Utah Community Credit Union Calling for Short Film Submissions, Due March 15, 2011. $1,000 prize

Utah Community Credit Union (UCCU) is calling for submissions to its’ 2011  Short Film Contest, under its’ BeMoneySmart kids and teens financial education program.  The theme for this contest is “BeMoneySmart.”

Contestants must be 18 years or younger, and submit a “G”-rated film of 3 minutes or less.  The grand prize is $1,000, with four additional $500 prizes for most creative, inspirational, educational, and humerous.  Judging occurs the last week of April, with winners being contacted May 2, 2011.

For more information, and to submit your entry, go to: http://bemoneysmart.org/users/entry_form

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UCCU Teams Up With Garff Foundation For UVU Scholarships

Utah Community Credit Union has partnered with the Ken Garff Keys to Success program to help provide 15 high school seniors with $2,000 scholarships to attend Utah Valley University.

For the past decade, UCCU has given out $500 scholarships to 18 students every year. In conjunction with the Robert and Katherine Garff Foundation, UCCU’s yearly awards will now come in the form of a $1,000 match to 15 $1,000 UVU scholarships awarded within the Keys to Success program.

“We thought if UCCU could turn $500 into $2,000 with UVU as an educational partner and afford someone a collegiate experience who wouldn’t otherwise get one, it became the right thing to do,” UCCU Director of Business Development Karen Tebbs said.

The $30,000 in funding for these scholarships comes from UVU and UCCU, but is administered through the Garff Foundation. Students participating in the Keys to Success program — in which scholastic achievements are rewarded with prizes, including a new car for one lucky winner — may apply for UVU scholarships through the Garff Foundation. School principals, teachers and counselors can make recommendations for the award.

“We are grateful for the Garff Foundation — that they have this Keys to Success program in place where we could segue in and begin contributing immediately,” Tebbs said.

UCCU will continue to offer a few $500 scholarships to schools that don’t participate in Keys to Success, but the vast majority, $15,000, will go to the new awards starting April 2011. Participating schools span Provo, Alpine and Nebo school districts.

“We are a community organization,” Tebbs said. “Communities include our universities, schools and students. They are our future, considering you have 87 percent … of UVU graduates staying in the state of Utah. UCCU is dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities for our future leaders and business owners.”

For more information about the Keys to Success scholarships, visit: www.kengarffkeys.com/scholarships.php.

About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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Protection Against Fraud and ID Theft

A local news agency recently reported on debit and credit card fraud and the unsettling fear of identity theft. Utah Community Credit Union has extensive safeguards in place to protect our members from this type of fraud; and in the event you are a victim, the credit union has quick and efficient dispute processes in place so you can get your money back.

No matter where you shop (even online), you can feel confident using your Visa® check card or credit card because we’re always working to keep you safe – with multiple layers of security.

Security Layers:

Card Data Mismatch

  • Several security values are checked before a transaction is authorized.

Fraud Prevention Tools

  • The 3-Digit Security Code on the back of your card provides Internet and phone security by helping verify that you’re in possession of your card.
  • With Verified by Visa, your identity is confirmed through a personal password while shopping at participating online merchants.

Real-Time Fraud Detection

  • Using best-in-class solutions for Real-Time Fraud Monitoring, we screen your account 24/7 to detect suspicious card activity outside your normal pattern. If something seems abnormal, you will receive a phone call to let you know.

We’ll Fix It

  • Our protection means you don’t pay for unauthorized use of your credit or debit card.
  • Access to Identity Theft Assistance helps you regain control of your account if you suspect you’ve been a victim of card fraud.

There are some steps you can take to help protect yourself as well. Some may seem like common sense, but it’s important to keep them in mind.

General tips on card safety:

  • If your card is ever lost or stolen, report it immediately
  • Don’t leave your card anywhere it could be easily taken (this includes the glove compartment of your car)
  • Monitor your account
  • Keep your account information current so that if there is suspicious activity we can contact you.
  • Make sure you memorize your PIN
  • Shred documents that contain any personal or financial information before you dispose of them
  • Before shopping online, ensure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and spyware software installed

Don’t Respond To Emails Requesting Your Personal Information

Many businesses use email to communicate with customers. Online banking and shopping are safe. But remember that UCCU will never ask you to provide personal information such as account numbers, passwords or your Social Security number via email.

This is important to remember because you may occasionally receive “official looking” emails from people posing as legitimate organizations, asking you for your personal information – this is illegal; it’s called “phishing”.

Don’t fall for scare tactics in emails that threaten things like ‘if you don’t respond immediately, we will close your account’ – if you receive an email that you’re not sure about, forward it to feedback@uccu.com or contact us.

Keep Up-To-Date

You should look at your account details regularly to make sure you don’t have any unauthorized transactions. This can be made easier by checking your statements and paying bills online. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report annually for any activity you didn’t initiate. For information on how you can obtain a free annual credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com

UCCU is a leader in card security. By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can help us keep your card safe – at the store, online or anywhere else.

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It's IRA Season Again

Tax season is also IRA season. That’s because saving taxes are on members’ minds, and IRAs offer great tax advantages.  Here’s a quick overview of IRAs that should help as you consider your options.

What’s an IRA?

IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. It is an account that allows you to accumulate tax-advantaged retirement savings. The dollars put into an IRA can be invested into CDs, Mutual Funds, stocks, bonds, annuities or other products. There are two types of IRAs, the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.

What are contributions?

Members may deposit money each year into an IRA up to the amounts allowable under the tax law for the specific year. These deposits are called “contributions.”

When can members make contributions?

Members may make their 2010 contributions through April 18, 2011. And some members may want to get a head start on their 2011 contributions now.  Contributions for 2011 can be made anytime between January 1, 2011 and April 15, 2012.

How much can members contribute?

The maximum annual limit for 2010 is $5,000.  For people age 50 and over, they can contribute an extra annual $1,000 “catch-up”.

If you would like to open or contribute to your IRA for the 2010 tax season please give Lori Pine a call at (801) 223-7502 to set up an appointment with Curt Willardson, Dave Palmer, or Dan Palmer.

Lori M. Pine

Office Manager

Utah Community Investment Services

Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU and Dan Palmer are registered representatives offering securities and investment advisory services through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC.  Utah Community Investment Services, Utah Community Credit Union and Financial Network are independent companies.  Registered address: 188 W. River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.

Investments are not deposits; not NCUSIF insured; and not insured by any federal government agency.  No credit union guarantee.  May lose value.

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It’s IRA Season Again

Tax season is also IRA season. That’s because saving taxes are on members’ minds, and IRAs offer great tax advantages.  Here’s a quick overview of IRAs that should help as you consider your options.

What’s an IRA?

IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. It is an account that allows you to accumulate tax-advantaged retirement savings. The dollars put into an IRA can be invested into CDs, Mutual Funds, stocks, bonds, annuities or other products. There are two types of IRAs, the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.

What are contributions?

Members may deposit money each year into an IRA up to the amounts allowable under the tax law for the specific year. These deposits are called “contributions.”

When can members make contributions?

Members may make their 2010 contributions through April 18, 2011. And some members may want to get a head start on their 2011 contributions now.  Contributions for 2011 can be made anytime between January 1, 2011 and April 15, 2012.

How much can members contribute?

The maximum annual limit for 2010 is $5,000.  For people age 50 and over, they can contribute an extra annual $1,000 “catch-up”.

If you would like to open or contribute to your IRA for the 2010 tax season please give Lori Pine a call at (801) 223-7502 to set up an appointment with Curt Willardson, Dave Palmer, or Dan Palmer.

Lori M. Pine

Office Manager

Utah Community Investment Services

Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU and Dan Palmer are registered representatives offering securities and investment advisory services through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC.  Utah Community Investment Services, Utah Community Credit Union and Financial Network are independent companies.  Registered address: 188 W. River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.

Investments are not deposits; not NCUSIF insured; and not insured by any federal government agency.  No credit union guarantee.  May lose value.

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The Car-Buying Question

Should you buy from a private party or a dealer?

Even though many dealerships have come a long way from the 1950s, the thought of the negotiating process of buying a used car can still cause some consumers to lose sleep at night. There’s always an alternative: purchasing from a private party. But both buying processes have pros and cons, so don’t be too hasty. Let’s take a look at both, so you can be out on I-15 in no time.

Advantages of purchasing from a dealer

As a result of the economic downturn, consumers have adjusted the way they shop and are focused on value and savings more than ever. Car dealerships have noticed, adding more savings and discounts on new cars. They’ve also made it their focus to have quality used cars and certified pre-owned cars on their lots.

The benefit of a certified pre-owned vehicle is that it has gone through a rigorous inspection to identify mechanical problems or weaknesses. Any faults or flaws identified during the inspection process are corrected. Because of the thorough inspection, certified pre-owned vehicles come with a much longer warranty than you’d receive on conventional used cars on a dealer’s lot. It’s one advantage that private sellers don’t have an answer to. Further, most car dealerships will provide you with a CARFAX vehicle history report free of charge.

But inspections, certifications and built-in warranties aren’t the only benefits of purchasing from a dealer. Buying a car from a dealer saves you time and inconvenience. Most car dealerships have a large inventory of vehicles for you to choose from, so you are almost certain to find one to your liking. You don’t have to research car ads online, call sellers and arrange test drives as you would with a private seller. With private sellers you’ll have to work around their schedules and set up a separate mechanical inspection of the vehicle. When purchasing a car from a dealer, you also may not have to worry about handling the paperwork, including the title and bill of sale.

Disadvantages of purchasing from a dealer

One of the biggest complaints many people have about purchasing a car from a dealer is the haggling process. Even though there are many dealers that have gone to a “no negotiation” style of selling new cars, it’s still common to have to go back and forth on price negotiations with a used car until you and the dealer arrive at a mutually agreed-upon price. This can be frustrating and intimidating for some buyers and also takes time. It’s also to the dealer’s advantage to sell extra services or accessories, special wax services, oil change services, VIN scribing and extended warranties. You’ll also likely pay more for a “certified” pre-owned vehicle because of the thorough inspection and warranty that come with these vehicles.

Advantages of purchasing from a private seller

A big advantage of purchasing a car from a private seller is the price. Most private sellers list their prices competitively and close to the values from the Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds car-buying guides. Therefore, you can feel more confident that you are getting a fair price on the vehicle. In many cases you’ll get a better price than you would from a dealer. Further, if the seller has owned the car the entire time, you should be able to obtain all the service and repair history records. If you get the chance to visit the seller at his or her home, you might be able to glean some additional information about how the car was cared for. Seeing a neat, well-organized home with a nicely kept lawn might give you some confidence that the car has been well cared for, too.

Disadvantages of purchasing from a private seller

Unless you’re satisfied with the asking price, there’s a negotiation process with a private seller, too. Only you’re not in a dealer’s office; you’re often on the seller’s home turf. Regardless of the condition, you won’t be getting a vehicle that is “certified” pre-owned when you purchase a car from a private individual. You’ll have to make an appointment with your own mechanic if you want to have the car inspected to ensure that it is free from mechanical problems. Handling the paperwork, including the title transfer, bill of sale and financing, will be on your shoulders.

Used cars purchased from private individuals are sold as is, though you may be able to transfer the balance of an existing new car warranty if it’s still in force. If you purchase a car from a private seller and find that you are unsatisfied, the seller is under no obligation to take the car back or pay for repairs.

Final thoughts

Whether you purchase a car from a dealer or a private individual, if you don’t have all the cash to pay the purchase price, you’ll have to finance all, or a portion and that’s where UCCU can help. Although car dealerships will offer to finance your vehicle purchase, we invite you to review the purchase price and loan terms with us to make sure you are getting the best value for your special purchase.

UCCU, your trusted financial partner for life!

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March Member Story

I’d only been doing home mortgages for a short while when a sweet older couple approached me about a home equity loan. It’s definitely true that every loyal member has a story.  They were the average older couple in their 60’s; they lived in a modest rambler, drove a modest car, and were hard working people—he was retired, and she was in her last years as a secretary at Brigham Young University.

Though they were financially savvy when it came to managing their personal finances, the process of applying for the home equity loan they needed was unfamiliar and daunting. As is common with many homeowners, this couple was in the process of making repairs on their home using their own resources. They had come to a standstill and were living in less than desirable conditions. When I visited their home, I remember thinking how uncomfortable they must have been living with so many things in disrepair—especially being an older couple. I could tell the husband was doing most of the work himself and getting this money would probably allow him to get the help he needed.  Their needs were pressing; I eased their concerns and as quickly as possibly guided them through every step of the course.

Through the process of applying for the loan, which included meetings, paperwork, signatures, and the home visit, I developed a bond and a solid relationship of trust with these members. I presented them with their different options, answered all their questions, and even advised them to apply for a lower interest car loan. Sooner than expected they got the loan they needed and wanted in order to finish repairs on their home, and later entrusted me with the refinancing of the high interest car loan as well.

I was privileged to become their trusted advisor and personal banker. Since that time I’ve enjoyed frequent visits from this couple. I see them almost weekly, they come to my desk for all their transactions. The couple, who initially only had a savings account with our credit union, was able to get the money they needed to improve their home, lower their car payment, and most importantly found in me someone who they can trust into their retirement.

Our work is important; it affects the quality of people’s lives. Through meaningful and personal interactions with our members–new, old, modest or wealthy in income, I work to build lasting relationships that make a difference.

Story by: Cindy Brown,

Member Service Representative

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President's Message March 2011


Jeff Sermon

So Far – So Good

There are some good reasons to be optimistic about the economy as we get further into 2011. Several economic indicators point to a stronger national economy. The measure of economic growth in the 4th quarter of 2010 came in at 2.9% (adjusted for inflation) which makes the 4th quarter of 2010 the best in the last five years. Manufacturing, consumer spending, and business investments all show marked increases. Meanwhile, nearly all measures of inflation remain very low as the Federal Reserve does all it can to keep rates low to boost the economy. As the economy recovers, most economists expect rates to begin rising as early as the latter part of 2011. Rising rates would be good news for savers but most economists remain wary of the timing of the Fed’s actions. If rates rise too fast the economy could stumble again. If they wait too long to begin raising them and we could see spiking levels of dangerously high inflation – also an enemy to a solid economic recovery. Let’s hope they get it right.

Here at Home

Locally, research shows that we are beginning to replace the 60,000 Utah jobs lost in 2009. After 22 months of continued declines in Utah’s jobs, we have been adding jobs each of the last 6 months. Local economists expect that the stubborn Utah unemployment rate will finally get below 7% this year. As additional students graduate from school and look to build careers, new job growth is vital. This, in turn will help stabilize a sagging house market as new families look to take advantage of low mortgage rates and buy or build homes.

Optimistic about the Future

While the economy and job markets still have a ways to go, we remain optimistic about the future – especially for Utah and our community. We have members who live in states hit harder by this recession and we also have members living in states where the effects of the economic downturn were minor. The credit union’s services and products remain valuable tools and advantages in any economic condition.

Your Membership is Valuable

As a member of UCCU you have access to proven financial services and products that will help you manage your finances and reach your financial goals. You have access to financial information and planning resources to help your dollars go further. As a not-for-profit financial partner, the credit union gives you convenient and safe access to your account 24/7 every day of the year. Technological innovations give you mobile and on-line access and our call center and branch offices provide friendly, personal and face-to-face interaction with trained staff members who have your best interest at heart.

Your Partner – for Life

Our goal is to be your “First Choice” financial partner for life. Through all stages of your life and through all economic cycles you can count on us to be there for you and your family. Even in times of uncertainty, you can be certain that your credit union is financially sound – recently praised by Bauer Financial as “one of the strongest credit unions in the country”.  We look forward to serving all your financial needs. We appreciate you as a member and thank you for your trust and business.

Jeff Sermon

President/CEO

Utah Community Credit Union

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President’s Message March 2011


Jeff Sermon

So Far – So Good

There are some good reasons to be optimistic about the economy as we get further into 2011. Several economic indicators point to a stronger national economy. The measure of economic growth in the 4th quarter of 2010 came in at 2.9% (adjusted for inflation) which makes the 4th quarter of 2010 the best in the last five years. Manufacturing, consumer spending, and business investments all show marked increases. Meanwhile, nearly all measures of inflation remain very low as the Federal Reserve does all it can to keep rates low to boost the economy. As the economy recovers, most economists expect rates to begin rising as early as the latter part of 2011. Rising rates would be good news for savers but most economists remain wary of the timing of the Fed’s actions. If rates rise too fast the economy could stumble again. If they wait too long to begin raising them and we could see spiking levels of dangerously high inflation – also an enemy to a solid economic recovery. Let’s hope they get it right.

Here at Home

Locally, research shows that we are beginning to replace the 60,000 Utah jobs lost in 2009. After 22 months of continued declines in Utah’s jobs, we have been adding jobs each of the last 6 months. Local economists expect that the stubborn Utah unemployment rate will finally get below 7% this year. As additional students graduate from school and look to build careers, new job growth is vital. This, in turn will help stabilize a sagging house market as new families look to take advantage of low mortgage rates and buy or build homes.

Optimistic about the Future

While the economy and job markets still have a ways to go, we remain optimistic about the future – especially for Utah and our community. We have members who live in states hit harder by this recession and we also have members living in states where the effects of the economic downturn were minor. The credit union’s services and products remain valuable tools and advantages in any economic condition.

Your Membership is Valuable

As a member of UCCU you have access to proven financial services and products that will help you manage your finances and reach your financial goals. You have access to financial information and planning resources to help your dollars go further. As a not-for-profit financial partner, the credit union gives you convenient and safe access to your account 24/7 every day of the year. Technological innovations give you mobile and on-line access and our call center and branch offices provide friendly, personal and face-to-face interaction with trained staff members who have your best interest at heart.

Your Partner – for Life

Our goal is to be your “First Choice” financial partner for life. Through all stages of your life and through all economic cycles you can count on us to be there for you and your family. Even in times of uncertainty, you can be certain that your credit union is financially sound – recently praised by Bauer Financial as “one of the strongest credit unions in the country”.  We look forward to serving all your financial needs. We appreciate you as a member and thank you for your trust and business.

Jeff Sermon

President/CEO

Utah Community Credit Union

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