Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Posts by category

Follow Me

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Credit union informs: Destroying the myths of leasing

 

shutterstock 194800994 smallYou probably have a good idea of the vehicle that you want to drive. Sometimes the hardest decision you have to make is which type of financing is right for you. Purchase or lease?

Our friends at Fairlease have provided the information below to help detroy the myths about leasing. 

Myth 1 - High mileage drivers should not lease. False! High mileage drivers can make great auto-leasing candidates! The number one way to depreciate the value of a vehicle is to drive high miles. That vehicle then becomes the most difficult vehicle to resell. Fairlease allows you to customize your lease agreement for over 15,000 miles a year so you won't have to worry about trading or reselling a high-mileage vehicle. 

Myth 2 - Wear, tear and mileage are penalties. False! Wear, tear and mileage expenses are an equalizer. When you agree to "lease" a vehicle from the the registered owner, the owner guarantees the residual value of the vehicle. If you drive more miles than agreed, you use more of the vehicle's worth, and therefore you will pay for those miles at lease end. If you own the car, you resell it for less and you still absorb the expense of the mileage and excess wear and tear. Whether you lease or own the vehicle, driving high miles or incurring excess wear and tear will affect the vehicle's value. 

Myth 3 - You don't own the car. True...but does that matter? In the lease relationship, the lessor owns the vehicle and you lease (or rent) the use of it. Therefore, at the end of your automobile lease term, the car is returned to the lessor who resells the vehicle. If you want to own the vehicle at the end of your finance term, you can continue to drive a used, depreciated vehicle or you can sell it yourself. You then own the depreciating asset and its value is worth far less than when you purchased the vehicle. 

Myth 4 - Automobile leasing is only for the wealthy. False! Automobile leasing is for anyone who has qualifying credit. You don't have to be wealthy to understand the value of leasing. Everyone has the same opportunity to minimize monthly expenses and maximize savings and investments. 

Myth 5 - Leasing requires more expensive insurance coverage. False! Many leasing companies may require higher limits of liability coverage causing your monthly insurance costs to rise. Not at Fairlease! We require the state minimums of liability, exactly like a conventional auto loan.

Ready to lease a new or used car?
Get a Quote!  

Credit union informs: Paying for college while saving for retirement

 

shutterstock 70550551 blogIt can be done. All across America, families are meeting a mighty financial challenge – the challenge of paying college costs with retirement potentially on the horizon. How do they do it? They go about it consistently; they also get creative.

First, make sure the priorities are in the right order. Strange as it may sound, your retirement may need to take precedence over your child’s college education.

Think about it. Your son or daughter might qualify for student loans or financial aid. By the time they are 30 or 35, they will have the earnings potential to pay those loans back. Do you see any ads out there for “retirement loans” or “retirement aid”? For most, it is much harder to earn money at age 65 than at age 35. Because of this, many choose to allow the younger generation to assume the debt.

The following are some short-term and long-term ideas you may want to consider if you have college costs on your mind:

Save for college the DCA way. While dollar-cost averaging is a useful way to build retirement savings, its merit often goes unrecognized when it comes to saving for higher education. If you could put $40 a month even in a basic savings account with a tiny interest rate, over 10 years that is approaching $5,000. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and will certainly help out. Move the money from a checking account each month into a savings account, or …

Consider a tax-advantaged college savings plan. Contribute to a 529 plan, which features tax-advantaged growth and tax-free withdrawals when the withdrawn funds are used to pay qualified education costs. Not all 529 plans are the same – in fact, some of them will even provide a small cash “match” or “sign-up” bonus when you start your plan. Some 529 plans are even “prepaid” – that means you may be able to secure future tuition rates at current prices, usually at in-state public colleges. Another advantage of the prepaid plans – they are often guaranteed by the state.

Exploit your credit card. No, don’t pay for college with it … well, at least not directly. Some credit cards give you a cash-back rewards option. You may as well put the rewards toward college. Some of the major banks let you do this and so do online shopping websites such as Upromise.

Keep your income as low as possible in the base income year. That is the calendar year that starts as your child is in the middle of his or her junior year in high school. That is the year when college financial aid departments start to look at a family’s earned and received income. If you can avoid taking capital gains or a distribution from a 401(k) or 403(b) in that year, that will keep your taxable income low. Will Roth IRA conversions raise eyebrows? Yes, they will.

However, don’t stop contributing to your own retirement savings accounts, and feel free to pay off consumer debts with the money from your savings and checking accounts – the assets in these accounts aren’t used in financial aid formulas.

Let the college know if your financial situation has changed. Has the value of your home fallen? Is your business netting you far less than it once did? Financial aid departments should be willing to review these developments and may be able to adjust aid for your student accordingly.

Make it a family affair. In some cultures, it is common for all members of a family to pitch in on the down payment or mortgage payments for a home. Consider this strategy as your family saves for college. Close friends and family members may be willing (or even excited) to make ongoing contributions to a college savings plan for your child, and/or an annual “birthday” contribution. They may find giving such a gift to be much more meaningful and fulfilling than a mere toy or item of clothing.

In short, hunting for every scholarship or alumni connection you can and finding a great school at a reasonable price – that’s important. But it may be just as useful (if not more) to be both creative and consistent as you save for college. While it has always been a challenge, by putting some thought into it, most families and students can find ways to respond.

Bill Fairley

Sean Weaver

This article was presented by Bill Fairley and Sean P. Weaver of WWK Wealth Advisors. Bill Fairley & Sean P. Weaver, CFP® are Investment Advisors with WWK Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor and may be reached at 817-336-6300 or www.wwkllc.com

RSVP to the next FREE seminar

*The views and opinions expressed at this event are those of WWK Wealth Advisors and not necessarily of Unity One Credit Union. 

 

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

 

Credit union informs: Three college scholarships available!

 

Bob BennettUnity One Credit Union is currently accepting applications for the 2015 Bob P. Bennett Memorial Scholarship. This year, we've added two additional book scholarships for a total of three! The winning entrant will receive a $1,000 grand prize scholarship. Two runners-up will receive a $250 book scholarship. 

This year's entry topic is to explain the difference between a credit union and other non-traditional businesses in the financial service industry. Scoring is based on a completed application and an essay or video entry. Deadline to enter is April 30, 2015. 

To be eligible for the Bob Bennett Scholarship, candidates must be graduating seniors or college students attending a two-year or four-year college or vocational/technical school. They need to maintain a 2.8 grade point average (on a four-point scale) and be a member of Unity One CU.   

The Bob Bennett Memorial scholarship is a tribute to the life of Robert Bennett, a tireless champion of 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.

Get a Scholarship Application now!

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit union informs: Budgeting for #FirstTimers

 

Moving into apartmentWhen it comes to money, there's certainly no shortage on ways to spend it - food, rent, retirement savings, entertainment. In fact, there are so many ways to spend money it can become confusing. 

Following a simple budget now can help make sure you don't make a mistake that could drastically limit your financial options for years to come. 

1. Rent - 25-35%. Sean Weaver, certified financial planner at WWK Wealth Advisors, suggests spending "no more than 25-35% of your income on your rent or mortgage." What you spend on housing can easily upset your whole budget, so be careful to not overspend. 

2. Essentials - 15-25%. Depending on how much you spend on housing, this amount can vary. Essentials can include items such as insurance, utilities and loan payments. You should aim to spend no more than 50% of your total take-home pay on rent and essentials.

3. Goals - 20%. Consider putting at least 20% of your take-home pay towards your financial goals - saving for retirement, paying down credit card debt and building an emergency fund. Aim to automate your savings each pay period for an easy way to save consistently.

4. Lifestyle Choices- 30%. It doesn't really matter what you spend your money on in this category - latest fashion trends, newest technology gadgets, dining out with friends - as long as you're aware of what you are spending. The less you spend, the easier it is to achieve financial freedom.

Follow Unity One on Twitter @UnityOneCU for more updates to our #FirstTimers series. 

Follow Unity One on Twitter

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit union informs: FREE College Planning and Funding class

 

Financial Education SeminarsAre you concerned about the rising cost of tuition? You are not alone. Recent surveys indicate that saving for college is a primary financial goal for most Americans.

Join Unity One Credit Union and WWK Wealth Advisors at an informative workshop that will help you better understand the education savings and gifting options available. You'll learn about 529 College savings plans, a tax-advantaged way to save for college.

When:  Tuesday, January 13, 2015
           6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Where: Unity One Credit Union
           4625 North Tarrant Parkway
           Fort Worth, TX 76244 

RSVP to this FREE event


*The views and opinions expressed at this event are those of WWK Wealth Advisors and not necessarily of Unity One Credit Union.
 

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit union informs: Five tips for safe online shopping

 

Safe online shoppingWorried about shopping online - safely?

You're not alone. In the wake of cybersecurity breaches at major retailers, such as Target and Home Depot, many people are fearful of debit/credit card fraud or identity theft. 

Here are some tips to keep your personal information private while shopping online:

1. Be careful what you click. Think that ridiculously low-priced gift is too good to be true? It probably is. Phishing scams - the attempt to steal sensitive information - run rampant during the holiday season. If you are not familiar with the sender of the email, do not open or click the links. Doing so may jeopardize your personal information.  

2. Read the fine print. While not the most enjoyable way to spend your time, reading the fine print can help you avoid unnecessary fees. If you don't, you could end up in an automatic subscription without realizing it. With some club fees charging upwards of $40/month, reading the fine print could net you big savings.

3. Update your social media profile. Posting too much information on social media can make you an easy target for identity theft. Avoid sharing information such as your birthday and maiden name. Thieves can use this information to piece together a partial Social Security number or credit card number. 

4. Check for the 'S' in the web address. As long as the 's' is present, the site is secure. 

5. Don't save card information on e-commerce websites. Make sure criminals won't have easy access to your information by choosing not to save your card information. Also make sure to log out and close your browser each time you leave a shopping site or payment account. 

 

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org


Credit union informs: A successful Toys for Tots drive!

 

Vadnais Toys for Tots 2015For over 10 years, Unity One Credit Union has partnered with CU Companies and the U.S. Marine Reserves to collect new, unwrapped toys for local less fortunate children in the St. Paul and Vadnais Heights, Minnesota area. 

This year, the results were amazing! Thanks to our members, we were able to donate 232 toys and $864 in cash donations to this worthy cause. 

Today, Unity One along with other credit unions in the area, will be meeting with the U.S. Marine Reserves at the local TV station KARE 11 to donate the gifts. 

Toys for Tots, started in the 1980's by the United States Marine Corps, has distributed over 469 million toys to more than 216 million less fortunate children. All items collected are distributed free of charge to recipients by the United States Marine Corps.

Make a donation  

 

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit Union Board Member Leaves a Legacy of Service

 

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved board member, Jim DeBilzan, in December. After more than 35 years as a member of the Board of Directors of Unity One Credit Union, Jim DeBilzan retired in May 2014. During his tenure on the board, DeBilzan served as secretary for five years and chaired numerous committees. He was active on the education, marketing, technology and loan committees and heJim DeBilzanld a strong passion for the credit union “people helping people” philosophy.

While serving on the board, he completed several modules of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Volunteer Achievement Program. In addition to his service at Unity One Credit Union, DeBilzan was also the manager of Saint Pascal Parish Credit Union in St. Paul, MN for the past 32 years.

Prior to this death, DeBilzan was named Unity One Director Emeritus. He has been a big supporter of the credit union movement and has played an instrumental role in the development of Unity One.  His commitment to Unity One has impacted us as a credit union, and we appreciate all his years of service.

In 2014, Jim was honored with "Credit Union Builder" with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. Click here to read a full article from the foundation.

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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit union informs: Hottest toys of the season results

 

Hottest Toys - BCTALYear after year, toy companies put together their list of the hottest toys of the season. This year, Unity One decided to put those toys to the test. We purchased the toys and placed them in our lobbies for true, honest critiques by kids.

Here are the top ten hottest toys of the holiday season, as picked by Unity One members.

10. Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote-Control Flying Car – The Hot Wheels remote-control car offers a cool combination of on-ground R/C performance, including proportional ground steering and the aerial performance of a plane. It’s durable and lightweight, allowing it to perform impressive aerial maneuvers and fly up to 150’ in the air. One member said, “Love it. Needs lots of space to fly.”

9. Zoomer Interactive Dino – Control him if you can! With real dinosaur movements, sounds and incredible dino-sense abilities, Dino can detect when you’re nearby and interacting with him. But watch out! Just like a real Dino he can get angry, spin around, chomp and roar! One member said “It’s the most enjoyable toy ever! I had so much fun with it,” while another said “The dinosaur was so much fun. When it eats it’s cute.”

8. Transformers Age of Extinction Mega 1-Step Bumblebee Figure – Bumblebee is back and he’s badder than ever! You can flip this powerful robot hero to change him fast from robot mode to sports car mode and back!

7. Hot Wheels Track Builder Total Turbo Takeover Track Set – This toy racecar system comes with everything kids need to design and customize their own race track. It also has an all-new, two-way motorized booster to get the cars moving at breakneck speeds. In the words of one of our members, “It’s awesome!”

6. Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Cart – This cart gives kids everything they need to provide on-the-go care. Kids can let friends know they’re in a hurry with the motion-activated siren that lights up and plays the Doc Mobile song. One member said, “I really like how it has stickers to go with the cart.”

5. Disney Princess Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin, Cinderella’s Puppy When Cinderella found Pumpkin on the palace balcony, she was very surprised to discover that she was actually an anniversary present from the Prince. This glamourous puppy loves to attend royal balls and she twirls and dances with the elegance of a princess. Simply stated, our members “loved this.”

4. Snap Circuits Jr. Give your child an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics with this kit. This innovative kit contains over 30 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. This toy was repeatedly highly ranked for being “fun, yet challenging.”

3. Ultra Stomp Rocket An excellent way to have fun with the whole family! Teach your children lessons about aerodynamics, propulsion and science while they stop on the launch pad shooting the rocket over 200 feet into the air. This toy is touted for its easy assembly and battery-free fun. One member said, “This thing is awesome!”

2. Catch Phrase Decades Game The perfect gift for your older children! Shout it, sing it, dance or just make faces to get your team to guess the word or phrase on the screen. Loaded with over 5,000 words and phrases from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s, this game is sure to get the party started. Students at our Birdville Center for Technology and Advanced Learning branch said, “This game is so much fun!”

Snow Glow Elsa1. My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll With a touch of her magical snowflake necklace, hear Elsa talk to her Frozen friends and watch the magic as her dress glows in a flurry of lights. This toy, as quoted by one member, is “amazing.”

Other toys that were tested, but did not make the top ten list include: Melissa & Doug Suspend Game, K’Nex 70 Model Building Set, Glee Cranium, Simon Swipe Game, Mega Bloks Barbie Fab Mansion, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch N’ Shout Raphael Figure, Air Hogs RC Zero Gravity Laser Racer, LEGO Super Heroes Captain America vs. Hydra Play Set, Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy, Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher and the Cra-Z-Loom Ultimate Rubber Band Loom.

 

 

 

Credit union informs: 20 thousand for 20 years contest

 

20 thousand for 20 years

This holiday season, members of the community have an opportunity to support a Children's Miracle Network hospital by simply voting online.

CU Direct, Unity One's indirect lending partner, is donating $20,000 to a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. 

Please join Unity One as we support the communities we serve by voting for a hospital in your area. 

EVERY vote counts. Voting ends December 22, 2014. 

Click here to vote.  

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have
gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at www.CMNHospitals.org.

All Posts