First Delta Federal Credit Union (FDFCU) is a nonprofit, member-owned Community Development Financial Institution. It utilizes a variety of programs and strategies to impact the personal, physical, social, political and economic development needs of the poor residents of Quitman County and the Mississippi Delta Region. FDFCU's mission is to serve communities by enabling and encouraging local residents to develop self-help strategies and solutions.
One of the primary purposes for the development of FDFCU was to create a source of low-cost credit for its members. FDFCU provides low-interest credit and loans, based on individual creditworthiness, to improve the community and meet the needs of individuals and families. A variety of services are available through FDFCU, including:
- Christmas Club Accounts
- Certificates of Deposits
- Checking Accounts (Sharedrafts)
- Money Orders
- Payroll Deduction
- Enhanced Automatic Clearing House services
- Credit and VISA Check Cards
- Website and Information Hotline
- Wire and Western Union Transfers
FCFCU also offers the Youth Credit Union Program (YCUP), developed for, operated, and managed by young people under the age of eighteen. It serves as an asset to the youth of the community, because it teaches them how to save, manage, invest and borrow money at an early age. YCUP has over 700 members and over $60,000 in deposits.
Quitman County, where FDFCU is headquartered, is located in the Delta region of western Mississippi, thirty miles inland from the Mississippi River. There has been a significant out-migration from the area as its current population is less than 10,000 residents, down from a peak of 15,900 in 1970.
Ninety-five percent of FDFCU's clients are African-American, 60 percent are women, and 20 percent live in semi-rural areas and 80 percent in rural areas. Moreover, most of FDFCU's clients are poor, 70 percent of them live in households with an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
FDFCU's low-cost loans and affordable financial services have provided many opportunities to individuals in the Mississippi Delta region who might have otherwise been denied them. Since inception, FDFCU has acquired over $7 million in total assets and has lent over $25 million. During fiscal year 2005, FDFCU provided $39,000 for two first time home buyers, and refinanced 16 existing mortages. FDFCU has also expanded its services to offer a VISA check card to nearly 200 of its members; thus opening over 200 checking accounts since the start of the checking account program in October 2004.
When the Quitman County Board of Supervisors fashioned the Cotton/Sims Street Project, they needed help from a community development financial institution to provide the financing of new homes for nine very low-income families to own their own home. They asked the Quitman Tri County Federal Credit Union (QTCFCU) for help. With the support of a Development Block Grant and a low cost loan from QTCFCU and other local banks, the project was a success. Full Story