Safe and Sound

FREEDOM FIRST

Roanoke, VA
4
Star Rating
FREEDOM FIRST is an NCUA-insured credit union founded in 1956 and currently headquartered in Roanoke, VA. As of December 31, 2017, the credit union had assets of $533.0 million.

With 175 full-time employees, the credit union currently holds loans and leases worth $421.3 million. FREEDOM FIRST's 52,625 members currently have $413.9 million in shares with the credit union.

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

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THE INSTITUTION'S SCORE

Capital Score

Capital is a useful measurement of a credit union's financial resilience. It works as a buffer against losses and as protection for members during periods of financial trouble for the credit union. When it comes to safety and soundness, more capital is better.

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

FREEDOM FIRST's capitalization ratio of 8.00 percent in our test was lower than the average for all credit unions, a sign that it's on less solid financial footing than its peers.

Asset Quality Score

Bankrate uses this test to estimate the impact of problem assets, such as past-due mortgages, on the credit union's reserves set aside to cover loan losses, as well as overall capitalization.

Having lots of these types of assets may eventually force a credit union to use capital to absorb losses, diminishing its equity buffer. It also means that there are likely to be many assets that are in non-accrual status and no longer earning interest for the credit union, diminishing earnings and elevating the risk of a future failure.

FREEDOM FIRST scored 36 out of a possible 40 points on Bankrate's asset quality test, below the national average of 38.09.

A below-average ratio of problem assets of 0.00 percent in our test was potentially indicative of superior financial strength compared to other credit unions.

Earnings score

How successful a credit union is at making money has an effect on its long-term survivability. A credit union can retain its earnings, increasing its capital buffer, or use them to deal with problematic loans, potentially making the credit union more resilient in times of trouble. Losses, on the other hand, lessen a credit union's ability to do those things.

FREEDOM FIRST scored 18 out of a possible 30 on Bankrate's earnings test, above the national average of 10.11.

FREEDOM FIRST had an earnings ratio of 0.00 percent in our test, above 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.