Archive for Credit Union Press

Great Teaching Tool For Parents

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Many times parents are hesitant to talk to their kids about certain topics.  Money should not be one of them.  Two thirds of children look to their parents for advice on managing their money and most of them are not getting anything.  Now whether or not your parents talked to you about saving money or paying your bills on time your kids are wanting to hear what you have to say.  In an article published by US News and World Reports, they say, “More than 1 and 5 teens don’t know that interest must be paid on borrowed money.  Fewer than a third know how to budget their money, and only 36% know how to open a savings account.”   This should scare you! Do you know what your kids know or don’t know about money?  Starting July 1, 2010 all Ohio schools are required to teach a financial literacy class to incoming freshman (Class of 2014).  The Ohio Credit Union League has done an AMAZING job at creating a site where parents and children/teens can go to learn about a ton of different topics, like budgeting and credit.  Check out all of the great information they have to offer and maybe, just maybe learn how to talk to your kids about money.

www.moneyandstuff.info

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What Does The New Credit Card Act Mean To You?

It’s hard not to open the paper or read online about the Credit Card Act 2009 due to take effect soon.  The first wave of changes to your credit cards take effect on February 22, 2010 with more to come in July.  These changes are no doubt in  favor of consumers as they should be. We wanted to let you know how these changes will affect BMI FCU Visa Credit Card holders.  To be perfectly honest with you, they truly won’t make things all that different to our members.  Since we did not participate in the “trickery” of the big banks and credit card companies most of these changes won’t affect us at all.  The biggest change you will see is when you receive your statements from now will be how they look and some of the information listed on them.  Financial institutions are now required to insert information for a member who makes the minimum payment only (with no further increases in debt) how long it would take to retire the debt and how much the member would pay in interest combined.  This works out to your advantage because you will be able to see how long it will take to pay off your credit cards if you are only making those minimum payments.  You also will be able to see a copy of your Credit Card Agreement/Truth In Lending Disclosure online.  BMI FCU’s Credit Card program has always been Pro Member and we see no reason to change that now.  If you find yourself frustrated with your other card companies, you are not alone.  You have the opportunity to take advantage of our BOX THE BANKS Visa promotion going on right now.  Check out our website for more details.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the Credit Card Act 2009 or may I suggest checking out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_CARD_Act_of_2009 for an easy to understand version.

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As The Work Day Winds Down…

Today has been a very busy day for myself and I can only assume that it has for anyone reading this.  There are days that never seem to end and days like today that have flown by.  I realized that it had been too long since the last blog post so I wanted to make sure that we posted something soon.  I think we are going to be taking the BMIFCU blog into a slightly different direction and will be adding posts more often.  I welcome your comments, thoughts and suggestions, after all wouldn’t you rather read something you are interested in?  

Financial Thought for the day: BMiChange Jar (our electronic change jar earning 5%APY) has helped our members save over $85,000 since we started the program.  Are you using the  BMiChange Jar yet?

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Forrester Research: Credit Unions lead banks in annual Customer Experience Index

For the third year in a row, credit unions are the highest ranked financial institution in the Forrester Research annual Customer Experience Index (CxPi).  The 2007 CxPi and the 2008 CxPi rankings were published in Q4.  This year the CxPi in was released in Q1 2010.  

The 2010 CxPi ranks 133 organizations across 14 industries: Airlines, Banks, Credit Card Providers, Health Plans, Hotels, Insurance Firms, Internet Service Providers, Investment Firms, Parcel Shipping Services (new this year), PC Manufacturers, Retailers, TV Service Providers, Utilities (new this year), and Wireless Carriers.

While the average bank score dropped significantly from last year (down to 66%), credit unions actually moved even higher on the overall list and scored 85% on the index this year.

The CxPi is based on consumer evaluations during November 2009 across three areas: 1) meeting needs; 2) being easy to work with; and 3) enjoyability

BMI Federal Credit Union takes great pride in offering exceptional member service across the board.  After all, you are more than a customer at your credit union; You are a member/owner!

Special thanks to Bruce Temkin for sharing this information on his “Customer Experience Matters” Blog.  You can read his entire post here.

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New York City moves $25 million to neighborhood Credit Unions

In his State of the City Address on Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York would seek to deposit $25 million of its municipal tax dollars in neighborhood credit unions.

And it’s right in line with Move Your Money’s focus on shifting resources away from too-big-to-fail banks toward institutions that invest in their communities. If individuals can make an impact by moving their money, how much more can cities do?

Read more about this at the Huffington Post.   And don’t forget to Move Your Money to BMI Federal Credit Union.

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Suze Orman to Larry King: Credit Unions have great rates

(12/14/09)–Credit unions offer better rates on credit cards, personal finance guru Suze Orman told Larry King on Larry King Live Thursday.

King asked Orman if credit unions are a better option for those interested in transferring their credit card balances to credit unions from a bank.

Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Orman said. “Credit unions–especially ones that are federally chartered–the maximum interest rate they can charge you is 18%. Now, while that may sound like a very high interest rate, the truth of the matter is many of these banks today are charging 29.99% interest.”

“So here is what I am suggesting. I think the United States of America–all of you should start looking into credit union credit cards and do a balance transfer,Orman said.

See entire transcript of the CUNA press release here.

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Suze Orman on CNN with Campbell Brown: Everyone should join a Credit Union

Consumer Finance Guru Suze Orman continues to tout the benefits of doing business with a credit union instead of a mega bank.  Orman told CNN‘s Campbell Brown that she is upset because banks continue to reap profits while charging consumers high fees and interest rates. Orman advised consumers to find a good credit union credit card.  You can watch the brief video clip here. 

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CBS Money Watch: Bye Bye Banks, time to join a credit union

The CBS Moneywatch.com Web site featured an interesting article about the advantages of using a credit union today. 

“Given public opinion about banks right now — the label “vampire squid” was recently slapped on one particular investment bank, but it sums up the Q rating for the whole financial sector — this is a good time to be offering an alternative. But the nation’s 8,000 credit unions have more to recommend them than the mere fact that they are not banks. They also offer a fairly good value proposition, with higher savings yields and lower rates and fees. That may be why credit unions, which now have 92 million members, are seeing their fastest growth since 2003.”

You can read the entire article here. 

This is a great time to transfer your business to your credit union.  Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.  After all, you are more than a customer at your credit union; you are a Member/Owner!

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Newsweek Blog suggests “Moving Your Money” to a Credit Union

Here is a brief excerpt from the Newsweek Blog about how consumers can help prevent another banking crisis.

“There’s a new idea being pushed by some progressive activists: individuals with accounts at banks like Citigroup or Bank of America should take their money and move it into a local bank or credit union, where they are likely to pay fewer fees and get better service.”

Credit unions, for instance, offer lower fees, longer grace periods, and competitive interest rates.

Read the entire posting here.   This is a great time to go ahead and move your deposits (and loans) to BMI Federal Credit Union.  You are more than just a customer here; you are a Member/Owner!  And that makes all the difference in the world.

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Good advice from the Wall Street Journal about your Credit Cards

Read those disclosure letters that banks and credit-card companies are sending you in coming months!

“New legislation and Federal Reserve rules that go into effect in February and next summer will force banks and credit-card companies to give more notice of significant changes in card terms, limit some interest-rate hikes and require more detailed billing statements. But the rules will also require us to decide whether to opt in or out of rate increases and programs such as “overdraft protection” that we may have been automatically enrolled in previously.”

The letters may be easy to miss, since some of them look like junk mail. And don’t expect reader-friendly prose. The banks’ approach is: “It’s not our job to teach you the law; it’s our job to comply with the law,” says Adam Levin, co-founder and chairman of Credit.com, a credit-information Web site.

When you open the envelopes, here are some details to look for and moves you may want to consider:

Is the Credit-Card’s Interest Rate or Annual Fee Changing?

Many companies have been aggressively raising rates as high as 29.99%. But you now have the right to “opt out” of these changes before they become effective, essentially canceling the card for new purchases, though you can continue to pay off the balance at the old interest rate.

Read this whole article here.  And then transfer your balances to your BMI FCU Platinum VISA.   Don’t have a BMI VISA yet?  Apply now

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