CU’s Get Recognition from WSJ

Hi folks,

You’ve constantly heard me discuss why I think CU’s are a better way to bank. But it’s always nice when a big, well-known publication gives us all some good press, like in today’s Wall Street Journal. I like it, but there’s one point that I would disagree with…

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121978460014474069.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I agree that credit unions do offer some of the best rates and service members can find. I always claim that credit unions are America’s best kept secret. More and more credit unions have community charters as the number of large companies decrease and we have more small companies.

Since credit unions are financial cooperatives owned by the members, it is important for members to do much of their banking business with the credit union. They more they do with the credit union the better the credit union is able to offer good deal for their members. However, when members begin to cherry pick only the best deals at the credit union they tend to hurt their own financial cooperative. Why should a member have a checking account at a bank for them to make money instead of at the credit union along with the high earning money market account or certificate?  Why only have the low interest car loan at your credit union and the profitable checking account elsewhere?As a credit union professional for forty years, I want our members to have almost all of the business at the credit union. If they do that- then we are better able to offer the new products that consumers want today. Unlike the greedy bank, you refer to … we cannot raise capital by selling more shares of stock. We raise capital by setting aside a portion of the annual net income into our capital accounts. It is the capital we set aside that give us the funds to develop new products, open branches and meet the needs of our members.I liked the article and really believe that credit unions are very good for the consumers/members but I don’t want anyone to cherry pick us.

-Al

 

 

 

 

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An Overdue Thank You

Howdy folks,

It’s been a bit of a busy week. But I wanted to take time out to talk to you about an exciting honor that Hopewell Federal recently received. Last week, we received the 2008 Small Business of the Year award from the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. This is a prestigious honor, and one we’re proud to receive, right here in our own backyard. But while the award is great, it didn’t come without a lot of hard work.

We have a wonderful staff, I’m sure every boss says that- but we really try to go that extra mile and provide frosted mug service, to our members. That being said, a large part of why we received this honor was thanks in large part to you, our members. Your support of our community efforts like our cell phone drive, (which is coming up again, this October) our United Way campaign, Operation Feed and more has been outstanding.

We know that when it comes to doing your banking you have many choices. These days there are so many financial institutions out there throwing crazy offers left and right for your banking business, it can make your head spin. We try to rise above the noise with our simple mission, that we’re here to help you get ahead financially. That’s our goal, everyday. The fact that you choose us and continue to support our efforts to help our local community is outstanding. So, I’d like to personally say thank you for your membership, your loyalty and support. We are honored to be your community credit union.

-Al

PHISHING SCAM CONTINUES

Hello everyone,

Just thought I’d post some more “questionable” activities that we’ve been alerted to…

There is a current scam going on with central ohio financial institutions. An auto dialer is calling Central Ohio phone numbers leaving a message stating that they are from “Credit Union of Ohio”, advising their credit card account has been compromised. They are directed to call 614-448-1303. This is a bogus number, people are wanting your personal financial information. Again, please do NOT respond.

also circulating: text and e-mail messages from service1@superior.com advising Superior FCU members that “we have been unable to contact them concerning a compromise of their VISA card” to call 800-466-1728

While neither of these our connected to Hopewell Federal, you could see where it could get confusing. And if any of you are shared branchers out there-we wanted you to be aware of this as well. We also understand that several banks have been “Smished” as well, within the last two days with the very same scenario.

 

 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call. But I can not stress enough again, that while this does not mention Hopewell Federal directly, we will NEVER call you or contact you and ask for your personal information. Please do not be fooled by the 800 number.

Thanks again and be safe,

Cammie Morrow

 

POSSIBLE SMISHING SCAM IN OUR AREA

CELL PHONE SCAM “SMISHING”
 Attention all Hopewell Federal Credit Union Members, who are cell phone owners. Please be wary of a potential new scam.

 Identity thieves and scam artists have long used “phishing” to obtain personal or financial account information from potential victims by sending real looking e-mails that simulate inquires from a legitimate website. The e-mail will ask for detailed account information often claiming that the victim’s account numbers were compromised.

 

“Smishing” is a form of “phishing” via SMS (Short Message Service.) It has come to our attention, and several other financial institutions throughout the Newark/Heath area that members are receiving text messages via their cell phone, posing as their financial institution and sending them to a fraudulent website or asking information to try and obtain your account numbers etc.


Apparently, in our area, members and non-members are receiving e-mails and cell phone text messages informing them that their on-line account access has been suspended. Recipients are given a phone number to call to re-instate their online access. (THIS IS HOW THE FRAUDSTERS STEAL YOUR INFORMATION AND POTENTAILLY WITHDRAW FUNDS.)

 

 To protect yourself, please, NEVER provide your personal or financial information over the phone or Internet if you did not initiate contact.

 

 If you receive a phone call or text message asking to verify information for any reason, hang up immediately. Legitimate financial institutions would never do this.

Please report any suspicious emails, text messages or phone calls to the following anti-phishing groups the Federal Bureau of Investigations Crime Compliance CEnter at www.ic3.gov and the Anti-Phishing Workgroup at reportphishing@antiphishing.org. 

For more information on how to stop ID THEFT, please visit our website and click on the CU SECURE link. And if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Hopewell Federal immediately at 522-8311 or info@hopewellfcu.org.

 

Thank you, 

Cammie Morrow
Marketing & 
Business Development Director

How Much Does My Car Really Cost?

Meet Our Certified Financial Counselor…and this week’s guest blogger, Eli Martin. My last post, sparked Eli’s interest and so we’d thought it would be a good time for him to take over the reigns this week and post his comments…definitely some food for thought. So without further a do, here’s Eli:

 

 

Hi I am Eli Martin, Certified Financial Counselor for Hopewell Federal Credit Union.  I was reading Ask Al and I got to thinking, “how much does it cost to drive a car?” 

 

According to the 2006 edition of AAA’s Your Driving Costs study, the overall average cost of owning and operating a passenger vehicle that is driven 15,000 miles in one year is $7,823, or 52.2 cents per mile. 

 

With that in mind you can then calculate how much it costs to cover your transportation.  Here is a formula: 

 

Number of miles driven each year X .522 cents per mile –

 Divide it by your hourly wage 

 

Example if you drive 12,000 miles per year and your hourly wage is $20 per hour, you are working 313.2 hours just to pay for your vehicle.  If you work a 40 hour work week, you are working close to two months out of the year just to pay for transportation. 

 

Borrowing to purchase a vehicle increases it’s cost. 

 

Driving is a significant part to a household’s budget. 

 

It is equally important to “keep up with the upkeep.”  Few things can destroy a budget faster than car repairs.  I have personally heard from members, “Everything was fine until my car died.”  For members’ without a spending plan, major car bills can force them to borrow or use credit cards.  Which can start a cycle of debt. 

 

If you are currently in this cycle of debt or want to ensure that you do not end up this cycle of debt, I can help.  Working alongside members’ is like a football game, we will collectively work as a team, to “make plays” or “ways” to make things work and help you get ahead financially.  You can contact me directly at the credit union for an appointment at 740-522-8311 or at info@hopewellfcu.org.

Gas Prices Are Coming Down…Tick, Tock, Time to Start Saving

 

I heard on the news today that a barrel of oil has dropped below the $120 mark today.  That’s down from a high of $147 a barrel last month. Gas prices are coming down.  But don’t rush out and by that big gas guzzling car or truck. This is the time to try to get your financial house in order.  Sure you can get great deals on the big cars, but the cost of gas will still be expensive.  And if your car is paid for, why not drive it for a while and use the payment you save to reduce other bills – or better yet start a savings account. 

 

We, Americans, do not save enough money.  I was always told that we should pay our self first – every payday.  Did I always listen to that advice?  No.  Like many of you, I have my share of bills to pay and with five children, it seemed like I always had a monthly payment to the family doctor.  It is much easier to form the savings habit when you are young, than waiting until you’re older. 

 

Our mission is to help members get ahead financially and by helping members set up saving programs, it’s one way we fulfill our mission.  And your saving deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, an agency of the federal government. 

 

So why not consider starting a saving program today?  Just have you payroll directly deposited into your Hopewell Federal Checking account and we can automatically transfer a set amount to your savings account every payday.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

Al