Teach Your Child to Save During Youth Savings Month

April is National Credit Union Youth Month, and it’s a great time for credit unions, like USAgencies, to focus on children in communities, and talk about some of the ways you can help set your child up for a financially successful future.

Here are some age appropriate suggestions for teaching children money management:

Ages 3 to 6 Years

Before children can handle money, they must first understand simple numbers. and know a penny from a nickel and a dime. Introduce coins by letting them handle money when buying small items.

At 5 or 6, give your child a dime and explain it will buy a piece of candy, or a toy, but not both. Money management involves choices and even at this age, when children spend, they need freedom of choice.

Ages 7 to 12 Years

When children begin to earn an allowance, help them use it wisely by putting part of it in a different envelopes or other containers for different purposes. Make sure sure to include one for savings.

Encourage your child to save by showing them some things that cost more than their allowance, and that they will have to save until they have enough.

Ages 13 to 18 Years

Teens experience managing money and making more decisions. Additional money beyond the normal allowance should not be given out generously. If you give them more, they may not learn the importance of planning, wise spending, and setting limits.

Share with your teenager the responsibility for spending part of the family’s budget. Have them prepare meals or do the weekly shopping; take them with you so they can learn how. Family budgeting will teach your teenager about living costs and values.


Ready to start a savings account for your child, or have some questions? We would love to help. USAgencies Credit Union offers many beneficial youth savings options. Give us a call at 503.275.0300 Option 2, or email at info@usacu.org.

 

Shannon’s Obsession with Enterprise & Credit Unions

Enterprise Car Sales is a trusted partner of USAgencies Credit Union, providing our members with exceptional experiences when shopping for quality, used cars. We recently sat down with Shannon Laird, Enterprise’s Business Development Manager, to ask her about why she loves working with credit unions, and more.


How long have you been with Enterprise and what is your role?

I have been with Enterprise for 14 years in July.  I started in our rental car division in Southern California. After six years on the rental side, I was promoted over to the car sales division where I sold cars as a sales consultant, financed them as the assistant sales manager, managed and operated two different Enterprise Car Sales dealerships in California and found my way to Oregon with another promotion. My current role is the Business Development Manager which allows me to work with accounts that help us provide excellent service to members of the community.

What do you love about working for Enterprise?

I love that the company continues to make diversity, inclusion and women a top priority. In the early years of my career there weren’t too many women in higher leadership positions but after 14 years I have watched more women get promoted to senior management roles as well as welcome our first woman CEO, Pamela Nicholson. It’s important to me that I work for a company that represents their employees and the communities they serve.

Why do credit unions partner with Enterprise Car Sales?

Credit Unions partner with Enterprise Car Sales because they want to provide their members with a buying experience that leaves them feeling confident, heard and in control. Credit unions pride themselves as being a place where members have a voice and partnering with Enterprise allows credit unions to promote a partner that provides that same level of care when they shop for their next vehicle. That’s a win-win for everyone!

What makes you #CUobsessed?

I’m #CUobessed because my credit union partners are amazing!!! Working with people who enjoy what they do and find ways to help their members make great financial decisions is always a great way to do business. I get the opportunity to learn, teach and network with a lot of senior leaders at these credit unions and exchanging ideas that provide amazing service for their members is always fun for me!


USAgencies Credit Union is bringing you special savings this spring with Enterprise Car Sales. Check out all the details here

 

FREE Earth Day Event (April 18th)

Join us at the World Trade Center Plaza on April 18th, from 11am to 1pm, for the Earth Day Fair! This event is FREE and will feature dozens of earth-friendly vendors, including USAgencies Credit Union! Attendees will have an opportunity to shred personal paperwork, turn in e-waste (old smartphones, laptops, etc.) and see guest speakers. This year’s event will also offer bike tune-ups and neighborhood restaurant food samples!

The event is free and open to everyone. Join us!

World Trade Center Plaza is located at 25 SW Salmon St. Portland, OR

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Letter from the CEO: Retirement Savings

Did you know that nearly half of all American families have no retirement savings? That is not a recipe for retirement happiness.  Saving for retirement is the most important thing you can do to ensure a financial future full of exciting possibilities.  But, it takes effort and a long-term commitment to saving regularly to get you where you want to be.  It’s estimated that you will need a retirement income of 70% or more of your earning income to maintain your current lifestyle throughout your retirement years.  Are you on track?

There are several savings tools available to help you reach your retirement goals. It’s important that you educate yourself on the benefits of each investment tool, to ensure you retire with adequate financial resources.

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, take full advantage of your employer’s match. Maximizing the match ensures that you get the full benefit of the “free money” your employer contributes towards your plan.

An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is another great way to help you reach your retirement goals. You may also consider making a tax-deferred contribution to a traditional IRA, which can be applied to your 2017 tax return (if made before April 17, 2018).

Increase retirement savings amount each year until you are saving 10-15% of your income. Let us know what questions you have about IRA’s, or other savings tools, – we’re here to help you reach your retirement goals.

Jim Lumpkin, President/CEO, USACU
Jim Lumpkin
President/CEO
USAgencies Credit Union

The Cherry Blossoms Are Here!

The cherry blossoms are here! So you know what that means? We are treated to a beautiful sight locals and tourists marvel in every spring. With the USAgencies branch located just a few blocks south, employees often spend their sunny spring lunch breaks under the pink canopies, enjoying the trees that line the south end of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

The 100 trees were gifted from the Japanese Grain Importers Association to Portland 28 years ago to pay tribute to the Japanese Americans that were sent to internment camps during World War II.  The trees were placed on the waterfront side of the Japanese American Historical Plaza.

Head down to the Waterfront before all the petals fall, to experience a Portland Spring favorite. And hey, while you are at it, pop into the USAgencies branch and say Hi!


USAgencies Credit Union is located at 95 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204

Home Shopping Snapshot: Spring 2018

Our friend Brent Schreiber, VP of Real Estate at our mortgage partner Consolidated Community Credit Union, is here to give us some insight on the current housing market, interest rates and more.

Current Status of the Market

As we head into the spring home buying season, inventory continues to be low, which makes it a very competitive situation for purchases. There is still an imbalance of buyers and sellers (more buyers than sellers), which has continued to put pressure on prices. The Portland market (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington county) continues to see an influx of households moving to the area and with rents being high, many are looking to purchase a home. The past 2 spring-summer periods have seen bidding wars on properties as demand has outpaced supply. Rates have risen measurably to the highest point in the last 4 years, so we will soon see if that has an impact on demand. Homebuyers should look to get pre-approved prior to their home search as agents want to know that they are working with qualified borrowers who are ready to make an offer.

Interest Rates

Mortgage rates recently have risen to a 4-year high and are currently around 4.5% on a 30-year fixed conventional loan. While this rate is still historically low, it’s a significant move up from what we saw in 2017 and prior as rates were 4% and below on the same type of loan. Many factors have led to the increase in rates, but most notably a strong economy with low unemployment and a tax cut in addition to that has created some inflationary pressure (which causes rates to rise). While we don’t know if this will continue, the trend is definitely up as our economy remains strong. As rates rise, borrowers start to look at alternative products such as 5, 7 and 10-year ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) to secure lower rates and payments. If you’ve been shopping for a home for a while and were working off of lower rates to calculate your payments, make sure you update your pre-approval and get revised payments that reflect the current rate environment.

Home Buyer Tips

First and foremost, if you are looking to buy whether in the near term or further on down the road, make sure to get pre-approved through a lender (your credit union can provide same-day pre-approvals). During the pre-approval, your lender will review your credit, income and assets in order to issue the approval. This is a good process to go through because it will let you know if you are ready to buy or not. If you’re not quite ready to buy, your lender will focus on what items are needed in order to generate an approval; if it’s a credit issue, we can let you know what to work on to improve your credit score; if it’s an income issue, we can discuss options such as getting a co-signer or paying down debt; if it’s insufficient funds for a down payment, we can discuss low down payment options as well as options for gift funds or give you savings strategies to help meet your down payment goals. Real estate agents in a competitive market are going to want to know that your finances have been looked at and approved by a lender, so make sure to do this very early in the process.

Closing costs and pre-paid items (property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and pre-paid interest) are often an overlooked part of the home buying process. Many borrowers fail to take these items into account when they are budgeting for their home purchase and look solely at the amount that they want to put down. Closing costs are in addition to the down payment and in many cases can be 2-2.5% of the purchase price ($6000-$7500 on a $300,000.00 purchase). If you are buying for say $300,000.00 and want to put 10% down ($30,000.00), this means that you are really going to have to bring $36,000.00 to close ($30,000.00 for down payment and $6000.00 for closing costs/pre-paid items). Talk to your lender and realtor about strategies to get some or all of those costs paid by the seller.

 


For more information on the home buying process or to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, visit our website or contact us.

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I won $500 with Save to Win!

Congrats to USAgencies’ biggest Save to Win prizewinner yet–Jesse! Jesse took home $500 in a quarterly multi-state drawing this January.

Jesse’s very excited about his win and said this was a “nice surprise” and was thrilled with the “good news.” He mentioned he hadn’t won at the Credit Union level yet but that he hopes to win again soon… maybe with “a couple more zeros added onto that check” next time around.

Save to Win was developed by Commonwealth, the Filene Research Institute and the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL). The MCUL launched the pilot program in partnership with eight Michigan credit unions in 2009 and has since expanded to include several states. The program is now administered by CU Solutions Group, an affiliate of MCUL.

To date, the program has awarded more than $2.3 million dollars in cash prizes and has helped credit union members save nearly $140 million nationwide.


 

To learn more about Save to Win at USAgencies Credit Union, visit https://www.usacu.org/savetowin.

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