Community First Credit Union, a financial cooperative owned by its 60,515 local members, recorded double-digit gains for the second consecutive year in terms of assets, deposits, loan portfolio and revenue. It also issued more loans than any previous year, $356.2 million.
“It was the best of times financially and yet in some ways it was the worst of times because COVID made everything so difficult,” said Scott Johnson, CEO of Community First Credit Union.
To help people through the pandemic, Community First has waived fees for, among other things, late payments and last-minute payments over the phone, helping members over $52,000 a month. It wasn’t until July 1, halfway through the year, and with the COVID vaccine finally widely available, that Community First reinstated those fees.
It also ended the deferral of monthly payments for more than 4,000 consumer loans throughout 2021. “Additionally, despite a near zero interest rate environment on the deposit side, we have maintained our rates higher than almost any other local competitor so members can continue to earn more,” Johnson said.
Members rewarded the co-op with a gain of nearly $104 million in deposits, an $89 million jump in loans held by the credit union, and a $110.4 million increase in assets. With $761.23 million in assets, Community First now ranks among the top 10% of credit unions by size nationally.