Member Moment: Tejan’s Story

At USAgencies, not only are we passionate about providing solutions to improve each member’s financial life, we also want to make our members’ experience easy and smooth in every encounter.

Our member, Tejan, kindly shared his Member Moment here at USAgencies!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a father of 3 lovely kids – family man , a banker and  a Libra.

What is your passion?
I am passionate about volunteering in my local community with my kids. You will find us almost every weekend at some volunteer event with Reach CDC, the children’s book bank or others.

What is your favorite USAgencies’ moment as a member?
I had gone into the branch having lost my wallet, I needed to withdraw money to be able to process a new id and they made it easy for me to have access to monies in my account after asking just a few questions to identify me.

I also love the personal touch I get whenever I call in to ask a question or request a service, the staff are very friendly and as soon as I mention my name they know who I am and are very patient.

I have referred my family and friends and will keep being one of your biggest advocates.

What do you value the most about USAgencies?
I can list 10 – The simplicity of its financial solutions, its genuine passion to help members and the non pushy sales ethics.


Thank you so much for sharing your story, Tejan!

Want to share your USAgencies moment? Submit your story to social@usacu.org or via telephone at 503-275-0300. We’d love to hear from you!

Start Your New Year with a Fresh Savings

Start your new year off with a fresh look at your savings plans. Do you have specific savings goal or purpose? Not a big saver and want to start a new habit? At USAgencies, we have different savings options to fit your new year resolution needs.

 

SAVE 4 IT

Perfect for saving for a down payment or a home improvement project. It is structured to help you keep your savings tucked away until you’ve reached your goal.

SUPER SAVER

Did you know nearly four out of 10 adults in America don’t have enough savings to cover an expense of $400?*  You can automatically build your savings with our Super Saver and be prepared for whatever storm life brings your way.

LIFESTYLE CLUB ACCOUNTS -Spring & Fall

We’ve seen a pattern in our members’ financial lives – two times a year expenses increase – the Spring and the Fall ( think vacations, tax bills, holiday expenses, etc. ) Get a head start with our Lifestyle Club Accounts, where you can stick a little extra now for anticipated expenses later.

SAVE TO WIN

Have you been eyeing a new car or vacation but not sure if you have enough saved for it? With the Save to Win**, a prized linked savings program, you will be rewarded for saving money. With prizes ranging from $25 to $5,000, you will not only save money, but you will also gain interest and have a chance at those great cash prizes.


Ready to open your new savings account? Get started online, or connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4. You can also visit our branch located on the corner of 1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland! You deserve a better banking experience. Get it here. 

*Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2018

**Must be a member of USACU, an Oregon resident, and at least 18 years of age, to open a Save to Win account. Official account and prize entry rules and a complete list of prizes are available at savetowin.org. © CU Solutions Group, 2018. All rights reserved. Void where prohibited by law

Holiday Lights in Portland

December 1st marks National Christmas Lights Day, and all around the city they are going up , which can only mean one thing – the holidays are upon us! It is time to layer on those jackets and scarves, and celebrate with your loved ones. Portland and beyond has several classic light displays that are great for continuing, or starting, family traditions. So to celebrate this fun and festive day, we wanted to share our list of family ( and budget friendly ) places to see beautiful lights.

Fantasy Trail at Wenzel Family Farm

Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded “Fantasy Trail”, decorated with thousands of lights for Christmas enchantment. The trail includes a 40 ft castle with Christmas scenes, a maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. You can also warm up by the nightly bonfires, with a warm cup of hot chocolate.

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights

with sights, sounds and sensations for the holiday season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. Five indoor concerts are schedule each evening. The fun doesn’t end there ; the Grotto’s plaza area also includes outdoor caroling, puppet shoes and a live petting zoo.

Peacock Lane

Each house on this quaint SE block has been decorating their Tudor style homes for decades. Adorned with beautiful lights, nativity scenes and more, this Portland tradition always brings in a crowd.

Winter Wonderland at Portland International Raceway

There are glimmers and glows around every corner as you journey through the Winter Wonderland. With over 250 color light pieces, and many fully animated scenes this will not disappoint. Even better? It is all done from the comfort ( and warmth! ) from your own vehicle.

Miracle of a Million Lights

Head to the decorated 2.5 acres of a million plus twinkling lights! As you tour the house, you will set your eyes on over 20 uniquely decorated trees, with elaborate decorations. Enjoy some of their homemade apple cider, cookies, live music, and Santa! There is something fun and festive around every corner, and you will not be disappointed.

Christmas Ship Parade

Over the course of 15, a fleet of Christmas Ships will set sail on the Willamette River and Columbia River. Bundle up, grab your thermos and pick your spot to watch the beautiful boats float by!


Questions? Connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4 or visit our branch at the corner of 1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland!

Make the Season Bright – Great Toy Drive

Benefiting local kids

This is an exciting holiday season here at USAgencies — we are back once again partnering with KGW for the Great Toy Drive. For more than 35 years, KGW has been collecting toys for families in Oregon and SW Washington with the help of over 130 local nonprofit organizations and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.

USAgencies is proud to be one of the drop-off locations. We invite our members, friends and family to stop by and donate a toy to local families in need.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy a new, unwrapped toy.
  2. Drop your toy at USAgencies (95 SW Taylor Street, Portland, OR) by Dec. 13th.
  3. USAgencies will match each donation we collect, toy for toy (up to $500)!

Don’t live nearby? No problem! Give us a call to donate cash towards a toy. We’ll pick one up on your behalf (and match it!).

Thank you for helping to make the holiday season special for local families.

Questions: info@usacu.org | (503) 275-0300

A Five-Step Spending Plan to Avoid Holiday Debt

The holidays can put a financial burden even on the savviest of shoppers and savers. But like most things, taking time to plan can help you avoid the stress that comes with overspending. Before you hit the mall , keep reading to learn how to make a holiday spending plan that works for you.

1.Set a budget

First, make sure you account for all of your typical expenses so that you don’t come up short on bills or things like rent. Next, think about what else you may be spending on in the coming months. Are you hosting a party at your home, or traveling to visit family or friends? If so, estimate what those things will cost you. Once you’ve subtracted any expenses from your usual budget, you can think about how much you have to spend on gifts. It’s best to start planning this as early as possible. That way you can look at how much you’ll earn between now and the holidays and calculate how much you can save to cover your holiday spending. Being realistic about your budget will help make sure you don’t overspend.

2.Make a list ( and check it twice! )

With all of the excitement of the holidays, it can be easy to get carried away. Make a list of the gifts you need and cross them off as you go. Check your list several times before you go shopping so that you don’t leave anything off. This is when a personal rule may come in handy.  You might set a personal rule for yourself, such as: If something isn’t on your list, don’t buy it. This can get difficult when you see sales and deals pop up—but spending on something you don’t really need can make it difficult to pay for the things you do.

3.Get creative

There may be ways to give a meaningful gift at a fraction of the cost as buying something from a store. This may not work for everyone on your list, but here are some low-cost suggestions :

  • Homemade mixes in a mason jar, such as hot chocolate, bean soup, or cookie mixes
  • You favorite recipes with photos in a custom picture book
  • Knit or crochet scarves, socks or gloves.

4.Decide how you are going to pay

Are you going to use cash or credit cards to pay for gifts? A helpful rule to set for yourself is to only bring the amount of money you plan to spend. That way you can help yourself stay within your budget because once you spend the money you brought, you’re done. On the other hand, using a credit card, like our VISA Platinum Rewards, can put money in your pocket by earning you points for your purchased.  If you do decide buy your holiday gifts with a credit card, make sure you have a specific plan to pay your credit card bill and have set aside enough in your budget to do so.

5.Track your holiday spending

Just like you wrote down your lists to keep track of what you need to buy, you could also keep track of what you’ve spent. Periodically check to see if you are on track and sticking to your budget. Did you spend more or less than you thought you would on certain items? If you don’t keep track of what you spent, you could end up with an unpleasant surprise if you exceed your budget.


Check out our Money Management tool for all your budgeting needs. Questions? Connect with us 503-275-0300 Option 4 or visit our branch on the corner of  1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland!

10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud

Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. Here are some practical tips to help you stay a step ahead.

Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government officiala family membera charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email. 

Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.

Talk to someone.  Before you give up your money or personal information, reach out to your credit union, a friend, or a family member talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.

Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.

Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.

Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.

Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scamsGet the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.

If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

From our friends at the Federal Trade Commission


Questions about how to protect your USAgencies accounts from fraud? Connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4, visit Account Security page, or head into our branch on the corner of 1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland. 

Celebrate National Family Literacy Month

Whether it’s your toddler mesmerized by the pictures and activities of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” or his Grandpa getting lost in the mysteries of a John Grisham novel, a love for books is timeless and shared across all generations. Nothing beats curling up with a good book and exploring the countless possibilities of worlds both real and imagined.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”- Emilie Buchwald

For many, the love for books starts at an early age in the stories our parents read to us. Providing your children with plentiful opportunities to listen to stories will help them learn to read and comprehend stories on their own. They also begin to think more actively as they listen to stories and picture the scenes described, wondering how the story will develop. When read to frequently, children can grow to love reading and will take the initiative to read more on their own.

National Family Literacy Day® is celebrated on November 1st each year and is a kickoff to National Family Literacy Month. This November, the awareness of National Family Literacy Month brings about a great opportunity for families to get back into the tradition of reading as a family.

Here are ways you can promote family literacy at home
Set aside time each day for reading.

Dedicate 30 – 60 minutes after dinner, or before bed, to read as a family. Take turns with who gets to pick the book, and read aloud as a family.

Keep books visible around the house.

Bring in bookshelves to easily store and make accessible all around the house, but keep organized as well. Hit up second hand stores for affordable books to build your family’s collection.

Make regular visits to the library.

Library memberships are free, and they often hold events and workshops for all ages to help promote reading. Head to the library on a rainy day with the family to get out of the house, but still get some reading in.

Read the book version of your child’s favorite movie.

Classics like The Wizard of Oz, Ramona Beezus and Matilda are all kid favorites when it comes to movies, but reading the books can help open a new world of imagination and new experiences.


Financial Literacy is also important. Check out our website where we offer numerous free tools for members of all ages through our friends at Greenpath. Questions? Connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4 or visit our branch on the corner of 1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland.

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