Tag Archives: USACU

July is CULAC Month!

In Collaboration with our friends at the Northwest Credit Union Association.

July is here, and that means credit unions across the country are putting their Credit Union Legislative Action Council ( CULAC ) fundraising efforts into overdrive for CULAC Month. July is an important awareness month and helps build fundraising momentum. CULAC is the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) political action committee.

Raising funds for CULAC is essential, as the Credit Union Movement thrives when legislators understand the credit union difference. With constant threats to credit unions’ tax-exempt status and ever increasing regulatory burdens, it’s critical that we elect U. S. Senators and Representatives who support credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative, members-first mission.

Here at USAgencies Credit Union, we wanted to bring you information about CULAC to you, because as a member owned cooperative, we are here solely to serve our members, and CULAC helps us continue to do that. Here are some specifics about CULAC and what it does, and why it is important.

What is CULAC?

The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) is a vehicle through which a credit union advocate can actively participate in advancing the future of the credit union industry. In contributing to CULAC—the political action committee (PAC) of the Credit Union National Association—you are making an investment in the future of your credit union and every credit union across the country.

CULAC’s purpose is to provide the opportunity for individuals interested in the future of the credit union movement to contribute to the support of worthy candidates for federal office who believe, and have demonstrated their belief, in the principles to which the industry is dedicated.

Why do people donate?

Legislative and regulatory decisions are being made every day in Washington that affect the ability of your credit union to serve its members. By contributing to CULAC, you are joining thousands of credit union members and employees nationwide to ensure that credit unions have a voice on Capitol Hill when those decisions are made.

Where does the money go?

All contributions are  put to use by helping elect candidates who understand the credit union difference and who will fight to ensure that credit unions remain the best financial services option for consumers. CULAC is among the most bipartisan PACs in Washington and bases its candidate support decisions strictly on support of credit unions without regard to party affiliation. CUNA and the state leagues work together. As a federal PAC, CULAC can only make contributions to support election of federal candidates. That includes members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. CULAC supports Republicans and Democrats, with contributions equally split 50/50 between each party, making it one of the most bipartisan PACs in the nation.


Questions? Head over to CUNA’s CULAC webpage  for more information.

Contributions to CULAC are not tax deductible. Individuals who are associated with CUNA’s state credit union leagues or with CUNA-affiliated credit unions that have signed a permission agreement with their leagues are eligible to participate in CULAC. All contributions to CULAC are strictly voluntary and will be used for political purposes. You have the right to refuse to contribute without any reprisal.

 

Get More Treats with the VISA Platinum Rewards Card

With so many possible rewards cards on the market, it is hard to determine which one is going to be the best for your financial life.  The choices are endless and we know it is important that you make the right choice. That is why we are here to give you some information about our VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card. 

Rewards

Earn a point for every dollar you spend using your VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card.  You can redeem your points for travel, product discounts here at USAgencies, as well as merchandise.  You earn while you spend!

Charitable Giving

Being connected and serving our community is a major focus here at USAgencies Credit Union. That is why each year we invest 5% of the net income from our VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card.  back into our neighborhoods.

Travel and Emergency Assistance

Traveling can come with a lot of uncertainties, which is why it is always important to be prepared. Using a credit card that helps with emergency assistance, car rental insurance and lost luggage can bring you peace of mind while traveling. Our VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card.  has all those additional benefits and more.

Low Interest Rate and Less Fees

Part of the structure of a credit union is that we are not-for-profit, and by standing by those values, we are able to give back to our members with fewer fees and better interest rates. This is no exception when it comes to the VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card. . With a competitive low rate, no cash advance fee, a low late fee and more, this card is designed to save you money.


Get a VISA® Platinum Rewards Credit Card with us this July, and your annual fee is on us – FOR LIFE*. Ready to start your application today? Connect with us by calling 503.275.0300 Option 2 to speak with Loan Specialist today. Don’t forget to ask them about our current 

 

Top Boating Spots in Oregon

Brought to you by our friends at getmyboat.com

When it comes to boating in the Pacific Northwest, many people first think of Washington or southeast Alaska. As both of them have extensive inland seas with protected saltwater islands and peninsulas to explore, this makes a lot of sense. However, the state of Oregon also has a number of excellent boating opportunities that are well worth the trip. The state’s climate tends to be a little sunnier and warmer in the summer than its neighbors to the north. One important difference between boating in Washington and Alaska versus Oregon is that the boats are either coastal or freshwater. Another interesting difference is that many of the best lakes here are at altitudes of 5,000 feet and higher, and a few of them are even formed as extinct volcanoes. This can mean a more difficult trip to transport a boat, but it also means more isolated and pristine boating once you arrive. Here is a look at some of the best boating lakes and rivers to discover in Oregon.

Boating the Columbia River

There are many reasons to follow the historic footsteps of Lewis and Clark down this large river that serves as the border between Oregon and Washington. There is beauty and ample opportunity for all kinds of boating here, as freighters, sailboats, ski boats, fishing trawlers, and stand-up paddleboards are frequently seen upon the same stretch of river. There are a few important things to know about the Columbia, however, to boat well:

  • Winds: The winds here can be fierce, particularly in the regions of the river that form a wide gorge beneath the plateaued banks. The view of cut sandstone is beautiful, but this geologic form causes a huge wind tunnel. Sailors should take note that mid-September to late March has prevailing easterlies, which can gust up to 40 milers per hour, and the spring and summer have westerlies which will die for a portion of every day and require motoring.
  • Locks: The Columbia is marked by several dams that require lock passage. The good news with this is that the lock locations are usually great areas to find marinas and other amenities for purchase on a long passage.
  • Current: The wider, lower sections of the Columbia only have a current of 1-2 knots, but regions and rainfall can bring it up to six. The good news about river travel is that there is usually a slack or countercurrent region of the river that can make passage less stressful. It is okay to wander toward the riverbanks looking for an easier route, provided you watch your depth sounders.

Crater Lake

Though boating here is somewhat limited by access, it is known as one of the most beautiful locations on the planet and well worth the trip. Crater Lake is the site of an extinct volcano, and offers views of high mountain peaks reflected in perfect glassy waters. The new baby volcano cone serves as an island in the middle of the water and is great to explore. Crater Lake is open for fishing as well, with proper licensing. If you do not bring a boat with you, rentals of small watercraft like kayaks and canoes are available, as well as chartered boat tours. Just hold on to your stuff, for if you drop something in the nearly 2,000 foot deep water, you are unlikely to get it back.

Snake River/Hells Canyon

Though the Grand Canyon gets all of the press when it comes to size, Hells Canyon has it beat when it comes to depth. The best place to enter is near the Hells Canyon Dam in Oxbow, Oregon. You will find a marina, jet boat tours, and fishing boat charters and rentals here, as well as a boat launch. The water here is not placid, and is home to a number of whitewater and other excursions. The bottom can be unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to speak with a local expert before putting your boat in the water here. If the water tables are too low or high, it may not be the right time for anyone but the most experienced captain. If you have your heart set on boating, however, the shores are full of experienced captains ready to share the beauty of this extreme canyon with you.

Diamond Lake

This stocked fishing lake is near Crater Lake and has a number of resorts along its shores. Though once disparaged because of a high level of trash fish, the lake has been undergoing a lot of restoration and is back to a main population of rainbow trout once again. Five separate boat launches are available along the lakeshore, along with several hundred campsites and three fish cleaning stations. In addition to fishing, campers here enjoy tubing, jet skiing, swimming, waterskiing, and other water sports. This is a favorite location for four-season vacation lake cabins, as Diamond Lake is also very popular for winter and ice sports.

Crescent Lake

Not to be confused with Lake Crescent in Washington’s Olympic National Park, Crescent Lake is located near the towns of Eugene and Bend. It is a great location for canoeing, kayaking, and small watercraft boating and fishing. Several campsites in the Deschutes National Forest section of the lake are available and offer great places to stay, or you can go to one of the private resorts or cabin rentals. If you do not want to trailer your own boat into the mountains to get here, there are several boat rental locations and marinas.

Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake is another favorite for camping, small watercraft boating, fishing, and more. It is located near the region of Oregon known as little Switzerland for its architectural style and annual festivals. Those who prefer to camp in comfort will enjoy the large number of cabin rentals available in this area, which are offered year-round for both summer and winter sports.

Mt Hood National Forest Lakes

The lakes here are numerous and small, and known for camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and more. They include Lake Trillium, Timothy Lake, Frog Lake, and Clear Lake. As Mount Hood is closer to larger cities like Portland, these lakes get a bit more traffic. However, not everyone who comes here is here for the boating. These lakes are notorious statewide as important mushroom picking habitat, and you will find many people with guidebooks and sacks looking to score lots of edible prizes along the shores. For those who love to forage and fish, this is an excellent location to gather everything you need for a campfire dinner of hand-caught trout and sautéed wild mushrooms.

No matter whether you love the mountain solitude or the busy river traffic, there is excellent boating to be found in Oregon. If you are traveling from out of the region, remember that the Pacific Northwest is very temperate. Always bring adequate layers – though the days may be in the 90s, the evenings can be in the high 40s, and rain is always possible. Your best choices are light, water wicking layers to stay comfortable here. Once you have arrived, it is easy to discover the extraordinary amount of natural  beauty to be seen and loved in Oregon, particularly by boat.


 Let us help you explore all Oregon boating has to offer with a  new boat during our Great Outdoor promotion happening now through June 30th! Connect with us by calling 503.275.0300 Option 2 to speak with one our loan specialists today. 

5 Travel Tips for Your Summer Vacation

It’s finally here. That magical time of year when the days are hot, the coffee is iced, and the nights are spent dreaming of upcoming vacations and travel adventures far, far away.

We know that dealing with cyber predators and unsafe travel conditions are not on your bucket list, and we also know that dealing with the fallout from identity theft is no fun.

To help keep you safe and informed, here are 5 essential travel tips for wherever your adventures take you :

  1. Make copies of important travel documents.

You should include your travel itinerary, health insurance cards, credit cards and passport. You should then give the copies to someone you trust in case of an emergency. It is also smart to email any important information about your trip to yourself before you leave so it is easily accessible if something gets lost, especially if you are traveling overseas.

  1. Use a credit card that has travel protection

Traveling can come with a lot of uncertainties, which is why it is always important to be prepared. Using a credit card that helps with emergency assistance, car rental insurance and lost luggage can bring you peace of mind while traveling. Our VISA Platinum Credit Card has all those additional benefits and more.  Connect with us before your next trip to get approved!

  1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access financial information or make online purchases.

It is very easy for hackers to steal information from public internet servers. Further, you should never leave your laptop or cell phone in a vulnerable position (i.e. at the breakfast table while you run to the bathroom, or beach chair while you take a dip); this might seem like common sense, but it is easy to let your guard down when you are on island time!

  1. Research, Research, Research.

It is important to learn the ins and outs of your destination and so some digging to find out what areas are safe and what areas you should avoid. A good place to start? Read hotel reviews online to see what neighborhoods and destinations other travelers recommend. Remember that if a place seems unsafe or makes you feel uncomfortable, you should leave right away. You can also download the State Department’s Smart Traveler app  and sign up for the State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows U.S. citizens who are traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

5. Inform the credit unions of your travel plans

To keep your money safe, we automatically block transactions clearing from countries and merchants that have a high risk of fraud occurring. If you give us a call prior to your travels, we can ensure your cards work while you are away from home, giving you peace of mind.


Thinking about your next adventure? Let us help you cruise off this summer with loans for RVs, Boats, and more. Check out our Great Outdoor promotion happening now through June 30th! Connect with us by calling 503.275.0300 Option 2 to speak with one our loan specialists today. 

 

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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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.