We’re Independent – Just Like You!

Members 1st Insurance Services Hands holding paper house, car and family

Q:  What do you really know about insurance?

A: Do you fully understand why you have insurance, and how it’s supposed to work? When (or if) you read your policy, do you understand what it means? Are you familiar with insurance law? If you’re like most people, you answered no to these questions. This is one reason why you need an independent insurance agent.

Whether you’re an individual or business, buying or shopping for insurance is sometimes taken lightly. To take it lightly is a mistake. Why? Because insurance is there to protect your most valuable assets – you and your home, cars, business and future. The worst time to find out you don’t have the right policy and coverage is when you need them the most, AFTER you’ve suffered a loss.

Q: What is an independent insurance agent?

A: Choosing the right kind of insurance agent can make a big difference in securing the best combination of price and value to fit your needs. Essentially, there are two kinds of insurance agents. One is the “captive agent”, such as those who work for Nationwide or State Farm. A captive agent represents a single company, and can only provide you with information or access to his company’s products. The other is an independent insurance agent, like Members 1st Insurance Services. Independent agents have no exclusive relationship with any one company. With an independent agent, you get choices. Why? Because an independent agent represents many insurance companies at once, and works on your behalf to find the best possible rate and coverage to fit your specific needs.

Q: What about using a “direct writer” to purchase insurance?

A: “Direct writers” (such as Geico or Safe Auto), sell directly to consumers. As with captive agents, direct writers can only provide information and access to their company’s products.

Q: What does this mean for me?

A: It means, without the experience of an independent agent to assist, inform and guide you, you’re taking on a level of risk you may not realize even exits.

Q: Why choose an independent insurance agent?

A: With an independent agent, in addition to having choices, you have the advantage of a licensed professional who will:

  • Evaluate and assess your individual risks and requirements;
  • Identify and tailor policies that are right for you:
  • Offer products to meet all of your insurance needs, including auto, home, business, life and flood;
  • Assist you when you have a claim;
  • Treat you like a person, and provide excellent, hands-on service.

An independent agent will help you understand what your policy actually covers, how much of a deductible to carry and how much coverage you need. When it comes to protecting your family, your assets and your future, you want to do it right, the first time!

Q: How do I know what I should do?

A: Making such a personal decision about your options is yours – and yours alone under the law. Members 1st Insurance Services can help explain these options. We are here to help provide you with information on these choices so you can make informed decisions.

Time to review your insurance coverages!

Call us at (800) 283-2328, ext. 5218 or 5245, visit your nearest branch, or click here for more information!

Ask about a FREE Quote!

*Insurance services available to PA and MD residents only.

Secured vs. Unsecured Loans

Male PortraitWhat’s the difference?

Secured Loans

Secured loans are those loans that are protected by an asset or collateral of some sort. The item purchased, such as a home or a car, can be used as collateral, and a lien is placed on such item. The credit union, finance company or bank will hold the deed or title until the loan has been paid in full, including interest and all applicable fees. Other items such as stocks, bonds, or personal property can be put up to secure a loan as well.

Secured loans are usually the best (and only) way to obtain large amounts of money. A lender is not likely to loan a large amount with assurance that the money will be repaid. Putting your home or other property on the line is a fairly safe guarantee that you will do everything in your power to repay the loan.

Secured loans are not just for new purchases either. Secured loans can also be home equity loans or home equity lines of credit. Such loans are based on the amount of home equity, which is simply the current market value of your home minus the amount still owed. Your home is used as collateral and failure to make timely payments could result in losing your home.

Secured loans usually offer lower rates, higher borrowing limits and longer repayment terms than unsecured loans. As the term implies, a secured loan means you are providing “security” that your loan will be repaid according to the agreed terms and conditions. It’s important to remember, if you are unable to repay a secured loan, the lender has recourse to the collateral you have pledged and may be able to sell it to pay off the loan.

Examples of Secured Loans:

Unsecured Loan

On the other hand, unsecured loans are the opposite of secured loans and include things like credit card purchases, education loans, or personal (signature) loans. Lenders take more of a risk by making such a loan, with no property or assets to recover in case of default, which is why the interest rates are considerably higher. If you have been turned down for unsecured credit, you may still be able to obtain secured loans, as long as you have something of value or if the purchase you wish to make can be used as collateral.

When you apply for a loan that is unsecured, the lender believes that you can repay the loan on the basis of your financial resources. You will be judged based on the five (5) C’s of credit — character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions – these are all criteria used to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness. Character, capacity, capital, and collateral refer to the borrower’s willingness and ability to repay the debt. Conditions include the borrower’s situation as well as general economic factors.

Examples of Unsecured Loans:

Information courtesy of GreenPath Financial Wellness.


Members 1st Federal Credit Union can help you with all of your loan needs!

Click Here for more information!


Career Insights – Branch Management Trainees


Sophie and Andrea

What defines a great company to work for? How about its commitment to their employee’s futures?  Here at Members 1st FCU we invest in our employees now and their futures by offering trainings that will help them grow professionally as well as offering them the opportunity to retire with a pension and a 401(k).  Today we sat down with our two Branch Management Trainees, Sophie and Andrea, to learn a little bit more about what they do and why they think Members 1st FCU is simply the best!

Tell us about the Branch Management Trainee position, what is the purpose?

(Andrea) The Branch Management Trainee position is a 9-month program dedicated to us learning different leadership styles within the credit union and branches by visiting the different departments.  We also get the opportunity to see how each department affects the branches and vice versa.  At the end of the program we will each become Assistant Branch Managers at one of our branches.

When and where did you start with the credit union?

(Sophie) I started about 4 years ago as a part-time teller at our Hershey 39 branch. After 2 years of being a part-time teller I moved to our Middletown branch as a Member Service Representative level I, or MSR I, and worked my way up to an MSR II.

(Andrea) I have been with the credit union for about a year now.  I started as an MSR I at our Carlisle Pike branch and was a Head Teller at Carlisle Pike before I was selected for the Branch Management Trainee position.

What is your favorite part of the program?

(Andrea) My favorite part of the program has been getting the opportunity to meet so many people within the credit union and getting to expand my network of resources.

(Sophie) I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet all of the people we know from talking on the phone while in the branches.  It’s nice to be able to put a face to the name and also to gage their leadership styles.

It was great getting the chance to talk with these young professionals of Members 1st!  Check out our Careers Page to see what opportunities we have for you. If you’d like to hear more about what they had to say visit our FaceBook page and watch our 2 Minute Topic video.

Pre-approved Auto Loans

Before you shop and get your heart set on a certain make and model, wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly how much car you can realistically afford? With a pre-approved auto loan, you can shop  and feel good about that potential purchase and how it will impact your budget.

little_car_on_money2Buying a car is typically the second-largest purchase you’ll make after a house. Like with any loan, you’re going to have monthly payments. Those payments mean a fixed payment, every month, at the interest rate you qualified for based on your credit history, for a certain length of time. If you can’t afford those payments down the road, you could end up losing your car or may have to sell it and start over to get something more affordable. A great perk of a pre-approved auto loan is that it helps you figure out how to fit that monthly payment into your current budget. It also gives you time to make any necessary adjustments. Use our financial calculators to help you work out your numbers.

Having a pre-approved auto loan transforms you into a “cash buyer” and in turn, puts you in the driver’s seat  when you’re at the dealership. It will help you be in a better position when negotiating your purchase and will help you stay on track because you already know exactly what you can spend. Be sure that while you are shopping and looking at the prices that you keep in mind that there will be sales tax and other fees that will go into the deal before you can drive away. And, if you have a trade in, that could be a plus or you may choose to sell your current vehicle yourself. In any case, keep your potential trade in well maintained, cleaned and  have an idea of its current going rate by checking out its Kelley Blue Book value or through Edmunds.com.

 Ready to get started? A Members 1st Pre-Approved Auto Loan allows you to lock in your rate for 30 days until you make your decision. All rates are based on the model year. We offer a variety of terms to suit your needs. Check out our auto loan rates today and get ready to apply.

Note: Be sure to ask us about Member Value Protection. This is optional  coverage you can elect to have when you apply for your loan. It gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your monthly loan payments will be cancelled in the event of death, disability or involuntary unemployment.

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