"With our own money, with our own efforts, with confidence and with trust in each other we have created a brotherhood of money. We call it a credit union."
- Quote from 36th annual meeting report
One day at Fire Station #1, two well dressed men from Washington DC tried to convince the fire fighters that they would save money by starting a credit union instead of paying exorbitant interest rates for loans at banks. Twelve men out of the 33 stationed there would have to invest a quarter each to start the organization. Frank Barletta threw in the third quarter, "but before it stopped spinning, the room had emptied. It took begging, pleading and a little threatening to get 12 firemen to ante up". On April 9, 1935 Houston Texas Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union was granted a federal charter by the National Credit Union Administration in Washington DC to open for business. Total assets were $3 - kept safe in a locked drawer of a roll top desk and insured by the full faith of the United States government.
For 45 years the credit union remained open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in downtown Houston. It was operated and managed exclusively by fire fighters who volunteered their services - many times being awakened in the middle of the night to conduct credit union business. Cash loans were made routinely for household appliances, groceries and cars. By 1980 total assets had grown to $13 million.
In 1982 the credit union started construction on its own building at 4200 Kolb Street and still resides in the same location with over 20,000 square feet of office space and a six lane drive through. In the last decade two full service branches on the north and south sides of Houston have been added.
Today HTFFFCU is a full service financial institution with over $250 million in assets and $130 million in loans to members. In addition, the federal government continues to rate the credit union at the highest level of safety and security in assets. The original purpose of "people helping people" has remained the primary focus of the credit union's mission.
Barletta noted, he was proud to say that his children and grandchildren are all members of the Credit Union he helped start.
Note: Financial information is updated quarterly. Next update is scheduled in April 2019 for March 2019's financial information.
Financial Scoreboard as of March 2019
1These items negatively impact the return to members, resulting in higher interest rates on loans and lower dividends and rebates.
HTFFFCU is proud to share their strong values and continued growth as illustrated in the Annual Reports. Annual Reports are made available each March in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. Click on an Annual Report below to view the report.
Board of Directors
The credit union directors are all long term-members HTFFFCU members and they are elected by the general membership. At our credit union we have twelve board directors who choose to volunteers their time and are responsible for the general direction and control of the affairs of the credit union.
The Supervisory Committee is made up of qualified, volunteer credit union members willing to take a leadership role at the credit union. The committee is responsible for the auditing the credit union financial records, quality control monitoring and reviewing member grievances.