Financial Education

All About ATMs

Aug 05
2019
Woman taking money out of an ATM.

Since that first ATM in 1967, the number has grown to around 3 million ATMs throughout the world. This means there is approximately 1 ATM per 3000 people.

Did you know that ATM stands for “Automated Teller Machine”? Back in 1967, the first ATM came on the scene in north London, before ATM cards were even invented. Instead, people used paper vouchers printed with radioactive ink that the machine could read, entered in an identification code, and took a max of £10 out at a time.

We’ve come a long way since then!

Since that first ATM in 1967, the number has grown to around 3 million ATMs throughout the world. This means there is approximately 1 ATM per 3000 people.

ATMs come with a lot of convenience. They can be used 24/7, are often more accessible than a physical institution, and can be quicker since they don’t require any personal interaction. This convenience, however, does come at a cost. To allow ATMs to continue to operate correctly, they require regular maintenance, compliance inspections, cash reloads, and are still subject to any typical transaction fees.

This means that every time you swipe your card at an ATM, the institution that owns and operates that ATM is incurring costs for that use, and this cost may be compensated for by charging a small convenience fee. For example, if you use your Idaho Central card at an out-of-network ATM, you would receive $1.50 processing fee from us, as well as a potential fee from that institution.

In 1981, however, 20 credit unions in California got together and united their 32 ATMs, creating what we now know as the CO-OP ATM Network. Now the largest credit union-owned interbank network in the US, there are 30,000 ATMs available on this network.

So what does this mean for you, an Idaho Central Credit Union member?

Many institutions will only waive these convenience fees for their members at their own ATMs, which helps them drive their members to use their own ATMs, rather than going to another institution. Idaho Central Credit Union is part of that CO-OP ATM Network, however. This means that though ATM usage comes at a cost, you are still not limited to only using ICCU ATMs, since that cost is waived to you at any of these 30,000 ATMs on the CO-OP ATM Network.

Though Idaho-based, we love to continue to serve our members anywhere they are. This means providing as many options as possible when you are not able to come into a branch. Making deposits, withdrawals, and having access to your accounts wherever you are is important to you, and is important to us!

You can find a CO-OP ATM near you at this link: http://co-opcreditunions.org/locator/.

Financial Education

How do businesses get involved with their communities?

Jul 15
2019
ICCU Business Team Volunteering at a Food Bank

Getting involved with your local communities is a way to support one another. It’s “a rising tide lifts all boats” concept. When businesses get involved in their communities, businesses and individuals all help each other rise.

Many businesses are eager to be involved with their communities. Not only can they share more about the services and products they offer, but they also get to serve their communities as businesses.

Getting involved with your local communities is a way to support one another. It’s “a rising tide lifts all boats” concept. When businesses get involved in their communities, businesses and individuals all help each other rise.

There are many ways businesses can get involved with their communities:

Start in your own community
Many of us are involved within our own neighborhood, church community, and even some personal volunteer opportunities. Businesses can start their involvement by serving their own community. For example, Portneuf Valley Paintfest is an event where businesses and individuals spend volunteer hours painting the homes of seniors who need to have the exterior of their homes painted. Businesses can get involved in their communities by serving one another.

Just throw a party
Sometimes all you need to do is throw a party and invite the people in your community to come party with you. Who doesn’t like a fun time? Throwing a party is also a time where it’s not all business, so people can see business owners as normal human beings and build true relationships as individuals before talking business. For example, Idaho Central Credit Union’s branches offer block parties, where people can come have fun, get some yummy free food, and just enjoy our excellent services. We love to have fun! When parties are thrown, ICCU wants to be there and show our support!

Give back
Giving back is a way to show gratitude towards those that invest in you and the businesses in your communities. This year, businesses and individuals came together to support Idaho-based nonprofit organizations and raised over $1.9 million dollars with Idaho Gives. Businesses can also offer sponsorships for local events and schools. We believe in giving back and investing in our communities and future generations.

These are only a few of many ways businesses can get involved in their communities. Transfer your banking to Idaho Central today, and be a part of our Idaho community.

Financial Education

Make Your Overdraft Work for You!

Jun 24
2019
Person Using Calculator

While no one wants to find themselves caught in a situation when they need to overdraw their account, we can’t always predict or prevent it from occurring. Put yourself in a better financial situation by preparing ahead and knowing what to do in the worst case scenario.

While no one wants to find themselves caught in a situation when they need to overdraw their account, we can’t always predict or prevent it from occurring. Put yourself in a better financial situation by preparing ahead and knowing what to do in the worst case scenario.

  1. Know what bills need to be paid, and how.

What bills are coming up before you are able to make a deposit? Are they going to be coming out automatically, and what date? Can any of these be delayed? Prepare a list of all of your set monthly transactions, and what date they come out. Delay any that can be delayed (without reporting late!), and give yourself an idea of what your account balance is going to look like during this time.

  1. Set up transaction and balance alerts.

When your account balance is already low, no one wants to be surprised! Set up transaction and balance alerts on your eBranch and know exactly when a transaction is processed, and stay on top of your balance at all times.

  1. Withdraw cash

At Idaho Central, overdraft fees are charged per transaction that overdraws your account. Is your account balance at $10 but you still need groceries, gas, and to pay your phone bill in the next few days? Avoid getting 3 separate fees, and come into a branch or use an ATM to do one large withdrawal, and use cash. You’ll still receive a fee, but will save money by avoiding multiple fees!

  1. Know your options

Knowing all of your options for Overdraft Protection, notifications, and card settings can help you avoid unexpected fees. Don’t be in the dark about what your overdraft protection includes; we would be happy to go over your particular coverage and other options with you at any time in detail. Review all of your notification options, both on eBranch and Card Control, and never be blindsided by what is processing through your account. Become familiar with Card Control! Need to make sure you don’t run your card any more before you get paid? Simply turn it off, and then turn it back on at a later date.

  1. Keep in touch

At Idaho Central, we are striving for your financial success. Financial hardship is something many of us go through, and we want to be on your side through it. Our Member Assistance department is available to speak with you about any hardships you are going through, and how Idaho Central can best help you through it. Keep in contact, come up with a payment schedule to get back on track if necessary, and we are on your side!

Financial Education

What Is an SBA Loan? How Can I Get One for My Business?

Jun 17
2019
Two woman holding an open sign in front of a store.

Are you looking for a loan for your small business? The Small Business Administration has programs for qualifying small-business owners that might make securing a loan a lot easier.

Are you looking for a loan for your small business? The Small Business Administration has programs for qualifying small-business owners that might make securing a loan a lot easier. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans are business loans guaranteed, to the lender, by the Small Business Administration. With multiple SBA funding programs, this government agency provides SBA Loan guarantees of up to 85% of the loan amount provided through an SBA-approved lender. Idaho Central Credit Union is proud to offer SBA Loans and is an SBA Preferred Lender.

The SBA 7(a) Loan is particularly fitting. While the SBA 504 Loan focuses on real estate and construction needs, the SBA 7(a) Loan serves many different needs for most for-profit businesses. So why is the SBA 7(a) Loan one of the best out there?

Loan limit
The SBA 7(a) Loan has a maximum loan limit of $5,000,000. Unlike some other loans, the generous loan amount makes it great for many business needs. Here’s a list of some of things an SBA 7(a) Loan can do:

  • Buy equipment
  • Purchase new land (including construction costs)
  • Repair existing capital
  • Purchase or expand an existing business
  • Refinance existing debt
  • Purchase machinery, furniture, fixtures, supplies or materials

Based on use of proceeds, not collateral
The SBA 7(a) Loan is perfect for newer businesses as well as businesses that might have little history. The SBA 7(a) Loan’s term is based on use of proceeds and not collateral. Meaning, you don’t need a long history or a lot of collateral to get the loan.

Comparable rates
With all the perks, the SBA 7(a) Loan still has comparable rates compared to conventional loans. The maximum interest rates are established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The rate can also be fixed or variable. The SBA 7(a) Loan offers flexible, longer terms and potentially lower down payments compared to other financing options. There are also specialized programs for individuals interested in exporting, those located in underserved communities, members of the military community, and small business owners looking to meet their short-term and cyclical working capital needs. Because of the comparable rates, SBA Loans have become a favorite for many businesses across different industries.

No prepayment penalty
One of the best perks of SBA Loans is there is no prepayment penalty. Businesses like to borrow when they need it, and sometimes they are able to have the expected return sooner. For example, a business gets an SBA 7(a) Loan for the demanding need to buy more inventory. They sell all of their products within a year instead of 10 years, so they are able to pay off their SBA Loan without penalty.

At Idaho Central Credit Union, we have a wide variety of services to offer our business members. From business checking accounts, savings accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), to loans and lines of credit, we understand what it takes to run a business. The SBA 7(a) Loan is a great resource for businesses’ lending needs. Whether you are ready to grow your inventory, buy another business, or buy brand new equipment, the SBA 7(a) Loan can help you reach your goal. Contact an SBA Loan expert today to take your business to the next level.

Financial Education

How to Identify, Prevent and Report Elder Abuse

Jun 10
2019
elderly man sitting in chair with cane

Let’s talk about Elder Abuse, particularly Elder Financial Abuse. Though not a commonly talked about subject, it is sadly commonly occurring. The NCOA (Nation Council on Aging) estimates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse, and one study estimates that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to the authorities.

Imagine this:

One day, you go to your neighbor’s home to drop off some homemade bread. She’s an older woman, and when you arrive, you notice her usually pristine home is a little unkempt, and she seems more withdrawn than normal. Her usual happy demeanor is gone, and your attempts to talk to her seem to go unmet. You notice on the table a stack of letters, one near the top that is clearly a collections notice. You’ve lived by her for a while, though, and this doesn’t seem to match up. Her daughter, and caretaker, comes home shortly after, and the feeling in the room is tense. Your neighbor withdraws a little more, and you decide that maybe it’s time to go home. They clearly have some things to work out, and it’s better if you leave them alone to do it. It’s not your place. Right?

But maybe it is your place.

Let’s talk about Elder Abuse, particularly Elder Financial Abuse.

Though not a commonly talked about subject, it is sadly commonly occurring. The NCOA (Nation Council on Aging) estimates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of Elder Abuse, and one study estimates that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to the authorities.

So what exactly is it?

Elder Abuse can take many forms, but the top 6 forms of Elder Abuse are physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.

Let’s focus in on the financial side of it.

Financial abuse is best seen in sudden changes in the person’s financial situation. Refer back to our previous example, how does someone you have lived near for years, someone you have always known to be very financially responsible, suddenly have a collections notice laying out? Many things may have caused this change in their financial situation, but paired with the strange interaction, state of her home, and tension with her caretaker, this should raise some concerns.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always so visible, and can range from the simple mismanagement of the older person’s funds, to being denied access to the funds completely. This can also take the form of theft, fraud, forgery, identity theft, and street and internet scams. The list of potential abusers is also long, including family, caretakers, neighbors, professionals, and con artists.

So how can I help prevent this?

First, be aware of the threat, and know the signs. Be on the lookout for any signs of physical abuse (bruises, marks, refusal to seek medical help for injuries, weight loss, lack of basic  hygiene), emotional abuse (changes in behavior, unresponsive, suspicious or fearful, loss of interest, isolation), and financial abuse (unusual financial activity, strange signature on checks, life circumstances don’t match with his or her financial assets).

To stay on the lookout for these, keep in contact with the elders in your life. Building and maintaining a relationship with them will allow you to notice if things change, and will help them to trust and feel comfortable enough to ask for help when needed. Remember to also inform them of any scams you may be aware of. Keeping them informed on best practices to keep their identity and money safe can help prevent this abuse from occurring.

How do I protect myself?

There are many simple but effective way to take your care into your own hands whenever possible. Stay educated on any scams, and what to look out for. Remember to check your accounts regularly, even if your son, daughter, or caretaker is handling your finances for you.

Open your own mail, so you are always first to receive any communication about your accounts or bills that you may need to know. Don’t hesitate to contact your financial institution; they can help you identify any scams or fraud, and help you with the next steps needed to protect yourself.  Just adding these simple tasks to your life may help you prevent unforeseen loss.

What do I do if I think this may be occurring?

Don’t ignore it; there are resources for you. Contact your state’s Adult Protect Services agency, or the Eldercare Locator hotline at 1-800-677-1116. They can help walk you through the entire process, and coordinate efforts with social services, law enforcement, and other agencies to investigate the allegation. Reporting abuse can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but if you suspect abuse, contact them as soon as possible.

Where can I find information?

Great question! Below are a list of some great resources to learn more about Elder Abuse, and how you can help prevent it.

https://www.moneycrashers.com/identify-elder-financial-abuse/

https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/

https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/protection-from-scams/