News, events, and useful financial information from APCO Employees Credit Union.

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More than 30 employees of Alabama Power attended a Social Security “Lunch and Learn” today.

The seminar, hosted by APCO Employees Credit Union, was held in the Electra Room at Alabama Power Company headquarters in downtown Birmingham.

Mike Lewallen, Financial Advisor for APCO Investment Services, presented information to the attendees about Social Security.

For more information about Mike and the services offered through APCO Investment Services, visit apcocu.org/advice.

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Representatives from your Credit Union offered a FREE mortgage analysis today for members and employees of the City of Hoover.

The Mortgage Symposium was held at City Hall. Credit Union employees helped members and employees determine personalized mortgage options, including pre-approvals for home purchases, cash out refinancing, and no-obligation mortgage analysis.

A second mortgage symposium for members employed with the City of Hoover will held Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Hoover Public Safety Center on Valleydale Road. Representatives will be available from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the meeting room on the 1st Floor.

If you want more information about mortgages with APCO Employees Credit Union, visit apcocu.org/mortgages.

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More than 30 employees of Alabama Power attended a Social Security “Lunch and Learn” Wednesday.

The seminar, hosted by APCO Employees Credit Union, was held in the Electra Room at Alabama Power Company headquarters in downtown Birmingham.

Mike Lewallen, Financial Advisor for APCO Investment Services, presented information to the attendees about Social Security.

For more information, visit apcocu.org/advice.

apco-AwardAPCO Employees Credit Union has been recognized as the best credit union in the nation with regards to member benefits. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) presented APCO Credit Union with the “2013 Member Benefits Top Performance Award” at its 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference recently held in Washington, DC.

In trying to identify the best credit union in America in delivering value to its members, CUNA considered rates paid on savings, rates charged on loans, and the cost of fees, if any, charged to members. After considering all of the criteria, CUNA determined that APCO Credit Union was the best credit union in the nation in providing benefits to its members.

Rather than us trying to explain the award, a recent letter from CUNA gives insight into how the award was determined, the amount of benefits provided, and the reason APCO Credit Union came out on top. The following are excerpts from the letter that CUNA provided.

“Credit unions generally provide financial benefits to members through loan rates, higher savings rates, and fewer fees than banking institutions. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) estimates that APCO CU provided $22,657,961 in direct financial benefits to its 66,870 members during the twelve months ending September 2013.

These benefits are equivalent to $339 per member or $644 per member household.

The per-member and per-household member benefits delivered by APCO CU are substantial. But, these benefits are reported as averages. Mathematically, that means the total benefits you provide are divided across all members (or all member households) – even those who conduct very little financial business with the credit union.

Further, loyal members – those who use the credit union extensively – often receive total financial benefits that are much greater than the average.

CUNA estimates that APCO CU provided loyal high-use member households $1,492 in direct financial benefits during the twelve month period.

APCO CU excels in providing member benefits with many loan and savings products. In particular, APCO CU offers lower loan rates on the following accounts: new car loans, used car loans, first mortgage-fixed rate, first mortgage-adjustable rate, home equity loans, and credit card loans.

APCO CU also pays its members higher dividends on the following accounts: regular savings, share draft checking, certificate accounts, and IRAs.”

There you have it, as they say, straight from the horse’s mouth. While the Credit Union has received some state awards in the past, this is the first national award the Credit Union has received in its 60 year history. Merrill Mann, President/CEO of APCO Employees Credit Union, says the award is a big honor.

“While providing value to our members will always be our focus, it is certainly nice to be recognized nationally for being the best at what we do,” Mann says.

While we are humbly proud of the recent award, the Credit Union is not resting on its laurels. We are busy serving our members and we continue to look for ways to help our members do better financially. We invite you to take advantage of all the money making and money saving services your Credit Union has to offer!

By now you know your Credit Union offers great rates with fast, friendly service. For example, 1.9% for up to 60 months on a new car loan may be just right for you. What you may not know is that we can arrange a pre- approved loan so you can shop with your financing already in place.

Plus, now you can get great APCO financing right at the dealership. We’ve partnered with Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL) to make buying your next vehicle more convenient. Just look for the CUDL logo at the dealership. And, check out the CUDL AutoSMART link on our website for cost information and calculators.

Toying around with the idea of a boat, recreational vehicle, motorcycle or all terrain vehicle? Rates range from 2.75% for that new boat to 3.25% for a new motor home. If a motorcycle is more your speed, we can get you rolling for 2.75%. For our four wheeling fans, we offer ATV loans at 2.75%. Recreational loans are offered all year long…buying “off-season” could mean a better deal for you!

Whatever your method of transportation, make sure you see us first. We’re here to make sure you have every financial advantage.

Rates subject to change. Please call for quote. 

Year In Review
The year of 2013 was a milestone year for APCO Employees Credit Union. Your Credit Union has been powering financial lives since 1953 and we celebrated 60 years of service to our members in 2013.

In addition to the 60 year celebration, your Credit Union had another good year financially. We continued to grow in assets, we continued to pay excellent rates on savings, and we continued to offer competitive rates on loans. As a matter of fact, we paid 1.00% APY on regular Share Accounts for the entire year of 2013, which is more than twelve times the national average of .08% APY on insured savings.

The $109 million in loan growth for the year was more than five times greater than what we did in 2012 and we are glad to say, it was by design. The Board had the vision and asked the Staff to come up with a plan to make more loans available to our members. We are happy to report that we put a loan growth strategy in place and our members have responded positively to the low loan rates and great service.

While we are pleased with the results in 2013, we are even more pleased with the way we are positioning ourselves for the future. It is a rapidly changing world and the Board and Staff have heard me make the following statement on a number of occasions – “If things are going to stay the same, we are going to have to change.” While our focus will always remain on helping our members do better financially, we can not afford to remain static. In addition to giving our members the best deal on financial services, we are constantly looking for the best way to provide those services to them.

“Unite For Good” was this year’s theme for the credit union movement. I would like to thank three groups that have united for good and been essential to the Credit Union’s success. First and foremost, I would like to thank our members. Their trust in the Credit Union and their willingness to use its services is vital to our success. The second group I would like to thank are our dedicated volunteers. Our Board and Committee Members work hard in providing vision, planning and in doing their part to ensure our success. And last, but not least, I would like to thank our talented Staff. Planning is important but it would be nothing without good execution of the plan. Our Staff worked hard in 2013 to serve our members and I sincerely appreciate their efforts.

It was another great year for your Credit Union. We have a bright future together. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being a member.

V. Merrill Mann, CCUE
President/CEO

If you think you have missed the boat on getting a lower mortgage rate…think again!

While rates have risen slightly since 2013, they are still at historic lows today. However, during that same period home values have increased over 10% in most areas.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should consider refinancing:

1. To lower your interest rate- The old idea of waiting until there is at least a 2 point spread between your existing rate and the current rate is outdated. Everyone’s situation is different and you should talk to one of our mortgage experts about your options.

2. To shorten your term- This is a very popular path because when you do the math and see the thousands of dollars you save over the life of the loan, it can really make a difference.

3. To get a fixed rate- It is not necessary to wait until your adjustable rate matures before you act. In most cases, there is no penalty that outweighs the benefits. If you plan on staying in your home for awhile, then you should consider this option.

4. To cash out home equity- This could be a great financial move in some circumstances. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. It’s all about managing your debts responsibly. 5. To lower your monthly payment- Lowering your mortgage payment offers the ability to free up hundreds of dollars per month that could be saved or invested. It would require you to extend the term of your loan. However, it could make sense in your particular situation.

The good news is there are options out there for you. If you are unsure how to proceed or have questions, any of our mortgage experts at the Credit Union will be glad to help. If you need information or would just like to check rates and payments, visit us at apcocu.org and click on “Loans” or “Mortgage Center”.

A joint Credit Union account is in the name of two or more individuals who equally share its rights and liabilities. Joint holders of an account are regarded in law as together making up the ‘owner.’ This means that either owner may individually exercise full rights to make deposits or withdrawals on his or her signature.

When including a joint owner on your account, please be aware that most Credit Union accounts are set up with the joint right of survivorship. That means, in addition to being able to withdraw or transfer funds from the account, a joint owner also owns the assets of that account upon the death of the primary owner.

The weather is warming up and your next vacation is right around the corner. Whether you’re planning a road trip or jetting off to another country, you should let your Credit Union help make this a summer you won’t forget.

Vacations should be fun, enjoyable and stress free. They can also be very costly. Don’t let your getaway plans put you out in the cold. Here are some cost-effective vacation tips that will ensure you a good time without breaking the bank.

1. It’s all about the location- Consider how your destination will affect your pocket- book. Traveling close to home may not be what you had hoped for, but state and national parks can be just enough of the adventure you need and more cost effective than that trip across the country.

2. Travel with friends or another family- Vacations can be costly for a single family, but become much more affordable when costs are shared. Rent a vacation home and split the cost with friends or extended family. Plus, involve your family and travel companions when you start planning your trip. They may know of discounts you haven’t thought of yet!

3. Plan ahead- Set a budget that includes your “must do” list of activities and plan those out in advance. Did you know many tourist attractions offer discount days or free days throughout the summer months. Take advantage of deals –do research beforehand. Did you know beach rentals can be half the cost after Labor Day? Plan around the deals that are out there. If you’re flying to your next destination, airfarewatchdog.com offers travel deals you can’t beat. You can also check out tripadvisor.com and vrbo.com for lodging options and renter reviews.

4. Pack your travel snacks and lunch for the road- Going to restaurants is part of the fun of vacation, but stops along the way can quickly eat up your budget. Bring snacks and sandwiches for the drive so you don’t have to make food stops on the road.

5. Take your APCO Platinum VISA or our new VISA Travel Card- Our Visa is the most accepted credit card worldwide. That means you can use it with confidence anywhere you shop, dine or travel. Now is the perfect time to get an APCO Visa. Our low 10.9% interest rate means you can enjoy its power for less. Traveling out of the country? Your Credit Union now has VISA Travel Cards with international chips.

6. Store your information to MyVirtualStrongbox- We always hope for the best, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case of emergencies. Photocopy the front and back of all your Identification/ Passport, credit/debit cards, and insurance cards that you plan to travel with. You can store all your documents in your virtual safe deposit box. MyVirtualStrongbox is free to all APCO Online Banking users. Just log-in to your Credit Union online banking to get started.

7. Let your Credit Union know when you travel- We want to keep your accounts and cards safe while you’re on your adventure. Let us know when you plan to travel so we can make sure your cards are always prepared to travel with you.

It’s been a cold winter, but it’s never too early to start saving and planning for your next vacation. Set aside a certain amount from each paycheck and by the time your trip rolls around, you’ll be good to go.

If you need a little extra help, your Credit Union has you covered. Whatever your destination, APCO has the vacation loan for you. Our loan officers are here to provide fast, friendly service either by phone, mail, or in person. With APCO’s low rates, low monthly payments and flexible terms you are sure to find the right loan for your budget.

Stop by or give one of our offices a call today. We are ready to help power your next big adventure.

  • PCO Checking – It all adds up! Free checking + Free debit card + Free online access. Plus, now get great rewards. Earn reward points any time you use your APCO debit card. SWIPE. EARN. REDEEM.
  • Your Credit Union is happy to provide InstaQuote as a service to our members. Now you can shop, quote and buy the life insurance you need directly on our website.
  • Transfer your auto, SUV or truck loan to APCO from another lender and get a rate as low as 2.9% APR for up to 60 months. New Car? Get a 1.9% APR interest rate on a new car loan for up to 60 months.
  • Expecting a tax refund? Get it fast via our partnership with Turbo Tax and file your return online.
  • Your Credit Union has added 17 ATMs in Appliance Sales and Payment Centers of the Alabama Power Company. Stop by and let one of our new ATMs be of service to you.
  • Everybody makes mistakes. Let us cover yours! Opt-In and let us pay overdrafts on your ATM and everyday debit card transactions.
  • Opening or adding to your APCO IRA is a great way to take control of your financial future. Call or stop by and talk with one of our IRA experts today.