Fall Back in Love with your Home

Many of us reach a point where we begin to feel a little blah about our home, but moving is not always an option. Here are some tips on how you can get a “new” home without the moving truck.

Little changes can have a big impact
Painting walls, changing light fixtures and knobs, and adding curtains and plants can give your home a completely different look for only a few hundred dollars. Rearranging furniture, artwork, and knick-knacks can also freshen things up, and the only cost is a little time.

Expand
Converting an unfinished attic or basement can be a great way to get extra space at a fraction of the cost of building an addition. Adding a deck is another fairly simple way to increase your space. If you are hiring a contractor, be sure to get quotes from at least three and check their references.

Make the most of what you have
If expanding is not an option, you can still make your space seem bigger. Clean and throw away, donate, or sell anything you don’t need. If you have a little cash to spare, you can buy organizational tools, like shelves and hooks, and furniture that provides extra storage space, such as a coffee table or bed with drawers.

Need some extra funds to get started on one of the above projects?
Connect with a Loan Specialist and ask about our “Celebrate Summer” 12-12-12 Loan or if it’s a bigger project, a home equity could be an option – (800) 452-0915 option 2 | loans@usacu.org

Want more financial advice? As a benefit of belonging to USAgencies Credit Union, you have access to BALANCE, a free financial education and counseling service. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report, and help you create a budget. Learn more about BALANCE.

 

Why I Show Up for Something Bigger

From My Seat : A Blog Series from USAgencies’ Employees

MarkNine years ago I started my career in the credit union industry. Before that first day on the job, I did my “homework” – I read about credit unions and what sets them apart from banks. In my research, I read one thing that stood out the most. It captivated me, and made me feel like I was going to be part of something bigger. I read three simple words. People helping people. How wonderful does that sound? I was going to work at a place that was founded on a vision of people helping people. Working for a credit union, I look forward to interacting with members each day. I enjoy getting to know each and every one I encounter – listening to stories about their family; hobbies they enjoy; or sometimes, lending a compassionate ear for a concern. I get to earn and build trust with our members. As credit union employees, we are given the tools to help educate our members — as well as ourselves. We get to share our own personal stories and experiences. Over the years I have the pleasure of meeting a lot of people. I enjoy being pro-active and finding a solution to an issue, and seeing a member walk away with a smile. I pride myself in creating a personal touch with each member interaction. I am passionate about the credit union movement, and what we are here to do. I live by those three simple, yet very important words. Each day at work: “people helping people.” I know that without the earned trust of our members, we would not be here. This is what it’s all about: Having passion in what we do; being knowledgeable in what we share; listening to each member need; and being compassionate in difficult situations. It’s all part of the bigger picture. I show up at work with great pride, because I am a part of this something bigger. Thank you for being a member of a credit union! I look forward to serving your family on their financial journey. Mark, Lending Services About Mark: When you’ve met Mark, you’ve met a real, passion-filled credit union advocate. And that’s the truth. With many years in credit unions, Mark works in Lending Services and is overflowing with all the goodness that embodies the heart of the credit union movement. To quote him directly “I enjoy getting to know each member and hearing about what they have going on, building that relationship with them. I provide sound advice and educate members on ways to help make banking easy.” What a guy! Away from the office, Mark spends gobs of time with his puppy, Odis and enjoys the never-ending variety of food found in Portland, and like many others here, he hits the snowboard slopes in the winter and the cycle paths in the warmer months.  

From My Seat is a series of posts written by USAgencies’ employees on a variety of topics. We hope this gives members insight into what we do, why we do it, and provide some financial education along the way. Stay tuned for additional posts in the series in the future.

5 Credit Card Tips for Teens

New to credit? This should help!

If you just received your first credit card or your parents made you an authorized user on their account, you now have more spending power in your financial life. Although people with credit cards tend to spend more in general, developing good habits now will prepare you for more credit responsibility down the road. Check out these tips to ensure that you use credit the right way.

Check your card details
Since so many credit cards exist (all with their own perks, limits and fees), it’s smart to know your account well to avoid missing misunderstanding terms, overusing the card or neglecting a due date. A secured card, which is backed by a sum of money in a savings or checking account and has a credit limit equal to that amount, can help you avoid overspending. Secured cards, which issuers such as USAgencies Credit Union provide, can be good starting points for building credit. When you pay your bill consistently on time, you show that you can handle credit responsibly.

Check your credit report
A credit report gives a picture of your credit overall, from a summary of your loans or credit cards to any inquiries that lenders make when you apply for new credit. The three major credit reporting companies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) all provide one free credit report annually, so take advantage of that. Check for any errors or fraudulent accounts you see and notify the company in question if you spot anything.

Avoid overusing credit
Although you’ve probably heard the phrase “test your limits” used in a positive way, when it comes to credit cards this idea can do more harm than good. A good rule of thumb is to spend at most 30% of your credit limit each month, and keep the monthly balance below that level. Future lenders might consider you a high risk if you spend too much with your cards.

Pay bills on time
Like having an overdue library book, paying your credit card payment after the due date will mean an additional fee. Be over 30 days late and in addition to a late fee, it can drop your credit score, which is the 3-digit number that indicates how good you are with credit.

Pay more than the minimum
Your monthly credit card bill usually states the minimum amount you owe, but what it might not say is that you’ll have to pay interest on the remaining balance in future months. It’s better to pay the complete amount you owe so you can avoid extra costs and help raise your credit score.

As empowering and convenient as credit cards can be, they also can work as effective tools to help build your credit record over time. Keeping up good credit card habits can help you avoid debt while qualifying for loans and other products with favorable terms.

By Spencer Tierney, NerdWallet

An Amazing View

A story from our member, Henry

Back in October 2013, Henry and his wife moved into their home with a view…. an amazing view.

IMG_1166

And just recently Henry reached out to us to say “thank you again” to Steven Raymond, our VP of Residential Lending for “all of [his] calm, assertive professionalism.” Steven “really made the financial portion of the home buying process go smoothly,” said Henry, explaining that it was the best part of the experience.

“We’re happy in our new home {with} the amazing view I have the privilege of seeing everyday.”

We’re happy you’re happy, Henry. It’s our pleasure to assist in any way we can.

#CUdifference
#USACUpride

Enterprise Raising $ for CU4Kids

Now through July 31st, 2015

We always love to hear about ways that our partners are reaching out to the community. Our long time partner, Enterprise Car Sales, is doing something extra special in the credit union community that benefits Credit Unions for Kids.  We thought we’d share!

Finance A Vehicle And A Donation Is Made

Now through July 31st, Credit Unions for Kids will receive a $100 donation when you finance your vehicle through a participating credit union – USAgencies is one of those participating CUs! So, buy an Enterprise Car, finance it with USAgencies, and Credit Unions for Kids gets $100. Pretty neat, eh?

Here’s a flier from Enterprise with all the details. We encourage you to check it out!

Thank A Veteran

#ThankAVeteran #MemorialDay

Our staff and members have been having some time out to capture a #selfie to “Thank A Veteran” or honor someone for Memorial Day.

Take a look at our social media feeds over the last few days – fun, huh?

You can get involved too! Here’s how:

  • Print a #ThankAVeteran or #MemorialDay sign and take some selfies too! Post them to your social media account and tag then with the corresponding hashtag. Include #USACU or #USAgenciesCU and we’ll be able to find and share them too!

Memorial Day Thank A Veteran

Join Us : 79th Annual Meeting

Tuesday, June 16th in Portland, Oregon

Calling all members! It’s time to RSVP for the our 79th Annual Meeting.

Join Us As We Celebrate Another Year Of Serving You

Join us on Tuesday, June 16th at the World Trade Center, Building 2, learn about what’s happening at your credit union, enjoy a nice lunch, and perhaps win a prize!

Learn more and RSVP by June 10th!

We’ll see you there.

News and Events happening at USACU