Credit Unions Unite for Good

On October 17, 2013, credit unions in 100 countries will celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day® by joining together and celebrating their cooperative spirit.

Unlike many banks, we at Hopewell Federal Credit Union are not in business to make a profit. Credit unions all over the world are a united front focused on you, the members, with an unwavering belief in the “people helping people” philosophy upon which we were built.

In the U.S., we’re known as credit unions, but across the world, we go by many names…co-operative societies, cooperativas, and caisses populaires to name a few.

This year, the cooperative spirit is coming to the Falkland Islands. Currently, one bank branch operates there, but the 2,300 workers find access to credit limited. Through the World Council of Credit Unions, staff from a U.S. credit union are assisting in the development of a credit union that can help the businesses that were refused bank financing.

Sometimes, starting a credit union isn’t enough. In Kenya, more than a million children have lost parents to AIDS. Many U.S. credit unions are supporting an orphanage in the town of Busia. The program provides food and security to these orphans, as well as financial access to the surrounding community.

Off the southern coast of India, women rice farmers in Sri Lanka are recovering from devastating floods in 2011 and growing their businesses with the help of both farming and financial training through a joint agribusiness and credit union program. Profits are up and so are savings thanks to a new infrastructure to safeguard deposits. Now, small branches collect savings through children’s clubs and school programs. In one district, volunteer members hike daily to the local market to collect deposits.

Here too, in the U.S., credit unions are looking after their members.

One small credit union, made up only of descendants of Manley and Lucy Williams, is helping members buy new cars, raise families, and pay for college. Credit unions often think of their members as family, and in this case they literally are.

Whether on a small or large scale, doing good is something credit unions take seriously. Some large credit unions are able to pull together funding from millions of members to improve housing, healthcare, and education in local communities and the world. Be it in the form of scholarships or interest-free loans, it’s still people helping people.

Here at Hopewell Federal our key initiatives in 2013 include providing a scholarship to a deserving student, supporting the Food Pantry Network of Licking County, running a United Way campaign and hosting our annual car show to support the Licking County Humane Society.

The credit union movement is a united force based on camaraderie, cooperation, and collaboration. That’s why, at a credit union, you are never a number — you are a member, and we are here to serve you.

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Credit Union Blogs – NerdWallet’s Picks

We were thrilled to read, NerdWallet selected our Blog as a top pick among Credit Union blogs.  Nerdwallet.com is a great website loaded with information.  Take a moment to review the article featuring Hopewell Federal Credit Union and be sure and sign up for their mailing list.

Credit Union Blogs – NerdWallet’s Picks.

Is a Credit Union Better Than a Bank?

Is a CU better than a bank? Jack Otter of CBS Moneywatch weighs in…

Click here to watch the video

Car Buyers’ Worst Mistakes

How much money do you think educated car buyers can save over uneducated buyers when buying the same car? Would $5,000 get your attention?

While you may not save as much as $5,000, you’ll save a bunch if you avoid these classic car-buying errors.

1. Showing enthusiasm. If you act excited, the sellers know they have a unique product you want. The price goes up instantly. Keep that enthusiasm in check until you’ve driven home. Sneer a little if you like the car.

2. Buying in a hurry. If you buy on your first visit to a dealership, you don’t have time to compare. Take your time. Be willing to walk away. The price at most dealerships falls quickly if you move slowly.

3. Giving deposits before the dealer approves your offer on a vehicle. Feel free to give a deposit, if you really want a vehicle. But don’t give it until the boss has said “yes.” Some dealerships use deposits to keep you there while they try to convince you to pay more. And you can’t leave if they have your deposit–money, a credit card, a driver’s license, or your kids.

4. Being switched to leasing without doing your homework. Because dealerships make a much larger profit if they lease rather than sell, even the best dealership is going to try to “switch” you. They’ll try to convince you leasing is cheaper than buying. In most instances, it isn’t. If you want to lease, fine. Just don’t do it on the spur of the moment.

5. Trading in your old car without knowing its value in advance. A dealership has the right to give you the least you will take for your old car. But you have a right to get the most your car is worth. To know that value, simply clean it up, and try to sell it to several used car departments. The highest amount you’re offered for it is your car’s real value right now. Don’t accept less than that in trade.

6. Financing automatically at the dealership. Dealerships may be the cheapest place to finance. To find out, simply bring a copy of the filled-out dealer contract to your credit union and compare contracts. If the dealership won’t give you a copy, they’re probably telling you they’re not really the cheapest.

Big mistakes, big bucks out the window. We like to help you preserve your money–that’s what credit unions are all about. Avoid these mistakes, and put that money to work rather than throwing it away.

Copyright 2008 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved. 

Five Biggest Summer Spending Blunders

It’s that time of year again. You’re feeling carefree and in the mood to … spend. Hang on to your wallet and beware of the following, according to MSN Money:

Weddings
On average, there are 2.5 million weddings celebrated each year, many in the summer. If you’re on the guest list, plan ahead and budget for gifts. If you see something on sale now, pick it up. The bride will never know you got it for half price.

Garage sales
Warm weather inspires many people to drag out the junk they don’t want and sell it to someone else. Block the temptation–don’t stop at a yard sale unless you’re really looking for something.

Camping
This year you’ll forego the fancy hotel and plane trip and rough it in the woods. Be careful, that $450 sleeping bag that will keep you warm down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit might not be what you need–in the summer. Outdoor sporting goods retailers know consumers want the coolest equipment. Also keep in mind park entrance fees, campsite fees, and other items you’ll need such as firewood and food.

Don’t be taken by the “Old Ball Game”
According to Team Marketing Report, the cost for a family of four to attend a major league ballgame including tickets, food and beverages, and souvenirs is now $194.98. Consider watching the game on TV, or, if you do go, eat before the game and set a limit as to what you’ll spend on extras.

Credit cards
Consider leaving the credit cards at home. It’s easy to use plastic, but your worst nightmare could be paying for that summertime fun after your tan has faded. If you think you will need to use a credit card, talk to someone at Hopewell Federal Credit Union. Credit union credit cards interest rates generally are lower than bank credit card rates.

Copyright 2010 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.