Update on our COVID-19 Procedures

As with most things, the future can be quite unpredictable. Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen changes many of us have never experienced. Some of those changes were for our safety, others not so much. In the days and months to come, we expect precautions against the spread of COVID and its delta variant to surge as more and more cases of infection are recorded.

While your account security and access to affordable products and services continue to be our top priorities, so too is your physical safety. As such, the likelihood of business closures and even disruptions in our lobby service may occur. Though we are doing everything necessary to prepare for such instances and to avoid any disruption in how we serve you, it’s important that we forewarn of these possibilities.

Please visit waunafcu.org or give us a call at 800-773-3236 before you plan to conduct any transaction in person. Remember, we have a wide array of digital solutions for you to utilize instead of coming into a location.

Per Governor Kate Brown’s mandate, all members and staff are required to wear masks in our branch lobbies, which are open by appointment. Please stay healthy. We appreciate your patience as we all navigate these ever-uncertain times.

Robert Blumberg Signature

Robert Blumberg, CEO and President

Do You Have Enough Insurance Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

The following post is courtesy of Cascade Crest Insurance, a subsiderary of Wauna Credit Union. CCI is a locally owned and operated independent full-service insurance agency serving all of Oregon and Washington. Whether you need insurance to cover you car, home, household, boat, business, or something else, Cascade Crest can help. Visit them at cascadecrestinsurance.com, or call 503-728-4391 to find out more.

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance coverage. Selecting the proper amount of insurance coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your homeowner’s policy. This is called “insurance to value.”

Understanding the insurance coverage for a rebuild:

What is insurance to value?
Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected and the amount required to rebuild your home. Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss.

Hammer

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?
A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions. The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area. It is important that you insure home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market or even tax assessment value.

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?
New-home builders typically build many homes at once and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale.

Home improvement prompt updates.
The recent stay-at-home orders have prompted many of us to look closer at our homes and provided extra time to consider home improvements. Stores have reported an uptick in buying material and shortage in the supply change which have both pushed prices up. If you got caught up in the effort to take advantage of time at home, please let us know what improvements you’ve made that could impact the need to adjust your insurance to value. 

Check out our home insurance plans and get a quote!

Credit Unions: The Better Choice

How We’re Better

The core difference between a credit union and a bank is we’re set up to serve the people who use us. That means we’re here for people, not investors. When you join the credit union, either by opening up a deposit account or by getting a loan, you become a member. With that membership you become an equal owner of the credit union. Compare that with a bank. Customers have no say in how a bank is run, instead it’s investors who hold all the power.

If you think that isn’t a big deal, look at the banks in our area. According to Nasdaq, Wells Fargo is almost 70% owned by investors. Not coincidentally, Wells Fargo announced it plans to shrink the number of branches it has from 5,400 to 4,000. That’s true for US Bank, which is nearly 75% investor owned, and has shrunk it’s branch footprint by 400 in the last year. Even local Umpqua Bank isn’t exempt. Umpqua is 89% investor owned, and announced last year a plan to close 13 – 22% of its branches to save money.

As you may guess, rural areas are hit especially hard. Less people means less opportunity to make a profit, and that means less service. These branch closures, which started during the financial crisis and have picked up steam since the current pandemic are creating banking deserts throughout rural America. That means not only is it harder to talk to somebody when you need to, but there’s a lot of evidence that simply growing up in a banking desert can negatively impact people their whole life.

Contrast that with WCU. In late 2019, we opened a branch in Forest Grove and already broke ground on a new state-of-the-art building to replace our current branch in Astoria.  Being in all these cities isn’t about the building. We’ve been rapidly expanding our online and digital capabilities to meet the needs of today’s consumers. In fact, we’d stack our digital options up against any bank. We know though, that sometimes you need to talk face-to-face with somebody, and that’s always part of our roadmap.

How We’re the Same

This part is a bit easier. Can you do it at a bank? Then you can at Wauna Credit Union too. In fact, studies show people tend to get better rates and have lower fees at a credit union than at a bank. That’s for both deposits and loans.

Can we really do everything that a bank can? Most people know about our deposit accounts, including money market and certificates. We’re known for our credit cards and vehicle loans, and people are learning how awesome our local mortgage team is for home loans, construction loans, home equity lines, and even investment loans. We have a full-service commercial lending and deposit program, and through our partnership with LPL Investments and our CUSO Cascade Crest Insurance, we can offer everything you need for your financial well-being.

Just as importantly, we employee local people from entry level to CEO. We understand the community, and we’re here. That means all decisions made are made by people who live and work here. We look at the individual, not just at numbers.

Removal of Most Covid-19 Restrictions

On June 30, 2021 Governors Brown (OR) and Insley (WA) lifted all restrictions regarding COVID-19 precautions that have been in effect since last year. OSHA has still not announced any changes, however, with the guidance from the states, we too are lifting the precautions.

This means:

  • Masks are no longer required in-branch. Anyone is welcome to continue to wear a mask should they feel more comfortable doing so.
  • We are not asking members to prove they’ve been vaccinated in order to enter the branch   
  • Vaccinated staff members have provided the necessary proof to WCU Human Resources 
  • Employees may unmask if they are 2 weeks past their final dose or are fully vaccinated otherwise
  • Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination two weeks past their final does MUST continue to wear a mask at work
  • Employees who are fully vaccinated, verified, and allowed to remove their mask may still choose to wear one

For those wishing to take increased precautions. We recommend all members use our U-Banking online and app banking, which is available 24/7, and our Video Teller Units to conduct your financial transactions and keep yourself safe. If you have questions regarding your accounts, please send us a secure message within U-Banking, or call the Virtual Branch at 800-773-3236 (Monday-Thursday 9 am – 5:30 pm, and Friday 9 am – 6 pm). In addition, our Video Teller Units are available Monday-Thursday 9 am – 5:30 pm, Friday 9 am – 6 pm, and Saturday 9 am – 3 pm)

June 2021 Monthly Statement Insert

Finance your fun for as low as 2.59% APR*

Cascade Crest Insurance may save you more! Ask for a quote.

*Qualifying loan types include motor home, travel trailer, boat, motorcycle, ATV, and watercraft.  Some restrictions apply and rates are subject to change without notice. Rates & terms offered based on applicant’s credit worthiness and term of loan. Membership with Wauna CU required. Federally insured by NCUA. Contact us by calling 800-773-3236 or visiting www.waunafcu.org.

Build Build Refinance with Wauna Credit Union
waunafcu.org, 800-773-3236, 24 7 Lending
Federally Insured by the NCUA, NMLS 421867
Equal Housing Lender

Statment Insert

Our Role in Stopping Human Trafficking

Many people don’t realize the essential role the financial services industry has in the fight against Human Trafficking. Often, the only time a trafficking victim talks to a person who can help is when they interact with frontline representatives at their credit union or bank. In addition, the type and location of financial transactions can indicate abuse, be it trafficking, elder abuse, forced labor, or something else. That is why at WCU one of our ongoing training topics is how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and what to if an interactions raises multiple red flags.

It’s so important to continually stay up-to-date about the signs of trafficking is the ever-changing reality of the forms it takes. COVID-19 has changed many things, and how abusers prey on vulnerable victims is one of them. With more people struggling with job loss and economic insecurity, and spending more times isolated from their support groups.

That’s why we’re staying vigilant, and continuing to educate ourselves, and work with other financial institutions to recognize the signs. We ask that our members learn the indicators that somebody they interact with may be at risk, or under the influence of an abuser or trafficker.

And if you need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH),1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTH is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTH is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.

2021 Scholarship Winners

The last year has shown us how resilient people can be, and maybe no group has been forced to change more than graduating seniors and college students. Every year we reward those hard-workers in our community, and this year, we are extra proud to award $9,750 in scholarships to nine students who have shown commitment to their studies and to the area. The winners demonstrate the great things that our young members are doing, and the great potential they have to change the future.

  • Ann Heyen (Warrenton); Ann is embarking on a future career in finance, at La Moyne College. Her ultimate goal is to open her own business and provide financial education.
  • Cade McDonald (Scappoose); Cade has already started his college career, taking dual credit classes and a class at PCC. He is planning on getting a B.S. in nursing, in an emergency or trauma setting.
  • Gabe Katon (Clatskanie); Gabe is heading to Lower Columbia College to study Psychology. He believes his time on the speech and debate team in high school helped prepare him for the future.
  • Jessica Butcher (Vernonia; Jessica is attending Portland Community College in order to get a degree in Nursing. After completing the two-year program, she plans to transfer to OHSU and earn her B.S. in Nursing.
  • Josiah Jones (Rainier); Josiah is enrolled at Northwest University, studying history and political science. He ultimately wants to return to the area to teach high school.
  • Kegan Roscoe (Astoria); Kegan is entering her sophomore year at Oregon State studying business and interior design. She ultimately wants to start her own business, and contribute back into the community.
  • Natalie Katon (Clatskanie); Natalie is off to Oregon State University, with the goal of entering the medical field. She’s excited to be working towards her degree at the same time as her dad attends a masters program. She credits her time in Leadership and track in setting her up for success.
  • Samuel Irwin (Warrenton); Sam is attending Oregon State University in the fall, and will major in biology. He wants to become a physician’s assistant, and give back to his community.
  • Shelby Blodgett (Clatskanie); Shelby will be attending Oregon Institute of Technology and studying Nuclear Medicine. She will also be continuing her athletic career, suiting up for the Owls basketball team.

The application period for Wauna Credit Union Scholarships will begin again in February 2022. The application deadline is later in the year, and winners are announced in June. All members that are high school seniors or recent high school graduates are eligible.

Free Financial Education

Financial Education is a key part of our purpose and our mission as a credit union. The pandemic has made it hard to meet face-to-face, and sadly kept us out of the schools, we’re still here to help. From online webinars on Paycheck Protection Loans, registering a business, and developing a business marketing plan, we’ve kept busy helping our commercial members.

For our consumer members, we’ve teamed with our partner BALANCE to offer completely free webinars to help with a variety of financial topics.

If you need a little more help, BALANCE offers free and confidential assistance for whatever life throws at you. that covers a variety of subjects.

See something you’re interested in? Register for any of these webinars free of charge.
MAY — FINANCIAL FIRST AID
A financial crisis can throw even the best money management plan into chaos. This session focuses on ways to gain control of a crisis. Participants will learn about financial assessments, expense prioritization, and effective negotiation with creditors.  

Session 1: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/2NSviLL  

Session 2: Thursday, May 20, 2021
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/2NSviLL    
           
JUNE — 30 WAYS TO TRIM YOUR BUDGET
Stretching your budget is a necessary step to achieving your financial goals. Learn smart ways to save on the things that impact your finances most, such as food, health care, insurance, and more.    

Session 1: Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/3b8D2m4    

Session 2: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/3b8D2m4                  

JULY — SAFEGUARDING KIDS’ IDENTITY AND ONLINE PRIVACY
Today’s youth generation is tech-savvy and connected online. However, parents still play an important role in helping them avoid online hazards such as identity theft, privacy and cyberbullying. This workshop covers important issues including online privacy tips, managing computer settings, smartphone apps, and positive online behavior.  

Session 1: Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/3wmZKja    

Session 2: Thursday, July 22, 2021
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Link: bit.ly/3wmZKja                  

Is it time to open a credit union account for your children?

How financially savvy are your kids?

Only about five percent of adults received any kind of financial education in school. This is a very sobering statistic and may even somewhat explain why consumers’ credit card and student loan debt is so high.

If you want to equip your kids with the tools to be financially secure adults, a good place to start is with a savings and/or checking account at a credit union. Once they see money going in and coming out, it can drive home a lesson about money management.

Wondering if they can handle the responsibility? Read on…

Savings accounts

Most kids can typically grasp the concept of a savings account early in their development. Here’s how to know if your children are ready to use one:

They’re curious about money
If your child expresses a genuine interest in coins, shopping, or anything related to money, this can be a good segue into a savings lesson: financial institutions allow you to put money aside until you really need it.

Their piggy bank is overflowing
If your kids have a lot of change in their piggy bank or saved elsewhere, watch out. It may disappear before your eyes! Make this an opportunity to teach them that if they save some of their money in an account, it can earn interest over time.

They have a savings goal
If your children are saving up for something big, this is the perfect time to introduce a savings account. They can make a deposit into the account so that they will not be tempted to spend all of their cash.

Checking accounts

Checking accounts tend to be suited better to older kids who have had more exposure to money. Here are some signs that your kids could benefit from a checking account:

They’re responsible
No matter how responsible you are, it can be tempting to withdraw more cash than you should. You might wait to open an account with your children until they demonstrate responsibility in other areas such as getting a drivers license or maintaining a part-time job.

Their school doesn’t teach personal finance
Most schools fail to teach basic concepts of personal finance, which means that it is up to you as a parent. A checking account can be a great way to reinforce lessons about not spending more than you have, using a debit card, and more.

All their cash is stuffed into their wallet
The wallet-as-checking-account is dangerous for several reasons. Not only can cash easily get lost, it’s hard to track your purchases. By contrast, an account statement lets you view all of your spending and withdrawal activity, which can be a handy budgeting tool.

If you’re eager to introduce your children to the world of personal finance, a credit union account is a good place to start. Just watch for the signs, and start when your kids are ready. You can learn more and even earn prizes during this month’s Credit Union Youth Month celebration at Wauna Credit Union.