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At White River Credit Union, we help one another. "People helping people" is our motto. We’ve been in your neck of the woods for 60 years, and have a stake in seeing this community and its people prosper.


Drivers Who Are Good Borrowers Can Save

Want a new car free of charge? Sounds like an Internet come-on. But you could save enough on car insurance over your lifetime to pay for a new vehicle, just by being a good borrower.

Lenders use credit scores to determine the risk that individual borrowers will not repay their loans. The most commonly used number is called the FICO score. It’s calculated for each borrower from that person’s credit report, which includes  information such as payment history and amounts owed.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850; the national average is 639, while the median is 723 (50% of Americans have a lower FICO score, and 50% have a higher FICO score) as of August 2014. But roughly four of 10 drivers have scores better than 750, placing them among the very best borrowers. These “elite” drivers save an average of $783 each year on car insurance premiums, according to

That adds up big time. And while insurance premiums aren’t tied to the credit score directly but to a credit-based insurance score, if you had a FICO score of 750 or more from age 25 to age 65, you could save as much as $23,000 over the average that people with similar driving records—but lower credit scores—would pay. That means you’d save enough extra cash to get one of the cars you’d be driving during that time for free.

8 Financial Safeguards for a Natural Disaster

You hope you never encounter the kind of natural disaster that requires you to abandon your home and places your property at risk.

But if you do, don’t let it catch you unprepared. Here’s what you need to do.

Know your insurance. You don’t want to be surveying the damage to your home, car, and all your possessions and not know exactly what’s covered or whom to contact.

Have a photographic memory. Literally—take a photo of everything in your house, room by room. Video is even better. This will make the claims process much easier.

Back up everything. For your critical financial records, industry experts recommend backing up everything in two different formats. Keep one offsite or in the cloud.

Consider a safe deposit box for original documents. For documents such as birth, death, and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, adoption papers, stocks and bonds, and wills—consider a safe-deposit box.

Prepare a financial “go-bag.” In case you have to evacuate on a moment’s notice, put in enough money for three days of expenses.

Don’t fall for scammers. A natural disaster attracts all kinds of scammers. Don’t let the stress of the situation lower your guard.

Scholarship Available

White River Credit Union welcomes any graduating White River High School or Enumclaw High School student to apply for the White River Credit Union Linda Kleppe-Olson Scholarship. Apply online at Applications due April 2015.

Kids and Mobile Phones

What age is appropriate for a kid to have a mobile phone? That’s something for you and your family to decide. Consider your child’s age, personality, and maturity, and your family’s circumstances. Is your child responsible enough to follow rules set by you and the school?

When you decide your children are ready for a mobile phone, teach them to think about safety and responsibility.

Decide on options and features for your kid’s phone.

Your mobile phone company and the phone itself should give you some choices for privacy settings and child safety controls. Most carriers allow parents to turn off features, like web access, texting, or downloading. Some cell phones are made especially for children. They’re designed to be easy to use, and have features like limited internet access, minute management, number privacy, and emergency buttons.

Be smart about smart phones.

Many phones offer web access and mobile apps. If your children are going to use a phone and you’re concerned about what they might find online, you can choose a phone with limited internet access, or you can turn on web filtering.

Get familiar with social mapping.

Many mobile phones now have GPS technology installed: kids with these phones can pinpoint where their friends are — and be pinpointed by their friends. Advise your kids to use these features only with friends they know in person and trust, and not to broadcast their location to the world, 24-7. In addition, some carriers offer GPS services that let parents map their kid’s location.

Develop Cell Phone Rules

Explain what you expect.

Talk to your kids about when and where it’s appropriate to use their cell phones. You also may want to establish rules for responsible use. Do you allow calls or texting at the dinner table? Do you have rules about cell phone use at night? Should they give you their cell phones while they’re doing homework, or when they’re supposed to be sleeping?

Don’t stand for mobile bullying.

Kids can use mobile phones to bully or harass others. Talk to your kids about treating others the same way they want to be treated. The manners and ethics you’ve taught them apply on phones, too.

Set an example.

It’s illegal to drive while texting or surfing or talking on the phone without a hands-free device in many states, but it’s dangerous everywhere. Set an example for your kids. Talk to them about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving.

Mobile Sharing and Networking

Networking and sharing on-the-go can present unique opportunities and challenges. These tools can foster creativity and fun, but they could cause problems related to personal reputation and safety.

Use care when sharing photos and videos.

Most mobile phones now have camera and video capability, making it easy for teens to capture and share every moment. Encourage your teens to think about their privacy and that of others before they share photos and videos via cell phone. Get the okay of the photographer or the person in the shot before posting videos or photos. It could be embarrassing and even unsafe. It’s easier to be smart upfront about what media they share at the outset than to do damage control later.

Use good judgment with mobile social networking.

Many social networking sites have a feature that allows users to check their profiles and post comments from their phones, allowing access from anywhere. Filters you’ve installed on your home computer won’t limit what kids can do on a phone. If your teens are using a mobile phone, talk to them about using good sense when they’re social networking from it.

Hacked Email

You get a flood of messages from friends and family. They’re getting emails from you with seemingly random links, or messages with urgent pleas to wire you money. It looks like your email or social media account might have been taken over. What do you do? For starters, make sure your security protections are up-to-date, reset your password, and warn your friends.

How You Know You’ve Been Hacked

You might have been hacked if:

  • friends and family are getting emails or messages you didn’t send
  • your Sent messages folder has messages you didn’t send, or it has been emptied
  • your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make
  • you can’t log into your email or social media account

In the case of emails with random links, it’s possible your email address was “spoofed,” or faked, and hackers don’t actually have access to your account. But you’ll want to take action, just in case.

What To Do When You’ve Been Hacked

1. Update your system and delete any malware

Make sure your security software is up-to-date

If you don’t have security software, get it. But install security software only from reputable, well-known companies. Then, run it to scan your computer for viruses and spyware (aka malware). Delete any suspicious software and restart your computer.

Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS) to update automatically

Software developers often release updates to patch security vulnerabilities. Keep your security software, your internet browser, and your operating system up-to-date to help your computer keep pace with the latest hack attacks.

2. Change your passwords

That’s IF you’re able to log into your email or social networking account. Someone may have gotten your old password and changed it. If you use similar passwords for other accounts, change them, too. Make sure you create strong passwords that will be hard to guess.

3. Check the advice your email provider or social networking site has about restoring your account

You can find helpful advice specific to the service. If your account has been taken over, you might need to fill out forms to prove it’s really you trying to get back into your account.

4. Check your account settings

Once you’re back in your account, make sure your signature and “away” message don’t contain unfamiliar links, and that messages aren’t being forwarded to someone else’s address. On your social networking service, look for changes to the account since you last logged in — say, a new “friend.”

5. Tell your friends

A quick email letting your friends know they might have gotten a malicious link or a fake plea for help can keep them from sending money they won’t get back or installing malware on their computers. Put your friends’ email addresses in the Bcc line to keep them confidential. You could copy and send this article, too.

What to Do Before You’re Hacked

Use unique passwords for important sites, like your bank and email

That way, someone who knows one of your passwords won’t suddenly have access to all your important accounts. Choose strong passwords that are harder to crack. Some people find password managers — software that stores and remembers your passwords for you — a helpful way to keep things straight. If you use a password manager, make sure to select a unique, strong password for it, too. Many password managers will let you know whether the master password you’ve created is strong enough.

Safeguard your usernames and passwords

Think twice when you’re asked to enter credentials like usernames and passwords. Never provide them in response to an email. If the email or text seems to be from your bank, for example, visit the bank website directly rather than clicking on any links or calling any numbers in the message. Scammers impersonate well-known businesses to trick people into giving out personal information.

Turn on two-factor authentication if your service provider offers it

A number of online services offer “two-factor authentication,” where getting into your account requires a password plus something else — say, a code sent to your smartphone — to prove it’s really you.

Don’t click on links or open attachments in emails unless you know who sent them and what they are

That link or attachment could install malware on your computer. Also do your part: don’t forward random links.

Download free software only from sites you know and trust

If you’re not sure who to trust, do some research before you download any software. Free games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars also could contain malware.

Don’t treat public computers like your personal computer

If it’s not your computer, don’t let a web browser remember your passwords, and make sure to log out of any accounts when you’re done. In fact, if you can help it, don’t access personal accounts — like email, or especially bank accounts — on public computers at all. (Also be careful any time you use public Wi-Fi.)

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