Our new “Check Image Capture” ATMs – “Deposits without Envelopes”

Our first “Check Image Capture” ATM was recently installed on the BYU Campus (North side of the Bookstore). Now, members can deposit checks and cash directly into this ATM and receive an instant confirmation – as a proof of the transaction for all their ATM deposits. “Envelopes are no longer needed for deposits”.

For check deposits, the images are displayed on the screen as well as imprinted on the transaction receipt. Cash deposits are instantly counted as they are deposited into this ATM with details of denominations on screen for accuracy and confirmation.

We are very excited to bring this new technology in an effort to improve our member service experience. Currently, UCCU has 31 ATMs in several locations in Utah, Wasatch and Juab counties, and a number of these ATMs are currently being upgraded with this new “Check Image Capture” technology.





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Jeff Sermon: Reaching New Heights

May 17, 2011

BYU Executive MPA Program

According to nineteenth-century education reformer Horace Mann, “A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.” Jeff Sermon’s Executive MPA degree has helped him reach high enough to become the sixth president of Utah Community Credit Union.

Although Sermon has acted as president of UCCU for eight years, he was only the sixth employee hired at UCCU in 1976. He worked as a loan officer while earning his undergraduate degree in communications from Brigham Young University. At first working for UCCU was only a part of Sermon’s short-term plans before becoming an attorney.

“I was on my way to law school, but I realized I really liked what credit unions were about—people helping people succeed. I decided to make this industry my career path and knew I could do it,” Sermon says.

To augment his ability to succeed in the credit union industry, Sermon enrolled in BYU’s Executive MPA program. He recalls the difficulties of being a full-time employee, student, husband, and father, but says he wouldn’t trade the valuable information he gained from the EMPA program for anything.

“It gave me a broader view of enterprise dynamics, from policy making to the ethics of an operation,” Sermon says. “Even in nonprofits you have to operate efficiently, the principles I learned made a big difference with strategic forecasting and planning.”

Since he earned his EMPA Sermon has moved up the corporate ladder at UCCU. Before becoming president, he also served as executive vice president and vice president of lending. Sermon’s education has helped him advance his career and it has also helped UCCU develop. When Sermon graduated from the EMPA program in 1985, UCCU had two branches with about one hundred employees—now they have eighteen branches with more than 320 employees serving more than 107,000 members in Utah, Wasatch, and Juab counties.

As president, Sermon leads the member-elected board to develop short- and long-term strategies for growth. Sermon says the financial world has changed immensely with the evolution of technology. He says UCCU is striving to stay on top of the tech trends because more than 40 percent of members do the majority of their banking online.

“Our mission at UCCU is to be the best credit union in our market and be our members’ first choice for financial services and information,” Sermon reports. “Our goal is to help them meet their financial dreams.”

Sermon believes education is key to help the next generation meet its financial goals. To do this UCCU has developed “Be Money Smart,” a program that teaches children how to reach new financial heights through proper money management.

“It’s better to learn about it in school than in the school of hard knocks,” Sermon quips. “We do a great job of teaching our kids how to make money, but we don’t do as good of a job teaching them how to manage money. If you can do both you’re doing well.”

Sermon and his wife, Debbie, have lived in American Fork, Utah, for thirty-four years. They have five children and nine grandchildren. Sermon is a musician and songwriter. He has released two CDs, Building Bridges to the Heart and One Step at a Time. Sermon also serves on the executive board for United Way and National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

Contact:
Writer: Sarah Tomoser

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Buying vs. Leasing Your Next Vehicle?

Look at the true costs before deciding

It’s often true that you can lease a new car for a lower monthly payment than buying. Leasing can be a good option for people who fit the “leasing profile.” Here is how to find out whether leasing is best for you.

An automobile lease works best for drivers who (1) want a new car every few years, (2) drive less than 15,000 miles per year and (3) are comfortable with always having a monthly car payment, as if it were a utility payment. One big difference between leasing and buying is that you turn in the car at the end of your lease term; you may then need to buy or lease another vehicle. With a purchase, obviously, when the finance term is up you still have the car.

Many drivers prefer leasing, and not just for a lower payment. They enjoy the luxury of getting a new car every few years and avoiding repair costs. That’s a key benefit to leasing: as long as the lease term is not longer than the new-car warranty, you can avoid repair bills. Your only maintenance expenses over the course of a lease might be oil changes and perhaps a set of tires. (A few car manufacturers even provide free routine maintenance for a set number of miles.)

Consider a nationally advertised lease offer for a popular midsize sedan with an MSRP of $23,000. The lease payment is $199 per month for 39 months. That is much lower than the monthly payment to purchase the same car. If you financed $23,000 to purchase the same car, a five-year (60 month) loan at 2.99% interest would require a payment of about $413.24 per month.

Before you can compare leasing to buying, however, you have to read the “fine print” in a lease advertisement. In this lease example, the transaction requires a $2,800 down payment, and it does not include the $595 “acquisition fee.” (These are common requirements with leases.) Nor does it include local and state taxes, or title and registration fees. This lease ends up requiring over $3,400 in up-front costs. If you divide that amount by the 39-month lease term, the “real” cost is $286 per month.

There is another potential extra cost buried in a lease contract. Leases limit the total miles you can drive. In our example, it is 12,000 miles per year, or 39,000 total miles. You would have to pay 15 cents per mile for every mile over that. If you went over by 10,000 miles, you’d owe another $1,500 at the end of the lease. When you purchase a car, you can drive as many miles as you want.

Comparing the merits of leasing versus purchasing depends on your situation. Lease a car only if it really makes financial sense for you. Contact us today at (801) 223-UCCU (8228)– we can help you determine which option will work best for your individual needs.

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Teaching Your Teenager About Money and Bills

Steps to help your teen learn financial independence

It may seem like too general a statement, but most teenagers are clueless when it comes to money. However, no child should remain in the dark about finances, and it is really up to parents to teach their teens how to pay bills and other valuable financial life skills.

While some teens may be financially savvy, many are not. Helping your youngster get acquainted with the real world by having him pay his own bills can help foster a bright, confident and fully functioning money manager. Your teen may be resistant at first but before long will feel empowered. This skill will be especially helpful if your child plans to go away to college or relocates for a job.

Here are some prudent steps to get you going:

Hit the bookstore. The financial section of any decent-sized bookstore has many offerings aimed at helping teens with their finances. Reading a publication together can reap benefits for both of you, helping the entire family get a better handle on finances.

Hold family financial meetings regularly. Show your teen your household budget, if you have one. Discuss the costs involved with running the house, including the mortgage, clothing, groceries, utilities, etc. If your teen has a part-time job, ask for a small contribution to one or more of these expenses each month. This will also help her learn the value of a dollar, and perhaps she can practice check-writing skills, too.

Open a checking or savings account.

Set up a savings account and, when your teen gets a job, a checking account. If your teen is agreeable, encourage family and friends to give money as a birthday or holiday gift, and have your child deposit most, if not all, the money into the account. Also, if your child receives an allowance, have him deposit some or all of that money into the account. You might offer an allowance increase in exchange for doing extra home chores, which can be mutually beneficial.

Teach check writing and checkbook balancing.

Discuss how to manage your checkbook or personal finance using a software program such as Quicken. If you pay bills both on- and off-line, have your child participate by letting her write some checks from your checkbook (which, of course, you sign) and/or pay some bills online. Demonstrate how to check statements and balances online at your financial institution’s website. Just remember to keep your password to yourself, and always supervise your teen’s bill-paying actions. Also, show your teen how to reconcile the checking account. Then let her give it a try.

A car is an incentive.

Many teens look forward to getting their first car in high school, and this can be a real opportunity and motivator for teaching bill paying and money management lessons. So resist the urge to buy your teen a new car, even if you can afford it. Instead, consider matching savings toward a used vehicle. Discuss beforehand all the costs associated with car ownership, including monthly loan payments, auto insurance, gas, routine maintenance, roadside assistance, etc.

Watch TV.

In 2010, PBS released a program hosted by actor Donald Faison titled “Your Life, Your Money.” Faison relates his own financial challenges after winning his first acting role. The program is aimed directly at teens, and through stories of both celebrities and ordinary young adults it covers topics including making (and keeping) money, digging out of debt and getting insured. You can watch the program online at www.pbs.org/your-life-your-money.

Teaching your teen how to pay bills and other valuable money management skills can go a long way toward helping your child both now and in the future. Try to make the process fun and rewarding, and also let your teen know how proud you are of his or her efforts. You can also visit our BeMoneySmart.org webpage for more information on UCCU’s youth programs that help teenagers continue to be savvier with their money.

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Teaching Your Teenager About Money and Bills

Steps to help your teen learn financial independence

It may seem like too general a statement, but most teenagers are clueless when it comes to money. However, no child should remain in the dark about finances, and it is really up to parents to teach their teens how to pay bills and other valuable financial life skills.

While some teens may be financially savvy, many are not. Helping your youngster get acquainted with the real world by having him pay his own bills can help foster a bright, confident and fully functioning money manager. Your teen may be resistant at first but before long will feel empowered. This skill will be especially helpful if your child plans to go away to college or relocates for a job.

Here are some prudent steps to get you going:

Hit the bookstore. The financial section of any decent-sized bookstore has many offerings aimed at helping teens with their finances. Reading a publication together can reap benefits for both of you, helping the entire family get a better handle on finances.

Hold family financial meetings regularly. Show your teen your household budget, if you have one. Discuss the costs involved with running the house, including the mortgage, clothing, groceries, utilities, etc. If your teen has a part-time job, ask for a small contribution to one or more of these expenses each month. This will also help her learn the value of a dollar, and perhaps she can practice check-writing skills, too.

Open a checking or savings account.

Set up a savings account and, when your teen gets a job, a checking account. If your teen is agreeable, encourage family and friends to give money as a birthday or holiday gift, and have your child deposit most, if not all, the money into the account. Also, if your child receives an allowance, have him deposit some or all of that money into the account. You might offer an allowance increase in exchange for doing extra home chores, which can be mutually beneficial.

Teach check writing and checkbook balancing.

Discuss how to manage your checkbook or personal finance using a software program such as Quicken. If you pay bills both on- and off-line, have your child participate by letting her write some checks from your checkbook (which, of course, you sign) and/or pay some bills online. Demonstrate how to check statements and balances online at your financial institution’s website. Just remember to keep your password to yourself, and always supervise your teen’s bill-paying actions. Also, show your teen how to reconcile the checking account. Then let her give it a try.

A car is an incentive.

Many teens look forward to getting their first car in high school, and this can be a real opportunity and motivator for teaching bill paying and money management lessons. So resist the urge to buy your teen a new car, even if you can afford it. Instead, consider matching savings toward a used vehicle. Discuss beforehand all the costs associated with car ownership, including monthly loan payments, auto insurance, gas, routine maintenance, roadside assistance, etc.

Watch TV.

In 2010, PBS released a program hosted by actor Donald Faison titled “Your Life, Your Money.” Faison relates his own financial challenges after winning his first acting role. The program is aimed directly at teens, and through stories of both celebrities and ordinary young adults it covers topics including making (and keeping) money, digging out of debt and getting insured. You can watch the program online at www.pbs.org/your-life-your-money.

Teaching your teen how to pay bills and other valuable money management skills can go a long way toward helping your child both now and in the future. Try to make the process fun and rewarding, and also let your teen know how proud you are of his or her efforts. You can also visit our BeMoneySmart.org webpage for more information on UCCU’s youth programs that help teenagers continue to be savvier with their money.

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Equity on the House

Finance your dreams with cash from your home

Have you been dreaming about getting an extreme home makeover? Or would you like to help finance your child’s college education? If achieving these dreams seems challenging, don’t despair. Maybe they are possible, and you just might be sitting on the answer – your home!

The equity in your home can help finance your dreams, or it can be used as a source of emergency funds. Home equity is the difference between your home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on your house, such as your mortgage and other loans. Your property’s equity grows each time you pay your mortgage and also when its value appreciates.

While it is no secret that home values have declined in recent years, you may have enough equity in your home to get a loan against it, and that may allow you to finance other things. Visit us at any of our 18 convenient branches to find out how much equity is in your home, and ask what the interest rates are for borrowing against it. They will tell you how much you can borrow and provide options for repayment terms.

There are two kinds of home equity financing to choose from: a home equity loan (HELOAN) and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Both of these are considered to be a second mortgage. A HELOAN is a loan for a specific amount of money, and it has a set repayment schedule. This is a good option if you wish to borrow a lump sum of money all at once. You’ll then have regular monthly payments for a specified period of time.

A HELOC, on the other hand, is a good choice if you are not certain how much money you would like to borrow, if you are not in a rush for the cash, or if you would prefer a more flexible repayment schedule. You might even consider getting a HELOC so it’s available in case you want to finance something in the future or have access to cash for an emergency.

Either a HELOC or HELOAN is a more advantageous way to borrow money than using credit cards, which have higher interest rates. Another benefit of home equity borrowing is that the interest may be tax-deductible. (Always check with your accountant for details.)

Here are examples of ways to utilize home equity borrowing:

  • Home improvements: Updating your home, such as renovating your dated kitchen or 1950s-style bathroom, can help to bolster your property value. Just don’t end up with the most expensive house on the block, as this could negatively impact your resale value.
  • Education: Maybe now is the perfect time to return to college and finally get that degree, or help your teenager finance college tuition.
  • If using a home equity loan to purchase a car, the interest may be deductible, where it is not for traditional auto financing.
  • Resist the urge to tap into the equity in your home to fund your next vacation. Rather, consider it a potential source of funds for medical emergencies if other sources are unavailable.

If you are thinking about getting a home equity loan or line of credit, it is a good idea to compare the interest rates, costs, and monthly payments. Then you can make an educated decision as to which type of loan is best for you. Stop by any of our 18 UCCU branches for more information.

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Michael's Credit and Debit Card Security Breach

Michael’s (arts and crafts) has learned that PIN pad tampering occurred in at least 90 of its stores, and that their customer credit and debit card information has been compromised. Two of these 90 stores are located in Utah; one in Midvale on Fort Union Blvd and the other on 1300 East in Salt Lake City. Michael’s has indicated that their systems at these stores were compromised between February 8 and May 6, 2011. If you used your Utah Community Credit Union credit or debit card at Michael’s during this time frame please call us and we will replace your card free of charge. This once again brings to mind debit and credit card fraud and the unsettling fear of unauthorized transactions.

Click here to see a list of all affected Michael’s stores.

Rest assured, Utah Community Credit Union is a leader in credit and debit card security. We have 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 UCCU 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

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.

Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts, crafts,  framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator. The company currently owns and operates more than 1,045 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada, and over 140 Aaron Brothers stores.

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. Please contact us at pbsupport@uccu.com or (800) 453-8188 if you have any questions or if you need your card replaced.

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Michael’s Credit and Debit Card Security Breach

Michael’s (arts and crafts) has learned that PIN pad tampering occurred in at least 90 of its stores, and that their customer credit and debit card information has been compromised. Two of these 90 stores are located in Utah; one in Midvale on Fort Union Blvd and the other on 1300 East in Salt Lake City. Michael’s has indicated that their systems at these stores were compromised between February 8 and May 6, 2011. If you used your Utah Community Credit Union credit or debit card at Michael’s during this time frame please call us and we will replace your card free of charge. This once again brings to mind debit and credit card fraud and the unsettling fear of unauthorized transactions.

Click here to see a list of all affected Michael’s stores.

Rest assured, Utah Community Credit Union is a leader in credit and debit card security. We have 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 UCCU 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

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.

Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts, crafts,  framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator. The company currently owns and operates more than 1,045 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada, and over 140 Aaron Brothers stores.

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. Please contact us at pbsupport@uccu.com or (800) 453-8188 if you have any questions or if you need your card replaced.

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