In the market to buy a car? Tempted by the banks in your area because, frankly, they are EVERYWHERE. Does repetition mean better value these days? Here's why the credit union difference is extraordinary.
Because credit unions are not-for-profit, they return their profits to their members or owners through low-cost loans, among other things. Credit unions, like Unity One Credit Union, use creative and cost-effective ways like techonology to provide superior service and convenience, rather than build branches on every street corner. The operation costs alone can be high and potentially rob members of benefits.
Let's compare auto loan rates between a credit union and large bank chains.
||Unity One CU (APR as low as)*
||Bank Competitors (APR as low as)*
|48 months (new car)
|60 months (new car)
*APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are subject to change without notice.
Please note: The "bank competitors" are a range that includes three large banks in the 76244 (Fort Worth) zip code, collected May 2013.
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 the following Texas cities: Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake; St. Paul, MN and now Kansas City may apply for membership. Unity One CU has seven branches to serve over 24,000 members nationwide. The credit union is also a part of the CU Service Centers network, making credit union banking convenient no matter the location. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™
Much of a city's history is told by its properties, and Fort Worth is no different. Historic Fort Worth, local partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation just released its list of five places that, according to the FW Business Press, are "threatened by deterioration, neglect, vandalism, encroaching development or lack of financial resources."
History buffs, especially Fort Worth history buffs, this is for you.
The Garvey-Viehl-Kelley House (located at 769 Samuels Ave, built 1884-1890): Built for grocery store owner and real estate dealer William B. Garvey and his wife Lucy, this Queen Anne residence fell on hard times. Designated a historic landmark in 1993, the home (and neighborhood) could have a bright future with a new designation as a lakefront property. The home is for sale and could make a great bed and breakfast, corporate retreat and/or wedding venue, according to Historic Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Community Arts Center and Scott Theater (located at 1300 Gendy St., built in 1954): Designed by Austrian graphic designer Herbert Bayer, the original FW Art Center was the first location for the Modern Art Museum. Currently owned by the City of FW, the center's recent parking fee has threatened the plans of the arts groups that count on public support.
Ben Hogan's Childhood Home (located at 1316 East Allen Ave., built in 1927): Golf legend Ben Hogan lived in this modest home. It has been vacant for four years and has fallen on hard times with a bleak future. The home's owners would like to restore it because of its historical significance and Hogan's golf accomplishments.
Old Renfro's Drug Store (located at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., built in 1929): Owned by Texas Health Resources - Harris Methodist Hospital, this one-story, commercial building is one of the last so-called "wedding cake" buildings remaining in the area.
The Tanglewood Neighborhood (located roughly between Bellaire Dr. W & Hulen Street, built c. 1950-60): Established in 1954 by the Cass Overton Edwards family (Cassco Land Company), the neighborhood of Tanglewood was established with the stipulation that all houses be either brick or stone and have at least a two-car garage. Dominated by ranch style homes, Tanglewood's architectural integrity is at risk, according to Historic FW. Oversized additions and teardowns are very common. There are concerns that the original homes will eventually look out of place.
A message from Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Fort Worthians: Election Day is this Saturday, May 11, and the Fort Worth Chamber strongly encourages you to vote if you have not already cast your ballot in early voting.
Typically, local elections have low voter turnout; however, this year there is strong voter interest that has the potential to significantly impact two of the Chamber's highest business priorities. You have told us in member surveys and in person these two issues are critical to you and to your business: the quality of Education and the supply and use of Water.
With several governing boards in tight races, particularly the Water Board, we urge you to become familiar with the issues and the names on your ballot.
Please note that Unity One Credit Union does not endorse any particular candidate or issue.
According to the May 3 edition of the Kiplinger Letter, the U.S. experienced "stronger-than-expected" job growth in February, March and April. The average monthly gain has been about 196,000 so far.
However, average work hours per week fell, the number of Americans voluntarily working part-time increased and the number of people working has not regained its pre-recession status.
According to Kiplinger, lumber prices will rise for most of the year as the housing boom continues upward. In fact, lumber increases are "outpacing" home prices, which could hurt builders' bottom lines.
Paper prices are not rebounding as fast a predicted. However, the decline should end late 2013.
Unity One Credit Union stays abreast of trends that affect members and credit union interests. Don't hesitate to contact your credit union for financial guidance through all of your lifestages.
If you pay attention, it’s not much of a struggle to save money when buying groceries. Your credit union is a great place to get ideas; so, here you go:
Saving money on groceries means creating a plan for meals, snacks and household goods on a weekly (or however often you prefer to shop) grocery list. Track your store’s specials – the weekly grocery ad should be your go-to resource – and sort the coupons you’ve collected.
Then pay attention – even discounted with a coupon, a high-end brand item frequently costs more than some other brands. In general, the best bargains are store brands. People tend to assume store brands aren’t as high quality as Dole, Del Monte, Folgers, or other names we know. However, in many instances, the store brand is packaged by a company that also packages those name brands and is just as good or at least satisfactory.
One quick and easy way keep track of whether coupons are a bargain is to note how much off the shelf price each covers in a circle next to the item on your grocery list. You can instantly tell if you’re saving money compared to your usual brand or would spend extra money by using the coupon. Coupons on items you already buy are especially lovely.
The last trick is to take the coupons with you. Create a special spot for them to develop a habit. Should you forget to bring them on your trip; most stores will allow you to return with your register receipt and coupons to get them rung up at customer service area for up to a week after the original visit.
Did these tips help. We hope so. Unity One Credit Union has your back.
Unity One Credit Union has your back. College students, this is for you!
The total amount of outstanding student loan debt in the United States now tops $1 trillion. To make matters worse, recent graduates have been emerging from colleges and universities, with diplomas in hand, into one of the worst job markets in living memory.
Yes, we have had higher unemployment rates in years past: It reached 12 percent during the height of the recession of 1981-82, but that recession was over relatively quickly. We have never had the combination of stubborn unemployment, underemployment, chronic unemployment and high student loan debt that we have today.
College costs have been outpacing incomes for a generation, fueled in no small part, by the easy access to credit for college costs. The federal government has sought for years to make college more accessible for middle and working-class families. So it routinely provides generous guarantees against default for student loans. However, the more money that’s available for any commodity, the higher consumers will bid up the prices for it, and education is no different.
Many of today’s students are having difficulty in making the payments on their student loans once they’ve graduated or left college. This is particularly true of humanities and arts graduates, who wind up working low-skill service jobs that pay wages that are not designed to support a hefty student loan payment and the raising of a family.
As a result, the rates of default on student loans are soaring. An October 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Education notes that 13.1 percent of student loan borrowers have defaulted within three years of graduating. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that over 14 percent of Americans aged 20 to 24 are unemployed. That figure drops to 7.9 percent for the 25-34 year-old range but a large number of them are underemployed.
Bankruptcy is Not an Option
Most people who get into debt over their heads can seek refuge in America’s generous bankruptcy laws. Low-income individuals who can’t pay credit card debt or consumer loans, for example, can file a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy and discharge some or all of the debt. They are allowed to keep a limited amount of assets with which to start over.
But federally-guaranteed student loan debt is not normally dischargeable through bankruptcy. The courts only discharge federally-guaranteed student loan debt in the event of extreme hardship.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Degrees in underwater basket-weaving are great if you’re independently wealthy or a trust-fund baby. For the rest of us, consider your employ ability after graduating. For instance, some fields, such as psychology, tend not to pay well until you have a master’s degree. Here are a few additional tips to consider:
- Lean towards STEM majors. That is, science, technology, engineering and math. These fields provide students with hard skills that are more marketable to employers.
- Don’t co-sign student loans for your children if you cannot afford the risk of default – especially if they won’t be obtaining a marketable degree, or one that is not from a recognized, accredited institution.
- Limit borrowing if possible. Make maximum use of scholarships and the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Tip: Some veterans with the Post 9/11 GI Bill are able to transfer unused GI Bill benefits to family members. If you have a veteran in your family, explore this option.
Don't hesitate to call your credit union for more information regarding borrowing, especially for school.
For the credit union, it's all about the members. Minnesota members of Unity One Credit Union can expect free lunch, prizes and information this Friday.
This event is open to the public. Will you be there?
Credit unions nationwide are celebrating youth April 22-27. Unity One Credit Union is included. Visit our Web site for more details.
Q: I recently ran my credit report and found a lot of unknown debt. Afraid of identity theft, I discussed it with my spouse…who admitted to applying for and using credit cards that I knew nothing about. Now what?
A: Nothing eats away at the foundation of a marriage like dishonesty. Hiding debt from each other is not a good thing, but it does happen, and many couples have worked through this. Follow all of these steps, or just the ones that apply to your situation, and let us know how it goes.
- Express your disappointment. It’s OK to get mad; it’s not OK to get even. Wait until you’re feeling calm, and let your spouse know how you feel. Saying something that describes YOUR feelings is always better than pointing fingers and blaming your partner. “I’m feeling so hurt and disappointed about this. I thought we were completely honest and open with each other. I’m really hurt.”
- Dig deeper. Why would your spouse apply for debt you know nothing about? Is he/she feeling choked by the budget? Are you just a little too controlling when it comes to the finances? Is he/she out of work with too much time and not enough cash? In an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding, see if you can get to the bottom of why this happened. Keep in mind that the truth may be painful.
- Brainstorm for solutions. If you’re on the same page, do it together. If this is a problem you’re facing alone, whether your partner feels no need to fix it or for whatever other reason, sit down and come up with possible solutions.
- Plan regular budgeting meetings. Keep an eye on your own credit history, and resolve to work out the issues. It might be a good idea to apply for a credit card at Unity One Credit Union and agree to use only that card. When the bill comes, sit down together and make sure you’re both comfortable with what’s being charged.
- Spending money. It may make you feel like a kid, but there’s nothing wrong with each partner having a set amount of cash you’ve agreed on that you can spend, for which you’re not accountable. Even if it’s just $10 a month, there’s a freedom in money that has no purpose other than your own enjoyment.
- Separate credit cards. If all else fails, make it clear that your spouse's credit cards are his/her alone, and you’ll only be responsible for your joint accounts.
We all mess up sometimes. Don’t let your partner’s indiscretion spoil the other areas of your life. Give yourself time to stew, work out the details, and then get on with your life together, as a team.
Save money! Use your crockpot! Your credit union has you covered, even in the kitchen. Here are some delicious ways to get started.
Beef Stew - Low Carb Crockpot Recipes
One of the first recipes I will discuss is this amazing beef stew. Not only is this beef stew super tasty it is also low in carbs, calories and fat. For this beef stew all a person will need is the following:
- 2 pounds of stew meat
- 3 cups of bottled water
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 1 large carrot
- 1 10 ounce package of frozen peas or for those of you who would prefer green beans
- 16 ounce can of tomato sauces
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Red pepper flakes (i love heat, so if you do, go ahead and add it!)
Directions: All that a person will need to do turn the crock pot on high and begin with adding the water, onions, celery, chopped up carrot, peas and the tomato sauce. Before adding the meat it is always nice to brown the outside of it to add some extra flavor to the meat. Therefore take the stew meat and place them in a skillet with the extra virgin olive oil and set the range to about medium heat. Make sure that all the sides of the meat brown up nicely and then you will need to drain the excess oil and fat that is left in the pan. Once that has drained, take the meat and toss it in the crock pot and then take the spices and add as much as you would like tasting them as you go along.
Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup - Saltbox House
*Note: The measurements are estimates.
- Grilled Chicken Breast 2-3 breasts or shredded chicken that was roasted (If I'm in a hurry I'll grab a roasted chicken at the supermarket)
- Pinto Beans (Cooked) 1-2 cans or 2-3 cups of home cooked
- Black Beans (Cooked) 1-2 cans or 2-3 cups of home cooked
- Refried Beans (Dry or canned) 1 can or use as much dried refried beans to make a good base.
- Water 8-12 cups (as more ingredients are added, serving sizes will almost double depending on how thick)
- Stewed Tomatoes 1-2 cans
- Cilantro- one large handful
- Green Chilies 1-2 small cans
- Corn (cooked) 1-2 cups or 1 can
- Carrots (shredded) About 2 carrots
- Celery (shredded) about 2 celery stalks
- Onion (Shredded or cubed small) about 1 large
- Garlic 1/2-1 teaspoon of Garlic powder, 1-2 teaspoons of dried garlic, or 1-2 cloves minced
- Salt/Pepper- As desired
- Chicken Soup Base 2-3 Tablespoons or make broth from chicken bones that you roasted
- Taco Seasoning packet or I mix more or less of : 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin.
- Cooking oil - As needed for cooking
- Potato Flakes to thicken soup if needed
Favorite Soup Toppings:
- Corn Tortilla chips or Tortilla Strips (I like "hint of lime" chips) Chedder, Monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
- Sour Cream
- Fresh tomatoes or salsa
- Fresh Key Limes to squeeze over soup
Directions: Saute Carrots, Celery, onions, and garlic in small amount of oil. When done, blend this mixture in your food processor just until combined. Add cilantro and blend once more. (It should be chunky.)
Combine: Water, Beans, tomatoes, green chilies, corn, chicken soup base/broth, and chicken together and bring to a boil. Add blended mixture and remanding seasonings. Cook and low for up to 1 hour or put in slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
For a fast version, cook on medium to high heat until it reaches a comfortable temperature and good flavor.
There are quite a few ingredients to this recipe, but it is so easy to make. Depending on how many short cuts you take, this recipe can also be a fast fix for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Kelly’s Pork Carnitas - Kitchen Scoop
- 4 pounds pork loin roast
- 1 1/2 cups bottled tomatillo salsa,* plus additional sauce for passing at the table
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- Small flour tortillas
- Shredded lettuce
- Pico de gallo or salsa of choice
- Queso fresca or cheese of choice
Trim excess fat from pork and cut roast in half. Fit the pieces side by side in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour tomatillo sauce over pork, and cover crock. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F.
With the pork still in the crock, use 2 forks to pull meat into shreds. (The meat should be very tender, so this will be easy to do.)
Just before serving, heat oil on medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Working in batches, transfer shredded pork to skillet, and stir and cook until edges of pork start to “caramelize.”
To serve, prepare the tortillas, salsa, lettuce and cheese and let diners build a plate buffet-style. Pass additional tomatillo salsa at the table, if desired.