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About Membership

who can join      starting your account      lifetime membership      credit union history

Who is Eligible to Join?
Any persons who live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship or attend school in, and businesses and other legal entities located in Hamilton County, Tennessee are eligible for membership.

Current members:

  • Former Employees of U. S. Pipe & Foundry Company
  • Employees of the Law Offices of Paty, Rymer and Ulin, P. C.
  • Employees of the Sims Saddle and Leather Company, Inc.
  • Former Employees of Ross-Meehan Foundries
  • Employees of Accu-Cast, Inc.
  • Former Employees of Joseph W. Graves, M.D., P.C.
  • Employees of Woodward Iron Company and employees of Tennessee Products and Chemical Corporation of Chattanooga who were member of Tepco Employees Credit Union before the Corporation was sold to Woodward Iron Company
  • Employees of Tri County Dialysis Clinic
  • Employees of Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute
  • Employees of Standard Tool & Die, Inc.
  • Employees of Pilgrims Pride
  • Employees of Jones-Blair Company and its subsidiaries
  • Employees of the Mueller Company
  • Employees of NutriBasics
  • Former Employees of Velsicol Chemical
  • Spouses of those who died while within the field of membership of this credit union; employees of this credit union; persons retired as pensioners or annuitants from the above employment
  • Immediate family members and such organizations of any of the above

Starting Your Membership Account

To start your membership, you must open a Share/Savings account which will give you ownership in the credit union.

To do so:
  • A credit union membership application must be completed and approved.
  • Two forms of identification are required.
A deposit of $25.00 is required to open the account. This can be paid at the time the account is opened, or if the company you work for is providing the credit union with payroll deductions, you can sign a payroll deduction form and the account will be opened.

Once a Member, Always a Member!

As long as you maintain a deposit of $25.00, you may remain a member, even if you change jobs, retire or move out of the area.

Credit Union History

U. S. Pipe (Chattanooga) Federal Credit Union was chartered in November 7, 1961 for the purpose of serving the employees of U. S. Pipe and Foundry who work in Chattanooga, Tennessee, employees of the credit union, and the members of their immediate families. There were more than 800 employees at the time the credit union was chartered and at its highest level of employment; U. S. Pipe and Foundry employed almost 1500 workers.

In 1964, the credit union changed its name to U. S. Pipe Chattanooga Federal Credit and in 1969, with assets over $1 million and almost 1400 members, the credit union built a new building which was located at 1301 Carter Street. These were great changes for the credit union; however, the most important thing happened in 1971 when the credit union was approved for share insurance. For the first time, the credit union members could feel like their deposits were safe. With shares insured, the credit union grew (within one year) almost thirty percent in assets.

Over the next several years the credit union experienced continuous growth, and in 1986 celebrated its twenty fifth year of existence. However, in 1990 a portion of U. S. Pipe (soil pipe division) was sold and the new owners immediately closed the plant and terminated over 300 employees. For the first time since being chartered, the credit union had to deal with real adversity. Loans decreased more than $1 million and within the next couple of years the credit union had to charge off over $200,000. Despite the U. S. Pipe employee decrease, the credit union continued to grow, mainly because of the addition of a few small employee groups and the merging of a couple of small credit unions.

In 1997, credit union management decided that a new credit union building was needed in order to add new and improve existing services for its members. In 1998, the credit union moved into a new 6500 square foot building with two drive-through lanes. This new building was designed to enable the credit union to grow comfortably for the next ten to fifteen years. The new building would easily accommodate up to twenty employees.

At the end of 1998, U. S. Pipe and Foundry (with no warning) began an organizational restructuring. As a result of that restructuring, over 600 jobs have been lost reducing the total workforce to about 550 employees. Between the years of 1989 and 2003, U. S. Pipe and Foundry reduced its workforce by over 900 employees.

The instability of U. S. Pipe and Foundry, as a long time future employer, prompted the credit union to take a long hard look at its future, and what was needed to ensure its continued growth and survival. The conclusion was that expanded services and an expanded field of membership were paramount.

In September 2004, the credit union changed its name to Chattanooga First Federal Credit Union and expanded its services to include share drafts, debit cards, and ATM services w/cards.

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We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. NCUA