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.

Board of Directors Voting Open

Whenever we talk about Wauna Credit Union and what we do it comes back to the members. Anybody who has an account, loan or credit card at Wauna CU is a member and a shareholder, and gets a say in what we do. Nowhere is that more tangible than with the voting for our board of directors. Today through February 26, 2017 all members age 18 or older who are in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot, either online, by mail or on Facebook.

Unlike for profit banks, where maximizing dividends for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board sets policies to make sure decisions are in the best interests of you, the member-owners. Wauna Credit Union’s board consists of dedicated volunteers who represent the interests of the member-owners by meeting regularly with credit union management. This year we are electing three people, each of whom will serve a 3-year term.

As an added incentive 10 random voters will win $50 as a thanks from us for helping make sure our board reflects the wants and aspirations of all our members.

To learn more about the elections, as well as our annual meeting where we will announce the new board, visit our annual election page (waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections). Each of the candidates has provided a few words on why they want to serve on the voting page (cuballot.com/waunafcu).

There are three ways to vote.

To vote by electronic ballot:

  • Go to the Wauna CU website (waunafcu.org)
  • Click the link for the 2017 Board of Directors Elections
  • Select the Vote Now button and follow the instructions now

To vote by mail:

  • Call 877-597-9507
  • Select the option to vote by paper ballot
  • All ballots must be received by February 26

To vote on Facebook:

We hope everybody gets a chance to vote. The more members vote, the more opportunity to have a board that fully represents the membership, and the better Wauna Credit Union is able to meet the needs of our diverse community.

CONGRATULATIONS! Wauna CU Staff Receive Awards At Annual Winter Celebration!

Every year in December Wauna Credit Union employees get together to celebrate accomplishments and enjoy some social time, we call it our “Winter Celebration”. This year, several employees and departments were recognized with awards for their outstanding efforts to meet and surpass established criterion that assist Wauna Credit Union in achieving operational objectives, production goals, strategic goals and high performance standards.

At our annual Winter Celebration held on December 10, 2016 at the Clatskanie Cultural Center, Wauna Credit Union CEO Robert Blumberg handed out 10 awards to the following employees:

Top Underwriter: Serena Schlosser

Branch Producer: Samantha Wiser

Top Referrer: Rachel Milligan

Exceeded Production Goal: Norm Dufton

Exceeded Production Goal: Tonya Dick

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Brianna Malcolm

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Carli Lyon

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Rachel Milligan

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Ashleigh Sibley

Top Overall Producer: McKenzie Wilson

 

Congratulations to these well deserving employees!

5 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

A brand new year provides the perfect opportunity to make meaningful life changes, including improved financial wellness. These five financial resolutions can help get your year off to a promising start.

Piggy bank and coins

1. Get on budget

Take charge of your finances by creating a budget. Start by calculating after-tax income and subtracting fixed monthly expenses. Then allocate portions of the remaining income for savings, important goals and a few things that just make you happy. If this sounds complicated, relax; today’s user-friendly budget apps can take a lot of the pain out of the process. To further simplify money matters, consider setting up automatic bill pay, an automatic savings plan and separate savings accounts for specific goals.

2. Build an emergency fund

Without a solid cushion, any unexpected job loss, medical challenge or serious property damage could lead to lasting financial hardship. An emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of expenses can protect your standard of living and offer peace of mind. Commit to making consistent deposits to this fund even if you can only spare a small amount each month. Because you may need to tap into emergency cash at a moment’s notice, choose a vehicle that gives you easy access, such as a savings or money-market account.

3. Prepare for retirement

Retirement may not be on the immediate horizon, but when the time comes it may well last 20 years or more. You’ll probably need somewhere from 70 to 90% of your final-year income for each year of retirement, and it’s unlikely that Social Security will be sufficient. Saving such a sizeable sum takes decades, so it pays to start early. Put as much as you can afford into tax-advantaged Roth or traditional IRAs, and if your job provides a 401(k) plan, contribute the maximum employer-matched amount.

4. Improve your credit

You likely know that credit scores affect financing approval and interest rates. But the influence of those three little numbers actually stretches much further. Prospective employers and landlords frequently check credit, so low scores may mean missing out on the best jobs and apartments. Credit scores also may affect insurance premiums, mobile phone offers, vacation costs, and even whether utility hookups require a cash deposit. For top scores:

  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Keep credit card balances at no more than 20% to 30% of the credit limit.
  • Carry a mix of debt types such as credit cards, auto loans and personal loans.
  • Monitor credit to catch and correct any errors or problems.

5. Knock down debt

Even with a great job, high-interest debt can sabotage financial health. To dig out from under this burden, consider concentrating efforts on your highest interest debt first while continuing to make timely smaller payments on all other obligations. When the first balance is satisfied, focus on the most expensive remaining debt and continue this way until you’re debt-free.

If debt from multiple sources is unmanageable, debt consolidation may help you regain control. This approach streamlines debts into one payment, often with reduced interest and a lower monthly cost. Depending on your individual situation, home equity financing, personal loans or zero interest balance transfer credit cards may be effective debt consolidation choices.

Smart money resolutions boost financial stability not just immediately but over the long haul as well. The bonus takeaway is the confidence that all life’s remarkable milestones and challenges won’t break the bank.

 

Another great blog from our friends at Nerdwallet!

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Statement Insert: January 2017 – WCU turns 50! 1.5% apr on credit cards!



Wauna CU Turns 50!

Over fifty years ago, several enterprising, local coworkers took the important step to apply for a federal charter to form what was then known as the C.Z. Wauna Federal Credit Union (Crown Zellerbach).

Today, Wauna Credit Union has over 23,000 members – and with over $207 Million in Total Assets, has grown to be the 19th largest credit union in Oregon. Perhaps more important, over $158 Million in loans has been lent to members, business owners, and organizations that provide valuable services to our communities.

In recognition of our founders and our amazing history, a year-long celebration is scheduled – and our members will be the guests of honor!
Please watch for exciting news all year via our immediate notification channels including mobile, online, Internet, and social media, and of course, our nearly 100 employees at our nine facilities!

It’s Time for Member-Owners to Vote for Their Volunteer Board of Directors!

As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, the membership elects the volunteer board of directors which guide the strategic direction of Wauna Credit Union. All members 18 or older and in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot. Unlike profit-oriented banks, where maximizing profits for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board of directors sets policies and ensures decisions are based on the needs of the membership.

We encourage member-owners to be part of the decision-making process for their Wauna Credit Union. Voting begins January 26th by electronic ballot and ends at close of business on February 26, 2017. Election results will be announced during the 50th Annual Meeting, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017, at the Clatskanie Cultural Center in Clatskanie, Oregon.

VOTE!

January 26-February 26, 2017 (Instructions below)

50th Annual Meeting

When: Saturday, March 4th at 2 pm

Where: Clatskanie Cultural Center Clatskanie, Oregon

Voting Instructions:

Cast your ballot from January 26th thru February 26th.

All ballots, including paper ballots returned by mail, must arrive by the February 26 deadline to be counted in the election. Election results will be announced during the 50th Annual Meeting and in Wauna Credit Union publications.

To Vote by Electronic Ballot:

• Go to the Wauna CU website (waunafcu.org).
• Click the link for the 2017 Board of Directors Elections. (To be added)
• Select the Vote Now button and follow the instructions.

To Vote By Mail:

• Call 877-597-9507
• Select the option to vote by paper ballot; follow instructions.
• Your paper ballot must be received by close of business on
February 26, 2017.
Please contact Wauna Credit Union if you have questions or need assistance. Thank you for voting!

Our Privacy Policy Protects Your Information!

Just as you trust Wauna Credit Union to protect your finances, so, too can you feel assured your personal & confidential information is also secure. The Wauna Credit Union Privacy Policy is now available on our website, at any branch, or by phone at 800-773-3236; it details our commitment to ensuring your account and personal privacy.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Wake Up & Save The Money!

1.5% APR* thru January 31st! And those balances remain at 1.5% thru June 27, 2017!

• 1.5% APR* Promotional Rate!
• For all Wauna CU Credit Card Users!
• On New Purchases & Balance Transfers!
• No Balance Transfer Fees!
• Plus, get Double Reward Points when shopping at stores & Triple Reward Points when shopping online!

*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 9.40% – 18.00%. Some restrictions apply. All business credit cards are excluded. 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. 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.

2017 Scholarship Applications Available in February!

Applications for our 2017 Scholarship program are available beginning in early February on our website or at any branch. Deadline to submit a completed application is 6:00 p.m. Friday, April 14th. Recipients will be notified prior to June 30, 2017, and announced soon after.

Try TurboTax, Save Up to $15 & get a chance to win $25,000!

Wauna Credit Union has teamed up with TurboTax® to save you up to $15 on TurboTax federal products, and a chance to win $25,000 in the $25,000 Payday Sweepstakes. TurboTax® translates taxes into simple questions about your life, so you don’t need tax knowledge – or an appointment – to get your taxes done right.
• Get your maximum refund. TurboTax searches over 350 deductions and credits to make sure you get your biggest possible refund, guaranteed.
• Be sure nothing gets missed. TurboTax CompleteCheck™ reviews every detail in your tax return, walks you through any final changes, and gives you the green light to file.
• You’re never alone. Connect with an expert live, on-screen to get answers when you need them with TurboTax SmartLook™.

Holiday Recipes from our staff! E-book of recipes!

1christmas swirl cookies 007[1]Download: Holiday Recipes from our Staff

It’s the season of baking and cooking for family and friends, of parties and potlucks! A few years back, we gathered favorite recipes from our staff, and we share the link here.

If you are looking for a new recipe to try, take a spin through the PDF above. There’s everything from hot dips to traditional cookies in these pages. Some are from scratch and some have easy shortcuts, try a new one out this year.

You might find a new family tradition!

Happy Holidays from Everyone at Wauna Credit Union!

Congratulations Stephanie Sievers! 20 Years at WaunaCU!

SSievers-20year

Wauna Credit Union is proud to celebrate Stephanie Sievers 20 year anniversary at Wauna CU!

Stephanie was initially hired in 1996 in preparation to fill a front line vacancy of the employees who were transferring to the new Warrenton Branch scheduled to open in January of 1997.  She started as a teller at the Astoria Branch and then was promoted to Head Teller and then to Loan Officer.  She was then transferred to serve as the Warrenton Teller Supervisor and then promoted to the Warrenton Branch Manager.  She then transferred back to serve as the Astoria Branch Manager.  At that point, Stephanie realized that her heart was in branch operations and went back to serve as the Astoria Branch Operations Manager and Jeff Parker took on the Branch Manager role.

In 2006, Stephanie stepped up and helped to prepare for WCU’s core conversion to CU Answers (WCU’s Core system 2006 – 2013).  She assisted with the in house account cleanup process and the setup of the new core account structure.  This led her to her next promotion of Operations Support Manager which included core support and employee operational training responsibilities.  To better oversee these new responsibilities, she was relocated to the Main Office in Clatskanie.  Since that appointment, the back office operations department she oversees has grown from a one person department to a department of seven which includes, back office operations, compliance, card services, and lending admin.  In 2015, Stephanie was given the title of SVP Operations.

Stephanie shared with me that when she started there was a lot a lot of carbon, paper, and manual processing.  There was micro fiche, fax machines, and you used a machine to manually imprint the dollar amount on the money orders and cashier’s check.  The front line often assisted with checkbook register balancing and everything was recorded through paper statements.  They even used an electric typewriter to fill out account cards, certificates of deposits, and other legal documentation.  My how things have changed and Stephanie has had the privilege of being a part of these exciting changes.

Stephanie is a dedicated and committed employee who truly cares about the members, the employees, and the credit union.  I have enjoyed working side by side with her and wish her many more great memories and exciting successes.

Thank you Stephanie for all that you have contributed!

Please join me once again in congratulating Stephanie on this milestone anniversary!

Sincerely,

Debi Smiley, CMO

 

Clatskanie Grand Re-Opening is December 7th! See YOU There!

new-wauna-signOur Clatskanie “Financial Center” is nearly complete and we are ready to show it off!

The remodel of our 1980s Clatskanie branch is a big change, not just with the added space and modern design, but with the way our branch works. Our service style in Clatskanie is now on the cutting edge of financial service, with what is called “hip-to-hip” transactions.

To celebrate Wauna Credit Union is hosting a Grand Re-Opening Celebration. The big event happens on Wednesday, December 7th starting with an early ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:15 am with the local Chamber of Commerce, and then an open house from 10 am – 4 pm, with guided tours of our entire facility (even the secret spots) from 11 am – 2 pm.

Gina Dines 2-16The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with Gina Dines, the manager of our new Financial Service Center, to get some information on the changes.

“I am so excited to have the new building open for business and to be able to share it with all of our members. I love the names of the offices – Tigers and Eagles… nothing is more Clatskanie!” Gina says.

The new name “Financial Center” instead of simply a “branch” is more than just a name change, as Gina explains, it completely changes the way we do transactions. “A Financial Center is a place where when you walk in, and any of the ‘Member Consultants’ can help you with all of your financial needs.  You no longer need to make an appointment to visit with a ‘loan officer’, we are all ‘loan officers’, same with ‘new account people’. We are financial helpers and all around consultants that are able to help you understand your complete financial picture and future.”

eagles-room tigers-roomInside the new Financial Center, Wauna Credit Union has launched our new way of helping members, it’s called “hip-to-hip”. The new “hip-to-hip” service changes the way the branch works. The traditional “teller lines” are gone, replaced by a variety of pods for simple transactions, or smaller semi-private offices for new accounts and loans, but no matter which, the same person that deposits your check can also assist with account opening or other transactions that would have previously gone to a loan or Member Service Officer. Now everyone in the branch is a “Member Consultant” and all have been given vast additional training.

What exactly is “hip-to-hip”?

“Hip-to-hip concept is where the member sits next to us instead of having a desk or barrier between us.  All staff is trained in all aspects of member service from doing deposits to processing loans to setting up transfers to pay loans as well as payroll splits to pay loans directly from your direct deposit and most definitely opening up new memberships”, says Gina.

Clatskanie is a place not known for being on the cutting edge (unless we are talking about lumber), so how are members dealing with the new system and space?

Most members have commented that they love the new look, but not everyone likes change. Gina admits, one member voiced to her that they did not like the new “hip-to-hip”, she said it made them “uncomfortable”. She adds, “I feel once the members see how the open concept will allow them to be more involved, they will appreciate the changes and realize we are moving into the 21st century and becoming a flagship institution.”

outside-CFCCome and see for yourself just what is happening at Wauna Credit Union’s improved Clatskanie location, enjoy a cupcake, some cookies, take the tour, and you might even win a cash prize!

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.