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Seventy years later, $40 startup now boasts $87M in loans

PHOTO COURTESY OF TRI COUNTY AREA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION The main office of Tri County Area Federal Credit Union is on Medical Drive in Lower Pottsgrove Township. It also has a branch in Pennsburg and branches in two high schools.

With almost 70 years built into its history, Tri County Area Federal Credit Union went from supporting tire manufacturing laborers in its early days to today working with more than 13,700 community members across 41 townships and boroughs in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties.

With almost 70 years built into its history, Tri County Area Federal Credit Union went from supporting tire manufacturing laborers in its early days to today working with more than 13,700 community members across 41 townships and boroughs in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties.

Treating members well, standing up for them in difficult financial situations and giving back to the community are some factors that people value as members of this not-for-profit.

“In August of 1949, eight employees of the Firestone Rubber Plant No. 336 in Lower Pottsgrove Township filed an organizational certificate to start Firestone No. 336 Federal Credit Union,” said Andrew Pistoria, president and CEO of the credit union.

“Each of the eight members put in $5 to start the credit union,” he said.

The credit union had a few different Pottstown area locations and revamped to cater to members of the community after learning that Firestone’s local plant would be shutting down in 1980.

The main office in Lower Pottsgrove Township was built in 1995. The credit union’s second location opened in 2007 in Pennsburg.

Business members’ loans total $6.2 million, while individual membership, which represents most accounts, totals $81.4 million in loans, according to Pistoria.

“We became one of the first community chartered credit unions in the state,” he said. “We have never been afraid to try things. And have always tried to be up-to-date with technology.”

Fran Wieckowski of District Township used the Pennsburg branch after a bank merger spurred her to shop around.

She reflected on how employees go out of their way to help her and stand up for her financially related legal rights.

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