BYM Agency predicts credit unions will win over millennials in 2015

millenials

via HYM Agency

In an BYM Agency article, it is expressed and highly encouraged that credit unions continue to bring in the younger audience through means of promotion and dissemination on online platforms (blogs and websites in particular).

The millennials are flocking to credit unions. As seen this past summer, when the credit union membership reached other the 100 million mark.

Studies have shown that over 80 percent of millennial credit union members are in love with their customer experience, and almost all of them are satisfied overall with their CU. With almost 40 percent willing to recommend, why then do over 70 percent of people between 18 and 34 still not know what a credit union is? This fact is especially confusing given that millennials are way more likely to choose a brand based on recommendations from friends and family.”

In order to sustain credit union’s popularity and acceptance with millennials, their views of them are going to have to alter. For instance, in a recent Pew’s research the generation noted that their top concerns aren’t with how many likes their selfies gets on social media. But instead on more ‘adult’ issues such as, being a good parent, having a successful marriage, helping others and owning a home. All component factors to securing a financial well-being in life.

This is where credit unions come in and target this audience online, specifically in blogs. If credit unions produce blogs with content centered around applicable life changes for millennials (e.g., marriage, buying a home, etc.) to relate and connect to, success will result. It is essential for credit unions to be strategic and successful in their campaigns especially for this demographic. A good example of this is for credit unions to have an up to date website! This is the first impression credit unions have on millennials. It’s a make or break.

“Creditunions.com suggests taking the SMAC route: Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cards (debit and credit) to reach millennials. Millennials don’t want to be exposed to financial advice or overt sales pitches on Facebook, but they’ll listen to it in, say, a company’s blog — which is usually located on their website. See what we’re sayin’?”

To learn more about how millennials and credit unions are destined to be with one another, you may view the full article, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

List of Credit Unions anyone can join

gobankingrates

via Go Banking Rates

Jennifer Calonia, from Go Banking Rates, explains that some credit unions are more welcoming to the general public than you might have guessed.

Much to people’s dismay, there are various credit unions that offer membership to anyone regardless of his or her geographic status, employer or religion affiliation.

Take a look below to see if any of these credit unions are near you! And discover how you can join the smart choice, banking with a credit union.

  • CommunityWide Credit Union: Supports Select Employer Groups (SEGs) they do however, offer membership to the public with the request of making a small donation to on of their institution’s partner charities, Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps League.
  • GTE Financial Credit Union: Serves specific businesses, employee’s families and select organizations. In order for the public to join, a $10 fee is required (a one time charge).
  • Self-Help Credit Union: Open to the public after donating $5 to their charity of choice, the Center for Community Self-Help
  • NuVision Federal Credit Union: Offers its service to those who pledge themselves to their cause/mission. Don’t meet the traditional eligibility qualifications? No problem, you can join their educational group, the American Consumer Council.
  • America’s Credit Union: Has an open field of membership with NO Fees associated to opening an account. Just a $25 pledge deposit is requested.
  • State Department Federal Credit Union: By tradition, membership is open to State Department employees and their immediate family members. Those who aren’t employees can still take advantage of the credit union’s benefits by joining the American Consumer Council.
  • Alliant Credit Union: Can join with just a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success, a nonprofit organization for those individuals maturing our of the state foster care system.
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Designed to serve the needs of the USA military and uniformed services, those outside of this affiliation can join with a one-time fee of $15 to the National Military Family Association. Or a $14 membership fee to the Voices for America’s Troops organization.
  • NASA Federal Credit Union: Allows the public to join with just a request to join the National Space Society and creating a savings accounts with a deposit of $5.
  • Consumers Credit Union: $5 donation to their sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association as well as, $5 deposit into a savings account.

More details on membership criteria are available. To learn more, simply view the full version of the article, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Avoid Sneaky Bank Fees by switching to a Credit Union

Huff_Post

via Huffington Post, by Lucy Mueller, Senior Editor

The Huffington Post Money blog dives into the scheming world of bank fees. Unfortunately, some or not most of their consumers don’t even realize just how much money they are throwing away in bank fees! Money they could (and should) be saving when banking with a Credit Union.

“The average checking account comes with about 30 fees, according to WalletHub, and not all of them are as easy to predict as overdraft or monthly service charges. Here are some of the sneakier fees that come attached to your standard bank account — and how you can make sure they don’t deplete your savings.”

1. Reordered overdraft fees

2. $5 charge to NOT overdraft

3. Big deposit fee

4. Early account closure fee

“Banks began charging a fee for closing an account within months of opening after 2011’s first Bank Transfer Day, in which hundreds of thousands of former bank customers closed their accounts and joined local credit unions in protest of — yep — predatory fee structures.”

5. Returned mail fee

6. Minimum balance fee

If you have been or are a victim of these bank fees, escape them by switching to your nearest credit union. Begin your search, here.  To discover more about this article, click here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Credit Unions across the country give back

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via CreditUnionTimes

It’s the season of giving! Discover which credit unions gave back this holiday season, as noted in the Credit Union Times.  We hope this inspires you to donate to a deserving charity of your choice.

American Heritage Federal Credit Union donates to the Kid-N-Hope Foundation. American Heritage FCU created this foundation, in order to help the music therapy program at Children’s Seashore House of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union donated more than $66,000 to local food banks during the annual Cash for Cans food drive.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union donated to the Naval Air Station Pensacola US Organization, in order to feed more than 1,500 troops unable to make it home for the holidays. Pen Air FCU has been participated in this giving for seven years now.

San Diego County Credit Union  is donating to the San Diego Human Society and the SPCA. Last year, their campaign “Presents for Paws” raised more than $11,000.

Quincy Credit Union donated to breast cancer research and awareness during the Breast Cancer Awareness month, October.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union raised more than $15,000 at fourteen different events in 2014.

Hanscom Federal Credit Union provided meals to guests staying at the Fisher House Boston, a temporary home for families of veterans who receive treatment at Veterans Affairs Boston Health System.

MidSouth Commuinty Federal Credit Union donated to Cafe Central, a soup kitchen in middle Georgia. In addition, they gave funds to the Bibb County School District, that will help support events and meetings for the board of education.

Service Credit Union  began its Toy for Tots drive in line with the US Marine Corp.

American First Credit Union donated $10,000 worth of turkeys for military soldiers and their families at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas with the help of Operation Warmheart.

Meriwest Credit Union collected more than $4,000 for Shop for Miracles, a 2 day CUs for Kids program. Funds from this supported UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

Robins Federal Credit Union  collaborated with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central GA and collected a total of $4,000 in donations.

Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union  gave more than $1,400 to Susan G. Komen Northeastern PA Race for the Cure.

Let’s give a round of applause to these credit unions for all they have done and given back to the community!

Read the full article and more about the charities mentioned, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Americans switch to Credit Unions at unprecedented rate

America’s credit unions are booming! Rod Staatz, from the Daily Record, comments on the rapid growth credit unions are experiencing in the number of members. There are now more than 100 million Americans (that’s 1/3 Americans) that have joined the credit union movement.  “The news is even better here in Maryland and the metropolitan area, where membership in the region’s credit unions now surpasses 2 million. Credit unions here collectively saved their members more than $146 million over the past year when compared to other financial institutions. That works out to $70 in savings per member.” – Staatz, the Daily Record

You might ask yourself why are so many consumers shifting from banking institutions in favor of credit unions? Staatz weighs in on this topic with his own opinion, “I believe the answer lies in part in the 2008 economic downturn. As all financial institutions nationwide found themselves dealing with increased government regulation, banks also found themselves facing growing pressure from shareholders to limit lending, particularly to small businesses. Credit unions, on the other hand, operated exactly as they always had; remaining close to their members and the communities they served.”

Another reason why consumers are making the switch, is by educating and discovering for themselves the services, benefits, and value members have in credit unions compared to banks.

In conclusion, Staatz believes that the 2008 recession contributed gratly in the growth of credit unions. It gave credit unions a chance to “shine and to educate the public and what being a member of a credit union really means.”

Staatz advocates that credit unions should continue “to do exactly what they have always done” in order to maintain their members trust and preference as their first choice for financial consulting.

To read more about this article, please click here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Credit Unions are best for consumers

NerdWallet.com produced a very informative and insightful infographic that compares the services available at credit unions and big banks.

As you can see, credit unions beat out big banks in almost every category.

Feel free to share! Help educate others about the credit union difference.

NerdWallet_CUvsBanks

 

You may also view the graphic on the web, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Nerd Wallet advises millennials to invest in Credit Unions

college students

Millennials aren’t seeking financial advice. Nearly 25% of those born between the years 1980-1989 said it’s because they don’t trust anyone for reputable money advice, as stated in a recent study from Fidelity investments (Huffington Post Dec. 9). Other young adults surveyed reported that they worry about their financial state on a regular basis.

So where are young adults suppose to turn to? Credit Unions! Even Nerd Wallet agrees, “Because credit unions are nonprofit organizations, any money they make off of their financial products is reinvested into their institutions,” said NerdWallet’s Graham Ober in the Huffington Post blog. “This helps them provide more affordable fees on loans and mortgages. “It’s in every credit union’s best interest, therefore, to have members who are knowledgeable about their finances and who don’t, for example, default on loans.”

 

Another outlet millennials can use is turning to their family members for advice. Chances are that your parents have gone through some good and bad financial times and can offer/lend their experience and expertise to you.

It is encouraged that millennials check out NerdWallet.com for some helpful financial resource tools, that can help them establish a savings goals and reevaluate spending habits in order to secure a profitable financial future.

Learn more about this, by viewing the full article.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Credit unions, perfect for socially conscious consumers

Print

The Los Angeles Times recently named Credit Unions as one of the best options to invest your money into the social good. The main reason being that credit unions are not-for-profit and are member-owned.

“Joining a credit union is a simple way to invest in a community–either a geographic community or a community of people with similar interest,” wrote Tom Petruno for the Los Angeles Times (Dec. 7).”

Petruno advocates that consumers should still do their homework, no matter what type of organization it is. “You can pick a bad investment just as well in socially responsible investing as in mainstream investing,” Jed Emerson, chief impact officer at ImpactAssets, told theLos Angeles Times.

Other ways you can invest in the social good, include:

  • Mutual funds: Invest in a socially responsible company through mutual funds. Using environmental, social and governance standards mutual groups can weed out tobacco, alcohol, gambling or weapon companies from their options of investment.
  • Micolending: Provide assistance and support to small businesses in third world nations.
  • Community investment notes: These notes enable investors to loan small amounts of money to specific causes. These notes have specific maturities and carry interest rates (that are paid back to the investor).
  • B corporations: These types of companies, Benefit or “B” corporations, can achieve their goal of giving back to their employees, communities and environment.

Think you’re a socially conscious consumer? Feel free to read the entire article, here.  And don’t forget to invest or become involved in your local credit union.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Don’t let fraudsters take advantage of you

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‘Tis the season of giving, but what you don’t want to do is give out is your personal or financial information to greedy fraudsters.

The AARP Bulletin highlighted a couple of holidays scams to look out for this time of year.

  • Whose website is it? Tipoffs to bad sites include extra words or characters, or different domains. Your best bet: Type the website address yourself rather than clicking through on links found on searches or delivered via spoofed emails.”

And of course, NEVER give out credit/debit card info unless the URL begins with https://

  • Gift card rummy Buy gift cards from the store clerk directly instead of from the store kiosks. Thieves pry on these cards by skimming the code on the back with portable scanners.
  • Knock knock, who’s there? Check the delivery status of your package on the courier’s website by entering the track number. Avoid clicking on links in emails that appear to be regarding the progress of your shipped order. Assume unexpected emails are scams, unless you gave them your email address.
  • Free…maybe Download with caution and don’t trust anything even if it might say ‘Free’
  • Prudent plastic  Men, put your wallet in your front pockets and women, carry a cross body purse. Prevent thieves from snatching your money right from your pocket!

Read Holidays present gifts to scammers via News Now, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

Affordable and personal holiday gift alternatives

CSMonitor

via The Christmas Science Monitor

Avoid the burden of over spending this holiday season with some of these tricks for the trade suggestions. Give something different this holiday season that will save you money and leave a nice personal touch!

Below are alternatives to traditional Christmas items.

1. Christmas Lights. How to Save: Invest in LED lights. Yes, they are more expensive but they will save you more money in the long run and they’ll last longer compared to incandescent lights.

2. Wrapping Paper. How to Save: Use old cookbooks, children’s books, or brown bags to cover your gifts. You can personalize the gift wrap by writing a special message.

3. Wine or Alcohol as Host Gifts for Parties . How to save: “Consider bringing baked goods or something homemade,” says Michelle Dosher, managing editor of the Home & Family Finance Center of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). “Chances are your host or hostess will appreciate this gesture much more than receiving more stuff.” But if it’s wine or bust, you can’t beat Charles Shaw wines at Trader Joe’s — known as either “Two-” or “Three-Buck Chuck,” depending on where you live.”

4. Christmas Cards. How to Save: New this season, record an audio message to your friends and family. They are free and can be easily received via email.

5. Electricy Usage. How to Save: Invest in LED lights (as mentioned in bullet #1) or solar powered Christmas lights.

6. New Holiday Music Albums. How to Save: Host a “music pot lock” where friends and family bring over their favorite holiday music to listen to. It’s a holiday music listening party!

7. Christmas decor. How to Save: Less is more! Too much Christmas home decor can come off as an ugly Christmas sweater.

8. Advent Calendars. How to Save: Make your own.

9. Fruitcake ring. How to Save: Make a cake that is more edible.

And don’t stop there! Continue to spread your Christmas cheer by donating to a local charity. Helping others is the what the holiday season is all about.

Full the full article, here.

Your local credit union personal finance professionals bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your money including financial education and other products to end the payday loan cycle. To find a local credit union you are eligible to join click here or go to asmarterchoice.org 

 

Credit Unions are a Smarter Choice!