Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Having difficulty finding a gift for someone? A VISA Gift Card is the perfect gift since the card can be used at any merchant that accepts VISA. The VISA Gift Cards can even be registered online by the user for purchases and transactions performed on the Internet. This Internet access actually can be useful for those members who are looking to make an Internet purchase but are leery about using their own credit card or debit card online. For the record, debit cards are not recommended for Internet use due to the exposure of your own account funds if a fraud compromise occurs with the merchant being used. We have seen several members recently who have been the victims of debit card fraud which is believed to have arisen from Internet usage with their debit card.
North Alabama Educators Credit Union has VISA Gift Cards available for the holidays and for any reason during the year. Graduations, weddings, and birthdays come to mind. Teenagers love these cards! The VISA Gift Cards can be purchased for amounts from $10 to $500 at a low cost of only $2 per card purchased. The new rules for gift cards also make them a more attractive gift because the expiration dates are much longer now. These VISA Gift Cards are available at all of our offices.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The good news is that North Alabama Educators Credit Union has no plans for adding a monthly service fee on checking accounts. We have not lost fee income from the various new regulations because we were not charging the fees in the first place. Now that there is an "opt-in" provision required for allowing overdrafts on debit cards, we are looking at allowing debit card overdrafts for those members who have specifically authorized us in advance to do so. Members are always advised to spend money within their means and to avoid unnecessary fees, but emergencies can occur that require access to additional funds for a reasonable fee.
Here is a link to the USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2010-10-23-free-checking-accounts_N.htm
Monday, November 1, 2010
That might seem impressive until you realize that members of North Alabama Educators Credit Union have over 28,000 Surcharge Free ATM's available nationwide for cash withdrawals through the
CO-OP ATM network. How can a credit union like North Alabama Educators Credit Union with $75 million in total assets have more than twice as many free ATM's than a multi-billion dollar financial institution like Wells Fargo? Cooperation is the key difference. Credit unions work with each other to provide free ATM access to other credit union members. Banks rarely if ever work together on providing shared resources to other banks.
Members are encouraged to visit http://www.co-opfs.org/public/locators/ATMlocator/index.cfm for a variety of different methods to locate surcharge free ATM's. This link is also posted on our web site home page.
Members can locate surcharge free ATM's online, by iPhone application, text messaging, or by a GPS system. These options are included on the CO-OP ATM locator link listed above. There are numerous surcharge free ATM locations in the Tennessee valley area. All Publix grocery store ATM's provide free ATM withdrawals as an example.
While we do not have an internal fee for withdrawals at CO-OP Network ATM's, the credit union does have a internal fee of $0.50 for balance inquiries and $1.00 for balance transfers when performed at an ATM not owned by North Alabama Educators Credit Union. Keep in mind that balance transfers and balance inquiries can both be performed free of charge 24-hours a day through home banking or audio response.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The School Drive Auto Loan Sale is now underway! Qualified members can finance a new/used automobile at a reduced low fixed rate through October 31st. The loan special is also good for refinances from other financial institutions. On new financed money of $10,000 or more, North Alabama Educators Credit Union will donate $100 to the school general fund of the member's choice. This really is a win-win offer for members and our sponsor schools. Restrictions do apply so please visit http://www.naecu.org/rates/loanrates.html for complete rates and terms available.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The Wall Street Journal has a good article on this subject, other than the fact that they also use the word "bailout" in the article header. It is not a bailout. Read the article for an overview of the situation. LINK HERE.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Our CU-Online Home Banking and Memberlink Audio Response will be offline until Friday, September 3rd. If we can turn these applications on earlier than this we will certainly do so. Basically our staff will be verifying that these applications are performing correctly before we turn them on to the membership. The audio response telephone number will change to 1-800-598-8972 after the conversion date. Home banking users may want to sign in before September 1st and save any old e-statements to their hard drive or external storage devices. Any e-statements prior to September 1, 2010 will be available through the credit union after the conversion date. All e-statements generated after September 1, 2010 would be available to the member online as they have been in the past. If any members need help with how to save these older e-statements, please call our Electronic Services Representative at 256-534-2423.
VISA Debit Cards and ATM Cards will be available for use during the conversion process though at different intervals and for limited amounts of $100 or less if the system if offline. Members are encouraged to carry checks and/or cash during the conversion dates in case a particular card does not receive proper authorization for a transaction.
Shared service centers would be unavailable during the conversion dates of September 1st and 2nd also.
This information is being mailed to all members and is posted on our web site. Updates throughout the month and during the data conversion will be posted on our web site, Facebook, Twitter, and through this blog.
There are some exciting enhancements that will be available down the road as a result of this data processing change. These will include mobile banking, automated account alerts, remote deposits, online lending programs, and other technologies designed to improve convenience to the membership.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The subject line of the e-mail states: "Unauthorized ACH Transaction." The e-mail includes a link that redirects the individual to a fake Web page and contains a link which is almost certainly an executable virus with malware. Do not click on the link. Both the e-mail and the related website are fraudulent.
Be aware that phishing e-mails frequently have links to Web pages that host malicious code and software. Do not follow Web links in unsolicited e-mails from unknown parties or from parties with whom you do not normally communicate, or that appear to be known but are suspicious or otherwise unusual.
If malicious code is detected or suspected on a computer, consult with a computer security or anti-virus specialist to remove malicious code or re-install a clean image of the computer system. Always use anti-virus software and ensure that the virus signatures are automatically updated.
Ensure that the computer operating systems and common software applications security patches are installed and current.
Be alert for different variations of fraudulent e-mails.
= = = = = Begin Sample E-mail = = = = = =
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:27 AM
To: Doe, John
Subject: Unauthorized ACH Transaction
Dear bank account holder, The ACH transaction, recently initiated from your bank account,was rejected by the Electronic Payments Association. Please review the transaction report by clicking the link below: Unauthorized ACH Transaction Report------------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright Â©2009 by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association = = = = = End Sample E-mail = = = = = =
Friday, July 16, 2010
If you are truly interested in an alarm system, contact several alarm system companies and arrange appointments for each to present a proposal. Competition is usually a good method of securing a lower price. It would also be a good idea to contact the local Better Business Bureau for the company ratings and history. Since safety is the reason for an alarm system in the first place, do not sacrifice safety by inviting strangers at your door step into your home.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Our short sleeve shirts are $15 and long sleeve shirts are $20. There are different colors available other than what you see here. Selections and sizes available do vary by branch so stop by any office to view the shirts available.
You can't read the message on the back of the shirt because of the photo size but it says;
Friday, July 2, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
The credit union realizes that bad things can happen to good people. Being laid off or having your pay reduced is traumatic enough. Worrying about how to pay back a loan is usually the least of concerns when you are trying to put food on the table or trying to keep a roof over your head. If you have a loan with the credit union and have experienced a financial set-back, please contact one of our Loan Officers to update us on your situation. There are deferred payments, loan modifications, payment reductions, and other assistance tools available. People are embarrassed at times about their situations and they shouldn't be. The credit union is here for a reason - to help our members with their financial needs.
I can't think of a greater financial need that providing assistance when a job has been lost or when income has been reduced. Talk to us and together we can work out a plan.
Friday, June 18, 2010
This is a good example of a credit service designed to help the bottom line of the consumer, not the bottom line of the financial institution.
Friday, June 4, 2010
The Senate recently added an amendment to regulatory reform that will establish government price controls that will reduce a merchants’ financial responsibility for the payment network they benefit from every day. It’s called interchange; which are what merchants pay to credit unions like ours and other financial institutions for processing a debit card transaction
If passed, this amendment will have a negative impact for our credit union members, as well as millions of consumers in Alabama. The Senate did not hold any public hearings on this interchange provision or conduct any studies before voting, yet it passed anyway. That was a mistake that needs to be rectified before Congress completes its work on this bill this month.
At North Alabama Educator’s Credit Union, the legislation will mean that interchange will cover only a small part of the cost of providing debit card services. Interchange covers the costs associated with credit and debit cards — things like fraud, and identity theft. All of these risks are assumed by us so that merchants can accept debit cards. Not to mention the merchants get paid for the transaction very quickly, sometimes even the same day.
Interchange fees are part of the cost of doing business, much like postage and advertising and they certainly are less costly than returned check charges. While it is true the merchants are paying more in interchange, it is not due to raised fees, but more people are using their cards for everyday purchases. Someone has to pay for these fees, but it should not be the consumer. They like using their credit and debit cards, and it is a service we want to be able to continue to offer.
There is still time for members of Congress to strip out these harmful interchange provisions, which really have no relation to the regulatory or Wall Street reforms the bill is intended to address. Economic times are tough enough these days. Consumers should not have to incur higher costs or accept fewer financial services if this ill-conceived debit interchange proposal were to become law. Please let your lawmaker know you don’t agree with the interchange amendment associated with the regulatory reform bill.
Greg Olmsted, Manager/President
North Alabama Educators Credit Union
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
There are no payments on these reverse mortgage loans. That means that loan interest is accruing for years adding tremendous profits to the banks that offer these loans. Reverse mortgages just seem like another mortgage product designed for consumers who may or may not be able to afford the money they are borrowing.
There are many online resources on the topic of reverse mortgages. I encourage members thinking about a reverse mortgage to research these resources. The AARP has good information offering pro's and con's on reverse mortgages. Below is a link to a good New York Times article on the subject - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/17/your-money/mortgages/17money.html
Another good resource by the National Consumer Law Center that has some good examples of seniors who have been victimized by brokers for reverse mortgages: http://www.consumerlaw.org/reports/content/ReverseMortgages1009.pdf
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Because the House and Senate bills are different, they have to be reconciled in a “Conference Committee” which is comprised of committee leaders from both parties from the House and Senate, about 20 – 25 members in total. They will put together a final bill called a Conference Report, which is then sent back to the House and Senate for an up or down vote, without amendment. Once passed, it goes to the President’s desk. Making necessary changes (removing this interchange fee provision) in Conference Committee is what credit unions are asking for.
The insertion of this Interchange Amendment into the Wall Street Reform Bill is puzzling. Credit unions are not Wall Street. Credit unions did not create the near financial collapse to the entire country that Wall Street firms did with their complex financial products. Credit union members want to have affordable, convenient access to their funds. Debit cards have been a great product for members because of the convenience, safety, and worldwide acceptance. Debit cards have also been a great product for retailers. How many retailers now have online stores that could have never increased their sales without the card payment system that they now complain about?
It has been said before and I will repeat it again here. The card payment system is not broken. The retailers are profitable, even more so because of the expanded sales opportunities created by online sales. We are asking Congress to leave the card payment system alone and drop the interchange fee amendment from the Wall Street Reform Bill.
I would encourage members to voice their opposition to Congress on the proposed changes to the current card payment system. A special toll free telephone line has been established to allow members the opportunity to contact Congress on this issue. The number is 1-877-223-5275.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Check it out! http://madisonalmagazine.com/index.php/business/671-naecu
Friday, May 14, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
I am writing to you about an issue that could negatively impact all members of our credit union.
Each time you use your credit union credit card or debit card, a merchant is paid immediately and the card receives "interchange" through a card payment system. This interchange system reflects a merchant's fair share of the costs of this payment system. The Senate is debating S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. Some amendments would threaten our ability to offer debit and credit cards and allow merchants to interfere with consumer choice by arbitrarily varying the terms of card acceptance. The bottom line is that big retailers want to shift their cost of doing business on to you, our credit union member. If the amendments pass, our credit union could be forced to raise rates and fees, or even curtail debit and credit card offerings in the future. Please contact Senator Jeff Sessions at 202-224-4124 urging him to oppose any amendments to S. 3217 which would affect debit and credit card-issuing credit unions and the card payment system. (Senator Richard Shelby has already indicated his opposition to these amendments).
If any members have any questions regarding the interchange amendment, please feel free to contact me. Your voice and help would be appreciated!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Amendments are being considered to S. 3217 that would affect debit and credit card-issuing credit unions and the card payment system. The pending amendments threaten credit unions' ability to offer credit and debit cards to their members and would allow merchants to interfere with consumer choice by arbitrarily varying the terms of card acceptance. The merchant-backed proposals are intended to disrupt the card payment system with the goal of reducing the merchants' financial responsibility for the benefits received from the card payment system.
To simplify, merchants don't like having to pay interchange fees when they accept a credit or debit card for a purchase. They probably don't like paying the light bill either but there are costs of doing business. A merchant that accepts and pays interchange fees for a credit or debit transaction receives their money more quickly, with less risk, and opens the door for online purchases. The financial institution uses the interchange income to cover the costs of processing transactions, managing the card program, overnight accounts to fund purchases, and fraud expenses associated with data breaches usually created by the merchants themselves.
Does anyone think that the merchants will lessen their prices if interchange fees are reduced or eliminated? Do merchants want to start accepting checks for $2,000 LCD televisions? The credit union industry is watching these amendment debates very closely and voicing our concerns on behalf of our member-consumers.
The card payment system is not broken so a "fix" is not necessary.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Parents, teachers, counselors (grades 6-12), and community leaders are invited to attend this free forum.
For additional information, contact email@example.com.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Do you recognize any of the top six most annoying coworker types?
The Psst-er: Gossipers were the number one pet peeve in the survey. While some people like to hear juicy tidbits about the boss or their colleagues, too much gossip can undermine the spirit of the workplace. Plus you're always wondering when the Psst-er will make you the topic du jour.
The Broken Clock: These coworkers stink at time management. They're routinely late for everything, including work. They tend to spend too much time on emails, take long lunches, and then scramble to get others to help them meet their deadlines, which, for some reason, they keep missing.
Mold Guy: Coworkers who mess up communal spaces were third on the list of workplace pet peeves. Their month-old leftovers sport a thick layer of fur in the company fridge. Every office seems to have at least one who stinks up shared spaces.
The Whiffy Wonder: You can smell these coworkers wafting about from the other end of the office. They just wear too much perfume or cologne. Some have an obsession with Obsession. Others feel the need to douse themselves with Old Spice. And hiding in your cubicle won't make the overpowering smell go away.
The Cracker: Crackers are loud. They crack loud jokes, they crack their knuckles, they crackle their chewing gum, they clank spoons in coffee cups like they're calling the cows to come in from the fields. People who work near crackers can find themselves ready to crack.
The Tapper: Tappers are generally quieter than Crackers. But that doesn't make them any less annoying when they're tap-tap-tapping on their personal communication devices during meetings. It's distracting, rude, and yes, just plain annoying!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
North Alabama Educators Credit Union is one of the sponsors for an upcoming "Fish for a Cure" Bass Tournament to be held on May 22, 2010.
Details and an entry form are available by clicking HERE.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the credit union's primary fundraising effort, the Breast Cancer Awareness Fund. Our employees continue to develop new ideas and events to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Member and community support of these fundraiser events are very much appreciated! If you know an avid fisherman who enjoys these type of fishing tournaments, please let them know. They can enjoy themselves and help the community at the same time!
Monday, March 29, 2010
An important part of this process is for us to verify that we have good addresses on our members. Do not be alarmed by this Account Verification process. All federally insured credit unions are required to perform an Account Verification on the membership at least once every two years. It is another step to help insure the safety of member funds against improper transactions and account takeovers. Members are encouraged to closely review their account statements EVERY statement period.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Five signs 'census taker' is a crook.
PHOENIX (3/15/10)--The 2010 census officially gets under way this week--most forms arrive in mailboxes today through Wednesday. But expect con artists to exploit this once-every-10-years event by getting you to let your guard down and divulge personal information to impersonators (AZCentral.com March 3).
Legitimate census workers go door-to-door from the end of April to July to capture information from households that fail to mail back the form. Crooks know this and will attempt to collect information from you that's not required by the census--personal information that could lead to identity theft.
Take the census seriously, fill out the form, and mail it back. But don't get taken by impersonators with smooth tactics. Know the five signs that point to a census scam:
1. "Please verify your Social Security number." Legitimate census takers don't ask for this. In fact, there are just 10 simple questions on the form—that's it. And a question about your Social Security number isn't one of them.
2. "We need your credit union or bank account number." No, they don't. None of the census' 10 questions asks for financial data (MarketWatch.com Feb. 27). And the Census Bureau will never ask you for your PIN, passwords, or similar access information for credit cards or financial accounts.
3. "Please fill out your census form by replying to this e-mail or visiting this website." That's a sure sign it's a scam, because the Census Bureau never will contact you by e-mail or ask you to answer questions on a website.
4. "Of course I'm a census taker--you know about the census, right?" Legitimate census takers carry official badges and will give you the phone number of the local Census Bureau office so you can verify identities. To be safe, find your regional census office phone number at Census.gov/regions and call to verify identities.
5. "In cooperation with the census, we're asking for donations to a local charity." Legitimate census takers don't collect money for charities or political parties, according to the Census Bureau.
If you think you've been a victim of a census scam, contact your regional Census Bureau office immediately. Don't reply to suspicious e-mails or click on links within e-mails that portend to be from the Census Bureau. Instead, forward the e-mail or website URL to ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov. Then delete the message. The Census Bureau will investigate and notify you of its findings.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Checks deposited to accounts are returned for a variety of reasons. They may be returned for insufficient funds, stop payment, closed account, or other reasons including fictitious item which means that the check is a fake. Members are legally responsible for all items deposited to their accounts. Members are encouraged to know who they are dealing with when it comes to receiving a check. If you don't know who sent you a check and the receipt of the check is connected to a contact made via the Internet or mail, please inform the credit union so that we can investigate the status of the check before it is deposited. If you are being asked to send or wire any money to a stranger from a check received from a stranger or "business opportunity", don't do it. If you think that a check is suspicious in nature, it usually is.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Click the video above to view our latest commercial. During the months of March and April the credit union will have reduced rates on our new & used automobile loans. The special rates will be good on purchases or refinances from other lenders. If you have a vehicle financed elsewhere, now would be a good time to refinance before rates start rising. It only makes sense to pay less for your debt. For full terms and rates available, please visit our "LOAN RATES" page on our web site at www.naecu.org.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The key here is to deal with a reputable tax preparation group. There should NEVER be a reason to open an account with a tax preparer as a joint owner. Consumers who engage in this type of transaction are filing fraudulent tax returns and would most likely have Internal Revenue Service problems as a result. A healthy tax refund is only valuable if you get to keep it.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Below is an actual example of a Secret Shopper scam. The scam is that you receive a fake check and are then directed to send money via a Moneygram or Western Union, pocketing the difference as your compensation for "evaluating" the money transfer transaction.
"Our online data source has identified you as a candidate interested in an additional income part-time job. Therefore we are pleased to invite you to participate in a paid Triple "S" Program (Secret Smash Shopper) in your area of residence as a Customer Service Evaluator of selected retail stores, restaurants, and various other commercial establishments making predetermined purchases and evaluating the customer service level of the stores and service providers. Secret Shopping or Mystery Consumer is a tool used by market research companies to measure quality of retail services or gather specific information about products and services.
As one of our possible 5,700 shoppers selected for this project, you visit selected businesses in your area and secretly evaluate things like customer service, store location, and appearance as well as product quality. If you accept this offer, the current consumer services evaluation you are undertaking will attract a participation pay of $300.00 per week. After a few evaluations your participation will be reviewed with the possibility of it going up to $450.00 per week. Depending on the company you will be assigned and the tasks involved participation pay can go as high as $600.00 a week after six months. Upon accepting this offer you must keep your identity and assignments as a secret shopper CONFIDENTIAL in order not to introduce any form of bias to the data you collect. You must not take this letter to your assignments.
This assignment is put together to be completed at two different locations. The evaluation will take place at any MONEYGRAM or WESTERN UNION agent bear you or as determined by your coordinator. The objective of this assignment will be to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the payment system. You will pose as a customer sending the stipulated amount listed below to a supposed relative of yours residing at a location your Training Coordinator will provide to you. This offer expires 7 DAYS from the day you call in the receipt of this letter. This program is run on a weekly basis.
Below is a breakdown of the enclosed check bearing the required funds to cover your first week's assignments as follows:
1. Participation Pay for first week = $300.00
2. Stipulated amount for Money Gram/Western Union = $2,600.00
3. Service Fee by Money Gram/Western Union = $200.00
TOTAL AMOUNT = $3,100.00
Please Call your Assigned Training Coordinator at 1=800-###-#### for any further clarification or if you do not understand the offer. Your coordinator will provide you a computer generated receiver name you will need to complete for your first assignment. Withdraw the required amounts and proceed to evaluations. Upon completion of evaluations, notify your coordinator and fax your market report forms and all receipts."
Pretty slick, huh? There are many variations of this same scam so avoid these type of employment offers. Anytime you asked to send money to a stranger from funds given to you by a stranger, you should not engage in that transaction. There are potential criminal implications for members who negotiate counterfeit checks as well.
Friday, February 5, 2010
North Alabama Educators Credit Union now has a Twitter account. For those who "tweet" or follow "tweets", this will be a good resource for current news, tips, alerts, scams, weather closings, and events taking place. Here is the link for our Twitter site; https://twitter.com/naecu .
We had a poll survey on our web site last fall that indicated that roughly 30% of those taking the survey would be interested in the credit union having a Twitter page.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
IMPORTANT NOTE: Our offices will be closing at 4:00 PM on this date so that our employees and members can participate in the annual meeting.
At the conclusion of the business session, a drawing will be held among those members in attendance for total cash prizes of $2,150. This amount includes a Grand Prize amount of $500 to be given away as the last prize! Winning that $500 will be a nice evening for someone.
We encourage members to attend the meeting. As members, this is your credit union. Information on the credit union this past year and moving forward will be shared to help provide a good overview of North Alabama Educators Credit Union and the industry as a whole.