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Friday
Sep022016

Employee Spotlight - Ryan

1. What’s your name? Ryan Diaz
2. Where are you from? In west St Paul born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days.
3. How long have you worked at Star Choice Credit Union? 6 ½ glorious years.
4. What’s your favorite part about working at SCCU? My credit union family; amazing teammates and warm, appreciative and loyal members.
5. Do you have any pets? No pets yet but hope to add a dog in the next 5 years.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Australia/New Zealand/Figi
7. What is one sentence you’d like to hear from your boss? How would you like a raise for being AWESOME?
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?  People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.
 9. What do you like to do in your free time?  Family time is important, so spending time with my wife Kari or my two boys Eli and Owen takes the cake.  I also love to watch my Minnesota sports teams with a cold beer.
10. What is one of your biggest accomplishments? Finding the love of my life and starting a family together.
11. Describe your ideal weekend. Waking up without an alarm, fresh strawberry pancakes from Original Pancake House, a walk as a family at our park, watching a Star Wars movie with my boys and ends with a relaxing night kid free with my love.
12. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? 2 happy healthy handsome boys and a loving supportive wife.
13. What are you biggest hobbies? Karaoke, MN Sports, catching the most recent box office hit.
14. Where’s Waldo? Currently in witness protection living a quiet life in the Maldives… oh shoot, sorry Waldo!
15. Toilet Paper – over or under? Over!

Thursday
Aug182016

Employee Spotlight - Jennifer

1. What’s your name? Jennifer Simmons
2. Where are you from? Bloomington, MN
3. How long have you worked at Star Choice Credit Union? A year and a half
4. What’s your favorite part about working at SCCU? The community of coworkers
5. Do you have any pets? Yes, two dogs named Rosie and Lucy
6. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? An overseas Disney Park
7. What is one sentence you’d like to hear from your boss? Why don't you head out early today?
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
9. What do you like to do in your free time? Make things that I find on Pinterest. (Food, décor, gifts, etc.)
10. What is one of your biggest accomplishments? Winning the Star Choice 2015 Halloween Costume Contest.
11. Describe your ideal weekend. Playing games, hanging out with friends, and going on adventures.
12. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Nothing specific, but anything that was given to me for no particular reason.
13. What are you biggest hobbies? Singing, ice skating, dancing, going to garage sales.
14. Where’s Waldo?  I have no idea. I can never find him.
15. Toilet Paper – over or under? Over.

 

Wednesday
Aug172016

Employee Spotlight - Matt

1. What’s your name? Matt Puczko
2. Where are you from? La Crescent, MN
3. How long have you worked at Star Choice Credit Union? 15 years
4. What’s your favorite part about working at SCCU? How close-knit the employees and members are
5. Do you have any pets? One dog, Punkie
6. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Fiji
7. What is one sentence you’d like to hear from your boss? Great job!
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? ‘Buy the ticket, take the ride’ – Hunter S. Thompson
9. What do you like to do in your free time? Explore the twin cities metro w/ my family, fish, play guitar
10. What is one of your biggest accomplishments? Getting my wife to agree to a Black Crowes song being played as we walked down the aisle when we got married.
11. Describe your ideal weekend. Play basketball, nap, wrestle w/ my kids
12. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Depending on the day, my kids
13. What are you biggest hobbies? Playing guitar
14. Where’s Waldo? In a book
15. Toilet Paper – over or under? Over, duh

 

Monday
Aug152016

Minimize the Fallout of a Lost Wallet

Losing your wallet or having it stolen is distressing to say the least! Who wants to cancel all their credit cards and report their debit cards lost and have weeks go by with finances in limbo?

Take these steps immediately to minimize the fallout:

1. File a police report if stolen
2. Notify Star Choice Credit Union or your financial institution
3. Block or Cancel your ATM/debit card
4. Block or Cancel your credit cards
5. Notify the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion)
6. Get a new driver’s license
7. Get a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com to check if any fraudulent transfers have been made in your name. (Important: The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—every twelve months)
8. Report fraudulent transactions to the police
Plan ahead: Write down the contents of your wallet. A simple way to do this is to photocopy the front and back of all the cards in your wallet (make sure you make a copy of your driver’s license too), and then store this document in a protected place in your home such as in a safe. Losing your purse or wallet is never fun, but you can make it less stressful if you follow these tips! 
Wednesday
Jul062016

0% Auto Loan Might Not Be the Best Deal

In seeking the best deal on your next car, you might've stumbled upon advertisements or offers to get a 0% interest auto loan. As great as this sounds, you may not save as much as you expect with this type of incentive.

Since auto loans can come through either a dealer or a lender, such as a bank or credit union, it's important to note that a 0% interest loan generally, if not always, is obtained through a dealer. Automakers offer them to attract buyers to certain car models, especially ones that aren't selling well. Here are a few things to consider about 0% financing and why it might not be in your best interest to use it.

You might be forfeiting a better deal

Typically, you can't receive both reduced rate financing and a cash rebate when you buy a car, so you may have to choose one. Manufacturers' cash rebates can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. The well-known auto research website Edmunds found that the cost of incentives that automakers pay to attract customers was around $2,300 per car industrywide, which includes cash rebates and cost of reduced financing.

While a 0% loan may sound appealing, a cash rebate might save you more money. If you buy a $20,000 car that has a $2,300 rebate, you are really paying $17,700 plus interest. If the interest rate for a five-year loan is 2.7%, which was the average rate at credit unions toward the end of 2015, then you would pay a total of $1,242 in interest. That would bring the cost of the car plus interest to $18,942, saving you $1,058 compared with what you'd pay with a 0% loan.

You may want to check the auto loan rates at local lenders too, since you might be able to get a low rate and also pick up a rebate when you negotiate with the dealer.

Rate may not last as long as your loan

Some car models may have 0% financing for a limited term, such as five years, which could be less than the length of your auto loan. In the third quarter of 2015, the average loan term for a new car was five years and seven months, and the term for used cars was five years and three months, according to Experian's State of the Automotive Finance Market report. These are the longest average terms calculated since the firm began collecting data in 2006.

You may even receive a longer loan if you want lower monthly payments than you were offered initially. If your term is longer than the 0% financing deal, you generally pay interest on the remaining months or years.

This offer can be limited

A 0% rate might only be offered for a handful of models, especially newer cars, and less for used cars or older models. But even if this deal is available for the car you want, qualifying for it typically requires a high credit score. Check on the eligibility rules for getting this rate before stepping onto the dealer's lot if you can.

As you sift through car prices and incentives, remember that trade-offs are part of the process when buying a car. Although a 0% interest rate may save you money in some cases, you might also be letting a better savings opportunity pass you by.

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