Unity One Credit Union

Be Financially Prepared for College

Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 10:03 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Texas Extra Credit Education Loan, student loans, TX, Unity One Credit Union

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The start of a new school year is right around the corner, which also means it’s that time of the year when you have to open your wallet as wide as you can to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books, meal plans and what feels like an endless list of other college-related items!

Of course we understand that college is expensive and not everyone is able to pay for it out of their pocket, which is why we offer the Texas Extra Credit Education Loan to our members!  This private student loan option provides an array of first-class features and benefits, including:

  • Low Fixed and Variable interest rates*
  • 25% interest rate reduction just for graduating*
  • 25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for Auto Debit payments*
  • Choice of three repayment options and two repayment terms*
  • No origination or disbursement fees
  • Cosigner release option*

So, if you find yourself needing additional money to help cover your college costs, and all financial aid has been exhausted, be sure to check out the Texas Extra Credit Education Loan!  

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* All rates and benefits are dependent on qualified applicants meeting certain requirements and conditions. For complete details about Texas Extra Credit including program specifics, eligibility requirements, repayment examples, repayment options and benefits, or to apply, click the link above.

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Three Car Buying Tips for Women

Tue, Jul 30, 2019 @ 11:09 AM / by Alyssa Guillory

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Jenna Taubel. 

Buying a new car can be an exciting experience. However, if you’re a woman walking on to a car lot, that experience can often feel intimidating. Car salespeople may assume you don’t know much about negotiating or that you can be easily influenced to buy a car they want you to buy. Here are a few tips for woman on buying cars to ensure you drive away in the vehicle that fits your lifestyle and budget, without feeling pressured.

Tip 1: Know Exactly What You Want

The best thing you can do before buying a vehicle is do your research. Know exactly what it is you want in your vehicle. What features are a “must have” versus “nice to have.” Know the year and mileage ranges, as well as the makes and models you’re willing to consider for your next vehicle. Once you have those details, make sure you know the normal price ranges for those types of vehicles. When car dealers think they’re dealing with someone who doesn’t know a fair price for a car, they tend to quote a higher price. Generally, women feel less confident about car prices than men and are quoted about $200 more than men. Also, know if you want any “add-ons” upfront like extended warranties or fabric protection. This will help you feel confident when you walk on to a car lot for the test drive.

Tip 2: Know Exactly What You Can Afford

Figure out exactly what monthly payment amount you can afford and don’t budge from it. Doing so makes the dealer less likely to push you to a car outside your price range or push you to use their expensive financing. Better yet, get pre-approved from your credit union first. Having your financing already lined up provides you with more negotiating power. Also, if you’re planning to trade in your current vehicle to help finance your new ride, make sure you know the value of your car and don’t let dealer try to talk you down.

Tip 3: Know When to Walk Away

It’s okay to leave the dealership without buying a car. If the vehicle isn’t what you expected, or the dealer seems too pushy or disrespectful, walk away. The dealer will always try to get you to close the deal that day, but you can take more time to think about it if you need to. You don’t owe them your hard-earned money just because you test drove the car. Adhering to the first two tips will help you have more confidence to walk away if the deal isn’t in your best interest.

You Can Feel Confident When Buying a Car

You should feel good when you finally drive off the lot in your new ride, not second guessing your decision. The key to a successful car buying experience comes down to knowledge and confidence. The more informed you are about what you want and what you can afford, the more confident you will feel when you set foot on the car lot.

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Buy a Car You Can Afford

Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 11:01 AM / by Alyssa Guillory

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Jorge Antezana-Pimentel. 

Everyone would like to have a nice car that can last for years. However, before you buy, it's very important to assess your financial situation. You must be realistic about how much you can afford, look at various cars and offers, and be patient.

Your first step is to look at your budget and see how much you can afford on a monthly basis. For example, if you're making $3,000 a month and your current living expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, etc.) are already at $2,000, do you think you can afford a new $50,000 car with a monthly payment of $800? Perhaps you think you could, but consider this: Is it a good investment to sacrifice a large amount of your money for a car (asset) that will depreciate (loss value) 20% by the following year? A better choice might be to spend a third of that amount and save money for a down payment on a house that will increase in value over time.

Before you buy a car, take your time and do your research. Consider getting a used car with low mileage, that is still under warranty, and can last you for at least 7 years. Search for cars on websites like Carfax or Bluebook, which can help you find the right car based on your budget. Don’t buy the first one you like – wait until you have analyzed many different options before you make your final choice.

Be patient and think carefully when buying a car. Compare pricing, year, and models with other dealerships. Never go to a car dealership without doing the research or knowing how much you can comfortably pay per month.

Car buying can be a stressful process, but if you figure out your budget and get advice from the right sources, you'll be able to get a car that is affordable and reliable for many years. Again, the worst thing to do is to buy something new that may be great and luxurious but will hurt your wallet and your financial goals for the future. Choose your car wisely and you'll be able to enjoy it without going into too much debt.

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Help Young Adults Move Out of Your Finances

Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 09:41 AM / by Alyssa Guillory

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Laura Varela. 

From a financial perspective, it's not when your young adults move out of the house that matters. It's when they move out of your finances that really counts. Helping your adult children reach this milestone depends on factors ranging from family expectations to legal requirements.

Legal rules

Parents' legal responsibility for supporting their children financially typically ends when the child achieves the age of majority in his or her state of residence. In many states, that means the young adult is legally responsible for debts and living expenses at age 18. Some states make an exception for children who still are in high school when they reach age 18. These states require the parent to continue providing support until the child either graduates or reaches age 19. Many parents voluntarily extend their financial responsibility past age 18 as part of divorce settlements, or by co-signing for rental leases, loans, and credit cards. 

Co-sign with extreme caution

When adult children seek help to get a loan or rent an apartment, it’s better for parents to provide a specific amount up front instead of co-signing, since lenders and landlords often waive co-signature requirements in exchange for a higher down payment or deposit. If you do decide to co-sign for your children, know what your responsibilities are. When you co-sign, you become legally responsible for repayment of the debt. As a co-signer on a loan or credit card application, you're lending your name and solid credit history. You also make a promise to repay in full if the original borrower can't or won't.

Vehicle insurance

Vehicle owners are required to carry insurance, so make sure to pay the insurance on any vehicle that still is in your name. Transfer vehicles to the adult child's name to limit liability if an accident occurs. You still can be liable, however, if you help an adult child buy a car despite knowing about issues that may impair driving, such as alcohol or other substance abuse. The Insurance Information Institute suggests purchasing an umbrella liability policy to cover these situations and offers information about insurance requirements.

Health insurance

In the past, rules for "dependents" dropped most young adults from employer-based health policies at either age 19 or when they graduated from either high school or college.

The Affordable Care Act extends dependent eligibility for health insurance to young adults until age 26, regardless of their tax, student, or marital status. 

Taxes

Tax status can be a touchy issue with young adults, who often get a bigger tax refund if their parents don't claim them as dependents. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelinesstate that parents can continue to claim young adults as dependents until age 19. That is extended to age 24 if the young adult:

  • Attends school full time;
  • Shares the parents' principal residence for more than half a year; and
  • Receives at least half his or her annual support from parents.

Some parents make claiming the child as a dependent a condition of financial support to avoid conflicts when filing returns.

Adjusting expectations

Experts advise parents to spell out exactly what they will pay for, as well as the type of expenses that the adult child must cover. While rejecting a request for help is difficult, it often leads to a better understanding of financial obligations.

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Are You Financially Ready for College?

Thu, Jul 18, 2019 @ 09:59 AM / by Alyssa Guillory

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With the start of a new school year just around the corner, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re financially ready for college!  If you find yourself needing additional money to help cover your college costs, be sure to check out the Texas Extra Credit Education Loan!  This private student loan is offered through one of our partners and has an array of first-class features and benefits, including:

  • Low Fixed and Variable interest rates*
  • 25% interest rate reduction just for graduating*
  • 25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for Auto Debit payments*
  • Choice of three repayment options and two repayment terms*
  • No origination or disbursement fees
  • Cosigner release option* 

With so many great options, it’s easy to see why the Texas Extra Credit Education Loan is the right choice for your educational needs.

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* All rates and benefits are dependent on qualified applicants meeting certain requirements and conditions. For complete details about Texas Extra Credit including program specifics, eligibility requirements, repayment examples, repayment options and benefits, or to apply, click the link above.

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4 Tips for having "The Talks" with Your Senior Parents about Finances

Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 09:22 AM / by Alyssa Guillory

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Spencer Carver. 

Baby Boomers are retiring to the tune of 10,000+ employees per day. For many, this is an uncertain time. Declining health, mobility, and living on a fixed income can create some anxiety. Acknowledging and addressing these concerns can help ease their anxiety, as well as build and strengthen your relationship with your parents.

I have two sets of parents. Both are aging, retired, and are at very different points in their life. As I have pondered and researched how to have “the talks” with them, I have found these four tips to be critical in helping to provide support, guidance, and comfort. 

1. Evaluate your own feelings and motivations BEFORE inviting your parents to talk.
Money is an emotional and often private affair. Before inviting them to talk, evaluate where you are emotionally. You may feel angered, frustrated, upset, fearful, or scared about their situation. Regardless of your emotional state, know that it is normal to be concerned about your parents aging and the state of their financial affairs. By evaluating your own feelings and motivations up front, you are more likely to be calm and collected during the dialogue.

2. Lead with a loving open invitation.

As you approach their financial situation with loving intentions, it allows your parents to see and feel that you care. Begin by acknowledging their potential roadblocks. For example, say, “I understand this may be difficult to discuss, but I care about you and want to make sure you’re financially stable during this period of your life. When would be a good time to discuss your plans and how I might be able to support you?”

3. Find the right time for the discussion.

Holidays, birthdays and other family gatherings might seem like an opportune time to talk, but they are often chaotic. It is best to avoid these times and seek out a quieter occasion to discuss their financial situation. While you may want to talk about it RIGHT NOW, your parents may need time to process and evaluate their own situation before addressing it with you. No doubt, waiting for the right time may be more challenging for you than for your parents. However, in this situation, your patience can pay off.

4. Allow your parents to have control whenever possible.

Watching your parents physical and mental health diminish is difficult. Most elderly parents recognize that there will come a time when they will need additional support, but they often don’t want to confront this reality. When discussing financial matters, it is critical to help them understand you are not trying to take over their life. It is an offer to help and provide support. Whenever possible, invite and encourage your parents to decide what issue to address and when. In doing so, you are demonstrating your support.

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Unity One CU Scheduled Maintenance - July 2019

Fri, Jul 05, 2019 @ 02:47 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in scheduled maintenance

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System Maintenance will be conducted on the following days. This may affect online, mobile and telephone banking performance temporarily. 

Tuesday, July 16, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight
Wednesday, July 31, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight

Thank you for your patience.

Contact Us

 

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Unity One Cu informs: 2019 Bob Bennett Scholarship Winners Announced

Mon, Jun 24, 2019 @ 02:40 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Unity One Credit Union, Bob Bennett

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1st Place Brady Nelson-1Unity One Credit Union is pleased to name Brady Nelson, graduating senior of Spring Lake Park High School in Minnesota, as the grand prize winner of the 2019 Bob Bennett Memorial Scholarship. Nelson’s award-winning essay detailed the differences between banking of the past and present, while exploring banking technology currently desired by Generation Z and beyond.

Nelson says of banking with Unity One, “Having an account has encouraged good habits, by offering a tool to manage my money and achieve financial goals. There are banking services that provide me time which I sometimes don’t always have. As a student, employee, and active participant in extracurricular and athletics my time gets stretched. Having the convenience of direct deposit means I don’t have to find the time or locate means to cash a check. This feature allows me to focus my time elsewhere without needing to worry about getting to the bank.”

Nelson will receive $1,000 to aid with his college expenses. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an Eagle Scout, captain of his soccer team and active participant of Youth Group: Confirmed.

2nd Place Chelsea KungChelsea Kung, graduating senior at Keller Central High School, and Breanna Nabarrete, student at the University of North Texas, were named runners-up and will receive a $500 and $250 prize respectively.

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates had to be graduating high school seniors or college students attending a two-year or four-year college or vocational/technical school. They needed to have maintained at least a 2.8 grade point average (on a four-point scale) and be a member of Unity One Credit Union.

3rd Place Breanna NabarreteThe Bob Bennett Memorial Scholarship is a tribute to the life of Robert Bennett, a tireless champion on the credit union movement. He joined Unity One CU in 1954 and served on the Board of Directors until 2002. An advocate of growth and change, Bennett served through five name changes and three mergers. He passed away in December 2002.

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About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

 

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Unity One’s New Look is Coming Soon!

Tue, Jun 18, 2019 @ 04:46 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Unity One Credit Union, new website

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Have you ever wondered what a fresh coat of paint might 
look like on the Unity One Credit Union website?

Soon, you will be able to find out!
Launching in late June 2019, unityone.org is getting a new, 
bold look along with some great new features and easier 
access to information about your credit union.

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What do I need to do?
Not to worry – there is nothing you will need to do for the 
new website! All of your personal information to access your 
accounts through Online Banking will stay the same.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be delivering some sneak peeks 
and helpful tips on how to find the information you need on the 
new Unity One site, so you’ll be all set. 

Questions?
Want to keep up to date with Unity One’s bold new website? 
No problem! Visit our New Website Resource Center to find out more.

Resource Center

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Unity One CU Scheduled Maintenance - June 2019

Tue, May 28, 2019 @ 12:07 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in scheduled maintenance

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System Maintenance will be conducted on the following days. This may affect online, mobile and telephone banking performance temporarily. 

Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight
Saturday, June 29, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

In addition to our normal system maintenance, our online banking provider will be performing system maintenance as well on June 1 from 11:30 p.m. - 3:30 a.m. on June 2. There may be intermittent service disruptions during this time.

Thank you for your patience.

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