Unity One Credit Union

Free Up Cash in 30 Days

Fri, Sep 27, 2019 @ 11:36 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in family budget, budgeting, Unity One Credit Union

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

If you have a tight budget, the thought of finding any extra money can seem unrealistic. But with a few minor tweaks to your spending, it may be easier than you think.

Here are ways to cut down on debt and actually save money in the long run:

  • Consolidate debt — Sometimes the key to paying down debt can be as simple as combining it. One way to consolidate is to get a 0% balance-transfer credit card, transfer your debts to this card, and pay off the balance in full during the promotional period. Another way is to get a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan through your credit union. By consolidating your loans, you could save on interest rates, simplify monthly payments, and start saving money. However, if you’re just going to use it to run up more debt, consolidation isn’t for you.
     
  • Refinance your house and car loans   Refinancing your loans to get a lower interest rate will free up money that can be put toward other bills or put into savings. A credit union loan officer can determine if you qualify for lower rates.
     
  • Revisit home and auto insurance policies —  Check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website and Insurance Information Institute for advice about picking reputable companies and then compare quotes from different companies. Consider raising deductibles. Ask your insurer about good-student discounts for kids in high school and for college students who live away at school but leave their car at home.
     
  • Go green  Be environmentally conscious and save money while doing so. Programmable thermostats, fluorescent and LED bulbs, and window coverings are options that can help you save energy and money. Go green at the credit union as well by signing up for e-statements and automatic bill payments. Using automatic bill pay will help you avoid late fees and make consistent progress toward your financial goals. Signing up for automatic loan payments may also get you a discount on your interest rate. Ask a credit union loan officer for more information.

With just a little research and a few emails or phone calls, you should be able to free up more cash to pay off debt or put into your savings account.

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Unity One earns Great Place to Work Certification

Mon, Sep 23, 2019 @ 04:49 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Unity One Credit Union, great place to work

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gptw_certified_badge_sep_2019_rgb_certified_daterangeFort Worth, Texas – Unity One Credit Union announced today that it is Great Place to Work-Certified™. Unity One joins 23 other credit unions nationwide in this prestigious designation.

Using validated employee feedback gathered through Great Place to Work’s rigorous, data-driven “For All” methodology, certification confirms 7 out of 10 employees have a consistently positive experience at Unity One Credit Union. Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and increased innovation.

“We are thrilled to be Great Place to Work-Certified™,” says Gary Williams, president and CEO, at Unity One Credit Union. “We make employee experience a priority every day and it means a lot that our employees have reported a consistently positive experience with their coworkers, their leaders and with their jobs. This is important to us because we know that when our employees have a high-trust experience every day, they are more productive, drive better business results and make a difference to our members.”

“We congratulate Unity One Credit Union on their Certification,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vice president of Best Workplace List Research at Great Place to Work. “Organizations that earn their employees’ trust create great workplace cultures that deliver outstanding business results.”

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About Unity One Credit Union

Unity One Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative providing financial services to approximately 31,000 members in Fort Worth, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Originally chartered in 1927 for the employees and family members of Great Northern Railroad, today Unity One continues to provide excellent service to BNSF Railroad employees and their families as well as the communities surrounding their eight branch locations. To find out more, visit us at www.unityone.org.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees around the world and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Great Place to Work helps organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. Emprising®, their culture management platform, empowers leaders with the surveys, real-time reporting, and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Their unparalleled benchmark data is used to recognize Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in the US and more than 60 countries, including the 100 Best Companies to Work For® and World’s Best list published annually in Fortune. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a Great Place to Work For All™.

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Free Shred Day - 9.21.19

Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 03:05 PM / by Alyssa Guillory

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September Shred Day - FB Event Header

Unity One Credit Union is shredding your documents for FREE on Saturday, September 21, starting at 9 a.m. at our North Tarrant Parkway branch in north Fort Worth.

Please take note of a few things:

  1. PAPER ONLY. Please only bring paper items to be shredded. Remove all other objects. Other objects could injure handlers, volunteers and the shred truck. No binders, glass, books, knives, cassettes, DVDs--and the list could go on.
  2. BE COURTEOUS. Be courteous of others, and restrict the amount that you bring to be shredded to a few boxes. 
  3. BE PREPARED. Be prepared to take your boxes or containers home with you.
  4. NO COMMERCIAL SHREDDING. We cannot accept commercial or business shredding, as a courtesy to other visitors. Only two trucks will be on-site.

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Unity One CU Scheduled Maintenance - Sept 2019

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 09:35 AM / 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, September 17, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight
Monday, September 30, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight

Thank you for your patience.

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Rejected for a Loan? Stage a Comeback.

Tue, Aug 20, 2019 @ 10:02 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in loans, Unity One Credit Union

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shutterstock_1154320222Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Dianne Molvig. 

Getting rejected for a loan can feel like a kick in the teeth. No way around it, rejection is painful. But consider looking at it from a different perspective.

Being denied for a loan tells you something you're not aware of or not acknowledging is going on in your financial situation. Take this opportunity to figure out what that is.

You can turn this around if you put your mind to it. Here's how to get started.

Find Out Why You Were Rejected

Upon reading "We are sorry but ..." in your rejection letter, you may feel the urge to pitch the letter into the trash.

Instead, read the whole thing. That letter will tell you precisely why your loan was denied. You have to know the reasons for the problem before you can fix it.

Were you late on paying bills? Are you already borrowing too much compared to your income? Maybe you need to work on paying down the debt you already have.

When you get a rejection from one lender, you may feel tempted to apply at other lenders, hoping you'll eventually get lucky. You're only postponing what you need to do—work to improve your credit standing. Also, each time you apply for a new card, your credit score gets a hit, bringing it down a few points.

Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

The denial letter will state which credit bureau the lender used in making the loan decision.

When you're turned down for a loan, you are entitled by law to a free "adverse action" credit report. This copy will not count against the free credit report you can get each year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Get a copy and check it over closely

It’s a good idea to review your credit report before applying for a loan to make sure everything in it is accurate.

What To Do If You Find Errors

Mistakes on credit reports are not uncommon. If you find any errors on your report, take three steps:

1.   Contact the credit bureau to report the error.

2.   Ask the bureau to send a corrected copy of the credit report to any lender that recently received the inaccurate one. The lender may reconsider your loan application.

3.  Get your credit reports from the other two credit bureaus to make sure mistakes don't show up there, as well. Clearing up a mistake at one agency doesn't mean the corrected information gets passed on to the other two.

If you feel the errors are the result of identity theft, report this immediately to the credit bureaus, your creditors, and law enforcement authorities.

Get Expert Help

To fix your credit problems, start by talking with the folks at your credit union. Someone on staff may be able to work with you to devise a credit repair plan. Or your credit union may refer you to a free or low-cost outside counseling resource.

Don’t lose hope. With a bit of work and discipline, your credit problems can be resolved, and loan rejections can be a thing of the past.

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Show, Don't Tell: Teaching Teens Money Skills

Thu, Aug 15, 2019 @ 10:11 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in financial education for teens, teens and money, saving money, Unity One Credit Union

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

Do conversations with your teenagers about money begin and end with "How much do you need?” Then stop right there. If you want your teens to learn how to manage money successfully, show them how it’s done.
 
Being a good financial role model may prove challenging to some. According to a Debt.com poll of 1,000 American, 92% believe everyone needs a budget, but only 70% said they were using one. Many who do budget admit to slipping during holidays or on special occasions, sometimes undoing all their careful work during the year.
 

But don’t give up hope. You can still teach your teens how to manage their finances and brush up on a few skills yourself. Here are a few activities you can do with your teens that can help both of you:

  • Check impulse buying. If your teen wants something expensive, have him or her wait 24 hours before buying it. If the item isn’t as important to them by that time, then the money can be better spent elsewhere.
     
  • Comparison shop. Ask your teen to research the item with you to find the right one at the best price.
     
  • Show them how to create a budget. Debt.com has good instructions their website. There are some free budgeting apps you can use as well.
     
  • Compare credit card offers. Review with your teens several online offers or those you get in the mail so they can evaluate different interest rates and fees.
     
  • Warn them about the minimum payment trap. Choose a desired item that costs, say, $1,000 and use an online credit card repayment calculator to show how long it would take, and how much extra they'd pay in interest, if they pay only the minimum due each month. Or show them the table on your credit card statement that shows the cost of only making minimum payments.
     
  • Brace them for college sticker shock. Rather than telling your teens to save for college, show them why they should save. Have them choose three schools they're considering, then have them check the net price calculator required on all college and university websites. Discuss how financial aid, scholarships, and grants reduce the sticker price.

Finally, know that the real world is a far better teacher than a high school math assignment. Make your teens responsible for personal items, such as new clothing, hair and face products, and snacks. This teaches them how to search for bargains to stretch their dollars.

Open a Savings Account for your Child

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Reconciling a Spender-Saver Marriage

Tue, Aug 13, 2019 @ 07:02 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in family budget, budgeting, saving money, Unity One Credit Union

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource Center. Written by Monica Steinisch.

Money ranks high on the list of reasons partners fight or split up. In any marriage, even one where both partners manage money similarly, family finances create conflict at least occasionally. But when one spouse is a saver and the other is a spender, financial disagreements can be frequent, emotional, and divisive.

If you and your partner seem to be polar opposites when it comes to money attitudes, don’t give up hope of a truce. Experts say opposite money personalities actually can complement each other: Savers keep spenders out of the poor house while spenders encourage savers to enjoy themselves now and then. Of course, getting to a balanced approach to the family finances requires compromise and communication.

Understanding your partner's money personality

Your money personality—how you feel about money and the way you manage it—is a product of your upbringing and your life experiences. It was formed over many years and is unlikely to change significantly after you become an adult. Couples who understand this also understand that trying to convert one’s spouse is an exercise in futility. Instead, work on a compromise.

Here are some things counselors say couples should do to reduce conflict and to reach their financial goals.

Communicate

It's important that you talk about your finances. Throughout your discussions, remain open-minded rather than insisting that your partner do things your way. As you talk, make agreements to compromise. An agreement gives you the right to get your partner back on track if he or she veers from what was agreed upon.

Set goals together

It's crucial that couples set common goals. First, make separate wish lists and then, together, rank the items you both feel are most important. Some goals should be at or near the top of every couple's list. These include paying off nonmortgage debt and saving for retirement. Revisit your goals at least annually and make adjustments based on changing priorities and finances. 

Maintain individual accounts

One solution that works for many couples is to have a joint account as well as personal accounts for each partner. Use the joint account to pay household expenses, including mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, and car and home repairs. If there's money left over, split it into personal no-questions-asked accounts. Use the money from these accounts for individual wish-list goals. For a spender, that might mean paying for a dream vacation. For a saver, it could mean beefing up an IRA (individual retirement account).

Check in with each other at least once a month—more if there have been problems—to re-evaluate and, if financial circumstances warrant, change the discretionary spending amounts. For the joint account, let the person who's good at money handle the bills, but sit down together to go over them regularly.

Get professional help

If you and your spouse reach an impasse, find a couple’s counselor or a financial planner to help you move forward.

For financial planning assistance or money management counseling, contact the professionals at your credit union. You also can find a nonprofit, accredited credit counseling agency through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

For couple’s counseling, check with your health plan or employee assistance program (EAP) to see if it covers counseling and to find a qualified, participating professional.

As you narrow the gap between your money management styles, remember that you and your partner are a team. For couples at opposite ends of the spender-saver spectrum, that means each partner has to inch his or her way closer to the center.

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The Fall semester is about to begin. Are you ready?

Fri, Aug 09, 2019 @ 10:52 AM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Texas Extra Credit Education Loan, student loans, Unity One Credit Union

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Do you have enough money to cover all of your college expenses?  If not, be sure to check out the Texas Extra Credit Education Loan!  This private loan program offers an array of first-class features and benefits, including:

  • NEW, LOWER Fixed interest rates starting at 4.99% to 11.49%(with Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) from 4.99% to 10.31%)
  • NEW, LOWER Variable interest rates starting as low as LIBOR + 2.49% to LIBOR + 8.99%(with Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) from 4.90% to 11.40%)
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction just for graduating*
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for Auto Debit payments*
  • Choice of three repayment options*
  • 10 or 15-year repayment term*
  • $0 origination or disbursement fees

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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Unity One CU Scheduled Maintenance - August 2019

Fri, Aug 09, 2019 @ 08:48 AM / 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, August 20, 7 p.m. - 12 midnight
Saturday, August 31, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Thank you for your patience.

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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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