Published February 27, 2018
Volume 2, Number 2

1st United Credit Union Helps Members

and Community

By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer

The not-for-profit 1st United Credit Union has been a part of the East Bay since 1932, when a group of Alameda County employees formed a financial co-op during the Depression to help people who were struggling to get loans from big banks. This co-op eventually became 1st United Credit Union, which hit $1 billion in assets last year as well as celebrated its 85th year in business.

“Our mission is to provide simpler, faster, and friendlier financial services to our members,” says Greg Pulliam, Chief Administrative Officer, who has been with 1st United Credit Union for nearly 13 years. “We also believe in the core philosophy upon which credit unions were founded—people helping people.”

Being a good neighbor is at the heart of what 1st United does, according to 1st United, and an important way that it fulfills the credit union purpose. The organization is committed to the spirit of volunteerism, supporting local schools, and improving the financial wellness of children and families in its communities. These communities include Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Pleasanton, and Fremont, the cities where the credit union’s eight branches are located. 1st United Credit Union moved its company headquarters to Hacienda in 1997.

“We are really about helping our members and community realize their dreams, whether it is buying a house, buying a car, saving for retirement, or sending a child to college,” says Pulliam. “This is accomplished through great financial products and services as well as financial education.”

Over the years, 1st United Credit Union executives asked themselves how they could do more to help its communities in those areas, says Pulliam, and responded by putting together an active employee volunteering program.  

“Last year, we had over 80% of our employees volunteering at Alameda County Community Food Bank, local schools, and with foster kids,” he says. “We have really been gratified by seeing our employees out in the community. Everyone who has volunteered has wanted to go back and do more of it.”

1st United has also sponsored or donated to a variety of groups. These include Alternative Family Services, Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, Alameda County Family Justice Center, Washington Hospital, Alameda Health Systems, Alameda County Community Food Bank, San Leandro Education Foundation, and Pleasanton Partners in Education.

In 2017, 1st United Credit Union was named as one of San Francisco Bay Area’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. Winners are chosen by an independent research firm that evaluates companies based on key measures in various categories, including compensation, benefits and employee solutions; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance.

Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Solano and Stanislaus Counties is eligible to become a member of 1st United Credit Union. The 59,000-member not-for-profit credit union is now ranked in the top 5% of U.S. credit unions based on asset size.

Additionally, 1st United ranks as number 11 on Callahan & Associates’ Return of the Member (ROM) index for California’s 328 credit unions, demonstrating how well the financial institution benefits its members. The ROM index weighs aspects such as the credit union’s rates compared to its competitors, how many products and services the credit union offers, and how many members utilize these products.

For more information about 1st United Credit Union, please visit https://www.1stunitedcu.org.