In 1956, a small group of employees at the Deaconess Hospital had an idea. In order to convert their idea to reality, they met together to create a financial institution that would be owned and controlled by themselves and their coworkers. This institution would allow them to charge fair and reasonable interest rates for loans, pay higher dividends on their savings deposits, and allow them to help improve the financial future for their co-workers and themselves.
Their dream became the Deaconess Federal Credit Union which was chartered and began operations in November of 1956. Until 1992, the credit union was housed within the buildings of the Deaconess Hospital. During those years, many changes occurred. From it’s early days with a volunteer, part-time treasurer to the more recent times with a five-person staff, the credit union has grown to an $18 million dollar institution.
In 1992, the credit union moved outside of the hospital facility to it’s current site at the corner of 29th Street and 11th Avenue. The move allowed the credit union to provide drive-up lanes and provide better service to the many members working at other sites.
In 1993, a merger with the Great Falls Clinic Federal Credit Union occurred, adding their 330 members to our own.
In March 2002, we requested and received permission from our federal regulator to serve all the residents of the 5 county region including Cascade, Chouteau, Judith Basin, Pondera and Teton counties.
As a result of our new, expanded area of membership, on December 1, 2004, the credit union changed it’s name to The Family First Federal Credit Union to reflect our wider membership eligibility and our new role in Great Falls area communities.
The credit union added an ATM into their parking lot and both ATMs are now part of the CO-OP ATM Network. Since 2012, all credit union owned ATMS in Great Falls have been part of the CO-OP network and our members can use any of those ATM plus many thousands across the country for surcharge-free ATM withdrawals.
In 2020, Family First FCU weathered the COVID lobby closures by finding ways to provide all our services in ways that were safe for both our staff and our members. With our free phone banking, online banking and ATM services, members have many ways to access our services and information about their accounts.