to check them out.


From what the reps told me, they also have a strong focus on helping members rebuild their credit. While I was filling out my app, a member told me that they approved him for a secured loan and secured cc when he was unable to get approvals elsewhere.


The credit union has acquired and merged with smaller CUs, and it now has 22 branches across these 3 states.








El Monte



La Puente








San Francisco

San Jose




Chicago (Brighton Park)

Chicago (Little Village)






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I should also add that account balances (for access and classic checking) should be maintained at a minimum of $300 to avoid a $3 monthly fee, and I needed to opt out of paper statements to avoid another $3 fee.


Checking account details here.

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Also, for posterity, a family member with these issues was also able to open an account:

  • Unpaid, recent NSF fee
  • Paid, older NSF fee
  • Account abuse (reported several years prior)

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It should be noted and updated that anyone can join this credit union for a $5 fee, so it should be considered a nationwide bank, as they are apart of the CO-OP network. Can we verify if these guys even pull chex systems at all?

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Not sure if it shows SHFCU, Self-Help CU - or the bank that underwrites their card.


**Bumping for anyone who has their card**

Edited by tmcgill

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On 12/19/2016 at 3:58 PM, tmcgill said:

No confirmation they run Chexsystems; only an indentity check.

The application that you fill out says Chexsystems on the bottom 

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Realize this is old but seems to have been brought up again. They do use Chex. Recently went to the branch in Oakland, CA. Was declined nearly instantly for Chex. Manager stated they had been heavily burned in the last few years.

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A prime example of financial institutions modifying their approval process, based on negative and charged off accounts. One of the reasons its hard to keep the second chance list 100% accurate.


MCA use to spend a lot of time researching second chance/rebuilding banking, only to find out later an option didn't exist anymore.  The answer was always charged off accounts. That's why we always advise to treat second chance banking responsibly.


Since you were declined and the Manager did not offer one, they may not have a second chance account option. Will call and get confirmation.

Edited by tmcgill

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