Archive for the 'banking' Category

Great Rates, Quality Products and Cash Back = The Best Way to Bank

Rates as low as 1.99%* combined with quality insurance products AND an instant cash back bonus? That’s the American 1 way.  Not only do you have access to American 1’s auto loan expertise, we are here to educate you about how auto loan financing works when you do on the spot financing at the dealership.

Cash back to our members – not the dealerships.

Many banks, finance companies, and even credit unions will pay a dealership for your loan.  Not American 1. We want to give that cash back to our members.  That’s why when you finance a loan with American 1 in the month of April- we will offer you an instant cash bonus*!

Get pre-approved and avoid the high rates!

Be prepared when you go shopping and have an American 1 pre-approval already in place.  This will help protect you against high interest rates that the financial institutions working with the dealerships offer. Why do they hike up the rates?  Simple – the bankers had to pay the dealership for your loan.

Pricey Insurance Products vs. Quality Product Protection

Did you know that GAP protection at a dealership can cost nearly double what it does at American 1? Not only is it more expensive at the dealerships, but American 1 offers an added benefit of a $1,000 credit toward your next vehicle purchase if your vehicle is deemed beyond repair.  American 1 also offers life insurance coverage up to the age of 75 and disability coverage up to the age of 68.  This is several years longer than our competition and American 1 exclusively offers this amazing product enhancement. American 1 is dedicated to protecting our membership at reasonable rates with quality products.

Refinance Opportunity

Already have your financing with another bank or credit union?  No worries!  You can refinance with American 1, lower your monthly payment, take advantage of quality insurance products and collect your cash reward.

Avoid the frustration and get the low rates, quality products and instant cash back that you deserve. When you do the math, American 1 is truly the best way to bank.

*See branch for details

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American 1 and Premier Financial to Merge

 

 

 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Kristi Latoszewski

For immediate release VP, Marketing and Communications

April 25, 2011 (517) 787-6510

klatoszewski@a1fcu.org

American 1 Federal Credit Union and Premier Financial Credit Union to Merge

Jackson, MI American 1 Federal Credit Union (American 1) and Premier Financial Credit Union (Premier Financial) have announced plans to merge in 2011; American 1 being the surviving organization. After months of research and negotiation, the Board of Directors for both organizations has approved the merger. The joining of the two credit unions will result in American 1 serving nearly 50,000 Members in the state of Michigan, with assets exceeding $240 million.

“Premier Financial Credit Union has served the financial needs of our membership for 73 years. In this environment, it’s been challenging to maintain the financial position and growth needed to provide the products, services and locations our members want and need. Our partnership with American 1 will allow us to fulfill our mission and provide the added benefits our members deserve,” stated James Safian, Premier Financial’s CEO.

The merger is slated to be legally complete late summer of 2011, when Premier Financial’s nearly 7,000 member’s accounts transition to American 1. Premier Financial currently offers two locations in the Metro Detroit area. Both of these branches will remain open and American 1 has plans to expand the hours of service for the membership.

“American 1 Federal Credit Union was identified as the ideal merger partner because they are committed to providing superior member service. They have a proven history of financial stability and growth and they are committed to giving back to the communities they serve.” Safian said.

“American 1 Federal Credit Union looks forward to serving the members of Premier Financial Credit Union. This merger is a partnership and a new beginning as both of our credit unions move toward uniting our members, services and operations,” said Dave Puckett, American 1’s President and CEO. American 1 Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution based in Jackson, Michigan. In 2010, American 1 Federal Credit Union had an outstanding return on assets of 1.72%. The notable results placed American 1 in the top 4% of more than 7,000 credit unions in the United States for net income. American 1 Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of consumer banking services with a specialty in auto loan expertise.

Since 1950, American 1 Federal Credit Union serves over 42,000 members in Jackson, Hillsdale, Washtenaw, and Calhoun counties. American 1 is federally insured by the NCUA. More information, including current financial statements, for American 1 can be found at http://www.american1fcu.org.

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Save (virtually) nothing with Bank of America’s auto loan

Susan Tompor had a great article in the Detroit Free Press about banks getting back into the auto lending business. She noted that Bank of America was offering a stellar-sounding rate on vehicles:

Bank of America has a low rate of 2.89% in Michigan on new car loans of up to 60 months. The loan has a $200 fee and the borrower must have excellent credit.

Now, that 2.89% “low” rate does sound great. But how does the math work?

Here’s an example. Let’s say we take a plain old car loan, with no money down and no trade-in, for $20,000. Pay Bank of America’s $200 fee and the rate, and you end up with a monthly payment of $383.38. In the end, you’ll pay $21,400 for that new car when the loan is paid off (we’re using our handy auto loan calculator for these numbers).

Now, take that same $20,000 auto loan to American 1, where you pay no fees but you pay a slightly higher interest rate of 3.49% at our low end. That leads to a montly payment of $385.57 – two whole dollars more expensive than BoA’s payment. In the end? You’ll pay $21,200 for that vehicle, which is exactly $200 – or the cost of that BoA fee – less in total.

Isn’t that something?

Tompor quotes a BoA representative who sounds giddy to get back into auto lending:

Doug Melton, direct-to-consumer underwriting manager for Bank of America, said the bank is optimistic about car lending in 2011 and is aiming to offer competitive rates for loans on new and used vehicles and lease buyouts.

“There are a lot of great customers out there looking for new cars, used cars and looking for financing,” he said.

“Competitive” being the operative word. The most you’ll save is $2 a month, no matter how competitive that rate looks compared with ours or anyone else’s.

Isn’t it better to do business with a local institution who charges no fees and is a phone call away when you need service?

Why credit life/disability is good for everyone

With the Great Recession, there has been a wave of financial industry regulations affecting everyone from small banks to giant investment firms – and credit unions like American 1. The Credit CARD Act, the opt-in regulations on overdraft protection, and now a scary-looking form that wants to scare you from opting out of credit life insurance on your loans.

Credit life works like this: if you die, your loan gets paid off. That’s it. Your family doesn’t have to come up with the payments. Nothing gets taken to court. It saves a giant hassle on your family’s end – and on our, the lender’s, end since we’re still getting paid. Win-win, right?

Credit disability works in a similar way, except if you get sick or injured, your loan payments are made while you’re off work. Accidents happen all the time, and so does sickness. None of it is expected. Disability coverage helps protect you from the unexpected.

We’ve gathered up our members’ best stories on insurance products and sharing them with the review board before this thing becomes law. We’re also urging them to reconsider this law because of its unintended consequences. You can read it for yourself.

The fact is, credit disability has helped a ton of American 1 members. They have peace of mind knowing that, if the worst happens, they don’t have to worry about their loan.

Here’s the thing: no member or member’s family who benefitted from credit life or disability protection ever regretted their decision. It’s not like a family member dies, the loan gets paid off, and the survivors think, “Gosh, why did Uncle Joe get that silly insurance?”

Or a member gets sick and says, “Man, why did I opt to have my loan paid for during this difficult time?” That doesn’t happen. Not ever.

No, these products equal peace of mind. It’s best to have fewer things to worry about when a loved one dies, gets injured, or becomes ill. And no one likes to think about it, but we’re all responsible adults here. Family members die. Family members get sick and have to take time off work. What counts is that we’re ready when the unfortunate time comes.

There’s no sense in scaring your away from valuable protection like credit life and disability. And for us, it helps all our members because we’re not trying to collect on past-due debts. Products like credit life and disability help to keep costs and rates down.

Kardashian Kard kancelled

kardashian kard

Aw, shucks – the horrifyingly-bad Kardashian pre-paid debit card has been cancelled because of sky-high fees:

Those fees included a $1.50 fee for ATM withdrawals, a dollar fee if the ATM withdrawal or point-of-sale transaction was declined, and a $9.95 fee to replace a lost or stolen card. And canceling the card would have cost you $6.

With the Kardashian Kard, which was actually a very pricey prepaid debit card rather than a credit card, consumers had the choice of either a six-month plan that would have cost $59.95 or a 12-month plan the would have cost $99.95. The cost of each plan included a purchase fee, minimum deposit and monthly fee for the plan period.

A pre-paid debit card comes loaded with funds to spend, and seems like a great idea for travelers or as an alternative to gift cards. But add in all those fees, and they become a budget buster.

This is a good lesson to keep in mind for credit and store charge cards as well. No matter whose name or logo is on the card, watch out for fees and rates. Is it worth your budget to have someone’s name on the card?

What American 1 card do you use?

Check all the American 1 cards you use regularly!