Happy Credit Card Reduction Day!

If you had to guess, how much money would you say North Americans owe in credit card debt? $500 million? $500 billion? Here’s a hint: it’s over $1 trillion…and this is the first time in history it’s been that high.

To give you a bit of scale, in the final quarter of 2017 cardholders added a whopping $67.6 billion in credit card debt. According to WalletHub, that’s “the highest quarterly buildup in the last 30 years.”

Yikes!

Chances are you’re one of many who has fallen into these numbers. That’s OK! Credit card debt happens to the very best of us. But what can we do today to begin digging ourselves out?

Despite what it may seem, you don’t have to go overboard to make a difference. Starting off small by formulating a healthy financial plan can make a huge difference in the long run. Though in the meantime, here are a few tips to get you going and put your mind at ease:

1. Attack the peskiest balance first. If you have a few different cards, focus on paying down the largest balance. Not only can this boost your credit score by lowering your utilization, but you’ll also be shelling out less in interest. Not to mention, paying off the card that bugs you the most will feel like a million dollars.

2. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Asking the issuers of your cards for a lower interest rate is as easy as a phone-call. You’ll need a credit score of 730 or higher, but you could get your rate reduced. A rate reduction might very well save you hundreds of dollars over time.

3. Transfer that balance! A lot of folks don’t even know their credit card’s interest rate. According to creditcards.com, the national average annual percentage rate is 15.05%. Right now, we are offering 1.99% APR* for 6 months on balance transfers of $1,000 or more for our Rewards Visa and 2.99% APR^ for 6 months on our Platinum. Talk with a friendly Wauna staff member today and we’ll help you make the transfer.

4. If you can, pay more. Your credit card issuer is charging you interest on a daily basis, so the more often you make payments, the better off you will be. We suggest going one step further and making two, three, or ever four payments each month. Upping your payments can significantly reduce interest and the time you spend in debt.

Although it might not seem like it, the credit card companies you hold debt with want you to repay that debt just as much as you want to pay it off. No doubt about it, credit card reduction is a process. By setting goals and staying strong, you’ll come out on the other side better off than before. And don’t forget, you can always contact Wauna Credit Union for advice or guidance.

Let’s do this!

*APR: Annual Percentage Rate. The special 1.99% Introductory Rate applies to qualifying balance transfers transacted through March 31, 2018. The Introductory APR will begin on the transaction date(s) during the promotion period, and remain in effect through the 6th billing cycle. At this time the cardholder’s regular Credit Card Account Agreement terms will apply. Some restrictions apply. Cardholders may not transfer balances from other accounts issued by Wauna Credit Union.

May not transfer any amount of debt to their account that would cause their balance to exceed the account credit limit. During the promotional period, Rewards cardholders will earn 1 (one) Rewards Point for each qualifying $1 transferred to their Wauna CU VISA Rewards Credit Card account. Qualifying transfers greater than $999.99 will earn 2 (two) Rewards Points for each qualifying $1 transferred to their Wauna CU VISA Rewards Credit Card account. A Balance Transfer Fee of 3% of the total balance to be transferred, or a minimum fee of $20, whichever is   greater, will be assessed at the time the balance transfer is approved. This promotional offer ends March 31, 2018. Promotional details available at waunafcu.org. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required. 

^APR: Annual Percentage Rate. The special 2.99% Introductory Rate applies to qualifying balance transfers transacted through March 31, 2018. The Introductory APR will begin on the transaction date(s) during the promotion period, and remain in effect through the 6th billing cycle. At this time the cardholder’s regular Credit Card Account Agreement terms will apply. Some restrictions apply. Cardholders may not transfer balances from other accounts issued by Wauna Credit Union.

May not transfer any amount of debt to their account that would cause their balance to exceed the account credit limit. A Balance Transfer Fee of 3% of the total balance to be transferred, or a minimum fee of $20, whichever is greater, will be assessed at the time the balance transfer is approved. This promotional offer ends March 31, 2018. Promotional details available at waunafcu.org. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required.

What’s a Certificate

Save with a certificateSaving for your future is one of the most important decisions you can make – the sooner you start, the more you’ll have. It’s an easy way to create peace of mind for many reasons, and while there are many reasons to save, there are also many ways to save.

For some, the saving has reached a point where funds are simply waiting for bigger and better opportunities. This is where a certificate might just come in handy.

But what is a certificate? How does it work? And how do I know if it’s right for me?

In many ways, a certificate is a lot like your traditional savings account. But, in a lot of ways it isn’t. Similar to the bank issued Certificates of Deposits (CDs), with a certificate , you are agreeing NOT to touch your deposit/s for a set amount of time. The longer the term length of the certificate you choose, the longer you are committing to keeping those funds with your financial institution.

Of course, investing all of your money into a certificate isn’t going to be the fastest way to grow your portfolio. However a good rate can make all the difference in your financial plan. The one big advantage over a savings account is that with a certificate the rates are almost always higher.

Additionally, certificate specials will have fixed rates, meaning the rate won’t change during the term of the certificate. But remember, with a savings account you can move your cash in and out as often as you’d like. Early withdrawal penalties can differ, but with a certificate account, if you don’t plan ahead, you could end up losing some or all of the interest you’ve accrued.

By making smart decisions with investments certificates can be a viable option for solid returns on your deposit/s. And at Wauna Credit Union, your funds are insured up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Administration.

Contact your local Wauna Credit Union branch to see if a certificate is right for you. Our mission is to provide you with opportunities to build your financial well-being. It’s important that we offer options and alternatives that make sense for you.

Take a look at our current our Certificate Special here.

What Are The Cocoa Nights Of Winter?

Wauna Credit Union is offering great loans, collectible mugs, and even cocoa to warm you up!

These are the Cocoa Nights of Winter! But, what are “Cocoa Nights”? Much like the Dog Days of summer when the high temperatures seem way more oppressive that they were in June and July, these final nights of winter, though often warmer than the evenings of December and January somehow seem colder. Have you noticed this?Cocoa nights of winter image

In homes all over the Northwest, people keep turning the thermostat up in the evenings, even though it’s actually in the 40s most nights now, and despite the fact that some rhododendrons are already blooming. For some reason, the cold seems so much colder. No one is quite sure why this happens at the end of winter and the end of summer, but it does. Perhaps it is our bodies preparing for the warmer or cooler temperatures ahead, much like our dogs’ shedding?

Maybe it’s our homes? Do you have old, drafty windows? A furnace that needs a repair? Do you need a new roof, or perhaps a new house altogether? Maybe it’s just time for a refi? After all, a better rate or lower monthly payment will help warm anyone up!The cocoa nights of winter mugs

From now until the end of winter (or while supplies last), everyone who gets a new Home Loan, Refinance, or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) from Wauna Credit Union will receive a pair of beautiful, limited edition, 3-color print mugs and cocoa!

Sitting around the fireplace, or in front of the television or computer, with a beautiful mug full of warm chocolatey goodness is guaranteed to make everyone’s night better, and keep us warm until spring officially arrives! Come in today – before all the mugs and cocoa are gone!

Come in to any Wauna CU branch, apply online, or by phone, and take advantage of this offer.

https://waunafcu.org/loans/home.shtml

Get a pair of Limited Edition, 3-color Wauna Credit Union mugs and cocoa with any Home Loan, or home related loan – Now until Spring! While supplies last.

BillPay Is Now (finally) In Online Banking! Learn More…

computer hugger billpayFor nearly a year, Wauna Credit Union staffers have been hard at work collaborating with our core processor to put our BillPay service right inside our Online Banking. It sounds simple when you say it, sure, and with all the big “fintech”, aka financial technology, advances we hear about almost daily in the news, a Single Sign-On BillPay seems like small potatoes, but really, it’s not!

BillPay is an amazing service that allows users to pay bills automatically, but not just to say regular monthly bills, one time payments can use bill pay, users can pay a co-worker for lunch, or send money to a broke nephew on a road trip.

For a long time, members of Wauna Credit Union would log-in to Online Banking, and then to utilize BillPay they would have to log-in to their BillPay account. To allow BillPay to be right inside Online Banking took months of updates, negotiations, programming, and a little bit of luck. It finally launched in Mid-November – without a hitch!

Now that we have it, and we know it works, The Wonderful World Of Wauna turned to two of our BillPay experts Debi Smiley, Chief Marketing Officer, and Jennifer Kenney, Operations Support Manager, to get some answers about the service, how it has changed, and its benefits.debismiley1jenniferkenney

Would you explain the benefit of the single sign on? 

Debi Smiley: The Single Sign-On (SSO) provides two benefits, convenience and security.  It allows for a member to log into various services with the convenience of one log in.  This mitigates the need to manage a large number of passwords.  It is also a much simpler process which adds a layer of convenience to the user.  It also reduces exposure to the risks of data loss.  Users can trust going through the WCU web site.

What has changed within the new Billpay?

Jennifer Kenney: A member with who had a bill pay profile before, will have the same profile – just the access is different. Members will no longer need a second login for bill pay, the Bill Pay link will remain the same and will now open a window within the Online banking system with bill pay screens that the members will recognize.

Members will no longer need to go through the same enrollment process.  In Online banking, they will click the Bill Pay link and they will be verified and be taken to the screen to set up their payments.

What are your favorite things about using billpay? 

Debi Smiley: Again, it is all about time and cost savings.  It only takes seconds to send off a bill where it would take much more time to do it the old traditional way of writing a check, filling out the envelope, putting all the information needed in the envelope, putting the stamp on it, and placing it in the mail.  With Bill Pay, you find the company you want to pay, enter the dollar amount, click submit, verify, and you’re done.  It is quite easy and fast.  The top reasons I like Bill Pay is:

  1. Convenience & Time Savings
  2. Security
  3. I control the who, how much, and when
  4. It keeps track of everything.  The history is right there to look things up quickly when/if I need it.

What’s an interesting feature of Billpay that users may not be aware of?

Jennifer Kenney: Billpay payments can be processed from a members account electronically (ACH) or via Check. (That means if a check needs to be mailed, Billpay does it for you!)

Now that Single Sign-On is available for Billpay, and maybe you learned a bit more about the service, consider signing up. Try one or two bills to start, and if you like it, add a few more each month. Soon you’ll wonder how you ever got along without Billpay!

All Credit Card Users – Enjoy the Gift of 1.5% APR* thru Jan 2017!

Have you seem our new VISA Credit Card special? It’s our gift to you!

New & current VISA Credit Card holders are getting a great gift from Wauna CU this year! It’s a 1.5% APR* on all new purchases and balance transfers from now thru the end of January 2017.VISA-shoppingbag-Adproof-Final2Current Credit Card users: You don’t need to do anything – but use your card that is – the savings is automatic, there is nothing to sign up for.

New Credit Card applicants: Benefit from this 1.5% apr now, and starting Feb. 1, 2017, you’ll still enjoy months of our introductory rate of 2.99%!

Apply for a credit card today! https://waunafcu.org/loans/credit-cards.shtml

Calculate Your Savings: http://calcubot.com/calcubots/740

Rewards VISA users: When you use our VISA Rewards card from now until the end of January, you’ll receive DOUBLE Reward points when you shop in person, and TRIPLE Reward points when you shop online.

Do not let this amazing offer pass by!

 *APR: Annual Percentage Rate. During the special promotional period, Wauna Credit Union VISA cardholders will receive a Promotional Interest Rate of 1.50% APR for new purchases and balance transfers posted to their account through January 31, 2017. The promotional 1.50% APR will begin on the credit card transaction date(s) during the promotion period, and remain in effect through the June 27, 2017 credit card billing cycle, at which time the cardholder’s regular Credit Card Account Agreement terms will apply. As of November 14, 2016, the Wauna CU VISA credit card APR range was between 8.90% – 18.00%). Some restrictions apply. Cardholders may not transfer balances from other accounts issued by Wauna Credit Union, or any amount of debt to their account that would cause their balance to exceed the account credit limit. All business credit cards are excluded. VISA Rewards cardholders will earn Double Rewards Points for purchases conducted in person, and Triple Rewards Points for purchases conducted online through January 31, 2017. Promotion details available at waunafcu.org. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required. This special Promotion ends January 31, 2017.

Resource Page: EMV For Credit Cards

Electronic payment concept

7-5-16 UPDATE: Our Credit Card upgrade is complete. All Credit Card users should have their new EMV-chip VISA credit card in use.

**Please Note: We are experiencing a few issues in regard to error messages when making Credit Card payments in online banking. Please disregard the error, we are receiving your payment. We are working to resolve this problem, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

EZ Card Users: EZ Card has been discontinued, Credit Card transactions are now in Online Banking. If you have not set up online banking please stop in any Wauna CU branch or call our Communications Center at 800-773-3236.

To access your Credit Card statement online, simply log into online banking and click the grey credit card icon in the loans section next to the number. **Please make sure pop-ups are enabled for our site to display credit card transactions.

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Here’s what our VISA Credit Card users need to know:

Important Dates:

  • May 20, 2016 – Notifications Begin to inform Credit Card users of the card changeover.
  • May 20, 2016 – EZ Card users will receive this E-Z Card Discontinuation Letter via mail or email about the brief interruption in service from June 24-27th.
  • Credit Card Users will also have the opportunity to migrate their automatic payments, hassle free, using this Wauna CU VISA Set-up form.
  • June 14 – 20, 2016 – New cards will begin arriving to cardholders. (There will be some changes to your card, please read below to learn more*).
  • June 24, 2016 EZ Card online services will no longer be accessible to users. (IMPORTANT: Be sure to save/download any account history from EZ Card that you may need for your records BEFORE this date. It will be gone after June 24th).
  • June 24 – 27 EZ Card will be unavailable, and Credit Card transactions will not yet be available in Online Banking.
  • June 27, 2016 – VISA cardholders may activate their new cards, and access Wauna CU’s Online Banking to see their Credit Card Activity.

Important Details:

  • Do NOT attempt to use your new card (Or destroy the old one) until June 27th. The new cards will not work until then.
  • You may activate the new Credit Card on June 27th.
  • Use your current Credit Card throughout the day on June 26th, later in the evening it will no longer work and may then be destroyed.
  • We are taking every precaution to ensure the change from your current Credit Card to the new EMV Chip Card is seamless. If issues do arise, please contact us for assistance at 800-773-3236 and follow the prompts for VISA Credit Card support.
  • Card holders are welcome to stop in their local branch, call 800-773-3236, email us, or chat live on our website, if you have questions or issues with your Credit Card.

* Important Changes & Improvements:

  • Your new VISA Credit Card will have a different card number than your current card.
  • If you have a joint account, you will notice the cards now have different numbers. This is an advantage in case one card is compromised, the other cardholder’s card will not be.
  • Instead of accessing EZ Card, now your Credit Card transactions will be available in our Wauna CU online banking.
  • Rewards Card Members will NOT lose accrued points, and you’ll still be able to redeem them through Scorecard just as before.
  • If you have automatic payments set up to or from your VISA Credit Card they will need to be redone. Use this fillable form and we will migrate those payments over for you, or you will be required to do it yourself when you switch to the new EMV Chip Card.
  • New Phone Numbers! If your Credit Card is lost, stolen or compromised, the numbers to call have changed:
  • Activate new EMV-Chip Credit Card: 844-267-2739
  • Customer Service Number: 844-267-2739
  • Start a Disputes: 844-202-5067 / Existing Disputes: 844-202-5070
  • Lost/Stolen Credit Card: 955-202-5056
  • International Number: 540-707-4039
  • General Correspondence Address: PO BOX 182477 Columbus, OH 43272-4935

Mailers:

Sure, that sounds like a lot, but we feel certain with the added protection and improvements, our members will be thrilled with our new VISA Platinum and Rewards Credit Cards upgrades!

 

HELOCS Are Cool, Just Ask Barbara Norman!

Barbara Norman-webWauna Credit Union is offering special terms for HELOCs (Home Equity Line Of Credit) until July 31st! Now is the time to put your home’s equity to work for those fun home improvement projects, or nearly any need one might have. One reason so many people prefer HELOCs to Home Equity Loans is that you use the money you need when you need it. It is rotating and versatile!

Our current promotion offers a 1.99% interest rate for the first 6 months! Plus, since we are a Credit Union, there are NO Loan Origination Fees like many other financial institutions have. And, as an added bonus, we will give the holder of every approved HELOC a DIY project starter kit including a tape measure, torpedo level, & a carpenter’s pencil!

To learn more, we cornered Barbara Norman, an expert from our Wauna CU Mortgage Department, here’s what she had to say about HELOCs.

First, we asked Barbara to name THREE great things about a HELOCs, and she was quick to respond!

  1. Access to emergency funds instantly!
  2. Pay interest only on funds used!
  3. No costs (except appraisal if needed)!

Next, we asked her what a homeowner would need to qualify for a HELOC?

  • Income, equity in the home, & pretty good credit.
  • A month of Paystubs.
  • 2 years W-2s and Federal Tax Returns.
  • Home Owner’s insurance.
  • Current Mortgage Statement on 1st Mortgage, if any, and possible other docs depending on circumstances.

What can homeowners spend the money on? Are there rules or limitations?

Barbara: They can spend it on buying a car, pay off debts, home improvements, cash for vacation, buying additional property, and much more!

What is the benefit of getting a HELOC via Wauna CU?

Barbara: We pay for the title policy, flood certification, recording fees, and tax service, if any.  The member would pay only for appraisal, if it is required.

We thought we’d stump Barbara when we asked this question: What is the ‘Coolest” thing about HELOCs? Because of course, how could a HELOC be cool? But, Barbara didn’t even blink when she responded, why you ask? Because as Barbara has proven HELOCs ARE COOL!

Barbara: I think the coolest thing about a HELOC is having the funds for emergencies; whether your water main breaks, roof leaks, or you have a medical emergency, it takes the worry out of the equation.

Thanks Barbara!

Now, we all know a little more about Home Equity Lines of Credit, and if you would like one, please apply online or stop in any branch to talk to your local Member Service Officer.

Learn More about our HELOC Promotion: https://waunafcu.org/loans/current-loan-promotion.shtml

 

May 2016 Statement Insert: HELOC Special Offer

The following insert was included with all mailed monthly statements in May. Learn more about our Home Equity Loan Promotion here, or apply today by clicking this link.May-16-insert Proof final

Don’t Let Your DIY Project Get Stalled!

Our Special Home Equity Line Of Credit Offers You More Buying Power!!

  • Low, Introductory Rate for 6-Months!
  • No Loan Origination Costs!
  • Flexible Loan-to-Value ratio!

The only thing better than starting your project is finishing it!

Avoid the delays —
We are ready to help you!

  • Apply online, by phone, or visit any branch.
  • 800-773-3236
  • waunafcu.org

Financial Advisors Corner: WHAT IS YOUR RISK TOLERANCE?

Risk tolerance for many people has more to do with emotions than actual facts when it comes to their money. And it is true that there are many types of risk one may encounter, but all risk has one thing in common: the uncertainty of loss. The fact is that there is risk in everything. Risk can be minimized but it cannot be eliminated.

A good example of a place where risk has gradually taken people by surprise is through the safety and security of our regular savings and certificates of deposits. These rates have been at historical lows for the past five years with no clear indication that rates will rise anytime soon.

This is known as “Interest Rate Risk”. The reality for many people is that rates are so low that you are no longer able to keep up with daily expenses of living with your interest earnings and you are gradually depleting savings.

Knowing that there is risk in even the safest of investments, is your inner objective voice of reason beginning to ask whether it might be worthwhile to re-evaluate your tolerance for risk? Maybe it’s time for you to consider some of the income investments other retirees are using today to create retirement income.

Contact me, Rich Parker, to schedule an appointment at a Wauna CU branch near you to discuss your tolerance for risk. We may have an acceptable solution for you.

Rich Parker 2013Richard Parker,
LPL Financial Advisor
Wauna Investment Services
Cell: 1.877.728.4110
Office: 1.800.773.3236
Email: Richard.Parker@lpl.com
LPL Branch Office:
100 Columbia Ave
Astoria OR 97103

  • There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
  • Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance Products offered through LPL Financial or it licensed affiliates. LPL Financial is not affiliated with Wauna Credit Union.
  • Not NCUA Insured
  • No Credit UnionGuarantee
  • May Lose Value

Refinance Special – Move your loan to us and save!

snowboard rebate version 3Wauna Credit Union has expanded its annual Auto Loan rebate program to include all RVs, boats and toys, as well as installment loans with a balance over $5000!

This is a great opportunity to get a cash rebate, enjoy 60 days without payments, and it may even lower your interest rate or monthly payment.

Learn More: https://waunafcu.org/loans/current-loan-promotion.shtml