How Do I Get a Mortgage

Do you want to buy a home, or maybe fix up the one you have, but have questions about getting a mortgage? Luckily, two of the best loan officer in Clatsop County are hear to answer your question.

Paige Tischer and Heather Dixson sat down with WaunaTalk recently. Both Paige and Heather have worked with our members for years. They talk through the steps it takes to get a mortgage, and the types of loans the credit union offers. Also, Paige and Heather chat about how a credit union is different than a bank or broker.

If you’re looking to purchase or refinance learn more on our Mortgage page. Wauna Credit Union offers primary, investment, vacation, and bare land loans. We also let you use the equity in your home to get a HELOC.

Whatever mortgage you need Wauna Credit Union has the solution for you. Our friendly RELOs, Mark, Jen, Paige, and Heather are here to answer any question you have.

Tell them Veyda sent you.

Veyda the Mortgage Dog
Veyda the Mortgage Dog takes a break after helping our members get their home loan

If you want to listen to past episodes of WaunaTalk check out this page. Employees discuss credit, working at the credit union, an even what makes a credit union special. If you have suggestions for future editions let us know.

January Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. Our January Anniversaries helped us start the year with a bang. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). 

Pam Weller – 15 years

What is your current position?
My position is to oversee the growth and operations of the branches and WCU’s commercial loan department to ensure the needs of all of our members are being met. We understand that our area is special, and so are the needs and circumstances of the people who live here. On the branch side I oversee the employee growth for the Area Managers who have direct responsibility to the branch employees and the day to day operation of the branches, and with the commercial team I work to ensure the business lending needs of our members are being met, including directing commercial loan operations, underwriting and annual reviews.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wanua Credit Union has been a great opportunity to learn management and leadership skills over the last 15 years. Working with and training new employees has been a very rewarding part of my position with WCU. There have been many opportunities to learn about all areas of the financial industry.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had a choice of a new hobby it would probably be to travel with a goal to visit every National Park in the United State.

Star Wars is an important part of life at Wauna Credit Union

Serena Schlosser – 4 years

What is your current position?
I am the Manager of the Lending Admin department, based out of Astoria. I get to work with all aspects of consumer loans (auto loans, credit cards, and unsecured loans). My department audits, processes, and decisions these loans. We also assist our Member Consultants in providing these products to our owner-members to build their financial well-being.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me that the most obvious solution to a situation isn’t always the best one. Taking the time to dig deeper and really understand our members is very important in uncovering the best options that our credit union can offer to serve them.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby it would be to restore old buildings in order to give them new purpose. I really enjoy the sense of place a building with a bit of history imparts on a community.

Serena loves visiting area landmarks


  • Randy Buholts – 10 Years
  • Jenifer Katon – 6 Years
  • Jeff Kratka – 2 Years
  • Dave Freeman – 2 Years
  • Trevor Shelby – 2 Years
  • Amanda Heikkila – 2 Years
  • Matt Edwards – 1 Year

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.
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

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

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.

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.
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 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 -Update 3/13

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are making changes to our annual meeting procedures.

  • In order to prevent unnecessary cross-contamination we will not be serving food/beverages or distributing prizes
  • We will also place a suitable distance between all seats
  • The Annual Meeting will be live streamed on Facebook to ensure members do not need to risk their health.

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.

Fraud Alert: Take the Time to Protect Yourself

We have had at least three instances in the last 24-hours of fraudsters reaching out to WCU members from a phone number that appears to be our legitimate 800 number and trying to trick them into providing information to compromise their account. Below is a summary of the scam, and what to do to protect yourself.

Once connected, the fraudsters claim to be our fraud department and attempt to collect additional information about the accounts by making up a fake “fraudulent” transaction. They then ask the member to confirm full card number, expiration date, the three digits on the back of the card, and social security number.

The fraudsters then say they will block the card to set the member at ease, and then using the information they have stolen to create a fake card, reset the PIN, and then going on a shopping spree.

The best way to fight against this is by not giving any personal information to somebody who calls. Simply hang up and call us back at 800-773-3236 Even if it’s after hours you will be connected to a trustworthy source. Remember even if it is a legitimate call from our Fraud Department they will understand when you say you want to call us back/

Here are some key things to remember:

  • We will never ask for personal info to confirm your identity if we are the ones calling
  • We do not have your CVV (three numbers on the back of your card) on file, and will never use it to confirm your identity
  • We will never call more than three times to try to confirm fraud
  • We do not currently send out text messages, and if we start they would come from a short code (being a simple five digit number) and not a full phone number
  • Our fraud number is not our regular 800 number – but you can call that and follow the prompts to get the fraud department –department would NOT be calling from our 800 number as shown below. 

Here is an example of one of our members activities from last night. This fraudster called 22 times, and sent a text from a full phone number.  Luckily the WCU member was aware of the fraud signs and what to look for, and waited to come talk to us this morning rather than responding to the calls or message. 

December Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. Our December Anniversaries were a special present for the credit union. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). 

Amy Grubb – 7 years

What is your current position?
I have been the Member Service Manager at the Scappoose branch for 4 years now, after three years working as a Member Consultant in the St. Helens branch! I have enjoyed getting to know all our wonderful members. I get to go to work every day and work with an amazing team and get to help my wonderful members. Being in the position I am in has been a true blessing for me. The decisions I make can truly change someones life for the better. I love helping my team to grow and learn to become the best they can be. I get to be out in the community helping to tell people about Wauna. I became a part of our local Rotary club and will be the incoming president for 2020.

Amy and her husband
Amy loves to get out an about in Scappoose

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me that regardless of who you are, you matter! Wauna is truly a place that’s wants to help our members and our employees. I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I already have a few fun hobbies like riding quads and camping, but if I could start a new hobby I would love to flip houses! My dad was a contractor my whole life and I just love taking something from being unloved and breathing new life into it!

Ashley Erickson – 4 years

What is your current position?
I am an Accountant at Wauna Credit Union. I was originally hired as an Accounting Clerk to pay the bills and balance daily transaction our members do in the branches. Now, as I have learned more within the department, I am also responsible for several higher end tasks like our Fixed Assets, producing our branch income statements, and reviewing how we are performing in regards to the budget.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have learned numerous things at WCU, one of them being the importance of giving back to our community. I am proud to work for a company that allows us to volunteer in our community and donate both time and money to local organizations and events. It is always fun getting out in the area and giving back to our members.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would love to have my own alpaca farm! Alpacas are my favorite animal because they are so cute but also a little feisty. My coworkers surprised me with a trip to see alpacas for my birthday this year, which was so much fun – even when one of them spit at me.

ashley with an alpaca
Ashley’s coworkers gave her a special birthday gift

Josh Rein – 3 years

What is your current position?
I’m the Digital Media Specialist at the credit union. If you’re looking at something on a screen, either in the branch, or on your computer or mobile device, there’s a good chance I had something to do with it. (Like this blog for example). We pride ourselves on service, which means in the branch, but also means we need to ensure our online service is just as people oriented.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me to make the most out of every opportunity.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’d like to take up photography. I take pictures sometime as part of my job, and would love to explore more, especially where nature and development intersect.

Ben Towers – 1 year

What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant for the Astoria branch. I help our member owners maintain and build their financial well-being. I always to give members my total attention, so I can best recommend the products that fit their specific needs and wants.

Ben loves spending time with his family

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Credit! Wauna has taught me that credit is so important, especially when you start to look at making those big life changing purchases like a house or car. Also to use all the products that financial institutions offer. At the credit union there are a lot of products that pay dividends on your funds so you can grow your savings without having to do a thing!

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I really want to start getting into photography. I’ve found a new appreciation for great photos and photographers who can see the world around them and make something really pop with a simple photo.


  • Rachael Eaton – 3 Years

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.


  • 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.