The Member Newsletter
September 2020
Freedom from fees feels fabulous
Publix ATM
1st Cooperative members have a brand new benefit: fee-free ATM access through the CO-OP ATM Network, a nationwide group of automatic teller machines.

That means members with checking accounts now pay no surcharge when they withdraw their cash from more than 700 ATMs in South Carolina and 30,000 across the U.S. in the CO-OP Network.

“Frankly, there aren’t many large national banks that have this many ATMs,” said Jo Ann Burnside, chief operating officer of 1st Cooperative. “It’s a huge benefit for members who have checking accounts with our credit union—and another reason to open a checking account with us.”

The new ATM network includes machines at retailers such as Publix grocery stores, Circle K and 7-Eleven convenience stores, and Costco Wholesale locations. The walk-up or drive-up ATMs at most credit unions are also surcharge-free.

“That easy access really makes our checking accounts very attractive,” Burnside said. “Our Visa debit card not only makes purchases simple, but it doubles as an ATM card, too.”

Members can find nearby ATMs with the “CO-OP ATM Shared Branch” locator app, which is free in the Apple and Google Play app stores or by going directly to the CO-OP ATM website.

The app stores also have the free 1st Cooperative Federal Credit Union app, (Apple, Google Play) which allows members to deposit a check by taking its photo, to view account balances and to transfer funds between accounts.

Credit union membership is open to electric cooperative employees, trustees and their families, which includes spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws. 
Adventure seeker, credit union member
Bonnie Whetstine
Whether Bonnie Whetstine is calling 1st Cooperative about her account or another "wild-brain-haired idea to buy something," Bonnie says the staff always goes above and beyond.

Whetstine, a member services representative at York Electric Cooperative, says the credit union has helped her buy an SUV, a camper, and a truck.

"I never know where the next adventure in my life will take me, but I always know that I have a credit union there to assist me should the need arise."

If you're looking for a little adventure, and you need some help to get there, contact John Middleton at 803-796-0234 or email him here.
Banking made (even) easier with new website
Checking, saving and borrowing are now easier for members who visit 1st Cooperative Federal Credit Union’s new website. It also features photos and stories of credit union members on almost every page.

The site brings together all of the credit union’s services on one accessible and functional platform. More online forms have been added to enable members to conduct business 24 hours a day.

“I think a paragraph on the site’s Our Story page says it best,” said Keith Avery, the credit union board’s chairman and CEO of Newberry Electric Cooperative. “Here's how it describes all of us who are members of 1st Cooperative:

‘We work hard and play hard, and when it comes to financial services, we have high expectations. We want our banking easy and our bankers friendly. We want easy access to our money and knowledgeable help with using those funds wisely. When borrowing money, we want friendly service from a human being, not a robotic answering machine.’”

Credit union COO Jo Ann Burnside says the staff receives “a lot of compliments” on their customer service. “This website will help us keep those compliments coming,” she said.
Historic growth reported, two directors re-elected
Lou Green Tony Fogg
Credit union members re-elected two incumbent members of the board of directors at last month's annual membership meeting of 1st Cooperative Federal Credit Union, the first ever held by video conferencing (rather than in person) due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tony Fogg, chief financial officer for Santee Electric Cooperative (top photo), and Lou Green, executive vice president at The Electric Cooperatives of S.C. Inc., will serve another three-year term on the board.

In other news, the credit union’s assets increased by $3 million in 2019 to a total of $18 million, according to a report given by board Chairman Keith Avery. (July 2020 numbers put total assets at more than $20 million a new record.) More than $1 million in loans was added to the credit union’s balance sheet, totaling to $14 million.

Avery, who is also CEO of Newberry Electric Cooperative, reported that the credit union had the largest increase in members ever recorded in one year. More than 40% were family members of co-op employees and trustees.

“We appreciate you passing on your exceptional credit union experience to your family members,” Avery said.

Have a co-worker or family member you think should join, visit to get started.
1st Cooperative members can use 700 ATMs across South Carolina and 30,000 nationwideall surcharge-free. Find them at retailers such as Publix, 7-Eleven, Circle K and Costco.

Plus, you can use ATMs at credit unions all across the state.

Don't have a checking account with a debit card? To open one, call us today at 803-796-0234.

Find ATMs near you at, download our mobile app, text your address to 91989 or call 1-888-748-3266.