This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you need affordable, no-frills business checking products, Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s Business Checking Account is a good option. The account earns 0.05% annual percentage yield (APY) and offers 100 fee-free transactions for a waivable monthly fee of $15. There are no opening deposit or minimum balance requirements. Aside from business checking, it offers business savings accounts, business money market accounts, business certificates, small business loans, and SBA 7(a) and 504 loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Self-Help Federal Credit Union is a community-focused credit union, with brick-and-mortar branches in California, Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin, that aims to provide affordable banking services to underserved families and communities. Its target customers are unconventional borrowers in need of accessible lending products. It uses revenue from banking services to invest in development projects.
How Self-Help Federal Credit Union Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Monthly Transaction Limit Before Fees
Minimum Balance Requirement
$25,000 to waive monthly fee
50 checks cleared and 50 checks deposited
Silver Business Checking
*Self-Help Federal Credit Union and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union are National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)-insured.
When Is Self-Help Federal Credit Union a Good Fit
- Your business generates a low to moderate monthly transaction volume: Under Self-Help Federal Credit Union, business owners can make up to 100 free transactions per month. It also provides up to 20 free bill payments, and exceeding the limit raises the bill payment fee to $1.
- You struggle to secure loans from other institutions: Self-Help Federal Credit Union aims to provide financial assistance to unconventional borrowers—such as non-profits, churches, social service organizations, and green businesses. Businesses can access Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s loan options without providing valuable collateral.
- You want to support social justice causes: The credit union invests the revenue it generates directly into its members and partner communities. Deposits under Self-Help Federal Credit Union are used to support development assistance projects.
When Self-Help Federal Credit Union Is Not a Good Fit
- You want to bank without a monthly fee or minimum balance requirements: Self-Help Federal Credit Union charges a monthly fee of $15 for businesses that don’t meet a combined average daily balance of $25,000 for all accounts. U.S. Bank charges no monthly fee for basic accounts. Read our U.S. Bank business checking review for more information.
- You want to earn high interest on checking deposits: Business checking accounts at Self-Help Federal Credit Union earn interest at a rate of 0.05%. If you want higher rates, consider Bluevine, which offers an APY of 2.00% on balances of $250,000 and less, provided you meet its activity requirements. To learn more about Bluevine’s activity requirements, read our review of Bluevine’s business checking.
- You make more than 100 transactions per month: The Self-Help Federal Credit Union business checking account has a fee-free transaction allowance of 100 transactions per month. Bank of America charges a similar monthly fee and offers a monthly allowance of 200 fee-free transactions. Learn more by reading our Bank of America business checking review.
Check out our list of the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking Overview
Required Opening Deposit
Required Balance Minimum
Transaction Limit Before Fees
Bill Pay Limit Before Fees
20, then $1 per item
Wire Transfer Fees
$0 for incoming, $15 for outgoing domestic, and $35 for outgoing international
Non-Sufficient Funds Fee
None at all Co-op ATMs
*To waive the monthly fee, you must maintain an average daily balance of $25,000 across all of your existing Self-Help Federal Credit Union accounts (including checking, savings, and certificates)
Free Visa debit or ATM card
Starter checks (free at account opening; maximum of 12)
Contact: (877) 369 2828
Call (800) 966 7353 (if you’re in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Florida)
Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time
Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT
Savings, money market, term certificates, and lending
Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account with Self-Help Federal Credit Union, you need to be a member. Requirements for Self-Help Federal Credit Union membership are pretty flexible. To join, you only need to meet one of the following criteria:
- Live, work, worship, or attend school in one of Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s selected counties
- Have family or employee associations with Self-Help Federal Credit Union
- Pay a one-time $5 fee to join the Center for Community Self-Help.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union will then ask you to fill out a membership application form. You are required to submit this form via mail or in person.
When you open your business checking account, you might be asked to submit relevant business documents. For a downloadable checklist of documents banks typically require, refer to our guide on how to open a business bank account.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking Features
Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s business checking features include free Visa debit or ATM cards, interest, access to Co-op Shared Branch locations, and free digital banking.
Free Visa Debit or ATM Card
Your Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking account will come with a free Visa debit or ATM card. The card can be used to withdraw cash at Co-op ATMs.
Interest on Checking Account Balances
The Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking account pays an APY of 0.05%. There is no minimum balance requirement to earn interest.
Access to Co-op Shared Branch Network Locations
Self-Help Federal Credit Union takes part in the Co-op Shared Branch network, which means you can access Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s banking services at any Co-op Shared Branch location. Currently, there are over 5,300 Co-op Shared Branch locations across the country.
You can conduct banking transactions online through the Self-Help Federal Credit Union website or iOS or Android mobile app. The mobile app lets you do the following:
- View real-time transaction history for checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans
- Transfer money
- Deposit checks via mobile check deposit
- Send money via text or email
- View e-statements
- Pay bills
- Order checks
- Apply for loans
- View tax information
- Locate ATMs
Reviews for the Self-Help Federal Credit Union app are mostly negative. It has a rating of 2.3 stars on the App Store1 (based on more than 50 reviews) and 3.4 stars on Google Play2 (based on 200-plus reviews). While a handful of reviewers said that the app was easy to use, a greater majority said that they encountered errors. Multiple reviewers remarked that they had issues logging in. Others mentioned that they could not get the mobile check deposit function to work.
Other Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Products
- Small business loans: Loan amounts worth $15,000 and up are available for projects in Illinois and North Carolina. If your project is outside these two states, the minimum amount you are allowed to loan is $500,000.
- SBA loans: Self-Help Federal Credit Union participates in the SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loan programs.
- Savings accounts earn an APY of 0.30%. Although the account charges no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, it has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $5.
- Money market accounts earn an APY of 2.78%. The minimum balance requirement to earn dividends and waive monthly fees is $500. The opening deposit requirement is also $500.
- Certificates offer APY from 0.10% to 4.34%, depending on term length. Terms between three months to five years are available. A $500 minimum deposit is required to open a term certificate.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union Business Checking User Reviews
We couldn’t find specific Self-Help Federal Credit Union business checking reviews, although the credit union has a rating of 4.1 stars on WalletHub3 (based on about 10 reviews), and 1.5 stars on DepositAccounts4 (based on around five reviews). Most positive reviews highlight that the establishment offers friendly and helpful customer service. However, some users said that long check-clearing periods and short operating hours made the banking experience inconvenient.
Although Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s business checking accounts do not offer competitive rates, the credit union can meet business needs through its extensive range of services, which includes not just checking, but also loans and savings accounts. Easy membership requirements make Self-Help Federal Credit Union accessible to all types of businesses.
User review references: