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

Archive for category: Blog

Mary Linn Clark recently stepped down from the Credit Union’s Board of Directors. Greg Shipp has been appointed to replace her on the Board and John Ohlson will replace Mr. Shipp on the Credit Committee. We would like to thank Mrs. Clark for her service, congratulate Mr. Shipp on his appointment, and welcome Mr. Ohlson as our newest Credit Union official.

APCO Investment Services was formed for the purpose of helping APCO Employees Credit Union members make decisions on how to manage their hard earned money. We help members plan for short-term and long term goals, such as education and retirement planning, wealth protection and estate planning. We match your needs and goals with appropriate investment solutions.

Is there a charge to meet with an Advisor?

APCO Investment Services is here for our members and there is no charge for meeting with us. Once we learn about your needs and develop a strategy there may be a cost associated with certain investments.

How long would a meeting take?

Everyone’s situation is unique to them. We want to learn about your needs, goals, and your risk tolerance. Most of the time, our initial meeting takes an hour or less. Once we learn about you and have an understanding of your financial picture, we then get to work using our years of experience in developing a plan. Each plan is different and each plan is designed to fit YOUR needs.

Do you have a plan for funding my kids (or grandkids) college education?

Yes, we are experts in setting up college funds. Whether it’s a standalone plan or a 529 plan with its unique tax advantages, we have it. It is never too early to start a college plan.

Once I set up an account, what happens next?

APCO Investment Services will continue to monitor your account. We will determine if changes are needed to improve account performance or accommodate life changes, such as getting married, having children or changing jobs.

I have a 401k that I need to roll over into a new account. Does APCO Investment Services offer that service?

Yes, we handle rollovers of previous retirement plans as efficiently as anyone in the industry. In most cases we have your new account opened and your money deposited within a week.

Visit us online at apcocu.org/advice to learn more today.

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

apco-click-call-dog

Why go to the Credit Union when we can bring the Credit Union to you? All you need is Internet access or a phone and you can start banking from your own place at your own pace.

Cell Center Available

We have expanded our call center at the Main Office and added additional staff members for your convenience. Our call center has a local Birmingham number (205-226-6800) and a toll-free number (800-249-2726) for those living outside the Birmingham area. Give us a call!

Online Banking… Complete Control

Online banking is fast, flexible, and free. You’ll be able to check balances, check your account activity, and transfer funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Enroll in your Credit Union’s online banking by visiting apcocu.org.

Online Bill Pay… Complete Control

If you like the convenience of banking online, you’ll like paying your bills online, too. Just spend a minute or two setting up your account, then get ready to pay your bills with a quick click of your mouse.

The APCO call center, APCO online banking, and online bill pay are the better ways to bank. Because you’re busy living.

apco-president-desk

As we enter the second half of 2015, I am pleased to report that your Credit Union is having another excellent year. While we are experiencing growth in all areas, the ongoing bright spot is the growth of our loans. APCO loans have grown by more than 12% in each of the past two years and we appreciate our members who use the Credit Union to finance their autos, trucks, homes, and everything else.

It seems the two topics that are currently dominating the conversations in the financial world are interest rates and cybersecurity attacks. First, let’s talk about the low interest rate environment we’ve been stuck in for the past seven years. Before I give my thoughts on what I believe interest rates will do, I always keep Yogi Berra’s quote, “Predictions are difficult, especially about the future,” in mind.

At their meeting in June, the Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated that while the economy was improving, it is still fragile. A healthier U.S. economy will allow the Fed to start raising interest rates again for the first time since 2008. I believe the Fed will raise interest rates from their near zero level by a quarter of a percentage point this fall and begin gradually increasing them through 2016 and 2017 until short-term rates reach a 3% level.

Of course, a rising interest rate environment will allow the Credit Union to earn more on its investments, and in turn, allow the Credit Union to pay higher dividend rates to members. The Fed has said that returning interest rates to a more normal level is their goal but their actions remain “data dependent.” So, we will just have to stay tuned and see how their interest rate scenario unfolds.

Another topic of conversation (and concern) are the data breaches at merchants (Target, Home Depot, etc.) and the recent, stunning loss of information on four million U.S. Government employees’ personnel files to Chinese hackers. It makes you wonder if anyone’s information is safe anymore. While it would be arrogant to say, “nothing like that would ever happen to us,” your Credit Union works hard every day to keep your information safe. We have outside firms that conduct regular internal and external intrusion tests, another firm that monitors our firewall, and if something did disrupt our system, we can have our backup site up and running in a matter of hours.

It is not a perfect world and no amount of Information Technology planning and security efforts will prevent all computer hacks. However, we do pledge to make the protection of your confidential information the highest of priorities. And, if you do have a problem, we’ve got you covered. That’s our guarantee.

Thank you for being an APCO member.

V. Merrill Mann, CCUE
President/CEO

mortgage
While property values remain stable, there is still a silver lining. Interest rates are at historic lows. If you’re looking for a new home or you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, the time has never been better. And your Credit Union has made it easy.

Apply Online

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

You have a busy schedule and we know that it can be challenging to get done everything you need to do during traditional business hours. With our mortgage website you don’t have to worry about the time of day or even the day of the week because we are always open — online. Your unique user name and password enable you to start and save your application.

The Path To Your New Loan Is Simple

A unique application is created for you based on your answers and personal situation. We explain the different loan types available and what you can expect during the loan process in real-life language. Our calculators let you try out “what if” scenarios so that you can feel confident you have selected the best loan product for you.

Visit Us Online Today

Whether you are ready to apply or just want to research products and rates, we think you’ll like our mortgage lending new address as much as we do.


An APCO checking account will do everything a regular checking account will do but instead of costing you money each month, it’ll actually pay you. There are no monthly service charges, no minimum balances, and no transaction fees. We even pay dividends on your APCO Rewards Checking account. All you pay for are your checks and at a low price, our basic checks save you money on every order.

Rewards For You

Not only does your Credit Union offer the best checking bargain around, we give you rewards for simply using your debit card. You earn points for everyday purchases. You will receive a certificate that will include all rewards points you have earned in the preceding 3 month period. You can redeem your points for gifts or gift cards right away or accrue your points and accumulate them toward a higher point category.

Consider APCO Rewards our little “Thank You” for being a loyal member. You’ve already started earning points toward great rewards. If you don’t already have an APCO debit card, now is a great time to get one!

Jump In

So, if you’re tired of service charges, fees, or minimums, maybe you should look into an APCO Rewards Checking account. Our checking account features:

– No service charge
– No minimum balance
– We pay you interest
– Free debit cards
– Free online banking
– Overdraft Protection

Complete Convenience

With your Credit Union’s free checking, you have access to your account at 45 APCO ATM locations, more than 5,000 CO-OP shared branches and nearly 30,000 surcharge-free CO-OP ATMs nationwide. There are over 500 locations here in Alabama; many of them in Publix, Costco and select Alabama Power Payment Centers. That’s more access than most traditional bank customers have.

Credit Union checking accounts are easy to open. From then on you’ll be handling your financial business the Credit Union way every single day!

Call or stop by any of our offices and open your APCO Rewards Checking account today. You’ll be glad you did.

apco-news-in-brief

  • Improved security features were recently added to your APCO online banking account. The security upgrade is part of our continuing effort to keep your confidential information safe and secure. For more information on what this security upgrade means for you, please click here.
  • My Virtual StrongBox is an added 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! And, Online Banking and My Virtual StrongBox are both free.
  • Why trust strangers with your retirement? To us, you’re family. Visit APCO Investment Services at www.apcocu.org/advice, or give us a call at 205-226-6866.
  • Your APCO debit card is limited to $5000 per day on purchases and $1000 per day on cash advances. Your APCO VISA credit card is limited to $10,000 per day on purchases and $5000 per day on cash advances.
  • Let your family in on a good thing – Credit Union membership. Have your relatives stop by or call. We’ll treat them like family.

apco-bauer

Your Credit Union continues to be rated 5 stars (superior) by Bauer Financial, the highest possible rating by this well respected bank and credit union rating service. Let’s review some reasons why your Credit Union is the right place for your money.

First, your share account – including regular shares, certificates of deposit, and checking accounts – is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration for up to $250,000.

Second, your Credit Union was not involved in the sub-prime mortgage problems either as a lender or investor. While many banks are having to raise additional capital, being acquired, or actually closing, it is not an issue for your Credit Union.

Third, the Credit Union is expressly prohibited from making investments in stock, speculative real estate, foreign countries or other risky investments. Credit unions are simply not allowed to gamble with their members’ money in this way. Our investment policy is conservative.

And fourth, your Credit Union operates with a safety net of capital – undivided earnings and other reserves. Your Credit Union is strong and your funds are safe and secure with us. It’s where you belong.

“Five-Stars is our highest rating for strength, safety and performance.” Bauer Financial Reports, Inc.