Category Archives: News

Letter from the CEO: We’re connected to you

At USAgencies, we are always looking for ways to stay connected to you no matter what. With over 35% of our members living outside of the Portland metro area, it’s important we make the credit union available to you, no matter where you are and what time zone you are in.

That is the reason why we are excited to introduce our new Member Contact Center where you can connect with us over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is one of the services our members expressed a great interest in having on last year’s member survey. Now you and USAgencies are only a phone call away at your convenience, day or night.

We understand you don’t always have the time to hop on a phone call, but we still have you covered with our Online and Mobile Banking access. You can check balances, transfer money, pay bills and even deposit that check you just received in less than a minute.

Did you know USAgencies is a part of the CO-OP Network? It’s a resource for credit union members to conduct transactions via an ATM or Shared Branch when you are not in town. With over 30,000 fee-free ATMs and 1,800 participating branches nationwide, you can complete your regular transactions pretty much anywhere. Plus, you can locate the closest CO-OP ATM or Shared Branch using the Locations link on our mobile app.

Over the years, we have been committed to finding ways to enhance your member experience at every encounter. The team and I strive to improve our products and service offerings every day and are committed to improving your financial health. Thank you for choosing USAgencies Credit Union to be your financial partner.

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

Letter from the CEO: We’re here to help!

At the beginning of 2019, the government shutdown added to a lot of members’ financial worries. As a credit union with a primary membership field of federal employees, we actively assisted our members who were affected by the government shutdown with our Furlough Assistance Program. Our goal is to provide members with some peace of mind, and we are always here and ready to help.

As a member-owned financial institution, we are here to serve our members by living up to our mission to provide solutions to improve each member’s financial life. We pride ourselves on things we do and won’t do, including how we won’t turn our backs to our members when they need us the most. Your financial wellbeing is and will always be our top priority.

Looking ahead, we will continue to provide our members free financial education and counseling to guide them in their financial success. It’s important to start building good financial saving and spending habits in our youth, and that is why we are excited to bring financial reality fairs to local high schools in 2019. The program will help students gain a good understanding of the benefits and importance of budgeting, and practice making sound financial decisions as an adult.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for the trust they place in us, and thank you for being a part of USAgencies’ family!

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

 

 

 

I won $1,000 with Save to Win!

We’re excited to congratulate USAgencies’ biggest Save to Win prize winner in 2018 – Shauna W., who took home $1,000 in a quarterly national drawing this October.

Shauna, a member of USAgencies Credit Union since 2007, has been participating in Save to Win since June 2018. She is very excited about her win and cannot wait to share this program with her friends and family.

“I have been saving money with USAgencies Credit Union for many years. I like saving with the credit union partly because it’s a small office with great customer service. I am having a lot of fun with the Save To Win CD. I have been saving the maximum $250 every month to get the maximum number of entries in the drawing. I have enjoyed getting contacted by the credit union staff telling me I’ve won a drawing. It’s fun and more lucrative than interest has been lately!”

Save to Win was designed to encourage members, who are not in the habit of savings, to start saving money by making deposits as little as $25 a month for a chance to win cash prizes. On top of this great program, we also provide free financial education tools and resources to help our members achieve strong financial futures.


Visit here to learn more about Save to Win at USAgencies Credit Union.

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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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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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