In Loving Memory of Coach Lavell Edwards

As we celebrated our 60th Anniversary, we had the privilege of working with a member of this community that we greatly admire: former BYU head football coach, Lavell Edwards. We’d like to thank Coach Edwards and his eternal companion, Patti, for this incredible experience and for the legacy they’ve given to this community.

Thank you Coach and Patti Edwards!

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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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UCCU Cross Town Clash!

Did you know that two of the largest universities in our state – BYU and UVU – compete in five different sports, every single year? It’s called the UCCU Cross Town Clash and you won’t want to miss a single game!

So bring your family and bring your friends. Wear your green, wear your blue, or wear both! Show your community pride as we support these amazing universities and build traditions that inspire higher education, sportsmanship, and alumni pride.

Every sport, every game, every season… brought to you by your friends at UCCU.

Visit uccu.com/clash to see a full schedule and get your UCCU member special ticket pricing!

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6 Buyer Tips for Hot Housing Markets

Couple outside new home

The housing market is heating up! For buyers, this may lead to submitting multiple offers or a potential bidding war. If you or someone you know is in the market to buy a home, here are six ways to give your offer the best chance for seller acceptance, especially when the competition is stiff:

Get preapproved: Go through the process to be pre-approved so you know your purchase ability, and have a strong cover letter prepared for your seller.

Don’t lowball: When making offers, try to be first and don’t lowball. Being first to the negotiating table plants you in the seller’s mind. But when listings are scarce, lowball offers are a losing strategy.

Opt for an escalation clause: In a hot market you can opt for an escalation clause in your offer that tells the seller you will beat any offer exceeding your bid by $1,000, up to a maximum amount of your choosing.

Perform inspections upfront: It may cost a few hundred dollars, but having an inspection performed upfront shows your’re serious. And when you make an offer without contingencies, sellers pay attention.

Tell them you love it: Ask you agent to deliver a letter listing the reasons why this house is perfect for your family (include pictures and be specific).

Don’t overpay: Do your research on the market by reviewing comparable property sales prices, schools, and online reviews for local businesses. Chat with your potential neighbors as well to get a wealth of information as well as a possible inside scoop.

What other tips do you have for navigating a hot housing market? Leave your tips in the comments!

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UCCU – Employee’s Choice for Best Place to Work

“Amazing company. I love what they stand for and how they run things.”

Utah Community Credit Union recently received national praise from career website Glassdoor, honored as one of the top 50 best small and midsize companies to work for in the nation.

Glassdoor evaluates anonymous, voluntary employee reviews to pick the winners. UCCU ranked number 44 out of 50, and was the only financial institution to make the list. In their reviews, UCCU’s employees have given a 99% approval rating for Jeff Sermon, President and CEO.

One review from an employee highlighted what he likes about his workplace. “It is a wonderful environment. They really want every one of their employees to be happy and successful. If you are a student they will work with your school schedule as best as they can without compromising service to their members.”

Another employee recently elaborated on the opportunities she’s enjoyed and lessons she has learned while worked at UCCU. “As a 20 year old, I was entrusted to start as a loan officer. Where else would I have been able to do that?” She praised UCCU for sticking to our mission. “UCCU strives to help people make smart decisions and to learn how to appropriately manager their money. This has greatly influenced me, and I have learned how to appropriately budget and save.”

As this is an employee’s choice award, it’s fitting to note that 94 percent of our employees have recommended the company to a friend.

We’re humbled by and grateful for the praise and the approval from our employees.

As one employee said, “There are so many things that I truly love about UCCU, but I don’t want to spoil everything! Come find out for yourself!”

Go browse all 65 reviews from employees on UCCU to see what else employees like. What do you like about working with UCCU?

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Business Book Review: E-Myth Revisited

Starting a small business is hard work; any budding entrepreneur can tell you that. Unfortunately, though, all that work is often for the wrong purposes.

People start businesses because they’re good at making a product or providing a service. That doesn’t mean they’re good at running a business! Michael Gerber takes on this “E-myth” — that someone can be an effective entrepreneur with much technical skill and little business sense.

The book is written as a step-by-step guide for thinking through building a business. The goal of any good business, according to Gerber, is to be able to hand it over to someone with minimal skills and have it run just the same – the franchise model of business. Gerber lays out many solid principles for achieving this goal.

It’s worth noting that the book is somewhat dated. It has little to say, for instance, about the power of digital marketing or social innovation. The text can also feel a little too sales-oriented, as Gerber regularly references his own consulting business. Some critics find the abstraction difficult to parse and the advice a little too general to apply to real world business operations.

Despite these limitations, “E-myth” is still worth a read. Taken with a grain of salt, there’s a lot of functional wisdom to be had in the narrative. If you’re starting or already running a small business, the concept of working ON your business instead of IN it is vital. Gerber clarifies what that means, and how to do it.

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6 Ways to Declutter Your Countertops

If you find yourself short on counter space, these six inventive tips can help you organize and maximize any counter in the house:

  1. On the wall: Take a look around your walls, particularly walls where cabinet spaces end. Wall-mounted corner shelves or receptacles near workspaces can give everything a lift.
  2. Drawer decisions: More organized drawers can help clear counter clutter. And drawer organizers aren’t just for tableware! Find solutions for everything from kitchen doodads, to that bulky butcher’s block of knives, to spice racks that fit inside drawers.
  3. Tool time: Save even more drawer space by moving spatulas, whisks, and other tools with handles onto a wall-mounted towel bar with “S” hooks.
  4. Think inside the box…or basket: Natural fiber boxes and baskets can consolidate space for groups of items, like measuring cups and spoons or lotions and styling products, while adding that designer touch. Or use them in cabinets to neatly organize space.
  5. Charging chamber: mount a plug strip to the inside of a drawer to keep those electronics powered-up and out of sight.
  6. Paper pusher: If paper is your problem, try using a wall-pocket organization system with multiple cubbies. Don’t forget to create a system for managing the flow. For example, one cubby might be for bills that need immediate attention, another might be for interesting things to read.

One of the biggest keys to cut clutter is frequently taking stock of what you don’t use regularly. Ask yourself if you really use it, and if not, don’t be afraid to minimize and donate?

Your turn: What do you do to keep clutter down in your house? Comment below to contribute!

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How to Build Your Resume – The Basics

Filling out a simple application may have been enough to snag that part-time summer job at the ice cream store during high school. But now that you’re in college, it’s time to graduate to a more advanced job-finding tool: the professional resume.

Creating your first resume can seem daunting, especially since your professional experience may be limited. But the sooner you master this skill, the sooner you’ll have a document you can easily send out whenever you happen upon an internship or employment opportunity.

When starting out, don’t be intimidated. No one expects a student resume to contain long lists of accomplishments, but you should have at least one or two. It should also convey your interests, goals and potential — all within one page. Use short, declarative phrases and action verbs instead of full sentences and try to keep the tone positive and upbeat.

Start by including your name, city of residence, email address and phone number — typically centered at the top, with your name in larger, bold font. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can include that, but be sure to leave out any other personal social media accounts. This is a professional document, not a showcase of your social connections.

You can also include a summary statement outlining your goals, but it isn’t necessarily required. Perhaps you’re an art major looking for a chance to develop your graphic design skills, a computer science major interested in work as a programmer or a marketing major seeking a chance to work on marketing campaigns. The key here is to demonstrate you already have some knowledge in a given field and are looking to expand it by gaining practical experience.

Stick to a traditional resume format, using a commonplace font such as Calibri or Arial. Save the crazy, hard-to-read fonts and wild colors for your art projects. Sure, you want your resume to stand out, but you want it to stand out for the information it contains, not its oddball appearance.

Next, add an education section. Make the entries reverse-chronological, beginning with your current studies. Be sure to include your degree objective and your planned date of graduation. Don’t forget to add your extracurricular activities, particularly teams and clubs. Employers want to see how you have been involved and what you do with your free time. Skills and accomplishments aren’t the only reasons people get hired. Employers also want to connect with their employees as people with talents and interests, not just robots to do a job. You can also add a bullet point about projects you completed at school. Don’t feel like you need to include every single one, but try to include projects that show specific skills you have acquired that are related to the job you are applying for. Maybe you led the planning of senior prom, or maybe you did market research for a local business. Those are examples of the accomplishments that set you apart and show what you can do if you professional experience is limited.

After education, add the professional experience section. This is the place to list any jobs you’ve had, even if they were babysitting or summer jobs. Include the beginning and ending dates and briefly list your main responsibilities. The idea is to demonstrate that you’re responsible, conscientious and can follow directions.

Including an accomplishments section can help paint a fuller picture of who you are. This is the place to note any awards or distinctions you have received. You can also include any high grade point averages, projects you completed at school or volunteer experiences. Basically, list things here you’re proud of or which would reveal aspects of your character to a potential employer. Try to use quantifiable support whenever possible. If you increased sales by 4% for your sales team over the summer, be sure to add that concrete, quantifiable number.

You may also include a skills section if you think it’s warranted. This is the place to list any computer software proficiencies you’ve used or office skills you’ve developed. Make sure the skills you list relate to the types of positions you’re seeking. For example, forklift driving would not be a useful skill for a sales position unless you’d be selling forklifts.

Finally, take time to edit and format your resume. A resume filled with typos and formatting errors does little to convey that you’re careful and conscientious. Have a friend or your parent proofread your resume to make sure you didn’t miss any typos and to get their opinion.

View your resume as a work in progress. It will remain an important professional tool throughout your work life, evolving and growing as you graduate college, get your first full-time job, and progress in your career.

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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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