Remembering 9/11 With 19 Financial Institutions for First Responders

The Sept. 11 attacks 13 years ago will forever be remembered as a tragic and harrowing event in American history, one that ushered the country, and much of the world, into a new era of foreign policy, war and diplomacy. However, in tragedy we also found innumerable acts of courage and selflessness, especially in the hours and days that followed. Emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and ambulance technicians and operators, became heroes and sources of hope in the days and weeks following the attacks on the World Trade Center.

There are credit unions and banks that offer services specifically for emergency responders like these. This Sept. 11,, let’s take a moment to highlight financial institutions that are trying to give back to those who put themselves in danger to save lives each and every day.

Credit Unions That Support Police Officers

There are dozens of financial institutions around the country that support police officers, many of which are credit unions. If you’re a police officer, you’re likely aware of the local credit union associated with your city’s police force. You might, however, not be aware of how great some of the deals offered by these institutions are.

Just to name a few police-related credit unions:

When it comes to special offers and products, Police Federal Credit Union, which supports officers and civilian employees and their immediate families in the Washington, D.C., area, offers a checking account with no minimum balance, no monthly service fees or per-check charges, an online check deposit, as well as a Benefits Plus Checking Account with a high 3.04% APY.

SF Police Credit Union, which serves police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders and their families in the San Francisco Bay area, offers uncommonly low auto loan rates. At just 0.99% APR for a one- to 36-month loan, 1.49% APR for 37- to 60-month financing and 2.24% APR for 61- to 72-month terms, this credit union rewards its members with low loan rates.Members get to take advantage of a 0.25% discount on their loan rates, as well, when they sign up for automatic payments.

United Police Federal Credit Union, serving law enforcement employees and their family members in Miami, also offers low auto loan rates starting at just 1.49% APR for new and used vehicles.

Members of Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, which include active, retired, sworn and civilian employees working in law enforcement in Los Angeles County, can take advantage of easy-to-maintain savings accounts. The credit union offers four savings accounts to choose from that all earn dividends with just a $5 minimum deposit to open.

Financial Institutions That Support Firefighters

Similar to how there are many credit unions that support police officers throughout the country, many credit unions serve firefighters in major American cities. For example:

  • Akron Firefighters Credit Union serves first responders, firefighters and their families in Northeast Ohio.
  • Firefighters Credit Union serves appointed firefighters and civilian employees of the fire departments in several Indiana counties. Another Firefighters Credit Union serves firefighters and their families in the state of Utah.
  • Omaha Firefighters Credit Union includes firefighters and their families in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., in its field of membership.
  • San Diego Firefighters Federal Credit Union serves retired and active firefighters and department personnel permanently assigned in San Diego County, as well as their families,

Special products offered to members of these types of institutions include a Rescue Mortgage from Boston Firefighters Credit Union. Employees and retirees of the Boston Fire Department and other entities can take advantage of this 4.00% mortgage designed to give those who purchased a home before the housing bubble burst a chance to refinance.

When it comes to auto loans, members of Fire Fighters Credit Union in Oklahoma and Firefighters Community Credit Union in Cleveland benefit from low rates, with Fire Fighters Credit Union offering rates as low as 1.75% APR on new vehicles for up to 48 months. The low 1.77% APR on new vehicles up to 72 months from Firefighters Community Credit Union is a great deal because membership and access to this rate is open to anyone living in Cuyahoga and Lake Counties, not just firefighters.

Chicago Firefighters Credit Union offers dividends on savings accounts with balances of $500 and above at 0.25% APY — quite a bit higher than the average credit union savings account rate of 0.14% APY.

Banking Services for EMTs

Emergency Responders Credit Union serves employees and volunteers of emergency first responder agencies in North Carolina and their immediate family members. The credit union offers high savings account rates of 0.25% APY and low auto loan rates of 0.99% starting APR on two-year terms. Many financial institutions, however, offer products and deals specifically for EMTs, even though the credit unions and banks serve a wider field of membership.

First NBC Bank, for instance, offers a full service checking account to current and retired American Red Cross employees, FEMA workers, EMTs and paramedics, doctors, nurses, firefighters, and members of the United States Armed Forces, among others. This First Responders account comes with no monthly service charge, unlimited check writing, dividends on balances of $1,000 or more, tiered interest rates that compound daily and a minimum opening balance of just $100. SF Police Credit Union offers a First Responder Loan with a low 2.50% APR for a $5,000 amount and two-year term.

No matter what field of membership you qualify for, anyone can benefit from shopping around and looking for products and services tailored to his needs. This is just a handful of financial institutions that work to support the needs of those who serve communities across the country every day.

Photo credit: vincent desjardins