One of the largest credit unions in Arizona, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union operates more than 50 locations in the Phoenix area, serving some 350,000 members. Established in 1939 by a group of 15 teachers, the credit union offers traditional banking products and services, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and credit cards. Its lending activities include home mortgage, vehicle, personal, and student loans, as well as business loans and lines of credit. Subsidiary Desert Schools Financial Services provides investment advisory, retirement, insurance, and tax planning services.
Membership to Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is available to any individual living, working, or attending church or school in Gila, Maricopa, and Pinal counties. Area businesses are elegible too.
As market turmoil, declining loan values, and high unemployment hit the Phoenix area, the company increased its provisions for credit losses tenfold from 2008 to 2009. The credit union was able to cut its losses in 2010 as it trimmed expenses and loan delinquencies decreased. It also continued to add new products such as identity theft protection and online car buying services. – less