Category Archives: News

Griffins Advance to the Central Division Finals

Grand Rapids Griffins

Following an impressive 3-game series sweep of the AHL central division champion Milwaukee Admirals, the Griffins have advanced to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for a franchise-record fourth consecutive year and will now take on the Lake Erie Monsters in the best-of-seven Central Division Finals.

In achieving four-straight seasons of playoff success, we know just how crucial it is to have Van Andel Arena loud and electric each and every home playoff game. While minor league playoff hockey can be challenging to market and sell due to date availability and a shortened sales timeline, the Griffins have enjoyed terrific crowds throughout each of our recent playoff runs thanks to our loyal fan base as well as corporate support from companies like Michigan First Credit Union.

May Car Sale – Early Shopper Special Incentives

Michigan First Credit Union 2016 May Car Sale
It’s that time of year again …

The last snow is melting. The sun hangs around longer. The air smells different.

That means it’s officially time for the MAY CAR SALE!

Why shop with us?

We’re changing things up a bit. We’ll offer members a special early shopper incentive. If you visit the dealership Monday – Wednesday the week of the sale, you could qualify for some extra perks:

Early Shopper Special Incentive from May 9 to 11 (at the dealership):

  • Up to 2% off the rate (maximum and cannot be combined with any other rate discount offers)*
  • Up to 60 days no payments**

Where can you shop?

We’ve partnered up with three area dealers for this spring’s sale.

  • LaFontaine – inventory located at the Evergreen Branch
  • James Martin – inventory located at the dealership
  • Merollis – inventory located at the dealership

When can you shop?

  • Thursday, May 12, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, May 13, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. – noon

Of course, you’ll still enjoy some awesome benefits by coming to our sale!

Regular Car Sale Incentives (May 12 – 14):

  • Up to 1% off the rate*
  • Up to 60 days no payments**
  • $50 gift card***

Don’t miss your chance at these great deals! Questions? Call our 365 Live Call Center any time of the day or night at 800.664.3828.


1Subject to credit approval. Rate discount for vehicle loans only. Must qualify for loan, purchase through the car sale, close on loan and take delivery of vehicle by May 14, 2016 to receive discount. Minimum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 1.99%. The better the credit score, the better the rate. Monthly payments will vary depending on vehicle price, terms and APR.
2First payment must be scheduled to be received prior to 60 days from the closing date of your loan. Interest will accrue from the date of the loan. This may result in minimal or no principal reduction when payments start.
3Purchasers will receive a $50 gift card with their purchase (minimum $10,000 loan amount). Michigan First reserves the right to substitute a prize of like value. Recipient is responsible for applicable taxes.

Cyber Security In Today’s Online World

Cyber SecurityCyber security is defined as “measures taken to protect a computer or computer systems against unauthorized access or attack.” It’s one of the hottest topics in the news and for good reason. In light of increased and more advanced cyber crimes, it’s vital that companies and consumers adhere to safe and secure online practices.

Here are a few tips to help protect yourself online:

  • When shopping online, always investigate the website before purchasing anything to confirm the site is legitimate.
  • Ensure websites are securely enabled before giving any financial or personal details. Look at the beginning of the web address for “https://,” which means the site has extra measures in place to help secure your information.
  • Research anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware tools that you can install for protecting your computer.
  • Review your bank and credit card account activity and credit report regularly to ensure there is no suspicious activity.

To learn more about cyber security and safe online practices visit StaySafeOnline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Also keep in mind, Michigan First offers ID SafeChoice. This program is designed to quickly restore your credit if your personal information is stolen; saving you the time, stress and cost of dealing with identify theft. Members receive discounted rates starting as low as $1.95 per month. Click here for more information.

Michigan First Celebrates 90th Anniversary

90 Year AnniversaryWe have been helping our members save money, buy cars, purchase homes and more for nine decades! We’re proud to celebrate our 90th anniversary this April.

Here are some of our memorable moments:

  • 1926 – Nine teachers from a sociology class at the Detroit Teachers College form Detroit Teachers Credit Union.
  • 1941 – Detroit Teachers Credit Union becomes the largest teachers’ credit union in the world.
  • 1952 – Detroit Teachers Credit Union becomes the largest credit union in the world, a position retained until the sixties.
  • 1961 – We become the first credit union in Michigan to install an electronic computer.
  • 2001 – Detroit Teachers Credit Union is renamed to Michigan First Credit Union to reflect the diversity of our growing membership.
  • 2010 – We release our very first mobile banking smartphone app.
  • 2013 – Michigan First Mortgage is introduced.
  • 2014 – Michigan First becomes the first credit union in Michigan to allow anyone living, working or worshiping in the state to become a member.
  • 2015 – Expanded into west Michigan with the members of Grand Rapids Family Credit Union merging into Michigan First.

From our humble beginning of nine members conducting business at the dining room table of one of our founders, to over 118,000 members and 14 branches throughout Michigan today, we’ve kept our focus on our members and remain committed to providing only the highest quality member experience! Visit MichiganFirst.com/about-us/history for our complete historical timeline and accomplishments.

Board of Directors Election Information

Board of Directors Voting

In accordance with the credit union’s bylaws, the Nominating Committee has nominated the following individuals for three-year terms on the Board of Directors:

  • Shelia Anderson
  • Richard LeMoyne
  • Nadine Tibbs-Stallworth

Also nominated for three-year terms on the Supervisory Committee:

  • Lola Foster
  • Yvonne Willis

As stated in the bylaws, Michigan First members in good standing may place their names in nomination. Petition forms, along with instructions, may be obtained by emailing Christine Wismann, Executive Assistant. These forms require the valid signatures of one percent of the total membership, each of whom must be a member in good standing. The completed forms must be returned in person by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2016, to the President/CEO’s office at the Evergreen branch.

EMV Chips Coming to a Michigan First Card Near You

EMV Chip
If you have an ATM, debit, or credit card with Michigan First, you’ll be receiving a replacement card by this summer. The new cards have an EMV chip embedded on the face of the card which enhances security. While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, smart chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to you, our members. Wherever you shop, dine, or play, your new EMV card will work for both chip and magnetic stripe transactions.

Additional information will be provided to you as we get closer to replacing your card(s). Some of your questions may already be answered below.

Why the change?
An embedded chip on the face of the card enhances the security of your card transactions when used at a chip-enabled terminal by encrypting your card information into a unique code that makes fraud more difficult.

How do I use it?
If the merchant you are shopping at has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your card, follow the screen prompts, sign and remove your card. The main difference is that you will now insert your card instead of swiping it. It’s similar to what you currently experience at an ATM. If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

Can I make a purchase using my new EMV chip-enabled card at a retailer that doesn’t have the new card reader?
Yes. The new EMV cards will be equipped with both chip and magnetic stripe functions to allow merchants time to adopt the new card reading terminals.

Will chip cards stop all fraud from occurring?
No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, criminals continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring already being provided.

While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our members. Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

If you have questions in the meantime, please stop by a Michigan First branch office, or call us 365 Live at 800.664.3828.

We’re Giving Away Up to $85,000 in Scholarships, Again

College is expensive, to say the least. Since 1982, the cost of college has gone up more than 500%! To put that in perspective, that is twice as much as the increase in health care costs over the same time period. In 2015, the average annual cost for a four-year degree at public institutions was $9,139*.

To help our student-members with their college expenses, each year we hold a scholarship competition. To enter, students are asked a question and they answer it via video or essay submission. The scholarship question will be posted on YoungFreeMichigan.com on January 6.

YF Nerdwallet

As a credit union founded by the education community, Michigan First continues our commitment to education. Our Young & Free Michigan Scholarships, funded by the Michigan First Foundation, will once again award up to $85,000 in this year’s scholarship program. We encourage all students from Grand Rapids to Traverse City to southeast Michigan to apply for our scholarships.

Win up to $10,000!
We’re excited to award scholarships of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 in the following three categories:

  • High School Senior Video
  • High School Senior Essay
  • College Student Video

Plus, we’ll be giving additional scholarships of $1,000 to eligible high school seniors. Visit YoungFreeMichigan.com for details, or follow Young & Free Michigan on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

* Source: collegechoice.net

Michigan First is an Award-Winning Credit Union

Once again, Michigan First is proud to share we’ve received awards for being a top workplace! Our 2015 awards include:
bragging-rights-moogle-Fall2015

  • Detroit Free Press as Detroit’s Top Work Place – 6th year
  • Corp! Magazine as a Best & Brightest Company – 7th year
  • CU Journal’s Best Credit Unions – new award this year and we’re on the list!
  • Vote4TheBest – WDIV-Channel 4 News – voted best credit union in metro Detroit.

Thank You for Making 2015 One of Our Best Ever

Michael PoulosA special thanks to each of our members for helping make 2015 a very special and memorable year at Michigan First. Since we first started as a credit union in 1926, the mission has been to serve people at the highest possible level. We have not wavered from that mission, knowing that serving people well would help us to grow and be able to serve even more.

Success is often measured in numbers and the numbers tell a strong story of success in 2015. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The merger with Grand Rapids Family Credit Union took place on January 1, 2015, bringing 5,000 members and three additional branches into the Michigan First family. During the year, two of the branches were remodeled and a brand new 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art branch was built in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • During 2015, Meijer ended its relationship with us, but a new relationship started with Kroger. Four Kroger branches are now in place, with at least three more to follow in 2016.
  • Total membership has now exceeded 115,000 and total assets are greater than $760 million.
  • 2015 marked the first time we have opened more than 2,000 accounts in one month and the number continues to rise.
  • Our 365 Live Call Center has been serving members around the clock and total calls per month are now approaching 50,000.
  • More and more members continue to get their mortgages through Michigan First Mortgage. Members can apply and close on loans at a location of their choosing.
  • More than $140 million in loans were granted to members, a record number.
  • More than 94% of members were served within seven minutes at our teller lines.
  • 90% of members visiting our financial service representatives received service within ten minutes. This represents more than 140,000 visits to our branches.

The list goes on and on, but we are thankful to you, our members, who are making this possible. Thank you for the referrals and the new business you send our way. We are humbled to have the opportunity to serve you. During 2016, look for more changes and even greater enhanced service. We will do everything we can to continue earning your business, confidence, and trust. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee, and the entire Michigan First team, I wish you a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2016.

Michael Poulos, President/CEO