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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 $650 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.

Last Quarter Year to Date 2020
Veteran Andrew and his family
262 loans
$56,841,459 total loans
262 First time homebuyers
119 loans to low & moderate income members
$20,453,233 total loans to low & moderate income members
$45,000 in down payment assistance
587 loans
$120,213,400 total loans
592 First time homebuyers
247 loans to low & moderate income members
$37,629,106 total loans to low & moderate income members
$125,000 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.

Last Quarter Year to Date 2020
16 loans
$184,393 total loans

5 single parents served
15 children affected
192% Average % of poverty rate
39 loans
$413,007 total loans

11 single parents served
30 children affected
194% Average % of poverty rate

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.

Last Quarter Year to Date 2020
174 participants
153 one-on-one coaching sessions
145 individuals

562 participants
16 classroom style settings
110 participants
304 one-on-one coaching sessions
228 individuals
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 2019
Freedom First's financial educator hugging a member
1,242 members
$5,853,194 total Impact Banking loan portfolio
$554,900 held in savings accounts

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

Year to Date 2019
$65,772,431 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.

17,187 employee volunteer hours since 2015
$102,010 through scholarships, Community Investment Grants, & event sponsorships in 2020

Here are two of our 2019 Grant Winners
The Roanoke Hospitality House will provide adult patients and caregivers traveling to Roanoke for healthcare a compassionate, comfortable alternative to a hospital waiting room or expensive lodging. While away from home and receiving care at Roanoke-area hospitals, patients will be able to focus on healing from illness without the added stress of financial burden. Roanoke Hospitality will use their grant funding to support start-up operational expenses.
Roanoke Children’s Theatre will use their grant funding to support educational health outreach for approximately 2,500 – 3,500 middle and high school students who participate in post-show interactive prevention talkbacks with agency professional while identifying resources for ongoing support.

See our 2018-2019 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 #1 for the Financial Brand 2019 Q4 Power 100 Social Media Rankings 
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