Posts Tagged ‘ Membership ’

A Day to Celebrate


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Since 1948, credit unions from around the world have come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day and the credit union difference. More than 217 million members of credit unions in 109 countries worldwide benefit from credit union services, and the number of members grows every day. By comparison, we serve over 330,000 members across the globe.

Today, Thursday, October 20, we celebrate International Credit Union Day and the impact credit unions make in members’ lives every day. Not only do credit unions offer great member service, better rates, and lower fees, we also provide access to financial services and improved economic opportunities for our members, both business and non-business.

Our Board of Directors, Senior Management, and associates would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation, gratitude and sincere thanks to all of our members who have accounts with us and who rely on us for their personal and business financial needs.  We appreciate your business and trust more than you know. Thank you for choosing us as your financial institution.

To our associates, you help make the credit union difference by helping our members get in to a better financial position. You make things possible for our members when they may think that everything is impossible. Together we make Members 1st a place where dreams are encouraged and achievements are celebrated. We make things happen today so that our members have a brighter tomorrow.

Each and every one of us will continue to position Members 1st to respond to inevitable changes in technology, membership, and the business environment with swiftness, confidence, professionalism and credit union spirit. No financial need is too big or too small to be served by Members 1st. We will continually strive to be the people’s champion in the Southcentral Pennsylvania financial services marketplace. We promise to deliver the best possible service to all members, all day, every day.

Today, we are providing our members with our 2017 Calendar as a token of appreciation. Calendars are available at all of our branch locations. The calendar features photos taken by our members that they submitted to our pets and wildlife themed photo contest. Happy International Credit Union Day to all! 

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Shrewsbury Branch Grand Opening Event Slated for Saturday


We hope to see you at our celebration event on Saturday!

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Shrewsbury Branch Opens August 15


We’re opening our 60th branch location on Monday, August 15 in Shrewsbury. This new branch is our 9th location in York County. Stop by to visit. Check out our special offers.

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enter to win PSU tix

find us

We hope to see you there.

 

Stay on track with financing college


college kids

High school graduation is right around the corner. There’s no way your baby is old enough to be going off to college. You just waved goodbye to kindergarten and you’re dealing with the fact you really do have a child old enough to be in college. And it costs how much? What do we need to do when? What’s a parent to do?

We know there are many important steps to getting your son or daughter into school, so here’s a college preparation checklist to help keep you on track:

Now:
• Complete income tax forms as early as possible (information is needed to complete federal and state financial aid applications)
• Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Pennsylvania State Grant Application. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov and the PA state grant application can be found at www.pheaa.org.
• If the college/university requires additional documents or applications, be sure to complete those, too. Make sure all forms are completed before each school’s deadline.
• Continue searching for scholarships now and the entire way through college.
• Plan college visits if you’re still deciding on the right school.

April through June:
• Financial aid packages/award letters and college acceptance letters will start rolling in from schools. Keep track of them and pay attention to any deadlines.
• Thoroughly review the award letters to determine how much financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans) you’ll receive and how much is still needed to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the amount of aid offered.
• If financial aid and college savings plans aren’t enough to cover all school-related expenses, start researching additional options (ex. monthly payment plans with the school, federal & private student loans, etc.)
• Attend one of our financial aid seminars for addition details on financing a college education. They’re scheduled for April 24, May 22 and June 26. You can register online at
www.members1st.org.
• Complete applications for student loans if necessary.
• Open a checking account and VISA® Debit Card with us for your child and set up across account transfer capability so you can transfer money from your account to your child’s account.
• Celebrate graduation with family and friends!

Not sure what do make of the entire student loan process or just need to talk to someone with some expertise? Call Tiffanie DeVan, our Specialty Loan Administrator, at (800) 283-2328, ext. 6017 or (717) 795-6017 or email devant@members1st.org.

 

Wondering how the interest thing works?


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Recent years have shown all kinds of economic challenges. From the Wall Street debacle and the mortgage meltdown to ongoing zealous greed across the spectrum, consumers have paid the price in more ways than one – and unfortunately may continue to do so for a long time.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) isn’t offering a warm and fuzzy economic outlook for 2014. Consumer spending was up in the last quarter of 2013 yet we’re all at the mercy of inflation and the declining value of the US dollar against other world currencies. Our national debt stands at $17 trillion as reported recently in USA Today. Imported goods are becoming more and more expensive; food and energy prices keep going up; medical and education costs keep rising; the national unemployment continues to hover around 7 percent; and then there’s that healthcare fix.

It’s enough to keep us all shaking our heads and wondering about how we’re going to make ends meet, save money, and what it’s going to cost to borrow money. We wonder if, when, and how we’re going to make more money when everything seems to always be costing more.

With economic instability, ongoing political deadlock, and government mistrust, it does appear that it’s going to be standing still for a while longer. The Federal Reserve says that interest rates may stay low through 2015 and beyond.

How exactly does this interest rate thing work? The Federal Reserve (the Fed) is responsible for the stability of our financial system. In order to maintain that stability, it either raises or lowers interest rates on a fairly routine basis. When the economy is booming and companies are seeing profits, the unemployment rate is low and you’re out spending money, short-term rates are raised to keep the economy from building too fast. When that happens, we experience inflation – prices go up when there’s too much money and too few goods and services. The Fed raises interest rates to slow things down and that means low rates go up.

The Fed lowers short-term rates when the economy is slowing, making it less expensive to borrow money. That means you have more money to spend elsewhere and that speeds up the economy. Recessions occur when consumers become tight-fisted with their money and don’t buy products and services to keep companies thriving and workers employed. Throw in an international incident involving oil-producing nations and interest rates could be affected.

Many of you ask why our savings rates can’t be higher. They’re all part of the big picture painted by the Federal Reserve. Credit unions and other financial institutions just can’t set rates on a whim. The Federal Reserve sets forth certain requirements for all types of financial institutions. What’s going on nationally and internationally affects us and ultimately you as a saver or a borrower. When interest rates are high, your money makes money for you, but at the same time, you’re going to pay more to borrow. Unfortunately, when rates fall, your money makes less money, but should you need to borrow, it’s a lot cheaper for you.

We understand that this prolonged period of low-interest rates has caused many challenges for those of you who have saved and saved your entire lives hoping to cash in on the interest accumulated in your savings to help supplement your retirement income. Unfortunately, like you, we’re at the mercy of these big picture conditions and requirements.

Keep in mind that we do have a variety of short and long-term savings options for you. Determining your savings goals or revising existing ones may be necessary for savings success. Now is the perfect time to take a good look at your financial picture to see how you can get the most out of your savings in 2014 and beyond.

Republished from our “Avenues” newsletter, “A Word From Bob”, March/April 2014.

What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?


Mature couple enjoying in the park.
They both have money, tellers, ATMs and similar products and services. While all things financial may appear to be quite similar, rest assured there are a few significant differences that set banks and credits unions apart when it comes to how each respective financial institution operates. Where you do your “banking” is your personal choice. We just thought you may like to know the differences between banks and credit unions in the event you’re looking for a financial institution or if you’re not happy where you currently are. Making an informed decision as to where to take your hard-earned money is important for your financial future. Take a look at the differences between banks and credit unions:

Banks:

  • Generate profit for stockholders, Make decisions based on what will give stockholders more profit.
  • They are commercial businesses. They offer services to make a profit.
  • People who buy stock in the bank own shares of the business
  • Serve customers from the general public. Anyone can use a bank.
  • Their Board of Directors are paid a salary. Daily operations are performed by a paid staff.
  • Only people who own stock can vote for the Board of Directors. The customers who use the bank do not have a say.
  • Income is returned to the stockholders in the form of higher dividends on their shares of stock.
  • Like other for-profit businesses, banks must pay taxes to the government.
  • Deposits are federally insured up to $250,00 by the FDIC, a government agency.

Credit Unions:

  • Are not for profit, not for charity, but for service. Without a “profit motive,” they make decisions based on what’s best for their members.
  • Are financial cooperatives. Members pool their savings to provide low-cost loans and low-fee services to each other.
  • Each member is an equal owner regardless of how much money they have on deposit.
  • They exist solely to serve their members. To be eligible to open an account and use the credit union’s services, an individual must meet current membership eligibility requirements within their field of membership per the credit union’s charter.
  • Unpaid volunteers elected from the general credit union membership serve on the Board of Directors and guide the credit union. Daily operations are performed by a paid staff.
  • As owners, members elect fellow members to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • Income or profit is returned to the members in the forms of better savings rates, lower loan rates, and low or no fees for services.
  • Like other not-for-profit institutions, credit unions are exempt from paying federal income tax.
  • Deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, a government agency. The NCUA’s insurance fund is the healthiest of all federal deposit insurance funds.

If you’re looking for a place to do your “banking” and you’re not a member, consider Members 1st Federal Credit Union.

Unite for Good as a Credit Union Member


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Guest Blogger: Bob Marquette, President & CEO, Members 1st FCU

Since 1948, credit unions from around the world have come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day and the credit union difference. More than 196 million members of credit unions in 100 countries worldwide benefit from credit union services, and the number of members grows every day. By comparison, we serve over 247,000 members across the globe.

On October 17, 2013, we are joining in this world-wide celebration and invite you to visit your local branch that day to receive a token of our appreciation. Celebrating the history of the credit union movement with that of our own is something we do every day. Any credit union history lesson will tell you that credit unions were built on the cornerstone of cooperation. People pooled financial resources together to help those who needed it.

As you are aware, unlike many other types of financial institutions, we are not in business to make a profit. Credit unions all over the world are a united front focused on you, the member-owners, with an unwavering belief in the “people helping people” philosophy upon which we were built.

We started our Credit Union in 1950 with 9 members and a desk in a hallway. When I first started here in 1986 as a Mortgage Department Manager, I remember our having only seven branches and the services we offered included Personal Service Loans/unsecured lines of credit, ATM cards, and other basic financial products (checking accounts, CDs, etc.). Since being promoted to President and CEO in 1997, we have added 45 new branches and a full range of financial products and services for both consumers and businesses. We employ over 800 people and are one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Southcentral Pennsylvania. We’ve grown in response to the needs of the community, our members, our volunteers and staff. We are fortunate to be able to seek out new market areas successfully. We’re here to make your lives and Southcentral Pennsylvania a better place.

While there’s the business side to Members 1st, we also have a cooperative spirit that goes beyond what’s contained within the walls of our branches and administrative headquarters. It extends far into the communities in which we exist and serve. Each of our associates is required to be involved with a minimum of two community or charitable events each year. They participate in everything from parades, fairs, and community clean ups and nights out to business expos, distributing food, and financial education initiatives at local high schools to name just a few. Individuals in our business development positions attend countless events each week not only representing our credit union but also networking to get to know other business and community leaders to better understand their needs and those of the community and plan ways to engage in mutually beneficial partnerships for all.

In 2012 alone, our associates participated in more than 234 community and charitable events and provided 4,767 volunteer hours for the benefit of our local community. We also participated in a total of 245 chamber of commerce events. Members 1st and our associates raised and contributed over $494,183 to charitable, civic and credit union industry organizations. In the first half of 2013, our associates have participated in 121 events, giving 2,593 volunteer hours to the local communities. We’ve contributed over $262,000 to many local charities and community organizations to date.

As you can see, we don’t just build buildings; we build solid relationships – with members, with businesses, with community organizations, with government officials, to name a few. In the spirit of “Uniting for Good,” this year’s International Credit Union Day theme, we promise to do all we can to support the communities where we have branches and to help you get the financial products and services you need. Together, let’s unite for good and make Members 1st and our local communities the best they can be. Thank you for being a member. We truly appreciate your business and your trust in us.

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