Financial Resources For You

There are tons of impartial financial resources available out there from government entities. The trick can be wading through the muck to find the information you’re looking for. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency put together a great list. Read below for information on everything from avoiding scams to games for kids to teach them about their finances.

Resource Corner

AchievABLE Corner
The National Disability Institute and CalABLE offer just-in-time financial education resources and tools for potential and current CalABLE account holders.

Age-Friendly Banking and Low- to Moderate-Income Older Adults: Standards for a Growing Market
This report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition addresses the core features and standards of personal age-friendly banking accounts that allow older adults to remain banked and secure, weather financial emergencies, and save money.

Consumer.gov
This Federal Trade Commission website provides resources about credit, debt, identity theft, and avoiding scams, as well as budgeting, opening a bank account, shopping for prepaid cards, and managing money in general. The website is available in Spanish at www.consumidor.gov.

FDIC Deposit Insurance Education Materials
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has made significant improvements to its deposit insurance education materials. The changes are designed to allow the public to quickly access basic information while still offering the traditional in-depth and comprehensive deposit insurance information.

Financial Scams Targeting Military Consumers
This infographic from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the Association of Military Banks of America identifies the top three riskiest scams targeting military consumers and what consumers can do to protect their money.

Focus on Native Communities Guide
This guide from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides organizations with information that meaningfully connects the Bureau’s Your Money, Your Goals guides to the financial lives of Native community members.

IdentityTheft.gov
This Federal Trade Commission website helps people report and recover from identity theft. It is available in Spanish at Robodeidentidad.gov.

Misadventures in Money Management
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemembers Affairs offers this gamified, cutting-edge learning experience that trains current and future servicemembers to navigate financial land mines in a fun and interactive way.

MoneySKILL
The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation offers this online personal finance curriculum with 37 modules focused on a variety of topics, including income, expenses, saving and investing, credit, and insurance. The curriculum is available in Spanish.

MyMoney.gov
This U.S. Department of the Treasury website provides financial education information and resources from across the federal government. The website highlights MyMoney Five (which provides links to resources and tools related to five principles for managing money), a research clearinghouse, games for youth focused on money, and a section on financial choices for major life events.

NGPF Arcade
Next Gen Personal Finance offers seven online games that make personal finance come alive for middle and high school students.

OCC Financial Literacy Resource Directory
The resource directory provides information on financial literacy resources, issues, and events of importance to bankers, organizations, and consumers of all ages. The resource directory includes descriptions of, and contact information for, government programs on financial literacy education and capability and a sampling of organizations whose missions are to support financial literacy through campaigns, fact sheets, newsletters, conference materials, publications, and websites.

Older Americans Benchmarking Report
This report presents findings from the American Bankers Association Foundation’s 2019 Older Americans Benchmarking Survey which is designed to capture data on how banks educate older Americans, respond to fraudulent activity, and train their staffs to protect older customers.

Program for International Student Assessment: Financial Literacy Brief
This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau research brief helps stakeholders understand how the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) financial literacy data about the United States may be used to identify effective approaches to financial education and better define metrics for success.

Protecting Older Consumers 2018–2019: Report of the Federal Trade Commission
This Federal Trade Commission report identifies scams perpetrated on older Americans and suggests steps to protect older consumers from fraud.

SEC Investor.gov Alerts and Bulletins
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides numerous news alerts and bulletins for individual investors. Learning how to invest wisely and safely can assist investors in reaching their financial and retirement goals. These reports help inform investors about fraud and other information relevant to investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities.

Tax Time: An Opportunity to Start Small and Save Up
This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report discusses the results of the Tax Time Savings Initiative for the 2019 tax season.

Too Good to Be True Video
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and Retail Strategy Task Force created this video, which shows common scamming tactics.

U.S. Financial Health Pulse: 2019 Trends Report and Interactive Web Site
This report from the Financial Health Network gives new insights into the financial health of Americans and offers financial services providers, innovators, policymakers, and researchers actional insights to improve financial health for all. The interactive website allows visitors to compare year-over-year trends and data.

Without a Trace
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and Retail Strategy Task Force created this video, which urges skepticism when paying for investments with a credit card or wiring money abroad.

53rd Annual Meeting

Erlene Darby Learning Center 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, OR

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, 6:30pm

Doors open at 6pm/Light refreshments served

The Board of Directors has approved three nominees for three positions on the Board of Directors from applications submitted by members. Their names and biographical information are included below.

William “Bill” Delager, Incumbent, Birkenfeld

I am a lifelong resident of Oregon. I attended Clackamas High School, Oregon State University and I earned a PHO in Economics from Portland State University. I am married to Sheila, a high school classmate. We have two daughters and three granddaughters. I am retired from the Air Force and Air National Guard. Sheila is a retired CPA. We are enjoying retirement, tending our farm and active in volunteer activities. In the past I have served on the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District Board, the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council Board and the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District Board. I appreciate having had the  opportunity  to represent you on the  Wauna  Board these past eight years. I look forward to serving again. Thank you.

Erick Holsey, Incumbent, Clatskanie

I am interested in serving on Wauna  Federal  Credit Union  Board  of  Directors as an  opportunity  to  serve my  community  in the spirit of volunteering. I am a longtime resident  of Clatskanie,  a  graduate  of Clatskanie  High  School,  US  Army  veteran and currently employed at Columbia River  Fire & Rescue/Scappoose  Rural  Fire Protection  District. My  educational background is a Bachelor of Science in Fire Service  Administration  with  a  minor  in  chemistry  from  Western  Oregon University and A.A.S degrees in Fire Suppression, Emergency Medical Technology Paramedic, and Oregon Transfer  Degree from Chemeketa Community College. I have been  awarded  approximately  $900,000  dollars in  federal  grants to  include  a new fire engine for our  community. Throughout  my  residence  I  have  had  the  opportunity  to  serve  on  the  Clatskanie School Board as a director and on the budget committee, a member of the  Clatsop  County  Advisory  Board  for  Fire suppression and EMS programs, the Columbia County Fire Investigation Team, and the Lower Columbia Regional Training Association. My local civic memberships include the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. I believe that  my experience and education with public service provides myself a unique skill set that can  have  a  benefit  to  credit  union members and the community  in  which  I live.  As  a  frequent  customer,  I  have  always  been  greeted  by  friendly  staff, helped with all  types  of  financial  transactions  and  have  been  provided  sound  advice. I  would like to  take this  opportunity to provide some of my time into helping those  employees  continue  to  provide  that  service  while  encouraging  other community members to share my same experience.

Robin Clarke, Rainier

As a long-time member of WFCU, individually and for business, it would be my great pleasure to have the opportunity to not only continue learning about the credit union industry, but to also help the credit union’s continued growth  and  success in our local communities. I have been on the Supervisory Committee for three years and have seen WFCU grow into a strong financial institution. It supports and encourages individuals and businesses in our  area and this is such a  vital benefit to all of us in the region. I have developed a strong background in business and administration over many years and I believe I can add value as a member of the Board by having a broad general understanding of business practices and principles. Confidentiality, and having to make informed and sometimes  difficult decisions, are part of my  job to serve the best interests of our family businesses. This comes naturally to me, along with the energy and commitment to help in any way that will be a benefit to the Board and WFCU. I wish to continue my service beyond my current role as a member of WFCU’s Supervisory Committee and also serve on the Board of Directors.

An election will not be conducted by ballot, and there will be no nominations from the floor at the annual meeting when the number of nominees equals the number of positions to be filled, which is currently the situation. Any member who desires to run for the Board may do so now only by a nomination by petition signed by 270 credit union members in good standing 18 years of age or older.

An application may be requested by calling 1-800-773-3236, Ext 3124. Completed applications may be mailed to ATTN: Governance Committee P.O. Box 67 Clatskanie, OR 97016 or delivered in person to any branch.

Completed applications must be received by end of business on February 6, 2020.

 

It’s For the Kids – Helping DHS Spread Cheer

Michael recently talked about the Power of Giving. It’s our third year giving each employee $50 to give back as they see fit. Some of our employees donated to local charities, others donated to families in need, and others still simply chose to buy groceries for a stranger at the grocery store, or give an extra tip to their favorite server.

Amy Grubb, Member Services Manager of the Scappoose Branch, saw an opportunity. Every year, the Columbia County Department of Human Services organized a giving tree for local children in need. “We always had the donation tags in our branch, and members and employees had always looked forward to helping those in need. This year I realized the tags never came.”

Amy learned that the department was severely understaffed. The caseload usually managed by five people was instead being done by just two people. The team simply hadn’t had the ability to manage the giving program.

There were other groups within DHS that had their own giving trees, but Amy knew there were families that counted on the donations from WCU.

“Even though we didn’t know their names, their are families that counted on Wauna Credit Union,” said Amy. “I had to do something.”

Amy reached out to the rest of the credit union with a plea. She asked that those who had not yet earmarked their donation for another cause pool their money to buy gifts for the families.

“It was so great to see the credit union come together. Especially in Columbia County, we saw so many donations. Because we got so much in donations, we were able to buy gifts for kids aged 6-months to 17-years-old.”

Amy and St. Helens MSM Melissa get ready for a big night of wrapping

Amy’s perseverance showed what can happen when credit unions live up to the mantra of people helping people.

November Anniversaries

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.

Mark on a mountain bank
Is Mark Crandall the coolest person to work at the credit union? Probably.

Others

  • Teresa Wemmer – 13 Years
  • Brianna Malcolm – 13 Years
  • Alex Peck – 6 Years
  • Jeremy Grover – 5 Years
  • Maday Negron – 1 Year
  • Cody Roos (LPL Financial) – 1 Year



Buying Your First Car – What to Consider

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:

  1. What is the yearly all-in cost I can afford?
    1. What is the purchase price?
    1. What will maintenance cost?
    1. How much will fuel cost?
    1. What will insurance cost for the car I would prefer?
  2. What do you plan on using the vehicle for?
    1. Is fuel mileage most important, or do you need a work vehicle?
    1. Do you need a truck, or do you want a truck (i.e. could a car with cargo room work?
  3. What are my personal wants?
    1. Do you like a sporty vehicle enough to be comfortable with a car that is in the shop?
    1. 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.

How to keep your holiday budget merry and bright

Peruse the aisles of most stores, online or otherwise, and you’ll see it: holiday deals.

Yes, whether or not you’re ready, the holiday season has officially begun. And while this time of year can be a great opportunity to connect with family, it can also be traumatic for your finances…if you’re not careful.

So, how do you buy for everyone on your list without slaying your budget? Try these tips:

Make a game plan with your partner

Communicating about finances is key, and it’s especially important around the holidays. For couples who share accounts, make a gift list and set spending limits. This way you can avoid those tense conversations about dipping too deep.

Also, review your checking and credit card accounts so that you don’t get too wrapped up in the holiday spending spirit. Set realistic goals. Can’t pay off purchases immediately or in a short amount of time? Re-assess your plan.

Comparison shop online

One of the perks of online shopping is the ability to research. Before you click “buy now,” compare by checking the price across different retailers. It might be listed full-price on one site, but on-sale on another.

Also look for free shipping. If you spend enough time researching different retailers, you may find a discount on delivery.

Rewards points to the rescue

If your credit card has a rewards or points program, check the rules. You may be able to apply your earned points towards purchases at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s and more. True, you’ll give up the points, but avoiding holiday debt might be worth it. Take a peek at our Rewards card and the amazing promotion going on through the holiday season.

Experiences may mean more

Whether or not you’re on a tight budget, sometimes the best gifts are low-cost, personal gestures. After all, it’s hard to find presents for people that they’ll actually love. So, rather than spending a ton of cash, give a framed photo or cook a delicious meal for a family member or friend. A one-of-a-kind experience is more memorable than a gift you can easily buy from a store.

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.

Others

  • 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

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