Archive for December, 2009

GAP Advantage helps with next vehicle

dannydykesgap

When it comes to vehicle accidents, Danny Dykes has seen the worst of the worst not once – but twice.

One Sunday morning in August 2008, Dykes was driving a half mile from his home when a driver ran a stop sign and plowed into his 2004 GMC Canyon. Dykes’ truck rolled twice, and he woke up 12 days later in the hospital, sewn up with 128 stitches and several broken bones.

“But there was only one thing I thought about when I woke up,” Dykes says, “and that was my truck.”

His canary yellow GMC Canyon, a special order from Huff Auto, was totaled. Luckily, he didn’t have to worry about financing his next truck. American 1’s Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) gave him $1,000 toward the purchase of his next vehicle. It’s called the GAP Advantage.

Dykes’ horrific accident wasn’t the first time he used American 1’s GAP Advantage. His wife used it to pay off a totaled 2000 Dodge Intrepid after an accident several years ago.

“I never thought I’d use GAP, either,” Dykes, a regular at American 1’s Vandercook Branch, says. “But we’ve used it twice.”

Dykes opted to put GAP on his 2006 Dodge Dakota, of course, because of the two vehicle accidents. Now he’s a firm believer in the protection GAP offers.

“I recommend it most highly,” he says. “It’ll only cost a few bucks, and you never know what’s going to happen out there.”

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American 1 college scholarship application available

American 1 is giving $1,000 scholarships to community-minded high school seniors once again this year.

The 2010 Community Involvement Award scholarship application is available for download (fill-in PDF). Applicants must be a current high school senior slated for graduation this spring, and attending college in the fall.

Applications are due by Friday, Feb. 26 and can be faxed, mailed, dropped off to any American 1 banch, or e-mailed to the e-mail address on the application. Winning selections will be made later this spring.

This year’s holiday hours

From all of us at American 1, we hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday weekend.

Our branches will close at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and will be closed Christmas Day. We will reopen at normal hours on Saturday, Dec. 26.

All American 1 branches will be closed Friday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day as well.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

North St. Branch open for business

North St. - hours

Our new North St. Branch officially opens for business this Monday morning at 9 a.m.

Stop in and enter to win a GPS unit. We’re giving away one every week for the first three week’s of our new branch’s opening. Plus we’re giving away popcorn. Stop in for a treat!

Check out pictures from the entire North St. Branch building project.

Credit unions explained on CBS Early Show

Watch CBS News Videos Online

CBS’s financial contributor Vera Gibbons recently spoke with CBS’s Early Show about the benefits of joining a credit union (click the above link to see the video). One of the benefits we know first-hand? Lending:

Lending portfolios at commercial banks are down, and credit union loan portfolios are up. This means that if you are a credit worthy customer, and your credit history is in good standing, you stand a BETTER chance of getting a personal loan at a credit union than you do at a commercial bank. Why is that? Credit unions are not as tangled up in the sub-prime mess as the banks were, so they’re in a better position to loan.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift to give this holiday season, why not think about an Eagle Earners account for a child? Starting your kid out at a credit union is a great way to get them started on financial literacy.

NYT: Banks put squeeze on credit card customers

Ahead of the new Credit CARD Act, the New York Times reports sobering news on bank credit card practices:

About 50 percent of the banks responding to the Fed’s survey said they were increasing interest rates and reducing credit lines on borrowers with good credit scores. About 40 percent said they were imposing higher fees. The banks also said they were demanding higher minimum credit scores and tightening other requirements.

…A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, released late last month, concluded that the 12 largest banks, issuing more than 80 percent of the credit cards, were continuing to use practices that the Fed concluded were “unfair or deceptive” and that in many instances had been outlawed by Congress.

Consider all this a last-ditch effort by big banks to get your money – before the CARD Act stops them from these deceptive and gouging practices.

Argyle Branch closing Dec. 19

Argyle Branch closing

Our Argyle Branch is closing at the end of the business day on Saturday, Dec. 19.

That Saturday, our Argyle lobby will be closed. The drive-through will be open during normal branch hours.

After December 19, head one block south to our new, bigger North St. Branch at 930 West North St. The new branch will have 4,500-sq. feet of supreme member services, including six drive-through lanes and two ATMs, plus a ton of more lobby and parking space.

Stay tuned for details on our North St. Branch grand opening event. In the meantime, check out the latest pictures from the North St. construction site.