1ST FINANCIAL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SET TO REBRAND AS ALLTRU CREDIT UNION

Alltru Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2020

CONTACT:
Laura Woods
lwoods@1stfinancialfcu.org
(636) 916-8303

1ST FINANCIAL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SET TO REBRAND AS ALLTRU CREDIT UNION

52-Year-Old St. Louis Area Credit Union to Officially Make the Change on November 17, 2020

St. Louis, MO  –  1st Financial Federal Credit Union announces the highly anticipated new name of their credit union:  Alltru Credit Union.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union, created in 1968 by the men and women of the District 837 Machinist Union, will become Alltru Credit Union on November 17. Using the tagline The Better Way To Bank, 1st Financial currently serves more than 35,000 members throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.  As Alltru Credit Union, the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) will continue to grow by providing equitable access to financial services in all communities.

Carol Minges, CEO

“For many years, we’ve existed as 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. A name that, while common and quite institutional, didn’t tell the story of us. The story that we have been telling anyone who would listen for 52 years,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial, in a recent letter to the member owners of the credit union.  “Alltru is a name that reflects our collective ownership, demonstrates our shared integrity, and separates us in the St. Louis market.”

1st Financial collected feedback from current members, employees, board members, and people in the community who had no relationship with the credit union, to develop this new brand.  Through extensive research and creative exercise, the credit union was able to narrow the new brand down into a name that resonated with people who desire authenticity, integrity and collective partnership.  One of the largest distinctions between a credit union and a bank is that credit unions are wholly owned by those who bank there.  Alltru Credit Union is a name that points back to that distinction by reminding members of their ownership and influence.

Members of 1st Financial and surrounding communities will see changes in the brand in the coming months leading up to the official launch date of November 17, 2020.   The tagline The Better Way To Bank and the credit union’s web address, TheBetterWayToBank.org, will remain the same through the transition.

Chairman of the Board of Directors at 1st Financial, Gina Hakenewerth recently said “We are so excited to present our members and community with this new brand.  It’s important to us that everyone know we haven’t been sold and nothing about who we are is changing.  This new name will help us grow and widen our circle of accessibility in our communities.”  She went on to say, “Our name is changing, but we are still the same cooperative we have been for 52 years.”

While the credit union has changed their name, their staff, hours, products and services remain the same. For additional information, Alltru has created a web page dedicated to the name change at https://www.1stfinancialfcu.org/alltrucreditunion/

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union/Alltru Credit Union, please contact Laura Woods, Vice President of Marketing and Community Development, at lwoods@1stfinancialfcu.org.

About 1st Financial Federal and Alltru Credit Union

Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal/Alltru Credit Union is full-service community development financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 35,000 people in the community of St. Louis and St. Charles.  For more information about 1st Financial Federal/Alltru Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


St. Louis CDFIs Roll-out Coronavirus Programs Addressing Capital Access and Relief

Local Community Development Financial Institutions Offer Varied Financial Services in Time of Crisis

St. Louis, MO (July 23, 2020) – Agile and nimble, St. Louis-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs) have responded to the financial needs of communities in the wake of Covid-19.  Coalesced as the St. Louis CDFI Coalition, its member organizations share a common mission of access to safe and affordable financial products and services, ranging from credit builder loans for consumers to commercial rehab mortgages for non-profits.

At the onset of the pandemic, CDFIs took quick steps to implement the following emergency resources:

  • Borrowers were able to request breaks from their loan payments for up to 3 months —oftentimes longer—at no charge. Together they have processed nearly 2,812 payment extensions for over $74 million dollars in loans over the past two months.
  • Short term loan modification and extensions were made available to borrowers with personal loans.
  • Temporarily suspended loan foreclosures for 60 days.
  • Established 241 small dollar emergency loans to mimic direct deposit paychecks for borrowers who were facing unexpected hardship due to loss of income.
  • Funds to support individuals with food, rental, and utility relief.

In addition, the CDFIs quickly moved to deploy Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses and nonprofits. Together, they have worked to secure over $15.9 million in loans for 387 local small businesses and nonprofits. Many of these businesses and organizations were unable to access PPP funds through traditional banks.

CDFIs played a national role in deploying PPP loans to minority small businesses. Rochelle Bea, founder and executive director of Beginning Futures Learning Center located in North St. Louis City commented, “I didn’t feel that a bank was in a position to serve me. I thought my loan request might be too small, so I explored options.” Justine PETERSEN, a St. Louis-based CDFI loan fund, was able to close on a PPP loan for Beginning Futures Learning Center and other local small businesses whose loan request size skewed smaller compared to the national average.

But CDFIs offer more than just loans, they also walk small businesses and families with fewer economic means through the process of accessing resources and building financial wealth.

Mike Eggleston, Community Development Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, applauded the local response of CDFIs. “St. Louis is a stronger region because of our committed CDFIs, which have stepped up in this crisis to financially support individuals, small businesses and nonprofits in our region’s most economically vulnerable communities.”

Local CDFIs are members of the St. Louis CDFI Coalition, a partnership among eight institutions that offer an array of capital, development, personal banking and consulting services and share a common mission to empower a comprehensively healthy St. Louis community through support for nonprofits, small businesses, and communities facing disinvestment.

“CDFIs in St. Louis were quick to respond to the crisis of Covid-19 because we were all created for the purpose of responding to non traditional financial problems,” stated Laura Woods, Vice President of Community Presence at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “While we all approach the work with widely varied solutions, we move with one mission. To provide accessible financial tools for businesses and families who have, for too long, been underserved and unseen.”

The Coalition was born out of several calls from the Ferguson Commission Report including, enhanced access to banking in order to build equity. All Coalition members offer mission-driven loans and other resources which are more flexible and accessible than traditional financing. Loans and resources through these institutions are deployed across the region into some of St. Louis’ most economically distressed communities.

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Media Inquiries:

Laura Woods
Vice President of Community Presence
1st Financial Federal Credit Union
(636) 916-8303


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Volunteers at Connections to Success

Employees Volunteer

Wentzville, MO (February 26, 2020) –1st Financial Federal Credit Union’s employees recently volunteered with Connections to Success of St. Charles.

As part of their commitment to the community and as an employee benefit, 1st Financial offers its employees 8 paid hours of volunteer time each month to serve hands-on in the community.

Connections to Success is a local nonprofit providing services and support to people who are transitioning from poverty, incarceration, and domestic violence to re-enter the workforce to become financially independent.

1st Financial employees served Connections by organizing clothing donations in their Dress for Success department.

Trina Simms, a 1st Financial employee who spent the day volunteering at Connections to Success said, “I love volunteering for Connections to Success. I was given the pleasure of dressing someone for a job interview. It felt good knowing I was able to be a part of that journey with them and helped give them the confidence they needed to achieve their own success.”

1st Financial employees also participated in mock interviews with the graduates of the Connections to Success workforce readiness program. This allowed them the opportunity to connect with the graduates and help them get ready for the next phase in their lives through tips and guidance on how to be best prepared for a job interview.

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

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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.

About Connections to Success
Connections to Success is a local organization which provides services and support to break the cycle of poverty. The organization serves to empower people that are transitioning from poverty, incarceration, and domestic violence to economic independence. For more information about Connections to Success, visit https://connectionstosuccess.org/.

Photo: 1st Financial employees volunteering at Connections to Success.

Employees Volunteering       Employees Volunteering

St. Louis CDFI’s Awarded $4.4M in Federal Grants

Wentzville, MO (December 12, 2019) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, Great Rivers Community Capital/Justine PETERSEN, and IFF were among three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) serving underserved communities in St. Louis recently awarded $4.4M in grants by the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Program Fund.

The CDFI Program invests in and builds the capacity of credit unions and loan funds to serve low-income people and underserved communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. In 2019 the CDFI Fund awarded $182,471,140 to 321 organizations in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Grant awards allow CDFIs to sustain and expand their financial products and services and can be used to achieve objectives such as, an increase in volume of products or services, to provide new products or services, expand operations into new geographic areas or service new targeted populations.

“I am proud to announce the FY 2019 CDFI Program and NACA Program awards,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. “I am especially pleased that almost half of the awarded organizations have chosen to provide services in areas of persistent poverty, which will lead to significant impact for residents in some of the most distressed communities nationwide.”

All three awarded CDFI’s are members of the St. Louis CDFI Coalition, a partnership among eight institutions that offer an array of capital, development, and consulting services and share a common mission to empower a comprehensively healthy St. Louis community through support for nonprofits, small businesses, and communities facing disinvestment.

The Coalition was born out of several calls from the Ferguson Commission Report including, enhanced access to banking in order to build equity. All Coalition members offer mission-driven loans and other resources which are more flexible and accessible than traditional financing. Loans and resources through these institutions are deployed across the region into some of St. Louis’ most economically distressed communities.

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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 visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

ABOUT JUSTINE PETERSEN/GREAT RIVERS COMMUNITY
Justine PETERSEN (jP) was created in 1997 to connect institutional resources with the needs of low-to-moderate income families and individuals in order to build assets and create enduring change. Furthering the legacy of St. Louis social worker Justine M. Petersen, jP partners with mainstream financial institutions, public entities and philanthropic organizations to impact the lives of families throughout the United States through credit building, home ownership and small business development. Learn more at www.justinepetersen.org. For more information about Great Rivers Community visit http://www.justinepetersen.org/credit_building/great_rivers_community_capital/

ABOUT IFF
IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. Since 1988, IFF has provided $701.6 million in flexible, affordable financing to nonprofits serving a variety of sectors – affordable housing, health care, education, community development, and more. These investments have leveraged $2.3 billion and impacted communities by creating more than 5,000 child care slots, 46,000 charter school seats, 256,000 new patient visits, 7,000 units of affordable housing, 2,000 beds at supportive housing agencies, and 66,000 full- or part-time jobs. Learn more at https://iff.org/.


1st Financial Offers Assistance for Members Affected by General Motors Strike

Wentzville, MO (October 16, 2019) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is offering a wide array of relief options to its members who have been impacted by the General Motors Strike.

1st Financial’s Strike Loan is a no interest, no fee loan for current 1st Financial members who work for General Motors and have direct deposit at the credit union. This loan has a maximum amount of $6,000 and a one to 12-month term.

“We put our members and community first and we know that some of our members might be experiencing financial strain during this time” said 1st Financial Chief Lending Officer, Michelle Rosner. “We created the Strike Loan to help bridge the gap and cover necessary expenses like utilities, food, insurance, etc.”

Alongside the strike loan, 1st Financial is offering debt consolidation, refinancing options, financial counseling, and their loan “Skip-A-Pay” program to members. The skip-a-pay program allows members who qualify, to skip their loan payment when they need a little extra cash.
1st Financial membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, or regularly conducts business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.

Rosner went on to say, “It’s our hope the strike will end very soon. In the meantime, we are here to help.”

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

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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.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Announces New Vice President of Technology

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Photo: Donn Dischert, Vice President of Technology

 

Wentzville, MO (August 20, 2019) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a not for profit community development financial institution, has recently announced Donn Dischert as the Vice President of Technology.

Mr. Dischert brings more than 15 years of experience in programming, project management, operations management and IT experience to 1st Financial. He specializes in providing member-driven service, problem-solving, and team motivation and leadership. Most recently, Donn held the role of Group Manager – Radiology Imaging Informatics at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served in the United States Army as an Infantry Team Leader in the 10th Mountain Division.

“We are excited to have Donn on our team and we’re confident that his leadership will bring the benefits of robust technology offerings while keeping security as a top priority for our members.” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

With Donn’s extensive knowledge and years of experience, he will help 1st Financial continue its mission to exceed the financial needs and service expectations of their members, staff, and community.

“I am thrilled to be part of the 1st Financial community! I commit to helping our members achieve their financial dreams through accessible, user-friendly and functional technology,” said Donn Dischert, Vice President of Technology, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

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

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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 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.

 

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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.

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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.


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 Launches New Online Learning Center for Adults

Wentzville (October 30, 2018) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union announces the launch of an interactive, online financial education tool through their new partnership with the nation’s leading education technology innovator, EVERFI, Inc. The program is available as a complimentary resource to help 1st Financial members learn how to manage their finances and plan for the future.

According to Bankrate, 63% of Americans do not have enough money saved to cover a $500 emergency.

1st Financial is committed to empowering their members with the skills they need to change this trend and thrive financially.

The new Online Learning Center offers an assortment of adult financial education learning topics, with subjects including building emergency savings, mortgage education and retirement planning. Each learning topic is 3-10 minutes in length and is designed to encourage participants to build financial confidence via a series of interactive activities. The mobile and tablet-friendly program is available in English and Spanish.

“As a trusted credit union, 1st Financial believes that financial capability is and must be within reach for all consumers and communities, regardless of their financial means,” said 1st Financial Vice President of Marketing and Community Presence, Laura Woods.

To learn more about 1st Financial’s Online Learning Center, visit https://1stfinancialfcu.everfi-next.net/

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

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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 EVERFI

EVERFI is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. EVERFI powers community focused financial education for 750 financial institutions across the country.  Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, and Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact.  Learn more at EVERFI.com