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Members 1st Credit Union

Our vision at Members 1st Credit Union is to be our members' most trusted financial partner.

Members 1st Credit Union assists its members through a wide assortment of products and services to make sound financial decisions that lead to their improved financial well-being.

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  • Coping financially during tough times
    Coping financially during tough times

    Job loss and other financial hits from an economic downturn inevitably take a toll on your household. Even if you have your budget and spending under control, you may face difficult decisions about how to protect your household's financial future.

    Anticipating a layoff

    If you suspect that your employer is planning a layoff or other measures that will affect your job, you should avoid spending more on luxuries, even if they're available at a discount.

    Instead, hints of a layoff or work slowdown should alert you to the need to revamp your finances. Planning now will help cushion the impact of a significant decline in your income, whenever it occurs.

    • Look at your savings. Focus on “liquid” funds that you can tap quickly if you lose your source of steady income. Unless you already have enough to survive on for months of unemployment, you should start saving as much as possible now. Cut nonessential spending - dining out, premium cable channels, subscriptions - to increase the amount available to save.
    • Pay off as much debt as possible. Without sacrificing your savings, use any additional income, such as a tax refund check or recent salary increases, toward paying down debt. Start by paying down the balance on credit cards and other high-interest debt. If you must use your credit card for a purchase, pay the balance in full each month. Try to pay off vehicle loans and other forms of short-term debt. This will protect your vehicle and your credit rating if a layoff occurs, while freeing up more funds for saving.
    • Review your mortgage. Talk to a credit union loan specialist about refinancing while you are still employed. Refinancing your home at a lower interest rate or for a longer repayment term can cut your payments to shift funds to cover living expenses, save or pay down debt.
    • Consider a home equity line of credit. If you lack emergency savings, again, consider talking to the professionals at your credit union about getting approval for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which you should only tap in case of an emergency. Resist using the line of credit to pay for routine expenses; inability to make payments later could cause you to lose your home.
    • Gather information from your workplace to cope with the potential of job loss. You're likely to lose access to workplace computers if a layoff occurs, so transfer personal files and contact lists to another format that you can access from your home computer or the public library. Update your résumé and share contact information with co-workers or supervisors who could provide a reference or information about job leads.
    • File for unemployment benefits as soon as you know you will be laid off. You're likely to lose access to workplace computers if a layoff occurs, so transfer personal files and contact lists to another format that you can access from your home computer or the public library. Update your résumé and share contact information with co-workers or supervisors who could provide a reference or information about job leads.
    • Review your health insurance options. If you can't get COBRA or cannot get on your spouse's insurance, check for your options.

    This is a difficult period for all of us. But know that Members 1st Credit Union is committed to helping our members stay financially safe and healthy.

  • Don't Fall for Gift Card Scams
    Don't fall for gift card scams

    Gift cards are extremely popular, to give as well as to get. They're a convenient way to treat someone to a meal at their favorite restaurant, purchase an item of their own choosing at a favorite store or simply to give them cash to use anywhere the card is accepted. Unfortunately, scammers also love gift cards and have come up with creative ways to convince you to purchase cards for them.

    In 2021, consumers reported more than $148 million lost to gift card scammers. Many consumers reported being contacted by the IRS, Social Security and power companies who told them they were liable for penalties. Others say they were contacted by Amazon or Apple to pay to continue service. Some say they were contacted by law enforcement and told to pay a fee to avoid a warrant.

    You are told payment must be made using a gift card instead of a check or online payment. You don't need to mail the card; just simply tell them the serial and personal identification numbers on the back.

    Here are a few more scenarios gift card scammers use:

    Relative in distress - You receive a call from someone claiming to be a loved one, usually a grandchild. They tell you they have had an accident, or they are stuck in a foreign country unable to get home. They ask you to send money immediately using a gift or a prepaid card.

    Clergy members - They claim they are raising money for a worthy cause. They contact you by phone, text or email, ask you to purchase gift cards and give them the numbers.

    Resale or auction sites - Once you have shown interest in an item, the scammer will offer a discount if you buy it with a gift card. You give them the number and never get the item you purchased.

    Be suspicious if a government agency, legitimate company or loved one asks you to pay them with a gift card. If you're unsure, contact the agency or company using their official website, not a number provided in the questionable message. If it's someone who claims to be a relative, contact the immediate family and ask them to verify that a payment is needed.

    Like cash, once a gift card is handed over to someone, it's very hard to get the money back. You are not protected from fraud like you are with major credit cards.

    If you are contacted by anyone insisting that a payment must be made with a gift card, it's very likely a scammer. Show the same due diligence protecting your credit union information. Someone from the credit union will never contact you and request you to give them your Social Security number, member number or debit card information. If you have any doubts, HANG UP and call the credit union directly at 314-487-5628 or 636-937-7144.


    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Save on Your Vacation Lodgings

    Vacations are meant to give you some much-needed rest and relaxation. Since lodging expenses can eat up a huge chunk of your vacation savings, you'll want to make sure you find the best prices for them.

    Here are a few websites to help you find the best deals on lodgings.

    If you're strictly a hotel-type of person, check out This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. and This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website., which include filters that let you choose by star-class, reviewer ratings, neighborhood, etc. To get really discounted, last-minute bookings, use phone apps like SnapTravel and HotelTonight.

    For cozier dwellings, check out or This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.. These places tend to be more pet-friendly than others, so this is an especially good choice if you're traveling with your pooch.

    If you're looking for lodgings for four or more people, renting a home may be the perfect choice. You'll have the comforts of home, including a kitchen and laundry facilities, at a much better price than renting multiple hotel rooms. Check out This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website., This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website., and to find hundreds of homes you can rent for a day or longer.

    What if you really just need a place to sleep and shower? Check out This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. where you can even rent a person's couch or guest bed for a few nights!

    By doing just a little research, you can choose vacation dwellings that will let you and your budget rest easy.

    If your budget is stretched a little too much, check out the loan options we have available! A small unsecured loan may be all you need; or, if you're planning a dream vacation, a Life's Big Events loan may be a better fit. Call one of our loan officers, and find what's right for you.

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Car Buyers' Worst Mistakes

    How much money do you think educated car buyers can save over uneducated buyers when buying the same car? Would $5,000 get your attention?

    While you may not save as much as $5,000, you'll save a bunch if you avoid these classic car-buying errors.

    • Showing enthusiasm. If you act excited, the sellers know they have a unique product you want. The price goes up instantly. Keep that enthusiasm in check until you've driven home.
    • Buying in a hurry. If you buy on your first visit to a dealership, you don't have time to compare. Take your time. Be willing to walk away. The price at most dealerships falls quickly if you move slowly.
    • Giving deposits before the dealer approves your offer on a vehicle. Feel free to give a deposit, if you really want a vehicle. But don't give it until the boss has said "yes." Some dealerships use deposits to keep you there while they try to convince you to pay more. And you can't leave if they have your deposit – money, a credit card, a driver's license or your kids.
    • Being switched to leasing without doing your homework. Because dealerships make a much larger profit if they lease rather than sell, even the best dealership may try to "switch" you. They'll try to convince you leasing is cheaper than buying. In most instances, it isn't. If you want to lease, fine. Just don't do it on the spur of the moment.
    • Trading in your old car without knowing its value in advance. A dealership has the right to give you the least you will take for your old car. But you have a right to get the most your car is worth. To know that value, simply clean it up, and try to sell it to several used car dealerships. The highest amount you're offered for it is your car's real value right now. Don't accept less than that in trade.
    • Financing automatically at the dealership. The dealership may not be the cheapest place to finance. To find out, simply bring a copy of the filled-out dealer contract to Members 1st Credit Union and compare contracts. If the dealership won't give you a copy, they're probably not the cheapest.

    Big mistakes, big bucks out the window. We like to help you preserve your money – that's what credit unions are all about. Avoid these mistakes, and put that money to work rather than throwing it away. Getting pre-approved before shopping saves time and lets you shop with confidence. Apply today.

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Home Improvement Projects: DIY or Pro?

    If you have a home improvement project, should you do it yourself (DIY) or hire a pro? Even if you're handy with tools and think you can save money, consider these factors first.

    Check the time

    Determine the time needed to complete a project. It can be easy to misjudge. Take painting, for example. It may not take long. It's the rest - covering floors and furniture, correcting wall problems, taping trim and cleanup - that eats up hours. Larger projects may take you months to complete that a contractor can finish in weeks. When you've come up with an estimate, decide if you want to take that much time away from work and family.

    Assess other project requirements

    Other factors to consider are:

    • Remember the materials - If you do it yourself, you'll need exact measurements. Consider ordering all materials first. Check materials to make sure they're the items you ordered and are undamaged. You'll need a vehicle to pick up materials and dump trash.
    • Know your tools - Certain jobs require certain tools. What will you need? You may have to buy or rent tools. Do you know how to use them effectively?
    • Assess your skills - Are you capable of completing the entire project yourself? You may know electrical, but how about drywall? If not, sign up for a course at a local community college or attend a class at a home-improvement center. You could also to talk to a pro by paying for a few hours of time to pick his or her brain.
    • Plan to be safe - Doing projects at heights, using tools you aren't comfortable with and doing unfamiliar work can be dangerous. Nail guns can puncture building materials and body parts. If you work on a roof, there's always the risk of a fall. With ladders, people not only can fall from them, but the ladders themselves can fall if not properly secured or braced.
    • Consider the liabilities - Many communities require permits for projects. While a reputable contractor would handle getting the permits, a DIY homeowner must remember that task and understand the requirements. If you make it a DIY project but hire casual labor to help with parts of it, there may be tax liabilities. If a worker gets hurt, you may get sued. If a worker causes a fire or major damage, it may invalidate your homeowners policy.
    • Do the math - Factor in the cost of your own time. What could you earn at work for the time you'll spend on the project?

    Finance your project

    Contact Members 1st Credit Union for the best financing option. We can fund home improvement projects through either home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). A home equity loan is a standard loan based on the value of your home and your equity in it. You get all the approved money at once and repay it though fixed-rate amortized payments. A HELOC is set up more like a credit card with a maximum amount you can borrow against as needed for a set period. Repayment is based on an adjustable rate.

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Need a loan? A HELOC might be right for you.

    The new year is just around the corner, and the holidays can be a tight time for your financial health. With big family gatherings, high prices and gift giving, it's important to keep an eye on your budgets and to get help if you’re stretching yourself too thin. But things are pricier compared to last year for buying and borrowing.

    Interest rates are at a 30-year high right now, and it seems like they might go higher. Borrowing money for the things you need or giving yourself a little extra wiggle room for the holidays is getting more expensive. Member’s 1st wants you to keep your financial stability throughout the year; so, instead of a traditional loan, consider a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) if you need to borrow. Locking in a low rate now will help insulate you from higher interest rates that currently accompany traditional loans. You can have peace of mind with a low annual percentage rate (APR) for the promotional term to get the funds you need. Take a look at the specifics:

    Members 1st offers a 3.95% APR on HELOC loans until January 2026. This offer also applies to refinances from other institutions for new HELOC loans opened between Oct.15 -Dec 15, 2022. The minimum initial draw is $7,500 for this this promotional rate. The APR will adjust to the current interest rate the borrower qualified for on Jan. 1, 2026.

    Members 1st is dedicated to keeping our members financially stable and offering them the best options for their financial well-being. Financial responsibility is a core tenet of our credit union, and we insist on educating our members so they can make the best financial decisions for their future. If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices today. Members 1st is here for you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Make Sure Your Kids Are Getting A Financial Education

    At Members 1st, we know that financial education is important, and educating our customers is a part of our mission. What about your kids, though? Financial education must start somewhere, and it should start with you. School curriculum isn't cutting it anymore, and there are steps that parents can take now to educate their children so that they can make sound financial decisions now and in the future. Let's look at some everyday opportunities that can help you get started.

    • Talk to Your Children About Money
      Kids need to know about the basics. Discuss where money comes from and how it's used. When you tap or slide your debit card, clarify that this action is taking money from your account just the same as if you were withdrawing cash. Talk with children about earning money and consider giving them an allowance for the proper completion of chores. If the chores aren't completed the right way, explain why they must be done properly to garner the allowance. Removing some of the mystery around transactions and building an understanding about how to earn money will benefit your kids in the long term.
    • Create Teachable Moments
      There are lots of everyday opportunities to teach your kids about money. Going grocery shopping is a great opportunity to talk about budgeting and value, so you're getting the most for your money. Have your child help compare prices on similar goods and show them how closely the budget was kept with your receipt. You could also try planning an event (a weekend outing or a birthday party) with a budget, and let your kids help. Hands-on experience will help them learn value and discretion.
    • Emphasizing Needs vs. Wants
      Kids ask adults for the things they need, and for the things they want. Sometimes, they ask a lot. It's important to differentiate between needs and wants for children and teens. When your child spends money, ask them if it was a need or a want. Ask them how spending their money made them feel and what alternatives they could have chosen instead. Helping them understand the difference now will go a long for helping them make sound financial decisions in the future.
    • Open A Savings Account - It's Never Too Early To Start Saving
      Opening a savings account for your child or teen is a great way to help them track money they earn or receive, and it helps reinforce budgeting. Encourage your child to save for a bigger goal or purchase, and when they want to spend on other things, remind them what they're saving for and how much longer they'll have to save to reach their goal if they spend impulsively.
    • Donate to Charity
      It's important that we show our children that money can help people, and not just buy things. Find a local charity to donate to and show your children how money, even a little, can help people in your community.

    Teaching our children about money helps us all make better financial decisions. If you're having difficulty talking to your children and teens about money, Members 1st is here to help. We want our members and their families to have the necessary financial skills to succeed! Call or stop by one of our offices today or click around our website to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Facing Challenges & Opportunities Together

    Four New Products - Just for Our Members

    At Members 1st, our appreciation for our members is part of our everyday operations. We are committed to prioritizing people over profits and to offering you the financial options you want and need.

    During recent months, we have navigated staffing shortages (like so many other companies) that, at times, affected our branch hours and availability. We cannot thank you enough for your understanding and loyalty, especially during this time.

    While some things are out of our control, Members 1st can guarantee our priority is always our members. We are grateful for the trust you put in us as your financial partner, and we are excited to share details about our newest products/services.

    New Products Available Just for Our Members

    Temporary Debit Card Limit Increases: When you are making a big purchase, booking a vacation or spending any large sum of money, make sure to give us a call to request a temporary increase in your debit card limits. Using this service can increase your spending power just when you need it most.

    E-receipts: Skip the paper, and have your receipts sent straight to your inbox. You'll never have to worry about losing an important receipt again, and by saving your receipts electronically, you'll have them all in one place without the paper clutter.

    Virtual Branch Next:Check out the latest upgrades and new look to our online banking experience. The simple and modern layout was designed with you in mind and puts the most-used items together in an easy-to-use format.

    Zelle®: Zelle® is a fast, safe and free way to send money to friends and family. Send and receive money with Zelle® right from Bill Pay online or our mobile banking app.

    And coming soon … Apple Pay and Google Pay:Later this year, Members 1st will start offering Apple Pay and Google Pay. You'll have the convenience of paying using your digital wallet right on your phone.

    Members 1st is YOUR credit union! We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to financial services, and we truly appreciate your continued loyalty to us during these unusual times.

    Whether you are planning for your financial future, navigating an unexpected financial issue or simply opening a new savings or checking account, we are here to help you with all your financial needs. Call or stop by one of our offices today or click around our website to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Thank You Members - Your Loyalty Matters!

    4 Exceptional Benefits Available Just for You

    Our community, like so many others, has dealt with a lot these past few years. In the face of these challenges, our members have been resilient, and our credit union has stayed strong. We at Members 1st cannot thank you enough!

    We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to financial services, but we also know not all financial institutions are created equal. Members 1st offers many of the same services as banks, but as a credit union we are unique, especially when it comes to our members.

    As a member, you are an owner of Members 1st Credit Union, so serving you is our top priority. We sincerely appreciate that you chose us for your financial services, and we work to provide you with exceptional membership benefits in a variety of ways.

    1. Lower Fees - Our purpose is to benefit our members. Because of our not-for-profit business structure, Members 1st can often offer you lower fees than other financial institutions. We don't have to pay shareholders, but instead can reinvest earnings back into our members.
    2. Better Rates - Members 1st offers our members great rates on savings accounts. In addition, because of our not-for-profit business model, we can often offer lower interest rates on loans, including car loans and mortgages. A lower interest rate can have a big impact on your day-to-day financial life and your long-term goals.
    3. Financial Education - Our vision is to be our members' most-trusted financial partner. We take time to educate you on the financial options that are in your best interest rather than just what would be better for the credit union. And because we are part of your local community, you know the guidance we offer will be specific to your needs.
    4. Personal Commitment - Members 1st feels a strong sense of shared community with and loyalty to our members. We focus on personalized customer service. That includes our willingness to work with you if unexpected (or unforeseen) circumstances occur and you need help getting back to improved financial well-being.

    Members 1st is YOUR credit union. We truly appreciate your loyalty to us during these unusual times!

    As we continue to strive to better serve our members, we have some exciting new services coming soon. Be on the lookout later this spring for new conveniences that will provide you easier access to all your Members 1st accounts and services.

    Whether you are planning for your financial future, navigating an unexpected financial issue or simply opening a new savings or checking account, we are here to help you with all your financial needs. Call or stop by one of our offices today, or click around, to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Payday Loans: Easy Cash or Bad Bargain? Let Members 1st Help

    Even if you've never needed one, you probably have heard of payday loans. They are ultra-short-term, high-interest loans that can seem like the only source of immediate funds for cash-strapped Americans. Members 1st knows these loans aren't worth the risk, and our loan officers are ready and available to discuss your other options.

    Unbelievably, around 12 million Americans use payday loans each year (according to the Chamber of Commerce). When bills, car payments and other nagging expenses pile up and the checking account is running low, it can be tempting to look for ways to find quick cash. You can sell personal items or ask family members for a loan, but whatever you do, don't go to a payday lender. It's a trap that will hold you captive far too long and cost you much more than you borrow.

    Payday loans are popular, because they are extremely easy to get - no required credit check or collateral. A typical loan is for 14 days, and you're expected to pay it back in full when you receive your next paycheck. However, payday lenders charge a fee of 15% to 20% for every $100 borrowed. For a two-week loan, that works out to an annual interest rate well over 350%.

    Most payday borrowers can't pay the loan in full when it's due, so they roll it over into another loan, with a new finance charge added to it. For example, say you borrowed $300 with a 15% finance charge for a two-week period. On your next payday, you would have to pay $345 ($300 x .15) to the payday lender. If you can't pay it when it's due and roll it over, you get hit with another finance charge, this time on $345. Now you owe $396.75. Often, this pattern just repeats over and over. In just six weeks, you will owe $456.26 on a $300 loan.

    So, what are your alternatives? Start by asking your family and friends for help. Some may be able to lend you money until you get back on your feet financially. Make it clear to them that you will pay it, perhaps by drawing up terms stating a clear plan for you to pay back the loan. If they don't have money to lend, they may be able to help by driving you to work or even letting you move in with them temporarily.

    If you are in good standing with Members 1st Credit Union and have good credit, you may qualify for an unsecured personal loan. Good news: You don't need collateral for this kind of loan, and you can qualify for $500 to $20,000, depending on your credit score and debt/income ratios. Even better news: You will get a much better interest rate than a payday lender and avoid the exuberant fees. And, even if you don't have an excellent credit score, we encourage you to talk with one of our loan officers. We may be able to find a workable solution for you.

    If you are hit with a financial emergency, there are better options than a payday loan. Members 1st is committed to helping our members throughout their lives, through the good times and the bad. If you need a loan, talk with us to discuss how we can help you get through a rough patch without putting your financial security at risk.

    Members 1st is YOUR credit union. Whether you are trying to navigate unexpected financial turns, planning for your financial future or simply opening a new savings or checking account, we are here to help you with all your financial needs. Call or stop by one of our offices today, or click around our website, to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Two Keys to Success When Buying a Home in a Seller's Market

    Have you made the decision to buy a new home? Or are you buying your very first home? You are probably excited and can't wait to go house hunting. If the market is a "Buyers' Market," one in which supply (of available houses) exceeds demand, you will have plenty of time to get your financing in order and look at as many homes as you like.

    On the other hand, if demand is high and supply is low, then you're in a "Sellers' Market." In a sellers' market, homes sell almost as soon as they become available. Buyers often have bidding wars with each other and end up offering the seller more than the seller asked for, in an attempt to outbid one another.

    In a sellers' market, when you find a home you love, you will need to act fast. Members 1st can help!

    Sellers don't want to wait for buyers who are still working on their financing. So, before you start looking at homes, reach out to a loan officer at Members 1st. We can help you with two important steps so you are ready to buy a home:

    1. Get preapproved for a mortgage with Members 1st - With a preapproved mortgage, you are showing the seller you're immediately ready to close on your offer. Offers without a mortgage contingency tend to jump to the head of the line.
    2. Get your down payment information ready with Members 1st - With our help, you will be prepared with the necessary paperwork to show you have proof of funds.

    By getting preapproved for your mortgage, you'll know exactly how much house you can afford, and you'll get a head start on most of the other buyers. Also, since you will know the maximum that you can afford, you will be able to save time by searching only for those houses in your price range.

    You might also consider writing an offer letter to the seller, explaining a little about yourself and why you love the house. Keep it short and simple; strive to make a personal connection to the seller, but not bore them. Your realtor can send this letter to the seller and their realtor along with your formal purchase offer.

    Let Members 1st help you begin your home-buying journey. Our loan officers are available at both the Mattis and Festus locations and look forward to talking with you about getting preapproved. They will calculate how much you can afford, find the best interest rate you qualify for and help you get to the front of the line in a sellers' market.

    Members 1st is YOUR credit union. Whether you are buying a home, shopping for a student loan or opening a new savings or checking account, we are here to help you with your financial plans. Call or stop by one of our offices today to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Making Travel Plans After All This Time?
    Plan Ahead to Make Your Vacation Fun & Frugal.

    Making Travel Plans After All This Time? Plan Ahead to Make Your Vacation Fun & Frugal.

    As vaccinations against COVID-19 become more prevalent, Americans are likely to resume spending money on something we largely haven't in the past year - travel.

    The spread of the coronavirus pandemic last year put an obvious damper on the U.S. travel industry. In domestic travel alone (that's Americans traveling around the U.S.), the United States brought in $972 billion in 2019, according to the most recent statistics from Statista. In 2020, Statista estimates that total dropped to $582 billion - a loss of $390 billion year-over-year.

    Statista predicts those numbers will increase gradually as Americans become more comfortable in a vaccinated world. That renewed urge to travel could put an additional strain on our wallets that we haven't felt in the past year.


    How do you make smart financial choices as you plan your dream vacation?

    If you've got the travel bug, don't worry - a vacation away doesn't have to break the bank or be too complicated! Here are some suggestions for frugal and smart travel from the Travel Channel and Members 1st Credit Union:


    Before You Go:

    1. Consider off-season travel - Tours, lodging and even food are often discounted during the travel "off-seasons." Consider trekking through Europe in the winter or visiting the Caribbean during the summer months (although this is considered hurricane season - so travel with caution!).
    2. Let Members 1st know - Before you leave, submit a travel notice to let us know when and where you're traveling. Members 1st can put a confidential note in your accounts to help maintain uninterrupted use of your debit and credit cards. To submit a travel notice call us at 314-487-5628 or 636-937-7144. You can also add our Fraud Department at 877-253-8964 into your phone contact list in case they call you with questions regarding suspicious activity.
    3. Skip hotel reservations - Sometimes hotel rates can skyrocket. If that's the case, consider finding lodging through an app such as Airbnb, which can sometimes save you money while also giving you more space and amenities.
    4. Carry prepaid debit cards - Prepaid cards are a convenient and secure way to carry plastic, but can also be used as a no-risk budgeting tool. The cards are not tied to your Members 1st accounts in any way but can be used wherever debit/Visa® cards are accepted.


    While You Are Away:

    1. Use the Members 1st CardValet app - This app allows you to take control of your debit card activity even while you are on the go. You can turn your card on and off, set location-based usage limits and even schedule alerts for transaction types. Visit the App store or Google Play store today and download the CardValet App. To learn more, visit
    2. Avoid renting a car - Make a point of researching your destination's public transportation or ridesharing app capabilities ahead of time. Usually, utilizing these options can save you money compared to renting a car. And remember, walking is a great way to explore a new place, and you'll skip transportation fees completely.
    3. Dine out at lunchtime - If you're planning to have one "fancy" meal a day on your vacation, make that meal lunch rather than dinner. Many restaurants have lunch dishes similar or identical to their dinner menus for a little cheaper. You will enjoy the same delicious food for less money.
    4. Stop by a Members 1st shared branch location - Shared Branching lets our members use participating credit unions in other places. Just remember, you will need to show your credit union member number and a valid driver's license to access funds at these locations. Click on Find a Branch/ATM at the top of this page to learn more.


    Whether you are staying close to home or traveling abroad, Members 1st is YOUR credit union, and we are here to help you with your financial plans. Call or stop by one of our offices today to find out how Members 1st can support you!


    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628

    Festus office: (636) 931-7144

  • Pandemic Relief Includes Some Positive Changes for Tax Season
    Don't Let Pandemic Stress Make Tax Season Worse

    Unfortunately, tax season is upon us again! Doing taxes has never been anyone's idea of a good time, but after 12 months of pandemic, tax time might be more unwelcome than it has ever been.

    It's not just that people don't like paying taxes either. According to a 2019 report from NerdWallet, there's a lot of fear and anxiety, too. In 2019, 26% of Americans were stressed or anxious about taxes, 21% feared getting audited if they made a mistake, and 27% were worried about a mistake causing them to pay too much.

    Believe it or not, there are actually some reasons to be less stressed about taxes this year because of COVID-19 relief efforts. The CARES Act made several positive changes to tax rules for 2020 because of the coronavirus. For example, the standard deduction increased to $12,400 for single filers and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly. Income tax brackets increased in response to inflation as well.

    What is taxable?
    • Federal stimulus checks are NOT taxable.
    • Unemployment benefits are NOT taxable. Formerly, they were, but the most recent stimulus plan changed that in March 2021. For people who earned fewer than $150,000, unemployment benefits are no longer taxable, up to $10,200 for single adults or $20,400 for two workers who are married. If you had taxes withheld on unemployment benefits, you may be due a refund.
    • If you received unemployment benefits and already filed your 2020 tax return, the IRS says DO NOT file an amended return until it provides guidance on how to do that.
    • For people who received unemployment benefits and haven't yet filed a 2020 tax return - the IRS has issued instructions:

    Here are some tax deductions and credits to consider. Remember that if your 2020 income was reduced because of the pandemic, your eligibility may have changed. For example, if your income fell in the middle of the year, becoming eligible for tax credits might mean you can receive refunds of the taxes you paid earlier in the year.

    Charitable deductions:

    If you itemize deductions, you can deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income. Even if you take the standard deduction, you can write off up to $300 of charitable contributions.

    Earned income tax credit:

    If you qualify for the EITC, you receive a credit that will reduce your taxes. It could save you from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on your income, your filing status and how many children you have. According to the IRS, if your earned income was higher in 2019 than it was in 2020, you can use the 2019 amount to figure your tax credit for 2020. Unemployment compensation might affect eligibility for the EITC, so be sure to consider that.

    Business deductions:

    There are lots of possible business expenses that can be deducted if you are self-employed. Unfortunately, working remotely because of the pandemic does NOT qualify.

    Medical deductions:

    As usual, you can deduct medical expenses above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. If your income fell in 2020, you might now be eligible.

    Child tax credit:

    Families can claim up to $2,000 per qualified child.

    YOUR credit union is always here to help you with YOUR money. Call or stop by one of the offices, or find more information on our website.

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Preparedness Means Knowing the Credit Union Services Available to You!
    Say Goodbye To 2020 & Hello to Being Prepared In 2021

    What a year! For Members 1st, 2020 seems like a year of duplicities: both standing still AND making progress.

    When we were forced to shut down our lobbies because of the pandemic earlier in the year, that halted almost everything. We had to get creative and work super hard to figure out what members and employees could do safely. The "progress" part came because we were able to do that by helping members discover and use services that had always been available to them … but that they might not have ever used before.

    Now as we near the end of the year, despite being fully open for several months now, we understand things still feel a bit uncertain for many of you. However, we believe the more you know about the services your credit union offers, the better prepared you'll be if something would happen (although we hope not). Get to know these Members 1st services, so you're prepared for anything that comes your way in 2021 and beyond!

    Online Banking:

    The best thing you can do to prepare is to sign up for online banking and use this time to get accustomed to using it. You can access all your credit union accounts 24/7 - check account balances, transfer between accounts, make loan payments and more. You can see all your transactions online and see copies of all the checks you write, including who you wrote them to and when the check cleared. Once you learn how to navigate it … you'll wonder what you ever did before it!


    With the recent mail slowdowns, some members' paper statements have been arriving late. Once you set up online banking, you can quickly and easily sign up for e-statements, which let you see an electronic version of your regular paper statement online immediately.

    Mobile App:

    Not everyone has internet access at home ... however most everyone has access to a smartphone. If you download our mobile app from Google Play or the App Store, you can quickly access and use the online banking feature on your mobile device on the go! You can even deposit checks just by taking a picture of them with the mobile app. More than a convenience, it's a great backup if you can't physically get to the credit union or prefer to have the freedom of banking at your fingertips.

    Debit Card:

    Maybe you don't have a debit card because you prefer writing checks or making a cash withdrawal inside the lobby. But even if you never use it to make purchases, did you know that a debit card is a great way to get emergency cash? You can access up to $500 per day from our ATMs - even if the lobby is closed for any reason, or even just after hours.

    Card Valet:

    This is one of our newest - and quickly becoming one of our members' favorites - services. With Card Valet, you'll receive a text message or email notification whenever your debit card is used. It's not just a great way to find out quickly about fraudulent use if your card is lost or stolen, but also if you forget to write down a debit card transaction in your check register, you'll have the ability to look at these alerts to remember the transaction details.

    Direct Deposit & Payroll Deduction:

    You can have your paycheck, retirement check or other recurring payments deposited directly into your credit union account. You can also arrange to make a loan payment or account deposit automatically.

    Social Media:

    Maybe you think social media is all chit-chat and cat videos. But Members 1st social media accounts are all about helping members. We share credit union news, like special loan rates or new services, top tips, as well as closures and last-minute information. And of course, we like to have a little fun and showcase employees and members!

    Email Blasts:

    If we have your updated email, we send out messages about our newest member services and programs, as well as branch information. It's just one more quick and convenient way to stay informed on your credit union!

    If you want to know more about online banking or any of these services, we invite you to call or stop by one of the offices, or you can find more information on our website. Now … let's focus on welcoming and preparing for 2021!

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Protecting Yourself from Online and Debit Card Fraud
    Here's How to Guard Against Financial Fraud

    Do you know how to guard yourself from financial fraud? If not, now is the time to learn as, unfortunately, we see a lot of fraud attempts directed at our members lately. All types of fraud are happening, but online and debit card fraud are skyrocketing. The best way to protect yourself is to know the tricks scammers use to make you let your guard down. A recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 80% of people who have learned about a scam will disengage from it before it's too late. Are you part of that statistic?

    Guard Your Financial Information:

    Under no circumstances should you ever give financial information like account numbers, debit card numbers and PINs out over the phone or online to people you do not know.

    • Never give out your account number to anyone other than employers or other trusted and encrypted sites, such as setting up auto pay for utilities.
    • Never give out your debit card number online, such as for a Facebook or Instagram advertised purchase. Once you give the number, there is no way to stop that transaction. We are seeing purchases being made by members, and the money is debited or charged, but the product ordered is never received. Or the members didn't read the fine print and they are set up on an auto-ship subscription, so the funds keep coming out every month.
    • Never pay with a gift card over the phone. Scammers often ask you to buy a gift card and then give them the gift card number and the PIN on the back of the card. Once they have that information, the money is gone, and you will not be able to get it back.

    Never Engage These (Fake) People:

    Scammers are great at telling a convincing story. Anyone with a legitimate purpose is not going to ask you to pay via a call, text or email. If you encounter any of these stories, the best thing to do is disengage. Some examples of recent reported scams on the rise:

    • The IRS needs you to pay taxes or penalties.
    • The utility company needs you to pay your bill or it will cut off your service.
    • A service member needs to sell something before being deployed.
    • A sweepstakes company needs you to pay fees so you can claim your prize.
    • Someone buying something from you online has sent you a check for more than the purchase price and asks you to keep that check and pay them the difference.
    Don't Respond to These Emotions:

    Scammers often try to catch you off guard with story that makes you feel like you must engage with them. Watch out for the following tactics:

    • Scaring you - Scammers often say they are from an official organization like the IRS, then tell you that you're in big trouble but they can help you out of it. They try to create a sense of urgency by saying things like "This is your last warning," "Your 401k plan will be frozen," or "The maximum sentence for this crime is five years in prison."
    • Saying you must participate - Once scammers have scared you, they may say you have to cooperate or face arrest or fines.
    • Rewarding cooperation - If you do go along with them, they act like your trusted friend and say they can help you take care of the situation.
    • Not letting you go - If you act like you're going to hang up, they say it's a one-time opportunity, and if you hang up you will not get another chance to resolve the problem.

    If you suspect you might be the victim of a scam situation, tell the person that you just have to think about it, then hang up and call Members 1st Credit Union. We can help you determine if it's a scammer or scam situation. We're always here to protect and put our members FIRST!

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Transitioning Back to Regular Banking Operations
    Step by Step, We're Starting to Move Toward Normal Operations

    The last few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic have not been easy for any of us. We at Members 1st Credit Union hope you and your family are staying both safe and healthy.

    Members 1st is cautiously transitioning into normal business operations - below please find some dates and specifics:

    • May 18 - 31: In addition to the existing changed protocol, we will resume opening and closing new accounts/loans in both offices (by appointment only).
    • June 1: Our lobbies will be open to the public, but limited to four individuals at any time. If you come in, we ask all members to follow good safety procedures, such as keeping 6 feet apart. You should strongly consider using a face mask. Although masks are not mandatory at this time, we will have masks and gloves available if you choose to use them while in our offices.

    For full details about reopening plans - including what we are doing to keep you safe in our lobbies and when next steps in reopening will begin - please visit

    You Can Bank Online or By Phone

    Remember, most of your routine banking can be handled safely online, using your computer, mobile device or landline phone:

    • You can apply for a loan on our website.
    • If you need help with online banking, just call us.
    • Call us with any other question about your banking needs, we're here to help.

    Managing Your Finances During the Pandemic

    Here are some tips for coping with the financial uncertainties that accompany the health concerns during the pandemic:

    • Monitor your expenses to be sure you're spending carefully.
    • If you don't have one, create a budget. Keep your budget updated if your income changes, to help you adjust your spending as needed.
    • If your credit card balances are high, see if your existing cards offer lower interest rates or balance transfers. Until you can pay off the balance, try to use your card only for emergencies.
    • If you can, beef up your emergency savings, even if you can only add a small amount.

    No matter what your pandemic financial picture looks like, remember that Members 1st Credit Union is always by your side, and we will do everything within our power to help you get through this time of transition.

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Is it time to give your financial well-being a good spring cleaning, too?
    Don't Forget to Spring Clean Your Finances!

    When the spring season starts to turn snow and cold into a breath of fresh (and warmer!) air, we start to think about spring cleaning our houses. But this year, as you list your spring-cleaning to-dos, don't forget to include your financial house as well! It could use a little elbow grease and attention, too.

    Start with Your Budget

    Setting aside some time to pull together your receipts, credit card bills and credit union statements from the last few months will help you quickly get in touch with where your money is going. In today's digital world, it's sometimes hard to see the full picture of what we are spending. Are there any problem areas you can identify where you might be spending too much? Or, how about an area where you might have budgeted more than you're spending?

    Also, it's important to look at what you spend on so-called "little things," which can collectively end up being budget-busters when it all adds up. For example:

    • If you spend $1 a day on soda, that adds up to $365 a year.
    • If you spend $2.75 a day on coffee, that adds up to $1,003.75 a year.
    • If you spend $6 every weekday on fast food, that adds up to $1,560 a year.
    • If you spend $6.20 a day on cigarettes, that adds up to $2,263 a year.

    Check Your Credit

    You should also check your credit every year, and spring cleaning is the perfect time to not only remember to check it, but make sure your credit is "clean" as well. Simply go to This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. and request a free copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. Verify that not only your payment reporting information reported by creditors is accurate, but that your balances, public records and inquiries are all in check as well. If there is a discrepancy, be sure to report it right away.

    Tame the Paper

    In today's world, it's easy to go green with the online and e-bill conveniences most companies or services offer. However, you might still have your fair share of paper build-up. Here are a few suggestions to tame the piles of paper during spring cleaning:

    • Trash old paper - The federal government recommends keeping credit union statements for one year and tax documents for seven years. Get rid of anything older than that, and be sure you shred it to protect your privacy and safeguard your personal information.
    • Switch to e-statements - If you're still getting paper statements in the mail, it's time to consider switching to paperless. Not only will this help the environment and cut down costs, but it will give you one less thing to file and to keep up with!
    • Organize the new papers - You're probably just finishing up taxes, so it's a good time to set up a system using folders or envelopes. Use this system to house all the papers and receipts you'll need for filing next year, saving yourself from wasting time searching high and low for them in multiple places.

    Review the Numbers

    It's important every year to do a complete once-over on accounts you only look at occasionally. This can include:

    • Closing old accounts - Consolidate old bank accounts into your active accounts, and roll over retirement accounts from old employers into the ones you are contributing to now.
    • Tweak withholdings - If you received a big tax return this year, you might need to adjust your payroll withholding to be sure you're not giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan during the calendar year.
    • Shop for better rates - When is the last time you looked for better rates on recurring items, such as car insurance, cable or your cellphone? How about bigger-ticket items such as homeowners or life insurance policies? It's important to do this yearly, as it might lead to some potentially big savings.
    • Check investments - A year of stock market ups and downs normally equates to you most likely needing to rebalance your portfolio. Be sure to factor in your age and desired risk level.

    At Members 1st we're committed to your financial well-being not just in the spring, but all year long. Give us a call or stop by one of our offices to find out how Members 1st can support you!

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • See what your Credit Union has been doing on your behalf in 2019
    Thanks to Our Credit Union Members for Another Great Year!

    It wouldn't feel right if we didn't pause for a moment during the conclusion of another wonderful year, to thank you for letting us be a part of your financial well-being. As 2019 draws to a close, we're reflecting on everything your credit union has been up to on your behalf. Our members and communities are very important to us - and giving back is a priority.

    Below is a quick look at what we did in 2019 to support both our members and communities:

    Charitable Donations

    • Children's Miracle Network Hospitals - We supported this amazing children's health organization by giving our employees a chance to wear jeans to work in exchange for a donation. We also had Blizzard Day at Dairy Queen to encourage community support for CMN.
    • Warners' Warm-Up - Each office had a collection box where people donated new or used coats, which we distributed to families in need.
    • Brendan's Backpack - We collected food and donations in February to send a backpack full of food home with kids in need over the weekend. We're doing it again in February 2020, so be on the lookout for the announcement!
    • Angels' Arms - We collected school supplies to help foster families.
    • Walks - Our employees participated in the Autism Walk, the Alzheimer's Walk and the Hot Chocolate Walk.
    • More - Members 1st also donated to more than 10 additional charities, schools and community programs.

    Member Services

    On the financial side of things, we enhanced your membership:

    • Made improvements to online banking
    • Eliminated fees on Pop Money
    • Offered several loan promotions
    • Offered IRA CD specials

    Educational Videos

    We're releasing a new informative video every quarter to help our members, especially our young ones just starting their financial life:

    • Last year we posted videos about creating a monthly budget, creating a monthly cash flow plan and understanding how your credit score affects your credit.
    • Watch for our next video in January: "Get into the Game of Investing Automatically" will show how easily putting part of your paycheck directly into savings can add up quickly.

    We wish ALL our members at Members 1st a joyful holiday season. Be sure to stop by one of our offices, either this month or in the coming year, to join one of our charitable initiatives or find out how we can best support your financial well-being.

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • It's not too late for a Christmas Club account this November
    There's a Nip in the Air - Do You Have Your Christmas Club Account Yet?

    It's not too late in the year to open - or make deposits into - a Christmas Club account at Members 1st Credit Union! In fact, for many it is the perfect time as the holidays and tax season quickly approach.

    You might be wondering what exactly a "Christmas Club" is. Originally started in 1909 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, it's a short-term savings account which helps make the holidays a little less financially stressful. The idea behind it is to make deposits throughout the year and tap into the accumulated funds for special holiday shopping purchases at the end of the year, lessening the financial pressure all at one time.

    Even though holiday purchases (and the companies marketing them!!) may already be kicking into high gear, you still have time to make deposits in November that could help you avoid using your credit cards in December. Once holiday spending is over, you might not have the ability to pay the balance in full, or decide to pay only the minimum and let your credit card balance roll well into 2020. That would make the holidays even more expensive, and you'd be starting off the new year with high interest rates accumulating … not exactly the best way to make a fresh financial start or new year!

    Christmas Club accounts have several advantages:

    • You can open a Christmas Club account at any time, with no minimum balance.
    • You can transfer money from other Members 1st accounts into a Christmas Club account through Virtual Branch or Mobile Banking.
    • You earn interest on your deposits.
    • You earn interest on your deposits.
    • The fee for early withdrawals is only $5, so you can access those funds in emergencies.

    And if you already have your holiday purchases covered, did you know you can use your Christmas Club account to save for year-end taxes or get a head start on saving for Christmas 2020? Financial preparedness is the gift that keeps giving all year long, and here at Members 1st, our number-one priority is our member/owners being rewarded.

    Give us a call or stop by to talk about opening a Christmas Club account. If you're not a member yet, we can sign you up!

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Do you know about "The Credit Union Difference"?
    Celebrate the Credit Union Difference

    Every year, on the third Thursday in October, it's International Credit Union Day. This October it falls on the 17th, and this year - just like every other year - we plan on celebrating. That means it's a great time to talk about "The Credit Union Difference."

    Make no mistake … Credit Unions have many differences from that of traditional banks. The first and most important being, when you do business with a credit union, you're more than a member - you're part-owner! That's right, Credit Unions are non-profit and member owned. We are run by a volunteer Board of Directors that is elected by members to manage our Credit Union. So, your voice, best interests and needs are always in the forefront of every discussion we have or decision we make.

    Directly put, Credit Unions exist to serve our members, and here are some additional advantages of being part of the Members 1st Credit Union family:

    • Our priority is each member's financial wellbeing, not profits for shareholders
    • We offer seasonal and special financial incentives throughout the year - like Skip-A-Pay, special auto rates, special re-finance or purchase rates, etc.
    • We offer better rates and lower fees across the board vs. traditional banks - CDs, savings, auto loans, note loans, etc.
    • We work to serve you better in every possible way

    We invite you to compare - get a quote from a traditional bank and one from Members 1st - and quickly you'll see the difference. Visit to view our current featured rates on mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, balance transfers, deposit rates and more. We think you'll like what you see!

    Our focus is, and always will be, on best serving our owners/members. We encourage you to give us a call or stop by a branch to talk about how we can help with your financial needs. If you're not a member yet, we can sign you up! And as always, we hope you not only understand the Credit Union Difference, but feel it in our service. Call or stop by today!

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Do you have a mortgage lender you trust?
    A Mortgage Can Be Simple With A Lender You Trust

    When it's time to secure a mortgage loan, you need a lender you trust. Whether you're a first-time home buyer, a seasoned veteran at finding and closing on a home, or wanting to refinance the home you're already in—Members 1st works hard to make the process as easy as possible for you.

    Since 1951, your community (which is our community, too!!) has turned to Members 1st as the trusted source for the best possible mortgage experience. Why? We provide YOU with personalized service from people you already know as well as break the process into 3 simple steps.

    Pre-approval process for your home mortgage from Members 1st :

    1. Quick Start Form -- Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you are looking for.
    2. Email with Simple Steps -- We'll send you an email with simple and clear next steps in order to secure and submit required items for your home mortgage loan.
    3. Close & Keys -- Soon, you'll be closing and getting the keys to your new home!

    Click here to download our Mortgage Quick Start form. It's a "mortgage-ready" checklist of the 8 documents you will need when applying for a mortgage. You can also see what a few of your neighbors have to say about what it's like to get a mortgage with Members 1st!

    So, email Brian Eyestone anytime at, give us a call, or stop by one of our offices to find out how Members 1st can help you get into your new home or refinance your existing home loan by matching you with the best possible mortgage for your needs! It's just one more way we strive to put our members 1st, and help make your banking and financial experience the best it possibly can be.

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Are your finances prepared for a natural disaster?
    It's Not Just You Who Needs to Be Prepared Should a Natural Disaster Strike

    Financial preparedness is always a good idea; however, it takes on even more importance when you consider the major flooding we've seen in our area recently. Members 1st Credit Union has had members affected. Some even faced worst-case scenarios like losing their homes.

    Luckily, many people in our area had enough advance warning to move themselves, their loved ones and their possessions to safety, including important financial documents. But in a tornado or flash-flood situation, you may not have the luxury of time you'd need to safely protect and secure your financial documents.

    We live in a high-risk area, and hands down the most important thing is planning for your family's safety should natural disaster strike. But it is also incredibly important to have a financial plan for emergencies. Here are some helpful tips to start planning.

    Save for emergencies.

    This is the most important, yet also most challenging, thing to prepare for. It's not a secret that having emergency funds at your disposal can make your financial recovery not only much easier, but also faster. Did you know, according to the Federal Reserve, 44% of U.S. adults are not prepared to cover an unplanned expense of even just $400? Make sure you are not caught in that same situation. Experts recommend saving three to six months of your regular living expenses, but even if putting aside that much isn't feasible, saving a small amount from each paycheck will (and can) help. It's also a good idea to keep some cash on hand should you need to buy emergency supplies in the event ATMs and credit card machines are not operational.

    Insure your property.

    Having homeowners or renters insurance and auto insurance are essential. It's a good idea to periodically review your policies to be sure you have the right type, as well as amount, of coverage should natural disaster strike. Homeowners insurance usually does not cover flooding, so you may need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.. Factor in your lifestyle and work situation - for example if you earn your livelihood with tools you own and keep at your home or in your vehicle - be sure those are covered as well within your policy.

    Keep good records.

    Keeping good records could be the difference in spending hours vs. spending weeks in figuring out what you have lost, need to replace and what you should be reimbursed for in a claims situation. When filing a claim, you will be required to provide an updated inventory of big-ticket items like cars, electronics or jewelry, including proof of purchase as well as original date / amount you paid. Equally important is to document your housing payments and income sources, medications you or family members take, immunization records and contact information for utilities, financial institutions, credit card companies, medical providers and insurance companies.

    Protect your documents.

    Figure out the safest place in your home to store essential household documents This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. should natural disaster strike. Make an additional copy or two that you store in a separate location - maybe with a trusted friend or family member or in a safety deposit box. Also consider storing digital copies in a secure cloud-based platform, which would prevent them from being lost in the unfortunate event your home is destroyed.

    For more information on preparing for and reducing the potential financial impact of natural disasters, we suggest you download this Emergency Financial First Aid Kit This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website..

    And as always, feel free to give us a call, or stop by one of our offices, to find out how Members 1st Credit Union can help you financially prepare should a natural disaster affect you and your family.
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • Join us for hot dogs and giveaways, including Cards tickets
    We Appreciate You, and We Want to Show It!

    Join us July 25 and 26 for hot dogs, a preview of cars and giveaways - including the chance to win Cardinals tickets. Why? Because it's Member Appreciation Days!

    What are Member Appreciation Days? It's that special time of year when we celebrate YOU, our members. When we say, "It's your credit union," we're not exaggerating. As a member, you are also literally an owner of our credit union, and we strive to put you 1st in everything we do.

    Last year, we held Member Appreciation Days in October. This year, we've moved it up so we could enjoy the warm and fun summer brings together!


    Cookouts: Join us from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the following dates and locations for free hot dogs, drinks and some fun with Members 1st

    Thursday, 7/25 - Mattis Office, 4702 Mattis Road, St. Louis
    Friday, 7/26 - Festus Office, 1200 East Gannon Drive, Festus

    Just look for the big tent and follow your nose - that's where the grills will be fired up! During the cookout, you'll also be able to see a sample of cars for sale from Enterprise Car Sales - where you'll be eligible to pick up a special coupon for a car purchase through Enterprise with financing from Members 1st.

    Also, be sure to put your name into the drawing for a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to a Cards game!

    At both locations, we'll have giveaways each day, as well as serve coffee and cookies from opening until 11 a.m. before the cookout starts.

    We encourage you to stop by and check out what we humbly like to call "the credit union difference." Since we are owned by our members (that's YOU!) we're always giving back, and not just with free hot dogs at cookouts. You, not profits, are the reason we exist, and we demonstrate our commitment every day with lower interest rates, frequent member promotions, as well as a very different attitude.

    While you're here, ask us about a loan, a new account or whatever we can do to help you with your financial needs. Or, give us a call or stop by at one of our offices any time to find out how Members 1st can help you meet your savings goals. We're always ready to help!
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • How to keep your financial resolutions all year. Is It Time to Check in on Your Financial Resolutions?

    If you're like most of us, you probably made some financial goals at the beginning of the year (along with a few New Year's resolutions about dieting, exercising and losing weight!). The 10th annual Fidelity Investments survey of New Year financial resolutions This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. found that 32% of people made 2019 financial goals, up from 27% the year before.

    But as we swiftly enter the middle of the year, have you been able to stick to the budget goals you made in January? Whether you have or haven't, here are a few simple ways to help keep both you and your finances on track mid-way, as well as throughout the rest of the year:

    Use a budget tool:

    Making a working budget is not as easy as it seems. So, if you did that already, congratulate yourself for taking the first big step! But if you didn't, don't beat yourself up … now is the perfect time to do it. There are several websites that offer free spreadsheet templates you can use to build your budget, including This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website., NerdWallet This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. and Mint This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.. You can also find mobile budgeting apps for your phone, such as EveryDollar This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. and YouNeedABudget This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website..

    Be realistic:

    Trying to save too much or spend too little can be frustrating and de-motivating when it comes to financial goals, sometimes causing you to get off track and possibly stop all together. Instead, it's more important to just simply start saving, even if a relatively small amount. By sticking with a realistic savings goal month after month, not only will small amounts add up to make a big financial difference, but watching your savings grow is extremely satisfying!

    Remember your ultimate goals:

    If watching your savings grow doesn't keep you motivated - and help curb the urge to splurge on short-term, pleasure-based purchases - try keeping a picture of the car you want or your dream vacation in a high-visibility area, such as the fridge. It will help you think twice about the financial choices you make day to day and keep your focus on your ultimate goals. Check out our Pinterest page for lots of inspiring photos - and feel free to print one as your inspiration!

    Give yourself rewards:

    Another way to stay motivated is to reward yourself along the way to your goal. One way to do this is by breaking your total savings goal up into smaller goals. Once you reach certain milestones, allow yourself a small treat for a job well done!

    Get help if you need it:

    If you're struggling to help paint a clearer financial picture, don't be afraid to ask for help from a friend or family member - or from your credit union! Members 1st offers higher-yielding interest rate options to help your savings grow faster than they would at a traditional bank. Did you know we also have a financial advisor on staff ready to assist you? Another great benefit of being a member. (And if your family and friends are not credit union members, they can learn more by visiting our website or This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website. - maybe they are the ones who could use a little help!)

    To find out how Members 1st can help you meet your savings goals, call or stop by one of our offices.

    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • How do you pay for life's "Big Events"? Life's Big Events Have Big Price Tags … We Can Help!

    How do you prepare for life's "Big Events" like weddings, college, home renovations and dream vacations? Members 1st Credit Union can help you do that in two big ways!

    Big Expense? How About a "Life's Big Events" Loan?

    First, let's talk finances:

    • Dream Vacation - According to one study, on average, families take 10 months to set aside $5,000 for that trip-of-a-lifetime. ( This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.)
    • Home Renovation - Most homeowners spend between $12,000 and $34,000 on a kitchen remodel. ( This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.)
    • College - For the 2018-19 school year, average annual tuition and fees were $9,176 for home-state public colleges, $21,629 for out-of-state and $35,676 for private colleges. ( This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.)
    • Wedding - The average wedding cost increased from $27,000 in 2017 to $44,000 in 2018. ( This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.s)

    So how do you keep those big dreams from turning into financial nightmares? We can help.

    Members 1st has a Life's Big Events loan program for bigger expense items, like these. We can offer lower interest rates over standard signature loans and with longer loan terms to better meet the needs of credit union members.

    Need Ideas? Check Out Our Pinterest! This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website.

    Secondly, let's turn ideas into reality for you:

    We can also help you bring your big dream into focus! Our Pinterest page has lots of ideas for weddings, renovations, vacations, baby rooms, landscaping and much more, like money saving tips. There's even a board for Credit Union Humor. (Yes, that's a thing. And it's more fun than a barrel of Dad Jokes!)

    To learn more about getting a Life's Big Events loan, call or stop by at one of our offices to find out how we can help finance your big event with a lower interest loan than you might think.
    Mattis office: (314) 487-5628
    Festus office: (636) 931-7144
    Toll-free: (877) 487-5628

  • April Is Youth Month at Members 1st … Help Your Kids & Grandkids Learn How to Save!

    This April, Members 1st celebrates National Credit Union Youth Month. The theme is: The future is yours … Picture it! Save for it! Share it!

    Over the years, we've seen fewer kids saving money at the credit union. Sure, parents and grandparents still come in and open youth accounts; however, we don't see kids making their own deposits, as we did in the past. At Members 1st, we want to help change that trend!

    During the month of April, every member younger than the age of 18 who makes a deposit will receive these reward incentives from Members 1st:

    • Open a new account with $5, and receive $5 from Members 1st*
    • Make a deposit to an existing account, and receive $1 for every $20 deposited*
    • Each youth member who makes a deposit has a chance to win a $25 Visa® gift card

    *Maximum match from Members 1st is $5 per account.

    Kids & Teens

    Whether you want to make art or write software, start a band or start a company, climb mountains or explore with a telescope … whatever it is, if you can dream it, you can do it! And starting to save for your dream can definitely help you achieve it. So, take advantage of these April incentives to either grow the savings you already have, or start your path towards financial well-being in the future.

    And while you're dreaming, share your dreams on social media, including Members 1st's Pinterest and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CUYouthMonth.

    Parents & Grandparents

    Help the children and teens in your life learn how to save money and establish strong and continuing habits of saving for the future. Besides leading by example, if the young people in your life get an allowance, encourage them to start saving a percentage or specific amount weekly or monthly to help turn their dreams turn into a reality.

    Year round, not just in the month of April, Members 1st works to help put our young members on the path to financial awareness and security. We encourage all our members, particularly our youngest ones, to write down their dreams for the future. Then with a little planning, encouragement, good examples, and vision … the future is yours!

  • Tips for Raising Your Credit Score

    Most people know their credit score (also called FICO score) is extremely important - we all hear about it enough on commercials! However, many aren't sure exactly why it's so im-portant, or the factors that go into determining the score.

    A higher credit score means simply you are a better "credit risk" - more likely to make timely payments and pay off your debt. Many financial institutions - including Members 1st - rewards higher credit scores with lower interest rates.

    But what about if you have a lower credit score? You'd be surprised how many people find out their score is lower than they thought, which means it can be harder to obtain credit to buy a new house or car, for example.

    However, by following the helpful tips below, you might be able to not only improve your cred-it score, but also increase your odds when applying for credit:

    Check Your Credit Report Every Year

    Did you know you can get a free copy of your credit report from all three major reporting agen-cies every year by visiting This symbol indicates an external website, or a resource not hosted on the Members 1st website., which is operated jointly by those agencies? Sites that just give you a credit score number are often inaccurate. To get the full picture, you need to see all the information on the report, not just the score. If incorrect information is reported, you might not know it's affecting your credit until it's too late and your credit application has been denied.

    Make Sure Your Report Is Correct

    If you see information on your credit report that is inaccurate or potentially fraudulent - even an old error you thought was corrected - be sure to start a dispute immediately. Complete the online disputes the three main reporting agencies offer, or send a letter with supporting docu-ments to both the credit reporting agency and the organization or company that provided the erroneous information.

    Pay Bills on Time

    Your history of on-time payments is hands down one of the most important things that deter-mines your credit score. Setting up automatic online bill payments can help you avoid missing payments and ensures your credit remains intact.

    Don't Use Too Much of Your Credit Limit

    Another big factor of your score is the percentage of your credit you are using compared to the limits. This is referred to as debt-to-limit ratio or credit utilization. If you are using 30 percent or lower of your total available credit, this is considered good. Anything higher, especially if it is consistently high, might paint the picture you will have trouble making payments on new debts to a potential lender.

    Don't Open and Close Too Many Credit Accounts

    Having a variety of credit types on your credit report over the years, such as credit cards, per-sonal loans, home equity loans, etc. shows that you can handle credit. But if you close every old account, you may lose some of your older credit history. This could in turn lower your score. On the flip side, if you have too many accounts you might have trouble keeping up with them, and inadvertently fall behind on payments, which can quickly lower your score. Make sure you have both covered.

    Here at Members 1st, we're always here to help you pave the way to a brighter financial future. Whether you've had credit for years or are just starting out, following these tips will ensure your credit will remain clean and give you an advantage when applying for most anything in life. And it will allow you to help control the financial future you both want and deserve.

  • Have You Taken Preventive Measures to Prevent Identity Thieves Stealing Your Tax Refund?

    Could an identity thief steal your tax refund?

    Tax time, whether we like it or not, is upon us. Every year, we hear from a handful of credit union members who file their tax returns, expecting to receive a refund, that something unfortunate has happened. Terribly shocked - they are one of the growing number of Americans that receive a notification from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) saying their return has already been received and a refund check has already been issued.

    What happened? An identity thief stole their information, filed a fraudulent tax return and received their refund … and it's becoming an increasing trend.

    How Identity Thieves Hijack Your Tax Return

    There are many ways savvy identity thieves steal your private and confidential information. Sometimes a computer virus arrives in a scam email pretending to be from the IRS or your accountant or tax preparer, with an infected attachment labeled "Tax Account Transcript" or something similar. When you open the attachment, your computer is infected with a virus that sends your personal information to the scammer. Now they have everything they need to file YOUR return and get your refund check.

    Another technique criminals use is phone spoofing. Thieves call, pretending to be the IRS, your local police, state motor vehicle department or other official agencies. They ask for your personal information, or demand that you make a payment to avoid penalty.

    One other popular way is the increase in malware and cyber hacking onto the sites you trust that house or contain your personal information. We hear about this in the news all the time, and the vast ripple when it affects millions of Americans.

    How You Can Protect Yourself

    The best protection is prevention. Use these tips to safeguard not only your personal information, but ultimately your potential tax refund as well:

    • Never share your personal information - Social Security number, date of birth, etc. - by email or on the phone.
    • Don't be fooled by scammers claiming to be from the IRS or local law enforcement. The real authorities never ask you to give personal information or send money by phone or email.
    • Never open suspicious email attachments, even if they seem to be from someone you know. When in doubt, contact the person and ask if they sent it.
    • Create passwords that are complex and hard to guess - not "1234" or your birthday.
    • Change your passwords frequently, it is suggested EVERY 30 days, and whenever a company you do business with has personal information stolen.
    • File your tax return early. Identity thieves can't steal your refund if you have successfully filed your return or have already received your refund.

    One easy way for you to protect your finances is to sign up for online banking with Members 1st Credit Union. We encourage our members to check your account balance frequently, instead of waiting to get your previous month's statement in the mail. This enables you to spot any problems with your balance faster, and for us to help should you have an issue. With identity fraud on the rise, especially during tax time, we're hoping you take these suggested precautions to protect your information now, and in the future!

  • Start the New Year with SMART Budgeting, Saving & Investing!

    The start of a new year is a great time to reassess your financial goals.

    Don't just make a few quick resolutions for 2019 to do better at everything you couldn't quite get to or complete last year. Instead, focus on three of the most important actions you can take to maintain or improve your financial well-being:

    • Budgeting - This is how you make your short-term goals happen: having enough to pay monthly expenses, enjoy life a little and meet your saving and investing goals.
    • Saving - Here's how to achieve medium-term goals: maybe it's a big purchase or a vacation ... things that are too big to come out of your monthly spending.
    • Investing - This one might be the most intimidating, because it's how you meet long-term goals, like retirement saving ... and retirement is soooo far away, right? Nope. It should be a priority to invest now, to be sure you have enough later.

    Now, challenge yourself to be SMART about those three areas. In other words, make your plans:

    • Specific - Spell out your goals. Budget for what you actually spend, and be sure to remember how some expenses change with the seasons, such as heating, cooling and back-to-school expenses. Save and invest toward specific goals.
    • Measurable - Name those dollars! "Save more" or "Spend less" is not good enough. If you have multiple goals, track your progress toward each one, rather than just watching your total savings or investments go up.
    • Achievable - Set goals that are challenging but within reach. Make sure it's a goal that YOU can achieve, with your resources.
    • Realistic - Be honest with yourself. Don't try to save or invest so much that there's never anything left over. On the other hand, don't budget so much for "fun" that you can't save or invest. Being realistic goes both ways.
    • Timely - When EXACTLY do you want to accomplish your goals? Give yourself a firm deadline. If you have a big annual goal, break it down into quarterly goals so you can assess your progress.

    Members 1st Credit Union has the tools and the SMARTs to help you get your financial life in great shape. Stop by to find out how we can help!

  • Is your social media telling you what you need to know?

    Get the latest on social media … rate specials, home improvement ideas and more!

    Everybody seems to have a love/hate relationship with social media … especially people who love to go on it (and often!)! And with a seemingly infinite supply of everything from funny memes to angry politics, there's plenty to like and dislike.

    However, here at Members 1st Credit Union, we're not only active on social media, but we try to be helpful AND have a little fun!

    Members 1st posts all sorts of useful things on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We strive to post different types of information on different social sites, as we have many different member/owner needs and like to show we are in-tune with what you want out of your credit union. (On all these sites, we always stay away from politics - left, right or center - but we can't swear we've never posted a cat video!!)

    Pinterest - Members check out our Pinterest boards when they come in about a home improvement loan. We post great ideas about how to save money and specific ideas about bathroom and kitchen renovations. Or, thinking about a loan for a dream vacation? Check out our Pinterest vacation board for a little inspiration!

    Facebook, Instagram - During the recent harsh weather snap, we couldn't open the office on time because of poor road conditions. Hopefully, you weren't out that day, but if you needed to visit your credit union, checking Facebook or Instagram would have notified you that our offices were closed before you made the trip. Look for news about interest rate specials and other promotions for members here, as well as job openings at the credit union, changes to hours, emergency updates and a little FUN!

    Twitter - This is the place to go if you want just the facts, ma'am (or sir). We post quick and easy short versions of longer Facebook and Instagram posts on Twitter.

    LinkedIn - Look for professional-type or industry-targeted information here, such as job openings at the credit union, interest rate specials or trending industry topics.

    You can find links to all our social media pages at the very bottom of our home page as well as BELOW. Watch for special promotions coming up in the spring. And whether you LOVE or hate social media, we're hoping to spread a little information and cheer for you on whichever social channel you prefer!

    Want to know what's going on at our branches? Find out using the links below!

  • Is the equity in your home working hard enough for you?

    Have you considered a home equity line of credit (HELOC)? Now is the time to do so.

    Although interest rates have remained historically low for the past few years, these days interest rates are starting to rise across the board. That means now might be the perfect time to consider using the equity in your home to pay off higher-interest-rate debt or credit card balances.

    Our most important job at Members 1st Credit Union is to take care of our members, especially when they have a financial need. Depending on what you need the money for and your current situation, if a personal or note loan would be your best option, then that's what we'll advise. But sometimes a HELOC can save you quite a bit of money.

    At Members 1st, we traditionally recommend a HELOC to anyone who owns a home with equity. If you're not using that equity, and you're carrying higher-interest debt, it's like you're sitting on an untapped gold mine. You can definitely save money on interest payments by using the many benefits of a HELOC.

    Some people shy away from a HELOC because they have never had one, or because they worry about tying anything to their house. However, unless you're planning on selling your home in the next six months, there's no reason to not consider one.

    Here's how a HELOC works.

    • The amount is flexible, based on the equity you have in your home.
    • For 10 years, you can draw cash equal to as much as 90% of your home's equity.
    • Because it is a line of credit, not a loan with a lump-sum distribution, you don't start paying interest until you start using it. You only pay interest on what you use.
    • Once you have been approved, you can draw out cash against the line at any time without going through another loan approval process.

    When members come in wanting a traditional loan for a big project - say new windows or siding - we tell them a HELOC is a better deal if there is equity in their home. Another benefit is your line of credit could essentially be bigger than the amount you need right now. This definitely would come in use should, five years from now, you have another home project or costly home repairs (such as a furnace unexpectedly going out in the middle of winter!). If you have a HELOC with additional funds on your line, you can simply write a check from that account without going through the approval process for a loan all over again.

    Did you know we currently have a HELOC special for Members 1st Credit Union members who qualify? We're offering a competitive home equity line of credit with a fixed 3.0% interest rate for three years. Be sure to visit one of our branches to see if you qualify and to get more information. It could help you to save money and best position yourself for your financial future.

  • We Appreciate Our Members!

    You know those corny moments in movies when two best friends exclaim "I love you"? (If it's a guy movie, they beat on each other's backs. If it's a chick flick, they say "Aww!!") You've probably seen it in a million movies, but it works, because you know the friendship is genuine and the emotion is real.

    Just reading our name tells you the most important thing about us - our members are our top priority at Members 1st Credit Union.

    Well, at Members 1st Credit Union, we feel the same way! We truly appreciate and care about our members. We strive to show it every day by offering you something more than a traditional bank. Things like lower lending rates and paying our members the highest possible dividends every year to name a few.

    When you belong to a credit union, you own your financial institution—you're the boss! Because our members are owners, you have a voice in how Members 1st Credit Union is run. Each year, you can attend our annual meeting in the spring. Watch for an announcement and make plans to attend, so your voice can be heard. We also welcome your input as an owner at any time - we're here to make your membership experience the best it can be.

    Just like in the movies, sometimes it feels good to say, "We appreciate you!" and do something special. (Especially when food is involved, right?) That's why we're hosting Member Appreciation Days this month at both of our branches.

    Friday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Festus location, 1200 East Gannon Drive, Festus
    Free kettle corn

    Friday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Mattis Location, 4702 Mattis Road, St. Louis
    Free hot dogs and drinks

    Members 1st offers a wide variety of products and services for personal and business banking, including checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, mobile banking, loans, individual retirement accounts, a nationwide ATM network and more.

  • You Come First at Members 1st!

    Welcome to the very first post of our Members 1st Credit Union blog! We're glad you're here, and we hope you'll come back often. We have lots to share about how being a member of Members 1st has its many advantages. We want you to get the most out of your membership and we'd like to highlight some of those services, programs or features monthly.

    Just reading our name tells you the most important thing about us - our members are our top priority at Members 1st Credit Union.

    However, did you know that our name is relatively new? Even though we've been serving members for quite a few years, Members 1st Credit Union was formed when two existing credit unions joined together: Southpointe Credit Union - formed in 1951 to serve the needs of Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis, then broadened its charter in the early ‘90s to serve the community, and Jeffco Credit Union - established in 1972 to serve all of Jefferson County.

    Those two solid and admired credit unions combined resources in 2015 to form what you know today as your Members 1st Credit Union. We've been honored to continue to build on the long-standing traditions of service that go back more than 60 years, serving people who live or work in St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Jefferson County, Franklin County and St. Charles County in Missouri, as well as Madison County and St. Clair County in Illinois.

    Want to know what drives us to put our Members needs 1st? Take a look at our Mission and Vision statements that are at the forefront of every decision we make:

    MISSION STATEMENT: Members 1st Credit Union assists its members through a wide assortment of products and services to make sound financial decisions that lead to their improved financial well-being.

    VISION STATEMENT: Our vision is to be our members' most trusted financial partner. They think of us first because they know we have the products and services to meet their financial needs and the capability to deliver those products and services in the manner that is the most convenient for them. They also realize that we will always strive to do what is in their best interest.

    Members 1st offers a wide variety of products and services for personal and business banking, including checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, mobile banking, loans, individual retirement accounts, a nationwide ATM network and more.

    As a member-owned credit union, we're different than a bank. Because we are a not-for-profit financial cooperative, our staff and management are committed and better positioned to serve our members' individual financial needs. As a credit union member, you are also an owner. We operate like a business; however, the profits are returned to members in the form of incredibly competitive rates, programs and dividends.

    To learn more about our services, click around our website, call or stop by at one of our offices to find out what we can do for you.