Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

Today, Kern Schools is the largest financial institution headquartered in Kern County, with approximately 150,000 Members and more than $1.4 billion in assets.

Kern Schools Administrative Offices
Kern Schools Administrative Offices

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has served the needs of its Members and the entire Kern County community for nearly eighty years. Since its humble beginnings in 1938, when a small group of dedicated and concerned teachers met to form a financial cooperative for school employees and their families, Kern Schools has embodied the credit union philosophy of, “People Helping People”.

Originally known as 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. A single volunteer conducted all the operations for the Credit Union, with Member transaction receipts kept in a shoe box and locked in a desk drawer after hours. By the end of 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.”

Although the name was shortened to Kern Schools Federal Credit Union in 1969, the goals of the organization remain the same: helping people throughout the community achieve their dreams.

And banking with Kern Schools does make a difference! Unlike a conventional 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, a credit union Board of Directors consists of unpaid volunteers, as opposed to large shareholders, who are elected by the members to lead the organization.

Today, Kern Schools is the largest financial institution headquartered in Kern County, with approximately 150,000 Members and more than $1.4 billion in assets. And, anyone who calls Kern County home can open an account with Kern Schools.

From a single volunteer, the Credit Union has grown to a staff of more than 400 whose sole purpose is to provide the best service possible. With ten branch offices and more than seventy ATMs, Kern Schools provides a wide array of products and services, including extensive home and auto loan programs, the latest in online and mobile technology, as well as wealth management services. Kern Schools is ready to serve Kern County for another eighty years and beyond.

Come find out why Kern Schools has been voted “Best Financial Institution in Kern County” for twenty-two years in a row. People who bank with Kern Schools experience personal service and attention each day and every time they visit because, “Together, we have something special.”

Chartered 1940
P. O. Box 9506, Bakersfield, CA | 661-833-7900

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