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CFCCU Blog

Carelessness Can Cost You

Many Americans are concerned about someone stealing their credit card, check, or debit card numbers, but they may be ignoring one easy way thieves can access financial accounts: receipts.

Disregarding receipts that have valuable information greatly increases the risk of credit and debit card fraud. Thieves easily can find receipts with valid account numbers in trash cans. Some easy steps you can take to prevent thieves from stealing your financial information:

* Shred all preapproved credit offers, credit and debit card receipts, insurance forms, financial statements, and other paperwork containing personal and financial information;

* Check credit union statements and other financial statements monthly for discrepancies and order a credit report once a year to make sure no one else is using your personal information to obtain credit cards or services;

* Don't print your Social Security number on your checks and don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet; and

* Be hesitant about giving personal or financial information over the telephone--make sure you know the caller and know how the information will be used.


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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Get Out of Your Rental and Into Your Own Home

If you’ve been renting and waiting to buy your first home, now is a good time to make your move.
A number of industry analysts predict that interest rates will rise slightly over the year, while continuing to stay very affordable. Home prices are also expected to rise, now that more buyers are again competing for houses for sale.

But rental rates are rising and expected to continue to rise even more—as much as 20% in some communities—making it smart and cost-effective for first-time buyers especially to consider home ownership. Real estate website Trulia found it is cheaper to buy than to rent in each of the nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas.

 If you’re thinking about making the big move, do this now:

 * Check your credit reports for accuracy. Go to annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit report. If you find errors or omissions, fix the problems as soon as possible.

 * Review your savings. You will need money for a down payment as well as for the transition expenses of moving and setting up a new house. If your savings aren’t up to snuff, make that your priority for the next several months.

 * Talk to a Cedar Falls Community Credit Union home loan officer about prequalifying for a loan. This is the step just ahead of preapproval—it makes it possible for you to begin shopping for a house with your eyes wide open about what you can really afford. Your loan officer can help you prepare for the home buying process and help you line up your finances for success.

Check out this link for additional information: Zillow Rent Vs Buy

 

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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Scholarship Deadline Extended

Our deadline for the 2017 Scholarship applications has been extended to 28 February 2017. We will be giving two scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to any two incoming freshman, undergraduate, or graduate students. Students who will be attending an accredited college or already attend one can earn a scholarship by showing how they are financially responsible.

Eligibility: Applicants must have a Cedar Falls Community Credit Union account established in their ...own name and be a member in good standing. Cedar Falls Community Credit Union staff and directors and their immediate relatives are not eligible.

Stop in, call us, or visit our website, www.cfccu.org for additional information.

Information can also be found at: https://www.cfccu.org/ima…/CFCCU_Scholarship-2017-2018-2.pdf

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Manage Your Credit Cards Better

Under the pressure of job insecurity and widespread unemployment, U.S. consumers have actually reduced their collective credit card debt. But total U.S. credit card debt still exceeds $992 billion.

New Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act protections, most of which went into effect in February 2009, require card issuers to communicate better and disclose rates and other information more clearly. This should make it easier for consumers to monitor what they owe. But, new regulations can't prevent people from making poor debt management habits.
Here's some advice for controlling credit card use:

Actively manage your account. Open and examine your credit card statements promptly. Look for unauthorized use, of course, but also look for announcements from the issuer. Under the new rules, you must have 45 days' notice of a change in your card's terms, such as an interest rate increase. If you choose to "opt out" of the change, you no longer will be able to add new charges to your card, and will want time to get a replacement while you pay off the old balance.

Keep your credit score healthy. This number between 300 and 850 is a measure of your trustworthiness as a borrower. The higher your score, the easier it is to get a loan and, often, the more favorable the interest rate. The most important ways to maintain and improve your credit score is by paying all your bills on time and not taking on excessive debt.

Watch your card balance-to-limit ratio. It's OK to occasionally "max out" your credit card for important purchases, as long as you can pay it off in a few months. But over the long term, try to keep your total credit card debt to a reasonable 10% to 20% of your total credit limit. If the ratio gets much above 20%, and you can handle the payments, ask for a higher limit on your current card or get another one. Don't add new cards too often, though, and don't close several unneeded accounts in a short period—either move can lower your credit score.

Understand the overlimit option. The CARD Act allows you to choose what you want your card issuer to do when you try to go over your card's credit limit. If you "opt in," you can go over the limit for a fee. If you "opt out," your attempt to go over the limit will be declined.

If you don't already have a Cedar Falls Community Credit Union credit card, now's the time to get one. Contact us 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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You Can Qualify for a Low-Rate Mortgage

Mortgage rates are still very low.

Sadly some folks aren't able to qualify for these rates due to unemployment, stagnant wages, and low credit scores.

If you aren't qualifying for a refinance right now because of your credit score, Cedar Falls Community Credit Union can help you get your score in shape so you can refinance down the road.

To improve your credit score:

* Pay bills on time, all the time. This means all bills, including utility bills. Stay on top of due dates by setting up automatic payments through Cedar Falls Community Cred Union's online bill payment, available through our Online Banking.

* Don't max out credit lines. It's best to use part of available credit on a few accounts rather than all available credit on one account. Keep balances low and try not to charge more than you can pay in full each month.

* Don't open or close accounts as a strategy to raise your score. Opening new accounts can send a red flag to lenders that you're taking on new debt and might indicate that you won't be able to pay other debts.

* Check credit reports from the three major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion--for free, once each year through annualcreditreport.com, and contact the creditor and the credit bureau to correct any errors.

* Pay fines. Whether it's a parking ticket or a library fine, pay up. If debts are reported to a credit reporting agency, they can knock points off your credit score.

When you're able to refinance, visit Cedar Falls Community Credit Union. We can assure you we'll give you the best mortgage rate that you qualify for. 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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Fraud Prevention Text Alerts

Text Alerts to Protect Your CFCCU MasterCard

How much does it cost to use this service?

If you elect to receive e-mail consumer-selected alerts, there is no cost to you. If you elect to receive SMS consumer-selected alerts, alerts will be sent to your mobile phone via text message and standard text message and data rates assessed by your mobile carrier may apply. Please check with your mobile carrier to ensure that you own an SMS capable mobile handset that is registered on a carrier network and elected for a data plan that includes use of the mobile handset’s SMS capabilities.

What if I do not have text messaging on my mobile phone?

Text messaging capabilities on your mobile phone is required to receive SMS consumer-selected alerts. If your mobile phone is able to send and receive text messages, but you do not subscribe to this service, you will need to contact your mobile phone provider to add a text messaging feature to your phone plan.

How do I register for alerts?

Go to: https://alert.smsservicesnow.com/Landing/TMG0580

1. Click 'Register or Return'

2. Enter the requested information

3. Select any alerts you would like to receive

4. Click submit

What carriers currently participate in this service?

T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, Interop - Appalachian Wireless, US Cellular Corp®, Cincinnati Bell, Boost Mobile, Cricket Communications, Virgin Mobile USA, ALLTEL Communications Inc.

How long should it take to receive an alert?

Typically, responses arrive within one minute, but timing may vary. You may experience delays or failures in delivery of an alert because of any of the following circumstances: (1) merchant delay in processing a transaction; (2) delays and/or failures attributable to network operators and telecommunications providers; (3) if your mobile device is off or out of operating range of a carrier with an appropriate signal for SMS and/or data services; (4) a variety of other wireless service and coverage conditions; (5) active or passive filtering of e-mail messages; and (6) insufficient space in the email account that is to receive email messages.

I enrolled in the service on-line and never received a text message to complete my registration?

Your mobile phone may be blocked from receiving third-party text messages. Check with your carrier and ask them to remove the block from your phone.

If I am traveling outside of the U.S., can I receive text message alerts?

No. Messages can only be sent via U.S. carriers and will only be receivable in the U.S. If you live or travel outside of the U.S., you will need to specify an email address to begin receiving alerts to that email address.

Can I add multiple phone numbers?

Yes. If you are an authorized user, you can enroll as many mobile numbers and email addresses for an account as you wish. You may create a unique 10 character alphanumeric registration nickname per registration to assist you in identifying the card for which the alert is triggered.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

In most cases, your existing alert settings will be transferred to your new card number. Please review your settings online to ensure you continue receiving text messages or emails about potential fraudulent activity.

Why do I receive multiple messages with Pg1/2, Pg2/2?

Text messages are unique in that they can only hold 160 characters. Some commands require multiple messages to return all of the necessary information.

Is this service safe and secure?

Yes. Our first priority is to protect your personal information. If you ever receive a text message asking for your member number, account numbers or other personal information, please do not respond.

If my mobile phone number changes, what do I need to do?

In order to receive alerts to your new number, you will need to re-register your new mobile number by changing your phone number within your saved registration.

Can I register for different alerts on my mobile numbers versus my email addresses?

Yes, you will need to create 2 distinct registrations one for each destination.

How do I confirm alerts I've registered to my mobile numbers and email addresses?

Click 'Register or Return'. Enter the requested information. Review the alerts selected. If changes, proceed with what you'd like to change. Click 'Submit'. If no changes, Click 'Home' or exit browser.

Message and data rates may apply depending on your mobile carrier. For help after you have registered your card, text "HELP" to 59314. To cancel text alerts, reply "STOP" to any fraud alert from 59314. 

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Call for Volunteer Community Board Members

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union Seeks Members to Serve on Volunteer Board of Directors

The credit union philosophy of "people helping people" is central to the management of the Cedar Falls Community Credit Union.  If you share this belief and would like to make a difference for the credit union and the local community, we invite you to run for election for our Board of Directors. Eligible candidates must be a member in good standing and at least 18 years of age.  Applications are due by March 7th, 2017.

CFCCU board members serve a three-year term as unpaid volunteers. The commitment includes approximately 100 hours of service per year, including monthly meetings and a multiple-day planning session.

Applications are available ONLINE or by contacting Helen Pearce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Members will vote to elect the new board members at the Annual Meeting held at 5:30 PM, Tuesday, March 21st, 2017. The meeting will be held at the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitor Center, 6510 Hudson Road in Cedar Falls.

 

 If you are planning on attending the meeting please RSVP at any of the branches by close of business on March 17th, 2017.

 If you are interested in running for a position on the Board of Directors, please request a candidate application from Helen and return it by March 7th, 2017.  Or you can access a PDF file ONLINE and then mail that in once you have it completed.

Helen Pearce Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mailing address: Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, Attn Helen Pearce, 123 W 4th Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 Phone: (319) 266-7531

Responsibilities: As a volunteer Director, your duties will include strategic planning and setting the general policy for CFCCU, which enables management to carry out day-to-day operations.

Qualifications:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and a CFCCU member in good standing.

Applicants should also have a knowledge or willingness to learn about credit unions and business operations, along with a strong desire to serve the credit union movement.

Time commitment:

  • Serving as a Director requires a commitment of approximately 100 hours per year. 

Directors are encouraged to attend occasional conferences and required to complete self-study courses on credit unions and business topics.

Salary:

None

Positions:

There are three positions for three-year terms up for election this year.

Election Day:

  • Directors will be elected by CFCCU members who are in good standing and age 16 or older.

  • The Annual Meeting will be held Tuesday, March 21st, 2017.

  • The meeting will be held at the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitor Center, 6510 Hudson Road.

  • Nominations will not be accepted from the floor at the annual meeting.

 

Qualifications:

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Make Your Money Matter

Wells Fargo has had a tough time in the news. From their failed STEM ad campaign to their recent fake accounts scandal, things are not looking good for the banking giant.

At first, their CEO released a statement saying it's not a matter of culture, but when 5,000 employees are let go for fraudulent behavior, it's certainly a matter of culture. Wells Fargo employees signed customers up for 2 million accounts without their knowledge.

This leads to a larger conversation about global banking. In the credit union world, we often tell people to "Make your money matter." Sure, your money matters at a big bank, often because it's used to line someone else's pockets, and (often) the pocket-lining is at the expense of the financially vulnerable. At a big bank, money matters to someone, but it's not on your behalf, or your family's, or your community.

And it isn't the fault of the teller or branch manager. It is a cultural problem. With high pressure sales goals to just get to the bottom line, people begin to do unethical things to keep their job and provide for their family.

There's a serious problem when profits are placed over people—over customers and over the employees who actually earn money for the company. Employees deserve to be compensated fairly for the customers they serve and results they deliver, but you simply cannot succeed as a business if delivering results is not for the people you serve.

At a credit union, you know your money matters. The credit union business model is not-for-profit and is literally to serve members. You're part owner, so your opinion matters. The seventh cooperative principle, concern for your community, is ingrained in each and every credit union. It's about equality, equity and mutual self-help. When one person rises, so does everyone.

So, if you're reading this, maybe you have an auto loan or credit card through your credit union but aren't a regular checking account holder. Consider making a smarter choice, ditching your bank and doing business with a credit union.

Together, we can make a difference. For good

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Make FAFSA Easy

The worst part of being a college student, besides dining hall food and always being broke, is finding financial aid. There's nothing that will get you down in the dumps more than coming up with thousands of dollars for your education.  What's slightly less painful is filing the free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA, each year.

The hardest part about filing your FAFSA is usually convincing your parents to file their taxes right away. The actual application itself is not that difficult, and once you've done it for the first time, it's a piece of cake. Students whose parents are on an even salary have a pretty good idea about how much aid they'll get the next year. Students who work or have parents who own their own business may have income that fluctuates a great deal every year. Regardless, these FAFSA facts will blow you away!

First, file as soon as you can.
It's not just some myth that financial aid is first come, first served. There's an option to estimate your household income based on last year's taxes, so do that LITERALLY RIGHT NOW so you can make sure you get it taken care of right away. Then, once you and your parents file, remember to file a correction. While you're at it, set a reminder for January 1 of next year.

Use that handy IRS Data Retrieval tool.
The data retrieval tool makes it easier for the IRS to confirm your income information, meaning you're less likely to be sent verification forms. If you've never received a verification form, it's a painful and lengthy application to prove your income.

It's also a good idea to research your state's filing deadlines.
There's really no excuse to miss out on thousands of dollars because you don't want to file your FAFSA before your state's filing deadline. You can easily locate this information on the FAFSA website, FAFSA.gov.

While we're on the topic of websites, don't fall for a fake FAFSA website.
There are plenty of fake FAFSA sites out there ready to steal your identity, which frankly can be a bigger problem than having no money for college. The only legitimate FAFSA website out there is FAFSA.gov. That's it. There's no FAFSA.com or .net. The .gov, secure mark and ://https by the URL signifies that the website is safe and okay to input your personal information.

Last and easiest piece of advice: Don't wait to apply for a pin number.
When you have the pin number, write it down and keep it somewhere safe. It can take weeks to get a pin during peak application season, but only a matter of minutes during the off-season. This is quite possibly the simplest part of the entire process, so hop to it!

Now, all you need is your 1040 (or other tax return document), bank statements detailing your family's net worth, and you're ready to file. Getting to this point is the hardest part. If you're struggling, check to see if your college or local credit union offers free filing counseling. This could give you peace of mind before filling out such an important document.

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CFCCU My Alerts for Your MasterCard

my alert bannerThe "bad guys" are working overtime to try and steal your money.  You’ve pobably heard the saying, “the best defense is a good offense.” It’s best to be proactive about your finances to avoid getting swindled.  The times are changing and we need to be aware of what the "bad guys" might be up to.

There are many ways to create safeguards to keep constant tabs on your financial health. It is  recommended that you limit the amount of money you keep in checking accounts so thieves can’t drain your money with a few clicks. If you use an ATM be aware that those "bad guys" may have placed a skimmers on the ATM.  A good "tug" on the ATM slot will make sure there in notning attached. Passwords should get changed regularly and never access financial information from unsecured WiFi. All these rules help provide a layer of defense in an increasingly technologically advanced world.  There is one more way you can fight credit card fraud and that is with transaction alerts.

CFCCU now offers credit card transaction alerts.

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is so prevalent; it’s unlikely you’ll make it through your lifetime without getting hit at least once.

Once your card’s information (or physical card) falls into the hands of a crook, your only recourse is to alert your credit card company, cancel the card and be issued a new number. But it’s helpful to know the fraud is happening from the first bad transaction.

We have sophisticated fraud detection on our cards and we will likely get to you before you even notice the charges racking up, but it’s helpful if you’re alerted right away as well.

Setting up text message alerts is best way to stay aware of all credit card transactions. Plus, it keeps you in tune with how many credit card transactions you’ve made in the day. Not a bad way to keep within your budget.

The transaction alerts are instantaneous, so if you see an alert for a purchase you didn’t make, it’s easy to contact your credit union and shut down the fraudulent activity.

To sign up for CFCCUs My_Card Alerts, follow the link:

https://alert.smsservicesnow.com/Landing/TMG0580

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Minimalize Your Life and Finances

The home decorating business is a billion dollar industry, and for good reason. Nothing makes a house feel like a home quite like photos, artwork, and end tables. Before you know it, you're buying more odds and ends from your Pinterest board so your home can look like it's from an episode on HGTV.
If this Dave Ramsey quote applies to you, it might be time to reconsider your lifestyle: "We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like."

In response to this, the minimalist lifestyle is catching steam. From tiny houses to spare, clean bedrooms, it seems as though these self-proclaimed minimalists have really good design taste. But the truth is they've readjusted their mindset to appreciate the things they have and purge the things that don't bring joy.

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle can help you emotionally and financially. How?

1. Organizing is great! But not having to organize your clutter every week (or month, we don't judge) is even better. Simply put, when you don't have as much "stuff" to consume your space, you'll have more time to enjoy with your friends and family.

2. You stop wasting money on items that don't serve any purpose. Saving money is not the ultimate goal of minimalism, but it is a nice side effect. How many times do you find yourself shopping and buying something you never wear, eat or use? Think about how much money you've wasted on unnecessary junk in your life. Once you rid yourself of those purchases, you have more money to spend on items and experiences that actually bring light into your life.

3. You feel happy and less stressed in your home environment. Is most of your cleaning simply hiding messes in drawers? Are there drawers bursting with potholders, pens and other odds and ends? That can cause anxiety! Once you get rid of items you don't need, everything seems to feel lighter and less stressful.

4. You realize you're not defined by what you own, or by what others think of you. In the end, it doesn't matter if your coworkers or friends are impressed by the car you drive. You can't pay your bills with someone's opinion.

5. You stop wasting time and effort in the sale section. Okay, this is only half true. You can still try to find a good bargain, but when you realize you don't need as much, you can afford items with higher value. By only purchasing what you need, you free yourself of unnecessary card swiping.

6. You begin to realize that contentment doesn't come from what you own, but from how you feel about yourself. Money can buy you happiness to an extent, but it will never satisfy you completely.

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle doesn't have to mean making big changes in your life. But it does mean committing to ridding your life—and finances—of clutter. The best way to start is by grabbing your checking account statement and analyzing your monthly purchases. If everything you've purchased has somehow enhanced your life, great! If not, you may want to start there. Happy minimizing!


Copyright 2016 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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2017 Iowa Consumer Survey - Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card

SurveyImage

We invite you to participate in the Iowa Credit Union League’s consumer survey for a chance to win a $50 ATIRA gift card. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete, there is no purchase necessary and it is open to the general public.

The data gathered from the responses will help us inform the media and other audiences about consumer opinions, behaviors and their outlook on the economy. All results will be kept completely anonymous.

The survey is open through Friday, Dec. 30.  Follow this Link to the Survey

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5 Ways to Get Social Security Help

Do you have questions about Social Security? It can be difficult to get the answers you need. Follow these suggestions to limit frustration when seeking out answers:


1. Go on the website. Some of your questions can be easily answered at SSA.gov without the need of a phone call.
2. Call towards the end of the week. The SSA says that wait times are longest on Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Make an appointment. Schedule a face-to-face meeting so that you aren't on a time crunch and can get detailed answers to your questions.
4. Try more than one office. If the office in your town isn't that helpful to you, it might be beneficial to try an office a little farther away.
5. Ask for a technical expert. People in this position are higher up and could be better at answering your questions.


Source: CNBC

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We Are Where You Are

 

Whether you're away on business or pleasure, your finances don't have to be put on hold—thanks to shared branching.
Shared branching is a network of credit unions that actually "share" their branches with one another. And, Cedar Falls Community Credit Union is one of the participants.

This way, if you travel, change jobs, or move away you still can find a credit union branch ready to meet your needs.
How does it work? Just find any credit union that displays the "Swirl" logo. To find which credit unions are shared branching participants, call 800-919-CUSC (2872) or visit www.sharedbranching.org. You'll be asked to enter your zip code or street address and the system will find participating shared branching credit unions in your area.

Using a shared branch is just as safe as using your home branch. Members of shared branching credit unions generally can conduct these transactions:

    * Deposit checks and cash
    * Withdraw cash
    * Make loan payments
    * Transfer money between accounts
    * Receive statement printouts
    * Purchase money orders
    * Purchase traveler's checks
    * Purchase certified checks

Because you're a member of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, you can use any shared branch--just like you'd use your regular branch. In good times or bad—say, following a natural disaster that makes it impossible to get to the credit union—you'll value the convenience.

For more information call: 319-266-7531 today.

Copyright 2016 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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Skimming On the Rise

skimmerATM skimming is on the rise in the Cedar Valley, and there are a number of steps you can take to protect your card number, your PIN and your money from the bad guys.

What is Skimming?

Skimming is a process where a device is attached to an ATM, a gas station card reader or a postage stamp kiosk that allows the bad guys to steal your financial data and your money. 

A lot of the time, the bad guys will also place a hidden camera somewhere in the vicinity with a view of the key pad in order to record personal identification numbers. The camera may be in the card reader, mounted at the top of the ATM, or even just to the side inside a plastic case holding brochures. Some criminals may install a fake PIN pad over the actual keyboard to capture the PIN directly, bypassing the need for a camera. If you something that looks suspicious find another ATM.

What to Look For

Check for obvious signs of tampering on the ATM, on the card reader itself, near the speakers, the screen, and the keypad. If something looks different, such as a different color or material, graphics that aren't aligned correctly, or anything else that doesn't look right, don't use the ATM.You should also push and pull at everything. ATMs are solidly constructed and generally don't have any loose parts.

Safety Tips

If the ATM or card reader seems safe, insert the card with a bit of a wiggle to the motion. A card skimmer needs the stripe to go in a single motion so it can read the data correctly. Wiggling the card as you enter it in the slot won't interfere with your transaction, but it may foil a skimmer.

If you are using your debit card at a gas station you are given a choice of "debit" or "credit".  Debit requires that you use your PIN number.  Choose credit and then there is no risk your pin will be stolen. Another important tip is if you are going to use your PIN, say at an ATM to get cash, cover your hand when you enter the number sequence on the PIN pad. This will reduce the chances that a camera will capture your PIN.

Check Your Account Statements

Remember to check your account statements regularly to identify fraudulent transactions, and if you find any, report them to the credit union immediately. Criminals may use stolen card details infrequently to minimize the chances that a bank or credit union will detect unusual transactions.

If you don't already use online or mobile banking, it's worth considering. Logging in on a daily or weekly basis will help you to identify fraudulent transactions quickly and report them much sooner.

Questions? If you have questions or concerns about ATM skimming, contact us at 319.266.7531or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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2017 CFCCU Scholarships

Cedar Falls Community Credit Union is offering scholarships to encourage students to increase their financial education. Students who will be attending an accredited college or already do attend college can earn a scholarship by showing how they are financially responsible.

Two scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to any two incoming freshman, undergraduate, or graduate student.

Eligibility

  1. Applicants must have a Cedar Falls Community Credit Union account established in their own name and be a member in good standing.
  2. Cedar Falls Community Credit Union staff and Directors and their immediate relatives are not eligible.

Application Process

Applicants must supply their resume and essay together as one PDF attachment sent to the following e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applicants who choose to submit a hard copy must bring the resume and essay to the Cedar Falls Community Credit Union main branch at 123 W. 4th Street in Cedar Falls.

All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 10, 2017.

Entry Requirements

All entries are reviewed prior to judging, and those that do not adhere to the rules are not judged.

A. Essay

    1. Entrants are required to write an essay of approximately 500 words on the following topic:  As you graduate from high school, you will have opportunities to pay bills, establish credit, budget, and spend. You may be offered a credit card and may finance all or some of your college education using loans, but your repayment of these credit cards and loans will become the foundation of your credit history.

Your essay should reveal your knowledge and feelings about credit unions, youth financial products, and any other financial services that are beneficial to you or other students. What are your feelings about your Credit Union and what products and services are you needing in your life.

  1. The essay must be the original work of the entrant.
  2. The essay must be typed or computer printed, double-spaced on white 8 ½ x 11-inch paper.

B. Resume

  • Entrants are required to submit a business-style resume, computer typed on 8 ½ x 11-inch white paper. The resume should not exceed two pages in length, and should at least contain the following information:
  • Entrant's full name/address/phone number
  • Educational information/most recent school attended/degree received/overall GPA (include ACT/SAT scores if applicable)
  • Grade point average from the most recent year
  • Honors and awards
  • Extracurricular activities (school and/or community activities)
  • Work experience
  • Future educational plans

Judging

  1. Judging will be conducted by several judges selected from Cedar Falls Community Credit Union’s Board of Directors and staff.
  2. Each judge will award a maximum of 50 points total between the resume and essay. Judges will base their scores for the essay on originality, clarity, meaningful content, spelling, neatness, and grammar/punctuation. The resume will be judged on presentation, school and/or community involvement, and potential of the student to be successful in college.
  3. Results will be tabulated by someone not on the judging panel and we will then declare the winners. All decisions of the credit union are final. Winners will be announced in June 2017.
  4. All scholarship entries become the exclusive property of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union and will not be returned.

Administrative/Award Procedures

  1. Recipients must begin studies during the 2017-2018 academic year.
  2. Incoming freshman recipients must be enrolled as a full-time student at any vocational, trade, 2-year or 4-year college approved for the guaranteed student loan program. Undergraduate and Graduate recipients must be enrolled at an approved college, but are not required to be full-time.
  3. Scholarship funds will be forwarded when written verification is received from the college registrar where the student is enrolled. At that time, the winner’s check will be made payable to both the winner and the college and mailed to the winner.
  4. Funds are encouraged to be used only for tuition, room and board, books or educational supply expenses.
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Millennials: Six Reasons to Choose a Credit Union

It's no surprise: Mainstreet.com reports that millennials are ditching banks for local, cooperatively owned credit unions. The customer-friendly service and simple, straightforward solutions that you demand are found at local, cooperatively owned financial institutions, so it makes sense. Just in case you're still asking, here are six other reasons to choose credit unions over banks:

  1. Loans R us. You may need to secure loans, even if your credit isn't in great shape. While banks tend to turn away millennials with low credit scores, credit union lenders roll up their sleeves and get to work.
  2. We're real people. You want to text or talk to a real person and get what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. Credit unions are about people helping people.
  3. Got mobile. You demand access to your accounts whether you are at home or on the move. Credit unions offer tech and mobile services at the same level as banks.
  4. Cool deals. You're a smart social-media consumer who quickly identifies and shares opportunities, including for car loans or mortgages. Credit unions have the lowest rates and best terms.
  5. It's all about community. You value the role you play in your community. Out in the community is where credit unions can be found.
  6. Low fees work. You're on a tight budget. Credit unions charge lower overdraft fees than banks, more free checking and lower or no out-of-network ATM fees. Fewer fees at your credit union mean lower overall prices for top-quality financial services. If you're not a member of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union already, we want to meet you. Visit any of our convenient branches or check out our website www.cfccu.org to get a glimpse of what we offer. If you're already a member, thank you. We'd love to hear from you. Stop today or call (319) 266-7531.  

Copyright 2015 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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New Scam Tries to Circumvent Chip Cards

While chip cards reduce credit card fraud, new scams are proving they won’t completely stop it. Consumers still need to keep their guard up to avoid being the victims of identity theft.

The new EMV cards contain a microchip that generates a new number every time the card is used at a pay terminal utilizing your PIN, making skimming--stealing the card’s information using an illegitimate card reader--almost impossible. Oct. 1 was the deadline for credit card issuers to issue new cards and for retailers to update their processing machines. In the event of credit card fraud after that date, whichever entity has not complied with the new law is responsible for the loss.  But only about 40% of Americans have received new cards from their credit card companies, according to CreditCards.com, leaving an open window for opportunistic thieves.

The scam artists send bogus emails posing as the credit card company, claiming they need updated account information or asking the recipient to click on a link to continue the process, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Performing either of those actions will expose you to risk, giving the scammers access to information they can use to hijack your identity or install malware on your computer that could provide them with your passwords and financial information.

FTC said in a blog post about this scam: “There’s no reason your card issuer needs to contact you by email--or by phone, for that matter--to confirm personal information before sending you a new chip card.”

To identify a fake email, look for these tell-tale signs:

  • A fishy email address. If it looks overly long or otherwise clearly not associated with your credit card issuer, then delete;
  • A generic salutation. Does the email begin with “Dear Customer” and appear to know very little about you? Most legitimate emails include the last four digits of your credit card number; 
  • A suspicious link to your account. Never click on a link in an email--it’s safer to just go to your account login manually using a bookmark or typing the URL. If you have any questions about your card, call the 800-number on the back. And while the new EMV cards are safer--they’re not perfect.
  • Even if you’ve already received your EMV cards, it’s still important to check your account often, and report any unusual activity to your card issuer.

Copyright 2016 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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Love Your Credit Union

Everyone is looking for ways to save money, and that's just what Love My Credit Union Rewards is all about. Cedar Falls Community Credit Union is excited to offer you exclusive discounts and benefits on products and services you use every day. Credit union members have already saved nearly $2 billion with Love My Credit Union Rewards discounts. So along with lower loan rates and fewer fees, here’s another way you can save even more.

Now through December 31, 2016 receive a $200 reward card when you activate a new account with Sprint. Plus receive a 10% discount on select regularly priced Sprint monthly data service. Valid in conjunction with other credit union and most Sprint National handset offers and promotions.

  • Save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products! 
  • Get an exclusive smoke communicator and a $100 gift card with a new ADT monitored home security system. 
  • Get trusted protection at true savings with TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program. 
  • Shop and get cash back at over 1,500 online retailers with Love to Shop

Start saving today at LoveMyCreditUnion.org. You get all these offers and discounts just for being a member of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union.

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