SEPTEMBER STATEMENT INSERT – If you missed our informational insert

September Statement Insert 2016

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The Clatskanie Sign Returns From Its Makeover!

New Clatskanie Signs Mark another Milestone in the Wauna CU Branch Remodel

Wauna CU’s Clatskanie branch had some Special deliveries recently! The monument sign that sits atop a Sphinx-like brick structure has returned with a new, modern face. A new Wauna logo sign appears atop the front door entrance of the branch, AND a brand new LCD display was affixed to the building, ready to share the time, weather and great information to all passersby!

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The Clatskanie branch has been going through a major renovation since April of this year and is finally nearing completion. Phase 4, which includes the second floor operations and administration areas, will soon be finished to accommodate our growing organization and give staff a more modern facility to work in.

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The updated outdoor signage is just another leap in this process. Earlier we launched our new “Financial Center” for members, and out staff was given additional training to allow them to help the member from the beginning to the end of their transaction – whether it’s a simple deposit or a home loan, our Member Consultants are ready, willing and able to assist.

Stay tuned for news on our Grand Re-opening coming this fall!

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Wauna Credit Union Proudly Supports Local Backpack Program

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Wauna Credit Union officials, church members, and volunteers hold the giant check for the Backpack Program

Recently, Wauna Credit Union celebrated a successful staff fundraiser with the presentation of a giant check. The check for $6486.42 was presented to the Clatskanie Baptist Church for the Backpack Program they organized at several local schools. While every organization Wauna Credit Union staff votes to fund-raise for does amazing work, the Backpack Program was especially close to many of our hearts.

The Backpack Program helps fight childhood hunger in America by supplying children in need with a backpack of prepared, or easy to prepare food, to sustain them over the weekend. Many children in America must rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, so this can make for a long and painful weekend if they live in a home without enough food. It is terribly sad to think about and abhorrent in a nation such as America.

Wauna Credit Union’s Jenifer Katon nominated the cause. She found out about the program and the great work they were doing, and was disheartened to learn there was a waiting list for kids. The waiting list meant that all the children in need would line up on Fridays and organizers would hand out as many bags as they could, this left many children walking away empty handed!

Jenifer decided the Backpack Program needed to benefit from our fundraising immediately, so instead of the money accruing in an account, she gave it out as it came in. Almost immediately, all children were off the waiting list so no one had to go home empty handed. Then, the program was able to expand to another school and another.

In total, the program was able to serve 5 local schools, and give out thousands of meals to children through the last school year, and even into the upcoming one! It was a huge boost for all of us on the Wauna Credit Union staff to hear how the program was growing and serving more and more children in Clatskanie and St Helens each month.

Of course our staff benefitted too through the many raffles that offered cash, sports tickets, and even a beach weekend getaway with the beach house donated for the cause by the amazing folks at Paulson Printing. There was an auction, payroll deductions, “Jeans Days”, and plenty of in branch candy sales, which helped everyone’s sweet tooth, members and staff alike.

Oftentimes members will buy a chocolate bar or a lollipop as a quick snack or in support of “the cause”, but without understanding what that cause even is or where that money is really going. Everyone who gave into the craving for a chocolate pretzel or other treat should be proud of themselves that the pretzel they munched on helped a hungry child to eat on the weekend. Thanks to all who support our staff fundraisers, they do so much more than you realize.

If you want to volunteer or donate money to the Backpack Program, please contact The Clatskanie Baptist Church.

Ways to Financially Prepare Before College, Or Smart College Budgeting

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No matter your major, you can graduate from college with an honorary degree in personal finance by paying attention to where your money is coming from and where it’s going.

Here’s how to get started:

Set a budget

Start by identifying the income sources you’ll have in college, such as wages from a part-time job, scholarships and financial aid. Then estimate how much you’ll be spending. You can probably ballpark costs such as tuition, room and board, school supplies, laundry and transportation.

You should also allocate some money for discretionary spending, such as food outside your meal plan and entertainment. Consider limiting these expenses with a weekly allowance.

Your budget can show you when you need to cut back on spending and when you can afford a treat. If you need help, try an online tool like Mint.com.

Apply for the right financial aid

There are two main types of student loans: federal and private. It makes sense to borrow as much as you can in federal loans before resorting to private ones, because federal loans generally have lower interest rates and broader repayment options.

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to get federal loans and see if you qualify for need-based aid, including grants, work-study and some scholarships.

Do your best to figure out how much you’ll need before you take out loans, whether they’re from the government or a private lender. Either way, you’re on the hook to repay them, so borrow only what you have to.

Manage credit cards responsibly

Credit cards can be tricky, particularly if you’ve never had one. They’re useful tools for building a credit history — but they’re also fraught with danger if you overextend yourself.

To get the greatest benefit out of a credit card, use it wisely. That means paying off your balance in full each month to improve your credit score and avoid costly interest charges.

It helps to view your credit card as you do your debit card: You can’t spend what you don’t have. Speaking of debit cards, make sure you don’t authorize your banking institution to charge an overdraft fee if you inadvertently withdraw more money than you have in your account.

If you want a credit or debit card, consider getting one from a nonprofit, member-owned credit union like Wauna Credit Union. These financial institutions generally offer lower interest rates and fees than traditional banks.

Take advantage of your student status

Many major companies offer student discounts. Among them: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Banana Republic. If you’re hoping to make a purchase and the merchant hasn’t advertised a student discount, there’s no harm in asking.

You can also save money on textbooks by buying used copies from websites such as Abebooks and Chegg.

A degree doesn’t guarantee you a great-paying job. But college graduates still generally out-earn people without degrees, according to a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center.

And this much is certain: Developing smart budgeting and spending habits in college will continue to pay off long after you graduate.

Peter Lewis, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

*Thanks to our friends at NerdWallet for this informative guest blog!

EVENT: Groundbreaking at future Long Beach WA Mortgage Origination Office, Aug. 4, 2016

PRESS: Purchasing a home in Pacific County: Mortgage Origination Office offers lending avenues

MOOinCRBJCoast River Business Journal Reports On New Mortgage Office On Long Beach Peninsula

Debi Smiley, Wauna CU COO, with Long Beach Fire Chief Matt Bonney at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Debi Smiley, Wauna CU COO, with Long Beach Fire Chief Matt Bonney at the groundbreaking ceremony.

LONG BEACH — Pacific County residents looking to purchase real estate will have a new financing option on the Peninsula in September. Wauna Credit Union, based in Clatskanie, is opening a Mortgage Origination Office at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach. There was a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 4. Completion is tentatively slated for late September.

“The purpose is to meet the mortgage financing needs of the area,” said Debi Smiley, chief operations officer for Wauna Credit Union, “Mortgage/Real Estate Lending will be the initial services rendered.”

Growing demand for Pacific County property

The new mortgage financing office will serve a growing demand for Pacific County real estate.

“Recently it was brought to our attention by local real estate Agents that there was a growing demand for Real Estate Lending in Pacific County,” Smiley said. A feasibility study was conducted and the results reflected that the number of real estate transactions has significantly increased during the past 5 years and continue to climb annually.

“This reflects a strong demand for Real Estate financing,” Smiley explained, “We believe WCU can assist in meeting this need,” said Smiley adding that WCU has served Pacific County since July of 2012.

A growing enterprise

“It is our goal to provide a service that assists individuals in purchasing the home of their dreams,” she summed. WCU has braches offices in Astoria, Clatskanie, St. Helens, Scappoose, Vernonia, and Warrenton, Oregon with total assets exceeding $200 million.

“Total Membership exceeds 22,000 members including more than 600 in Pacific County, and employs more than 100 local employees,” according to Mike Chapman, WCU vice president of marketing. “WCU officials partnered with local businesses for our construction needs including Rickenbach Construction, Inc. (RCI), of Astoria, Oregon. RCI was selected as the general contractor for the Long Beach project and recently-built branches in Warrenton, St Helens, and the current remodel of the Clatskanie Branch.”

 

PRESS: Wauna CU Mortgage Department Featured in Coast River Business Journal

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Faces Of Lending

McKenzie Wilson, Loan officer, Wauna Credit Union, Warrenton:

“I’ve been here since 2012. In August of 2015, I started doing the real estate financing.”

Monica Lauber, Assistant vice president of mortgage, Wauna Credit Union:

“I started at Wauna 12 years ago in the Warrenton branch and then moved into the loan department over in Astoria. Then made my way up to Saint Helens. Right now I’m the assistant vice president of the mortgage department. I oversee the staff at all the branches.”

What misconceptions exist about financing for a first home?

“A lot of younger people coming in think that the process — that they can’t do it. That it’s a super hard process to buy a house. I think that’s the misconception — that people think it’s impossible to buy a house sometimes. It’s really not, especially working with the credit union. We’re giving the guidance to get to that point, we’re not just saying ‘no’ and sending you back.”

How has lending evolved?

“I’ve definitely seen a change. I’ve been doing it since 2004, I went through the crisis, people rebuilding their credit. The best thing right now is we’re seeing people starting to regain equity in their homes, which is allowing them to improve their current housing situation.”

What advice would give a first-time borrower?

“Come prepared with a budget. And not more so a “this is a house I want to buy.” Think more toward, is that monthly payment going to fit into your budget. If fixes come about, am I going to be able to afford these fixes? I think that’s the biggest thing, just having all that in mind.”

What’s the typical down payment?

“We can do as little as little as three percent. Typically it’s about three to five percent. With more first-time homebuyers we don’t see a lot in the way of down payment money because there are programs that offer 100 percent financing. But we encourage it, the more they put down the better their rate is going to be.”

On best preparation, what do you take into account?

“We want to make sure that they’re credit worthy. We want to make sure that they’re aware of monthly costs and closing costs.”

What’s the sales frequency compared to last year?

“Our borrowers definitely have to be more on their game. They have to have a pre-approval in hand. Since homes are selling so quickly, those borrowers that have worked hard to prepare themselves with us are the ones making the offer, and it’s accepted because they know they have all their ducks in a row.”

Typical time a house is on the market?

“They’re definitely selling faster. Being prepared is huge.”

How does it compare to 10 years ago?

“Rates are extremely low right now.”

“Oh gosh, we were around 6-7 percent.”

Is there a typical mortgage rate?

“It varies depending on the program they’re doing. You have government program in the low 3-percent range, then you’ve got your conventionals that are higher 3’s — still great compared to what it’s been in years’ past.”

What’s the sales frequency compared to last year?

“Our borrowers definitely have to be more on their game. They have to have a pre-approval in hand. Since homes are selling so quickly, those borrowers that have worked hard to prepare themselves with us are the ones making the offer, and it’s accepted because they know they have all their ducks in a row.”

 

 

August Statement Insert – Back To School & EMV Protection

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August 2916 Statement Insert

Back To School Already?!?!

We’ll help you get ready! Affordable Loan Options for clothes, supplies, tuition, sports, cars, & more! Apply online or on our Mobile App!

Now, Eagle Eye Protection For VISA Debit & Credit Cards!

  • World class fraud protection!
  • A microprocessor on your card!
  • Greater security when shopping!

Upgrade Changes To Online Banking & Changing Passwords

cybersecurity[1]Better Security, Better Service!

Since the recent update of our Online Banking system (on July 19th) there are several changes members should be aware of.

Update Online Banking Bookmarks & Favorites

Some users may need to empty their browser cache or cookies to reach our online banking. For help, please follow these instructions for your preferred browser: How To Clear-Browser-Cache-Cookies-and-History.pdf

Higher Password Security Requirement

We will soon be requiring our members to create more secure passwords for better protection. This is a proactive measure, and it comes on the heels of our security upgrade.

During the next 12 months, all Online Banking users will be required to change their password, and we have stricter new requirements for passwords. Sincere there are only so many numbers and letters it is vital to create more complex passwords.

  • Mobile App Users: Passwords cannot be changed in the Mobile App. You will need to change their password in Online Banking; this can be done using your mobile browser and logging into Online Banking at waunafcu.org.
  • We recommend you proactively change your password to the stronger requirements at your earliest convenience.
  • If your password is not changed at this time to meet the stronger requirements, you will be prompted to change your password at some point between July 19, 2016 and July, 19, 2017.
  • Also, please ensure we have a valid email address for you. There are instructions below to assist you with adding, updating, and validating your email address.  A validated email address is required so you can use the “I forgot my Password” link.
  • Download Instructions For Password Changing.

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Congratulations to our 2016 scholarship recipients!

josie robertsAt Wauna Credit Union, we pride ourselves on serving our communities the very best that we can. One of the ways we do this is by annually offering scholarships to local student members in an effort to help them afford their higher education goals. We welcome previous winners to apply annually also.

 

IMG_3960The scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria including need, academics, community activity, plus essays we ask them to write.

Learn more about our scholarship program on our website: https://waunafcu.org/annual-scholarship.shtml

Below are the 2016 recipients, we are so proud of them and look forward to seeing them progress in their lives and careers!

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