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Stay Up to Date With Freedom First News

Freedom First Credit Union Tracking Holiday Spending Keeps Seasonal Stress Down

Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing your loved ones’ faces light up when they open that perfect gift you gave them.

The holidays will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why most people will try even harder to make the season brighter for others. But, you don’t have to dip into your kid’s college savings to create a special time for everyone!

The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead: Have a set spending amount for gifts, wrap, entertaining, donations and travel.

Freedom First Credit Union What Are the Advantages of a HELOC?

Q: I’m looking to tap into my home’s equity, possibly using a Home Equity Line of Credit. What are some of the advantages of choosing the HELOC option?

A: A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is an open credit line that is secured by the paid value of the borrower’s home. A HELOC provides homeowners with a convenient way to use the equity in their home.

Freedom First Credit Union Beware of Debt Collection Scams

With the pandemic still wreaking havoc on the economy, many people are struggling to pay their monthly bills and meet their debt payments. Unfortunately, scammers are exploiting the financial downturn by tricking unsuspecting victims into paying for debts that don’t actually exist, or by using abusive tactics to collect legitimate debts.

Don’t be the next victim of a debt-collection scam. Here’s all you need to know about these scams.

Freedom First Credit Union Why Community Capital Matters

Freedom First has done the hard work to make sure our products and services are on par with the finest institutions. But what does Freedom First offer that no one else does? We’ve been locally headquartered and operated since 1956 — we live here, we understand our community, and we have a vested interest in our region. We’re not going anywhere; in fact, we’re continuing to grow, which in turn enables us to deploy capital back into our community.

Freedom First Credit Union Responsible Rides

Responsible Rides is an award-winning auto buying program for low- to moderate-income earners that also includes educational classes on finances and budgeting, as well as car maintenance and care. This program works closely with a network of local nonprofit partners to reach community members: Total Action for Progress (TAP), New River Community Action, Support to Eliminate Poverty (STEP, Inc.), and local area car dealers and mechanics.

Our full-time, in-house coordinator streamlines the lending process for borrowers, coordinates vehicle maintenance classes, and travels regularly to meet with residents across our region.

Freedom First Credit Union Commercial Redevelopment

Freedom First’s robust Business Banking and Commercial Lending departments worked hard with local developers, business owners, and entrepreneurs to breathe new life into our region through commercial redevelopment of existing properties, often preserving and honoring the buildings’ historical significance to the surrounding community.

Freedom First Credit Union Affordable Housing Program

Freedom First’s Affordable Housing Program is managed by a Virginia Housing Development Authority-certified Mortgage Loan Officer who works with members for months or years to achieve the goal of home ownership through smart finance management, down payment assistance, home ownership counseling, and nonconforming mortgage loan products. These home loans undergo custom underwriting, sometimes using alternative proof of credit, to ensure that the borrower can safely afford their home and have the opportunity to build wealth through home equity.

Freedom First Credit Union The Roanoke Financial Empowerment Center

The City of Roanoke has contracted Freedom First to act as the financial counseling provider of Roanoke’s Financial Empowerment Center, the first of its kind in Virginia. Financial Empowerment Centers offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a no-cost public service to enable residents to address their financial challenges and needs and plan for their futures.

Freedom First Credit Union Broader Impact With Outside Investment

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Freedom First is positioned to funnel secondary capital and other funding sources back into our community for even greater impact. Freedom First acquires outside funding, often from the national level, that is then brought into our region through initiatives that meet our community’s needs. This means that we are not only keeping our members’ money local, but we are also bringing new capital into our region for local benefit.

Freedom First Credit Union Debt Consolidation & Relief

Installment or payday loans can be deceptively expensive. Customers are pushed by predatory lenders to renew their loans over and over again, which causes mountains of interest debt to accrue. According to Pew Research and The Economist, every 90 seconds, $67,000 in new payday loan debt is issued in the U.S. and roughly 2.5 million American households use payday loans each year, making it a $40 billion industry. That’s why Freedom First offers payday loan alternatives and debt consolidation options to our members.

For example, Freedom First’s Payday Relief and Flash Cash loans act as a tool for people who have already fallen into a cycle of mounting high-interest debt to pay off their loans at a more manageable interest rate, which in turn can give them the room they need to break out of the predatory lending cycle.

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