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Who We Are
Freedom First Credit Union

Our Impact

Who We Are
Branded Star Mark
Branded Star Mark

Our Local Impact Extends Beyond Our Membership — See the Reach of Our Ripple Effect

As socially conscious leaders of the Roanoke and New River Valleys, we ensure that every initiative holds the promise of success for the community. We leverage our strong relationships with nonprofits, businesses, and government organizations to provide a full spectrum of services to every community member. 

With over $630 million in our asset portfolio, we are able to help create opportunities in the Roanoke and New River Valleys.

We hold a vision of creating local economic vitality through our core impact areas: Affordable Housing, Transportation, Financial Education, Impact Banking, and Community Revitalization. Our partnerships and outside funding move us toward realizing this vision as a whole community.


We believe that in order to support a more vibrant community, we should work towards ensuring that more of our neighbors have access to home ownership. Our Affordable Housing Program offers extensive support and unconventional loans for those who previously thought home ownership was completely out of reach.

This Quarter Year to Date
Veteran Andrew and his family
120 loans
$20,531,284 total loans
26 First time homebuyers
$24,500 in down payment assistance
295 loans
$50,518,548 total loans
76 First time homebuyers
100 loans to low & moderate income members
$12,358,117 total loans to low & moderate income members
$151,145 in down payment assistance

An award-winning auto buying program for low- to moderate-income earners, including education classes on finances and budgeting as well as car maintenance.

This Quarter Year to Date
24 loans
$272,331 total loans

5 single parents served
12 children affected
205% Average % of poverty rate
77 loans
$946,264 total loans

23 single parents served
85 children affected
197% Average % of poverty rate
$2,166,725 total in portfolio

With CUNA-certified financial coaches on staff, Freedom First helps borrowers receive financial education tailored to their individual situations. Our award-winning financial education program partners with Pathways to Financial Empowerment and GreenPath Financial Wellness to provide expanded services.

This Quarter Year to Date
367 participants
23 classroom style settings
189 participants
101 one-on-one coaching sessions
55 individuals

1,655 participants
99 classroom style settings
939 participants
414 one-on-one coaching sessions
226 individuals
57% Improved their credit score
15% Improved credit tier*
42 Average credit score increase
74% Established credit (previously had no credit)
568 Median credit score (of those who established credit)
42% Participants reduced debt
$7,598 Average debt reduced
*Credit Tiers: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, Bad

Impact Banking
Our commitment to personal and financial empowerment is paramount to our success in creating economic vitality in our region. Flash Cash, Payday Relief Loans, Workforce Development Loans, and American Dreamer Loans are some ways we reach our Impact Banking members.

Year to Date
Freedom First's financial educator hugging a member
1,041 members
$5,013,792 total Impact Banking loan portfolio
$498,572 held in savings accounts

Freedom First deploys capital in the communities through Commercial Lending, Business & Real Estate Loans and Personal Loans.   

This Quarter Year to Date
$22,499,926 in deployed funding to expand local businesses to support economic development, workforce development, and revitalization efforts.
$50,875,684 in deployed funding to expand local businesses to support economic development, workforce development, and revitalization efforts.

Additional Community Give-Back

We invest in local talent and community service through an award-winning grants program and scholarships for area students. A robust, all-volunteer Board of Directors, talented management team and 200 strong employee workforce add vibrancy to the Credit Union ideals that brings alive our mission of Helping People Prosper — Helping Communities Thrive.

Year to Date
2,991 employee volunteer hours
32,136 units of ice cream with Scoop
$93,374 through scholarships, Community Investment Grants, & event sponsorships

Here are two of our 2018 Grant Winners
The Children's Museum of Blacksburg used their grant funds to directly subsidize the cost of transportation via public school buses for low-income students enrolled in Title 1 schools throughout the New River Valley to and from the museum.
Freedom First employees presenting a $5,000 check to LovABLE Services
LovABLE Services utilized their grant funds to complete the development of their comprehensive training program, Chris's Coffee & Custard, by providing support staff to train new employees and purchase specialized food service training equipment needed to train people with special abilities.

See our 2016-2017 Impact Report here.

Accolades & Partnerships

We are proud of the awards and recognition we have received through the years and of the many local, regional, & national organizations that we partner with. Here are a few:


  • Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce: 2018 Small Business of the Year Award, Large Not-for-Profit
  • 2018 Roanoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival Best in Show
  • Public Relations Society of America Blue Ridge: 2018 Summit Gold Award for the “Bank For Good” branding campaign
  • 2018 Dora Maxwell Award for the Invest Health initiative
  • 2018 Individual Affiliate of the Year for Paula Brown, SVP Mortgage at Freedom First (RVAR)
  • Ranked #9 for the Financial Brand 2019 Q3 Power 100 Social Media Rankings 

2019 Employee-Selected Community Impact Partners

  • Roanoke Valley HOPE Initiative
  • LovABLE Services/Chris's Coffee & Custard
  • Roanoke Refugee Partnership
  • Turn the Page
  • St. Vincent's Place/BRAAC
  • Transitional Options for Women
  • Warm Hearth Village
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