Safe and Sound

FIRST CHOICE

New Castle, PA
4
Star Rating
FIRST CHOICE is an NCUA-insured credit union founded in 1952 and currently based in New Castle, PA. Regulatory filings show the credit union having assets of $43.4 million, as of December 31, 2017.

Members have $29.6 million on deposit tended by 10 full-time employees. With that footprint, the credit union has amassed loans and leases worth $29.6 million. FIRST CHOICE's 6,823 members currently have $39.8 million in shares with the credit union.

Overall, Bankrate believes that, as of December 31, 2017, FIRST CHOICE exhibited a good condition, earning 4 out of 5 stars for safety and soundness. Keep reading for a breakdown of how the credit union faired on the three major criteria Bankrate used to grade U.S. credit unions.

WHAT IS
SAFE AND SOUND?

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THE INSTITUTION'S SCORE

Capital Score

When it comes to measuring an institution's financial strength, capital is crucial. It acts as a cushion against losses and affords protection for members when a credit union is struggling financially. When looking at safety and soundness, more capital is preferred.

On our test to measure the adequacy of a credit union's capital, FIRST CHOICE received a score of 8 out of a possible 30 points, falling short of the national average of 15.65.

FIRST CHOICE's capitalization ratio of 8.00 percent in our test was below the average for all credit unions, a sign that it could have a harder time weathering financial trouble than its peers.

Asset Quality Score

Bankrate uses this test to estimate the impact of troubled assets, such as unpaid loans, on the credit union's loan loss reserves and overall capitalization.

Having a large number of these types of assets may eventually force a credit union to use capital to cover losses, decreasing its buffer of equity. Many of those assets are also likely to be in non-accrual status and thus aren't earning money, diminishing earnings and elevating the risk of a future failure.

On Bankrate's asset quality test, FIRST CHOICE scored 40 out of a possible 40 points, above the national average of 38.09 points.

FIRST CHOICE's ratio of problem assets was 0.00 percent in our test, less than the national average and suggestive of greater financial strength than other credit unions.

Earnings score

A credit union's earnings performance has an effect on its safety and soundness. A credit union can retain its earnings, giving a boost to its capital buffer, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, potentially making the credit union more resilient in tough times. Losses, on the other hand, reduce a credit union's ability to do those things.

On Bankrate's earnings test, FIRST CHOICE scored 10 out of a possible 30, below the national average of 10.11.

The credit union had an earnings ratio of 0.00 percent in our test, higher than the average for all credit unions, suggesting that it's running ahead of its peers in this area.

WHAT IS SAFE & SOUND?

Bankrate.com's Safe & Sound Ratings provide a star rating system to evaluate the current financial status of financial institutions. The information gathered about banks, credit unions and thrifts is updated as set forth in the Terms of Use of Safe & Sound Ratings and Reports. The Safe & Sound Ratings information is grouped by categories of banks, thrifts and credit unions.

Scoring methodology

Bankrate.com evaluates the financial condition of institutions and assigns a one- to five-star rating for each with five stars representing the highest rating. Institutions with satisfactory performance will generally receive a rating of three or more stars. The majority of institutions fall into the three- to four-star range. An institution with an "NR" rating may be too new to rate or may have limited the publicly available information in their regulatory filings. The "NR" is not an indication of financial strength or weakness. The Safe & Sound rating is believed to be reliable, but the information is not guaranteed. In addition, events since the information was collected may have altered the institution's financial condition.