St. Louis Credit Union Celebrates Milestone for Million Dollar Giveback

Wentzville (July 23, 2019) –  1st Financial Federal Credit Union has announced a milestone of being halfway to reaching their goal to make and save $1 million for their 35,000 members throughout St. Louis and St. Charles County in 2019.  The 2019 “Million Dollar Challenge” began in January of this year and aims to put as much money as possible in the hands of the people who bank at 1st Financial.

Since the inception of the challenge, 1st Financial has given away more than $38K in checking account interest, $12K in savings interest, $3K in ATM fee refunds, $2K in debit card cashback and $18K in other reward checking refunds and interest.  Additionally, they have refinanced more than 309 loans from other lenders, with an average savings of $1,300 in interest payments per loan, for a reduction in loan interest payments of more than $400K for their members.

“The challenge is simple really. We want to save and make our members money and the Million Dollar Challenge is a fun way to do it. I’m excited to announce that as of July 1, our members have earned $565,128!” said Carol Minges, 1st Financial CEO.

Members of 1st Financial can make up to $600 per year in free reward checking bonuses and earn up to 16 times the national average in savings interest, as well as huge reductions in loan interest on auto loans with refinancing.  To learn more about becoming a 1st Financial member and the Million Dollar Challenge visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

Each of the 1st Financial branches in St. Louis, Hazelwood, St. Charles and Wentzville will be celebrating this milestone over the coming weeks with free refreshments and giveaways. Come celebrate on Friday, August 16th with their halfway to a million milestone.

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

 

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, or worships within St. Charles County, St. Louis County, or the City of St. Louis.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

 

###


St. Louis Credit Union Named a Best Place to Work

Wentzville, MO (July 23, 2019) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a not for profit community development financial institution serving people throughout St. Louis and St. Charles County, was recently awarded a 2019 Top Workplaces honor by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Top Workplaces winners are picked based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey measuring several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. The just over 100 employees of 1st Financial chose the credit union as a top workplace, citing a higher sense of purpose and integrity in the work they do, as a primary reason.

Carol Minges, 1st Financial CEO said, “Our employees are the key reason for our success. I’m grateful to work with such a passionate team of employees who believe in our vision to help our members achieve their financial dreams.”

On top of being a member-owned financial cooperative which exists to serve their community, 1st Financial provides a competitive employee benefits package including health insurance, employer-paid life insurance, retirement savings 401(k) with employer match, paid vacation, and 10 paid holidays. Plus, a paid birthday holiday, wellness program, gym membership subsidy, tuition reimbursement, employee assistance program, employee loan program, paid time off to volunteer in the community each month, and development opportunities.

“Top Workplaces put the employee at the center of things and focuses on creating the right environment to unleash potential and inspire performance,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage, the Post-Dispatch’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, or worships within St. Charles County, St. Louis County, or the City of St. Louis.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Making an Impact on Our Community

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is more than just a banking institution. Like all credit unions, we were created with a philosophy of ‘People Helping People’. We’re more than just a checking account or auto loan service provider.  We are a not for profit community development financial institution, using our limited resources to change lives throughout the St. Louis and St. Charles communities. We are making an impact in our community.

Helping People 1st Grant: Studies show that some of the largest hurdles for financial success stem from issues with sustainable housing, job training, and education in our communities. To help we’ve created a community development program that offers small monthly grants to local nonprofits and government programs to strategically support their efforts. In Q2 2019, we awarded Beyond Housing, Little Bits Foundation and Habitat for Humanity ReStore with Helping People 1st grants.

Volunteer Days: As part of our commitment to the community, we offer financial resources to our local nonprofits focused on education, job training, and sustainable housing.  But we also know that financial resources are not always the biggest need for these organizations.  For that reason, we offer every employee 8 hours of paid volunteer time each month, to serve our partners in a hands-on way in the community. Our volunteer team served Beyond Housing by painting a home for a very deserving family in need. At the Little Bits Foundation we worked in the warehouse where we sorted through donations that will be going out to the local schools. We also teamed up with Habitat for Humanity ReStore to organize and price items to help offset the cost of building homes for families in need.

At 1st Financial, we want you to know that when you invest your money in one of our checking accounts or auto loans, you’ve done more than give yourself a low-cost banking product. You’ve also invested in the future success and continued change in the communities that you love.

Where you bank really does matter!


Making an Impact in 2019

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is more than just a banking institution. Like all credit unions, we were created with a philosophy of ‘People Helping People’. This means we have the pleasure of being more than just a checking account or auto loan service provider.  We are a not for profit financial institution, using our limited resources to change lives throughout the St. Louis and St. Charles communities. I have the pleasure to work hands-on with several ways we are making an impact in our communities.

Helping People 1st Grant: We have created community development programs that offer small monthly grants to nonprofits and government programs which are focused in the areas of providing sustainable housing, job training, and education to our communities.  These are the areas we see our members having some of the largest hurdles for financial success and it is our desire to use our limited resources to assist our community to overcome and succeed in each of these capacities. So far, this first quarter we have served, Connections to Success, Mission: St. Louis and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. We have been able to grant $1,500 to help assist individuals at each of these nonprofits.

Volunteer Days: As part of our commitment to the community, we offer financial resources to our local nonprofits focused on education, job training, and sustainable housing.  We also know that financial resources are not always the biggest need for these organizations.  For that reason, we offer every employee 8 hours of paid volunteer time each month, to serve our partners in the community. I was given the wonderful opportunity to work directly with each of our community partners throughout the first quarter. We assisted Connections to Success with organizing donations and assisting with their office work. Mission: St. Louis allowed us to come in and paint a classroom that will serve individuals in St. Louis. We also teamed up with Mad City Money to work with Hazelwood West High School students in a hands-on financial reality fair that help prepared students for their financial future.

Million Dollar Challenge: Our mission at the credit union is to make and save our members money. In 2019, it’s our goal to make and save our members a combined One Million Dollars by refinancing existing loans at a better rate with lower payments, make money with rewards checking, and grow money with high yield savings. As of April 1st, we have been able to save our members $267,623 for far this year.

#YouDidThat: We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our members. As a cooperative that started more than 50 years ago to provide banking services in a way that promoted sharing, trust and cooperation, we are so proud of what you have helped us become. Investing in 1st Financial is about more than your checking account, it’s a way to leverage your investment into affecting real and lasting change in some of the most under-served communities in St. Louis. #YouDidThat

At 1st Financial, we want you to know that when our members invest their money in one of our checking accounts or auto loans, they have done more than give themselves a low-cost banking product. They have also invested in the future success and continued change in the communities they love. Make where you bank matter!

Be the Difference,

Chelsea Springli


Reflecting on 50 Acts of Cooperation

I say this all the time… I have the best job ever!  This year, we’ve been celebrating our 50th anniversary with 50 Small Acts of Cooperation. 50 Acts of Cooperation was born out of the idea that when we work together we can accomplish great things. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to help make each of our 50 Acts come to life. Here is a look back at just a few of my favorite Acts of Cooperation.

Community Gas Act: Just last month, we went to a gas station near our St. Charles branch and bought gas for some lucky people in our community. The expressions on their faces were priceless, but one lady really stood out to me that day. You see she had been hit pretty hard by life lately. That afternoon she decided to pull off into the gas station to grab some gas and take a minute for herself. When we walked up to her vehicle her eyes were closed so we quietly tapped on the glass and asked if we could buy her gas. Immediately she began to cry and tell us how much our small Act meant to her. I was taken back by her emotions and just felt overwhelmingly grateful to be a part of this mission of giving back.

Our members doing great things in the community: I was given the wonderful opportunity to help make the 50 Acts of Cooperation program come to life. Every time a nomination came in, I was blown away by the good things that our members were doing in the community like feeding the homeless, organizing donations drives, and more. It only takes one small act of kindness to start a chain reaction in our community. That’s what cooperation and community looks like.

Volunteers make all the difference: Through the 50 Acts of Cooperation, my team and I served our community through volunteerism 11 times throughout the year. Everything from organizing school supplies to walking dogs and even being able to be a teacher for a day through Junior Achievement. It’s so rewarding to work for a company that not only gives back the community and allows us 8 hours of paid time off each month to serve our community hands-on.

50 Years of Dedication: Over the years, 1st Financial’s name has changed to reflect the growth of our community. However, today, my credit union has served hundreds of thousands of people in our community by providing them with important financial products and services. I am thankful for the dedication of our members, our community partners, and our employees who have shaped my credit union over the past 50 years. Without all of you, 1st Financial would not be what it is today.

Through the 50 Acts of Cooperation, we’ve completed 11 nonprofits acts, 11 volunteer acts, 16 member nominated acts, 8 1st Financial Department nomination acts and 4 community acts of cooperation. 2018 was a year that showcased our commitment to the community, I’m so excited to see what 2019 brings us.

Here’s to 50 more years,

Chelsea Springli


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Launches Online Account Opening

Wentzville (August 15, 2018) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union recently added Online Account Opening to its suite of online banking services. Users can now join the credit union or open a new account completely online from anywhere, with full security and 100% compliance to all banking regulations.

“With the acceptance and success of our current online services, online account opening was a natural progression for us,” said Carol Minges CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “Not only can members apply and get funded for loans online, but now they can open a checking or savings account without leaving the comfort of their home.”

Online account opening is just one of a number of digital services that 1st Financial Federal Credit Union offers to help its more than 30,000 members achieve their financial goals. Whether it’s to spend, save, borrow or plan, 1st Financial is dedicated to providing its member-owners with access to the best digital options for banking how they want, when they want and from the device of their choice.

In 2017, 1st Financial added online chat to their online services as well as launched a new cutting-edge mobile banking app that offers a cohesive, seamless user experience. “We know we need to keep moving our digital capabilities forward to best serve our members and we’re committed to continually evolving as our members’ banking needs change,” said Minges.

In addition to opening an account online, current and new members can also visit one of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union’s four local branches.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members. For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Raises Savings Rates

Wentzville (June 27, 2018) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union hiked its Certificate of Deposit (CD) dividend rates this month. A 44-Month CD is now 2.85% APY — more than 3X times the national bank average for similar terms — offering members in the St. Louis area an opportunity to grow their money faster and improve their financial well-being.

The new rate for the special jumbo CD represents a bump of 60 basis points, and rate increases were made to a number of the credit union’s CDs with terms ranging from 3 to 60 Months.

“The majority of our members are not rate chasers — they come to 1st Financial for consistently high rates and tend to stay with us,” said Carol Minges, 1st Financial’s CEO. “We set our pricing where we believe we can sustain it so our members don’t have to keep bouncing from bank to bank to find that extra basis point.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about 1st Financial’s savings products

1st Financial members also enjoy free online and mobile banking, access to more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and more than 5,000 nationwide CO-OP branches.

For more information, please contact 636-916-8300 or visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

 

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Celebrates 50 Years with 50 Acts of Cooperation

Wentzville, MO (June 4, 2018) –  In 2017, a group of employees at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union had a vision for the credit union to help build community on a larger scale in 2018.

Laura Woods, Vice President of Marketing and Community Presence, who has played an integral role in building 1st Financials community development program knew, alongside her team, the perfect way to celebrate the credit union’s 50th anniversary was to focus on the importance of cooperation in our community. Out of that idea, 50 Small Acts of Cooperation was born.

“In 1968 District 837 Credit Union (now 1st Financial Federal Credit Union) was created from the idea that if we can find a better way to work together, we can accomplish great things. But our niche can’t just be in our structure as credit union.  We are not for profit, but if there is no discernable difference for the member, it’s vapor.  It’s nothing.  So, we talk about our structure as a credit union, because out of our MISSION, comes our INTENT, which drives our ACTION,” said Woods.

50 Small Acts of Cooperation helps 1st Financial members, nonmembers, and local nonprofits with anything from paying a bill to collecting school supplies to participating in paid employee volunteer days to feeding the homeless and more. To date, 1st Financial has completed 20 of the 50 Acts that they have planned in 2018.

The first person to benefit from the 50 Acts of Cooperation project was 1st Financial Member David W., who spends his own money to help feed the homeless in St. Louis each week. 1st Financial was proud to help David by gifting him with a small monetary gift to help continue the strong community work that he’s doing by caring for the unhoused community.

David said, “When I first started working in the city, I’d see a lot of homeless people and I felt like I could do a bit more. I can go home to a comfortable bed, but every day I’d see them laying on the streets. I can’t give them a bed, but I can get them something to eat.”

1st Financial also sponsored Cathy Daniels (also known as Mama Cat), a 1st Financial member and the creator of PotBangerz – Feed the Body Mission, a 501c3 organization that builds community daily through their mission to feed and provide shelter for St. Louis’ unhoused community. 1st Financial was proud to help PotBangerz obtain their 501c3 status to continue their work in the community.

Mama Cat said, “We are not exempt from being unhoused. I didn’t think I could be and then I was. If we take everybody with us, we can go so much further. None of us are as good as ALL of us.”

1st Financial member Scott, who is a recovering addict was given the opportunity to open a checking account with a monetary gift to help him turn his financial life around. After having been turned away by other financial institutions, Scott was grateful to be given a second chance at a new life.

“When you’re in addiction and you’re trying to get your life back together that’s a big step to get a checking account because for the longest time you didn’t worry about that,” said Scott. “You have no idea what that meant to me.”

“We aren’t just the better way to bank because our Board and CEO isn’t getting rich.  We are better because we invest tens of thousands of dollars into our communities, to heal real issues.  And we lend every dollar we get to people who need access to low interest and available credit and we produce real impacts,” said Woods.

1st Financial is currently accepting nominations for 50 Acts of Cooperation at https://www.1stfinancialfcu.org/50-small-acts-cooperation/. Nominations are open to the public.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

 

###

 

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

 


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Celebrated Strong Growth in 2017

1st Financial Annual Meeting

Photo Above: 1st Financial Federal Credit Union 2018 Annual Meeting held at the Hazelwood Branch.

Wentzville (May 22, 2018) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), recently held their 49th Annual Meeting.  In 2017, 1st Financial celebrated strong growth ending the year with more than $250 million in assets.  The credit union hit this new milestone in assets while maintaining their strong commitment to the community including donating 508 employee hours to volunteering in the community in 2017.

“When we have a successful financial year like we did in 2017, we see it not only as our success, but as the success of all of our members,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

1st Financial has a strong presence in the St. Louis area with two branches located in St. Charles County; one branch in St. Louis County; a branch on Washington Ave, in the heart of the City of St. Louis; as well as more than 30,000 shared branches nationwide.

At the Annual Meeting, 1st Financial welcomed new Board of Director members Robert Noonan and Jennifer Coliny. Robert Rutkowski was reappointed to the board. Gina Hakenewerth was appointed the new chairwoman of the Board of Directors.  Ms. Hakenewerth succeeds previous chairman, James P Combs, who faithfully served as board chairman for the past seven years.  Under Chairman Combs leadership, the credit union grew from $204 million in assets to $257 million in assets and rolled out many innovative products and services that serve our membership.  Chairman Combs served 10 years on the 1st Financial Board and Supervisory Committee.

“We are proud to have a dedicated group of Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee members that are committed to the success of our credit union and to ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our membership,” said Minges.

For more information about 1st Financial and the credit union difference visit, www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

 

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Wins Industry Marketing Award

Photo Above: (left to right) Chelsea Springli, Marketing Coordinator; Tracy Verner Community Development Manager; Laura Woods, Vice President of Marketing and Community Presence; Andrew Potts, Creative Marketing Designer; Katie Tucker, Marketing Communications Manager.

Wentzville (May 1, 2018) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, was recently honored with a Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.

The award was presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network comprised of over 1,300 credit union marketing and business development professionals.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union won the Direct Mail category for its New Member Welcome campaign. The New Member campaign includes a letter with all of the pertinent information that the member needs to know about their new account as well as a New Member Guide to help them take advantage of everything that a credit union membership has to offer. New members also receive an email with a video from the credit union CEO and a phone call from a local credit union branch manager to answer any questions that they might have.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized for our New Member Welcome campaign by CUNA,” said Laura Woods, VP of Marketing and Community Presence. “We understand how important first impressions are and that the first 90 days at the credit union are the most critical in the member’s journey and we work hard to educate and inform our new members.”

For more information on the Diamond Awards or to view the entire list of winners, go to www.cunacouncils.org/awards.

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

###

 

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

 

About CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council

The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is a member-led community of marketing and business development professionals dedicated to providing relevant resources and tools essential for success to its members. The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is one of seven CUNA Councils, a network of thousands of credit union professionals nationwide. For more information, visit www.cunacouncils.org.