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Credit union informs: Money skills for youth

 
Children can learn money skills as early as age 3! Here are just a few tips to help young credit union surfer savers Catch the Save Wave™:

* Have young children—preschool age—sort different types of money into piles by color and size. YM2014 FBbanner

* Play grocery store or credit union/bank. Help them use a pretend cash register.

* At the grocery store, let youth of all ages help you shop. Teach them how to comparison shop. For example, show them that for every $4.85 box of cereal, there may be similar brands on sale for half as much.

* As youth get older, let them know what things cost. Share sales receipts for items you’ve purchased for them and for bills you’ve paid.

* If you decide to pay an allowance, include youth in the decision-making process. Discuss allowance amounts and expectations. The amount is your call, but ask for their input. One idea is to have children set aside part of their allowance for spending, part for saving, and part for sharing or charity. Clarify what you'll pay for and what they are responsible for. For example, when you're at the movies, maybe you agree to pay for the ticket, but the Milk Duds are on them.

* As youth reach high-school age, reexamine the rules. Clarify what you will pay for and what your teenager is responsible for. For example, your teenager may want the newest cell phone that comes with a high price tag, so establish your spending limit. If she still wants the more expensive version, have her make up the difference. Oftentimes, once the responsibility of paying for items is on the teenager, the "latest and greatest" isn’t so important.

Get youth started on the right track financially. Bring them in to Unity One Credit Union—we have more ideas to help you raise children to be financially savvy young adults.

Copyright 2013 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

Credit union informs: youth savings accounts

 

Are your kids on the right track to financial independence?

For many of today's young adults, the weakest link lies in learning the basics. Only 35% of teens know how to balance a checking account or manage credit cards. During the past several years, a decline in overall financial knowledge is especially pronounced among 18-year-olds, and 13% fewer teens have bank accounts.*

Achieving economic prosperity is difficult, and it's especially hard for young people who've never learned how to manage money. Full Color Surfboard Logo JPEG

Your credit union is ideally positioned to respond because we believe in the power of education. We're here to help you launch the youth in your life toward financial independence, and here’s how:

Join. For starters, open a credit union savings account for each child in your family. As soon as your children can write, have them fill out deposit and withdrawal slips. Guide teenagers through using a debit card and tracking transactions.

Share. Include your children in household money discussions. Show them how you budget income and expenses. As their skills improve, give them challenges—such as finding a better cell phone plan, calculating the total monthly cost of owning a car, or sticking to a budget for back-to-school or holiday spending.

Coach. Remind your children to ask for help when they need it. And turn to your credit union when you want help. Our tradition of service and philosophy of self-help make Unity One Credit Union and all credit unions a natural partner in pursuing financial security.

We're here to help. For more information, contact Unity One Credit Union.

*2011 Teens and Money Survey, Charles Schwab

Copyright 2013 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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Credit union informs: Heartbleed

 

 

PHOTO: Password changes are likely in order for many due to a bug called Heartbleed.
Laurence Dutton/Getty Images

An online bug called "Heartbleed" is affecting a huge chunk of the Internet, which means that a password change is likely in order for hundreds of millions of people.

More than half a million sites are vulnerable that use the security system called Open SSL, according Netcraft, and have had to install a new security patch. Before this patch, private data on websites such as Yahoo, Google and Tumblr could have been vulnerable to hackers, experts said. This bug was discovered by a team of security engineers at tech company Codenomicon and Neel Mehta of Google Security.

Joost Bijl, a product manager with the cybersecurity firm Fox IT, said that affected websites should be letting consumers know that a fix has been installed. But, so far it does not appear that any major website besides Tumblr have reached out to consumers.

Here's what you should know about "Heartbleed" and some ways to protect yourself:

1.
Tumblr

Tumblr issued a warning on Tuesday, saying the blog site has "no evidence of any breach and, like most networks, our team took immediate action to fix the issue," but users should change all their passwords.

2.
This Is Serious

Codenomicon set up a Heartbleed info website, saying, "Considering the long exposure, ease of exploitation and attacks leaving no trace this exposure should be taken seriously."

Codenomicon CEO David Chartier said that users on impacted websites should change their passwords, but only once the site administrators have appropriately installed the patch to fix the problem. It doesn’t help to change the password if the site has not been updated, though Chartier estimated that the fix is probably already in place on most of the major websites. The problem has been around for two years and was discovered last Friday, he said.

Chartier also said their investigation shows that Open SSL is used by at least 66 percent of all servers on the Internet.

3.
Facebook

A Facebook spokesperson said the company "added protections for Facebook’s implementation of OpenSSL before this issue was publicly disclosed, and we’re continuing to monitor the situation closely."

"We haven’t detected any signs of suspicious account activity that would suggest a specific action, but we encourage people to take this opportunity to follow good practices and set up a unique password for your Facebook account that you don’t use on other sites," the Facebook spokesperson said.

4.
Google

A Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement, “The security of our users' information is a top priority. We proactively look for vulnerabilities and encourage others to report them precisely so that we are able to fix them before they are exploited. We have assessed the SSL vulnerability and applied patches to key Google services.”

They later added to their statement saying that, "The security of our users' information is a top priority. We fixed this bug early and Google users do not need to change their passwords."

Google also posted a blog today detailing the fix for the big and pointing out that Android users are not vulnerable.

5.
Yahoo

In a statement, Yahoo said, “A vulnerability, called Heartbleed, was recently identified impacting many platforms that use Open SSL, including ours."

The company said it has "successfully made the appropriate corrections across the main Yahoo properties (Yahoo Homepage, Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Food, Yahoo Tech, Flickr and Tumblr) and we are working to implement the fix across the rest of our sites right now. We’re focused on providing the most secure experience possible for our users worldwide and are continuously working to protect our users’ data.”

6.
Beware

Mark McCurley, senior information security advisor at Identity Theft 911, said Lastpass.com/heartbleed can help you check to see if a site is vulnerable. You can also ask the company or website if they have fixed potential flaws, then update to a strong password, using numbers, upper case, lower case and symbols, McCurley said.

People should also be wary of phishing emails that trick you into revealing your passwords to scammers.

7.
Main Takeaways From an Expert

Security expert Brian Krebs, who broke the news of Target's massive security breach last year, said hundreds of millions of users are impacted by this problem. He offered three main takeaways:

• This highlights the danger of using the same password over and over again for all your sites.

• Using same username and same password on multiple sites that hold valuable information is a bad idea.

• For banking and email you should have different usernames and passwords.

8.
And Lastly ...

Krebs advised people on Tuesday to avoid logging into sites that have critical personal information. It's never a bad idea to change passwords for important services and sites, he said.

ABC News' Sandy Cannold and Susanna Kim contributed to this report.

Credit union informs: National Financial Capability Month

 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION

Thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, our Nation has cleared away the rubble of the worst recession since the Great Depression. As we continue to create jobs and grow our economy, families strive to rebuild their finances and shore up their futures. During National Financial Capability Month, we renew our drive to give all Americans the tools to navigate the financial world and gain the economic freedom to pursue their own measure of happiness.unity one credit union

In today's economy, financial capability is essential for some of life's biggest transitions -- paying for college, buying a home, saving for retirement. A solid understanding of the marketplace makes it easier to avoid scams, spot misleading information, and decipher complex paperwork. For free resources on managing money and making the best decisions for you, visit www.MyMoney.gov and www.ConsumerFinance.gov, or call 1-888-MyMoney.

My Administration is working alongside businesses, schools, and community leaders to empower Americans with financial information. We launched the "Know Before You Owe" campaign to make student loans more transparent and created myRA, an affordable savings bond that encourages Americans to begin building nest eggs and allows them to carry their account between jobs. And we continue to take action against companies that charge hidden fees or deceive consumers with barely understandable fine print.

We must also ensure that Americans have the means to put their financial understanding to use. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions can finally live secure in the knowledge that they are no longer an illness or injury away from bankruptcy. Yet for those who work full-time, make minimum wage, and still live in poverty, budgets do not stretch far enough to leave room for investments. This month, as we improve financial capability throughout our Nation, let us also advance the opportunity agenda -- new jobs in tomorrow's industries, more access to job training, a world-class education for every child, and an economy where hard work pays off for every American.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as National Financial Capability Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

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 nine branches to serve over 28,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

Credit union informs: saving for a wedding

 

Can you save for a wedding in a year? Unity One Credit Union informs consumers, with the help of MSN Money (money.msn.com) and Abby Hayes of credit.com, on how they can save up for a dream wedding in less than a year.

  • Set realistic expectations. There are only a few Kardashians and, chances are, you are not one of them. However, you can have a very memorable and beautiful wedding for a few thousand bucks. The average wedding cost, according to theknow.com, is around $28,000. For many, this is way too high. Set realistic goals.wedding pic resized 600
  • Prioritize, and cut back on your spending. With your spouse-to-be, figure out how much you are both willing to sacrifice. Prioritize, and create a list if you have to. "The more you sacrifice, the more you save and the more you get to spend."
  • Create a wedding spending plan. Do some research, and stick to your budget. Also, don't forget to add 5-10% contingency because you need to plan for overspending.

Take things slowly, plan and set boundaries. You too can have the dream wedding without spending a fortune.

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 nine branches to serve over 28,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

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Credit Union Informs: Pros and Cons of Leasing a Vehicle

 

There’s a lot to consider when you’re on the market for a new vehicle. Once you’ve decided on the perfect make, model and color, you also have to find the best way to finance your new car. In order to determine if leasing is right for you, consider the following pros and cons:

Pros:

You get more for your monthly payment - When you lease a vehicle rather than purchase one, the same monthly payment can typically get you a better vehicle. This is because when you lease a vehicle, your monthly payment only covers how much the vehicle’s value depreciates over the life of the lease, rather than the entire sale price.

“This is one of the biggest single attractions of car leasing for many people,” states Eric Peters from AOL Autos. “A car (or truck) that might cost you $500-$600 per month to buy might cost $100 per month less with car leasing.”

Save money on the down payment - Another of the most attractive features of a lease is the fact that leasing typically requires little to no down payment. Although choosing a small or nonexistent down payment when you sign your lease can set you up for higher monthly payments, it may still be the right choice for people who need a vehicle right away and don’t have the ability to wait to save up for a down payment.

Better warranty coverage - Three years is a typical lease term, and it’s also the duration of many new vehicle’s bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage. This means that if you lease, your car may be covered the entire time you drive it. Once the warranty runs out, you’ll be ready to lease a new vehicle, potentially saving you money on repairs that arise after the warranty period.

Newest technology - Leasing a new vehicle every few years means that your vehicle will never lack the latest technology. This makes leasing a great option for tech lovers and drivers who simply like to have the newest features in their vehicles.

Tax benefits - There are several tax advantages that come with leasing a vehicle. When leasing, you rid yourself of the upfront sales tax. Also, if you own a business and use the vehicle only for business purposes, you might be able to claim it as a tax deduction.

Cons:

Limited mileage - One of the biggest drawbacks of leasing a vehicle is that the lease will specify a maximum number of miles that you can drive per year. For example, if your three-year lease has a yearly 12,000-mile limit, this means you have 36,000 total miles. At the end of your lease, if you have exceeded that limit, you will need to pay a fee for each mile over the limit. These fees can be substantial, so it’s important to consider how much you typically drive per year before leasing.

Potential fees for modifications or damage - Another disadvantage of leasing is that you likely won’t have full freedom to modify the vehicle without incurring a fee. This means you may not be able to install a better audio system or make other improvements. It can also mean that you could be charged a fee if you alter the appearance of the vehicle in a negative way, such as by harming the paint with a bumper sticker.

You won’t build equity - “Since you’re basically renting the car when you lease, you’re not building any equity,” states Liz Opsitnik from U.S. News. “This is similar to renting an apartment versus buying a condo or house.”

No end to the payments - When you lease a vehicle, you will need to make a payment every month. If you purchase your vehicle, however, you will be free from monthly payments once you pay off the full purchase price of the vehicle.

Higher credit scores may be required - “Another potential downside to leasing is that usually only shoppers with good credit scores will qualify for a car lease,” states Opsitnik. “If your credit score is less than perfect, you may want to consider buying a used car.”

If you’re not able to afford the big down payment and monthly payments associated with buying a new vehicle, but don’t want to deal with the downsides of leasing, purchasing a used vehicle with affordable financing may be your best bet.

I would like to speak with a loan officer.

Credit union informs: BNSF to hire 5,000

 

According to the Star Telegram, BNSF Railway is set to hire 5,000 people this year. Plans also include adding engines and tank cars as "the economy and oil cargo grow."

Carl Ice, new president and CEO, interviewed with CNBC and said that the new jobs will be spread across the nation. Most will be on the train crews. The company is also adding 500 locomotives and is preparing to purchase 5,000 "next-generation" tank cars to haul crude oil from fields.BNSF

According to Ice, the capital investment is at an unprecedented level. Steven Forsberg, BNSF spokesperson, said that two-thousand new jobs, with the rest replacing retirees, will be created.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, BNSF employs more than 41,000 employees. In 2013, income for the company reached $4.27 billion.

Learn more about BNSF's credit union partner, Unity One Credit Union.

Credit union informs: Credit Card Myths

 

MSN Money (www.money.msn.com) dispels common credit card myths. Here are a couple that we at Unity One Credit Union feel are very important.

  • Myth: Opening a new credit card damages your credit score. Believe it or not, a new account handled well can improve your score. It shows lenders that you are responsible and credit worthy. However, opening up too many cards in a short amount of time can speak volumes and not in a good way. The inquiries may lower your score temporarily.Cutting up credit card
  • Myth: Canceling cards may help your credit score. No, no, no. Closing accounts could have the opposite effect. When a card is canceled, it reduces the amount of credit that has been extended to you, which means that lenders have less to go on. It increases your "debt-to-available" credit ratio, which is one of the major credit-scoring components. The trick is to not to use your card. Cut it in half or freeze it. Then, you certainly won't spend excessively.

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 nine branches to serve over 28,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

 

Credit union informs: Slim and Save

 

Tips for shopping and eating healthy in 2014

By Stashia Thomas, Unity One Credit Union member

Stashia graduated from South Dakota State University in December with a degree in nursing.

If you find yourself pulling into the drive thru more than you are going into a grocery store, chances are you are depleting your bank account and expanding your waistline. The average cost of a meal from a fast food restaurant is five dollars. If you eat out once a day for lunch this costs you $35 per work week which adds up to $1,820 per year! Not only does this use up lots of your money, it adds tons of calories to your diet. Stashia Thomas           

The average meal when eating out will cost you 500 calories, and this is only average for an entrée. Include a drink and a side, and you can pack on an extra 300 calories or more depending on what you are eating.  Not only are the calories and fat extremely high in fast food, but also the sodium content for one meal can be equivalent or exceed a day’s worth. Not only does fast food packs on the fat, calories, and sodium; but also most fast food is severely lacking in nutrients.

Now let’s take a look at bringing a lunch to work instead of eating out. A turkey sandwich on white bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard will cost you only $1.08! Add on an apple and bottled water, and the total is about $3. Now let us look at the calories of this cost-effective lunch.

The sandwich mentioned above would have approximately 300 calories and the apple would have about 70, bringing the total to just under 400 calories.  Not to mention the lettuce, tomato and apple would add valuable nutrients that your body needs and craves. The preparation time, although minimal, that this packed lunch would take is worth the calories and money saved.       

Some tips for shopping and eating healthy:

·      Buy cheap produce. Cheap produce is what is in season, so it will make your taste buds and wallets happy!

·      Take advantage of coupons when you can. Many coupons can be found online from manufactures if you check their Web sites.

·      Buy in bulk and freeze for later! Buy fresh meat in bulk, and separate it into servings and freeze for ease and money saving.

·      Stock frozen and canned veggies and fruits. It is always good to have nutritious food on hand, fresh, frozen or canned; it keeps you from going out when you haven’t had time to shop.

·      Keeps snacks handy at your desk or in your car. If you always have food it is hard to make the excuse to stop and eat out.

·      Leftovers are not so bad. Prepare big healthy meals early in the week for leftovers. A salad or entree made Sunday night can last you until mid-week and save time when you’re on the go!

·      Get inspired by cooking Web sites. They feature quick and easy recipes if you are stumped on what to make!

·      Use your crock pot! If you have a hot meal waiting for you when you get home, it will cut down on the trips to the drive thru when you feel too tired to cook at the end of the day. 

Credit union informs: Retirement survey

 

If you are close to retiring or retired, please consider taking five minutes to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/uoretirement

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 nine branches to serve over 28,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

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