West Valley Branch Ribbon Cutting

America First Credit Union Cuts Ribbon on New West Valley Branch

West Valley, UT – November 21, 2019 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, November 1 for its newest branch in West Valley.

The branch, which opened on Oct. 21, is located at 5568 W 4100 S in West Valley. The opening of the branch marks AFCU’s 110 branch in Utah and the 130 branch in the U.S.

The leading member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution branch is managed by David Le who has been part of the AFCU team for seven years and has been in a management role for four years. He’s worked with several locations ranging from West Jordan Macy’s to the Innovation Center at City Creek. David received his B.S. in Biology at Westminster College. His love for learning pushes him to continue to learn new things every day. He is an avid reader and spends as much time as possible listening to NPR and podcasts.

“As one of the largest cities in Utah, we’re excited to be expanding in West Valley and I’m honored to be able to serve the residents in the community,” said Le. “Our goal is to be a committed community supporter, an aid our members and their financial wellness, and be a partner for life.”

The newly constructed full-service, 3,331-square-foot branch includes 4 teller stations; a 2-lane drive-up, one lane being an ATM; a coin counter; 3 loan desks; and a remote expert office.

 

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive crdit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Donates $25,000 to Local Non-Profits

Riverdale, UT – November 26, 2019 – As part of its mission to enhance and improve local communities, America First Credit Union (AFCU) donated $25,000 to local nonprofits operating throughout Utah. The nonprofits included Operation Underground RailroadOgden Bicycle Collective and performing arts nonprofit, 90&9. In addition to a monetary donation, AFCU also donated 40 bikes, built by AFCU staff, to Ogden Bicycle Collective.

“All of these organizations have made a significant impact on our community here in Utah,” said Nicole Cypers, VP of Public Relations. “We are always looking for ways to improve the communities we live and work in, and these organizations work tirelessly to do just that.”

All three organizations have plans to put the donated funds to great use and make an impact within the community.

  • Operation Underground Railroad has slated the donation to be used to help its efforts to combat trafficking in Utah with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force—a three-year relationship which resulted in 261 rescues and 197 arrests.
  • 90&9 will be using the $10,000 donation to host workshops for kids in treatment centers as well as youth in refugee camps. They’ll also be hosting workshops to prepare for its show “Fighter,” which will begin in March.
  • Ogden Bicycle Collective will use the donated bikes for their holiday bike giveaway.  The money donated will be used to purchase bike parts and tools as well as bikes for adults to use to as transportation to and from work.

 

“Thanks to America First’s generosity, we are able to make our show, ‘Fighter,’ possible again,” said Darla Day, from 90&9. “Fighter,” a show written by Day and her husband, is a story of a phoenix rising from the ashes which helps facilitate conversations about mental health, depression and suicide in a hopeful way.

“There is power in the arts,” said Day. “Being able to express anger, depression, hurt and other heavy emotions through art is empowering. We’re trying to show kids there are healthy ways to deal with their anxieties and hardships, and it’s working. We can’t even begin to express our gratitude toward America First for their kindness and support in what we are trying to do for these kids.”

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Releases 2020 Calendar Featuring Member-Commissioned Photos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

America First Credit Union Releases 2020 Calendar Featuring Member-Commissioned Photos

Photo: Tsai Yueh-Ting’s photo was one of 13 out of 2,400 photos chosen to be featured in AFCU’s 2020 wildlife-themed calendar. More photos can be viewed here.

Riverdale, UT – November 19, 2019 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) released its 2020 calendar unveiling this year’s theme of wildlife. The photography for the calendar was commissioned through a social media contest where more than 2,400 people submitted photos. Of those, 13 were selected to be featured as the cover and monthly photos for the upcoming year. The photos are also available as an option for members to use as a background on their America First Visa® credit or debit card.

“It’s truly an honor to be selected for the America First Calendar,” said Kelsey Cain, one of the featured photographers. “It’s exciting to be a part of a patriotic celebration of our country. I’m proud to add my eagle image to the calendar as the embodiment of American pride, strength and patriotism for all to enjoy.”

People were able to vote for their favorite of the submitted photos through AFCU’s. Three finalists were selected through voting community voting, with the first-place winner receiving a $500 giftcard.

The free calendars are available at all America First Credit Union branches.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Escorts Two Local Veteran on Honor Flight to DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

America First Credit Union Escorts Two Local Veteran on Honor Flight to DC

Photo: Matt Dice, America First Credit Union (AFCU) Durango branch manager and Deborah Murphy, AFCU market manager of the Craig branch pose with Ralph Reggans and Richard Wellington. Dice and Murphy escorted the veterans on their honor flight to Washington, D.C. They were part of a larger group of veterans and guardians who escorted WWII Veterans, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to the memorials in Washington, D.C. More photos/videos can be viewed here.

LAS VEGAS – November 12, 2019 – An 84-year-old combat engineer and 84-year-old electrician were two of 22 veterans to receive a hero’s welcome upon their return from a trip to Washington, D.C., with Honor Flight of Southern Nevada. They were escorted by Matt Dice, America First Credit Union (AFCU) Durango branch manager and Deborah Murphy, AFCU market manager of the Craig branch.

“It’s a true honor and privilege to escort Mr. Reggans, who has done so much for our country, on this Honor Flight experience,” said Dice. “Witnessing the group’s emotions at the veterans’ memorials is moving. I am grateful America First Credit Union supported and invested in this memorable journey. America First Credit Union will continue to support programs that honor our veterans and the service that they provided to our country.”

Upon arrival, Honor Flight of Southern Nevada hosted a reception at the McCarran airport for family members, friends and the community to greet the veterans.

AFCU and HFSN have had a relationship in the past, sending four total guardians and, on this mission, AFCU is the only organization to send two guardians.

HFSN flies veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War on all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to experience — among other landmarks and tourist destinations — the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Marine Corps/Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

HFSN would not be successful without the dedicated help provided by volunteers and donors. Assistance is needed in many areas, including office/clerical, fundraising, trip planning and guardians. Visit honorflightsouthernnevada.org to learn more. The next flight is April 17-19, 2020.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 129 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Donates 22,225 Pounds of Food to Utah and Nevada Agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

America First Credit Union Donates 22,225 Pounds of Food to Utah and Nevada Agencies


Photo: AFCU employees donated more than 10,500 items of the 22,225 pound donation to local agencies. More photos can be viewed here.

Rierdale, UT – November 6, 2019 – On Wednesday, America First Credit Union (AFCU) delivered more than 17,500 pounds of donated food to the Utah Food Bank. An additional 4,725 pounds of food was donated to other agencies including Southern Nevada’s Three Square and Northen Utah’s Catholic Community Services.

The donated nonperishable food items were collected during the credit union’s 15th annual food drive and AFCU also donated $5,000 worth of turkeys. Adding this year’s donations to the total, employees and members have donated more than 209,000 pounds of food to Utah and Southern Nevada families over the 15 years.

“For our 15th annual food drive, we hoped to collect more than 15,000 pounds of food,” said Nicole Cypers, AFCU VP of Public Relations. “Thanks to our wonderful employees and members, we were able to surpass that number and collect more than 22,000 pounds of food for families in our communities.”

The food donated to the Utah Food Bank and other agencies will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to families in need across Utah and Southern Nevada.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

 

A Time of Gratitude & Giving

John B Lund – President
By John B. Lund, President/Chief Executive Officer

Thanksgiving and Veterans Day fall in November, the same month my father was born. His passing was 10 years ago, and I miss and think of him often. As his birthdate approaches each year, however, I gain a greater awareness of Dad’s life and the example he set. He was fun-loving, with a terrific sense of humor, and always had a positive attitude.

What first comes to mind about my dad, though, is how hard he worked—no matter how small the task or how big the job was, it had to be done right, having learned this strong work ethic at such an early age. I remember him telling me about laboring from dawn to dusk during summers at his grandmother’s farm in Brigham City, Utah.

On Christmas Eve in 1941, when Dad was only 14, my grandfather died. This was certainly a time of considerable anxiety for the family; not only had their father and husband suffered an untimely death, Pearl Harbor had been attacked earlier that same month. These perilous events and sense of uncertainty prompted my dad to assume additional work and household responsibilities. My sweet grandmother never remarried and raised a large family on her own.

As a young boy, my father and I made weekly visits to my grandmother’s home to mow the lawn and assist with a host of other projects. In addition to Dad’s full-time job and all the service he contributed to relatives and neighbors, he often had multiple part-time jobs to provide for our family.

I truly have much for which I am thankful, including the many valuable life lessons taught by my dad. This is a special season, and I hope we can pause to look for the good in life, the good in each other, and appreciate those who have gone before us to protect our freedom and way of life.

We’re grateful to each of you for choosing and remaining loyal to America First Credit Union.  Our mission is to improve your financial well-being and we take this responsibility seriously. As a team of dedicated staff and volunteers, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We look forward to a lifetime relationship.

AFCU Provides Tips on How to Avoid Being Haunted By Credit Card Debt

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AFCU Provides Tips on How to Avoid Being Haunted By Credit Card Debt

 

Riverdale, UT – Oct 17, 2019 – Ghosts and ghouls may not be the only thing haunting this Halloween. Poor financial decisions, including credit card debt, may also be rising from the grave. Utahns/Nevadans have an average credit card balance of $5,961/$6,401 and during the upcoming holiday season will rack up an average of $1,054 in additional debt.

“It’s easy to become buried by credit card debt and the thought of clawing your way out can be paralyzing for many,” said America First Credit Union vice president of credit, Susan Chadwick. “One of the best things you can do to take the first step in getting rid of debt is to have a mindset change. Focus on the positive reasons you want to get out of debt whether it’s to be less stressed, improve your credit score so you’re able to buy a new home or car, or achieving financial freedom.”

While there is no one best practice for banishing credit card debt, these pay-down tips and strategies can help cast away debt:

  1. Pay off the balance with the highest APR first – Look at each balance and interest rates for each card, and whichever has the highest annual percentage rate (APR) is the one that should be focused on first while still making minimum payments on other cards. Once that card is entirely paid off, move on to the one that has the next highest APR.
  2. Pay off the card with the lowest balance first – Another strategy that people can take is increasing payments on the credit card with the lowest balance while continuing to make the minimum payment on other cards. It’s quicker and easier to pay a $500 balance down to zero than a $2,500 balance. And it feels good to pay a credit card bill in full, no matter what the balance was to begin with.
  3. Consolidate your debt to a single card or loan – By consolidating credit card debt to a single card or a debt consolidation loan, there will only be a single payment each month rather than four or five. While all the debt has been transferred to one place, it doesn’t mean it went away. Be sure to still focus on paying this debt off, so it’s a good idea to pay more than the minimum due each month.
  4. Consult with a financial advisor – A financial advisor can help examine incoming and outgoing expenses. They can help determine a personalized plan that can help determine which strategy will be most effective as well as establish a workable, realistic budget and savings plan.

To learn more financial tips, watch AFCU’s video series, FUNDamentals, at americafirst.com/learn. Topics include good versus bad spending, loan basics and demystifying mortgages.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

Jump$tart and AFCU Awarding Students for Financial Literacy Proficiency

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jump$tart and AFCU Awarding Students for Financial Literacy Proficiency

Riverdale, UT – Oct 15, 2019 – The Utah Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy (UJ$C) and America First Credit Union (AFCU) are now accepting applications for Fall 2019 Scholarships. The first round of the Utah Jump$tart Scholarship Competition will be open thru November 30. Utah high school seniors who have completed a financial literacy course can enter to win one of three $1,250 college scholarships provided by AFCU.

“When it comes to finances, education is one of the most powerful tools which is why we encourage all students to take a financial literacy course,” said AFCU president and CEO, John Lund. “We want to set our high school seniors up for success as they prepare for post-secondary education and teach them important financial principles that will help keep their college debt to a minimum and set them up for financial success in the future.”

Student debt and financial independence are a concern for many millennials and young adults with 54% of millennials expressing worry that they would not be able to pay back student loans, and only 16% of Americans between ages 18 to 26 being very optimistic about their financial future.

The scholarship program is designed to recognize students who have taken a financial literacy course and can demonstrate a solid understanding of financial literacy concepts and are pursuing a post-secondary education either at a university, college, trade school or similar institution of higher learning. To be eligible for the scholarship, students can submit a 90-second YouTube video addressing the question: “How can students prepare to pay for college?”

To learn more about the scholarship, or to apply, students can visit utahjumpstart.org/scholarship.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.

ABOUT UTAH JUMP$TART COALITION

The Utah Jump$tart Coalition is a statewide, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the financial literacy of Utah’s youth by promoting the teaching of personal finance from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Visit them at www.utahjumpstart.org.

plasma donation

The Value of Blood—Donating Plasma

If you need to make some extra money and you enjoy helping others, donating plasma could be a good option. Plasma is made up of the water, enzymes, proteins and antibodies in your blood. Companies process plasma to create medicines and to use in therapies. Since it can’t be created synthetically, and donated plasma does not go directly into the body of another person, businesses are willing to compensate donors for their time. If you’re considering a plasma donation, here are some things you should know:

  • You need to be between 16 and 69 years old.
  • You must weigh more than 110 pounds.
  • You must be in good health and free of infectious diseases.
  • You’ll have to pass a basic physical examination.
  • You should bring a valid photo ID and have proof of your Social Security number.
  • Some medications can prevent you from donating plasma.
  • Recent body piercings or tattoos may also prevent you from donating.
  • Some donation centers use promotions or coupons to draw in donors.
  • Search online for local plasma donation centers—make sure the one you choose is IQPP-certified, such as BioLife, CSL Plasma, Grifols, and Octapharma.
  • Drink lots of fluids before you go, as this will help your blood flow faster.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol within 24 hours of donation, as these can affect your blood pressure and hydration levels.
  • Pump your fist (e.g. use a stress ball) to help increase the rate of circulation.
  • You can expect somewhere between $20 to $50 per visit, depending on the company.
  • Some companies will pay you more for repeat donations.
  • Payment is usually distributed in the form of a prepaid debit card.
  • How much plasma you can give is dependent on your weight—the more you can donate, the more you can earn.
  • Plasmapheresis, or the process of separating the plasma from the red blood cells, takes usually around 60-90 minutes.
  • Your first donation will take longer than subsequent visits, because of the medical screening.
  • Normally, you may only make two donations in a seven-day time period.
  • Generally, you must wait 48 hours between visits.

Please check the official websites of the companies for specific details regarding rules and compensation regarding donating plasma.

AFCU Named as One of Credit Union Journal’s 2019 Best Credit Unions to Work For

MEDIA CONTACT:
Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AFCU Named as One of Credit Union Journal’s 2019 Best Credit Unions to Work For

Riverdale, Utah – OCT.8, 2019 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) has been named one of the 2019 Best Credit Unions to Work For. Credit Union Journal has partnered with Best Companies Group to identify companies that have excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees.

“It’s an honor to be named alongside many incredible credit unions for the fourth consecutive year,” said AFCU President and CEO John Lund. “We believe in taking care of our employees both professionally and personally because they are the number one reason we’ve been able to continue growing and being successful.”

This survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best credit unions. The 2019 list is made up of 50 credit unions—as of September 2019, there were more than 6,000 Credit Unions in the United States. The full Best Credit Unions to Work For list is featured at CUJournal.com.

“Credit unions, deservedly, are recognized for their commitment to the communities they serve,” said Aaron Passman, Editor in Chief of Credit Union Journal. “Our annual ranking recognizes those that go above and beyond in terms of their employees’ job satisfaction, career development and personal growth.”

Determining the Best Credit Unions to Work For involved a two-step process. The first consisted of evaluating each participating credit union’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second consisted of employee surveys aimed at assessing the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the final ranking.

To be considered for participation, credit unions had to have at least 25 employees working in the U.S. and been in business a minimum of one year. Best Companies Group managed the registration and survey process and also analyzed the data and to determine the final ranking.

For more information on the Best Credit Unions to Work For program, visit www.BestCreditUnionstoWorkFor.com.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.5 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,062,000 members.