Sub-menu

Member Education: Helpful Information Regarding Equifax >>


Have questions? Need help? Call 800-288-6423
 

MemberNews - April 2017

Coming Soon – Flex HELOC

We’ve combined flexibility with savings and created a Flex HELOC. It’s a variable rate line of credit with a fixed-rate option. So when you need money for home improvements, debt consolidation, large purchases, or emergencies, you can easily access the funds you need, and save by locking in the rate. You’ll have the option of locking in a fixed rate on all or part of your current balance, without having to reapply.

Flex HELOC Benefits:

  • 1.99% APR 12-month line of credit introductory rate
  • No annual fee
  • 10-year draw period and 20-year repayment period
  • Up to three fixed-rate loan portions available at a time
  • Fixed monthly payments on fixed-rate loan portions
  • Convenient access to your funds with a Flex HELOC Visa® Card and checks
  • Interest may be tax deductible*

The Flex HELOC will be available to UECU members in late April. Check the UECU website for updates and availability.
*Consult your tax advisor about interest deductibility. APR= Annual Percentage Rate.


You asked for it, and UECU listened! Because of your feedback, UECU’s Mobile Banking App has been upgraded to include:

  • New look and navigation options
  • Quick balance feature
  • Touch ID for Apple® users
  • Secure messaging options
  • Mobile registration (which also registers you for Advantages Online™ Home Banking)

Download the app today! It’s available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.


We’ve made the VantagePoints™ Reward Program even sweeter! Soon, you’ll be able to redeem your VantagePoints™ for a GiftPass to GiftCertificates.com and select gift cards from our new list of premium merchants. Whether you are planning a special night out, a much-needed vacation, or just in need of some well-deserved pampering, you are sure to find a gift card for that special occasion. Our new premium merchant list will include gift cards from Amazon.com®, Best Buy, Delta Air Lines, Fandango, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, and more! Plus, we’ve made it easier for you to track your reward points. Just log into Advantages Online™ and click on My VantagePoints™ for a complete summary.

If you recently redeemed VantagePoints™ and you are holding on to a SuperCertificate for GiftCertificates.com, you can still use your certificate to purchase gift cards from our list of standard merchants. For updates on the VantagePoints™ Program, visit www.uecu.org/rewards.


President’s Message – UECU Speaks Out for Common-Sense Regulation

Member-owned credit unions like ours are focused on providing value-added products and services, and low-cost loans to help our members financially succeed. This has become more difficult since the financial crisis in 2008, as the federal government responded by imposing more regulations to rein in big banks, but applied the same one-size-fits-all regulations to all financial institutions, including credit unions. These regulations meant to protect consumers actually had an adverse effect by limiting member options, impacting service, and increasing costs for credit unions. As a new Administration takes office, with an expressed interest in regulatory reform, credit unions and their members have a unique opportunity in 2017 to take action and raise our collective voices as we look to Congress to fix these excessive regulations.

The costs of new regulations have been astonishing. A study commissioned by industry trade association CUNA indicated that credit union regulatory costs have increased 39% since 2010, now totaling $7.2 billion annually – more than $71 per member.

Excessive regulations are causing:

  • Higher loan rates
  • More resources devoted to compliance, affecting investments in products, services, and technology
  • Longer processing times and member inconvenience

We see the implications to our members daily. Areas where these regulations have had a major impact on members are mortgages and home equity loans. With the implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule in 2015, protections have been put in place intended to make the mortgage application process more transparent and easier to understand. However, for organizations like UECU that practice responsible lending, the benefits to members are limited and the new rule has made it more difficult for credit unions to provide low-cost mortgages, flexible home equity loans, and prompt service. With more paperwork, disclosures, and wait periods generally now required for these loans, members are experiencing longer processing times. For example, before the TRID rule it could take only 8 business days for a UECU member’s home equity loan application to be processed. With the changes, it can now take double the time or longer.

UECU and other credit unions nationwide are teaming up with CUNA and our state credit union associations to educate consumers and legislators about the inequality of one-size-fits-all regulations. The associated campaign website not only provides great information about the regulatory changes, it also provides an opportunity to voice your opinion to your local legislators.

If you agree that it’s time for Congress to overhaul excessive regulation of credit unions, please take action now. To get started, visit the Middle Class Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation website at www.commonsenseregulations.com. Click on the menu bar and Take Action. When you enter your home address, the names and contact information for your U.S. Senators and Representatives will appear, making it easy for you to call, email, or tweet them. Sample letters are also provided.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your consideration and support of this important initiative, as the UECU team strives to continue to provide exceptional financial benefits and superior member service to you, our members. If you need assistance in making your voice heard, please don’t hesitate to contact UECU’s Member Service Representatives.

Pat Zyma
President/CEO and UECU Member


Understanding the Effects of Your Credit Score

If you recently applied for a loan, a mortgage, an apartment, or renewed your car insurance, you may have been shocked to find out that your credit score was very different from what you thought it should be. You are not alone, this happens to consumers all of the time, but why? Credit scores change constantly because they are calculated using information in your credit report (missed/on-time payments, loan payoffs, inquiries and applications for new credit, credit availability and usage, etc.); these factors can influence your score at any time. So the score you have today may not be the same score that you will have next week.

To make matters even more confusing, credit scores can vary from one credit bureau to the next, even one lender to the next. However, there is no right or wrong credit score, only a score that results from the use of different scoring methods. It is also possible that the three credit bureaus (TransUnion®, Experian®, and Equifax®) can have different information in your credit file. For example, your mortgage lender could have reported that you paid off your mortgage, but only reported it to two of the three credit bureaus. This would result in a very different score for the credit bureau that didn’t receive the information.

Now that we covered some of the reasons why your credit score can be different among lenders and credit bureaus, you may be wondering how you can truly get a good understanding of where you stand in the credit spectrum. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850. Low scores can cause you to have higher interest rates on loans. The best thing you can do to maintain your credit score is to keep paying your bills on time, limit the amount of credit you use, and maintain a good mix of the types of loans that you have.

Knowledge is key; the first step is reviewing your credit reports from all three credit bureaus, you can get a free copy from each at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Look over your reports carefully, if you find inaccurate information or there is something missing, contact the credit bureau. Your free credit reports usually do not contain a credit score; the score has to be purchased.

There are many online companies that offer free scores, but they too will have a different score for you. You will notice a disclosure on most of these sites that states your free credit score may not be the same score a lender will use in determining your credit worthiness for a loan, even if the same credit bureau is used; there may be a variance in information or scoring method. When you apply for a loan at UECU, we can provide you with a copy of your credit report and credit score. Our Financial Services Consultants can also review your report with you and provide recommendations for improving your score.

We hope that you find this information useful and we encourage you to contact a Financial Service Consultant at 800.288.6423 ext. 4001 for additional information on all of our loan products.

Mike Malone
Vice President of Lending


Banking Safety Tip
Don’t be fooled by payday loan scams

When you need cash quickly, payday loans can seem like a quick fix. But beware; fake payday loan offers are now being used by fraudsters to scam consumers. This is how it works…..you go online to apply for a
payday loan and the fraudster, posing as the payday lender, tells you that you need to demonstrate “good faith.” This demonstration begins with you enrolling in online banking and providing the login credentials
to the fake payday lender. They use the information to enroll you into mobile banking and the fraudster subsequently deposits checks into the account through mobile deposit. They instruct you to go to the financial institution, withdraw the money, and send it back to the fake payday loan company using a third party money transfer service. They tell you by demonstrating this “good faith” or “ability to pay” you will receive the payday loan. But this never actually happens – after sending the lender money you learn that the deposited checks were fraudulent, so now you have to pay your financial institution back. Now, in addition to needing a loan, you owe more money. To avoid scams such as these, do not take advantage of payday loan offers or provide login credentials to others. When you need a personal loan to pay for
unexpected bills or emergency purchases, contact UECU. As a member, you are eligible for a low-rate personal loan or Visa® credit card.


UECU will award a $2,000 prize to the student who has made a difference in their community by helping others. This year’s theme of service reflects our credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.”
If you have done volunteer work or completed a community service project in 2016 or 2017, you are eligible to participate. To enter, send a photo or video of your volunteer/service activity along with a
brief explanation of how you made a difference in your community to UECU by May 5, 2017.
  For more information, visit www.uecu.org/scholarship.