With Interest Rates Rising, Never a Better Time to Join a Credit Union

From the NWCUA:

Tigard, OR. — Members of Oregon’s credit unions enjoy lower interest rates on their credit cards, car loans and mortgages. Because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, there are no stockholders to pay.  Instead, direct financial benefits are returned to members in the form of better interest rates on loans and savings products.

Financing a $25,000 new automobile for 60 months at an Oregon credit union would save you $150 per year. In fact, in the 12-months ending in June, 2015, Oregon credit union members collectively saved over $46 million on their auto loans, vs. rates paid by bank customers. Their credit card interest rates resulted in nearly $28 million in savings, while members with home equity loans saved $6 million by paying lower interest rates than bank customers. When checking, money market, certificate and retirement accounts were analyzed in the same period, advantage: Oregon credit union members. They earned nearly $16 million in higher interest than bank customers with similar products.*

In Oregon, 1.8 million consumers have discovered the credit union difference. This week’s news from the Federal Reserve of a modest interest rate increase is a reminder that the gift of membership in a local, not-for-profit, cooperative credit union makes sense.

*Source: Informa Research Services, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Credit Union National Association (CUNA). June, 2015.


The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing over 160 of Oregon and Washington’s credit unions. Northwest credit unions returned $352 million in direct financial benefits to their 5.2 million members last year. The NWCUA is the voice of the Northwest credit union movement, providing legislative, regulatory and public advocacy in addition to education, compliance, networking support and business solutions to credit unions. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit http://www.asmarterchoice.org.

An open letter to those affected by the recent storms – Wauna CU is here to help:

Dear Community,

Our communities have been hit with some very bad, and even deadly rains recently. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared both Columbia and Clatsop Counties a state of emergency, and we have not yet even crossed into winter!

In an effort to help our friends and neighbors who have been affected, or may be affected in the near future, Wauna Credit Union has rushed to create a variety of special programs to help. These programs also include our Pacific County Community, your weather is our weather!

While our Credit Union and staff are of course donating and volunteering wherever we can, we wanted to do more!

We are offering a Skip-A-Pay for secured and unsecured consumer loans, including credit cards – Just tell us you have been impacted by these storms and we will skip your payment next month. We don’t need proof, we believe you – we live here too. We just want to make at least one thing a little easier right now for everyone!

We also know that even those who were not flooded may have missed work or had other setbacks, so this Skip-A-Pay includes you as well.

If you have experienced damage to your home or car or business, we are also offering a discounted interest rate on loans to repair or replace what you’ve lost.

Come to any branch, call or apply online. Let us know what you need, and we will do our best to secure a loan for you at a considerably lower interest rate.

As this winter progresses, we will do all we can to assist our communities, especially if this dangerous weather continues. Wauna Credit Union was born here on the lower Columbia Pacific Region, this is our home, and our members, neighbors, and communities mean the world to us! Please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-773-3236 or at waunafcu.org for help.

We wish everyone a safe holiday season and better weather in the New Year!



All of us at Wauna Credit Union



FREE Christmas Dinner, hosted by Wauna CU in Rainier, OR

Perhaps you’ve seen the poster hanging up in our branches, or picked up a handout around town, or scrolled past the Facebook event, and you are wondering about this FREE Christmas Dinner. Certainly, there is a lot to be curious about. It is indeed true and coming up on Dec. 23 at the Rainier Methodist Church.

Wauna CU employee, Tabitha White talks about what inspired this free dinner for the community this Christmas.
Wauna CU employee, Tabitha White talks about what inspired this free dinner for the community this Christmas.

To get the answers, we went to the source – Wauna Credit Union’s own Tabitha White, who is the mastermind behind this amazing gesture of giving. Here is what she had to say about her idea, and how it fits with the Credit Union mantra of “People Helping People”.

“This dinner is for our community.  To show that Wauna Credit Union cares for our community, we support our community, and show them we are not just another financial institution – we give back.” She explains. “It’s been a long time dream of mine to host a huge dinner for those who need it the most.  This is a huge way to show people we truly are a company of “People Helping People”.

Members in Clatskanie will likely recognize Tabitha from her time as a top notch Member Service Representative (commonly known as a teller), but for the last several years she has worked her way up, first in our Operations Department, and now as part of the Training Team at our Learning Center. She also spearheaded our first quarter staff fundraiser raising $4,000 for the Columbia County Humane Society, and leading the charge to plant the beautiful memorial garden on their grounds during the summer. Obviously, she really cares, and that is probably why she is here at Wauna Credit Union. After all, Credit Unions are nonprofit financial cooperatives that work to improve communities one member at a time.

What should people expect when they come to this event?

“When people come to the Christmas dinner they should expect to get fed a wonderful turkey dinner.  Children will get to visit with Santa. Our CEO Robert Blumberg will be speaking about Wauna Credit Union and who we are.  Hopefully, we will have some live caroling, and also get some financial education while they are there since we are a financial institution.  But people need to come with the idea of not having any obligation to Wauna Credit Union after the dinner.  People need to come and expect great conversations and enjoy having a full belly.  The food will be served for 4 hours.  We even have free transportation for those coming from as far away as Scappoose, St. Helens and Clatskanie.  They just need to be prepared to be served and have a wonderful afternoon.”

Tabitha, this is such a lovely idea, what inspires your generosity?

“This whole idea of feeding the community started with me wanting to show my kids that Christmas is not for wanting or getting.  Christmas is for giving and giving back to those around us.  I want my children to learn to give and not expect anything in return.”

Those are strong words and a big commitment, but then she said even more!

“Recently, I was looking around at home noticing how much “stuff” I have; noticing how much stuff my children have; noticing how much more my children ask for even when they have everything they could ever need and more.  On daily trips in the car my kids would ask for a new X-box game, a new bike, a new toy gun, because they “need” it!!!  They don’t need it!  They want it.  I got to thinking how much people are in need out there and how my kids have no idea what it means to be in need.  My family is not rich or well to do, but we have a lot.”

“Then, I turned and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, my children ask for all these things and want more because this is what I am teaching them.  This year, I have been selfish by thinking and saying out loud; I need a new house on 100 acres, I need a new car, I need new work clothes, I need a new phone!  What???  I don’t need anything!  What I need is to stop wanting.  What I need is to focus on the more important things in life like giving back, working hard for things, and being grateful.  I need to give back and teach my children the most important things in life are not things!”

“With all these thoughts, this whole idea of feeding the community spawned!  Then, the idea turned into action and now here we are getting ready for a county wide Christmas dinner and hoping to feed over 200 people.”

With that inspiration, Wauna Credit Union welcomes anyone and everyone who would like to join us for Christmas Dinner on December 23rd — Come to help or come to eat, bring a friend or bring a toy for a child. We can all make a difference in our communities, just as Tabitha inspired Wauna Credit Union to do with this wonderful free dinner!

holiday FB3-blog

COMMUNITY ACTION: Stuff The Truck Fundraiser

Krickett (Arbor Care) with Natasha and Dawn from Wauna CU at the food drive.
Krickett (Arbor Care) with Natasha and Dawn from Wauna CU at the food drive.

Over the weekend Wauna Credit Union participated in the annual Stuff The Truck food drive to benefit the Clatsop County Food Bank.

This is the eighth annual Stuff The Truck, it’s held every November in the Fred Meyer parking lot in Warrenton. It is organized by Arbor Care tree specialists and enlists local businesses to help.

Each year they raise thousands of dollars and literally tons of food to assist our local food bank to serve people in need.


Our Board Of Directors Needs YOU!

iconNegocios[1]There are only a few days left to apply to be a candidate in our Board Of Directors elections. We need dedicated and caring individuals to step up and  help lead our Credit Union to greatness!

Our Board of Directors are volunteers, they are dedicated members of Wauna Credit Union that want to help guide and shape our future.

As a financial cooperative, we are member-owned, and all members in good standing and of legal voting age are welcome to run in an annual election for our Board Of Directors.

Our Board of Directors meets monthly, and attends special planning weekends and other retreats, to learn about the latest in Credit Union advancements and hear from experts, to make the best decisions for our organization.

Please take an active part in Wauna Credit Union and apply to be a candidate!

Thank You!

Deadline is Nov. 20, 2015

Download the application: https://waunafcu.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/BOARD-APPLICATION-PACKET-2015-2016.pdf

When to Consider Refinancing a Loan?

refi home laon blogThis article is courtesy of our friends at NerdWallet.

If you’re making payments on a mortgage or personal loan, you might be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to refinance. Refinancing, or replacing your loan with a new one with different terms, is a big move that requires some homework. Here are some important things to consider.

Define your goal

People refinance for many reasons. You might be interested in lowering the monthly payments to gain breathing room in your budget. Or your goal could be to pay less in total over the life of the loan. Some consumers refinance to replace a variable-rate loan with a fixed-rate one. Some nonprofit credit unions, like Wauna Credit Union, offer loans and mortgages to their members at attractive interest rates.

Homeowners may do a cash-out refinancing, getting a larger loan and taking some money out, in order to consolidate other loans or pay for home improvements. Others might refinance a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan to a conventional loan to save money on mortgage insurance. And some refinance for personal reasons, like adding a spouse to a mortgage or settling a divorce.

Check your credit

Your credit score is an indicator of how likely you are to pay back a loan, and lenders use it to determine how much they’ll charge you to borrow. Younger borrowers often don’t have long credit histories, and they end up paying higher rates as a result; a recent NerdWallet study found that millennials have the lowest average credit score of all age groups. But if you’ve had a loan for a year or more and have been making timely payments, it could be that your credit score has gone up enough to let you qualify for a lower-rate loan.

You can get a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. That will allow you to correct inaccuracies that can hurt your credit score. Then, purchase your credit score from the credit reporting agencies for a small fee to see where you stand. Some credit card companies show a credit score on your monthly statement.

Add up any fees

When deciding whether to refi, factor in any fees and closing costs. The cost to refinance a personal loan may be minimal, but if you’ve obtained a mortgage in the past, you know that home loans can be expensive. Application fees, appraisal fees, legal fees and other closing costs could add up to 3 percent of the loan amount or more. And if your loan agreement has prepayment penalties, that could make a refi less attractive.

Refinancing can be smart option, whether your goal is to lower your monthly payments, save on the overall cost of borrowing or lock in a fixed interest rate. As always, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you’re getting a good deal.

Jeanne Lee, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

PRESS RELEASE: Wauna CU Makes Top 100 Nonprofits

Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.
Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.

Wauna Credit Union has been recognized by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the 100 Best Nonprofits To Work For in Oregon. This is the Oregon Business Magazine’s 7th Annual Top 100 List, which analyzed employee survey data compiled earlier this year from over 5,000 employees throughout Oregon.

“We are thrilled by this wonderful recognition,” reports Sharon Borgardt, Chief Human Resources Officer for Wauna CU, “especially since the ranking is based on a survey comparing our employees’ level of pride and satisfaction to those of other similar employers.” Wauna Credit Union compared especially favorable to its peers in the categories of Management & Communication, Benefits and Compensation, Sustainable Practices, and Career Development & Learning.

“Much of the success of our organization is based on the amazing service our staff provides to over 20,000 local, member-owners,” says Robert Blumberg, CEO. “As an employer, we truly value our employees as the most important assets of our organization. We strive to provide a work environment that is positive, rewarding, healthy, and fun! The enthusiasm of our employees is conveyed each day through helpful and courteous service to our member-owners.”

Wauna CU has earned recognition as a Top 100 Best Green Workplace in Oregon for several years due to its commitment to sustainable practices.


Welcome Members!

WCU communityWelcome to Wauna Credit Union’s new Blog!

As we usher in a new era of Wauna Credit Union’s digital presence, we have created this blog to offer useful news and information about our Credit Union, branch events, community happenings, and financially educational information to our membership and the public at large.

As a cooperative financial institution, all of our members are equal owners of this Credit Union. We welcome members to participate in our Board of Directors elections, attend our annual meeting, and let us know how we can better serve you and our communities.

Please check back regularly for new articles and updates on this blog.

Thank you for your membership.