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By:  Barbara Mathey

What lessons have you learned over the past few years?  While the Pandemic was the most unusual time most of us have ever been through, it was also a “wake up” call for us if we take some time to acknowledge the changes it made in our lives and the opportunities and lessons we could take away to improve the world around us.  At the Credit Union, we are defining those opportunities and designing how we do things to match the redefined needs of our members.  What changes are you making and how can your Credit Union help? 

We have continued to service our members throughout the Pandemic using our drive-up window, phone system, online App, remote deposit, CUDL dealer program, online loan application, and remote loan signing with eDoc.  Our branch is open to observing COVID protocols and we are taking appointments for loans and more involved transactions.  Most transactions can be done electronically and we encourage everyone to use these services to save time and money and gas. 

As we all rebuild our lives, taking action to improve is a true opportunity and we offer a few suggestions and cautions. 

Do you have loans that could be costing you less?  With the current rising interest rate environment, consider refinancing loans you may have to take advantage of our lower interest rates.  Your Credit Union has kept rates on all our loan products some of the lowest available in the market and we plan to hold off on most rate increases as long as we can so now is the time to review your current loans and refinance.  Do you have loans with variable rates that are likely to increase?  Look to refinance those loans before you are hit with higher interest and payments.  We have saved many members money and cut payments and/or terms on existing loans. 

Is added convenience and technology more important to you now?  During the past year, we have worked to enhance and improve our online App and services available.  You are now able to apply for a loan online and get an answer the same day or the day after if you apply after hours.  Eventually, you may be able to apply online and have an immediate answer.  All other services are available through the app as well; transfer money from account to account both within the Credit Union and outside to other financial institutions with A2A. You can sign up for remote deposit capture and deposit checks without coming to the branch, using your cell phone camera.  Basically, you can do just about any financial transaction electronically and can get cash from hundreds of ATMs throughout the country.   If you do need large amounts of cash you can pick that up at the branch since we have installed equipment to allow members to withdraw larger amounts without the need to call ahead. 

Evaluate your current credit cards for interest rates and rewards available.  Your Credit Union has 2 types of VISA cards available and both come with an outstanding rewards program, ease of use, and strong fraud protection service in place. 

We do have a caution to suggest and that is to watch out for fraud and scams!  With added conveniences and electronic services, fraudsters have taken advantage of what they see as “easy money”.  We recommend that you pay closer attention to your accounts and report any unusual activity immediately.  Use extreme caution when using social media channels; don’t use “pop-ups”, instead sign on directly to a company’s website to verify its legitimacy.  Be careful with phone calls from “Amazon Fraud Department” or any other individual asking you to give them access to your computers and/or phones.  That could be the method they use to collect your personal information and take control of your devices.  Never “buy gift cards” and transfer them to the caller as this is NOT a legitimate request.  Basically don’t give any of your personal information to anyone that you don’t know. 

Finally, this is a “New World” and we encourage you to use your UNION Credit Union for assistance in making the changes that can enable you to take advantage of all the opportunities it offers.

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Published by IBEW And United Workers Federal Credit Union
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Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.  

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