Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

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Profile appeared in our 31-1 Issue – April 2014

For more than seventy-five years, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has served the needs of its Members and the entire Kern County community. From its humble beginnings in 1938, when a small group of dedicated and concerned teachers met for the purpose of forming a financial cooperative for school employees and their families, through today, Kern Schools has embodied the credit union philosophy of  “People Helping People.”

Kern Schools opened its Ming Avenue Branch in 1974

Kern Schools opened its Ming Avenue Branch in 1974

Originally named Kern County School Employees Federal Credit Union, Kern Schools was granted a federal charter in 1940. The first Kern Schools’ “office” was actually a small room located in the library of Bakersfield High School, with operations conducted by a single volunteer. By the end its first year, Kern Schools had 141 Members, approximately $1,300 in assets, and was well on its way to serving the school employees of Kern County with a lifetime partnership through quality financial products and services.
“Sixty years ago, I took my first teaching job at a local, rural school and found myself in need of a new car,” says Bob Otto, a Member since 1949. “When I joined Kern Schools we used to say ‘having a good friend in your banker made life so much easier.’ Thanks to our good friends at Kern Schools, my family has realized many dreams over the years.”
Helping Members achieve their dreams is what Kern Schools is all about! And Membership does make a difference. Unlike a bank, which is driven by shareholders and profit, a credit union is a not-for-profit entity designed to assist the financial needs of its Members through smaller fees, higher dividends, and lower loan rates. Similarly, credit union boards of directors consist of unpaid volunteers, as opposed to large shareholders, who are elected by members to lead the organization.

Kern Schools originated on the grounds of  Bakersfield High School

Kern Schools originated on the grounds of
Bakersfield High School

Today, Kern Schools is the largest Member-owned financial institution headquartered in Kern County, with more than 160,000 Members, $1.3 billion in assets, and open to all Kern County residents. Our team of a single volunteer has grown to 400 team members with the sole purpose of providing the best Member service possible. With ten branch offices, more than seventy ATMs, as well as a wide array of products and services including extensive mortgage and consumer loan programs, wealth management services, “DataNet” online banking, and our new “DataMobile” app with remote deposit capture, Kern Schools is ready to serve Kern County for another seventy-five years and beyond.
Membership does make a difference! Members of Kern Schools experience personal service and attention each and every time they visit because “Together, we have something special!

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