EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER: Jacob Humphries, IT Systems Admin

jacob-circleJacob  Humphries is our reigning Employee of the Quarter (EOQ), and it’s no surprise given his expertise in all matters technological.

The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with our busy tech guru to get some questions answered. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that most of his answers were very short – except the one about video games – A techie to the core!

If you happen to see Jacob in a branch, be sure to say hi!

Name: Jacob W Humphries

Title: Systems Administrator II

How long have you worked at WCU? Little over 2 Years

What do you do at Wauna CU? If it uses electricity, I make sure it keeps doing so…

Where are you from, what did you do before you came to work here? I’m from Astoria, Ive been doing IT since the 90s

What is the best thing about working here? Each of the employees, We have an awesome Wauna family

Favorite color, why? Green, I enjoy nature!

Favorite food? Ice Cream, It’s a food, right?

Zodiac sign? Taurus

What do you do when you aren’t at work? I have 2 energetic kids so there is little time left for hobbies, but when I do have time, I build and race multirotor drones.

What is your favorite Wauna CU product or service? Why? Mobile banking, I use it more than any other service.

Last good movie you saw? Star Trek Beyond

Last good book you read? ‘It’s Your Ship’ by Captain D Michael Abrashoff

Favorite video game? I was a Halo fan until they killed off Master Chief at the end of the third game. I packed away the Xbox never to touch a game console again. I like Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront on PC.  My favorite game of all time was Day of Defeat. It was a WW1 FPS game on the PC, Axis vs Allies. There was a third team called spectators which you could join to just view the game as if you were a ghost. We found a way to join the spectator team right after being killed and drop from the sky holding the last gun that was in your hands prior to your death. Since there was no player model for the spectator, Allies would see the Spectator as an Allie and Axis saw the same spectator as being in Axis Clothes, Each team would think we were on their team. When a Spectator would capture a flag or hold a control point, the game would just remove said flag, Thus ending the normal game play completely as nobody could get the flag after it was gone. If they ever killed one of us, we would just drop from the sky once more the moment we got shot. We would get into a server, stop the normal game, then hide in buildings and shoot anyone who got too close. Soon Axis and Allies were cooperating to find us and end the madness, Since we always looked like a friendly soldier and never an enemy, this created distrust amongst the real players and they would shoot each other as the whole game devolved into anarchy. Think Cylons of WW1.

Are all tech people sci-fi geeks? Not all but to succeed in tech one should be capable of imagining where tech might be in the future in order to foresee the innovations one can make.

 

EVENT: FREE Webinar for College Finance options in September

Mother with Son on Graduation Day
Mother with Son on Graduation Day

Is it time to learn about financing college? Wauna CU is partnering with BALANCE to share this FREE webinar for students and parents:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5797103962286581506

  • Attend on September 8th or 20th and learn the best ways to save and borrow for higher education.
  • Just fill in your name, email address, and that Wauna Credit Union is your provider, pick a day and you’re done!

About the webinar: 

As the cost of college tuition continues to rise, parents wonder how they can afford to pay for higher education for children or themselves. Participants will learn about long-term savings strategies, financial aid opportunities, and other ways they can make college education a reality.
About BALANCE:
At Wauna FCU, we care about your financial wellness. That’s why we’ve partnered with industry-leading BALANCE to provide you with free access to expertly-crafted financial education and resources to help with your fiscal matters. And should you need, BALANCE can assist with confidential, no-cost financial counseling services to help you develop a sensible budget managing spending and debt. For all your financial life stage changes and more, we—in partnership with BALANCE—are here to help.

SEPTEMBER STATEMENT INSERT – If you missed our informational insert

September Statement Insert 2016

SEPT.2016SI-Proof-Final_Page_1

SEPT.2016SI-Proof-Final_Page_2

Save the paper, reduce the clutter, & be more secure with E-Statements!

  • E-Statements protect your identity better than paper statements.
  • Just click “E-Statements” in Online Banking* to sign up, it’s so easy!

Want to stay up to the minute with Wauna CU’s Updates, Events, Alerts & Occasional Giveaways?

Enjoy great tips on saving, borrowing, and investing?
Do you like to see our staff being wacky, praised, & even promoted?

That’s what’s on our Social Media Channels – Check us out!

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!

IMG_2357.JPG IMG952345

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.

IMG_2328.JPG IMG_2343 IMG_2336

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!

IMG_1804

Wauna Credit Union Proudly Supports Local Backpack Program

Backpack-Check2016
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

college_nerdwallert_blog

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

McKenzie-in-CRBJ

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

august statement insert - FINAL_Page_2 august statement insert - FINAL_Page_1

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!