Safe and Sound

FIRSTLIGHT

El Paso, TX
4
Star Rating
Founded in 1955, FIRSTLIGHT is an NCUA-insured credit union headquartered in El Paso, TX. The credit union has assets of $1.04 billion, according to December 31, 2017, regulatory filings.

Members have $863.5 million on deposit tended by 340 full-time employees. With that footprint, the credit union currently holds loans and leases worth $863.5 million. FIRSTLIGHT's 109,706 members currently have $931.2 million in shares with the credit union.

Overall, Bankrate believes that, as of December 31, 2017, FIRSTLIGHT exhibited a good condition, earning 4 out of 5 stars for safety and soundness. Here's a look at how the credit union faired on the three key criteria Bankrate used to evaluate American credit unions.

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THE INSTITUTION'S SCORE

Capital Score

When it comes to measuring an institution's financial strength, capital is key. It acts as a buffer against losses and as protection for members during times of financial trouble for the credit union. When it comes to safety and soundness, the more capital, the better.

FIRSTLIGHT received a score of 8 out of a possible 30 points on our test to measure capital adequacy, below the national average of 15.65.

FIRSTLIGHT appears to be less well prepared for financial trouble than its peers in this area, with a capitalization ratio of 8.00 percent in our test, worse than the average for all credit unions.

Asset Quality Score

This test's purpose is to try to understand how the credit union's capitalization and allocated loan loss reserves could be affected by problem assets, such as past-due loans.

A credit union with a large number of these types of assets could eventually have to use capital to cover losses, reducing its equity buffer. Many of those assets are also likely to be in non-accrual status and thus aren't earning interest for the credit union, decreasing earnings and elevating the risk of a failure in the future.

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

Troubled assets made up 0.00 percent of FIRSTLIGHT's total assets in our test, beneath the national average and suggestive of greater financial strength than other credit unions.

Earnings score

A credit union's ability to earn money affects its long-term survivability. A credit union can retain its earnings, boosting its capital buffer, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, likely making the credit union better able to withstand economic trouble. Conversely, losses reduce a credit union's ability to do those things.

On Bankrate's test of earnings, FIRSTLIGHT scored 14 out of a possible 30, above the national average of 10.11.

FIRSTLIGHT had an earnings ratio of 0.00 percent in our test, better than the average for all credit unions, a sign that it's doing better than 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.