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


Connecting People to Success through Partnership

Employees volunteering at Connections to Success

Photo Above: 1st Financial Federal Credit Union Employees working hands on with Connection to Success at their volunteer day.

Wentzville, MO (October 17, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union served Connections to Success of St. Charles in September as a part of its Helping People 1st grant program.

1st Financial created the Helping People 1st grant to assist non-profit organizations that are focused on housing, financial literacy, job training, or educational efforts in the St. Louis area. In September, the Wentzville Branch continued this support by working with Connections to Success of St. Charles County.

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.

1st Financial presented a check to Connections to Success in the amount of $643 and 5 employees volunteered for a total of 40 volunteer hours in September.

Miranda McDuffie, a 1st Financial employee who spent the day volunteering at Connections to Success said, “Connections to Success is an organization with a big heart. Not only do they educate people on workforce development, and provide them with clothing to interview; but they connect with people on an emotional level as well. From starting the morning with a circle of gratitude to ending the day with an employee taking one of their participants to the bus stop they truly emit caring in all that they do”.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and was honored with the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year award by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

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

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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. For more information, please visit TheBetterWayToBank.org.


Local Credit Union Volunteers with KidSmart to Help Serve Teachers with Students in Need Throughout the St. Louis Area

1st Financial Federal Credit Union employees present check and school supplies to KidSmart.

Photo: (From left to right) Melinda Klocke, Financial Service Representative for 1st Financial Federal Credit Union Hazelwood Branch, Shannon Richards, Director of Operations for KidSmart – Tools for Learning, Tanya Forsythe, Branch Manager for 1st Financial Federal Credit Union Hazelwood Branch.

Wentzville, MO (September 15, 2017) Local Credit Union Volunteers with KidSmart to Help Serve Teachers with Students in Need Throughout the St. Louis Area.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is focused on serving the community with education, job training, and sustainable housing resources. In August, 1st Financial partnered with KidSmart Tools for Learning to raise awareness, volunteer, and host school supply drives throughout the St. Louis area.

The credit union presented KidSmart with school supplies and $1,000.83 on September 14.  This donation was made possible through 1st Financial’s monthly Helping People 1st grant, the fundraising efforts of 1st Financial’s Hazelwood branch, and the generosity of 1st Financial members and staff.

KidSmart Tools for Learning is a local nonprofit that opened in 2002 and is continuously growing every day. Donations from individuals and businesses help keep the shelves of KidSmart’s Free Store stocked with everything from crayons, markers and glue. Community volunteers stock the shelves, manage inventory and keep the free store running each shopping day.

On, August 29, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union employee volunteers volunteered at KidSmart’s Free Store. Eleven 1st Financial employees spent the day organizing school supplies and assisting teachers with supply shopping.

Tanya Forsythe, 1st Financial Branch Manager of the Hazelwood location, organized the fundraising efforts throughout August.

“The employees at 1st Financial enjoyed partnering with KidSmart. The Hazelwood branch hosted a bake sale, a plant sale, a book sale and one of our tellers even made homemade eggrolls to help raise additional funds!” said Forsythe. “We truly appreciate our relationship with KidSmart and are excited to give back to our community.”

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

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About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative that was chartered in 1968. 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. 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. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit TheBetterWayToBank.org.


1st Financial Partners with St. Charles City-County Library Foundation

Employees present check donation to City County Library Foundation at the St. Charles Branch.

Photo: (Left to Right) Toni Gaskin, Lead Teller for 1st Financial, Joe Krebs, Treasurer of the Friends of the Library annual Book Fair, Chuck Holmes, Branch Manager of the St. Charles 1st Financial, and Erica Land, with the St. Charles City-County Library District.

St. Charles, MO (August 28, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), focused on serving the community with education, job training, and sustainable housing resources, has partnered with St. Charles City-County Library Foundation.

The St. Charles City-County Library Foundation, has a “focus on community outreach, early literacy and lifelong learning.”

1st Financial Federal Credit Union, through their Helping People 1st Grant program, awarded a grant of $713 to St. Charles City-County Library Foundation. The St. Charles Branch of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union also hosted a month-long book drive and were able to collect over 100 books for the Foundation. Along with the grant and book donations, ten employees spent about eight hours organizing thousands of books for the Annual Book Fair.

Joe Krebs, Treasurer of the Friends of the Library annual Book Fair, and proud supporter of St. Charles City-County Library Foundation, stated, “Our sincere appreciation to 1st Financial for their support of the Friends of the Library at our annual Book Fair again this year. The hands-on efforts of your volunteers at the Book Fair and your generous financial support will greatly assist us in our meeting our goals in support of the St. Charles City-County Library District.”

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
Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative that was chartered in 1968. 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. 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. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Helping People 1st Grant Strengthens Community

1st Financial Employees presenting $902 check to Beyond HousingHazelwood, MO (May 26, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union recently awarded a “Helping People 1st” grant to local non-profit, Beyond Housing.

Beyond Housing is a non-profit based out of St. Louis with a mission to make a local impact on education, housing, health, employment readiness, and economic development.

Each month, a 1st Financial branch awards a $500 “Helping People 1st” grant to a non-profit organization that focuses on housing, financial literacy, or job training.

1st Financial recently presented Beyond Housing with a check in the amount of $902 which included the Helping People 1st grant plus funds that were raised through additional fundraising.

1st Financial’s Hazelwood branch, led by Branch Manager, Tanya Forsythe, spearheaded the fundraising and community awareness efforts for Beyond Housing.

Beyond Housing’s Chief Development Office, Jackie Hamilton, said, “Beyond Housing truly appreciates the support of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. Their donation helps strengthen our commitment to the community in the areas of housing, education, and employment readiness and access!”

1st Financial, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has a comprehensive community outreach program that focuses on housing, financial literacy, and job training.

For more information about Beyond Housing, please visit http://www.beyondhousing.org.

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                    

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative that was chartered in 1968. 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. 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. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


1st Financial is Hosting a Community Blood Drive

Wentzville, MO (May 2, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union will host a blood drive with the American Red Cross in Wentzville, MO on Thursday, May 18.

Representatives from the American Red Cross will be on hand to accept blood donations from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at 1st Financial’s Wentzville location at 1232 Wentzville Parkway on May 18. Members and non-members are invited to attend and donate.

Credit unions are built on the philosophy of “people helping people”. One of the easiest and most effective ways to support the community can be through the regular donation of blood. The American Red Cross claims that more than 36,000 units of blood are needed every day in the United States. A healthy donor may give blood every 55 days.

“Service is a big part of who we are at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union,” said Community Development Manager Tracy Verner. “Our members and employees are passionate about helping others and we love creating opportunities like this blood drive to let our employees and members rise to the occasion.”

The American Red Cross recommends that donors eat and drink plenty of water before giving blood. Appointments are preferred for the blood drive, but walk-ins are also welcome. A valid Photo ID is required.

To set up appointment to donate blood or for more information, please visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code FFFCreditUnion.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org or call (636) 916-8300.

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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 34,000 members and $222 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.


1st Financial Provides Financial Literacy Courses to 24-Hour High School

Slate 24 Hour High School GraduationSt. Louis, MO (April 20, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is proud to support the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment’s (SLATE) 24-hour high school, known as Workforce High School, through financial empowerment courses.

Workforce High School (WHS) offers young adults 24/7 access to education mentorship, financial empowerment, and holistic case management services so that they can complete their high school education.  The 24-hour school is for young adults, ages 17-21, which previously dropped out of high school. Currently, it is the only high school in the country offering 24/7 access to high school education.

1st Financial’s Financial Literacy Coordinator, Ted Thornton, is teaching financial literacy classes to SLATE and Workforce High School youth.

“There is no better feeling than giving back to our youth,” said Thornton. “Knowing that I am leading these young adults to a better future by giving them the tools they need to manage their money… it’s priceless,” said Thornton.

“Financial literacy is a very important component of the Workforce High School,” said Dr. Alice Prince, SLATE’s Youth Division Manager. “Not only does our school aim to educate our students academically and professionally, but our goal is to create holistic and well-rounded students who leave our program ready and equipped to conquer the world.”

1st Financial, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has a comprehensive community outreach program that focuses on housing, financial literacy, and job training.

For more information about SLATE and the Workforce High School, visit www.stlworks.com.

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

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. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

 


1st Financial Presents Grant Check to Local Nonprofit LaunchCode

LaunchCodeSt. Louis, MO (April 14, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union recently presented a check in the amount of $710.24 to LaunchCode, a local nonprofit, as part of their Helping People 1st grant.

LaunchCode, a nonprofit organization based out of St. Louis, places aspiring technologists in apprenticeships and jobs in technology throughout the country. LaunchCode’s program provides courses, educational resources, career coaching, mentorship, apprenticeship and job placement.

“1st Financial Federal Credit Union’s generous donation helps us continue to provide accessible tech education and training for our community,” said Mark Bauer, Executive Director of LaunchCode. “We look forward to reaching new milestones thanks to the support of this great community partner.”

1st Financial created the Helping People 1st grant in 2014 as part of community outreach program. Each month, one 1st Financial branch awards a $500 Helping People 1st grant to a nonprofit organization that focuses on housing, financial literacy, or job training.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and was awarded the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

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

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. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Enhancing Classrooms with Donated School Supplies

1st Financial helping People 1st kidSmartFlorissant, MO (March 31, 2017) – KidSmart and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), combined forces to deliver school supplies to Wedgwood Elementary School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District on March 17, 2017.

KidSmart is a local St. Louis non-profit organization that planted its roots in 2002 and has grown exponentially. The organization’s mission is to ensure students and their classrooms in the Greater Metropolitan St. Louis have the basic necessities and learning tools they need to learn and grow.1st Financial helping People 1st kidSmart image 2

1st Financial was invited by KidSmart to help deliver school supplies to all classrooms at Wedgwood Elementary School. Over 20 boxes of school supplies were delivered to the teachers by 1st Financial volunteers. Each delivery was met with huge smiles and pure excitement from the children. 1st Financial was able to volunteer over 40 hours to the school that day, including some members with youth accounts at the credit union.

“I am very thankful that KidSmart invited 1st Financial to be a part of their school supply drop off event!  We had so much fun delivering boxes of school supplies to Wedgwood Elementary School! Being able to see the smiles and excitement on the kids and teachers faces as we brought supplies to each classroom was so rewarding!” said, Tanya Forsythe, Hazelwood Branch Manager.

1st Financial helping People 1st kidSmart image 31st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and was awarded the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). 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

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. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Local Students Save for College through College Kids

Comm_CollegeKidsSt. Louis, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), partnered with St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment and the City of St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones, for the 2017 kickoff event of College Kids, on January 25, 2017 at the Downtown 1st Financial branch.

“1st Financial has been a wonderful partner in our financial empowerment initiatives since shortly after I started in 2013. The ability to house the accounts at a credit union allows children and families to deposit additional funds at any branch that participates in the shared branch network, giving us a strong regional footprint. Additionally, the staff at 1st Financial stand ready to volunteer with us to make sure the program reaches as many as possible,” stated Jones.

College Kids, a program providing Children’s Savings Account for every single kindergartner in a public and charter school within the city of St. Louis, launched in the fall of 2015. These accounts were opened automatically with an initial $50 deposit from the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office to help families jump start their college savings. The College Kids savings accounts are held at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

This was the fourth College Savings Night, hosted by 1st Financial since the launch of the program in 2015. Each year, the number of kindergartners participating and attending College Savings Night grows, along with deposits made by the City of St. Louis and the students themselves.

During the event at the Downtown branch of 1st Financial, kindergartners and their parents were treated to pizza and the kindergartners were able to make a deposit into their account. 1st Financial also deposited a $20 scholarship into each child’s account who attended the even to help jump start their savings.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). 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

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. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.