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Celebrating 50 Years of Cooperation

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

District 837 Union

Cooperation is such a brilliant concept.  The idea that people can work together, making small changes, and create a huge impact is so attractive to most of us.  Fifty years ago, in 1968, a small group of blue collar workers right here in St. Louis started a cooperative to begin saving and borrowing together.  District 837 Credit Union was born from an idea that if we can find a better way to work together, we can accomplish great things.

Today, that credit union has served hundreds of thousands of people in our communities with financial products, services and advice at every stage of their life.  

We did that only by working together.  A volunteer board of directors that live and work in our communities has guided us through recessions and industrial layoffs and an ever changing technological landscape.  They did it without bonuses or paychecks or notoriety.  They did it for the sake of providing a better way of banking for St. Louis.

Aerospace credit union in the 1970's hosting a community car wash.

Things have changed a lot in the last 50 years, including our name, but one thing remains the same.  As a not for profit financial cooperative, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union only exists to serve the community and the people who bank with us in a way that is altogether different.  We only aim to provide the same experience our founders sought to provide fifty years ago in that union hall office.  That we could be counted on as trustworthy and honest and reliable in a time when those qualities can be hard to come by.

We firmly believe that small acts of service can bring about big change.  For our families, for our employees and for our community.

Thank you for being a part of our history by joining this cooperative.  It may have felt like a small thing when you opened that checking or savings account, but because of you, 1st Financial has been able to do big things.  Please join us this year as we remember and celebrate the beauty of small things and what they have accomplished for you and your family since 1968.

50 Years in the Making

1968 – Chartered as District 837 Credit Union

1977 – Reached $1 million in assets

1979 – Changed name to Aerospace Credit Union

1985 – Reached $16 million in assets

1991 – Purchase Victory Credit Union (Downtown Office)

1993 – Became a community chartered credit union, changed name to Aerospace Community Credit Union

1997 – Become a shared branch outlet and open accounts for other area credit unions

2000 – Reached $92 million in assets

2004 – Expanded community Field of membership to St. Louis City, St. Louis County, & St. Charles County

2006 – Changed charter from state to federal

2006 –Changed name to 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

2008 – Opened Wentzville branch and relocated corporate headquarters.

2013 – Carol Minges named CEO of 1st Financial FCU

2013 – Designated as a Community Development Financial Institution

2014 – Launched “Helping People 1st” grant and volunteer program

2014 – Voted Top Work Places by the St. Louis Post Dispatch

2015 – Voted Top Work Places by the St. Louis Post Dispatch

2016 – Received Community Credit Union of the Year Award

2017 – Reached 31,000 members and $217 million in assets

2017 – Voted Top Work Places by the St. Louis Post Dispatch

2018 – Celebrated 50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 Years with 50 Acts

In 2018, we celebrated our 50th anniversary with 50 Small Acts of Cooperation, a program where we supported, sponsored, loved on, and helped our members, employees, and local nonprofits partners who are making a difference in our communities each day. We were honored to pay bills, buy groceries, buy gas, give away fun family prizes, buy school supplies, serve alongside nonprofits and more.

Learn More about 50 Small Acts

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