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!

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.

Password change graphic

 

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!

large chart

 

Online & Mobile Banking Upgrade On Tuesday, July 19th


alertIconIMPORTANT INFORMATION: Account Services Temporarily Unavailable Early Tuesday, July 19th

Access to Wauna Credit Union Online & Mobile Banking services may be temporarily unavailable early Tuesday morning, July 19. During this period new security enhancements will be added to our Online & Mobile Banking services.

Please contact Wauna Credit Union during regular business hours if you have any questions about access to the Online & Mobile Banking services during the morning of Tuesday, July 19th.

UPDATE: Clear Your Browser Cache or Cookies:

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


Introducing New Password Guidelines to Make Your Online Banking Experience More Secure:

To help ensure your online experience is well-protected and reduce the risk of having your personal financial information compromised, we will begin requiring stronger password complexity for Online Banking and Mobile Banking users.

Please note: Your passwords and financial information have not been compromised. We are simply taking a proactive measure to keep your online accounts secure.

  • 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.
  • Mobile App users will need to change their password in Online Banking; this can be done using your mobile browser and logging into Online Banking from waunafcu.org.

You are a valued member and we thank you for your patience during this transition. If you have questions about the updated password requirements or any other matters, please contact Wauna Credit Union during regular business hours at 800-773-3236.

DOWNLOAD PASSWORD INSTRUCTIONS

Wauna Credit Union Preparing To Better Serve Washington’s Pacific County

moo1

WAUNA CREDIT UNION Readies Building For Affordable Mortgages:

moo2 moo3 moo5Wauna Credit Union officials are pleased to announce the pending development of a Mortgage Origination Office at its newly acquired property at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, Washington. Initial construction at the property began July 12th with demolition of an existing structure.

The new Mortgage Origination Office, which is tentatively scheduled to open in late September 2016, will provide local, affordable Real Estate services to the Credit Union’s growing membership in Pacific County. All residents, businesses, and organizations throughout Pacific County are eligible for membership with Wauna Credit Union.

A more formal announcement will soon be made by Wauna Credit Union to its membership and to the public about this new facility to serve Pacific County.

 

For more information contact:

  • Wauna Credit Union
  • Amy Stocky, Marketing Coordinator
  • 503-338-1843
  • amy.stocky@waunafcu.org

Wendys Fast Food Restaurants Victim Of Cyber Attack

 

Watch Your Bank & Credit Card Statements For Unauthorized Charges

bank-robberMore than 1,000 Wendy’s restaurants have been the victim of a cyber attack, and thousands of their customer credit & debit card data may have been stolen.

Read More: http://www.wsj.com/articles/wendys-says-about-20-of-u-s-franchise-stores-affected-by-cyberattack-1467908433

Wauna Credit Union statement: 

Wauna Credit Union reminds all members of the importance to remain diligent in reviewing their account statements and/or transaction activity. Debit and Credit Card security breaches continue to occur at retail stores, restaurants, gas stations, and other industries – including an alert issued this month by Wendy’s Restaurants. Account statements (paper statements and e-statements) provide members a periodic, detailed list of their recent account activity. Services such as Online Banking and Mobile Banking provide the opportunity to monitor account activity in real time. Please be sure to immediately report any suspicious or incorrect activity to Wauna Credit Union.