Posts Tagged 'economy'

Credit unions grow in 2010

Things are looking up for us in the credit union world, according to the Detroit News:

For a second straight year, Michigan credit unions added more than 50,000 members in 2010. That’s nearly three times the 17,000 members added in 2008, then the biggest gain in five years.

Whether it was disgust with high fees, jacked-up interest rates, slashed credit lines or the handing out of billion-dollar bonuses after taking government bailouts, more recession-weary people have decided big banks look too much like Mr. Potter, the greedy banker in Frank Capra’s classic film.

This squares with the reporting from our local MLive.com on businesses turning to credit unions, too.

Not to brag, but we’ve always thought credit unions were a pretty sweet deal.

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American 1 is strong and secure

Message from the President

As a member of American 1 Federal Credit Union, you expect that your money is kept safe and sound – no matter what. This is a tough economic climate, especially locally, and you have probably read in the news about troubled banks and government bailouts. At American 1, things are different. I want to assure you that American 1 is as strong and secure as ever.

Here are a few reasons you can continue to trust your funds with American 1:

  • Stability – The leadership at American 1 continually makes decisions that provide stability for our credit union members. To ensure a positive bottom line, American 1 steers clear of risky mortgage lending and retains a rainy-day fund for uncontrollable situations. Our financials remain positive, and our financial statements can be seen at any branch or on our website. Feel free to compare them with other banks’ and credit unions’ statements.
  • Lending – American 1 has steered clear of any “credit crunch.” Our members can walk in to any branch and finance an auto loan or open a Visa card. Our stability allows us to lend to members who need it the most – and we have money to lend.
  • NCUA Protection – Your deposits with American 1 are backed by the National Credit Union Administration, an independent agency of the federal government, up to $250,000. Not one member of any credit union has lost a penny of their deposits. Not ever.

American 1 is a local financial institution with a full line of products and services like auto loans, a locally-managed Visa card program, and a large network of no-surcharge ATMs. We are also an active member of our community, providing free, family-friendly events and support to local organizations.

We would appreciate the opportunity to see what else we can help you with. We have money to lend and currently have rates as low as 3.49%*. Be sure to contact us for guidance or questions.

Sincerely,

Dave Puckett
President/CEO

*See our website for details.

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.

North St. Branch groundbreaking August 26

North St. - heading west

We’re excited to announce our official North St. Branch groundbreaking ceremony will take place Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

American 1’s board of directors, senior management, and representatives from O’Harrow Construction, will oversee the kick-off for construction on our newest branch. We hope to have the whole thing done by December this year.

Come out and join us!

Haggling helps save money

Amy Reiter at Salon.com shares her experiences learning how to haggle – the resurfaced art of dickering for a better deal.

After a few financial setbacks, Reiter started to look for ways to save money around the house:

And so, a few months back, I got on the horn to the cable company and sheepishly asked if there was a way to lower my monthly payments without sacrificing the children’s TV programming on which my early-morning sleep depends: To my surprise, the customer-service representative instantly slashed my monthly bill in half by cutting some feature I didn’t even know I had. Emboldened, I dialed up the New York Times, my long-distance phone carrier and anyone else I could think of, whittling down my standing monthly charges until they were as slim as a post-NutriSystem Marie Osmond, or — more aptly — as slim as my wallet these days.

The key, say the experts Reiter talks to, is practice. Haggle often enough, and you get comfortable at it.

Stimulus bill Q and A

The New York Times has a fairly comprehensive question-and-answer post on the stimulus bill President Obama signed into law earlier this week.

While there are tons of possible questions and scenarios that could apply to you and your family, the Q and A gives broad answers to help make sense of the whole thing. It covers everything from Cobra to the new tax credit and changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

If you’re feeling really brave, you can read the stimulus bill in its entirety on House of Representatives’s site.


What does the stimulus bill mean to you?

A bit, according to The Consumerist. Mostly, it’s extra tax breaks: a tax break if you purchase a home sometime in 2009, an individual and couples tax credit, extended unemployment benefits, and a few more noteworthy items.

The original document is about 1,000 pages long, so we appreciate these news outlets skimming the giant package into a more digestible chunks.