Save Hard & Spend Smart Blog
Pensacola FL, January 16, 2018: The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions held its 13th Annual Panhandle Golf Invitational on Friday, October 27, 2017 at Marcus Point Golf Course in Pensacola. All proceeds generated from the four person golf scramble went to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital – a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions donated over $49,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, and a check was presented to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The Northwest Florida Chapter is made up of the following credit unions: Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU.
“The Northwest Florida Chapter Golf Tournament is a fun and important annual event that affects the lives of those in the local area. It is a way for credit unions to fellowship together and raise some money to improve the community that we live in,” Caryl A. Greene, President of the Chapter noted. “We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, volunteers, family and friends who have made this event possible.”
About Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions
The Northwest Florida Chapter is the local chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Union, a trade association in Florida representing the following local credit unions – Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU. For more information, contact Michele Williams at 850-434-2211 ext. 102.
About Credit Unions for Kids
Credit Unions for Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Credit reporting agency Equifax has announced a cybersecurity incident that involves a data breach of confidential information such as birthdates and social security numbers that could impact 143 million U.S. consumers. Please be cautious of which sites you visit to determine if your personal information is impacted as scammers may see this as an opportunity to obtain your confidential information.
Equifax has established a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, including a simple way to check if your information is part of the breach by entering your name and last six digits of your social security number.
As always, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your accounts and report any unusual account activity to our Member Information Center. And remember Members First will never contact you by phone or email requesting your personal information.
We will post any additional updates as we receive them.
Message from Rick Smith, Chairman and CEO of Equifax.
Written By: Bluespire
You’re probably aware of how important your credit score is when you’re applying for a loan or line of credit. But what do you know beyond that? Learn what your credit score means, how you can improve it, and why your credit score may differ depending on where you get it.
What your credit score means
Your credit score represents your credit risk, or how likely you are to pay your debts on time. All of the biggest consumer credit scoring companies use a credit score scale of 300 to 850. In general, the higher your score, the less of a risk you are to lenders. This means there’s incentive for you to raise your credit score as much as possible. However, every lender weighs credit scores differently, meaning there are no hard-set rules for what makes a “good” or “bad” score.
How to improve your credit score
In order to improve your credit score, you should first know how it’s calculated. Your credit score is derived from looking at five factors: your payment history, the amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, your mix of credit in use and the number of new accounts you’ve opened. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help improve your score:
• Request a copy of your credit report. Check for any errors and get them corrected.
• Pay your bills on time. Consistently making timely payments can help improve your score over time.
• Only apply for new credit when you need it. Unless you have no credit history at all, be careful about opening new accounts. Each new account makes it harder for you to keep track of debts and harms the length of your credit history.
• Don’t spend too much on credit. Having too much outstanding debt can negatively impact your score.
Why you’re getting different credit scores
You may notice your credit score is different from one credit bureau to another. This is because each bureau uses a different credit scoring model and iteration of that model when calculating your score. To get a better idea of how lenders may perceive your score, you can request your credit report and score from all three of the major credit bureaus and compare them.
Bluespire Complimentary Financial Article
Written By: Bluespire
Over half of all U.S. adults use online banking services.* Are your concerns about banking online stopping you from joining in? You may be surprised to learn it’s more secure than ever and virtually anything that can be done in-person can now be done, well, virtually. Take a moment to assuage your fears and dispel some myths of digital banking:
Myth: My banking information is at risk when it’s sent over the internet.
Reality: Federal laws and regulations require financial institutions to keep customer information secure and confidential. On your end, as long as you’re on a secure internet connection (such as a home or work network), have anti-virus software and are on your financial institution’s website or app, then your information shouldn’t be at risk. To be sure you’re on an official and secure website, manually type in the web address instead of clicking a link. You should also look for an “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”) or a small lock icon next to the web address. To ensure your app is safe, always keep it updated to the latest version.
Myth: I’ll be charged extra fees for banking online.
Reality: It doesn’t cost banks and credit unions as much to maintain online services as it does to operate and staff physical branches. We don’t charge any extra fees for basic online services.
Myth: I still need to go to a branch or ATM to deposit checks.
Reality: Members First Credit Union of Florida offers mobile check deposit for smartphones and tablets. Using our mobile app, you can snap a photo of a check’s front and back and have it deposited into your account without ever leaving home.
Myth: I can’t communicate with an actual person when I bank online.
Reality: True, you don’t get face-to-face interaction unless you visit a branch. However, phone support is available so you can get assistance outside of normal business hours — something a physical location can’t offer. Plus, Members First Credit Union of Florida, now offers online chat when you need help that only a person can provide. Ready to try online banking? Visit www.membersfirstfl.org for more information on Members First Credit Union of Florida’s online services and get started today.
Bluespire Complimentary Financial Article
* Source: Pew Research Center.
Start your New Year off right with these helpful financial tips from our card services manager.
- Download the Card Valet app for your debit cards. With the Card Valet app, you can monitor your spending, turn your card on and off, and much more. For more information on Card Valet, visit the Card Valet website at www.cardvalet.com.
- Check your debit card transactions on the Members First mobile application or on online banking daily.
- To monitor your credit card transactions, sign up for eZCard Info at ezcardinfo.com.
- Make sure to review your monthly statements once they are received.
- Notify the credit union as soon as you suspect fraud. Call 850-434-2211 or toll-free at 877-434-6328.
- For lost/stolen credit card(s), call 800-325-3678. For disputes, call 800-767-9848.
- For lost/stolen debit card(s), call 800-472-3272.
- Notify the credit union when you are traveling.
- Keep all contact information (cell, work, and phone numbers, and email address) current with the credit union.
- Use gas pumps closest to the front door of a service station.
- Always check for skimmers when using gas pumps or ATMs.
- Do not store your PIN (Personal ID Number) with your debit or credit card or in the same wallet or purse as your debit or credit card.
- Be wary of fraudsters requesting card account information over the phone, through text, or email.
- If you are using a mobile wallet application such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay, and your device is lost/stolen, call your provider to block device usage.