Co-op Credit Union Blog: Stay Even More Connected.
Our blog will share insights about credit unions, their impact, financial education and more.
January 25, 2018
Membership is More
Membership at Co-op Credit Union means you’re part of something more. More than just financial services and transactions, which, of course, are essential for your daily life.
That’s why you’re not simply a customer here. You’re a member-owner.
Joining a credit union, like CCU, is an opportunity to experience what our industry refers to as the Credit Union Difference.
We’re a financial institution with all the services you need to conduct your personal finances or your business finances. But, the difference truly lies in our structure as a democratically-controlled institution.
You’re a member when you join and keep at least $5 in a membership savings account. Your membership means you have one equal vote and an equal say when it comes to electing members of our volunteer Board of Directors. More deposits, or savings, do not mean you get a bigger or louder voice than other members.
That’s because credit unions don’t answer to a group of shareholders who are interested in profits. Credit unions exist to truly serve their members, their best interests, goals and dreams. Membership means higher savings rates, lower loan rates and fewer fees, because we’re here to serve, not profit.
Credit unions, like CCU, represent even more than their services because of our guiding cooperative principles and an underlying philosophy of “People Helping People.” That comes in the form of partnerships, which benefit the greater good of our communities, or what cooperative principles deem “Concern for Community.”
We also don’t just simply help members with transactions and lending and stop there. Promoting and fostering financial literacy is at the heart of what we believe in at CCU. Whether that’s the addition of a certified financial counselor, or partnering to bring educational programming to schools, we’re working to promote sound financial decisions and planning so members thrive as they advance toward their best possible financial future.
When you’re a member, you can take pride in the work your credit union is doing in the community. Your journey is our journey, and our work is a reflection of our dedication to you.
January 5, 2018
The New Year and Your Finances: Start Now
The New Year brings a lot of talk about resolutions, and those are important to help keep you on track and focused. Of course, setting goals and working to achieve them is a good step and tool even when the calendar hasn’t turned from one year to the next.
Are you fretting about your finances and want to start getting them in order but don’t know quite where to start?
Our certified financial counselor, Jason, has three big picture items to help get you off on the right foot to make a difference in your financial journey in 2018.
The first? Know and review your credit score! Most people do not know their credit score or what is on it.
Why is this important? Check for accuracy, because credit scores affect a vast amount of items related to your finances. Credit scores affect how much you pay for everything – from home and auto insurance to the interest rates paid on loans.
How do you check your credit score? There are several ways to receive a free annual credit report. Co-op Credit Union also runs free credit reports for individuals in April.
What’s the second key step if you want to get a handle on your finances? Make a budget plan. This helps you know where your money is going. This can be a very eye-opening experience. It also has to be a team effort so each member of the household is on the same page. It helps reduce stress.
Revisit your budget often. It’s good to start monthly, and then make adjustments as needed. Once you feel you have a good handle on the plan, move to quarterly.
Another helpful tip: Save receipts for everything you buy for one month. This will give you a very accurate picture of “where the money went!”
The third and final tip? Plan for emergencies! According to recent statistics, most Americans don’t have enough money saved to cover a $400 emergency. This can have a devastating effect on a family’s finances. Creating and sticking to your budget plan is the first key step.