Direct Federal's Community Outreach Program
Accessibility and opportunity for the entire community.
Direct Federal is a community-chartered credit union and at the core of our institution is our commitment to serve all members of the community. We believe in developing long-term relationships to help members of our community gain financial education, establish savings goals and build credit. We are proud to offer affordably priced products, including our free Community Checking and a variety of SmartStart loans, to members of the community who may not qualify for traditional checking account or loan products.
We believe in making banking accessible and affordable, and that is what we have done with our free Community Checking. With no restrictions, no requirements and no fees, our free Community Checking is for anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in Norfolk or Middlesex Counties, and has an annual household income of less than $60,000. This checking account receives all the same benefits as our Hub Checking account, without the requirement of e-statements, direct deposit, or five (5) debit card transactions per month. With our free Community Checking, you will enjoy:
- Unlimited reimbursement of all ATM fees and surcharges from ATMs worldwide
- Unlimited free standard checks
- Free annual credit report
- Discounts on Direct Federal loan products
- Easy, 24/7, account access through Direct.com
- Access to Person to Person payments for transferring money to anyone at any bank
- Robust Mobile Wallet solution including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and more
To open a Community Checking account, you need a valid Driver's License, State ID, or Passport, and a Social Security Number. We do not require proof of income for this account. Our application is quick and easy and can be done online, by phone, or in person at our branch in Needham.
Direct is committed to be the lifelong trusted partner to our members as they pursue their dreams. Our SmartStart loans are for members who have a little to no credit history. From establishing good credit that will carry you through your life to buying your family a vehicle that will bring your children to school each day, we are here to partner with you and help you reach your goals. At Direct, we are committed to offering members of our SmartStart program an affordable loan rate with a low monthly payment. It is our hope that this program sets the stage for a lifetime of financial success and stability for our members.
SmartStart Personal Loan
Direct recognizes that building good credit is paramount to establishing financial wellness for you and your family. We created underwriting guidelines for this loan that recognize you have little to no credit history. This loan is considered a personal loan and funds can be used to help your family with a hardship, establish an emergency fund, or pay for an upcoming large expense. A low rate of 11.24% APR1 makes this one of the smartest ways to build credit.
SmartStart Auto Loan
Need to buy yourself or your family a car but don't qualify for traditional auto loans? Direct Federal offers a low interest auto loan, starting at 3.14% APR2, to individuals over the age of 21 and who have little to no credit history. Once approved, you will be issued a check to use to buy your new vehicle. If you have questions about the car buying process, we have a team of experts on staff that can assist you. We also encourage anyone buying their first vehicle, to visit DirectLife, our Online Learning Center, to learn about what an Auto Loan is.
Apply for a SmartStart Auto Loan >
SmartStart Visa Credit Card
This card is a great opportunity for a borrower to build credit. At a rate of 10.74% APR3, we offer a $500 credit line for the first six months. Provided all payments are made on-time for six consecutive months with no late payments, you will be considered for an increase to $1,000.
From paying bills to building a savings account, getting your finances in order is no easy task. But it’s also one you can’t afford to ignore. That’s why we created DirectLIFE—Life Informed Financial Education. We invite you to explore our free Financial Education Center and learn the ins and outs of managing your money. You’ll find a variety of tools and resources to help you save smarter and spend wiser. Click the image below to visit DirectLIFE.