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

Archive for category: Blog

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We learned long ago that the best loans are the ones that make peoples’ lives better. Whatever your reason – new house, new car, tuition expense or a home im- provement – APCO has your loan.

Our loan service is fast, convenient, and confidential with a minimum of red tape. And our rates are the best around.

You can stop by any of our offices or we’ll be glad to handle your request online or by phone. Our loan officers like to say yes and they approve most loans “on the spot.”

Your Credit Union has always offered our members loans at competitive rates. “It’s what we do best.” That’s the Credit Union difference.

To see current loan rates, click here.

Gail Bush and Megan King prepare to host APCO's Credit Union Summer Educational Series

Gail Bush and Megan King prepare to host APCO’s Credit Union Summer Educational Series

On September 15th, our Inverness branch will host Dinner and Discover: A Return to Conservative Investing.

Financial advisors will be available to discuss your questions about conservative investing and explain what to expect, including:

– How can conservative investments help you face today’s economic risks?
– What are the differences between CDs and annuities?
– What are the different types and advantages of annuities?
– How do you decide which conservative investment is right for you?

Seating is VERY limited, so sign up now to reserve your spot.

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The real estate market has improved over the last year and buying a home is still a great investment. Rates are still low and there is something out there for everyone. Just make sure you buy and borrow smart.

Check out our online mortgage website at www.apcocu.org. Our online mortgage center gives you the power to research various mortgage products, search for personalized rate quotes, and apply for a loan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With competitive interest rates and monthly payments you can afford, APCO works with you to find a home loan that fits your needs. Your Credit Union has a 15 year fixed rate mortgage plan with a great rate of 2.95% and 30 year fixed rate mortgages at 3.70%.

APCO Employees Credit Union is committed to helping the next generation buy their first home. Talk is cheap but our actions are paving the way for our young members to live the dream of home ownership. Your Credit Union has a first time home buyer program with 15 year fixed rates at 3.65% and 30 year fixed rates at 4.25% with no private mortgage insurance requirement and loans up to 95% of the purchase price.

Not only does your Credit Union save you money with great mortgage rates, we also save you money with lower closing costs. Visit our website to see how APCO Credit Union compares with area banks. Your Credit Union can save you hundreds of dollars in closing costs on your mortgage loan.

Typically, we can provide you a pre-approval within 48 hours of submission of a completed online application. We recommend that you obtain the pre-approval prior to making an offer on a home. The pre-approval will aid you in the negotiation of your purchase by letting the seller know you have funds secured to support your offer.

For more information on our mortgage products, go to our website and click Mortgage Center under Quicklinks. Please call for more details.

*All rates are quoted as an Annual Percentage Rate (APR). *Closing cost estimates based on Alabama property. Please consult with your loan officer for exact estimates and more details.

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APCO Investment Services* is a personal financial management service designed exclusively for Credit Union members that provides a variety of investment programs that complement your savings.

It’s the essence of partnership. The following products and services are just some of the options that are now available to you:

• Retirement Planning
• Mutual Funds
• Financial Planning
• Stocks and Bonds
• Annuities
• Wealth Management

Your APCO Investment Services representative, Mike Lewallen, will work with you to create a personal financial blueprint to help you achieve your financial objectives. As your full financial partner, our focus has, and always will be, on your needs – from current to future. Our investment services program lets you design, build and strengthen your financial future easily and conveniently, and in a familiar setting you visit regularly.

To learn more about APCO Investment Services or to set up a no cost consultation, give Mike a call at 205-226-6866 or visit www.apcocu.org/advice for information about taking advantage of this valuable service.

*Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC. Not NCUA insured. May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

school-bellIt’s that time of the year again! Are you ready for the tuition fees, uniforms, sports equipment and the seemingly endless amount of school essentials? Shopping for back to school is second only to the holidays. Sales at bookstores totaled $1.7 billion, making last August the strongest sales month of the year. So it’s no wonder sending your scholar back to the classroom is pinching your pocketbook.

Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten or the last year of college, start off the school year ahead of the curve. Stop by or give any of our offices a call. Let us help make the living a little easier with any of our great APCO loans as you get ready for fall.

A loan from your Credit Union can help relieve the pain. With an APCO loan, you can pay cash for your clothing and school supply purchases making it easier to stick to your budget. Paying cash also enables you to use the back to school shopping experience to teach your kids about money. For example, you can give your kids a back to school allowance for certain purchases that they can decide on their own. Show them how to comparison shop to get the most for their money.

Our loan officers can handle your loan request by phone, by mail, in person or online. Most loans are approved “on the spot” and they feature low rates, low monthly payments and flexible terms. Stop by or call today.

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As an APCO member, the CO-OP Shared Branch network provides you access to your APCO account in more than 4500 locations across the state and around the world. Find a Credit Union Service Center on the go or near your home when you need to make a deposit, withdrawal, or payment.

Your Credit Union has increased the monthly number of cost free transactions for members using CU Service Center locations from 4 to 8. Look for the CO-OP logo the next time you need credit union services when you’re not close to an APCO branch.

3 Ways to Locate a Branch

800-919-CUSC (2872)
Find Branch mobile app
www.allco-op.org

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• Federal regulations are bringing big changes to U.S. debit and credit cards. Your Credit Union will begin reissuing debit and credit cards to members that will have the new EMV chip on them starting late this year and into 2016. The new “chip” cards will be more secure and help us better safeguard your personal information. More information on the new cards will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

• All Credit Union offices will be closed Monday, September 7 in observance of Labor Day. Have a safe, enjoyable holiday.

• Keep it simple. The APCO Visa credit card has a low rate of 10.9% APR, gives you 1% cash back on your purchases, and it’s a good choice. Apply Today!

• 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.

• My Virtual StrongBox is an added, free feature of Online Banking. My Virtual StrongBox lets you store, protect, and keep copies of your most important documents right at your fingertips. Log in or sign up for APCO Online Banking and start storing your documents today!

apco-news-in-brief

Here is the latest news from your Credit Union:

In Memoriam – Edsel Webster, a former, long time Credit Union Board Member, passed away on May 9, 2015 at the age of 99. Mr. Webster was a friend to all and he will be missed.

Beginning in October, all Christmas Club funds will automatically be deposited into your Share Account. If you prefer that a check be sent, please call our Call Center at 205-226-6800 or 1-800-249-2726 and let us know.

Credit Union membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Let your family in on a good thing. Have your relatives stop by or call and join today. We will treat them like family.

Follow APCO on Facebook and Twitter! You can receive Credit Union news, rates, updates and event information. Visit us online at apcocu.org.

For after hours lost or stolen debit cards, call 1-888-241-2510. After hours lost or stolen credit cards, call 1-800-991-4961.

Improved security features were added to your online banking account.

EMV Cards Coming Soon!


Members will begin receiving new credit cards and debit cards as their existing cards near the expiration date. In the meantime, please read below for answers to frequently asked questions.


apco-emv-visa

The new EMV shift will be coming later this year. EMV stands for European MasterCard VISA. The new EMV cards have a “chip” embedded in them and it is the new standardized security measure to help prevent card fraud and theft.

Many of you will be seeing this new feature in your Credit Union credit and debit cards. With the change comes questions and your Credit Union wants you to be ready for a smooth transition.

Why change to an EMV chip card? What’s the benefit?

EMV chip cards provide enhanced security. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, when an EMV card is used for payment, the chip creates a unique code that cannot be used again. If there is an attempt by fraudsters to duplicate the code, the transaction will be denied.

How do I use my EMV card to make a purchase?

Easy – insert your EMV card face up in the chip-enabled terminal. You should know that your credit or debit card will remain in the terminal while your transaction is processed. Transactions conducted over the phone or online will remain the same.

Will I have to sign or use a PIN for my transactions?

It will depend on your EMV card. Chip and PIN cards operate just like debit cards. Most EMV will be chip-and-signature cards, similar to your credit card.

Will my EMV support near field communication (NFC) processing?

Yes, EMV cards can be used for contactless card processing.

Can I use my EMV chip card for travel?

Chip technology is already in wide use around the world. This makes traveling locally and internationally a breeze.

What if a retailer doesn’t support my EMV card?

No problem – Most retailers are required to have EMV payment processing terminals in place by October 2015, but you may not have the option to use your EMV chip card while making certain purchases. This is why EMV cards will initially include both a chip and a magnetic stripe to allow merchants time to adjust to the change.

APCO Employees Credit Union will be issuing EMV credit and debit cards later this year and into 2016. More information will follow.


piggy-bankBy setting a plan of action to save a little each paycheck, you can get the things you need – even if you say “I can’t save on what I make.” We’re here to help you bridge the gap between “can’t and can.”

You don’t have any savings? Get this: The only difference between you and people with savings is they’ve made a good habit and you haven’t — not yet. But learning to save and getting the peace of mind that comes from having savings can become your habit too. And it won’t be as hard as you think.

Plan It. Save 4 it.

The key is to start. No matter how much money – or how little – you save, it adds up and helps build your financial future. Here’s how:

1. Choose a goal. Saving for something such as a new car or a new roof keeps you at it. Write down your goal. Then, when you reach your goal, make another one and work toward it the same way. When you see your success, you’ll be inspired to keep going. Stick to your goals and don’t take money from your savings except for a real emergency such as a car repair, medical bill, or the like.

2. Pay off debt. Notice how you spend money. Ask yourself before you spend money or think about charging if you really need the item or if you could wait. Once you see your spending habits and patterns, you can begin to change them and cut down your spending — which means putting more into your savings.

3. Ask the people at your Credit Union for details about these and other saving options:

• Share Accounts: Easy access to money, no minimum balance other than $25 required for membership, great rates, and your money is federally insured to at least $250,000.

• Certificates of deposit: Minimum investment required, generally pay higher than share accounts, but there are penalties for early withdrawals. Also protected by federal deposit insurance.

• Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA): Provide one of the most effective ways of saving for retirement, because they shelter earnings on savings from taxation, either now or in the future. This allows your savings to grow more. There are several types including: Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and Education IRA.

4. Remember, you can do this, but you don’t have to do it all on your own. The folks at your Credit Union have experience helping people build savings. Having savings really means freedom – freedom from worry about bills, about cars that won’t run, and about kids outgrowing their shoes – financial freedom. You’ll also find that your Credit Union offers you a better deal on rates.

Save a little. Get a lot.

Start small. Slowly save as much as one paycheck at first, then slowly add to the amount as your paycheck grows. Get help with your new habit – make it automatic with direct deposit or payroll deduction.

Your money works for you when you save at your Credit Union. The more you save and the longer you save, the harder your money will work for you. So stop in or call your Credit Union and find out how easy, and rewarding, it can be to start the new savings habit.