First Option Credit Union is a 100% member-owned financial institution that was founded in 1965. The ‘First Option’ name emerged in 2005 after a merger between TAB Credit Union and Flying Horse Credit Union to create a strong and secure entity that would make its members ‘first option’ for their banking needs. Previously, several other smaller industry-based credit unions had been merged into what is now known as First Union.
As a credit union, its members are its shareholders and profits are reinvested into the business. While it was initially created to serve employees of some well-known Australian companies, it is now open to everyone.
First Option Credit Union has two branches in VIC (Melbourne and Ringwood) and one in NSW (Granville). Alternatively, customers can phone customer service representatives between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday or fill out an online enquiry form. Internet banking is also available and customers have access to the RediATM network.
First Option provides members with a variety of financial products and services, including access and savings accounts, term deposits, credit cards, home loans, car loans, personal loans, insurance and financial planning.
First Option is a values-driven organisation – any decision, problem or issue is answered by referring to its values:
- TRANSPARENT – “We always act with honesty and integrity. It’s inherent in us.”
- FOCUSED – “We only exist to serve members. It gives us strength and sets us apart.”
- CHALLENGING – “We are united and driven to evolve. We’re not old fashioned.”
- LIBERATING – “We aim to set our members free, which helps us both to grow.”
Customers can apply for a First Option Credit Union loan online or at a branch. To be eligible for a loan, you will need:
- To be 18 years of age or over
- Australian residency
- A stable job and a permanent regular income
First Option will do a credit check as part of the assessment process. In line with this, you will need to provide certain documentation which includes:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of income
- Employment details
- Asset and liability information
You do not need to be a current member of First Option to submit a loan application as when your loan is approved and funded, you will automatically become a member. A $2 membership share will then be debited from your access account. But before applying for any loan, you should calculate the repayments and determine whether you have the capacity to repay the loan.