Tag Archives: savings

Spring Clean Your Finances

In collaboration with our friends at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

There is something about Spring that makes us feel like we have a fresh start. From the sunnier skies to the blooming flowers – this time of year always gives us a little extra boost to tidy up around or homes and yards. It is also important to take the time to do the same with our finances! Here are a few ways to get started on Spring Cleaning your finances.

1. Request a free credit report

You can request a free credit report  every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Once you have your credit report, you can check for and correct any errors. This is especially important if you’re thinking of making any big purchases, like buying a new home. Our checklist will help you know what to look for in your credit report. Try setting a calendar reminder so you remember to check your credit reports on a regular basis. You can request all three reports at once or you can order one report at a time. By requesting the reports separately (for example, one every four months) you can monitor your credit report throughout the year.

Just like with the big three consumer reporting companies, you can also get free copies of your nationwide specialty consumer reports every 12 months from many of the specialty consumer reporting companies. Specialty consumer reporting companies collect and share information about employment history, medical records and payments, check writing, or insurance claims.

2. Address debt

If you’re facing a large debt or your payments are overdue, your first instinct may be to ignore the debt or hope it goes away. But, that will things worse and lead to more stress down the line. There are strategies that can help you make payments that work for your current financial situation.

First, review your bills and make sure you understand what you owe. Using automatic Bill Pay with your credit union, or utilizing a bill tracker can help you stay on top of your payment due dates.

Second, contact your lenders to see if alternative payment options are available. You may be able to change your due date so that a payment is due closer to when you receive your income.

3. Review your spending

Have you ever looked at your credit card bill and wondered where all those charges came from? Or, have you found yourself swiping your credit card for a purchase before you’ve had a chance to think about it?

Gain control over your credit card spending by taking a close look at your credit card purchases over the past couple months. If you’re looking to cut back, try breaking down necessary expenses vs. wants. Once you see how you’re spending, try creating a “rule to live by” to make sure you stay on track. These kinds of simple personal guidelines, such as using cash for smaller purchases, make it easier to stick to your goals over time.

You can also utilize money management tools to help keep all your finances in focus. By knowing all your accounts and tracking your budget all in one place, it can help reduce stress and give you peace of mind.

4. Save automatically

After checking your budget, you may see some more opportunities to boost your savings. For example:

  • If you have a credit union membership and direct deposit, you can arrange to automatically deposit some of your paycheck to a savings account every time you’re paid, instead of all of it going into a checking account.
  • You can check with your employer to see if it’s possible to split your paycheck into two accounts. You may also be able to transfer some of the money in your checking account into a savings account at another institution to keep it out of sight out of mind.

Did you know that nearly 46 percent of consumers indicated that they could not pay for an emergency expense of $400? When you save for unexpected expenses, you can handle them when they happen without having to skip other bills or borrow money. Start with $500 as your goal. This is enough to cover a lot of common emergencies, like car repairs, a plane ticket to care for a sick family member, or smaller medical costs.


Questions? Connect with our Member Relationship Specialists today at 503-275-0300 Option 3, send a secure message or chat with us when you log into your Online Banking! You can also stop by our branch located at 95 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204 – we are here to help!

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

 

 

 

Save to Win – The Savings Account That Pays to Play

Save to Win is a prize-linked savings share certificate account that offers members the chance to win prizes in addition to earning regular interest. It requires a small opening deposit of $25 and allows additional deposits during term of the account.  The best part about those additional deposits – for every $25 deposit ( up to $250 per month ), the member earns one entry into the monthly and quarterly prize drawings on a credit union, state and national level.

This account has been changing lives of credit union members since 2009. This innovative and national award winning prize-linked savings product was designed to help low-to-moderate income people improve their financial lives and create better savings habits. This is done by encouraging monthly those $25 deposits with the chance of winning, just for saving! The funds are also held in the account for 12 months, and withdrawals are limited to one per twelve-month certificate term with a fee of $25 (it is, after all, SAVE to Win). This helps the balance grow, which creates a rainy day fund for members. There is no minimum number of deposits required, but there is a maximum of 10 entries per month/30 entries per quarter per member*.

USAgencies Credit Union has had two lucky members win on a State and National level in cash prizes totaling $1,500 all because they were SAVING! How exciting is that?!

Shauna, a USAgencies member who won in November of 2018 said “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!”

If you are struggling to save and have difficulty establishing a savings mindset, consider the Save to Win. It is a nice incentive to establish savings, while having fun and potentially winning prizes.

So, are you ready to Save to Win? Because we are ready to help!


Questions? Connect with a Member Services Specialists today at 503-275-0300 Option 3 or visit the Save To Win FAQ Page.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for a chance to win a $50 cash prize** during our Read to Win contest!

Entering the contest is easy.  Here’s how it works:

  • Subscribe to our blog by entering your email in the box above the “Follow” button on the left menu
  • Each week in February, we will publish a blog along with the trivia question at the end of each blog
  • Email your answers to social@usacu.org by February 28, 2019

QUESTION 3:  What is the maximum dollar amount you can deposit each month for the chance to be entered into the monthly and quarterly drawings?

Official Contest Rules

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Terms and conditions apply, read the official contest rules for complete details. open to individuals ages 18 and over. Board of Directors, Volunteers and Employees of USACU and their immediate families and individuals living in the same household are ineligible. Void where prohibited.

*Terms and conditions apply, read the official rules for complete details. Open to individuals age 18 and over residing in Oregon. Board of Directions, Volunteers and Employees of USACU and their immediate families are ineligible. 

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

 

 

 

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

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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