Glassdoor Names Jeff Sermon a Highest-Rated CEO

Our employees are to thank today as Jeff Sermon is named one of the Highest Rated CEOs on Glassdoor, according to the company’s most recent report. Glassdoor®, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing job sites, released its annual report highlighting the Highest Rated CEOs in several countries throughout North America and Europe.

Jeff Sermon appears on the U.S. Small & Medium Companies list with an impressive Glassdoor rating of 97%, due in part to recent efforts around the UCCU 60 Years celebration and the successful implementation of a new and upgraded banking system.

CEO approval ratings are gathered through Glassdoor’s online company review survey, which gathers current and former employee sentiment about job and company satisfaction, the work environment and the culture. Employees are asked to rate a number of workplace factors like compensation and benefits as well as work-life balance, and asked whether they approve, disapprove or are neutral about the job their CEO is doing. In addition, employees are asked to describe some of the upsides and downsides of working for the company and provide any advice for senior management.

Check out the complete list of Highest Rated CEOs in 2017 on the U.S. SMB list here: https://www.glassdoor.com/Award/Highest-Rated-CEOs-at-SMBs-LST_KQ0,26.htm

 

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4 Tips for Using Your Summer Auto Loan Sale

Congratulations! You’ve locked in the Summer Loan Sale rate, but now you’re wondering what you can do with it. Here are four tips for using your low rate before August 31, 2017.

Buy a New Car

With Auto Loan rates on the rise, use this low rate and our 10 Essential Car-Buying Tips to find the best deal for you and your family. New cars are a great purchase because you can have peace of mind, knowing any potential repairs will most likely be covered by the warranty.

Remember, there are typically three separate transactions or negotiations involved in buying a car.

  1. The price for the new car
  2. The price for your trade-in
  3. The financing

With this locked in rate, we’ve taken care of one-third of the purchase process! So now you can relax and focus on the other negotiations.

Refinance a Higher-Rate Auto Loan

Rates go up and down with time, and depending on the institution you financed your last car through, you might have a higher rate than you would prefer. With your low rate locked in, you may be able to refinance any auto loans you might have with other institutions any time before August 31, 2017. Any one of our auto loan experts available in every branch can help you gather all the correct information and get you the lowest rate possible!

Buy a Used Car

Buying a used car is often a smart financial choice for many reasons (just like your low auto loan rate with UCCU). A used car often reduces your insurance costs and registrations fees. Since your low rate is good for cars that are 2010 or newer, take the time you need to shop around and find the best deal! That’s the beauty of locking in your rate; you can make deliberate, smart financial decisions instead of rushing.

Share with Your Family

Family is there to support and help each other, so what better way to help someone than giving them the gift of a low auto loan rate? Your immediate family members can use the low rate you locked in and you can be the hero at the next family dinner party!

If you haven’t already, be sure to go to uccu.com/summer to lock in your Summer Auto Loan Sale base rate as low as 2.99%!*

*Any person who completes the lock-in request form at uccu.com/summer prior to 11:59 pm on July 31st, 2017 receives an auto loan interest rate lock as low as 2.99% APR (base rate). 60-month term or less, on 2010 models or newer. The 2.99% base rate redemption period will expire at 5:30 pm Thursday, August 31st, 2017. Immediate family members of those who successfully lock-in the 2.99% base rate can also use the rate. Can be used to refinance auto loans from other institutions or to purchase a new or used auto. Annual percentage rate (APR). Subject to membership eligibility. Some restrictions may apply. Limited time offer. Available on approved credit only. Federally insured by NCUA.

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How is a Credit Score Measured?

A credit score provides access to financing for major life purchases such as a car, a home, and even tuition. Credit scores also unlock household utility services, including mobile phone and internet services.

But how is credit scored? Since higher scores can result in lower fees, it’s vital to understand what makes up a credit score. Here are the five components that make up a credit score, in order importance:

Payment History – 35%: Paying back debts on time has a positive impact while late payments, judgments, and charge-offs have a negative impact. Key factors include how late a payment was, how much was owed, how recently the late payment occurred, and how many late payments a person has.

Amounts Owed – 30%: This factor marks the ratio between used versus available credit. Credit card users should make an effort to keep balances as close to zero as possible. Paying off balances each month rather than only making minimum payments also has a positive impact.

Credit History – 15%: This marks when a credit line was established. A long credit history is stronger than new or little to no credit history. If you have older credit cards with no balance (and no annual fee), keep them open. This will preserve the longevity of your credit history.

Mix of Credit – 10%: This includes credit cards, retail accounts, auto loans, and mortgage loans you have. Credit mix isn’t typically a key factor in determining a credit score unless there is not a lot of information on your credit report to use as a basis for your score.

New Credit Inquiries – 10%: This quantifies the number of inquiries or requests for new credit within a 12-month period. While some individual inquiries can impact your credit score, multiple inquiries from mortgage lenders within a short period of time are usually treated as a single inquiry with little impact on a credit score.

Have more questions? Contact one of our UCCU Mortgage Loan Officers and they can help you get answers!

Source: myFICO.com

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We Love Our Members

Thank you for being a member of Utah Community Credit Union. Our mission is simple: to inspire smart financial decisions, to work together to support each other, and to help you make your money go further.

UCCU began over 60 years ago as BYU Federal Credit Union. What better way to thank our members than with free ice cream from the BYU Creamery?

Stop by any UCCU branch during the month of June to get a voucher for a half gallon of BYU Creamery Ice Cream.*

*Limited time offer. One voucher per member age 18 and older.

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Cash for Schools

We’re proud to work together with our members to support important causes in our community. Through UCCU’s 60th Anniversary Cash for Schools program, we paid cash rebates to our members for every loan they transferred to UCCU while matching those rebates with donations to local schools of our members’ choosing. Here’s a quick breakdown of how our local schools were benefited:

Provo School District: $4,161

Nebo School District: $4,591

Alpine School District: $3,922

Other schools throughout Utah: $6,249

Total: $18,923

Thank you for helping us help our local schools during our 60th Anniversary Celebration.

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5 Things You Shouldn’t Store in Your Garage

For many of us, the garage is a catchall for stuff that refuses to fit neatly inside our houses. The problem is most garages are neither climate controlled nor dust- or pest-free. Here are five items you should think twice about before keeping them in the garage:

  1. Paint cans left on cement flooring will rust faster, and the extreme temperature fluctuations can ruin the color. Store unused cans in a temperature-neutral room, donate to charity, recycle at a transfer station, or safely dispose of them in regular garbage with paint hardener additive from the hardware store.
  1. Refrigerators operate efficiently at surrounding temperatures between 67 to 77 degrees. In warmer or cooler temperatures, refrigerators need to work harder, wasting energy and increasing costs. And, if temps reach below 30 degrees they may not work at all. Place extra fridges and freezers in the basement or insulate your garage, so temperatures stay consistent.
  1. Canned goods have a shorter shelf life when subjected to temps above 70 degrees, costing you money, and potentially making you ill if consumed. More efficiently organizing your pantry can help eliminate the need for outside storage.
  1. Electronics are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Repeated expansion and contraction can loosen contacts, glues and soldering. Humidity can also be a problem.
  1. Propane tanks should never be stored in inside spaces where they can leak, accumulate gas and cause a fire. Always keep propane outdoors where gas can safely ventilate.

The garage isn’t the most ideal place to store many items. After all, isn’t the garage designed to keep your cars safe and clean? The bright side is, this knowledge can encourage you to be more organized elsewhere in the house.

If you’re ready for a new garage but don’t know where to start, contact our UCCU Mortgage Experts and they will help you find the home with the perfect garage for you. Call 801-223-7640, email homeloan@uccu.com, or visit uccu.com/mortgages to find your neighborhood Mortgage Expert.

Sources: Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping

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4 Steps for Buying a Home in Today’s Economy

Whether you’re a regular news junkie or you rely on your better half to keep you updated on the latest, you’ll get the same conflicting messages about the state of today’s economy. One day you’ll hear about rising wages, and the next day you’ll read about the lagging growth in the GDP, or Gross Domestic Product.

The only thing certain about today’s economy is that it is uncertain. While things look relatively stable now, no one can guarantee what the next few years will bring.

Fortunately, you don’t have to give up on the home of your dreams because of a fluctuating economy. Read on for four steps you can take to make sure your money – and your house – are completely safe regardless of what’s going on.

1.) Maximize your down payment

The magic number for down payments has been established at 20% of the home’s value. Those who can’t afford to plunk down that much money, though, will often put down a much smaller amount.

If you can’t come up with a down payment worth at least 5% of the home’s total value, UCCU can help you get access to some of the down payment assistance programs out there. Call, click, or visit a UCCU branch for more information on what programs might be available for you.

2.) Get less than you qualify for

If you’ve been hoping to qualify for a more expensive home, you may be planning to push the limits of your mortgage approval. In fact, it’s best to buy a house that comes in well under your approved limit, allowing you to maintain a lower debt-to-income ratio. This will give you breathing room and keep your mortgage payments from dwarfing your monthly budget.

Also, if the economy worsens and you feel the effects, you’ll have a smaller mortgage payment to scrape together each month.

The good news is that with UCCU you’re going to get more house for the same payment when compared to getting a mortgage through a conventional bank or mortgage lender.

3.) Pick the right Realtor

Here’s how to cut through the hype of the real estate market and find the Realtor that is truly best for you:

  • Speak to recent clients. Ask about their level of satisfaction and their overall experience with this agent.
  • Look up the licensing of your prospective agent. You should be able to easily find this information online.
  • Choose a winner. A Realtor who has been recognized for their excellent work is one you want working for you.
  • Research how long the agent has been in the business. You don’t want the rookie Realtor who’s building their experience through you.
  • Check the current listings under the Realtor’s name. Are they in the same price range as the house you’re hoping to buy?

4.) Look for red flags

A professional inspection before signing on a home is a given, but did you take a careful look around? You don’t want any unpleasant surprises after you’ve moved in.

Check for the following:

  • A sturdy roof.   Do the shingles look like they’re going to give way in a few years? That can translate into expensive repairs. If you like the house and don’t mind replacing a faulty roof, use it as a negotiating point to get a lower price.
  • Efficient heating and cooling systems. These can be costly to fix and replace, and inefficient systems can really hike up your utility bills.
  • Strong structural components. Most sellers will give their house a new coat of paint before showing it to buyers, but don’t be fooled. If the foundation is weak, the best paint job won’t cover it up. Check beneath the surface for strong pipes, wiring, and insulation.
  • Overall functioning of the home. Don’t be shy; try out everything in your potential new home. Open doors and windows, turn on every faucet, flick each light switch, flush toilets and taste the water. If you find any major problems, you may want to give this house a second thought. If you don’t mind a handful of minor repairs, remember to use these as a negotiating point.

Don’t forget to call, click, or stop by a UCCU branch to learn about our fantastic programs on home loans and mortgages before you start your search. We’re here to help you with the finances as you find the home of your dreams!

Your Turn: Did you recently purchase a new home? What did you wish you’d known before you started on your search? Let us learn from your experience; share your wisdom with us in the comments!

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Presidents on Your Money (Infographic)

How much do you know about the cash you carry and the figures on them? Here’s an infographic to help you know more:

This comes from NerdWallet.com, a website that helps people find low rates on credit cards, savings and checking accounts, scholarships, and other things.

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Intro To Investing – Dividends

Intro To Investing – Dividends

Most people dream of being able to make a stable income just from investing the money they have now. One of the easiest ways to do this is through dividends – one form of return you can receive on your investment dollars.

Dividends are the payments companies make to their owners, who in this case are their stockholders. Here’s a helpful analogy to make it clear.

If you and a friend built a chair using lumber you purchased for $10 and you sold that chair for $50, you’d each take home $20. The “company” in this case is you and your friend, who are working together. Whoever paid for materials would be reimbursed out of the sale of the proceeds. The rest of the money would be the company’s earnings and the company would pay you both, as owners.

Things aren’t so straightforward with stocks and dividends, though. You’re an investor in the company, so you’re essentially loaning the company money (or are buying someone else’s loan). The company might use that money to pay employees, buy raw materials, improve their machinery or expand their business. In exchange for that loan, the company agrees to pay you a set amount, called a dividend. Dividends can pay out monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually.

There are a few other keywords to know when looking at dividends. First, recognize the difference between dividend yield (a percentage) and payable dividend (an amount of money). Payable dividend is the amount of money the company pays per share. If a company pays 32 cents per share, and you own 100 shares, your dividend will be $32. The yield is the payable dividend divided by the stock price. This lets you know what percentage return you’ll get on your investment.

Be careful when shopping for stocks that offer a high dividend yield. Often, companies looking to attract investment will take steps to lower the price of their stock by increasing the percentage yield without changing the payable amount. A company that pulls these kinds of tricks is often not in the best financial position, and your dividend money could dry up in a hurry.

The second set of terms is pay date, ex-date and announcement date. The pay date is the date on which the company will pay out the dividends. They’ll deposit money in your brokerage account or mail you a check on that date. The “ex-date” is short for excluded dividend date. If you were a shareholder on the ex-date, you are entitled to dividend payments. If you sold before that or bought after that, you don’t get dividend payments. The announcement date is the date at which the board of directors announces they’ll be paying a dividend. Such an announcement will include a pay date, an ex-date and a payable dividend amount.

Dividend investment strategies differ from growth strategies in two key ways. First, growth investors try to get in on the ground floor of an emerging stock, while dividend investors are usually buying shares of established companies that have strong track records. Second, growth investors have to sell their shares to receive their investment gains. Dividend investors want to hold their shares as long as possible to keep getting those dividend payments. While growth investment offers more risk, it also has the potential of offering a higher reward. Growth stocks generally increase in value faster than dividends increase.

Fortunately, the UCCU Financial Group is ready and willing to help you navigate through the complexities of investing. Visit uccufinancialgroup.com, or contact Steve Lloyd at lloyds@peakfns.com , 801-223-7502, to learn more about how you can maximize your investment portfolio.

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3 Reasons to Refinance Your Car Loan

Some bills can’t be changed. For other bills, though, a little legwork can make a big difference in your monthly payment. Your car payment is a great example. Refinancing your vehicle loan can lead to a lower monthly payment, a shorter payment term or both! It depends on various factors, including the value of your vehicle, how much you owe and your credit standing.

Read on for three common life changes that might mean it’s a good time to refinance your vehicle.

1.) Your credit rating improves

The biggest factor determining your auto loan status is your credit score. When your lender builds a loan package, they pull a credit report as a central part of that process. That number determines your interest rate, whether you’ll pay an insurance premium and what other fees your lender might charge.

Keep a copy of the documents your lender pulled. That can let you see if your credit score has improved. Nine months of steady repayment can boost your credit score, resulting in a less costly loan.

If you didn’t have much credit history when you purchased, refinancing can do you a world of good. Interest rates as high as 18% are common for new borrowers. Just a few months of solid payments may cut that rate in half.

2.) You didn’t shop around initially

Many people feel railroaded throughout the car-buying process. They choose a car, and then are told the price, the monthly payment and everything else. It’s almost like the lender for your car loan is predetermined.

Dealers usually have a smaller range of lenders with whom they exclusively work. Those lenders have limited exposure to competition, so they can charge higher fees and rates. Do your own comparison shopping. Dealer rates can be 1 to 1.5% higher than those offered at smaller lenders, like credit unions.

If you’ve never shopped around for a car loan, it’s worth doing now. Do your shopping inside a 15-day period, though; multiple checks on your credit could negatively impact your credit score.

3.) You need to change your monthly payment

Your financial situation may have improved since you bought the car and you can now afford to pay more per month. You’ll save money in the long term by doing just that. Shorter-term loans usually have lower interest rates. Also, you’ll pay off the overall balance on your car faster.

If money is tight, consider refinancing for a longer term. Although you’ll pay more in interest, you’ll reduce your monthly payment and save the money you need now. You may also be able to reduce the monthly payment if your credit score has improved, interest rates have dropped or if you’re getting a better rate from another lender.

Your Turn: How do you save money on your car payment? Let us know your best tips and tricks in the comments, and don’t forget to stop by Utah Community Credit Union to find out how refinancing can improve your financial life!

SOURCES:

http://www.bankrate.com/loans/auto-loans/10-steps-to-your-best-deal-on-a-car-loan/

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/long-improve-credit/story?id=33695732

https://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/ask-credit-karma-how-does-my-auto-loan-refinance-affect-my-credit/

https://www.creditkarma.com/article/refinancing-credit-effects

http://www.bankrate.com/auto/5-situations-when-it-makes-the-most-sense-to-refinance-your-car/

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