1st Financial Federal Credit Union Wins Community Credit Union of the Year

Tracy, Carol, & Laura. Wentzville, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was awarded the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year Award of Community Development Credit Unions by CUNA in Dallas, TX.

1st Financial a $222 Million Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit union, operates four branches in Missouri: Wentzville and St. Charles in St. Charles County, Hazelwood in St. Louis County and Washington Ave, in the heart of the City of St. Louis.

CDFI’s are known for their investments made within the community. One of the many goals of a certified CDFI is to have a mission to guide economic opportunity and renew local neighborhoods. With only 1,000 CDFI’s existing, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is proud to be a part of that number.

Todd Spiczenski, CUNA Chief Products and Services Officer, said, “They, along with all of our 2016 entrants, show how Credit Unions that are fully devoted to the principle of People Helping People can make a difference in the financial lives of, not only, individuals, but also their communities as a whole.”

While it is improving, St. Louis is known as one of the most unbanked cities in the nation. Financial institutions, like 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, work to give members of the community access to financial products and services, while establishing strong partnerships for a more strategic and sustainable outcome.

St. Louis City Treasurer, Tishaura Jones and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union have strategically partnered to implement programs that work on job training and education in St. Louis City.

“My office has made a commitment to invest in the future by providing college savings accounts for every kindergartener in a public school throughout the City of St. Louis,” said Jones. “Our partnership with 1st Financial Federal Credit Union allows parents and family members to make deposits into the savings accounts at any shared branch location. Together, we are eliminating barriers to college access one savings account at a time.”

Statistics show that children with balances as low as $1 in a dedicated savings account are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than students with no previous savings. 1st Financial has opened over 2,800 college savings accounts for kindergartners in St. Louis City public and charter schools.

Through the STL Youth Jobs program, 1st Financial has provided financial education and checking accounts for over 1,400 young adults between the ages of 16 and 24.

Strengthening the community is in the DNA of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. 1st Financial created the Helping People 1st monthly grant program with the purpose of making a positive impact on the communities they serve. Each month, 1st Financial awards a $500 grant to a nonprofit focused on sustainable housing, job training, and education.

Since 2014, 1st Financial has given over $30,000 or 1.9% of net income, in grant money to local nonprofit organizations, such as Gateway 180, Urban League, Beyond Housing, KidSmart- Tools for Learning, Mission St. Louis, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, employees of 1st Financial are encouraged to volunteer with the nonprofits each month. Since the launch of Helping People 1st program, 1st Financial has given over 1,100 volunteer hours.

“1st Financial is humbled to receive this award and proud to be making an impact in our communities we serve,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “At 1st Financial, we want you to know that when you invest your money in one of our checking accounts or auto loans, you have done more than give yourself a low cost banking product. You have also invested into the future success and continued change in the communities you love.”

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.