We’re Here to Help You Get Ahead Financially

I’m very excited to announce that we now have a Certified Financial Counselor for Credit Union Members on our staff. Our very own, Eli Martin. Eli was recently certified by CUNA, the Credit Union National Association. He can help you with just about anything financial you’re looking for:

In debt and don’t know how to begin to dig out? Call Eli.

Confused about how to lower your debt to income ratio? Call Eli.

Want to know how to improve your credit score? Call Eli.

Need to learn how to budget and still live within your means? Call Eli.

How about how to save for your emergency fund? Call Eli.

Heck, what’s the best way to start saving that makes sense for your current budget? Call Eli.

Need helpful information to help you achieve your short and long term goals? Call Eli.

How do you stop the payday lending cycle? Call Eli.

Behind in your bills and want to know how to catch up? Call Eli.

Coming out of a bankruptcy or considering whether or not to file due to debt? Call Eli.

You get the picture.  Where there’s help, there’s hope. And that why when we say we’re here to help you get ahead financially, we  really want to “walk the talk”. We understand that when it comes to finances, sometimes things can get confusing. We know that folks are dealing with financially difficulties, we talk to many everyday. That’s why we had one of our own staff members, go through the process of getting certified, to help guide you through this difficult process.  Eli can help you create a plan for your path forward that makes sense.

Call Eli today at 740-522-8311 for an appointment.

-Al 

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America’s Best Kept Secret

Hello,

If you read through the comments we received, AlexM brought up a good question, one that I’ve wrestled with for years. In fact, one that I think warrants it’s own post. So AlexM, here goes…

Credit Unions are America’s best kept secret. I’ve said this for years. Why? Credit unions got their start in factories around America. They were hidden somewhere inside the four walls of the company and did not market at all. They were considered an employee fringe benefit and a great percentage of the time, the employees of the credit union worked for the company. Employees knew about the credit union because the personnel department included it along with other fringe benefits. In many cases the spouses or children of the company employee did not even belong to the credit union.

When I started my credit union career about 40 years ago, there were around 23,000 credit union in the country. That’s a lot. But today, there are about 9,000 credit unions. As more of the big companies went through mergers or went out of business- the number of credit unions followed. Our credit union was organized to serve the employees and families of the Newark Air Force Base. The Base closed in 1996 but our credit union continued as a community charter serving everyone who lives, works, goes to school, or worships in Licking County. Even though it has been twelve years since the Base closed and we became Hopewell Federal Credit Union, many area residents still think of us as the Air Force Base credit union.

Over the past 20 years, smaller credit unions have merged with larger credit unions. Even though the number of credit unions have declined, the number of members have increased and the average size of a credit union has grown greatly. But the same is true of the banks. There are less banks today than ten or twenty years ago, but the ones that are still here have all changed their name and the smaller ones have been bought up by the bigger ones. We have big, national banks today and fewer small community banks. Consolidation is a trend in many businesses today.

So if you want to own a piece of a financial institution, join a credit union. The more that members use their credit union for all their banking needs- the better the credit union is able to serve them and offer the latest and greatest in products and services. As with any cooperative, member usage is the best way to guarantee success.

So go ahead and join a credit union today and experience the credit union difference.

Al

MoneyAndStuff.info

There’s more than “one” talk to have with your kid… Seriously!

Ohio is one of several states that leads the nation in home foreclosures. The number of bankruptcies in Ohio continues to rise and people are falling further and further into debt. It’s time to start building a foundation of financial success for our youth. Seriously!

Maybe it’s time to help your kids learn the financial facts of life. In these strange and difficult economic times, you have to sit and wonder when you see credit reports-have we really educated our kids on basic, everyday finances? The importance of saving? What about good credit?  When you hear about having “the talk” with your kids, managing debt and personal finance, probably aren’t the first things that come to mind-but maybe they should be.

That’s why Hopewell Federal Credit Union has partnered with the Ohio Credit Union League to offer a financial education resource to our members and their children. It’s called MoneyAndStuff.info. It’s a FREE website that’s filled with information, tips-heck, it even has games for parents and children to encourage financial literacy.

Also, Hopewell Federal will be launching a county-wide effort to employ MoneyAndStuff in the classroom for 2009. If any teachers are reading this and our in our area, we encourage you to contact us directly! Teaching financial education to the community has always been a mission of credit unions. We urge all of our members and non members to take advantage of this free financial education resource. It’s a free website that’s really good for any age-it can even tell you how to start to budget your finances-and again, ways to save money.

According to a recent study by the Ohio Credit Union League, only five percent of Ohio adults ever remember being taught financial education when they were young. So, I ask you, where and when will the next generation learn about the financial facts of life?

So what are you waiting for-school is almost out for the year-kids bored? Tell them to visit MoneyAndStuff.info. And please, spread the word.

-Al

Tax Stimulus Offers/Sales-a-plenty!

Hi Etta,

As a credit union person all my life, I say pay down debt and save your money. We live in a society were credit is too easy to come by and too hard to pay off. I believe we should spend when we have a need and not to get caught up in keeping up with the neighbors. Impulse buying is one way to get into trouble. And if you have kids, just say no when they want things. I always told my kids that it is nice to want.

Do I think the rebates will help stimulate the economy? Maybe for a very short time, if we all spend our rebate… but in the longer term, I don’t see it helping a lot. In Ohio, we have a serious mortgage situation. Our local newspaper had over three full pages of foreclosures notices last week. Until we find a way to solve the mortgage crisis and keep people in their homes, we cannot expect to see the economic picture change.

Last August, I read that it will take twelve to eighteen months for the mortgage crisis to correct itself. I still hear those same numbers today so we are not making any progress in this area. Until the housing market rebounds, I don’t look for an economic rebound. If houses are being built then consumers are buying items for inside those houses. So much of our economic activity is related closely to the housing market.

I’m pleased to hear that you enjoy my blog. I enjoy responding to questions and sharing my thoughts.

Thanks,

Al