Tag Archives: credit union

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

5 Work From Home Scams

From our friends at CUinsight.com

As the gig economy grows, the promises of making it big by working from home also multiply.

Many people are already on high alert when searching jobs on Craigslist, but online job scammers have gotten more sophisticated, and some may still slip past your radar.

According to FlexJobs’ annual Super Survey, 82% of job seekers are worried they will fall for a job scam. Thirteen percent have been a victim and 22% say they know someone who has been a victim of a job scam.

Besides heeding the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, FlexJobs suggests job seekers consider the following questions when reviewing potential opportunities:

  • Does the job listing include the hiring company’s name and/or does the recruiter or job posting match the company’s information?
  • Are there any upfront costs required to get the job? (including supplies, a minimum investment or training fees)
  • Are there any typos on the site or in any correspondence?
  • Are you being asked to provide personal information like a social security number, credit card number, bank information or driver’s license?
  • Did they offer a job on the spot without conducting an interview?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, experts say that’s a red flag, and the “dream opportunity” might become a nightmare. Scammers can be very creative in convincing you a position or company is legitimate, so do your research. Check with sites like the BetterBusinessBureau.com, FTC.com, FlexJobs.com or scam.com to learn of the latest employment scams.

Here are FlexJobs’ 5 most common work-from-home scams.

Career advancement grant: This scam claims to come from the government, promising you a grant to pursue education or certification. Scammers ask for your account information with the promise that they will deposit the bogus grant money directly into your account.

Data entry scams: There are legitimate data entry jobs that allow you to work from home, but the scammers ask for money up front and/or promise wages that are much higher than normal.

Pyramid schemes: If the only way to make money is by others losing money or paying you as they recruit others, it’s probably a scam … and, pyramid schemes are also illegal, so you could be charged with a crime.

Online reshipping: Don’t ever repack items and forward them to customers outside the United States. What you’re doing is transporting stolen goods, and not only will you never get paid, you could be charged with a crime.

Rebate processor: This scam promises you a salary based on the number of clicks your ad receives. It charges a training fee up front for which you will never be reimbursed, and you’ll never receive that salary, either


USAgencies Credit Union is committed to keeping you and your family safe, financially and beyond. Questions about your products and services? Connect with us today!

Have questions about this article or want to check out the original post? Find it HERE.

Veterans Who Received Disability Severance Owed Refunds

USAgencies Credit Union is the only Oregon credit union open to all Oregon Veterans, and we want to ensure all eligible veterans receive this important information regarding available tax refunds brought to you by our friends at the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

The Internal Revenue Service is advising certain Veterans who received disability severance payments after Jan. 17, 1991, and included that payment as income, that they should file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim a credit or refund of the over payment attributable to the disability severance payment.

This is a result of the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act passed in 2016.

Most Veterans who received a one-time lump-sum disability severance payment when they separated from their military service will receive a letter from the Department of Defense with information explaining how to claim tax refunds they are entitled to; the letters include an explanation of a simplified method for making the claim. The IRS has worked closely with the DoD to produce these letters, explaining how Veterans should claim the related tax refunds.

Statute of Limitations

The amount of time for claiming these tax refunds is limited. However, the law grants Veterans an alternative timeframe – one year from the date of the letter from DoD. Veterans making these claims have the normal limitations period for claiming a refund or one year from the date of their letter from the DoD, whichever expires later. As taxpayers can usually only claim tax refunds within 3 years from the due date of the return, this alternative time frame is especially important since some of the claims may be for refunds of taxes paid as far back as 1991.

Amount to Claim

Veterans can submit a claim based on the actual amount of their disability severance payment by completing Form 1040X, carefully following the instructions. However, there is a simplified method. Veterans can choose instead to claim a standard refund amount based on the calendar year (an individual’s tax year) in which they received the severance payment. Write “Disability Severance Payment” on line 15 of Form 1040X and enter on lines 15 and 22 the standard refund amount listed below that applies:

  • $1,750 for tax years 1991 – 2005
  • $2,400 for tax years 2006 – 2010
  • $3,200 for tax years 2011 – 2016

Claiming the standard refund amount is the easiest way for Veterans to claim a refund, because they do not need to access the original tax return from the year of their lump-sum disability severance payment.

Special Instructions
All Veterans claiming refunds for over payments attributable to their lump-sum disability severance payments should write either “Veteran Disability Severance” or “St. Clair Claim” across the top of the front page of the Form 1040X that they file. Because all amended returns are filed on paper, Veterans should mail their completed Form 1040X, with a copy of the DoD letter, to:

Internal Revenue Service

333 W. Pershing Street, Stop 6503, P5

Kansas City, MO  64108

Veterans eligible for a refund who did not receive a letter from DoD may still file Form 1040X to claim a refund but must include both of the following to verify the disability severance payment:

  • A copy of documentation showing the exact amount of and reason for the disability severance payment, such as a letter from the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) explaining the severance payment at the time of the payment or a Form DD-214, and
  • A copy of either the VA determination letter confirming the Veteran’s disability or a determination that the Veteran’s injury or sickness was either incurred as a direct result of armed conflict, while in extra-hazardous service, or in simulated war exercises, or was caused by an instrumentality of war.

Veterans who did not receive the DoD letter and who do not have the required documentation showing the exact amount of and reason for their disability severance payment will need to obtain the necessary proof by contacting the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS).


For additional information, or to read the original article head over to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs page HERE. Questions about USAgencies Credit Union? Contact us at 503.275.0300 Option 3 or stop in today!

Save the Date : New Website, Online and Mobile Banking coming 08.21

In our efforts to bring you the best possible online and mobile banking experience, we are upgrading our Website, Online and Mobile Banking solutions. The new system will be available August 21, 2018 for an even better banking experience!

Here are a few of the new features and enhancements:

  • The New Online Banking system will feature innovative solutions. This includes tools that allow you to track your spending habits, set a budget, create goals and more.
  • The New Mobile Banking will feature Fingerprint ID login on mobile devices, Bill Pay and more.
  • Customization of your new Online Banking will allow you to hide, show, and sort accounts any way you want, giving you full control of how you want to view your accounts within the new Online Banking system.
  • Text Message Banking is coming and it will allow you to get quick account information via any mobile device.
  • Live Chat will now be available during business hours giving you more ways to get in touch with us! Our live chat feature is available in both Online and Mobile Banking.

What steps should you take now to get prepared for the upgrade?

  • You will need to register for the new system, so make sure you know your member number.
  • Make sure that we have your current contact information. This includes your address, phone number and email. We want to make sure you do not miss any important reminders or notifications we will be sending out in the coming weeks leading up to the launch!
  • Bill Pay access will be unavailable from 08.17 to 08.20. Your scheduled bill payments and transfers will continue as usual during this. Be sure to make any necessary changes prior to 08.17.

Want to stay updated? Bookmark our Save the Date webpage as we will update the information periodically to keep you informed. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Free Summer Activities in Portland

Having fun in Portland doesn’t have to cost a lot a money. In fact, it can cost nothing at all! Whether you are on a budget, or just love a good deal, getting out and enjoying the city shouldn’t give you spenders remorse. Which is why we have compiled a list of FREE things to do in Portland!

1. Concerts in the Park– A tradition for over 110 years hosted by Portland Parks and Recreation provides concerts and entertainment for all ages to enjoy, all throughout the summer.

2. Swimming – Several of the outdoor public pools in Portland have hours where anyone can cool off without paying an admission fee. Check out all the locations, and stay cool this summer.

3. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden– With over 2,500 rhododendron, azaleas, companion plants and wild life, the garden is a site to see. Every Monday there is no admission fee, and children under 12 are free every day of the week.

4. Shakespeare in the Parks – Take in A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought to you by the Portland Actors Ensemble. Starting July 26th and going through September 1st, there are free shows all over Portland, and all ages are welcome to come and enjoy.

5. Washington Park Summer Festival – See three full nights of free music, dance and park take in hands-on art activities among the roses at the International Rose Test Garden Amphitheater.

6. Mills End Park-Located in the median on Southwest Naito Parkway and Taylor Street and just measuring in at 24 inches in diameter, this is the world’s smallest park. Even better, it is around the corner from USAgencies Credit Union! Visit the park, and stop in and say Hi!

7. Powell’s City of Book’s – Get a coffee, grab your map and begin cruising the aisles at the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

8. Portland Festival Symphony– From Vivaldi through Mozart to Beethoven, the Portland Festival Symphony is bringing live art to your favorite neighborhood parks all summer long.

9. Alberta Street Fair– The 21st Annual Alberta Street Fair is Saturday August 11th with activities and events showcasing the best of the Alberta Street community. Head over for a day full of fun and sun!

10, Adult Soapbox Derby – Once a year a brave group of racers come together at Mt. Tabor to race down a closed course in hand-built cars. Since this event is fast moving, be sure to check out their event page for their safety tips to keep everyone safe.


Don’t forget that visiting your Credit Union is free too! We are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am – 5pm, and Wednesdays from 10:00am – 5:00pm. Bring a friend with you, and when they open their membership, you can each earn $25!*

 

*To qualify for $25, new member must be 18 years or older, and must add a checking account, monthly direct deposit (at least $250), online banking and eStatements within 60 days of joining, and account must be in good standing. New member must meet requirements for referring member to qualify for $25 bonus. Referring member must also be in good standing at time of bonus. No limit to number of referrals member can make. $25 will be deposited into savings account on first business day of the month, 60 days from account opening (if qualifications are met). Earnings reported on form 1099-INT as required. Program may change or cancel without notice.