The Helping Hand of 1st Franklin Financial
1ST Franklin Financial
When life happens and extra money is needed, getting a fast and easy loan from a reputable company can be a real possibility for residents in Henry and surrounding counties. 1st Franklin Financial has been there for individuals and families in financial need since Ben F. Cheek, Jr. established Franklin Discount Company and made his first auto loan of $35 in 1941 in Toccoa, GA. For five generations since, the Cheek family has built upon its mission to provide families with the funds they need when they need them the most. They have been an integral part of 1st Franklin’s success, growth and expansion, today operating 327 offices across six states with more than 1350 employees.
1st Franklin has two offices located in Henry County – one in McDonough and the other in Stockbridge. Like all 1st Franklin offices, these local lenders provide personal loans and financial solutions in amounts that range from $1,250 to $15,000, helping families who need a loan in a pinch and individuals who have less than perfect credit. The Stockbridge office is one of the fastest growing in the company and the McDonough location is the largest of all 1st Franklin branches.
Brooke Lowden, the branch manager at Stockbridge, grew up in Toccoa, GA, and started working at 1st Franklin part-time. She transferred to the McDonough office when her husband was relocated there with his job. Brooke quickly advanced in the company under the leadership of her mentor Cindy Jeffries, the McDonough branch manager; Brooke was promoted and became the branch manager at the Stockbridge location in 2017. Cindy, a native of Henry County says that 1st Franklin was her first “meaningful” job and is a career employee with over 30 years.
Brooke and Cindy are great friends and highly competitive at the same time. Both are members of the 1st Franklin Financial Circle of Diamonds, an elite group of the company’s highest performers. The family friendly culture known throughout the 1st Franklin organization is a mainstay in both offices and extends to how they relate to their customers.
“Many times, when someone comes to us for a loan, they are already in some type of stressful situation,” says Brooke. “It could be that they’ve been turned down by a bank when there is an urgent need. Our process is quick and easy, and we love being able to help customers through adversity. Our customers are grateful and often come by just to say hello. We get a lot of hugs and cookies around here.”
1st Franklin Financial is very active in the communities they service supporting local youth activities, food banks and their employees participating in a multitude of fundraising activities. At the corporate level, 1st Franklin contributes to and supports various fundraising events including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, United Way, March of Dimes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Susan G. Komen Foundation, the U.S. Armed Forces, and more.
HCCC’s Business After Hours is the preferred networking event for Cindy and Brooke because they can attend after 1st Franklin office hours. “We work with a lot of local businesses that need financing for their customers. One of our most recent connections was made at a Chamber Business After Hours – a large, local heating and air company needing 1st Financial to provide financing for its HVAC customers.”