Frequently Asked Questions

Savings and Checking

There are several ways:

  • Always keep an average daily balance of at least $100 in your savings and/or checking account.
  • Use our ATM for your withdrawals. Only in-office withdrawals count towards your 4 per quarter — there’s never a charge to use one of our ATMs (or surcharge-free ATM network).
  • Use payroll deduction to save money — not as a petty cash fund. If you find yourself consistently and completely withdrawing each payroll deduction — consider lowering your deduction to an amount that you can afford to leave in the account — and then let your balance grow to over $100.
  • Payroll deduction is when you sign up to have a specific amount taken out of each paycheck. It is only a portion of your paycheck–not the entire check. Your payroll deduction is then distributed to one or more of your credit union accounts. For example, you might split your payroll deposit between loans, a Christmas club, your spouse’s or children’s accounts, vacation club, etc.
  • Direct deposit is when your net paycheck is automatically deposited into your checking or savings account.
  • You don’t have to choose one or the other. In fact, most checking account members have both Payroll Deduction and direct deposit. They specify how much they want distributed between their different accounts (payroll deduction) and then have the balance of their check directly deposited to their credit union checking account.

Dividends

We use the “average daily balance” method for calculating dividends. It is calculated by adding the ending daily balance for each day of the dividend period and then dividing that sum by the number of days in that period.

The “dividend rate” is the basic rate paid on an annual basis — without the effect of compounding previously earned dividends. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) includes the effects of compounding the dividends paid throughout the year (earning interest on interest). The greater the number of compounding periods — the higher the APY.

No – as long as you do not “close” the account before the end of the dividend period. At quarter-end, dividends will be paid right up to the day you withdrew the funds.

However, if you “close” the account before the dividends are paid — you will lose all accrued dividends.

Loans

Besides being a member, we look for the following on your loan application:

  1. Your Debt Ratio should be below 55%. (Most lenders require a debt ratio below 40%).
  2. Your FICO Score should be above 550 (Most lenders require a minimum score of 620).
  3. You should not have more than 2 open collection accounts (or a history of collection accounts) on your credit report. (One collection account can be a mistake — repeated collection accounts are a pattern)

Payroll deduction is a convenience — not a contract. When we evaluate an application, we need to consider the likelihood of repayment — if the borrower leaves employment before the loan is repaid. That means reviewing the applicant’s credit history to see what happened to other lenders. If the applicant has a history of collection accounts and/or loan defaults (charge-offs) — then we have to take that into consideration. If we can — we bend the rules. But if there’s a history of credit problems — we have a responsibility to our other members to say “No” — since they (the members) have to absorb the loan losses through higher loan rates and/or lower savings rates.

No. We have a requirement that the mortgaged property is “owner-occupied” homes only — since (in most cases) these homes have a lower default risk.

That depends on the circumstances. If the credit union was not included in your bankruptcy (because you did not have a loan with us when you filed — or — you chose to “voluntarily” repay us) — the answer is “Yes” — you are welcome to apply — and we will evaluate your loan based on how you have handled credit since the bankruptcy.

If, however, we had to write your loan off as a “loss” — the answer would be “No“. We have a policy that states that: any member who causes the credit union to suffer a loss is denied all benefits of membership except for one savings account — loans are one of the many benefits of membership.

The answer is “Yes with a But”. Yes, all creditors have to be “listed” in the bankruptcy filing– BUT — you don’t have to stop paying your loan with us. You can choose to “voluntarily” repay your credit union loan. If you make that choice — you keep all benefits of membership (including future loans; payroll deduction; checking accounts ; club accounts; debit cards; etc). Although some attorneys prefer that you default on all debt, many realize that you will need a source of low-cost credit in the future and that it might not be in your best “long-term” interest to default on the repayment of every loan.

Money Market Account

No. Our primary objective was to pay our “savers” a higher rate of interest. If we offered check writing privileges on this account, the check processing costs would significantly reduce the funds available for dividends – thereby defeating our objective. However, as shown in the next question, it is still very easy to access your credit union funds via check or ATM.

Absolutely – You can easily transfer funds from the money market account into your credit union checking account or regular savings account – and then withdraw those funds via personal checks, our ATM card, and/or our Debit card. To make transfers, and have instant access to the transferred funds, you may:

  • Call any branch office; and/or;
  • Use Access-24, our 24/7 audio response program;
  • Use our internet home banking program.

No – In fact, if you don’t have your checking account with us, we recommend that you keep your regular share account open. Then if you need emergency access to funds, you can transfer money to savings and use our free ATM card to make a withdrawal at any ATM. Just remember to keep at least $100.00 in the Regular Share account to avoid low balance fees.

There are several ways you can make deposits:

  • At any one of our branch offices;
  • Via internal account transfers;
  • Through payroll deduction;

In accordance with Federal Regulation D, we can only allow a total of 6 withdrawals/ transfers per month. If there is an emergency, we will make an exception, however, that transfer must be done during normal business hours as it requires a manual system override and the transaction will also incur a $5.00 excessive withdrawal fee.

Yes – You can set up automatic monthly payments through your mortgage holder and earn money market interest on those funds until they are withdrawn through the ACH. Just remember that the ACH withdrawal does count as 1 of your 6 monthly withdrawals/transfers.

Easy – simply call your branch office, and ask us to open a Money Market account and then tell us how much you would like to transfer into that account (must be at least $2000.00).

Miscellaneous

Aside from size, the biggest philosophical difference pertains to — who we serve. Non-profit credit unions only serve their members — who are also the owners of the credit union. Most banks, on the other hand, serve their stock holders — who are not always customers of that bank. So why is that important?

Members want “service” — at a fair price. So credit unions exist to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price.

Stock-holders, on the other hands, want higher profits and share prices — which often puts them at odds with the desires of the bank’s customers — resulting in higher loan rates and fees coupled with lower savings rates.