Published July 21, 2015
Volume 23, Number 7

Increasing Financial Literacy is at the Foundation of 1st

United Services Credit Union

1st United Services Credit Union 
Greg Pulliam, Chief Admistrative Officer, 1st United Services Credit Union

By Jay Hipps

If asked who is the leading provider of financial education in Alameda County, most people would be likely to guess that the answer is a school district or university. That’s not the case, though — it’s 1st United Services Credit Union, a financial institution that first opened its doors in 1932 and is now headquartered in Hacienda.
“We underwrite a financial education curriculum that is used in Alameda County high schools and we work extensively with youth-oriented non-profits as well,” says Greg Pulliam, the credit union’s chief administrative officer. “We focus on financial literacy for both students and adults, delivering classes at schools and employer sites on subjects like budgeting basics, how your credit score is determined, and preventing identity theft.”
Financial education is one of 1st United Services Credit Union’s core values, beginning with teaching the differences between credit unions and banks.
“The big banks are all publicly-traded corporations, which means they are in business to generate profits for their shareholders,” explains Pulliam. “At credit unions, our shareholders are the people who have accounts with us.”
“Our not-for-profit status allows us to provide members with lower fees, lower rate loans and credit cards, higher yield savings and free checking," adds Annette Bermudez, vice president of business development.
1st United Services Credit Union offers services like online and mobile banking, bill pay, and mobile deposits, all of which are offered at no charge. They also are part of the no-fee credit union ATM network, which consists of over 30,000 outlets nationwide—more than all the major banks. 
While the credit union does not offer business banking services, it does have a lot to offer local companies. “Partnership with 1st USCU enhances your employee benefits package at no cost to your business,” says Bermudez. “Our business development team can provide on-site account opening and financial analysis, free educational seminars, sponsorship and representation at your company’s special events, and a personalized webpage for your company.”
1st USCU’s outreach extends into philanthropy as well. The company has supported Hacienda Helping Hands since 2009 by hosting and participating in events benefiting the charity as well as actively teaming with Hacienda to promote the initiative. The credit union’s most recent effort is called the H3 Challenge, which provides a new focus on growing the Hacienda Helping Hands fund so that it can continue making grants to locally-serving community organizations and non-profits. “Our business development team is going to be taking the message to companies here, and for every new qualifying employee account, 1st USCU will make a $25 donation to Hacienda Helping Hands,” says Pulliam.
For more information about 1st United Services Credit Union, contact their Business Development team at (925) 847-4942 or visit them online at 1stuscu.org.


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