Tag Archives: credit union

Shannon’s Obsession with Enterprise & Credit Unions

Enterprise Car Sales is a trusted partner of USAgencies Credit Union, providing our members with exceptional experiences when shopping for quality, used cars. We recently sat down with Shannon Laird, Enterprise’s Business Development Manager, to ask her about why she loves working with credit unions, and more.


How long have you been with Enterprise and what is your role?

I have been with Enterprise for 14 years in July.  I started in our rental car division in Southern California. After six years on the rental side, I was promoted over to the car sales division where I sold cars as a sales consultant, financed them as the assistant sales manager, managed and operated two different Enterprise Car Sales dealerships in California and found my way to Oregon with another promotion. My current role is the Business Development Manager which allows me to work with accounts that help us provide excellent service to members of the community.

What do you love about working for Enterprise?

I love that the company continues to make diversity, inclusion and women a top priority. In the early years of my career there weren’t too many women in higher leadership positions but after 14 years I have watched more women get promoted to senior management roles as well as welcome our first woman CEO, Pamela Nicholson. It’s important to me that I work for a company that represents their employees and the communities they serve.

Why do credit unions partner with Enterprise Car Sales?

Credit Unions partner with Enterprise Car Sales because they want to provide their members with a buying experience that leaves them feeling confident, heard and in control. Credit unions pride themselves as being a place where members have a voice and partnering with Enterprise allows credit unions to promote a partner that provides that same level of care when they shop for their next vehicle. That’s a win-win for everyone!

What makes you #CUobsessed?

I’m #CUobessed because my credit union partners are amazing!!! Working with people who enjoy what they do and find ways to help their members make great financial decisions is always a great way to do business. I get the opportunity to learn, teach and network with a lot of senior leaders at these credit unions and exchanging ideas that provide amazing service for their members is always fun for me!


USAgencies Credit Union is bringing you special savings this spring with Enterprise Car Sales. Check out all the details here

 

Letter from the CEO: Retirement Savings

Did you know that nearly half of all American families have no retirement savings? That is not a recipe for retirement happiness.  Saving for retirement is the most important thing you can do to ensure a financial future full of exciting possibilities.  But, it takes effort and a long-term commitment to saving regularly to get you where you want to be.  It’s estimated that you will need a retirement income of 70% or more of your earning income to maintain your current lifestyle throughout your retirement years.  Are you on track?

There are several savings tools available to help you reach your retirement goals. It’s important that you educate yourself on the benefits of each investment tool, to ensure you retire with adequate financial resources.

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, take full advantage of your employer’s match. Maximizing the match ensures that you get the full benefit of the “free money” your employer contributes towards your plan.

An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is another great way to help you reach your retirement goals. You may also consider making a tax-deferred contribution to a traditional IRA, which can be applied to your 2017 tax return (if made before April 17, 2018).

Increase retirement savings amount each year until you are saving 10-15% of your income. Let us know what questions you have about IRA’s, or other savings tools, – we’re here to help you reach your retirement goals.

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

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.

Fair Housing Equal Opportunity Logo

Q&A with former USACU Board Member Brian McConnell

Brian McConnell took a few minutes out of his day to share about his experience as a member of the Board of Directors for USAgencies Credit Union…

 

Brian and familyWhy did you become a member of the Board of Directors at USAgencies Credit Union?

I was working as a civil engineer and recently completed my MBA in finance when I joined the Board.  I thought becoming a board member would give me an opportunity to continue learning about the financial industry as well as apply what I learned in business school, neither of which I was able to do in my day job.  I was right!  In addition, I felt that I could add a younger perspective than the other board members which would be helpful for attracting younger members to USACU.  Having board level experience on my resume so early in my career was a huge plus for me too.

 

How old were you when you joined the USACU Board?

27 years old

 

What skills (personal or professional) do you think you’ve gained from your experience on the Board?

I learned so much about the credit union movement and our place in the financial services industry.  Before my time on the board I didn’t properly appreciate how much credit unions do for their members.  Besides gaining knowledge about credit unions, I honed my skills at analyzing USACU’s financial statements, which has helped me professionally as I transitioned my career from engineering to finance.  More importantly however, I learned a lot from the other board members and USACU management.  They were all leaders in one way or another, so I tried to observe them as much as possible, especially early in my term on the Board, to learn different approaches to leadership.  When I joined the Board I didn’t have experience professionally operating at a strategic level which the Board must do.  It wasn’t for a few years after I joined the Board that I began interacting with executives more regularly in my career.  I credit my Board experience with increasing my comfort working with high level executives.

 

In your opinion, who should consider becoming a Board Member at USAgencies Credit Union?

In my opinion, nearly anyone would benefit from joining the USACU Board.  For instance, people that want to make a difference in the lives of USACU members truly can have a positive impact on our members as a board member.  People that want to learn about the financial industry will get an opportunity to do so on the Board.  People that want to try something outside of their career comfort zone or even think they may be interested in a career change into something related to the financial services industry could benefit from USACU Board experience.  If someone wants to gain more business acumen, the USACU Board is a great way to do it.  Those are just a few examples of who I think would benefit from the Board experience.

 

How long have you been a member at USAgencies, and what do you love about your credit union?

I’ve been a member at USACU for just over 10 years.  Unlike other financial institutions I have worked with, USACU is very approachable and accessible.  If you have a financial need or issue, you can pick up the phone or stop by the branch and talk with someone that can help.  I haven’t had that same experience at any other financial institution.  I am confident that they act with my best interest in mind.

 


USAgencies Credit Union currently has a couple of open Board positions. If you’re an enthusiastic USACU member, and interested in serving on the Board of your Credit Union, please contact us. We’d love to talk with you about it!

We are also looking to build a pool of future leaders through our Associate Volunteer Program.

Learn more about volunteering for USAgencies Credit Union’s Board of Directors.

 

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

From our friends at GreenPath

Choosing the right health insurance plan is critical if you want to save money on your health care expenses. This is the first step for creating a healthcare budget that anticipates any cost you may have to cover down the road. Here are a few tips you can follow to help you choose the right health insurance plan for you and your family:

  1. Research the costs of the medical services you think you will use in the following year. Knowing the costs for the medical services you need will help you choose a plan that will cover most of those costs. It will also help you determine how much you need to save to cover the costs that will not be covered by your health insurance provider. Those funds can be deposited into a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.
  2. Use your provider’s website to research individual and family plans. You can also visit healthcare.gov to research health insurance plans. Healthcare.gov provides a marketplace for you to compare different health insurance plans based on your specific needs.
  3. Ask these three questions to understand and compare health care plans:
  • What is the deductible for this plan? Your deductible is the amount of money you are required to spend before your health insurance will cover your health care expenses. Keep in mind that higher deductible plans typically have lower monthly premiums.
  • What are the co-payments or co-insurance amounts associated with this plan? Co-payments or co-insurance are what you pay for medical services after reaching your deductible.
  • What is the out-of-pocket maximum for this plan? The out-of-pocket maximum is the amount of money you have to spend on medical services before your health insurance provider pays for your covered services.

 

What to Do After Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

After choosing the most suitable health insurance plan for you and your family, it would be wise to look into opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA). These types of accounts enable you to set aside pre-tax funds to save money for expected and unexpected health care expenses.  This means you can save these funds without paying tax on the money (which could result in a larger tax return for you).

You can use the amount of your deductible, co-payments or co-insurance, and/or out-of-pocket maximum to determine how much you should deposit into a health savings account or flexible spending account. Following these tips will help you feel confident in choosing the plan that’s most suitable for you and your family.


Health insurance can be an important way to keep your family—and your finances—healthy. USAgencies Credit Union offers our members access to affordable health insurance coverage via the TruStage Health Insurance Program and GoHealth. Learn more.

Member Moment : Karen’s Auto Solution Story

Karen.

Going to the car dealership can be stressful. From dealing with the salesperson, to negotiating, and just about everything in between. It is hard, and honestly can be a bit scary. Which is why USAgencies Credit Union partners with Auto Solution, a trusted local auto broker. They are knowledgeable auto consultants who will find the car of your dreams… and you don’t even have to leave the house.

Recently Karen, USAgencies’ member since 1979, used Auto Solution for her first time after talking to her loan officer. Can you guess what she loved most about her experience? You guessed it, not going to the dealership! “My favorite part was not having to go play the game with the sales people. They are just so annoying, and pushy and talk you into things that you don’t really want to do.”

Karen was kept informed every step of the way by Auto Solution, and not only did they get her a great deal on her new car, they also helped her trade in her old vehicle. “I feel that anyone who uses Auto Solution could benefit from their service. Well worth it. Just stay at home, let them negotiate for you, then deliver your new car to your door. Does it get any better than that?!”


Auto Solution is our trusted auto broker with 25 years of industry experience. Between now and Dec 22nd, purchase a vehicle with Auto Solution, and finance with us, and they’ll donate a bike to a local child in need. Learn more.

 

 

NEW! 24/7 Lending Center: ANYTIME Pre-Approvals

NEW! 24/7 Loan Approvals*

Because we know it’s not always convenient to apply for a loan when we’re in the office, USAgencies Credit Union now offers loan approvals anytime via our 24-hour Lending Center!

Connect 24/7 by calling 503.275.0300 (opt. 2) or toll-free at 800.452.0915 (opt. 2) for loan approvals that are quick, easy and convenient.


*24-hour approvals available for consumer loans only. Approvals not guaranteed and subject to credit review.