3 Steps for your Financial Success!
Whether you have plans to buy a home, pay off debt or build your savings for long-term stability, a little planning can go a long way in ensuring you are successful.
Here are the top three steps you can follow in order to get your finances in order:
Step 1: Check Your Credit - frequently!
Go to annualcreditreport.com
to download your credit report from each credit bureau for free, once per year. (Tip: Stagger your free download allocation across the 3 credit bureaus, across the year in order to have a free report at 3 different times in a 12 month period.) If you haven’t checked your credit in the past twelve months, use this opportunity to review the reports. This will help you understand where your credit stands and if you have any negative items, such as missed payments, that could be decreasing your score. Reviewing your credit will help you plan ahead, particularly if you plan on applying for a new loan or credit card.
Step 2: Review Your Debts
Be proactive! Check the current balance and APR of your debts, loans and credit cards. If you have credit card debt totaling more than $5,000, consider a credit card balance transfer to a WCTFCU Visa Credit Card
(as low as 2.99%APR on transferred amount to new Visa credit card, no transfer fees!).
You can consolidate your debt with a lower-interest rate loan. If you owe more than $10,000 talk to a WCTFCU Loan Officer about taking a personal debt consolidation loan
or discuss with them, the options for using your existing equity, if you are a homeowner. Lower rates can lower your monthly payment and reduce the total cost of paying off your debt. Check out our Debt Consolidation Calculator,
and Credit Card Debt Reduction Calculator
, and Loan Comparison Calculator
Step 3: Set Up A Budget
Review your budget; how do you spend your money? Ideally, you should only spend about 75% of your take-home income. That gives you plenty of free cash flow to cover unexpected expenses.
Make sure you have a WCTFCU Savings Account with direct deposit of your paycheck, so you can begin separating your savings from your cashflow, before it all gets spent! If possible, start by saving about 5-10% of your income each month. Siphon it off to a Saving Account to stash it away. Set targets to reach and reward yourself! To hit your goal, work savings
into your budget as an expense
– like a bill that must be paid. This will help ensure that you save money consistently throughout the year.
Source: edited from original @ nafcuservices.com
Annual Members' Meeting 5.24.18
Members are welcome to attend the Annual Members' Meeting
, to be held Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 3:30pm, in the Middlebury Branch.
Agenda will include:
• Board Reports
• Committee Reports
• Members' Q&A with the Board
Protect your WCTFCU Debit &/or Credit Card!
WCTFCU Members can now get a new, extra level of security to safeguard their WCTFCU Debit & Visa Credit cards from fraud.
To control access, usage & spending on your WCTFCU debit &/or credit cards, simply use our 2 new mobile Apps on your smartphone & tablet; CardValet
for your debit card, and SecurLOCK Equip
for your credit card. And, it's free!
Now, you can decide when, where and how your card is used. These Apps help you safeguard your cards from fraud with customized alerts and the ability for you to set activity limits.
Already using the Debit Card Alerts feature within WCTFCU online banking? We suggest that you switch to CardValet for faster Debit Card Alerts.
Each App is unique to the specific card. Click below to learn more about each App:
• Debit Card App CardValet
• Visa Credit Card App SecurLOCK Equip
Equifax Breach - Update February 2018
Equifax has reported to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the United States Senate Banking Committee, that hackers in the 2017 breach accessed more of consumers' personal information than the company initially disclosed publicly last year. Stolen records include tax ID numbers*, email addresses and additional driver’s license information (driver’s license issue dates and states) beyond the license numbers it originally disclosed.
The additional stolen data could, for example, make it easier for cyber-criminals to access a victim's 401k, and IRS Taxes - in order to submit a fraudulent tax return. It is unclear how many of the 145.5 million people are affected by the additional data stolen. Equifax has sent mail notices to consumers whose credit-card numbers and certain other documents were affected. The fact that hackers accessed even more data shows both the vast amount of information that Equifax holds and the risks at stake for consumers given the level of personal information that has been compromised.
Source: Synopsis of WSJ 02.09.18 Equifax Hack Might Be Worse Than You Think, A Andriotis)
*Tax ID numbers are often assigned to people who do not have Social Security numbers.
Equifax Incident Involves 145.5MM+ Consumers
Equifax offers free identity theft protection & credit file monitoring to all US Consumers.
9.7.17 Equifax Inc
. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers. The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted, and to sign up for free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection (TrustedID Premier
) whether or not they have been compromised. The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. In addition to availing the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.
The complimentary 12 month monitoring offering, called TrustedID Premier
, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. Due to the severity of the risk associated with this Breach, there is now discussion that this service may in fact be extended as a free life-time service for all who enroll (update to follow). Consumers must enroll by January 31, 2018 to receive this free 12 month credit protection service. (this date was extended from the original November 2017 date)
How to enroll in TrustedID Premier:
1) Go to https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
read info provided, FAQs etc.
2) Select ENROLL
& read info provided, select BEGIN ENROLLMENT
enter your Last Name, and the last 6 digits of your SS#
3) Activate Service: Within a few weeks, you will receive an email with a link to activate TrustedID Premier
. (check your Spam & Junk email folders for this email) When the email arrives, follow the link to verify your email address and complete your enrollment. You will create a password and verify your identity by answering a few brief questions that only you should know. TrustedID Premier
will then be active. Keep your password in a safe and secure location.
You may/may not immediately see a notice that your data was/was not compromised. Regardless of whether or not your data was compromised, you are given the option to enroll in the 12 months of free TrustedID Premier
service. WCTFCU strongly encourages Members to sign up for this free service. If you do so, you will be shown a date on which you should return to the equifax website
to complete your enrollment.
Enrollment period has been extended to Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Call Equifax at 866-447-7559, as WCTFCU does not have further information.
Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
or contact the dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. EST.
What else can I do?
Freeze Your Credit Report or Fraud Alerts You can elect to freeze your credit report at all 3 major bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experan. Credit freezes typically cost $3 to $10 per bureau to place and remove. If you decide against a freeze, you should place a fraud alert on your credit reports at all 3 bureaus.
Get your free reports You can get your free credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus once per calendar year. Do so in order to check for irregularities.
SS# and/or Identity Stolen? File an identity theft police report, and send a copy of it to each of the 3 credit bureaus along with any correspondence you have with the bureaus, the government and businesses.
The Gift of Time!
You will save time when you use these free, time-saving and secure resources:
- Online Banking: Real time, live account info & transactions, accessible on-demand; anywhere, anytime, from your smartphone, computer & tablet
- Account Activity Alerts: for whatever you want to track, such as transactions over a certain amount
- Monthly Estatements: email alerts when your statement is available in online banking
- Automatic Bill-pay: simply select the payee, select the pay-on date(s) & designate amount you'll pay
- Direct Deposit: into checking &/or savings then set transfers into your holiday & vacation club, taxes and other accounts
- WCTFCU App featuring:
- Mobile Check Deposit
- Person to Person Pay
- VISA Website: ezcardinfo.com to set alerts, monitor account activity & pay your Visa credit card bill
How will you spend your newly found time!?
2017 Scholarships Awarded
2017 WCTFCU Scholarship Recipients (L to R) John Fontaine Board Member, Shannon Goggin, Damaris Cabrera’s Mother (rep), Heather Brown, John Cronan Chairman WCTFCU Board of Directors, Katelyn Brodeur, Gary Huckins Board Member.
Teacher’s Credit Union Grants $12,500 in Scholarships
The Waterbury CT Teachers Federal Credit Union granted $12,500 in scholarships to 4 area students The Credit Union received 55 scholarship applications this year. The Scholarship Committee, a subcommittee of the Board of Directors, carefully evaluated the anonymous Applicants’ Application Form, GPA, Transcript, Essay, and Extracurricular Activities to rate each students’ submission, and select the recipients.
There were some stand-out themes among this year’s scholarship recipients. All started saving for college at a young age, and each wrote of the importance of personal responsibility and hard work.
Furthermore, their personal commitment to hard work within academics, areas of interest, and volunteerism has resulted in a very high level of performance.
The WCTFCU Board of Directors is pleased to introduce, the 2017 WCTFCU Scholarships recipients, all of whom graduated with honors. Katelyn Brodeur, a Naugatuck High School graduate, received The Jean O’Brien Memorial Scholarship a 4-year scholarship granted to a student with a declared major in education and plans for a career in teaching. Katelyn will attend Southern CT State University. The 3 Waterbury CT Teachers Federal Credit Union $1,500 Scholarships were granted to the following 2017 graduates. Damaris Cabrera, a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School. Damaris will attend the University of Connecticut. Heather Brown, a graduate of Sacred Heart High School, will attend the University of Connecticut. Shannon Goggin, a graduate of Nonnewaug High School will attend Texas A&M University.
Visa Platinum = Double & Triple Rewards Points!
Do you have the WCTFCU Platinum Visa credit card? With the ScoreCard Bonus Points Program, you earn rewards points with every purchase!
Since April 1st, 2017, you have automatically earned double & triple Rewards Points for your purchases within featured categories that change with the seasons, throughout the year!
No opt-in necessary, simply shop with your WCTFCU Platinum VISA!
WCTFCU’s Double & Triple Points categories change quarterly. Plan your purchases for when you’ll get Bonus Points!
Details available here
Enhanced Share Certificates Portfolio (CDs)!
New term lengths & New earned interest rates!
New ways to save!
A Share Certificate is a Credit Union’s version of a ‘CD or Certificate of Deposit’. Our newly expanded offering includes competitive rates on existing Share Certificates, and new term-lengths of 24, 36 & 48 months.
A smart, secure way to save. Now with more choices of term lengths & improved earned interest rates!
For more details on share certificates click here!
Gifts that keep on giving, 24/7!
3 new digital resources for our Members! Convenient, easy to use tools. Improving you 24/7 Member Experience.
Simplified. Intuitive. Member-friendly. Comparative loan resources, rates, calculators, AutoSMART® car research & buying tool, videos & more!
New Online Banking
Secure. State of the Art. Easy to Use. Customizable accounts dashboard, person to person pay, budgeting & savings goals tools & more!
New App & Mobile Deposit
Whenever & Wherever! Mobile deposit, transfer funds, view transactions, person-to-person payment, check accounts & more!
Free VISA Credit Card Activity Alerts. Opt-in now!
VISA Alerts are easy to set up by cardholders who want to receive text &/or email, near real-time, notifications of the card activities that they select. You can:
- track specified card activity (ex. charges, payments, etc.)
- track your spending habits (ex. charges over a set $ amount)
- monitor your account for fraudulent activity (unfamiliar charges)
Alerts contain important information including purchase amount, retailer & location (if available), and the last 4 digits of your VISA card. Free for WCTFCU VISA cardholders, VISA Alerts can be a fraud alert tool, and a helpful budgeting resource. VISA Alerts are a valuable tool for managing your account.
2016 - 2018 Board of Directors
(L to R) Susan Troupe, Robert Brown, Tom Fava, Jack Cronan, John Fontaine, Lory Park-Knowles, Gary Huckins, Robert Migliorisi, Peter McCasland