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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.


LATEST NEWS

Be Careful About Security Breach Emails

At least one major retailer has sent emails to millions of customers potentially affected by mega security breaches such as the one that occurred during the 2013 holiday season at Target.
Be on the lookout for scammers who mimic them.
If you receive email from a retailer regarding a security breach, here’s what to do:
Don’t automatically open the email: First go to the retailer’s website or call to make sure the information online matches the email you received.
If you’ve already opened the email: Don’t click on any links until you verify the information with the retailer by going online or calling.
If you’ve already clicked a link to an external website and entered personal information: Verify the information in the email with the retailer at its website. Then…
If the information in the email doesn’t match the retailer’s information: Take action quickly:

    * If the retailer is offering free fraud-monitoring, take advantage of it.
    * Go online and confirm your debit and credit card transactions every day.
    * Alert us and all your financial institutions and credit card companies.
    * Call the “big three” credit reporting agencies–Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian–to tell them you clicked through on a bogus ink and shared info you wish you hadn’t.
    * Ask to have a fraud alert placed on your account. It costs nothing to place a fraud alert on your credit report if your information is compromised, and the alert will remain in place for 90 days.
    * Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Report fraud at FTC.gov or by calling 877-438-4338.
    * If you’re really worried, request a credit freeze, which prohibits any credit from being extended under your name.

To  learn more about protecting your accounts from fraud, talk to the professionals at White River Credit Union. We can recommend steps you can take to keep your information safe.

Timing Your Trade-In

The combination of time of year and new-car promotions on the same model you’re driving can mean thousands of dollars of difference on your trade-in.

Used-car values drop more swiftly late in the year. New models have just appeared, while bad weather tends to hurt attendance and values at used-car auctions. Hitting used-car values even harder, though, are new car manufacturer incentives. When the value of that new car is reduced by a rebate, prices for corresponding used cars take a hard hit.

More than half of new-car buyers trade in their old cars. Most could get up to 15% more if they sold it themselves, but trading is far more convenient.

With a trade-in, how your car looks, its mechanical condition, the condition of the tires—even the color—all affect the value.

What you can do:

Make the seasonal factor work for you. Cars depreciate about 15% per year. If you’re planning to get a new car during the year, trade it in during the early months to cut down on depreciation.

Get your car in top condition. Get a professional detailing job. You will more than recapture the $50 to $150 you may pay for painstaking cleaning in trade-in value.

Know your car’s value. This way you’ll at least be able to tell if the trade-in offer from the dealer is in the right ballpark. Check Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) for an idea of trade-in price for your car.

Deal with the dealer. When you get to the dealership, try to negotiate the price on a new car before talking trade-in. Otherwise the salesperson may give you a high trade-in value and make it back in a higher price for the new car.

The professionals at White River Credit Union can help you finance your car purchase. Stop by or call today at 360.825.4833 ext. 4.

Summertime Tips to Cool Off Your Home

– Open windows and use portable and ceiling fans.
– Make sure ceiling fans are set for summer (the air should blow downward).
– Place a box fan in front of your window air conditioner to circulate cool air throughout the house.
– Keep TVs and lamps away from your thermostat; the heat from these appliances can cause the air conditioner to run longer.
– Use a programmable thermostat to adjust the air conditioning while you are asleep or at work.
– Stick to white shades, drapes, and blinds for windows to reflect heat away from your home.
– During the day, close curtains on windows facing south and west.
– Give your air conditioning unit some shade by planting trees or shrubs, but make sure they don’t block the unit’s airflow.
– Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use a fifth of the energy and heat of incandescent bulbs.
– Turn off computers and computer monitors when not in use.
– Lower the thermostat on your water heater (115° is usually comfortable).
– Caulk and weatherstrip to keep cool air inside your home.

Summer Fun, Not Summer Scam

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fraudulent companies promote their travel packages through the mail, by phone, and by unsolicited e-mails. The bottom line: If a vacation package sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Stop by White River Credit Union for more information about vacation loans. We offer low rates and easy repayment options that will help to make your vacation a reality.

Train like Rocky Balboa: The 90-day financial fitness program

Remember the training sequence in “Rocky?” He starts with a short run and small weights, then heavier weights, then there’s the climactic moment when he runs up the steps, with kids cheering in the background.

Each of us can be our own financial Rocky, beginning with relatively easy things like defining goals and making a budget, working up to heavy lifting like balancing a checkbook and investing. (It’s unlikely, however, that crowds of children will be screaming, “Go!” when you open your 401(k).) Here’s your own fiscal training program – 90 days to financial fitness.

Step One, Week One: Set specific goals Rocky Balboa wanted to win a professional boxing match. What do you want to accomplish? Would you like to take your family to Disney World for a vacation? Or maybe you dream of buying a house. Decide what you would like to achieve, and find out how much it will cost.

Step Two, Week Two: Make a budget Now it’s time to make a budget. Once you know how much you have coming in and how much you must spend every month, you can see how much is left for saving. You already know how much you need to meet your goal. This step will help you figure out how much you can save every month.

Write down your expenses and your income, using this budget worksheet. Now, see which expenses you might be able to reduce or eliminate. For example, you could lose the daily $4 mocha grande cappuccino and just drink the free office coffee. Or bring your lunch to work.

Step Three, Weeks Three and Four: Living Within Your Budget Now, here’s how to see if your budget is practical. Write down everything you buy in one week. You can use this handy form. You may be surprised at how much you spend on things that don’t really matter that much to you.

Step Four, Week Five: Putting Money in Savings Now you have a better idea how much money you can save. Armed with this knowledge, decide how much to save every month.

Most employers can set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck into a savings account. That way, the transfer happens automatically and you never even have to worry about it. Here’s a rundown on different types of savings accounts.

Step Five, Week Six: Balancing Your Checkbook By now, you’re cruising along like Rocky, making gain after gain. If you haven’t already, celebrate with friends and family. And now that your confidence is high, grab your checkbook, your monthly statement and a calculator for the next step, balancing your checkbook.

In this process, you’re comparing the monthly reconciliation worksheet your financial institution sends you against your check register. That worksheet often has instructions on how to balance your checkbook; or for a more detailed, step-by-step guide, click here. One of the easiest, quickest ways to manage your checking account is online – you can do all your checkbook balancing without the bother of paper and pencil.

Weeks Seven, Eight, Nine: Stay Balanced Keep balancing your checkbook, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you run into problems. You can get assistance from your financial institution, or contact BALANCE at (888) 456-2227.

Week Ten: Take Stock It’s entirely understandable if you hit a few snags along the way. In fact, it would be surprising if you didn’t.

Take a good look at things that you have not been able to achieve on a regular basis, and figure out if it is realistic to think you can achieve them in the future. If not, then do what the GPS unit always says when you miss an exit: “Recalculate.” For more tips, click here.

Week Eleven: Investing in a 401(k) Now it’s time to take advantage of your employer’s tax-deferred investment plan. These accounts, known as 401(k) or 403(b), are a good deal. No taxes are due on your contributions or earnings until you retire and begin withdrawing the funds. Tax-deferred savings means that your investments can grow much faster than they would otherwise.

The same is true of IRAs, although the maximum amount you can invest annually in an IRA is substantially less than what you can put in a 401(k) or 403(b). So if your employer doesn’t offer a tax-deferred plan, open an IRA or a Roth IRA and reap the tax benefit come April 15.

Week Twelve: Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back, Rocky – and take a run up those steps if you like. You did it. Take a moment to look back on all you’ve learned, and keep up the good work!