Beware of scams related to your military benefits

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection recently put out a guide for military veterans and souses to raise awareness on common tactics used to scam you out of pensions benefits. Read the guide below

Scammers are targeting the aid and attendance benefit, which is an increased monthly pension for veterans or their surviving spouses who are eligible for a VA pension and need help with activities of daily living, are bedridden, are patients in a nursing home, or have certain vision limitations.

Look out for:

  • Offers to file an application to get you benefits or increase your pension for a fee
  • Claims to get you benefits faster for a fee
  • Advice to move your money so you’ll qualify for benefits

How to apply safely:

It’s free to apply. Call (800) 827-1000 for information.
Report scams targeting your aid and attendance benefit to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Bureau of ConsumerFinancial Protection

Guide to scams

October Anniversaries

While many people think of October as a scary month, we at Wauna couldn’t believe more differently. Why’s that you ask? It’s because of all the amazing people celebrating anniversaries this month. You might say it’s scary how good they all are. 

If you want to be one of the people celebrating next year, check out our careers page.  

Waunaversary Celebrants

Sharon Borgardt – 24 years
What is your current position?
I’m the Chief Human Resources Officer at the credit union. I oversee the HR Dept and all functions relating to hiring, employee promotions, benefits administration, employment law compliance and HR strategies to help us attract and retain outstanding employees. Also, I’m a member of the Executive Team, and work to carry out our credit union strategies. Our employees are very valuable assets here at Wauna. I am honored to have a role in ensuring that Wauna is an incredible place to work. I feel it is important to provide career opportunities and to celebrate our employees’ successes.

Sharon and her dog Mica
Those who know Sharon know that she has a soft spot for dogs and cats. Here she is with Great Pyrnees rescue Mica.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I cannot say that this was something I learned only at Wauna, but it is something I practice with passion. When faced with difficult interactions with others, it is imperative to have a high level of empathy, understanding and kindness toward everyone involved. I strive to practice this at work and in my personal life. And I am proud to say that I see this in the way our employees treat our members, too.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Is becoming a world traveler a hobby? It sure would be exciting, especially if I had my own private jet! But on a more realistic note, one day when I have more free time I will take up painting again (if I am not too busy traveling!).

Kailynn Fischer – 6 years
What is your current position?

I am a training specialist II, my job is to help employees reach their career goals by training them in everything from delivering top-notch member service to opening accounts, lending and everything in between.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me the importance setting goals. I keep my immediate goals, and even my five and ten year goals written down and review them on a regular basis with my supervisor. Having them written down at my desk keeps them fresh in my mind and sharing them with someone helps to keep me accountable. It is something that is really encouraged here at Wauna and something that has been instrumental in my success.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
A hobby I would love to have is diving! I went scuba diving for the first time earlier this year on a trip to Thailand and now I’m hooked. I’ve always loved being in the water but being able to explore it from that depth is a totally different and surreal experience. I would love to explore so many of the breathtaking dive sites all over the world!

Kailynn scuba
Kailynn’s lifetime love of water recently brought her below the surface

Marti Gwin – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m the Compliance Manager. I have a great team that consists of our Compliance Specialist and two team members in the Cash Intensive Business Department which services our cannabis business members. My job is to ensure that we stay compliant with regulations and laws governing the services we offer. The primary way we do this is through our policies and procedures and through training. The Compliance Department works closely with all other departments in the credit union to keep them informed of compliance requirements and to help answer compliance questions.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me about how great the credit union movement is. People that work for credit unions love to give back to the communities they are in and genuinely love their members.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Well I actually just started taking guitar lessons one evening a week after work. My fingers are still very sore! Another thing I’ve been thinking about is horseback riding lessons. I used to do take riding lessons for years but it has been over 25 years since my last riding lesson.

Marti and team
Marti and members of the team recently wore plaid to support the backpack program

Sarah Jones – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m a Compliance Specialist. I get to serve our internal members and the credit union by providing guidance and making sure we are compliant with current rules and regulations. Our members trust the credit union to keep their money safe and secure, and compliance is an important part of that.

Sarah at the beach
Sarah and her husband Jason enjoy Maui

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
It’s all about teamwork! The Compliance Department is involved is all areas of the credit union, so we have to have good communication among all of the departments, including our own. We have an amazing team of employees who work great together!

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I lived on a warm, tropical island I would like to try surfing. But since I live here in the PNW, I would take up kayaking and paddle boarding.

Riley Woodall – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant in the Vernonia branch! I am here to make sure our members are taken care of to the fullest of my abilities. I have never imagined myself pursuing a career like this but here I am and I am loving every second of it. I so look forward to furthering my career with Wauna!

Riley Beach
Riley just recently discovered her love of travel

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Since working at Wauna I have learned SO much! One of the big things is to believe in yourself, and have the confidence to step out of your comfort zone. I recently did that and traveled to Hawaii. I have never been a big traveler unless we could go by car, so needless to say it was out of my comfort zone! Before I started here I never would have believed I could do something like this , but now that I have, I will continue pushing myself to do and try more!

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’d like to pick up a rec sport! I loved sports in high school but stopped after graduation. I’m also interested in trying my hand at pottery or sculpting.

Others

  • Robert Blumberg
  • Sara Kulp
  • Samantha Wiser
  • Diana Phipps

 

 

Mark Crandall Visits Wauna Talk

It’s been a while, but we’re here with the latest edition of Wauna Talk, Wauna Credit Union’s regular podcast highlighting the people and products of the credit Union.

Mark discusses WCU’s mortgage team, and how the credit union serves members better than any place he’s worked before.

Today is International Credit Union Day

Wauna Credit Union was formed, and continues to act, to serve our communities of Clatsop, Columbia, and Western Washington Counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington. The way we do that is by providing financial tools to allow our members achieve their dreams. A huge part of that is being a not-for-profit credit union instead of a for profit bank.

Many people, even some who are members, don’t realize there are some pretty big differences between banks and credit unions, even though they experience the differences every day. In many ways, that’s the way we want it to be. Our rural communities tend to be filled with show, don’t tell, type of people, and we view ourselves as a show, don’t tell, type of organization. Our members know we provide personal service, tend to have better rates, and help people who banks don’t want to bother with because they don’t fit in a nice box.

ICU Day

Today, we are talking about it though, because today is the 70th Annual International Credit Union Day. Today is the day we celebrate the collaboration between credit unions. It’s one of the things that gives us our edge. Credit Unions work together. It’s why you can go into credit unions all over the country and conduct business on your Wauna Credit Union Account.

This year, we’re celebrating International Credit Union Day’s platinum anniversary, a chance to look back after 70 years and be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by the unique principles and actions of our movement. It’s no wonder that this year’s slogan is #PlatinumLiningFound.

Celebrate International Credit Union Day! from CUNA on Vimeo.

 

September 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).  Employees celebrating September Anniversaries school us on what it means to serve members and practice TMA.

Sadly, instead of wishing Rich Parker a happy 10-year Waunaversary, we’re saying goodbye. Hear Richard’s retirement announcement, and his thanks to all his clients, here. 

 

Danea Passmore – 13 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Chief Operations Officer.  That means I head WCU’s IT, Operations, Strategic Implementations and Card Services teams.  Fortunately, I am blessed to have my office in Clatskanie, where I grew up and see my family often.  My main focus is to coach and develop teams that embrace the Wauna Way – Integrity Coaching, TMA, LSCI, Core Values, Mission, Vision, and people helping people.  I used to be in the Training Department, so you know that’s something I love doing. I also love to collaborate with all departments in the organization to implement products and services to exceed our members expectations. Wauna is my family.

Danea
Danea’s sunny disposition matches the weather on this day

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have learned a great deal at Wauna, but the most important thing I have learned is to be more financially fit.  Prior to working at Wauna, I was one of those people who sometimes experienced when bad things happen to good people.  Our daughter was pushed into a swimming pool, spiral fractured her neck, and drowned.  They were able to resuscitate her; however, my world for a over a year was revolved around hospitals, doctors, and taking care of her.  My finances were a wreck, my payments were late, and frankly, I didn’t care at the time because I knew I had to do something else.

I am blessed that Wauna hired me even though my credit was an “E”. That stands for eeeek to some; but to Wauna, I was more than a number.  Yep, went from A to “E”eeek.  I learned how to get back on track, clean up my credit, and come back to the top.  I use that each day when I talk with members or employees, and want them to know that bad things happen to good people so get the story before you judge.  Thankfully too, Wauna asks the story and takes great care of its members.  I will forever be grateful to Wauna.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I love this question! If I could choose a brand new hobby, I would love to become a pilot and fly.  But since I should probably be more realistic, I would love to be hiking.  The outdoors is so energizing, fun, freeing, and a good brisk walk is exhilarating.  I recently watched a show where there is a large hike from the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim to Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim.  It is a hike of over 23 miles and just sounds incredible, especially in a majestic place like the Grand Canyon. Actually, forget that. I always shoot for the stars, so pilot it is, or maybe even astronaut.

Audrey McTague – 5 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Training Specialist and I train Member Consultants in consumer loans.  I lead training classes at the Erlene Darby Learning Center in Westport, as well as go to the branches for one-on-one training.  My main goal is to make sure everyone understands our lending philosophy using LSI principles as well as training them how to process loans from start to finish.  Training has always been one of my passions.

Audrey
Audrey knows a thing or two about helping members get loans

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna has taught me The Member Advantage, which emphasizes listening to people to find out what they need, or are looking to accomplish. TMA is something I can use inside and outside of work in my everyday life

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My hobby this summer was making my own spices by dehydrating them, grinding them and bottling them up.  I did garlic and onions.  I also made tomato powder which I can make tomato paste or sauce with.  Next year, I plan on doing jalapenos, thyme, rosemary and chives.

Laura Lovegren – 3 years
What is your current position?

I am the Financial Center Manager in the Clatskanie Branch. My job is to work with our Members and my team to create relationships to grow with our members throughout their lives.

Laura
Laura loves getting out in the community

This role is new to me in the last year and I have been enjoying building our community relationships and working to educate our youth.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at WCU has taught me that my limits are self-created.  I have been encouraged to grow and dream during my career here. I have worked in the Branch and in the Back office operations department as well. My goal is to learn more everyday and am grateful that I have the opportunity to learn many different aspects and to work with so many driven and wonderful people. It has not only grown my career but who I am as a Human being.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
It would most likely be to  travel more. I recently traveled to Croatia, and there is much of Europe waiting for me to visit.

Hannah Coffey – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant at the Astoria Branch. Member Consultants deal with the community face-to-face, and assist them with their daily financial needs, as well as provide part-time counseling (ha-ha). Being the face of Wauna is a great opportunity to connect with members and build lasting relationships between them and Wauna.

Hannah
Hannah always travels in style and with a sidekick

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me a lot about patience. It’s easy to go day-to-day thinking you know how everything in the financial industry works and rush through it all, but it’s very humbling to help people who maybe aren’t so familiar with finances, as well as other things that may seem simple to us that work here such as online banking; especially since we just launched our new U-Banking platform back in May!

 

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had to choose a new hobby, I would choose something musical. I played piano when I was little, but it never really stuck. It’s something that I would enjoy picking back up.

Michael Murdoch – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the Communications Specialist. My office is in Clatskanie, but my job is to go all over our footprint to talk to members and our staff. I spend most of my time communicating to Wauna staff how-to communicate while communicating communications to members and our communities. It’s a communications thing.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna Credit Union has taught me to take greater ownership with my mistakes, but more importantly, with my accomplishments. As a communications person, I’m often more comfortable in the background, but rewarding good work is a big part of the culture here.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to take up sailing. But, I’d need a sail and a boat. And common sense.

Michael Murdoch
Michael hangs out with colleagues, and a duck that supports CUs

Others

  • Ian Wiggins
  • Brittany Warren
  • Lidia Sanchez
  • Ericka Barnett

 

 

Not the Chief of Kisses and Hugs: CXO, John Moore celebrates 5 years at Wauna Credit Union

Some leaders just have it…

…that spark you can’t help but feel drawn to…their charisma, challenging nature, or their ease in guiding the ship. This Wauna Credit Union leader comes from what us Credit Union-ers call the “Dark Side”, having spent the bulk of his early career in big banks. But it’s hard to shun such a past when with it comes a myriad of great ideas, experiences, and what-not-to-dos that have not only embraced our Wauna culture, but have inspired many to be greater.

And so today we celebrate our CXO, John Moore, because today marks fives years he has spent with us here at Wauna Credit Union. And to give you a better idea of who the man is behind the title, we posed a few queries to Mr. Moore to learn just a little bit more about who he is and what makes him tick.

What is your current position?

John hoisting up a Branch Achievement Eagle Trophy

CXO, which stands for “Chief Experience Officer” and not the Chief of Kisses and Hugs — although I do value all of our members and want them all to know how we are appreciative and honored to be entrusted as their consultants. More specifically, I Provide help and support to training, lending, and all WCU branches. This ensures our focus is on creating life experiences for our members with every interaction we have.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?

Coming from a 20+ year career in banking, I thought that credit unions did the little loans and small savings accounts. Also, I had no idea that WCU is a full-service financial provider. I am glad I didn’t know what I didn’t know prior to coming here or I would have felt intimidated competing against WCU. This credit union has the best Residential, Commercial, and Consumer loan products on the market. A bank cannot come close to delivering a service promise like we do. We tailor our lending and deposit products to meet what our membership asks for. Also, we survey our membership and always put their needs first…that is why we are here. I now truly understand what being “member-owned” means.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?  

I would love to write a book. Something in the horror genre, but nothing involving clowns as I don’t want to be afraid of my own work.

John and his daughter, Emma, giving the “Wauna Strong” post in front of his new rig

We hear you’re quite a fan of Star Wars. See if you can answer some trivia: In real life, this material made up of made of nitrobenzene, saltpeter, sulfur, and diatomaceous earth would have caused Bespin to explode. What do you call this substance?

Actually, it’s part of my New Employee Orientation presentation. I tell new employees that I will never leave or retire from WCU but will actually be encased in a block of Carbonite.  Oh, and Han not only shot first, but was the only one to fire his weapon.

Is it better to be extraordinary and always late, or just OK and always on time? 

Well, as the CXO, I would like to say be on time and be extraordinary. But if these are my choices then definitely get more beauty rest to be that much more extraordinary.

There you have it.

He loves Star Wars, is a member-oriented leader, and cares about his staff and the credit union movement. Thank you for a “Waunderful” 5 years, John! We are glad you came over to Wauna Credit Union from the Dark Side! We also look forward to freezing you in Carbonite and placing you in our headquarters’ lobby.

Saying “I Do” to Homeownership: How to Prepare for This Big Commitment

Buying a home is a major commitment. It’s a bit like, well, getting married. You’ve got to be ready and you have to find the right “one.” And, like a marriage, homeownership is a dynamic experience that requires a tremendous amount of care and attention. If you are ready to shift from renter to buyer, you’ve got some legwork to do.

Here’s how to prepare:

Credit matters
Quite simply, the past can either haunt or help you. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, financial institutions will likely be wary of extending you another loan. If you have had problems repaying past obligations, a lender will have trouble trusting that you will pay your mortgage on time.

You can increase your FICO score (a credit scoring model that helps lenders assess risk) by reducing debt, making timely payments, not shopping aggressively for credit, having a variety of credit instruments, and keeping at least one credit card for a long period of time. Make significant improvements in as few as six months.

Understand what you can afford
Most lenders require that total housing costs not exceed 28% of gross monthly income, and total debt payments per month (including the mortgage) not surpass 36%. In real terms, this means that if you owe no consumer debt and have a household income of $75,000, then $1,750 in housing costs is within your range.

Accumulate cash
If you don’t have at least some cash in your coffer, start a savings plan now. How much you will need depends on many factors, including the home price and how much you will put as a down payment. Closing costs, points, moving expenses, and a post-purchase reserve fund of two to three months worth of housing payments can add up to many thousands of dollars.

Once you own your home, you may eventually want a bigger or better living space. Rather than purchase a new residence, first consider remodeling. You can add rooms and customize your home to meet your needs and desires without having to move. Yet while remodeling can be wise, it can also be stressful and expensive. Be careful when hiring someone to do the work for you. A contractor you hire should:

  • Have a licence
  • Carry general liability insurance
  • Carry workers’ compensation insurance
  • Provide you with a written waiver at the end of the job
  • Guarantee work for at least one year from date of completion
  • Provide you with references
  • Be financially sound, so won’t declare bankruptcy in the middle of your project
  • Can provide proof that he or she has completed similar projects
  • Ensure that the price includes removal of all job debris and full clean up

So how are you going to pay for those fabulous improvements? There are three basic options: cash, refinancing, and using home equity.

  • Cash: If the job is small or short term, paying with cash is often the best method. A nice advantage of using savings is that you won’t have to repay a loan for the work that is done. When using cash, be sure to pay in agreed-upon increments.
  • Refinancing: Swapping a higher interest mortgage for a lower interest one can free up money for the project. You can refinance your existing mortgage and take all or part of your current equity in cash. Keep in mind though, that it will only be cost effective if you plan on remaining in the home long enough to recoup the closing costs and other fees associated with refinancing.
  • Home equity: Using home equity can be a great way to make major improvements – and get a tax benefit of interest deduction at the same time. To tap into your home’s equity, you can get a conventional second mortgage, a home equity loan, or a home equity line of credit. Second mortgages and home equity loans are best for large, long-term projects that require lump sum payments. Home equity lines are good for short-term projects or those requiring incremental payments.

Finally, remember that at home is not only where the heart is—it is also where the money is. You can get the most from your relationship with real estate by giving it the time and attention it requires, just like a marriage.

Visit our Real Estate Loans and Mortgage page to learn more about how you can get started today.

Provided by Balance.

July 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).  Employees celebrating July Anniversaries are all firecrackers who exploded onto the scene at WCU.

We also have one more special anniversary in July. CXO John Moore is celebrating 5 years at the credit union. Read all about him, and how Xs and Os don’t just mean kisses and hugs here.

Richard Bighill – 22 years
What is your current position?
RichardMy current position is Lending Support Clerk. My job is to help support the Lending Support Specialists, Lending Support Manager, and VP of Consumer Loans. My duties ensure that the others do not have to complete them while underwriting, processing, and funding loans.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Something that working at WCU for 22 years has taught me is that it is very important to be part of the WCU family, and help support others.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’m a huge Seahawks fan, so any new hobby would have to involve them. Maybe I’d become a sports photographer.

Sue Whitton – 11 years
What is your current position?
I am the Member Service Manager for the Vernonia Branch. In my position I oversee the front line operations. I believe the MC position is the most important contact for our membership. We start the relationship and help grow the membership through developing trust.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?Sue and her family
Wauna has taught me how important it is to support the community. Wauna has a strong commitment to the community, and I am proud of being able to support Vernonia.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My hobbies currently are adjusting to empty nesting and It is going very well. Thank you!

Heidi White – 6 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant. in the Clatskanie Branch. I assist our members with their every-day banking needs, as well as help them prepare for the future, whether that’s figure out the best way to save for a life milestone, or get a loan to buy a new car.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Growing up in Clatskanie I felt like I knew everybody in the community, but working here has taught me how to figure out a way to build rapport with anybody. No matter if they’re from out of town, just out of school, or getting ready for retirement, people want to know that the person helping them is looking out for their best interest.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Can I pick two hobbies? I want to travel all over the world and do fun crafty things. Maybe my new hobby would be to have an international craft store.

Kristen DeForrest – 2 years
What is your current position?
I currently work as the Member Service Manager at the Astoria Branch. Previously I managed the branch inside the Astoria Safeway. I am passionate about building dynamic team of member consultants who are passionate about Wauna Credit Union’s mission and vision. It is important to me that we help members at every stage of financial success, but I especially enjoy helping youth with our jump start program.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working here has taught me that no matter how much you prepare you still need to be ready for things to change. That is something I am constantly helping our members with. We are here to help people deal with all of life’s milestones, whether they are planned or not.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I just started a new hobby! I have recently committed to supporting the Mariners Baseball. I’ve watched almost all the games this season, and hope to attend one this year with my family, including my daughter Claire, who is 6-months old-and much more than a hobby.

Lisa Clark – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the St. Helens/Scappoose Area Manager. My job is to supervise the deposit and lending operations for those assigned branches. I’m to coach and lead the Member Service Managers in those branches and to ensure that my branches are providing the highest quality member service. I also get to do business development, commercial lending and some public relations in Columbia County. All in all, I’m to ensure that my assigned branches are reaching their goals and are profitable.

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?
One new hobby would be to learn to play a music instrument. My whole family is musical and I’m the only one who can’t play an instrument. My kids say that the only thing I can play is the radio!

Meisha Boettcher – 1 year
What is your current position?
Member Consultant II. Which means I act as a teller doing transactions sometimes; I act as a loan officer other times. I can be a therapist or an auditor depending on the day. Every day has a new challenge and a new lesson. I really enjoy that aspect of my work.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Meisha FishingThat everyone has a story and each one is important. Whether it’s a loan or a simple transaction, our interaction with that member is part of their day and part of their life. I’ve found it to be very enjoyable to be involved with people like that and get to know them over time.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve always been in awe of aerial silks, I attempted a little in high school but I never went anywhere with it, I wish I would have. If I had the time and setup to do that, you bet I’d be in amazing shape and I’d be having a good time doing it.

 

Others

  • Carli Lyon
  • Jan Durie
  • Amber Alexander
  • McKenzie Lewis
  • John Kurns

Certificate or Money Market?

Are you looking to generate income from your savings? Why not have your hard-earned money get out there and work for you? Well, we can certainly help by getting you started in either a Money Market or Certificate account.

But how do you decide which is best for you? Certainly, each investment has advantages and disadvantages. By figuring out market conditions alongside your own financial circumstances, you can work to make the best decision to fit your needs.

What is a Certificate?

A certificate is a special type of deposit that earns dividend income. When you invest in a certificate, you are depositing your money into the credit union for a pre-determined length of time (often 1 year and up). At the end of that time, your deposit “matures” and you are returned your money with the additional dividend payment. Generally, (and this can vary) the longer you keep your funds in a certificate, the higher the yield. What’s more is that many folks don’t know these funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).

The catch: Should you need access to your funds earlier than the term agreed upon, you’ll likely pay an early withdrawal fee. You may even lose some or all of the money accrued.

What is a Money Market Account?

Money Market accounts are like savings accounts but often pay you higher rates. Like a certificate, they too are federally insured and so have very little risk. Money Markets usually require a higher minimum balance and while you can make withdrawals, the number of withdrawals you are able to make over a given time is restricted. Thus, they are less liquid than a checking account but more liquid than many other investments, for example.

The catch: If you are not planning on using the funds in your Money Market account, you may be missing out on a higher yield.

What are some of the differences between the two?

  • When you invest in a certificate, everything is pretty clearly defined from the get-go. You can calculate the expected earnings. You also know your fixed rate and how long you plan to tie up your funds.
  • It may be harder to plan long-term with a Money Market account, as the rates vary over time and the funds aren’t locked up for any particular term length. This makes calculating your investment results less clear.
  • With a certificate, the longer the term, the more likely you will receive a higher yield. This can be advantageous, should rates decrease as you are tied to a better rate. Of course, you won’t have immediate access to your funds for a longer period of time.
  • Money Market accounts are easier to access than certificates. Although, keep in mind that there are limits on the number of withdrawals you can make.
  • Both Money Market accounts and certificates are federally insured by the NCUA up to $250k.
  • With Money Market accounts the dividend rate is directly proportional to your deposit amount and not to maturity (as is the case with a certificate). That being said, Money Market accounts might make more sense to a larger depositor.

So which is right for me?

Each of these products have their benefits. However, if you’ve a higher cash balance but need quick access to your funds, a Money Market account might make more sense for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind locking up your savings for a bit, then you may want to look into a certificate.

Clearly, we all have our own, unique financial situation. If you are looking into investing, it’s never a bad idea to get in touch with a financial advisor, or learn more on our website investment page.

Wauna Specialty Accounts: Certificate, Money Market, and IRA Accounts