International Credit Union Day!

October 18, 2018, will mark the 70th anniversary of International Credit Union Day. This year’s theme is “Find Your Platinum Lining.” It combines the traditional gift of platinum for 70th anniversaries with a play on the saying “every cloud has a silver lining.”

Credit unions all over the world will be celebrating the history and the success of the “People-not-Profit” philosophy. This year’s theme emphasizes the credit union movement’s loyalty to its members and its mission to provide them financial support and guidance.

The movement began in the 1840s as a democratic consumer cooperative by weavers in Rochdale, England. Frustrated by bankers who denied them loans simply because they weren’t wealthy, the weavers and workers decided to pool their incomes and loan money to each other. In time, this cooperation put each member on solid financial ground and encouraged their own businesses to flourish.

The need for equitable financial institutions grew and, in 1971, the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) was created to help establish and maintain viable credit union movements. It has become the leading voice for advocacy and governance on behalf of the international credit union community.

Today, over 235 million people are served by credit unions in 109 countries and 6 continents.


Join us at our branch at 95 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204 on Thursday Oct.18 to celebrate International Union Day by enjoying some treats! Questions? Connect with us.

Make a Plan and Save on Your Energy Bills

From our friends at GreenPath Financial Wellness.

October is Financial Planning Month – and there’s nothing better than making a plan to save money. If your utility bills in winter put a crunch on your budget, these tips to reduce energy usage can help.

1. Turn down the thermostat

You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting. Those eight hours could be while you are away at work or school, when sunlight is warming your house, or when you’re asleep under a pile of cozy blankets. For every two degrees, you can save an average of three percent on your energy bill. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically turn your heat down so you won’t forget!

2. Seal up your house to keep cold air out, and warm air in

Caulking and weatherstripping help seal your house up, keeping the warm air in. These are affordable DIY ways to improve energy efficiency and can save you about 7.5 percent on your energy bill! About $240 can cover weather stripping all your windows and doors. Check out Energy.gov and YouTube for how-to videos and tips.

Additionally, minimize the air that escapes by closing the damper on your fireplace when it’s not in use, and use bath and kitchen fans sparingly. This can save another 10 percent on your energy bill.

3. Change your furnace filters regularly

Your furnace or heating system is responsible for about half your energy bill. Changing the filters every three months means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you energy and money in the long run. A clean filter costs about $20 and can lower energy use by as much as 15 percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means of another 7.5 percent savings on your monthly bills.

4. Get a pro to test your energy efficiency

Many utility companies offer free energy audits, which can help you figure out how much energy your home uses and take steps to increase efficiency. Start by contacting your utility company or find an auditor near you. According to Energy.gov, an energy audit can show you ways to save 5 to 30 percent on your utility bills.

5. Get free heat from the sun

Warm sunshine can heat your home, for free! The more solar heat, the less your furnace has to run. Open curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day to warm your interior rooms and surfaces. Then close your curtains at night to help keep the heat from escaping. This could help save another one or two percent on your energy bill in colder months.

If you are having trouble keeping up with higher winter utility bills, ask your utility company about a payment plan. Many companies offer a year-round plan that spreads costs out over all 12 months.


Need help staying on track with your budget? As a member of USAgencies Credit Union, you can take advantage of GreenPath Financial Wellness, a free financial education and counseling program. GreenPath can help you understand your situation and make a plan to meet your goals. To use this service, simply call 1-877-337-3399 or visit them on the web at greenpath.usacu.org.

Car Buying Tips

Buying a new car doesn’t need to be like a game show. No choosing the right door and winning your prize – a deal on a good car! We are here to help make the car buying experience easy by outlining a few simple steps you should consider when buying a car.

Set your budget –  Decide how much you want to spend, what your monthly payment should be, and how you will finance your purchase. Don’t forget to get insurance quotes as well and include that in your numbers.

Get Pre-Approved by your Credit Union– Getting pre-approved by your credit union before sealing the deal. It takes the hassle out of guessing what you can and cannot afford, and takes out a lot of the guesswork and uncertainty. Plus, your Loan Officer will look over the purchase order prior to funding to ensure you are getting the best deal, and aren’t paying for unnecessary fees.

Choose the right car – Narrow the fields and choose the model that best serves your needs. Think about all the ways you plan to use the car, will it accommodate your family, and keep them safe.

Check reliability and ownership costs – Choose a reliable car that you can afford to own. Look into average repair costs and make sure it will fit into your budget.

Test-drive the car – Test-drive your top choices to see which car is right for you. Find a route that has a bit of everything such as hills, rough pavement, and curves to make sure it performs to your expectations.

Find the right price – Use price guides,  to see what other people are paying for the car you like. Make sure you accurately input all the options you want because in some cases all the little factors can affect the cars price.

Negotiate – When negotiating in person it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Just go slowly, and make sure you are understand the numbers. Ask for a breakdown of the car, and any additional fees before you agree to a deal. And don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement, or don’t like the way you are being treated.

Maximize trade-in value – Find out the value of your car, and get the most out of it when trading it in. Compare the numbers you find and the numbers the dealers are giving you, and try and find a fair price.


In the market for a new car? Don’t miss out on our Enterprise Fall Car Sale going on now! Connect with one of our Loan Specialists today to get pre-approved by calling 503.275-0300 Option 2, applying online, or stopping in today!

 

Reasons to Make Home Improvements

Have you been asking yourself, “To renovate, or not to renovate?”, lately? We don’t mean quick weekend projects like painting a few walls or staining the deck. We are talking about renovating entire bathrooms and kitchens, or getting a new roof. Committing to those types of renovations are major decisions, and involve a lot of time, money, mess and often times stress, which is why it can be a tough decision making the commitment.

Which is why we have put together a few reasons to potentially help you decide if the time is now.

Reasons to make home improvements

Functionality : Something may not be broken, but, you know it could function a lot better. A more open layout might help with space for your growing family.  A deck would really add better backyard space. Even a third bathroom will make life that much easier for the household.

Efficiency: These improvements on our homes sometimes can’t be seen, but are necessary. Things like new windows, to a new furnace, or some plumbing upgrades. In the long run these improvements will end up saving you money, help conserve energy and help with the value of your home.

Safety: If there are any safety issues in or outside your home, it needs to be addressed. Whether its the roof,  mold or electrical, these are the types of projects that cannot be put off. They need to be repaired not only for the integrity  of your home, but also for the safety of your family.

So whether you are about to get that new roof, or replace your windows, with a some planning, home renovations do not have to be a major inconvenience and stressor. Do your homework, and plan financially, and before you know it you will see the projects unfold before your eyes and it will be exciting, and worth it all.


Looking for your next inspiration? Don’t miss the Portland Fall Home Show at the Portland Expo Center Oct. 4 -7. Connect with our Loan Specialists to talk about your financing options for your next project with our 24-hour Lending Center by calling 503-275-0300 Option 2.

Letter from the CEO: We’re all ears!

All good things must come to an end…and be replaced with something way better!

You may have noticed a few changes around here lately. Not only did we redesign our website with a fresh new look, but we also upgraded our Online and Mobile Banking solutions. We are very excited to bring you these enhancements to give you easier access to your accounts, and smarter technologies that will give you an even better banking experience!

Some of these new features include the ability to customize your accounts in Online Banking by hiding and sorting your accounts any way you like – creating an online banking experience of your own. We also introduced our new Money Management tool that will help you track your budget and spending, as well as giving you valuable insights about your finances – ensuring you are in control of your financial life.

This time last year, we received valuable input from our members who expressed interest in having access to Financial Advisory Services here at USAgencies Credit Union. Which is why we are excited to announce we have partnered with Michael Volk of KMS Financial Services, Inc. to offer investment services and financial planning to our members. Michael shares our member centric values and has been working with credit unions since 2003. This fall Michael will have a presence in our branch and will be available to members.

Your input has provided us valuable information and direction on how we can serve you better. Meanwhile, USAgencies Credit Union will continue to strive towards our mission – To provide solutions to improve each member’s financial life, in the years ahead.

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

 

 

 

The Northwest’s Largest RV Show is Coming!

Starting September 13th and running through September 16th at the Portland Expo Center, the Northwest’s largest RV show will be celebrating its 35th year. This years show promises to be bigger and better than ever, and will bring you over a hundred of motorhomes, 5th wheels, travel trailers in all sizes, tent trailers and more!

There will be over 20 dealers displaying their top brands in the business, giving you access to shop for hours. There is no other show in this region that brings you a more exclusive experience with so many dealers, brands and RV’s in one location.

The Show hours are as follows:

Thursday, Sept. 13 11am – 8pm

Friday, Sept. 14: 11am – 8pm

Saturday, Sept. 15 : 10am -8pm

Sunday, Sept. 16: 10am – 6pm

General Admission is $10 for adults ( this does not include parking ). Children 12 and under are FREE! You can also save $10 when you are purchasing two tickets. Download the coupon HERE!


Don’t forget to connect with us prior to get pre-approved for your new RV today! You can speak with one of our Loan Specialists at 503-275-0300 Option 2, or by stopping by the branch.

 

 

 

 

We’ve Got a New Look

We are so excited to finally bring you a better banking experience with our new Website, Online and Mobile Banking. However, we understand that this change will take some time to get used to and we are here to help you through the transition. To help you get everything out of your new banking experience, here are some tips on how to navigate the new changes, and what has changed.

First-time log in as a Bill Pay User

If you have used Bill Pay since January 1, 2017 you have been pre-enrolled in our new Online Banking system. Simply login to your account with these steps:

  • Visit Our Website and click the “Login” button in the upper right corner of the page
  • Your username is your Member Number
  • Your temporary password is the last 4 digits of the primary account holders social security number + birth year (e.g., If your social security number is 0000-00-4321 and you were born in 1936, your temporary password is 43211936)
  • Upon initial login with your temporary information, you will be prompted to select a new Username and Password
  • Complete the following instructions to confirm your additional and contact information

Registers for the first time not as a Bill Pay User

If you are not a Bill Pay User, to login for the first time you will need to follow these steps:

  • Visit Our Website and click the “Login” button in the upper right corner of the page, followed by selecting “New User” in the login window.
  • Complete the required requested information
  • Once complete you will be prompted to read and agree to the Online Banking User Agreement. If you Agree, hit the “Finish” button.
  • Upon successful registration, follow the instructions to verify your contact information via the available channels.
  • Once verified you will need to login for the first time and set up your One Time Passcode ( OTP ) delivery options. ( Note: you are required to set up at one phone number or email address to continue).
  • Once you receive the OTP, enter it into the provided box ( Note: forgotten passwords can only be retrieved via text message or phone ; email is NOT an option).
  • Next, select whether you want to register your device as private ( skip the OTP from now on using this device ) or public ( will require an OTP upon every login)
  • You are in!

What’s New?

  • Fingerprint and Face ID – Quick access to your account information on your mobile device.
  • Text Message Banking (454545) – Get the latest account balance and history information, transfer funds, receive weekly balance via text messages.
  • Customization – Hide, show, and sort accounts any way you want in Online Banking, you can control how you want to view your accounts.
  • Live Chat – Securely chat with us within your online accounts during business hours. Available in Mobile Banking too!
  • Mobile Web Banking – Full access to your account information, right from the palm of your hand! Securely view your account balances and transaction history, transfer funds, pay bills, receive notifications, live chat, and more.
  • Money Management – Budgeting can be stressful, our new money management tool will make your life easier.
  • PopMoney is now available without having to sign up for bill pay. Splitting bills has never been easier!

What is the same?

  • Bill Pay – Your payees, payment history, scheduled and recurring payments are all ready for you in the new system!
  • eStatements – If you are signed up for eStatements, you can easily view them by logging into your Online Banking and hovering over “Account Information” and selecting “Online Statements” from the drop down menu.

Questions?

We are here to help you through this exciting transition, as we know sometimes change isn’t easy. Please do not hesitate to call us, visit our branch, or send us a secure message.

 

 

 

 

News and Events happening at USACU