Remember, remember to shift your funds in November: A guide to local credit unions

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GUARDIAN IMAGE BY CAITLIN DONOHUE

As Oakland gains world fame for its police violence, this fifth of November will almost certainly be overrun with imagery of Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot. But hopefully it'll be one of the most solid steps towards change the Occupy movement has seen yet. National Bank Transfer Day is on for this weekend – have you picked out what credit union you'll be shifting your funds to yet? We can help.

The now-infamous Facebook page was started by Californian Kristen Christian and calls on the 99 percent to withdraw -- not from the streets, but from the accounts they hold with the banksters responsible for our country’s economic meltdown. The message has seemed to resonate, if you judge from the 73,000-plus Facebook members that have indicated they are attending the "event." More information on why credit unions are so important (and a geo-locator to help you if you're reading this outside of San Francisco) can be found here

Personal banking, however seemingly mundane, is a political choice. If you don’t want to contribute to fat pinstriped pockets and war, you don’t have to bury your savings in a lunchbox underneath that backyard rhododendron. Local credit unions are member-owned, dedicated to the community that they serve, and come with far fewer fees than the accounts you find at massive banks. Here in San Francisco, we've got a bunch of great options. So even if you don’t remember the next day’s daylight savings switch, remember, remember the fifth of November. 

Here's what you need to know about your local banking options:

 

SAN FRANCISCO FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Open to: Those living, working, studying, or worshipping in San Francisco

ATMs: 28,000 surcharge-free ATMS via the CO-OP Network

Branches: Main (770 Golden Gate, SF), Lakeside Village (2645 Ocean, SF), Geary (4375 Geary, SF)

Direct deposit: Yes.

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: Personal Auto Shopper, which guides you through the loan process and locates cars within your price range

Contact: (415) 775-5377, www.sanfranciscofcu.com

 

SAN FRANCISCO FIRE CREDIT UNION

Open to: SF firefighters, anyone who lives, works, worships, or studies in San Francisco, San Mateo, or Marin County

ATMs: None. Or many, depending how you look at it. SFFCU refunds all ATM fees from all ATMs worldwide

Branches: Main (3201 California, SF), Stonestown (565 Buckingham, SF)

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: $5

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: Great candy selection at the front desk, personalized debit cards, instant ten bucks to members at all unhappy with service

Contact: (415) 674-4800, www.sffirecu.org

 

PROVIDENT CREDIT UNION

Open to: Anyone living in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Monterey Counties and several other California counties, members of various local unions (see website for more info).

ATMs: 28,000 surcharge-free ATMS via the CO-OP Network

Branches: Financial District (701 Sacramento), Federal Building (450 Golden Gate), several in surrounding Bay Area

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: $5

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: Banking packages geared directly towards college students

Contact: (605) 508-0300, www.providentcu.org

 

REDWOOD CREDIT UNION

Open to: Anyone living, working, or running a business in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, Contra Costa, or Lake County

ATMs: 28,000 surcharge-free ATMS via the CO-OP network

Branches: Downtown (1390 Market, SF), Financial District (241 California, SF), surrounding Bay Area

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: none

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: Online calculators for kids, those thinking about auto loans, retirement, mortgages

Contact: (707) 545-4000, www.redwoodcu.org

 

COMMUNITY TRUST

Open to: Those who live, work, worship, or study in most Bay Area counties

ATMs: Over 28,000, via the CO-OP network

Branches: Mission (3269 Mission, SF), CPMC Davies Campus (45 Castro, SF), Saint Francis Memorial Hospital (900 Hyde, SF), Federal Building (90 7th St., SF), Customs Building (555 Battery, SF), surrounding Bay Area locations.

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: $5

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: Spanish-language website option

Contact: (800) 273-6428, www.myctcu.com

 

PACIFIC SERVICE CREDIT UNION

Open to: Those who live, work, worship, or study in Bay Area counties and beyond, PG&E employees

ATMs: 28,000 surcharge-free ATMS via the CO-OP network

Branches: One San Francisco branch (245 Market, SF), three others in surrounding Bay Area

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: $5

Online banking: Yes

Contact: (925) 296-6200, www.pacificservice.org

 

PATELCO

Open to: Those who live, work, worship, or study in San Francisco and beyond

ATMs: 28,000 surcharge-free ATMS via the CO-OP network

Branches: Main (124 2nd St., SF), SFSU (750 Font, SF), Sunset (1405 Noriega, SF), other Bay Area locations

Direct deposit: Yes

Start-up fees: none

Online banking: Yes

Bonus perk: One of the biggest credit unions in the country, with branches nationwide

Contact: 1-800-358-8228, www.patelco.org