Archive for May, 2010

Auto Value helps filter out cancer

WIX Filters wants to help fight cancer – with filters, and with help from Auto Value auto parts stores.

Randy Kogan (above) from Jackson’s Auto Value store stopped in Friday to drop off all the coinage his filters collected. He used our Home Office coin machine to count up the loose change donated from March 1 to Thursday’s end date.

The fundraiser used pink-painted oil filters, with a slit in the top to collect change, to raise money. Kogan had filter banks in 18 Jackson-area businesses to collect funds, raising $356 for the American Cancer Society.

American 1 waived the change counter fee.

What ‘local’ really means to us

Does the bank support community events or do they just pocket the money they earn? Do they have really good customer service or is it usually easier to just go use an ATM?

Most of the benefit of buying local comes from the fact that many local shops are involved with supporting the communities they serve…If the local bank doesn’t provide any value for being local – meaning they just scoop away money out of the community – I don’t value them any higher than any other bank. It becomes just a pure rate comparison.

Here, in an excerpt from The Simple Dollar, is American 1 in a nutshell.

As a not-for-profit credit union, we’re obligated to return our “profits” back to our members and our community. So while other financial institutions may keep the fees they charge you, we turn around and invest them in community events all year long.

That’s what being a “local” financial institution really means: giving back to the communities we serve.

Closed for Memorial Day

In one week, American 1 branches will be closed for Memorial Day.

All branches will be closed Monday, May 31 and will re-open at our normal hours on Tuesday, June 31.

Have a great long weekend!

ATM robbery safety under study

Michelle Singletary at the Washington Post reports on methods to thwart ATM robberies. Some, including the reverse PIN (where you enter your PIN backwards to alert law enforcement) have been rumored for years.

The bottom line, she says, is that most robberies don’t happen while your card is in your hand:

Although news reports of ATM customers being robbed might seem frequent, there are few statistics that track ATM robberies in which a victim is compelled to withdraw funds. What evidence there is suggests that the majority of ATM robberies occur after the victim has withdrawn funds, which means an emergency activation system involving the keypad wouldn’t help.

Just remember to be alert of your surroundings, especially at night, and make it from your car to the ATM as quickly as possible. It also helps if you have someone with you.

For more ATM safety advice, quiz yourself at (our own ATM manufacturer) Diebold’s site, or visit’s 10 ATM safety tips.

May 2010 vehicle sale

May 2010 Sale - Rainy weekend

It was a weird weekend for our spring vehicle sale. Wind, rain, and cold – and then sunshine on Monday, when we extended the sale.

Check out pictures from the event at our Flickr photo gallery!

Two personal finance resources

One of the basic rules of personal finance is that you have to manage your money instead of letting it manage you.

We found two resources that can help you manage everything from retirement, insurance, budgeting, and loan decisions.

One is, offering budgeting sheets (it sounds like no fun, but having a budget is important), targeted information for different professions, and resources organized by life events – like marriage or starting a business.

CNN’s Money 101 has a ton of links to resources like talking to your kids about money and setting financial priorities – arranged as a step-by-step lesson plan.

In both cases, there’s a ton of handy info for whatever financial issues you face. Even if you want to brush up on best practices, or work on a monthly household budget, both MyMoney.gove and CNN’s site make it easy.

[Thanks to The Simple Dollar for the tip.]

American 1 Federal Credit Union