Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

little girl on a couch with a tissue and a blanket

Update 5/21/2021:

We mahalo all the applicants who chose Hawaii First for their PPP journey.  We deployed over $2M in PPP loans to local businesses here on the Big Island.

Update 2/23/2021:

While Hawaii County has maintained consistently low COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks, we encourage everyone to continue following preventative measures. Please follow the County of Hawaii COVID-19 Resource Site for updated information on ways to stay safe: https://coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/

Your Credit Union continues to keep safety a top priority and we mahalo you for your understanding and cooperation with our modified hours. Please know that if you need assistance between the Monday – Friday 1pm-4pm appointment hours, you may always call us at 808-885-7349 or 808-933-7349 and we’ll be happy to assist you! 

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on Hawaii County residents’ finances and are looking for resources such as rent/mortgage assistance, small business paycheck protection programs (PPP loans), tax preparation needs, vaccination info, etc. In partnership with the County of Hawaii, we are providing free help, over the phone through the Financial Navigators Program. A Financial Navigator can help you manage financial issues, identify immediate action steps, and make referrals to other services at no cost. Connect today by completing the Financial Navigator interest form: https://www.hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center/ or call our Community Resource Center at 808-933-6600.

Update 12.1.2020

Branch lobby hours remain open for walk-ins Monday-Friday 9am-1pm and 1pm-4pm reserved for appointments.Wednesdays 1pm-2pm is reserved for high-risk and kupuna.

Please call us at 808.885.7349 (Kamuela Branch) or 808.933.7349 (Hilo Branch) to schedule an appointment if you are unable to visit during walk-in hours. 

Everyone’s safety is our top priority and we mahalo you for your cooperation and understanding.

Mahalo to the Hawaii County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program (RMAP) for allowing Hawaii First FCU to assist Hawaii island residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Effective November 5, 2020 all six Hawaii Island-based nonprofit organizations have announced that the Hawaii County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program has closed its program.

By the end of November, a total of $8.25 million in housing assistance grants will have been disbursed, helping more than 3,500 island residents with housing payments since the program’s inception in August.

Individuals and households in need of housing assistance are encouraged to seek additional services including landlord-tenant mediation, assistance with requesting mortgage loan modifications, financial counseling, and other programs available on-island.

More information about these programs and recorded information sessions on these available services will be posted on the Hawaii County RMAP website. Those interested in accessing the recorded information sessions are encouraged to check the website regularly.  All recordings will be available by November 30, 2020.

Last but not least we MAHALO our partners in this great work: Hawaii Community Lending, Hawaiian Community Assets, Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island, Hawaii Island Home for Recovery, HOPE Services Hawaii, and Neighborhood Place of Puna. Visit this dashboard to see up to date efforts.

Update 10.21.2020

Mahalo to the Kuki’o Community Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation for allowing Hawaii First FCU to assist employees of Kuki’o who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this program we helped nearly 100 residents with housing and household expenses. While this program is now closed, we encourage all Hawaii island residents to apply with the current Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program funded by the County of Hawaii with Federal CARES Act dollars. 

To date, through this program we have awarded $2.1M in grant funds to help keep residents in their homes! If you have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic please don’t hesitate and apply now as funding is limited and the response is increasing. We are here for you!

We also MAHALO our partners in this great work: Hawaii Community Lending, Hawaiian Community Assets, Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island, Hawaii Island Home for Recovery, HOPE Services Hawaii, and Neighborhood Place of Puna. Visit this dashboard to see up to date efforts.

Update 8.12.2020

Mahalo to the Richard Smart Fund and the Hawaii Resilience Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation for helping Hawaii First FCU help to put the needs of Hawaii, FIRST! It is truly an example of what credit unions are about, “People Helping People.”

With these grant funds, over the past three months, we assisted nearly 800 community members, experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus, help pay for critical living expenses.

While these programs are now closed, Hawaii First continues to seek more opportunities to bring help and hope back to our dear community.

Please continue to check back on our website for more updates. E Malama Pono!

Update 8.7.2020 — closed as of 9.25.20

The Kuki’o Community Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation and Hawaii First Emergency Fund Application is now closed.

However, employees (spouse or dependent) of Kuki’o Golf and Beach Club, Inc., Kuki’o Community Association, Inc., or Kuki’o Staffing Services, LLC and financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are encouraged to apply under the Rent and Mortgage Assistance program. Please apply here for up to $2,000 per month. Applications are processed by order in which they are received. Funds are limited. Grant processors will contact applicants by email or phone number listed on the application. You may call 808-933-7349 to follow up on the status of your application.

Update 7.13.2020

Hawaii press relase

Update 6.4.2020

Hawaii First FCU Gains Critical SBA Approval
Credit union receives authorization to provide PPP loans for area small businesses.

HILO, HAWAI’I – In keeping with its efforts to support local members and businesses, Hawaii First Federal Credit Union announced that it has been approved as a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) lender by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Paycheck Protection Program, which is backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is a specialized support program designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. After running out of funds in its initial two weeks, the program was reauthorized and relaunched on Monday, April 27, to provide an additional $310 billion in loans to small businesses nationwide. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

“The PPP approval process has proven, once again, that our Hawaii First team is committed to doing whatever it takes to help our members secure their financial futures,” said Laura Aguirre, CEO/President of Hawaii First FCU. “When the first round of funds ran out, our team worked quickly and tirelessly to get our PPP lender application approved. Then, they focused on getting the web application up for our community members to apply, as we were hopeful that more funds would be made available.” Aguirre added, “Now that we are approved and our members getting the support they need, I am proud to report that Hawaii First has already been able to approve more than $1M in PPP loans! That is a million dollars that will help our Hawaii island recover from the financial impact of COVID-19.”

For additional information on the programs and services offered at Hawaii Federal Credit Union, visit www.hawaiifirstfcu.com.


About Hawaii First Federal Credit Union

Hawaii First Federal Credit Union (HFFCU) is a low-income designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which was organized in 1956. Today, Hawaii First continues to provide a wide array of no-cost financial services that encourage community revitalization and economic development in Hawaii County. HFFCU proudly serves the Island of Hawaii through its multiple branches and programs such as the Hawaii First Community Resource Centers.


Update 6.1.2020

dolphins swimming in the ocean

Hawaii First Partners with Hawaii Community Foundation to assist Hawaii Island residents financially affected by COVID-19  through the Hawaii Resilience Fund – Application is now closed. Please check back for updates.

  • Who is eligible? Hawaii Island households
  • How much is available? Up $1,000 per household
  • What is covered? mortgage, rent, utilities, child care
  • You are not eligible if you were previously awarded funds from the Hawaii Resilience Fund or Richard Smart Fund
  • For more information about the Hawaii Resilience Fund please visit Hawaii Community Foundation’s website about that Hawaii Resilience Fund.

Update 5.27.20

The Governor has extended and redefined “Stay-at-home” proclamation to “Safer-at-home” through June 30, 2020.

Hawaii First FCU is currently evaluating future business hours to ensure that we continue to put the safety and health of our members and team members.

  • Continued practices will/may include: increased sanitation, physical distancing, member limit in branch, use of face coverings, kupuna/at-risk hours
  • Encourage “Safer at home banking”

Update 4.21.20

*As an essential business, Hawaii First FCU is doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of our team and members. According to mandates enforced by the local government for protective measures, anyone entering the branch/office is now required to wear appropriate face masks or coverings (ages 5 or older). See exemptions below. Additionally, everyone must also sanitize their hands upon entering the branch/office.

  • Mask Requirements and Exceptions: Under the State’s emergency order, everyone is required to wear a mask in essential businesses; however, there are exceptions. While masks are mandated to protect yourself and the people around you, children under the age of 2, and anyone with asthma, COPD, or other respiratory issues may be exempt from wearing the masks if it affects their breathing.

*We are accepting applications for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Plan

Please view the link on our Loans page to review the application. Once you submit via email, you will receive an email confirming we received your application.

To ensure faster processing, please have the following readily available to upload when completing the link:

  • All four 2019 IRS Quarterly 941 payroll tax reports OR Form 940/944 for 2019
  • 2020 February Bank Statement
  • Business Banking information (Routing & Account number)
  • If self-employed or independent contractor:
    • Official 2019 IRS 1099 (if you are the recipient of the funds)
    • Official 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C Form

Additional Resources:

Update 4.10.20

Visit this website for information on the Economic Stimulus Payment.

Update 3.20.20

Aloha Hawaii First Family,

This is a follow up to our email to members last week. We understand that this is a critical time for us in an ever so changing environment. Every day we are seeing more developments about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to staying informed and keeping everyone update.

You will hear and see a lot of information out there regarding this pandemic but we urge you to get your information from trusted sources only. (See below for some resources.)

Your money is secured.

Your deposits are safe in Federally Insured Credit Unions. Hawaii First FCU is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. We are a safe place for credit union members to save money. Additional information on NCUA share insurance coverage is available at MyCreditUnion.gov.

Beware of scams.

  • We also remind you to remain vigilant against COVID-19 related scams.
  • It is not normal practice for us to call you to ask for any of your account numbers or plastic card numbers.
  • When in doubt call a branch directly.

To maintain the safety and health of everyone as much as possible we have made adjustments to our branch hours.

  • Credit union branches will be open Mondays – Fridays 9am to 1pm, Saturdays closed.
  • Online services remain accessible 24/7.
  • Community Resource Center services may be provided online or by phone. Please contact staff at (808) 933-6600 or via email at empower@hawaiifirstfcu.com
  • If you are concerned about your finances, your loan(s) with Hawaii First FCU or any other creditor please reach out for help NOW.

Our commitment to serving you remains top priority. We are here for you and will be here to assist as much possible. Mahalo and malama pono.

See additional resources here:

UPDATE 3.18.2020

Effective immediately Kamuela Branch and Hilo Branch will be open Mondays-Fridays from 9am to 1pm. Closed Saturdays.

We realize that this is unchartered territory for all of us and we are doing our best to minimize disruption to everyone as much as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience and we mahalo you for your patience and kindness.

Please refer to online banking and online services for other ways to conduct business.

UPDATE 3.14.2020

Aloha Hawaii First Family,
Every day we are seeing more information about the COVID-19 situation. With things changing quickly and precautionary actions taken by our government, we want to keep close communication with all of you.
Our commitment to serving you still remains top priority and therefore adjustments are being made to ensure we are putting everyone’s safety first.

Social distancing:

  • We may be limiting the number of members in the lobbies of our branches who are conducting transactions. Thank you for your patience.
  • High traffic areas will be confined in the branches.
  • We are encouraging transactions and/or services to be conducted online.
  • Our Community Resource Centers will remain open for tax purposes and appointments only but we will be available by phone and online to assist with other community resource needs.
  • We have a lot of aloha for each other but will be practicing other ways to show care and kindness through non-personal contact.

Health and safety:

  • We will be ramping up sanitation measures to more be frequent than our standard routines.
  • Please be aware of scams and fraudsters.
    • We are encouraging everyone to stay updated on your accounts and if there are any concerns please contact us by phone to assist.
    • If your job or income has been impacted and are concerned about your finances please reach out and connect with a financial coach who can work with you by phone or virtually.
  • If you are sick, please stay home and malama. We are asking the same of our team members as well.
As of right now our branches are operating normal business hours but monitoring developments very closely. We will be sure to communicate with you if any further adjustments are to be made. Mahalo for trusting your credit union!


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