Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. As we start December, we look back at the employees we are so thankful joined us in November. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page).
Mark Crandall – 4 years
What is your current position? My current position is Mortgage Loan Specialist. My job is great, I get to help our members obtain their home ownership goals. Sometimes that’s getting a loan to buy a prebuilt home or building their dream house, tapping into their home’s equity to make improvements, help with major life expenses, or even starting people on their road to financial independence through investment properties.
What is something that working at WCU has taught you? Working at Wauna has taught me that you can be flexible at a financial institution. At times, you need to get the FULL story and then make a decision if it is right for the membership. I worked at a bank before this, and it was very cut and dry. Now I can help people who have a shop or farm on their property, or take another look at somebody who hasn’t been able to get financing in the past.
If you could choose one new hobby what would it be? I’ve got a lot of hobbies already. After a 35-year break, I just started riding off-road motorcycles. I also keep active by playing golf and tennis. If I were to take up a new hobby it would be. I would like to make some of my own furniture that could be passed on to future generations.
Holidays for Every Individual Spruce up your seasonal spirit with EZ$, Visa, personal loans and more! Double & Triple Point Days
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-Dec 2 (includes Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, and Cyber-Monday); and, December 22-26. Double and Triple Reward Points do not apply to Balance Transfers or Cash Advances, and Rewards Points are non-transferable. Membership with Wauna Credit Union required. Complete promotion details available at waunafcu.org. This special offer ends December 31, 2019.
Wauna Credit Union 24/7 Lending waunafcu.org 800-773-3236 Federally insured by the NCUA
It’s a Wauna Car Winter Finance through Wauna Car Recieve 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 loan (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, 2019. Membership with Wauna CU required to be eligible for this special offer.
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Continuing our New Car Corner series, Norm Dufton joins us to talk about what to consider when buying your first car.
When buying your first car, it’s easy to find online calculators that help you figure out how much you can qualify for, and there’s always an unscrupulous lender who will give you more. It’s important though to determine how much you should pay for a new car, and that’s all in, not a monthly cost. Just as importantly, people need to take in the total cost of ownership, which includes things like repairs, and even gas mileage, when deciding on a car or truck.
Here are some of the main things to consider:
What is the yearly all-in cost I can afford?
What is the purchase price?
What will maintenance cost?
How much will fuel cost?
What will insurance cost for the car I would
What do you plan on using the vehicle for?
Is fuel mileage most important, or do you need a
Do you need a truck, or do you want a truck
(i.e. could a car with cargo room work?
What are my personal wants?
Do you like a sporty vehicle enough to be
comfortable with a car that is in the shop?
Do you need cargo space? How much?
When you think of how much you should spend on a car, think
in terms of the purchase price. Dealers will often make it about the payment.
This allows for a larger purchase price. Let’s say you make $12 an hour and
work full time. You will make about $25,000.00 a year. It is recommended that
you spend about $12,500 on a first-time purchase. If you save 10% down you
could buy a car that costs about $13,750.00.
As you begin to make more, and gain experience making payments you can go up to 75% of your annual income, so, if you make $50k a year, $37,500 would be a reasonable amount to spend, assuming you can afford the payment.
This may seem like a lot, or if you are looking to buy a
truck, not much at all. For that $13,750 amount there are a few cars you could
buy that are only about a year old and will have less than 50,000 miles.
This is a good place to start as you will have low
maintenance and most of the cars in this range will get good fuel economy and
last for many years, if well-cared for. Most folks have limited income when
they get their first car and car loan.
What if you decide you’re going to get a truck? Since new
trucks now are $50,000 and above, the market for, and the price of, used trucks
has also increased. The more options you want, the more it will cost. If you
just want a rear-wheel regular cab, you may be able to find one that is 2-3
years old. If you are looking for an extra cab or 4WD, trucks in this range
will be older with higher miles.
If you buy an older truck with high miles, you will have the
loan payment, fuel, insurance, and high maintenance combine with low
reliability. We suggest a car to start, so you can get the cost of owning a
vehicle to fit in your budget.
As far as trying to get a cheap car, (one you can buy for cash), it is possible to find one that is reliable, as long as you are flexible.
Norm Dufton leads Wauna Credit Union’s Consumer Lending Group. He has been an auto dealer and credit union advocate for more than 10 years.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 waunafcu.org 800-773-3236 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.
Wauna Credit Union 24/7 banking waunafcu.org 800-773-3236 Federally insured by the NCUA
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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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Wauna Credit Union 24/7 lending waunafcu.org 800-773-3236
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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