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Marion Community Credit Union Newsletter Fall 2017

This is the text version of our newsletter for maximum accessibility for our members. For the complete PDF version of all of our newsletters, see our newsletters page.

Board Nominations and Proposals

Marion Community Credit Union is seeking nominations for the two Board of Director positions coming open in 2018. If you or someone you know is interested in serving the credit union, and if you meet the following criteria, we would like to hear from you:

  • Must be a member of Marion Community Credit Union in good standing
  • Must have experience and/or comparable financial background
  • Must be able to attend regular meetings as well as education and training sessions

Applications are available from Bill Clark or Elaine Evans at the credit union office at 300 Barks Road East. Completed applications must be sent to the following address no later than November 3, 2017: MCCU Nominating Committee, P.O. Box 84, Marion, Ohio 43301-0084.

Nominations will not be accepted from the floor at the Annual Meeting. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting. Any business proposals introduced for a membership vote at the Annual Meeting must be submitted no later than November 3, 2017 to the board at: Board of Directors, Marion Community Credit Union PO Box 84, Marion, Ohio 43301-0084

Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number with your proposal. Please outline in detail the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal to the membership. The Board will review your matter and de- cide if it should be put to a vote at the Annual Meeting. Plan to attend this year’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 31, 2018.

 

MCCU at the 2017 Popcorn Festival

The 2017 Marion Popcorn Festival was a busy time for MCCU this year. On Thursday, the entire community got to see Fetch in the parade as he rode in a Ford Mustang convertible. passenger seat. Friday, the courts for the Ms. and Miss Popcorn Festival pageants visited to thank us for our sponsorship of the festival entertainment this year. Plus, Daniel Bradshaw accepted a sponsor plaque on the main stage of the festival that evening before the concert by the Gin Blossoms.

If you were at the festival, it’s likely you saw Daniel at some point. This year he was voted in as a Popcorn Festival Trustee and served as the Theme Chairperson. That meant a lot of time volunteering
alongside dozens of other community members to plan, setup, and make the Popcorn Festival happen.

This year was a bit cooler than recent festivals, but thousands still flocked to downtown Marion for food, free entertainment, and plenty of family fun. We’re proud to still be heavily involved in such a positive event for Marion. When we say we’re part of the community, it doesn’t just mean we’re here. It means we’re contributing to make things even better.

 

Free Up Some Cash with Skip-A-Pay This Year

With all the extra expenses that come up during the holiday season, many people wonder how they’ll get through it finan-cially. Fortunately, Marion Community Credit Union offers an exclusive break from your loan payments during this costly time of year.

Skip-a-pay is a program that allows members to skip a month-ly loan or credit card payment during an especially tight finan-cial season. Most credit unions offer this program during the holiday season, and again during the summer. Members can choose to skip a payment once a year. There is usually a small fee attached to the payment omission.

Specific criteria must be met to qualify for skip-a-pay. The program is generally only al-lowed for loans with terms that are 12 months or longer, have been open for at least 9 months and have a good payment history of 6 or more months. Some credit unions allow payment omis-sions on most loans with the exception of real estate loans. Oth-ers only allow the payment break on fixed, closed-end consumer loans like auto and signature loans. Some do not allow it for credit cards and lines of credit. Nearly every credit union re-quires you to be up to date on your loan payments, and for you to have sufficient funds in your checking account to cover the nominal associated fee.

  • Here are some of the spe-cifics for skip-a-pay at MCCU:
  • Loan must have been open for at least 12 months
  • Loan can’t have any late payments in the past 12 months
  • Skip-a-payment can only be done once every 12 months
  • Cost is $25 (which is added to the end of the loan, nothing out of pocket)

If you’re considering skip-a-pay, speak to a Member Service Representative for full details. Before you make a decision, consider these important points:

Longer loan term
It’s important to remember that by skipping a payment, you’re lengthening the life of your loan. You’re essentially moving this month’s payment to the end of the loan.

Accrued interest
While you won’t be racking up credit card bills with high inter-est rates this month – thanks to the extra cash you’ll have – you will be billed for interest on the skipped payment.

It\’s temporary
Remember: this is a one-month -only deal so don’t forget to get back in the habit of paying. Be sure to make your payments next month.

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Equifax Breach

In a recently revealed breach, the scope of which the country has never before seen, 143 million Americans may have had their personal information exposed.computer monitor with code

Equifax, one the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, reported a massive data breach that lasted from mid-May through the end of July. Hackers were able to access people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 people and dispute documents containing personally identifying information of 182,000 people. It wasn’t just Americans who were targeted – the hackers also got their hands on personal information of some UK and Canadian consumers.

Right now, the situation is still developing and there are many more questions than answers. Researchers are seeking explanations for the site’s outdated security system, an accurate number of those affected and the impact this will have on the future of credit reporting.

Still, people are wondering if they’ve been affected and what they can do about it. If you have any type of credit product such as a credit card, mortgage, or auto loan, there’s a chance your personal information may have been compromised. Instead of panicking, it’s best to learn all you can about this data breach and then take the proper and practical steps toward protecting yourself against future damage.

If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through some suggested steps and clear instructions for what you can do now.

1) Find out if your information was exposed

You can do this by visiting an Equifax-created website for sharing information about this issue, equifaxsecurity2017.com. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name along with the last six digits of your Social Security number. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the Equifax breach.

Since your SSN is sensitive information, be sure to complete this step only on a secure computer that uses an encrypted network connection. Once you’re visiting the Equifax informational site, you’ll also find easy access to frequently asked questions about the breach. In addition, Equifax has set up a call center to assist consumers. The call center’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily (weekends included), Eastern Time. That number is (866) 447-7559.

2) Sign up for free protective services

Whether your information was exposed or not, U.S. consumers are being offered a full year of complimentary credit monitoring and other services through Equifax’s TrustedID product. The site will provide you with a date to return and sign up for these services. Be sure to follow up on the designated date because the last day for enrollment is Nov. 21, 2017.

The protective program includes the following features: Equifax credit report copies; three-bureau credit file monitoring, providing automated alerts of any major changes in your credit reports; Equifax credit report lock, preventing third parties from accessing your Equifax report; Social Security number monitoring, which performs online searches of suspicious websites that may list your Social Security number; and $1 million identity theft insurance, which covers some expenses in the event of a stolen identity.

Be warned, though, that the fine print of this service contains a catch. The terms of service agreement for TrustedID states that enrollees must employ arbitration over civil courts in order to settle any disputes. Critics of the company argue that Equifax is taking advantage of victims by forcing them to sign over their rights. You may, however, decide that the benefits offered by this service far outweigh its negative fallout.

Other credit monitoring companies (such as LifeLock) would be an alternative option that might cost you money, but wouldn’t come with the strings attached to Equifax’s free offer. Plus, it might be worth the peace of mind.

3) Place a credit freeze or a fraud alert on your files

If you know your information has been exposed, consider placing a credit freeze on your credit bureaus. This option has fees associated with it, but it will make it more difficult for someone to open a new account in your name, though it won’t stop a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.

Instead of a credit freeze, you can choose to place a fraud alert with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This will warn creditors that you may have been victimized by identity theft, alerting them to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.

Even if the Equifax site did not tell you you’ve been exposed, it’s always a good idea to closely monitor your credit card and financial accounts for charges you don’t recognize.

4) File your taxes early

Tax identity theft is more common than you think. If your SSN was accessed in this breach, it’s best to file your taxes as soon as you have all the necessary tax information. Don’t let a scammer use your SSN to get their hands on your tax refund. Also, be sure to respond immediately to any letters you receive from the IRS, though be suspicious of any emails or phone calls claiming to be from the IRS, as the IRS will not initially notify you using such means.

The Equifax breach may be one of the worst the US has ever seen. But, by taking the proper steps toward protecting yourself, you can minimize any potential damage.

 

Christmas Club Accounts Disbursed

This year Christmas Club accounts will be disbursed on Monday, October 16, 2017. Account holders can look for the funds to be transferred into their credit union checking or savings account. See a member services representative on setting up an even bigger Christmas Club account for 2018 so you’ll have enough funds to spend on gifts or travel during next year’s holidays. Your account can also help reduce an unexpected load of credit card debt in January.

If you’re not sure which account your funds will be transferred to or would like to change your elections, contact us today. Over 300 MCCU members took advantage of the Christmas Club this year.

Over $264,000 will be paid out in 2017 for an average of over $880 per member. By starting your Christmas Club account right away you can make the 2018 season far less stressful. If you save only 20 per week, by next holiday season you will have over $1,000 to spend on your family and friends. This is a painless way to prepare for the large bills of the holiday season.

 

EMV Chip Card Upgrade

We’re excited to announce that MCCU is issuing new EMV (Chip) debit cards with enhanced security features. So we can get these cards out in a timely and efficient way, new cards will be sent based on your expiration month no matter the year. For example, if your current debit card’s expiration date is November 2019, you’ll receive a new EMV Chip debit card this year. Be on the lookout for it leading up to your expiration month and be sure you activate the new card as soon as possible so you can enjoy the enhanced security of EMV technology. Each member's new debit card will have a new number, so update any automatically scheduled payments linked to your debit card. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 740-389-9960.

 

Food Drive

MCCU is collecting money and food donations for a local food pantry until Thursday, November 10th (right before Veterans Day). Thanks to the pantry’s ability to purchase food from a state food bank, they can make a dollar stretch much further than we’re able to at the grocery store. So a donation of $1 is actually worth much more. The next time you’re stopping by either of our branches, please consider bringing along a canned good or a few dollars to help with this year’s drive. Let’s work together to end hunger in our community.

 

Why not share?

You’ve made a smart decision choosing MCCU. Do you know a friend who’s frustrated with their financial institution? (We bet you do.) Let them know about your experience as an MCCU member and how we could help them strengthen their financial fitness.