June Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Those who are into astrology say that people born in June are friendly, conscientious, full of great ideas, and always trying to do their best. We’re not sure if that is supposed to hold true for the people who celebrate Anniversaries in June as well, but we think so.

Jeannie Byrum – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC in the Clatskanie Branch. I grew up here, so it’s really rewarding to help my friends and neighbors, whether it’s something small like cashing a check, or something big like helping them get started buying a car, house, or starting a business. Jeannie being fancy and her fiance

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
WCU has taught me so much, but one of the great things is that being yourself is really important. We’re taught to have real conversations with our members, and really listen to them to make sure we are helping in every way we can. Sometimes I go to other places and it’s like a robot is helping me. By being myself, I’m not only having fun, but providing great member service.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Well right now I’m planning a wedding, so maybe being a wedding planner like J. Lo! Really though, I love doing things like floating down the Deschutes, hiking and camping. I’d make a great explorer.

Hugo Potts – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Lending Support Specialist, I assist our internal members with any questions they may have about vehicle, Personal, or Lifestyle loans. I also, help our mortgage department.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
At Wauna we participate in a program called The Member Advantage. It’s our approach to service that ensures we are listening to our members to learn what financial products will help them realize their financial dreams. These guidelines to listening well are tactics I use not only at work, but in my personal life too.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would travel more and see the world! The first place I would visit is Japan.

Autumn Crawford – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am the intern for the operations team, I make sure that the mail gets done and help people in operations with whatever they need. I have been able to meet with all of the different areas(IT, accounting, HR, Lending, MC’s) in the company over the past year and I have learned so much about what each area of the bank does.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
This is my first job and I also did my senior project here, so what haven’t I learned. I think the biggest thing that I learned is teamwork. Everybody works together to get things done, nobody is ever too busy to answer a question you have or help someone else out.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
This isn’t really a “new hobby” because I took lessons as a kid but if I had the time I would love to start playing piano again. To me music is really relaxing and I feel that out of the many instruments that I used to play piano is my favorite.

Others

  • Monica Lauber – 14 Years
  • Jacob Humphries – 4 Years
  • kerbie Belknap – 2 Years
  • Caleb Yankus– 1 Year

May Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). May I introduce you to the employees who celebrated anniversaries in May?

And if you haven’t had a chance to read about Debi Smiley, who has been with the credit union for 30 years. Read that post here

Laura Wells – 6 years
What is your current position?
I’m an Accountant.. Much of my job is to review and balance the activity that our members and employees did the day before.  I also monitor Wauna’s own corporate account daily to ensure we always have sufficient cash on hand.  The credit union recently acquired a couple of ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) that were installed in our Long Beach and Clatskanie branches.  This new technology is innovative and exciting, but the balancing side of them is quite different from our normal ATMs, so figuring out all their quirks and the best ways to balance their GLs was one of the big projects I spent time working on over the past year.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me a lot about teamwork.  The credit union isn’t just comprised of a bunch of different departments and branches who never talk to each other, and in order for things to run smoothly and efficiently, everybody works together to make that happen!Laura Up high

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had all the time in the world I can think of a lot of things I’d like to get into or pick back up, but with the weather turning beautiful again one thing I would love to get into gardening…without killing everything I touch!

 

Elizabeth Ziegler – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant in the Scappoose Branch. My job is to assist members in every aspect of their banking like applying for loans, completing every day account transactions, setting up their online banking, and in general making sure everybody is have a great time being a WCU member!Elizabeth helping a member

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me to be diligent and a good communicator. Good communication is so important to how we relate to one another.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose one new hobby I would be a professional traveler. I’d love to explore the world. My goal would be to visit a new country every month. I’ve been to over 15 different countries so far.

Others

  • Loren Ames – 9 Years
  • Jennifer Clark – 2 Years
  • Devyn Osborne – 1 Year
  • Ashlee Gilbertson – 1 Year

Free Financial Education Webinars

Whether it’s helping you save for a house, make sure you have money for retirement, or just assisting in helping you meet your daily needs, Wauna Credit Union is here to serve our members, and ensure your financial well-being. One of the ways we do this is through financial education.

We have teamed with BALANCE Financial Education to offer our members six free webinars on a variety of topics to help you realize your dreams.  Even if you can’t attend one of the free webinars, we have many financial education resources on our website, including;

Balance Financial Education for Adults BALANCE Education for adults

Elements of Money - Financial Ed for Teens Elements of Money for teenagers

M3 Money Club For Kids M3 Money Club for younger kids

JUNE — BASICS OF PERSONAL FINANCE
From managing daily expenses to investing for retirement, this webinar helps participants set personal finance goals, learn the basics of smart money management, and build a solid financial foundation for the future

Session 1: Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/730424653146013955

Session 2: Thursday, June 14, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/730424653146013955

 

JULY — USING CREDIT CARDS WISELY
A credit card can be a valuable financial tool. However, before racking up big charges on multiple cards, participants should learn smart ways to handle their credit cards and take a disciplined approach.

Session 1: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/9063245048060404227

Session 2: Thursday, July 19, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/9063245048060404227

 

AUGUST — DRIVE AWAY HAPPY: CAR-BUYING DECISIONS
Getting a car can be overwhelming and stressful with all the decisions to make: new or used; buy or lease; zero percent financing or rebate (not to mention what color to pick). Participants will learn tips and tricks to have the best car shopping experience possible, while also making wise financing decisions.

Session 1: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3263578497262937603

Session 2: Thursday, August 16, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Sign Up: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3263578497262937603

June Statement Insert – Auto Loans, Go Places With VISA Strong Mortgages

Apply for an auto loan 24/7

It’s 1 a.m., and you just got approved
for an auto loan over the phone. Boom!
You’ll be car shopping in the morning.
At Wauna Credit Union, this is what we do!
24/7 Loan applications by phone!
800-773-3236
Federally Insured by NCUA
Equal Housing Opportunity

Strong Mortgages and Go Places With VISA

Strong Mortgages
From Wauna Credit Union
Apply 24/7
800-773-3236
waunafcu.org
Equal Housing Opportunity

Go Places w/VISA
For the best rates, rewards,
convenience & security, take our
Wauna Credit Union VISA Credit
Card everywhere you go!

The U-Banking Revolution

We’re one week into our new U-Banking platform, and have begun to hear great feedback from out members about the new ways it is letting them stay on top of their finances, and manage their money from their mobile devices. We’re incredibly pleased to see that the work we put into developing the platform and choosing the right partners is paying off for our members. U-Banking is still new, so there are still people getting up to speed on all that it can do.

U-Banking Logo
U-Banking is all about you

We’ve highlighted a few areas that people really seem to like. We really mean it when we say U-Banking is all about you though. It’s jam-packed with new things, so the below are just a morsel of what it has to offer.

New mobile app. It’s no secret that the U-Banking app is a huge step up in terms of both form and functionality. Our app is now truly an extension of our website, you can transfer money to other accounts, pay your bills on the go, stay on top of your finances with our all-encompassing money management tool MX, and even deposit your checks without ever leaving your couch. Download the app today at the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Bill Pay is now integrated into our app, and is right there on your U-Banking internet banking page. If you haven’t given Bill Pay a try, it’s super easy to get started. Bill Pay lets you easily track which bills are due and how much you paid last time. You can even schedule — or cancel — payments with the click of a button. No more worrying about when bills are due, whether you paid them or not, or what your password is to pay online.

Account Management is so much more customizable and easy to use. Do you want to add another person to your account? Maybe you want to transfer money to a non-WCU account, or even pay your WCU credit card directly. With U-Banking you can do all of that. Not to mention with MX you can import all of your accounts into U-Banking and stay on top of your finances in one place.

What’s your favorite thing about U-Banking? We love to hear from our members, so let us know.

Wauna Credit Union Awards Clatsop and Columbia County Students Over $11k in Scholarships

To wrap up the 2017/2018 school year we awarded $11,500 in scholarships to student members in Columbia and Clatsop counties. 2018 marks well over $300,000 that WCU has awarded in scholarships over the years.

WCU’s 2018 scholarship recipients were selected based on a variety of factors, including GPA, community involvement, and their need for financial assistance.

“This was not an easy decision as we had a huge amount of wonderful applicants this year,” said WCU CEO Robert Blumberg. “We take that to heart, because we believe not just in our communities and our schools, but in our future. And who better to make that future brighter than our children,” said Blumberg.

Eighteen students from seven area high schools and two universities are recipients of this year’s WCU Scholarships, which range from $500 to $1,500 each. This years recipients include:

  • Alaina Schartz – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Autumn Crawford – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Bethany Stockwell – Vernonia HS
  • Chloe Davidson – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Grace Travis – Warrenton HS
  • Hannah Mather – Astoria HS
  • Jaden Miethe – Knappa HS
  • Jordan Kenney – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Kaitlyn Bakkensen – Scappoose HS
  • Madeline Moravec – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Madelynn Hall – Scappoose HS
  • Maisy Horness – Oregon State University
  • Megan Clark – Rainier HS
  • Nada Jones – Clatksanie MS/HS
  • Odessa-May Roberts – Vernonia HS
  • Payton Wolf – Oregon State University
  • Rebekah Barnes – Vernonia HS
  • Sierra Bechdoldt – Clatksanie MS/HS

“Congratulations to Wauna Credit Union members and all others graduating from schools, colleges and universities this year,” said Blumberg before adding, “You are opening doors to paths that lead to your futures – don’t stop learning.”

April Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). No foolin, today we highlight employees who celebrated anniversaries in April.

Heather Dixson – 5 years
What is your current position?
I just started as a Real Estate Loan Processor. I work with our RELOs (Real Estate Loan Officers) to gather all the information we need to get our members their mortgages, and get the loans Good to Go! – assist the Real Estate Loan Officers with processing mortgage loans.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working here taught me to under promise and over deliver. Not only is this something I do during the day at the credit union, but something I’ve implemented into my daily life.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be? 
Heather as Darth Vadar
Heather always brings fun to work

I’d love to start making stained glass. I like creating things, I think it would be cool to have the resources to add a unique characteristic to a home or building.

What brought you to WCU?
I was new to the area from Alaska, and was looking for an experience that would help me build a career. I found Wauna Credit Union, and I couldn’t be more happy.

What is your favorite thing about working here?
My favorite thing about the credit union is my Wauna family! I’ve met so many amazing people in my five years here, and I know I’m going to meet so many more over the next 5 years.

Christmas Card
Heather has made life-long friends at WCU

Have you ever done anything embarrassing at work?
When saying goodbye to a member I told him that I loved him. Since then, every time he comes into the branch he greets me with “hi honey!”

Ashleigh Sibley – 2 years
What is your current position?
My current title is Communication Center Member Consultant II. My role has changed recently as I have jumped into the world of loans. If a member calls, chats, or emails in about anything I will be one of the lucky ones to assist them.

Ashleigh and her family
Family Comes First for Ashleigh

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna has taught me to venture out of my comfort zone. I have learned to dig deeper and uncover needs that may not have been vocalized. Wauna has allowed me to embrace the true meaning of people helping people and offer intuitive service to our fabulous members.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I could choose a new hobby it would definitely be travel. I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast but there is still so much I have yet to see!

 

Others

  • Jeff Parker – 12 Years
  • Marci Szlavich – 2 Years
  • Charles Dennis – 1 Year

U-Banking: What you need to know

Dear Valued Member,

In our efforts to bring you the best possible online banking experience, Wauna Credit Union is upgrading our online and mobile banking solutions. The new system, U-Banking, will be available on Monday, May 14th.

With this enhancement comes more flexibility, reliability, and control for you, but it also comes with important changes that will temporarily affect the way you use online and mobile banking. We’ve summarized these key points below and suggest that you keep this summary on-hand for quick future reference.

So, what can I expect?

  • The upgrade means that Online and Mobile Banking access will be unavailable starting at 6:00 am PST on Friday, May 11th until service is restored by 9:00 am on Monday, May 14th. The WaunaCU mobile app will be available in Apple and Google Play app stores same day.
    • On May 14th, you will need to download a new mobile app, which can be found by searching “WaunaCU” in your app store.
  • Bill Pay will be unavailable May 10th through May 14th. Not to worry! Your payees will transfer over and we will ensure all scheduled payments are paid during the conversion.
  • If you use the Account Alerts feature, this will need to be set up in U-Banking. These alerts might include: balance updates; scheduled transactions; large deposit; low balance; large withdrawal; check cleared; loan payment due reminders; loan payment overdue reminders; personal messages; or maturity date reminders.
    • Any notices (delinquent loan, overdraft, or certificate of deposit maturity) that you were receiving in online banking will now be mailed.
  • When you first log in to the new U-Banking service, you will no longer use your current password. You will initially enter your Account Number as the login ID, and then the last 4 numbers of the primary account holder’s Social Security Number as the password. Once you complete this initial login, you will be prompted to create a new login ID and password.

NOTE: If you have trouble logging in to online banking with the information provided and have also not logged in to online banking within the last six (6) months, you will need to contact us at (800) 773-3236 to receive login information.

NOTE: If you are the primary user and have a joint owner on your account who would like to use U-Banking, we recommend the following: After the primary member is set up and you are inside U-Banking, there is a new feature under “Additional Services” called “Share Access with Others”. The primary can permission the joint owner to use U-Banking, which will send an email to the joint owner with a temporary username and password. The joint owner may then log in to U-Banking with their temporary username and password where they will be prompted to change their username, password, and multifactor authentication credentials.

  • If you already have pre-scheduled transfers/payments prior to May 10, these will continue to transfer as usual. You will not see these items within online banking, though they will continue to transfer to our core processing system. Once U-Banking is live on the 14th, all future scheduled transfers and payments will need to be set up in U-Banking.
    • If you would like to see and manage your scheduled transfers in U-Banking, contact our Virtual Branch at (800) 773-3236.
  • Quicken® and QuickBooks® download history will be turned off and no longer available starting May 10th by 7:00 am. You will receive a separate letter with instructions on how to connect Quicken® or QuickBooks® to U-Banking.
  • The “memo” option for transfers will be unavailable – although we may continue this service in the future.
  • If you are a Money Desktop (MX) user, all information stored in MX will not convert during this upgrade and you will need to start over in U-Banking.

What actions should I take prior to May 14th?

  • Ensure that we have your current contact information on file so you do not miss any important reminders or notifications.
  • If you have bills due while Bill Pay is unavailable from May 10th to May 13th, be sure to schedule those bills for payment prior to May 10th to help ensure that they are paid on schedule. However, rest assured that we have systems in place to confirm any bill payments you have pre-scheduled to post during this timeframe will be paid on schedule.
  • Visit waunafcu.org/about/u-banking.shtml to troubleshoot and learn more about U-Banking.

While we are confident that this new service will greatly enhance your overall online banking experience, we apologize for any short-term inconvenience the upgrade may cause you. We are here to answer any questions, so please contact us at (800) 773-3236.

Sincerely,

Robert Blumberg Signature

Robert Blumberg, President & CEO
Wauna Credit Union

May Statement Insert – Strong Mortgages, U-Banking, Visa for Vacation

Insert Page 1 Strong Mortgage

Strong Mortgages
Put the power of our eagle in your home loan
Apply for a home loan, day or night, even on the weekends!
Call 800-773-3236, or online at waunafcu.org
waunafcu.org 1-800-773-3236
#NMLS 421867
Equal Housing Opportunity
NCUA Federally Insured by the NCUA

Insert Page 2 U-Banking Visa

What Is Ubiquitous Banking?
It’s Stronger!
It’s Faster!
It’s Our New Online & Mobile Banking Experience!
Coming Soon

VISA For Vacation!
Did you know?
Traveling with our VISA Credit Card is safer than cash or Debit!
Our VISA Rewards Program offers name brand merchandise, movie tickets, travel discounts, and more!
Earn BONUS Reward Points when you shop at popular retailers.

Managing Medical Debt

Medical expenses are a way of life, especially in our area where people are often working outdoors, or in workplaces more prone to injuries. Our partner BALANCE put together a great overview of how to help manage medical debt.

This is a long blog, but it’s full of great information. Including several good resources at the bottom if you find yourself already dealing with medical debt.

 

Medical Debt

 

Check the bills

 

Often people are so shocked over how much they owe when they first open their bills that they forget to look at them in detail. However, since medical bills are frequently inflated, looking over them carefully could save you money. Maybe you were billed for a four-day stay in the hospital when you only stayed two or charged twice for the same medication. If you see that you were billed in error, contact the medical provider to have the charge removed.

If you have health insurance, it is also a good idea to make sure your insurance company paid for everything covered in your plan. If an insurance company denies a claim, the medical provider will just bill you, even if the treatment is covered under your plan.

How easy is it to get an insurance company to pay a denied claim? If it was merely a clerical error, it should be simple. If you are dealing with a stereotypical penny-pinching insurance company trying to wiggle out of a commitment, it could be harder—but not impossible. Most insurance companies allow you to appeal decisions, and if you submit evidence to support why the treatment should be covered, like a letter from your doctor, you may be able to have the denial overturned.

Ask for a repayment plan
Even after billing errors are corrected, the amount you owe may still seem frighteningly large. However, there is no need to panic if you cannot pay a bill in full. Most medical providers will allow you to make smaller payments until the bill is paid off and, in many cases, won’t even charge interest. Think about how much you can afford to send each month, and let the medical provider know.

If the medical provider does not accept your proposal, should you not send any money? Not necessarily. Few people will actually refuse money, regardless of how small the amount is. That does not mean you are immune from being sued or having the account be sold to a collection agency, but all you can do is send what you can afford to pay. Not paying your mortgage or other important expenses to get more cash for your medical bills is usually not a good idea.

Look for assistance
If you have medical bills from a hospital, you are probably well aware of how high hospital bills can be. Luckily, many hospitals get government funds and donations to cover the bills for patients who cannot pay them themselves. (Other types of medical providers typically do not get such funds but may give you a discount if you describe your hardship.)

Talk to your hospital’s billing department or financial counselor about its programs. Remember to find out what the application procedure and qualifications are; often assistance programs are restricted to people who owe above a certain amount, have income below a certain limit, and/or have no medical insurance. Even if you ultimately do not qualify, it does not hurt to ask.

Hospitals are not the only places where you can get financial assistance with your medical debt. Many nonprofits provide the same service. Like with hospitals, nonprofit programs are often restricted to limited income and/or uninsured individuals.

To find out what programs are available in your area, contact your local United Way or dial 211 (an information referral service available in most communities). You may also be able to get information from relevant disease support groups.

Create a plan for the future 
While your current concern may be the bills you need to pay now, chances are, you will have more medical bills to pay in the future. Getting sick is just a part of life. However, if you start saving today, it will be easier to pay whatever bills come your way tomorrow. While you can put your savings in a savings account, you may also want to make use of one of the tax-advantaged accounts available for medical expenses.

If your employer offers it, one option is to set up a flexible spending account. At the beginning of the enrollment period (which if often, but not always, January 1), you tell you employer how much you want withheld from each paycheck and sent to your account.

You typically must pay for the costs out of pocket first and then get reimbursed after submitting a claim form. While the money sent to a flexible spending account is not taxed, there is one drawback: you lose any money that is not spent by the end of the year. Thus, you should not contribute more to a flexible spending account than you reasonably expect to spend.

Another option is a health savings account. Like with a flexible spending account, the money contributed to a health savings account is not taxed. However, you do not lose the money that is left over in the account at the end of the year.

So, why would anyone choose a flexible spending account over a health savings account? Health savings accounts are not available to everyone. In order to qualify, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (a plan with higher deductibles and lower premiums than traditional plans). If you have a traditional plan, you are out of luck.

Medical bills can linger long after an injury or illness has been treated. While the amounts owed can seem unbelievably large, remember, there are many things you can do ease the pain of bill paying.

Resources
Patient Advocate Foundation
1-800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org
Provides information to patients experiencing problems with their insurance company or employer. Also offers a co-payment assistance program.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
1-888-477-2669
www.pparx.org
Provides information on programs that offer financial assistance with prescription costs.

HealthWell Foundation
1-800-675-8416
www.healthwellfoundation.org
Provides grants that can be used to pay for prescriptions, co-pays, deductibles, and insurance premiums. Available to patients with a variety of illnesses.

CancerCare
1-800-813-4673
www.cancercare.org
Offers financial assistance programs to help cover the costs of cancer treatment and co-pays.