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CFCCU Blog

New Scam Alert!

Recently we've had several members receiving phone calls from someone pretending to be with our institution and claiming they are behind on their loan payments. The caller offers to help them lower their interest rate while they take care of making payment arrangements and of course ask for account/payment card information. The phone number listed has a local area code and the caller ID shows up as Our Community Credit Union. Please do not fall victim to this scam.  Cedar Falls Community Credit Union does not accept cards as a means of making a loan payment and will never ask you for that information over the phone.  Always be cautious when giving personal information to any person who calls you.  As always, if you feel the call is suspicious, hang up and phone the credit union immediately at 319-266-7531.

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Member Appreciation Day

Member Appreciation Facebook

 

We started a remodeling project on our Main Office in downtown Cedar Falls in January of 2017. To celebrate the completion of the remodel, we are planning a Member Appreciation Event as a means of saying thank you to our members for putting up with the mess for the last 9 months.

CFCCU’s "Member Appreciation Tailgate Party" will be held on Friday, October 6th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will be lunch, games, and prizes. According to Helen Pearce, CEO, "We are so thankful that our members have been understanding with the mess of remodeling. It seemed like the teller stations were moving every week and the entire place was filled with dust. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate the new look!"

 About Cedar Falls Community Credit Union: Cedar Falls Community Credit Union was originally chartered in 1958 as a member-owned financial co-operative serving the needs of a local machinists union. Membership was extended to other groups of employees over the years until in 1982, CFCCU received a community charter. Our current field of membership includes individuals who live or work in 20 Iowa counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Grundy, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hardin, Howard, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Tama and Winneshiek.

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Kelli Aikey Best of the Best Loan Officer

1st best of bestKelli Aikey, a CFCCU Loan Officer was selected as the top Loan Officer in the recent Best of the Best competition held by the Waterloo Courier.  CFCCU was selected with a Honorable Mention.

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union is your hometown credit union that meets the financial needs of people who live and work in the Cedar Valley. We have been successful in the Cedar Valley since 1958 because we take pride in what we do. Our current field of membership was recently expanded by the Iowa Credit Union Division to include individuals who live or work in 20 Iowa counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Grundy, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hardin, Howard, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Tama and Winneshiek.

"We are so fortunate to have such a knowledgeable staff who really care about what they do. It also makes our jobs easier when we have the best members anyone could ask for who trust us to help them," said CEO Helen Pearce. "And when we are able to help members in a time of need, that’s when we create those unforgettable bonds."

We are a local member-owned financial cooperative, providing a wide range of financial products and services, including savings accounts, certificates, IRAs and loans of all types with competitive rates. Established in 1958 in Cedar Falls, we continue to be large enough to provide valuable services to our members, yet still small and local enough to really know our members and their needs and expectations.

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union has been among the Best of the Best 15 out of  the last 15 years. Thank you to our members for voting us Best of the Best!

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The Lease is Up--Should You Buy the Car?

car leaseYour auto lease gives you a right to buy the vehicle for a fixed price at the end of the lease. But should you? If you have less than three months remaining on a lease, now's the time to decide. So, find your lease and read on.

Do you like the car? If it's performed well with a minimum of unexpected cost and repair, then it might be good to renew the lease.

Will it still fit your needs? If you're driving a 2-door sports coupe but are expecting a baby, you probably need a new car.

What is your lease-end buying price? You'll find the purchase option price in your lease. Let's assume it's $14,000.

What is your vehicle actually worth? Check websites such as Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and Edmunds.com Let's assume your highest wholesale value is $15,000.

How does your vehicle's wholesale value compare with its lease value? If it's higher than the lease value, then it's a good deal. In our example, your lease says you can buy for $14,000. You've confirmed wholesale value is $15,000. You're buying a car you know and like for $1,000 less than its wholesale value. Buy the car.

What if the wholesale value is less than the lease value? If it's a lot less, don't buy the car. It doesn't make sense to buy the car if your lease's buy-out price is $14,000, and the car's wholesale value is only $11,000.

What's the bottom line? If your lease car is a good friend, and you can buy it for no more than $1,000 over wholesale value, that's a smart buy. Your next smart decision is to finance it at Cedar Falls Community Credit Union.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association, Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Out in the Open: Landscaping Key to Home's Value

landscapeYou don’t have to get away to the great outdoors. The best outside spaces could be in your own back—or front—yard.  

The outdoor evolution Today’s outdoor spaces are varied, intricate, and personalized. It’s not unusual to see combinations of decks, patios, water features, and even fire elements, says Rick Meinzer of Platinum Landscapes and Pools, in Provo, Utah. “Some of the best hours to enjoy the environment are not in the heat of the day,” he says.

 Evolving material selections also offer homeowners choices. For example, composite decking can eliminate splinters and maintenance. Pavers and retaining wall components fashioned from concrete offer uniformity in color and appearance, making them an attractive alternative to natural stone.

First looks Curb appeal remains the foundation of that critical first impression when selling a house. An attractive, well-maintained front yard invites prospective buyers to take a closer look and conveys confidence that current owners paid as much attention to the inside of the house as they did the outside, says Lisa Morano of Morano Landscape, in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

 Homeowners without a deck or patio are wise to consider installing one before sale, says Kathleen Birkel Dangelo, vice president and general counsel of The Ohio Valley Group, a landscape and tree service contractor in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “Some kind of deck or patio is essential to resale,” she says.

The professional approach Frugal homeowners often tackle their own landscaping projects to stretch their dollars. Dangelo encourages individuals to at least meet with professionals before taking on a significant landscaping project.
“Do-it-yourself projects always tend to look like you did it yourself,” she says. If budgets are limited, Dangelo recommends developing a phased plan to implement over a series of years to spread out costs.

Money talks Setting a budget is a smart step for homeowners who want to control cost and outcomes. Dangelo says landscapers can work with homeowners to review options in broad strokes and then together can home in on a plan and budget that meet the client’s goals. 

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union can help you set a budget for your landscaping plans or provide the funding you need to make your landscaping visions a reality. Stop by or call today at (319) 266-7531.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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America's Credit Unions Save Members $$

 

state of iowa benfitsAmerica's Credit Unions Saved Members over $10.2 Billion in benefits for the year ending December 31st, 2016. Iowan's saved over $104 Million for an average of $182 per member household.   Just an interesting fact.

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DEALER FINANCING GONE WILD…

josh latonya 1 webLaTonya Robertson has been a member of CFCCU for over 8 years. Several years ago, she purchased a vehicle at a dealership and was able to obtain a loan through the dealer. Recently, LaTonya decided to visit the credit union to discuss her finances. While speaking with loan officer, Josh Hurley, she realized that she has been significantly overpaying in interest charges on her loan.

Josh was able to refinance LaTonya’s vehicle loan with the credit union, dropping the interest rate by over 13% which impacted her payment dramatically! Not only was the credit union able to save her over $2,700 interest charges but her payment was reduced by $76.00 per month. Included in her reduced payment, LaTonya is able to protect her family from unexpected life events, as well as protecting her asset with GAP coverage.

In addition to her auto refinance, LaTonya took advantage of our credit card program where she can now transfer any high rate credit card debt to the low rate CFCCU MasterCard.

LaTonya’s story is exciting and we are excited to be a part of it! Stories like this are occurring daily at Cedar Falls Community Credit Union and we encourage you to stop in or call us to see how we can dramatically affect your life.

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Home Equity Loans: Low-Cost, Tax-Advantaged Credit

mortgage webIf credit card payments are eating up your disposable income each month, or if you need cash to remodel your kitchen--or to buy a new car--a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) might be your best bet.

There's also a tax advantage. Unlike almost any other consumer loan type, the interest on a home equity loan or HELOC of $100,000 or less is likely to be tax-deductible ($50,000 if married filing separately).

Home equity loans and HELOCs are two distinct products. With a home equity loan, you borrow a lump sum of money repayable over a fixed term, usually 5 to 15 years, giving you the security of a locked-in rate and a consistent monthly payment.

People tend to use home equity loans for large, one-time expenses like a major home-improvement project. You also might use one to start a business, make a big-ticket purchase, or consolidate high-interest credit card debt. This type of loan makes sense if you don't foresee future borrowing needs.

On the other hand, a HELOC is much like a credit card or any other type of open-ended credit. You can borrow money as needed, up to the credit limit your lender assigns. A HELOC is usually a variable-rate loan, so your monthly payments will change based on your outstanding balance and fluctuations in the prime rate.

A line of credit offers flexibility and ready access to funds, making it ideal for unexpected expenses like large medical bills. A HELOC also can help finance a child's college education, especially for higher-income families who don't qualify for financial aid.

Since home equity loans and lines of credit use your home as collateral, if you don't make your payments, you could lose your home. But if you don't take on excessive debt and you do make timely payments, you can't beat the low interest rates and tax-deductible interest of a home equity loan or HELOC.

A Cedar Falls Community Credit Union loan officer can explain which type of home equity loan may work for you. Call 319-266-7531 for more details.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Payday Borrowing Pokes a Hole in Your Pocket

 

payday loanGetting a payday loan to solve your cash-flow problem is like poking a hole in the pocket where you carry your cash. Over time, your money is apt to disappear as you "roll over" your debt.

Rollover debt occurs when you can't repay the full amount of a payday loan when it's due. Instead, you're forced to take out another loan for the original amount plus interest and fees.

As a result, the amount owed to payday lenders quickly grows, with the average payday borrower spending $793 to repay a $325 loan, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.

Find an alternative
If you're straining to repay a payday loan, contact Cedar Falls Community Credit Union as soon as possible to ask for help.
 
Examine your options
You can avoid short-term borrowing by examining your spending and your options. To reduce spending, take a hard look at what's a necessity and then cut out the extras. Next, consider options for generating income. Sell possessions that aren't being used, or work a second job or overtime hours.

To meet immediate needs, look for free services or merchants willing to let you pay over time. For example, if your car has a breakdown, look for a mechanic who will let you pay in two or three monthly installments.

The savings solution
To get out of the payday loan trap for good, establish a savings account. Ask Cedar Falls Community Credit Union about savings options, including how to directly deposit part of every paycheck directly into your savings.
By putting your savings in a credit union account, you can resist the temptation to tap the funds when you're short of cash. That way, the money will always be there when a true emergency arises.

Call us today at (319) 266-7531. We can help.


Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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The Credit Union Difference: Reaching Out to Those In Need

Credit unions are unique in the world of financial institutions. Nowhere is the credit union difference more vivid than in the diverse ways they reach out to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans who seek basic financial services to realize their dreams.

The examples of outreach are heart-warming, and the results are life changing. Some credit unions offer individual development accounts--savings accounts with matched incentives--to low-income members who are saving for a home, education, or small business development. Others offer financial literacy training to members trying to re-enter the workforce, to people who are incarcerated, and to new Americans.

 Building bridges with the Hispanic community is an important goal for credit unions, as well as fostering entrepreneurship through business loans. Credit unions also offer alternatives to lenders who often take advantage of low-income people who are not using mainstream financial institutions. Coupled with financial literacy programs, these individuals are able to build savings accounts and improve financial well being.

Some credit unions offer financial counseling programs as well as programs for area schools, colleges, and universities. Student credit unions operate in many schools, allowing the credit union to work with the resources and needs of the school.

 And these are just a few of the many ways credit unions impact small and large communities across the country.
 

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union is here to serve you. Contact us at (319) 266-7531 to learn how we can help you realize your dreams.


Copyright 2012-2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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The Best Things College Students Can Do With Their Tax Refund

For our members who have recently graduated from school or are still in school, tax season can be a happy time financially. Many people will get a tax refund from the IRS, and alot of folks will squander that money before it has a chance to make it through one statement.

Here are some ways to spend it responsibly and feel good about it.

1. Let it grow. Consider putting all of that money or part of it into a high-yield savings account. Instead of just holding on to it, why not let it grow while it’s sitting in your savings? 

2. Invest. If you’ve been waiting on an injection of extra cash to take the first step, consider this your investment window. Finding the right investment opportunity for you and your financial outlook is much easier to do if you’ve got the cash on hand. 

3. Pay it off. This one ties in closely to suggestion No. 1. If you’ve got a credit card or loan accruing more interest monthly than you would gain in a CD or similar account, consider paying the credit card off. Take a look at your obligations and see if one of them can be knocked out all at once with a portion of that tax refund.

4. Give yourself a small treat. It’s all right to spend a little on yourself. You work hard on your budget, and, hopefully, figured out a financially responsible way to spend a major portion of that refund money. Take what’s left and buy yourself something fun.

Happy tax-refund season! Spend responsibly!


Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Why Credit Unions Want to Make Kids Financially Strong

All parents want their kids to grow up healthy.

financial educationBut most of the time that discussion focuses on getting them to eat more vegetables and spend less time in front of screens.

Too few think about their kids’ well-being in terms of their financial health.  In fact, one in four parents don’t even feel qualified to teach their kids about money because they themselves don’t feel like they’ve been good enough stewards of their own finances, according to a survey by the investment firm T. Rowe Price. And two-thirds of parents worry about setting a good financial example for their children.

A perilous future
Fewer and fewer workplaces offer guaranteed pensions, making saving for retirement the responsibility of the individual.  Yet mobile technology and targeted online ads are making shopping instantaneous, increasing the likelihood of young people finding themselves in personal debt and ever-ballooning student debt. And almost no young person uses a checkbook, let alone learns to balance one.

 On top of all that, only 17 states require a high-school course in personal finance. Perhaps that’s why 40% of young adults who live on their own still depend on their parents for money.

This is why credit unions are such a powerful resource for families. Credit unions recognize that kids learning to make smart money decisions is a quality-of-life issue, one that’s every bit as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Credit union strong
That’s why every April credit unions across the country celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month. Unlike other institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit, and one of their seven foundational principles is education. They genuinely want to see their members succeed and gain financial strength.

 So if you’re unsure how to teach your kids about money, start by talking to them. Look for teachable moments and bring the topic up naturally—without ever lecturing them.  Solicit their advice at the grocery store about what’s the best deal, and introduce the concept of money early with an allowance. Allow them to spend some of the money they earn, but also talk to them about the importance of giving and saving.

And lean on your credit union. Open a youth savings account and see what educational resources your credit union might offer. It could be one of the first steps you help your kids take toward a stronger, brighter future.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Before You Kick the Tires

Before you shop for your next car, check with the Cedar Falls Commnunity Credit Union. We can outfit you with money to plunk down and with information to help you get the best deal.

One of our loan officers will be happy to sit down with you and come up with a preapproved line of credit to buy that next vehicle. We'll even do that over the phone. That takes some of the pressure off when bargaining begins at the dealership. You can tell the salespeople you can write a check.

If you have a car to trade in, the loan officer can show you what it's worth. Our price guides show wholesale, retail, and finance values. Dealers usually allow a wholesale value on your trade-in and then offer it for sale at the retail value.

Armed with cash and confidence, you can start your search for a new vehicle. Find the make and model with the features you want. Jot down the features and their prices; you'll need them later. Ask the salesperson for the best cash price with and without a trade.

Then compare those prices with one or two more dealers (some shoppers do this by phone). Here's where you need to know what the features are worth. Rarely do two cars have identical features. If one dealer is higher priced but more convenient to you, see if the "convenient" dealer will match the lower offer.

Your final decision is whether to trade in your present car or sell it yourself. A warning: Rarely will you or the dealer get the retail value, unless your car is in exceptional condition or a popular model. Expect to sell it for the financing value, in which case it's up to you to decide whether it's worth the hassle of selling it yourself.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association, Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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