Posts Tagged 'lending'

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.

Three days late on your Visa? BoA jacks rate up to 30%

Talk about the punishment not fitting the crime.

The Consumerist tells the story of some poor chap who was one and three days late on his Bank of America Visa payment. He’s a good customer, has a mortgage with the giant bank, and has a great credit score. His punishment? An interest rate of almost 30%. This is a common practice with big banks, as we’ve outlined on our Top Secret Visa web site.

The guy’s brother tells it like it is:

Bottom line: Don’t take those warm and fuzzy bank commercials—where they show the loving banker taking care of their customers—seriously. The bank doesn’t care about the customer.



Economy: taking the long view

loans1982

Here’s a little something we came across while cleaning out some old newsletters. It’s an article in our January 1982 newsletter about the Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union lending when no one else would.

Sound familiar?

Jackson Co-Op is now American 1, but we find ourselves in a similar situation. When many banks are restricting their lending practices, American 1 is still providing loans to those who need them.

In 1982, prime lending rates were at 16%, compared to 3.25% today. The economy was in a recession then, too.

But even with the economic weirdness, we were lending to our members. Just like today.

Nice to know some things don’t change.


Introducing a better way: Simple Loan



American 1 is changing the way we do lending.

Imagine picking out a vehicle on a dealership lot anywhere in the country, giving us a call, and driving away in your vehicle – all without stepping foot into an American 1 branch. That’s the idea behind Simple Loan, an exciting new plan to simplify the loan process.

Simple Loan lets you sign one set of loan documents up front, establishing your preferences (we call it “the plan”), and – from then on – closing on a loan without having to work around our branch hours. All the hard work – the papers, the transfers, the payment – is done behind the scenes by us. In fact, once you’ve established your plan, your biggest responsibility will be picking out the vehicle you like.

Simple Loan works like this: you come into a branch and sign some papers. These papers tell us what your lending preferences are, updates your personal information, and lays the groundwork for any loans in the future. Then, when you want to finance a used vehicle or want an American 1 Visa card, you simply give us a call. We verify your plan, check to make sure the application information is correct, work to get it approved, and arrange payment with the dealership (for a vehicle) or send your new Visa card in the mail. Those documents you signed at the beginning make all this convenience possible.

Right now, American 1 is the only credit union in the area that does Simple Loan, or anything like it. But it’s not a new idea. In fact, we’ve taken the best practices of other credit unions – ideas that have worked before – and developed Simple Loan to fit your needs.

The up-front paperwork process, from start to finish, might take a half hour. But from then on, we take care of all the lending details. You tell us what kind of loan you need, and we do all the paperwork behind the scenes.

There are a few exceptions. If you’re buying a vehicle from a private individual, and not a dealer, there is some title work to be done. Refinances are also an example of when you may need to sign some papers. But even in situations where we need your signature, we can get it over the fax machine.

This is an easier way to get a loan. And it works for vehicle loans, signature loans, and Visa cards. Instead of doing a bunch of different paperwork for all those kinds of loans, though, you’ll sign one set of documents. That’s all there is to it.

For the upcoming Fall Used Vehicle Sale, we want as many members signed up for Simple Loan as possible. For one, it will make our car sales much more efficient. The up-front paperwork takes less time than sitting down and financing a vehicle used to take. Second, we’ll have a special station set up at the sale just for Simple Loan members – meaning you’ll be in and out and driving away in minutes.

To help kick off the plan, our branches are staying open later so you can establish your plan. Stop in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until 7 p.m. at any American 1 location to get started. That way, you can stop in after work if you’re pressed for time.

And please call us (888.213.2848) with any questions you have. We’re really excited about Simple Loan and how much easier it’s going to make closing a loan for our members.


American 1 Federal Credit Union