October 2019 Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Our October anniversary celebrants are scary good at what they do.

Marti Gwin – 3 years

What is your current position?
I’m the VP of Compliance. The Compliance department assists the entire credit union with keeping up with the many regulations the credit union must comply with. My department is also directly responsible for the Cannabis Business accounts. Compliance is important because there are so many regulations that financial institutions must comply with and we make sure the credit union is aware of any changes and are continually looking at our processes to see if we are doing the things we are required to do. We don’t get to interact with the members directly but what we do has a big impact on keeping our members assets safe, and making sure the credit union can offer as many new services as possible while remaining financially sound.

Compliance is important because there are so many regulations that financial institutions must comply with and we make sure the credit union is aware of any changes and are continually looking at our processes to see if we are doing the things we are required to do. We don’t get to interact with the members directly but what we do has a big impact on keeping our members assets safe.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have always been a people person and I appreciate the focus the credit union has on it’s members. I believe that relationships are what matter and it’s good to work for a company that shares that view.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Well, I just started taking horseback riding lessons again after a 25 year hiatus. Teresa, who leads our accounting team, and I do it together and it has been a lot of fun. Eventually I’d like to be able to do some jumping again but right now we are working on the basics again.

Marti and Teresa on horses
Marti and her colleagues enjoy their time together so much, they look to spend their free time together too.

Sarah Jones – 2 years

What is your current position?
I am the credit union’s Internal Auditor. I evaluate different areas of the credit union to ensure we have adequate policies and procedures in-place. My position reaches across all areas of the credit union. I not only get to learn about the departments, I also am able to connect with more of our amazing employees.

Sarah and her husband at the lake
Sarah and her husband love to spend time outdoors

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna I have learned more about the credit union movement as a whole. There is so much advocacy that takes place behind the scenes to ensure that credit unions can continue serving their members/owners for years to come.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My husband and I plan on picking back up a hobby we used to do regularly, mountain biking.

Nikole Young – 1 year

Nikole and her husband
Nikole has called Clatskanie home since marrying her husband, a Clatskanie native

What is your current position? 
I am the Creative & Design Specialist. I manage visual-related items for the credit union, to get the word out about how we love to serve our members.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working for Wauna Credit Union has taught me to be a better citizen in my community. We do a lot of philanthropic and humanitarian work here at the credit union to support our local communities. It has inspired me to volunteer and give back on my own free time, further assisting the people I love and admire.


  • Sharon Borgardt – 25 Years
  • Robert Blumberg – 12 Years
  • Sara Kulp – 8 Years
  • Kailynn Daum – 8 Years
  • Samantha Wiser – 7 Years
  • Dianna Phipps – 6 Years
  • Riley Woodall – 2 Years
  • Christy Davis – 1 Year
  • Melissa Coffey – 1 Year

October Statement Insert – Credit Cards, Wauna Car

Rewards For Every Individual
Convert your Platinum Visa account to a Visa Rewards and earn rewards points. Use your Visa Rewards Card this holiday season. Earn double points Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 Triple points Nov. 29 – Dec. 2

Members using their Wauna Credit Union Visa Rewards Credit Card will earn double rewards points (two rewards points for each $1 purchase transaction) for purchases transacted between November 1 and December 31, 2019. Cardholders will earn triple rewards points (three reward points for each $1 purchase transaction) for purchases transacted on these specified dates: November 29 – December 2 (includes Black Friday, Show Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday); and, December 22-26. Double and triple points do not apply to balance transfers or cash advances, and reward points are non-transferable. Membership with Wauna Credit Union required. Complete promotion details available at waunafcu.org. This special offers ends December, 31, 2019.

Wauna Credit Union
24/7 Lending
Federally insured by the NCUA

It’s a Wauna Car Winter
Finance through Wauna Car
Receive 1.5% Rebate*

Wauna Credit Union members (current and new) who use the Wauna Car buying service to select a vehicle for purchase and use the Wauna Car online loan application for a qualifying (new or used auto, truck, SUV, van, hybrid, electric) will become eligible to receive an immediate cash rebate equal to 1.5% of the funded loan value. Minimum loan amount funded to qualify for the cash rebate offer: $5,000; maximum rebate amount: $500. Cash rebates paid to members may be forfeit if the loan balance is paid in full within 180-days of the loan funding date. No other special terms may be added to this offer. The 1.5% cash rebate offer ends at close of business December 31, 20193 Membership with Wauna CU required to be eligible for this special offer.

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Federally insured by the NCUA

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Questions to Consider When Buying a Vehicle

Our VP of Consumer Lending Norm Dufton has spent over 25 years helping people buy cars. He was nice enough to write out some of his thoughts on car buying.

So often done at the spur of a moment, buying a car can be an emotional action. This normally ends in a buyer overpaying for a car that may not be what they want. It’s important to ask yourself some important questions.

Did it live in Canada or the Northern US?

We appreciate our mild winters here, but Being in the far north, they have road salts and the unusual factor of “hours” on the engine. This isn’t always obvious in the miles driven, but cars run to keep warm.

Did you run a Carfax or Autocheck

This can have valuable info about previous accidents, where the car came from. It also often has maintenance records. This will catch most repairs, but it’s important to remember that these aren’t a guarantee that there have no accidents. Work by small shops that do the repair for cash, or even from a car rental may not be reported.

How many owners has it had?

While it’s certainly not true for every vehicle, the more owners a car or truck has had, the more likely it is to have issue. A multiple owner vehicle hurts resale value when you’re ready to sell. That doesn’t mean a multiple owner car or truck isn’t a good deal, just make sure you are aware of its history, and factor that history into the price you pay.

Has it been reconditioned?

Reconditioning is the process done by many high-quality lots where they have the car evaluated, back maintenance and repairs made. Most of the cars on Wauna Car have been reconditioned. They may touch up scratches. Is the car for sale private party? From a new car franchise? From a car lot that just has inexpensive cars? With private party cars and some small lots with inexpensive cars may or may not do reconditioning. How can I know if these things have been done? You may not. Some lots just clean a car, band aid any needed repairs and sell the car.

Am I paying market value?

This too is a tough thing to know. There are places like Kelley Blue Book and the NADA guide. These are good estimates of value and are often used by lenders to figure how much they will lend. These guides are very good for vehicles that have a lot of comparable sales and have normal miles. They do their best, but if a car doesn’t have many comparable sales, they can be off, high or low. A good example is a car with high miles. There is a mileage adjustment, but it does take condition or how marketable a car will be if resold. Our lending team can help with the value of a vehicle if needed.

Will maintenance be expensive?

When buying a car, where its bought, the condition, the miles, the level of maintenance. If its dependable, what will it cost to insure? Is maintenance expensive? I did some research and was surprised to find the Chrysler Sebring, Chevy Cobalt, Subaru Forrester, Ram 1500, Dodge Grand Caravan, Mazda 6 were all in the top 20 for most expensive cars to maintain. While the least expensive were the Prius, Kia Soul and other small cars. The credit union does offer service contracts that can help offset the cost of unexpected vehicle issues, but remember that his always optional, whether you get your car through us or somebody else. And if somebody does make it mandatory, take that as a cue to run away.

This is why one should take their time, consider, narrow things down and check on the models you like, then start the search.

How can I confirm the vehicle I am looking to purchase is in good, working order?

Find a good deal on a well-planned choice to take the emotion out of buying a car. Use a used car checklist, and have the vehicle looked at by a disinterested 3rd party. You can find a lot online, but this one from Nationwide is a good one. Your personal mechanic if you have one will be best. Don’t use a shop recommended by the seller. They may be associated.

What should I consider when purchasing my first car?

For your first car, you should consider reliability and a car you can have a strong expectation of low cost of ownership. This way you don’t have many unexpected costs for repairs. Low miles and newer instead of trying to find what you really want. Give yourself some experience with car payments and other costs of ownership.

Welcome to Wauna Credit Union Car Corner

Whether you’re buying your very first car, or your fifteenth, there’s always questions to be asked. After 25 years of helping the residents of Clatsop, Columbia, Western Washington and Pacific counties, the fine folks at Wauna Credit Union have seen a car purchase or two.

We of course would love it if you wanted to finance a car through us, either through our online car portal Wauna Car, or by talking to one of our helpful in-branch or Virtual Branch Member consultants. The thing that’s most important to us though is that you have all the information you need when you’re looking to buy.

Below are some blog entries from the team to help you on your car or truck buying adventure.

Bootiful Pet Costume Contest

We all know that each of us has the coolest, cutest, and most photogenic pet. Well now, through the end of October In partnership with Cascade Crest Insurance we’re announcing our Bootiful Pet Costume Contest.

Simply post a picture of your dog, cat, horse, or even iguana in their favorite costume to this Facebook post to enter. The post with the most reactions wins $50, and 2nd and 3rd place will also win prizes. (For the full rules click here.)

Why a pet costume contest you ask? That’s a great question. It’s not just because Wauna Credit Union Members now get a 5% discount on Pet Insurance. Thanks to Cascade Crest Insurance. We wanted to raise awareness of a very important item. Did you know that Halloween is actually one of the most dangerous times of the year for pets? With all the noise and comings and goings, it’s actually the second most common holiday for pets to get lost. 

Halloween Facts about Pets

September 2019 Anniversaries

Audrey McTague – 6 years

What is your current position?
I am a Training Specialist II (just promoted). My main job is to teach our member consultants how Wauna Credit Union does loans, specifically but not limited to, The Fundamentals of Lending, Understanding the Credit Report, the Art of an Interview, as well as how to use our back-end systems. I have also learned to do onboarding new employees and new account opening as well.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have learned the power of really reading the credit report and deciphering what’s really going on with the members finances. Bad things happen to good people and it’s up to us to find a solution rather than automatically declining a loan.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would love to start hiking at all national parks in Washington & Oregon.

Laura Lovegren – 4 years

What is your current position?
I am the Operations Support Manager. My day includes making sure all the behind the scene wheels are turning. We do everything we can to make sure electronic services happen smoothly, and we are a first line against protecting our members from fraud.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
My very favorite thing about working for Wauna is that it is a learning organization. I have worked several different positions within the credit union and am currently in my “dream job”. I was encouraged by mentor to find my Blue Flame and the place where I burn the brightest. Operations is an are I am passionate about and feel I can thrive.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby it would probably be to spend more time at concerts. I could easily hit the road and follow some of my favorite artists around the country.

Hannah Coffey – 3 years

What is your current position? 
I’m currently a Member Consultant Level II in the Astoria Branch. Every year my job changes, and everyday I learn new ways to assist our members with their daily needs, whether it’s basic transactions, new accounts, loans, or whatever else they need to build their financial well-being.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
When I first started at Wauna, I mainly did teller transactions. Now I’m closing out my third year here and have learned so much – too much to list in a couple of sentences. Throughout my time here I’ve definitely grown as an individual as well as a team player, and have found new ways to improve relationships with everyone I talk to, in addition to tasks within the credit union.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby outside of traveling (which I always want to do more of), it would definitely be skydiving. I’ve gone once before, but can only imagine how cool it would be to do it on a regular basis and eventually be able to go by myself.

Hannah is always up to take a hike

Lidia Sanchez – 3 years

What is your current position?
I’m a real estate loan processor out of the Astoria branch. My job is to assist the real estate loan officers on the Coast while also assisting members with their mortgage lending needs, like home equity loans or purchasing/refinancing. I also go out in the community and build relationships with our business partners.

Lidia loves spending time with her son and showing him what makes the coast so special

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
My journey with the credit union started in 2014 and I’ve been in many different roles since I’ve been here but I am definitely loving my current position and all of the things I’ve learned while working in the mortgage department. While helping members build their financial well-being, I’ve learned how to better myself financially and that helps me while assisting members because I can speak from experience. I also know what to expect when the time comes for me to buy a house.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Photography would be my hobby. I love being creative and finding beauty in unexpected places and to be able to take pictures of what I find interesting or beautiful and share them with people would be so rewarding.

Michael Murdoch – 2 years

What is your current position? 
I’m the credit union’s Communication Specialist. What I love most about this position is that more often than not my voice gets to be the voice of the organization. It’s truly charming to open a paper or online article and observe your words out there for all to see – it’s quite the opposite to find a typo, however.

Michael and elephant
Michael visits his old pet Stampy

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
People are people and they are dynamic and thoughtful and wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful. To be constantly educating and reeducating yourself so that you might better serve another (sometimes someone you may never meet) is a forever-learning experience.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Train-surfing. I know, I know, it sounds nutty; but I love to travel and have surfed one train south of Paris and another in Guangzhou, China. I’d love to train-surf the Siberian Railway, but I would also become an ice-block during this venture, so maybe my hobby then could be cooling really large drinks.


  • Danea Passmore – 14 Years
  • Ian Wiggins – 5 Years
  • Brittany Warren – 4 Years
  • Ericka Barnett – 2 Years
  • Brady Leach – 1 Year
  • Ro Allison – 1 Year

September 2019 Statement Insert: Call for Nominations

Call for Board Nominations

Candidate applications are now available for the Wauna Credit Union volunteer Board of Directors. Learn more and apply today. Retrieve an application at your local branch, by mail, or by visiting waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections.shtml.

To be considered by the Board Nomination Committee, submit completed applications by close of business on Friday, November 8, 2019. Applications may be delivered in person to any branch or by mail: Attn. Governance Committee, PO Box 67, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Our 53rd Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 6: 30 pm at the Erlene Darby Learning Center, located at 49249 HWY 30, Westport, OR.

Contact the Board Governance Committee at gcomm@waunafcu.org if you have questions.

Wauna Credit Union
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International Credit Union Day

October 17th
Local Service Global Reach
Refer a friend in October and you’ll each receive $50
Visit waunafcu.org or any branch for complete Refer a friend qualification details.

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Expanded Saturday Hours

In order to better optimize member service, we have decided to end Saturday hours at our St. Helens and Warrenton branches and instead extend Saturday drive-up video teller hours from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, effective October 5th.

  • Drive-up video tellers are available 9: 00 am – 3: 00 pm at this very branch!
  • Members may also use U-Banking internet banking or mobile app, or call the 24/7 shared branching call center at 888-837-6500.
  • Our 24/7 lending line is available at 800-773-3236.
  • Our Safeway branch located at 3250 Leif Erickson Drive in Astoria remains open 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Talk to our local WCU Video Tellers

Financial Literacy and Education for Children

It’s back to school time…so how do you teach your kids dollars and sense?

Are your children prepared to manage money and save for the future? Do you take the time to teach them about the value of a dollar and the difference between needs and wants?

According to the Council for Economic Education, despite the recognition that financial literacy is critical to succeed in modern society, study after study show that many Americans continue to lack basic understanding of financial concepts, often resulting in dire consequences. Yet there is hope for improvement if we work to make financial education a priority in our schools.

With little financial education in schools today, the role of financial educator generally falls to the parent. So, be prepared! Be sure to look into the financial education services offered at Wauna Credit Union.

A recent article in Parents Magazine states that “5- and 6-year-olds are starting to develop the cognitive skills necessary to understand basic monetary concepts, such as identifying coins, figuring out how to count change, and matching small amounts of money to items they want to buy.” How do we start teaching our young ones about money?

Meet one father of four and a financial planner with CUNA Mutual Group, Phillip Hansen, who says the earlier you start educating your children, the better. He has some great advice for teaching young kids the value of physical money, setting goals, earning enough to reach goals, as well as the concept of opportunity costs. An ‘opportunity cost,’ for example, is if you spend time and money going to a movie, you cannot spend that time at home reading a book, and you can’t spend the money on something else.

“One of the first things I’ve taught my 5-year-old twins is that money is an actual, physical thing that they can earn and save and choose how they want to spend,” says Hansen. “It’s confusing for kids to see us plop down a plastic credit or debit card, as it creates a false sense that money isn’t real and if I want something, I just pull out the piece of plastic. So, we teach our kids that they can do chores around the house to earn money and then save it for items they are passionate about.”

Hansen recommends:

  • Talking to kids about the physical concept of money and handing money directly to the cashier when buying something
  • Allowing them the opportunity to do small, age-appropriate chores around the house to earn money
  • Giving them a glass jar to save money and watch the savings grow
  • Helping them set goals for their money, like saving for a special new toy
A little WCU member saving $$

Understanding the concept of opportunity costs, where they understand you may have to choose between things like a new toy or going to the movies

“Learning opportunity costs is one of the most important life concepts; opportunity costs are in everything in life—if I buy these really cool shoes, then I cannot have that new video game; or if I choose this college degree over that degree, will it bring me as much enjoyment?” says Hansen. “Teaching the value of money, goal setting, and helping kids understand what’s important to them is really Financial Literacy and Education for Children How to teach your kids dollars and sense to life in general. It’s the first step to helping them succeed and make informed decisions.” So, what else can parents do to teach kids about the value of money and making choices?

We’ve made a list:

  • Discuss what money is and how it works
  • Engage in family discussions about how you want to spend the money, where to vacation, and what to give up to get there
  • Look for teachable moments
  • Give an allowance or let them earn money
  • Start a savings account at a credit union
  • Set a savings goal
  • Teach them to budget—how do I make it until my next allowance?
  • Visit a credit union with your child
  • Let them struggle a bit
  • Be a good example

“My kids are still very young but I’ve already started helping my 5-year-olds understand the value of an hour of work—they cannot really understand the concept of a dollar, but if we talk about how many hours of chores it would take to buy a certain toy, they get it,” says Hansen. “I help my clients understand this notion as well—and whether they can really afford to buy that new house or if they should hunker down for a few more years and save up for the dream home with a little more planning.”

Hansen also says he helps a lot of parents understand that they don’t need to pay for everything for their kids—it’s so important to teach them responsibility and discipline around money and having a little ‘skin in the game.’ What is the difference between your wants and your needs? He says without a good, solid grasp of the value of money and its power, kids have a sense of entitlement that could become the root cause of struggle and brutal reality checks when they hit the real world.

“It simply is never too early to prepare your children to understand money, how it works, and all of the opportunity costs associated with making decisions and life choices,” says Hansen. “Those lessons provide the foundation for a happy and fulfilled life.”

August 2019 Statement Insert

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