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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.
 

Homeownership

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 2019
Veteran Andrew and his family
121 loans
$23,159,287 total loans
 
127 First time homebuyers
  
$34,080 in down payment assistance
416 loans
$73,678,221 total loans
 
432 First time homebuyers
 
161 loans to low & moderate income members
 
$18,876,360 total loans to low & moderate income members
 
$185,225 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 2019
31 loans
$286,781 total loans

4 single parents served
 
21 children affected
 
170% Average % of poverty rate
108 loans
$1,233,045 total loans

27 single parents served
 
106 children affected
 
190% Average % of poverty rate
 
$2,191,620 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.

Last Quarter Year to Date 2019
296 participants
15 classroom style settings
130 participants
 
90 one-on-one coaching sessions
47 individuals

1,951 participants
114 classroom style settings
1,069 participants
 
504 one-on-one coaching sessions
273 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 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.   
 

Last Quarter Year to Date 2019
$14,896,747 in deployed funding to expand local businesses to support economic development, workforce development, and revitalization efforts.
$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.

Year to Date 2019
3,835 employee volunteer hours
33,684 units of ice cream with Scoop
 
$203,501 through scholarships, Community Investment Grants, & event sponsorships

Here are two of our 2019 Grant Winners
Blue Ridge Literacy used their grant funds to support their Citizenship Classes in order to achieve a 100% pass rate for learners scheduled to take the citizenship test in 2020.
Total Action for Progress (TAP) used their grant funds to support TAP Sabrina's Place, the region's only secure supervised visitation and safe exchange program.

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:

Accolades

  • 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 Q4 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
View a full listing of our Products and Services:

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