Common Trust Federal Credit Union, Author at Common Trust FCU

Now Accepting Board of Directors Applications Through December 15, 2022!

Common Trust Federal Credit Union is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors. These individuals work together to establish loan and savings policies and direct the affairs of the Common Trust Federal Credit Union.

Are you interested in having a seat at the table? Board applications will be accepted in person, or via mail from November 1, 2022 – December 15, 2022!

Home Sweet Home Equity Loan

Here’s What You Can Do With a Home Equity Loan

There are a lot of perks of owning your own home, but from a financial perspective, the most significant is the ability to build equity—that is the difference between the market value of your home and what you owe on your mortgage.

As your equity grows, so does your potential to capitalize on it, using it as collateral to secure the funds for major financial investments. This is known as a home equity loan and how it works is pretty straightforward: You borrow money against the amount of equity you have in your home. 

Why would you do that? Well, you can use this loan for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the most common:

  • Funding a student loan for yourself or your child 
  • Paying off or consolidating credit card debt 
  • Funding a vacation 
  • Paying for weddings or important celebrations 
  • Starting a business 
  • Making home improvements and upgrades 
  • Paying medical bills 
  • Making key purchases, such as a car or a truck 
  • Funding investments 
  • Set aside for an emergency fund

Welcoming Advantages of Home Equity Loans

Using a home equity loan can have several potential advantages:

  • The interest rates for home equity loans are fixed, instead of variable, and your monthly payment is consistent, so you never have any surprises.
  • You can pay for big purchases little by little.
  • The interest rate you pay on a home equity loan is often lower than those for credit cards or other types of loans.
  • You can usually get access to funds quickly, sometimes within days of completing the loan documents.
  • You also might be able to deduct the interest you pay on a home equity loan. Talk to your tax advisor for specifics.

Apply for a Home Equity Loan With Us Today

At Common Trust, we are proud to provide the personal banking services our members deserve. If you’re interested in learning more about our home equity loans or you’d like to apply, reach out to us today!

Until Sept. 30, we’re offering a special deal with our home equity loans. Learn more here.

 

Back to School Budget Tips

Study Up to Save Money This School Year

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for students, but for parents and guardians, it can be an expensive one. While we want the best for our children, we don’t always have the financial resources available to keep up with the ever-lengthening school supplies lists, the latest clothing trends and other related back-to-school must-buys.

At Common Trust Federal Credit Union, we are committed to standing with you through this often financially challenging time of the year. In addition to offering an array of special, limited-time promotions, we are also sharing our best financial advice. Study up on these budgeting tips and tricks that will help you save money from the beginning of the school year through the end.

The Smarter Way to Shop for School Supplies

Prepping for the new school year is the most challenging, financially. Here are some tips that will help save you money with back-to-school shopping (Already done? Keep these tips on file for next year):

  • Take inventory of what you already have to determine what you really need to buy.
  • Check for online sales and coupons before hitting the store.
  • Don’t one-stop-shop. 
  • Shop the dollar store for basics like pens, pencils and notebooks.
  • Check Costco for large packets of loose-leaf paper, so it can be used for more than one student. 
  • Search sites like Chegg.com, Bookfinder.com or even Amazon.com for second-hand copies of textbooks.

Also, don’t be afraid to shop (way, way) ahead for the back-to-school season. Although there are school supplies sales that start right before the school season, they’re not always the best ones. Starting earlier (or later) can help you find deals throughout the season. If you want to stay ahead with your finances, consider including school supplies in your monthly budget for mid-year sales and extra expenses that come up throughout the year.

Save By Packing Lunches

School lunch programs are often expensive. Plus, it’s always questionable if your kids will like the lunch options being served. Make your kids lunch from home, it will be more economical and more than likely, healthier. Here are some ideas:

  • Peanut butter sandwiches and even deli meat sandwiches can be made ahead of time. Add mayonnaise, mustard or other condiments on the day of, so they don’t get soggy (or put cheese next to the bread to act as a barrier).
  • Put together sandwiches for the whole week—and even freeze PB&J for up to a month!
  • Buy and repackage snacks and sides into lunch portions—carrot sticks, chips, crackers and other foods are easy to grab and go.
  • Buy fruit cups, dried fruit or easy-to-peel clementines.
  • Cheese sticks hold up really well in lunches (even without refrigeration).

Financial Advice You Can Trust

At Common Trust, we are a community-based, member-owned financial institution providing friendly and personalized banking services you can trust. We are here to help guide you toward a more financially secure future. Reach out to our team today!

Congratulations to Our 2022 Scholarship Recipients!

Helping our members send their children to college is one of the most rewarding things we do at Common Trust. That’s why we’re proud to announce Brady Collette and Emma Patrissi as Common Trust’s 2022 college scholarship winners.

Brady, seen here with Vice President Tommy Luu, is a 2022 graduate of Northeast Tech who has been accepted into Eversource’s 2-year Electric Power Utility Program (EPUT) at Bunker Hill Community College. Brady’s goal is to become an electrician and has already been gaining valuable experience working at Wakefield Gas and Light. Brady was also captain of Northeast Tech’s Lacrosse Team.

Emma, seen here with President & CEO Jim McCorkle, is a 2022 graduate of Woburn High School who has been accepted to Castleton University, where she plans to study wildlife and forest conservation. Emma volunteered at Cradles to Crayons, Tanner Closet, Dwelling Place, and the Leo Club. She was captain of the Girls’ Soccer team and also a member of the Indoor and Outdoor Track teams and Girls’ Varsity Hockey team. 

Please join us in wishing Emma and Brady the very best of luck as they continue their education next year!

Helping Young People Manage Their Money.

Whether a few bucks from the grandparents on their birthday or their first paycheck from a summer job, teaching young people how to manage their money is one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn. They already know how to spend the money. The challenge is to show them how to earn it, save it, and maybe spend it more smartly.

To help, we’ve pulled together a few tips, some timely suggestions, and even thrown in a few good deals. Yes, because we’re a credit union – but we were young once, also. 

Earning It.

“Slow feet don’t eat.” Your kids might not miss any meals, but instilling an appreciation for the daily hustle can only serve them well in the long view. Chances are good they’ve already been introduced to the free-market economy by being paid cash for services rendered – shoveling snow, washing the dishes, vacuuming the floor, etc. Valuable stuff, but don’t neglect the flip side – don’t do the work, and they don’t get paid.

Eventually, many older kids become someone else’s employees, and nothing offers real-life money lessons better than a real-life job. First-time employees have to show up on time, work for someone who won’t care how cute they once were, and pay taxes. Oh, and one additional real-life lesson worth learning: Seeing Uncle Sam’s piece of their paycheck. 

Saving It.

If your kids earn more dollars than coins, it’s time for their first bank account. Make it theirsdon’t connect it to your account in case of overdrafts or a stolen identity. Do be the signer on the account to see spending behavior. It’s your opportunity to show young account holders how to balance their budget, track spending, and understand the long-term benefits of saving. A first car, college, that VR headset they didn’t get as a gift – if they want it, they need to start saving for it. From now until June 1st, Common Trust Federal Credit Union is offering a Youth Savings Account promotion. Open a savings account with us, and they’ll be automatically registered to win a new bike.

Now, Give Them Some Credit.

Some of those things worth saving for require not only cash but credit. Good credit takes discipline, which young people don’t always have. Hey, we don’t judge – plenty of adults learned the hard way about the importance of having and keeping good credit. An excellent plan for getting young adults started on the path to good credit is the credit-builder loan. That’s a special kind of loan specifically designed to boost credit scores. The young person  – aka “the borrower” – pays a lender in monthly installments and, in the end, receives that money in a savings account. The lender reports their on-time monthly payments to the credit bureaus, thus building (or rebuilding) their credit history. At Common Trust, it would be an honor to help a young person establish a good credit history with a credit-builder loan. 

CTFCU’S 55th Annual Meeting

Join us remotely for our 55th Annual Meeting of the Common Trust Federal Credit Union:

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 4:30 PM

To join the meeting dial: 1-209-844-4600

Meeting ID: 307237871#


AGENDA:

  • Welcome by Chairperson
  • Old Business
    • Reading and approval of 2021 Annual Meeting Minutes
  • New Business
    • Reading and approval of the Treasurer’s Report
    • Reading and approval of the Supervisory Committee’s
      Report
    • Report of the CEO
    • Election of Directors
    • Any other new business

Meeting Recap:

Common Trust Federal Credit Union held its Annual Meeting of the Membership on April 12, 2022, via an audio conference call. Chairman of the Board, Kathleen McSweeney, and President/CEO James M. McCorkle presented the 2021 Annual Reports to the virtual attendees, embracing Common Trust Federal Credit Union’s legacy and focusing on the strategic plans for the future of the credit union. Chairman McSweeney and Mr. McCorkle discussed the investment in innovative technologies while offering competitive loan and deposit rates and strengthening its ties to the communities served by Common Trust. Looking ahead, Chairman McSweeney and Mr. McCorkle referred to the changing and difficult environment we are in, and the commitment Common Trust has made and will continue to make to support the needs of our community.

“Our continued compassion and support for the needs of our employees and the community is what drives our institution,” stated President/CEO James McCorkle. “While few of us know what the rest of 2022 will bring, there is no doubt in my mind that Common Trust’s Credit Union’s dedication to our employees and members, and a commitment to the communities we serve will carry us into the future.”

Chairman McSweeney concluded the meeting by announcing that there are two open seats on the board and ask for any nominations from the floor. Having not received any nominations Kathleen explained that the board would work to fill the two open positions for a period until the next annual meeting.

How to Manage Credit Card Debt Wisely in 9 Steps

According to Experian’s 2019 Consumer Credit Review, 75% of American consumers with credit cards carry an average balance of over $6,000. And the impacts can be financially devastating. 

Credit cards can be enticing, offering not only the ability to buy now and pay later, but also a bevy of rewards like cash back and airline miles. However, there are downsides. Credit card offers often come with high interest rates, a variety of fees and the potential to damage your credit score, if mismanaged. 

Learning how to manage credit card debt today can help improve and keep your credit score high. In return, a high credit score will help your borrowing power should you someday need to get a mortgage, open up a HELOC or take out a personal loan

Here are 9 steps to help you manage credit cards to minimize interest payments, avoid fees and take full advantage of the benefits many credit cards offer:

1. Live Within Your Means

The number one key to learning how to manage credit card debt (and your entire financial life) is to live within your means. In short, this means identifying the difference between your net income from paychecks (plus other sources like Social Security or investment income) and your consistent monthly debt obligations. 

To calculate your monthly debt obligations, list your rent or mortgage payment then any car or loan payments, as well as the money you need for gas, groceries, streaming services and cell phone bills, plus other expenses you incur on a month-to-month basis. This figure should not be larger than your take-home pay each month. If it is, it’s time to reevaluate not only your spending but your employment situation to see about earning more income, possibly from a second job or side hustle.

2. Set Up Autopay

According to a CreditCards.com survey from May 2020, seven of the country’s top 16 credit card issuers now charge customers up to a $40 late fee, even if you miss your due date by a single day. The easiest way to avoid late fees is to enroll in autopay. You can typically set this up for the minimum payment due, the full statement balance or any amount in between to be paid automatically from your checking or savings account each month, on the due date or any date before. By taking advantage of autopay, you’ll never forget to make your payment or pay a late fee.

3. Pay More Than the Minimum

You should always pay at least the minimum payment due each month. However, paying only the minimum will leave you in debt longer and could mean paying thousands of dollars in interest. 

As an example, let’s say you’re carrying a $6,000 balance on a credit card that charges a 14.99% interest rate, and you make only the minimum payments. In doing so, you may eventually pay upward of $4,000 in interest before you even pay off your original $6,000 balance! 

4. Pay in Full

The opposite of paying the minimum is paying in full. When you pay your entire statement balance in full before the due date each month, you’ll pay no interest. If you’re using a rewards credit card and have learned how to manage credit cards effectively in this way, you’ll get all of the benefits (cashback, airlines miles, hotel points, etc.) while paying the credit card issuer nothing for these rewards. This is the pinnacle of wise credit card management.

5. Pay Your Bill Only After Your Statement Period Ends

Speaking of those rewards… It’s great to pay down your balance or pay your credit cards in full as soon as you have the money to do so. But there’s a caveat… If you pay current charges before the statement period ends, you could be missing out on the rewards for those charges. This is because rewards are often calculated based on the charges posted and due at the end of each statement period. If you pay off or pay down this balance before the monthly statement period closes, that’s less you’ll earn rewards on. The sweet spot to pay your credit card is after the statement period closes but before the due date.

6. Track Your Spending

You can either track your spending habits on your own or use a free credit card spending tracker app. Some of these apps even offer color-coded summaries to easily identify how and where you typically spend your money. 

For example, are you spending hundreds on groceries each month yet still ordering a lot of takeout? Tracking your credit card spending will illuminate trends and point you toward ways you might improve your financial life. No matter how you keep tabs on your spending, it’s a key step toward learning how to manage credit cards successfully.

7. Find a Credit Card with No Annual Fee

While many rewards credit cards carry an annual fee (although some may be waived for the first year), some credit cards offer no annual fees. Choosing a card without annual fees could save you upward of $99 each year while still allowing you to build your credit history and improve your credit score.

*Make sure you check out Common Trust Federal Credit Union’s MasterCard® with no annual fee!

8. Manage Your Credit Utilization Rate

This tip is all about managing your credit score. One of the factors that goes into calculating your credit score is your credit utilization rate. This is the amount of your credit card’s spending limit you regularly use. 

For example, if you have $6,000 in credit card debt but a credit limit of $20,000, your utilization rate is 30%. The lower your credit utilization percentage, the better, because it means your credit cards aren’t maxed out. A low percentage also shows potential lenders that you know how to manage credit card debt.

9. Consolidate Your Debt

If your past credit card usage has become a heavy burden, debt consolidation may help you get a handle on your credit card debt. Learning how to use home equity to consolidate debt or applying for a debt consolidation loan through Common Trust Federal Credit Union may help get your financial life in order and improve your emotional well-being. 


Source: Blog post written by Taylor Rohwedder on January 20,2021 – Prosper.com

Tips for Making & Sticking to Resolutions

When the new year ball drops, it is the perfect time to turn a new page. The new year can be exciting, yielding opportunities to restart with a clean slate for fresh goals. Personal and fiscal reflection helps you assess where you stand in your shoes to set your resolutions in motion. As you begin to draft your resolutions list, the Common Trust team is offering some tips to kick off a great 2022 and keep you on track to stick to your resolutions.

Limit Your Resolutions List

Typically, humans tend to be harder on ourselves than we need to be. You might have a long list of resolutions, but be kind to yourself and focus on only a few so you do not overwhelm yourself. Self-care is important in reflection, so be sure to cut yourself some slack. Consider starting with a small, actionable goal so you can get into the goal-achieving mode.

Choose a Specific Goal

Many people often set lofty resolutions at the turn of the new year, and this practice makes some bite off more than they can chew. However, it also presents great opportunities to grow and overcome any struggles with sticking to goals.  Setting your mind on one specific, realistic goal helps craft a concrete plan to achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, create an actionable plan and create daily calendar reminders to go for a walk or go to the gym.  Achieving a small goal boosts your self-esteem and helps you tackle things more easily.  If you have a big goal, consider breaking it into manageable pieces and take one thing at a time.

Change up your Resolutions

If you find yourself stuck on one resolution year after year, chances are you have it in your mind you cannot stick to that goal and may mean that you will likely abandon it. So if your resolution in years past was to lose weight, for example, change it to something like just eating more vegetables per week to retrain your mind to embrace a different version of your goal. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Whatever your goal might be, you need to plan to achieve it – just the thought of an idea won’t be enough. Creating a detailed plan and even using your phone for reminders, tracking progress, etc. will help you manage how you will achieve your goal. Working on a goal without a plan creates a higher risk of giving up if an obstacle arises.

The Buddy System

More often than not, a goal with a friend or family member means you’ll be even more motivated to achieve that goal. Connect with a friend or loved one to see if you both share the same goals and create a method to keep one another accountable. If you make it fun or like a game, you may even find yourself enjoying motivating the other, which means you’ll be more likely to adhere to the plan.

Set One Financial Resolution 

We recommend making one small economic goal that improves your financial well-being when creating your list. Even making one adjustment to your finances means you can put money towards something that makes you feel good– like travel or giving to a charity. Pennies turn into pounds quickly, you will find, and making a financial modification will help you allocate money towards something you love. 

When challenging yourself to change the tides, remember that taking on too much is usually the very reason New Year’s resolutions can fail. Be kind to yourself and create realistic steps to get into the right mindset to create the change you seek. 

As always, Common Trust is available to help you with any of your own personal financial goals. Happy New Year, and we look forward to helping you make 2022 your brightest year yet.

Holiday Shopping Tips

The most wonderful time of the year is around the corner, and we are ready to get you prepared. The holidays bring about festive feelings of generosity and community with family and friends, but sometimes, getting in the holiday mood can create stress with gift-giving and efficient shopping. The 2021 holiday season is anticipated to be the most unpredictable holiday shopping season in years. Given post-pandemic supply shortages and that people are still recalibrating their financial well being from the pandemic, consumers are generally exploring a different take on what consumption means. Common Trust Federal Credit Union shares in your holiday excitement with ideas, insights, and tips to reset your mindset and enter the season equipped to reduce holiday brain fog. We hope we can help you proactively celebrate the season and become a holiday shopping expert.

Deck the Digital Halls

Every year, eCommerce continues to grow as consumers find that online retailers have done a lot of the heavy lifting with gift ideas and catering to budgets. Even more so, eCommerce has surged as online sources have improved for a seamless digital experience with fewer clicks and better shopping platforms. With email marketing blasts and promotions, consumers can access abundantly varietal merchandise with tremendous ease and feel good about the specials offered. One study suggests that 64% of shoppers will be more emotionally invested in their purchases than before because of the stakes set by the pandemic. 

Budget & Review Your Recipient List

Common Trust recommends first setting your holiday budget from the outset, so there are no surprises as you forge ahead on your shopping journey. Even if you plan to use credit cards, which 40% of Americans do for their holiday gifting, tackling your recipient lists with a pre-determined budget means you won’t go overboard with spending. 

Considering who you want to give to this season will help set that budget per person to protect your wallet. Create your gift receiver list and check it twice. 

Charitable & DIY Gifting for Budgeting

There are thousands of unique ideas online for artisan foods, treats, or crafty gifts that feel personal while budget-friendly. Consider online food provisions or handmade goods that feel more meaningful. Additionally, charities have made it possible to donate online in someone’s honor to a cause they value. Not only is this more personal, but any donation amount is greatly appreciated so you do not have to spend too much to make an impact. Magazine or online news subscriptions for those with particular hobbies and interests are a cost-effective and personal idea, as well as gift cards to specific retailers you know your loved one enjoys. There are now even online retailers that send unique home plants to nurture to endure past the holidays.

Price Shopping & Avoiding the Rush 

‘Tis the season for deals. With the abundance of online retailers, price comparison shopping can be an entirely daunting task itself, but online shopping still makes it easier to chase the best deal. Once your gift is in mind, allow time to price shop across at least three other retailers to ensure you are grabbing the best deal to stay within your budget. Shopping online vs. in-person also means you can subscribe to receive news and offers in advance to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. It has been reported that up to 50% of shoppers have started their holiday shopping even before Black Friday.

Play the Online Shopping Cart Game

Shopping cart abandonment is typical of online shopping behavior and occurs when website visitors place multiple items in their cart but do not complete the purchasing process. eCommerce retailers track this behavior and “watch” what you are viewing and do not purchase to email you a coupon to receive an additional discount on goods you may have planned to buy. This is a great way to get an extra discount as they want to move goods on their site.

Protect Your Identity & Your Porch

You’ve read the countless holiday horror stories of identity theft and then physical theft once your packages arrive. Holiday shopping scams are unfortunately prevalent now, as fraudsters know the holiday rush. So as you scour the internet for your gifts, beware of odd-looking websites that lack the verification methods to secure your identity, and double-check their credentials via reviews. Thieves are scouting neighborhoods looking for packages on porches, too, so once you have made your purchase, ensure you receive the shipment tracking information to follow its way to your porch to be sure you collect your goods. 

A Fun & Safe Holiday!

There are good times to be had this season! Your holiday joy and safety are Common Trust’s highest wishes for all of our members. We are here to assist you with your holiday budgeting and any other needs during this time to take advantage of year-end promotions.  

Reach out to a Common Trust team member anytime and let us know how we can help at the start of this season’s celebration.

Don’t Miss This Auto Loan Promotion

For Common Trust’s communities, we mark many milestones together, striving towards further emergence from the pandemic to ease into a more comfortable life day by day. Common Trust Federal Credit Union understands what the last 18 months have meant to our members and their families, and we have been working diligently to extend supportive measures so that you can continue to regain and maintain your financial strength. As we begin to close out 2021, Common Trust aspires to help stabilize your financial wellbeing by offering our incomparably great Auto Loan Promotion through the end of this year. 

We look forward to the future with you and helping you explore all of its benefits. 

The Time for Auto Financing 

Insights into the auto category are crucial as you start your research engines.  As automobile demand is at a high right now, there are typically not as many deals to be had. However, because we are in the year’s final quarter, it is usually the time dealerships are offering promotions and discounts. Auto dealerships historically look to clear out the current inventory of new 2020 or 2021 models that have not yet sold, so you can anticipate that there may be good deals to explore.

If your current car is starting to show its age or your family has grown in size since the last time you purchased a vehicle, it could be a good idea to initiate car shopping before 2022 models start to roll out. We encourage spending the extra time to research and shop around and even think about expanding your geographic search — neighboring cities may have different models and deals going on. Explore all dealer incentives and arrive at the dealerships prepared with competitor information.

Our Offer to You 

With these quarter-end benefits in mind, Common Trust invites you to take advantage of our special Auto Loan Promotion so that you can finance the car you want as 2021 closes out. We are running our Auto Loan promotion from now through December 31, 2021, giving you ample time to research so that you can find the best deal for your family.

Our Auto Loan Promotion includes the following benefits:

  • Rate would be 1.79%*
  • Terms would be up to 72 months
  • Autos must be 2020 or newer
  • Must be a new loan, cannot refinance an existing CTFCU loan
  • *Actual rate based on creditworthiness (counter offers could be made)

Common Trust welcomes our members to work together to get the car they want.


Learn more about our Auto Loan Promotion and start your application here.

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