The NWF Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions Charity Golf Tournament Donates Over $49,000 through Credit Unions for Kids

Pensacola FL, January 16, 2018:  The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions held its 13th Annual Panhandle Golf Invitational on Friday, October 27, 2017 at Marcus Point Golf Course in Pensacola. All proceeds generated from the four person golf scramble went to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital – a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions donated over $49,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, and a check was presented to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The Northwest Florida Chapter is made up of the following credit unions: Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU.

“The Northwest Florida Chapter Golf Tournament is a fun and important annual event that affects the lives of those in the local area. It is a way for credit unions to fellowship together and raise some money to improve the community that we live in,” Caryl A. Greene, President of the Chapter noted. “We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, volunteers, family and friends who have made this event possible.”

About Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions

The Northwest Florida Chapter is the local chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Union,    a trade association in Florida representing the following local credit unions – Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU. For more information, contact Michele Williams at 850-434-2211 ext. 102.

About Credit Unions for Kids

Credit Unions for Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Equifax Data Breach Incident

Credit reporting agency Equifax has announced a cybersecurity incident that involves a data breach of confidential information such as birthdates and social security numbers that could impact 143 million U.S. consumers. Please be cautious of which sites you visit to determine if your personal information is impacted as scammers may see this as an opportunity to obtain your confidential information.

Equifax has established a website,, including a simple way to check if your information is part of the breach by entering your name and last six digits of your social security number.

As always, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your accounts and report any unusual account activity to our Member Information Center.  And remember Members First will never contact you by phone or email requesting your personal information.

We will post any additional updates as we receive them.

Message from Rick Smith, Chairman and CEO of Equifax

Written By: Bluespire

You’re probably aware of how important your credit score is when you’re applying for a loan or line of credit. But what do you know beyond that? Learn what your credit score means, how you can improve it, and why your credit score may differ depending on where you get it.






What your credit score means

Your credit score represents your credit risk, or how likely you are to pay your debts on time. All of the biggest consumer credit scoring companies use a credit score scale of 300 to 850. In general, the higher your score, the less of a risk you are to lenders. This means there’s incentive for you to raise your credit score as much as possible. However, every lender weighs credit scores differently, meaning there are no hard-set rules for what makes a “good” or “bad” score.

How to improve your credit score

In order to improve your credit score, you should first know how it’s calculated. Your credit score is derived from looking at five factors: your payment history, the amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, your mix of credit in use and the number of new accounts you’ve opened. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help improve your score:

Request a copy of your credit report. Check for any errors and get them corrected.

• Pay your bills on time. Consistently making timely payments can help improve your score over time.

• Only apply for new credit when you need it. Unless you have no credit history at all, be careful about opening new accounts. Each new account makes it harder for you to keep track of debts and harms the length of your credit history.

• Don’t spend too much on credit. Having too much outstanding debt can negatively impact your score.

Why you’re getting different credit scores

You may notice your credit score is different from one credit bureau to another. This is because each bureau uses a different credit scoring model and iteration of that model when calculating your score. To get a better idea of how lenders may perceive your score, you can request your credit report and score from all three of the major credit bureaus and compare them.

Are you still establishing a credit history? Start building it now with a low-interest credit card  or a Credit Builder loan from Members First.

Busting the myths of online and mobile banking

Written By: Bluespire

Over half of all U.S. adults use online banking services.* Are your concerns about banking online stopping you from joining in? You may be surprised to learn it’s more secure than ever and virtually anything that can be done in-person can now be done, well, virtually. Take a moment to assuage your fears and dispel some myths of digital banking:

Myth: My banking information is at risk when it’s sent over the internet.

Reality: Federal laws and regulations require financial institutions to keep customer information secure and confidential. On your end, as long as you’re on a secure internet connection (such as a home or work network), have anti-virus software and are on your financial institution’s website or app, then your information shouldn’t be at risk. To be sure you’re on an official and secure website, manually type in the web address instead of clicking a link. You should also look for an “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”) or a small lock icon next to the web address. To ensure your app is safe, always keep it updated to the latest version.

Myth: I’ll be charged extra fees for banking online.

Reality: It doesn’t cost banks and credit unions as much to maintain online services as it does to operate and staff physical branches. We don’t charge any extra fees for basic online services.

Myth: I still need to go to a branch or ATM to deposit checks.

Reality: Members First Credit Union of Florida offers mobile check deposit for smartphones and tablets. Using our mobile app, you can snap a photo of a check’s front and back and have it deposited into your account without ever leaving home.

Myth: I can’t communicate with an actual person when I bank online.

Reality: True, you don’t get face-to-face interaction unless you visit a branch. However, phone support is available so you can get assistance outside of normal business hours — something a physical location can’t offer. Plus, Members First Credit Union of Florida, now offers online chat when you need help that only a person can provide. Ready to try online banking? Visit for more information on Members First Credit Union of Florida’s online services and get started today.

Bluespire Complimentary Financial Article
* Source: Pew Research Center.

Financial Tips for the New Year

Start your New Year off right with these helpful financial tips from our card services manager.

  • Download the Card Valet app for your debit cards.  With the Card Valet app, you can monitor your spending, turn your card on and off, and much more.  For more information on Card Valet, visit the Card Valet website at
  • Check your debit card transactions on the Members First mobile application or on online banking daily.
  • To monitor your credit card transactions, sign up for eZCard Info at
  • Make sure to review your monthly statements once they are received.
  • Notify the credit union as soon as you suspect fraud.  Call (850) 434-2211 or toll-free at (877) 434-6328.
    • For lost/stolen credit card(s), call (800) 325-3678.   For disputes, call (800) 767-9848.
    • For lost/stolen debit card(s), call (800) 472-3272.
  • Notify the credit union when you are traveling.
  • Keep all contact information (cell, work, and phone numbers, and email address) current with the credit union.
  • Use gas pumps closest to the front door of a service station.
  • Always check for skimmers when using gas pumps or ATMs.
  • Do not store your PIN (Personal ID Number) with your debit or credit card or in the same wallet or purse as your debit or credit card.
  • Be wary of fraudsters requesting card account information over the phone, through text, or email.
  • If you are using a mobile wallet application such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay, and your device is lost/stolen, call your provider to block device usage.


Drop Overview – What You Need to Know

Chad Stacy | Financial Adivsor
Rodney Rich & Company

In Florida, if you are employed in Education, or work for a State or County Department, you are probably familiar with the DROP program. But in case you are not, what exactly is DROP? DROP stands for Deferred Retirement Option Program.This program was designed to build credits based on the length of an employee’s career, and those credits are then turned into a pre-tax benefit at the time of retirement. There is one credit earned for each month worked.

Participation in the DROP program can last up to 60 months, and the balance of an employee’s account is fixed. There is no vesting schedule.

So, What Can I Do With My Drop Balance?
There are normally four options available at the end of DROP:

1. FRS Investment Plan – You can roll your balance into a tax-deferred account.
Pros – Low cost investment options.
Cons – No personal advisor (800 hotline); fewer distribution options.

2. Lump Sum Payment – You can take a full distribution of your balance.
Pros – Physical receipt of your money.
Cons – Mandatory 20% Federal Withholding; possible 10% IRS penalty if under 59 1/2 yrs old (certain exemptions apply); possible higher taxes on ordinary income.

3. Direct Rollover – You roll over your balance to a tax-deferred account with any Investment Company or institution of your choice.
Pros – You maintain control of your assets and your taxes; working with a local advisor to create a predictable sustainable income.

4. Combination Partial Lump Sum & Direct Rollover – You can take part of your balance for immediate cash and roll the remaining portion into a tax-deferred account.
Pros – Immediate cash to pay down debt or for personal discretion; control of remaining balance with the help of a local advisor to create a plan for predictable, sustainable income; working with the Investment Company or institution of your choice.
Cons – Partial Lump Sum has mandatory 20% Federal Tax Withholding.

When considering rolling over assets from an employer plan, factors that should be considered and compared between the various options include fees & expenses, services offered, investment options, when penalty fee withdrawals are available, when required minimum distribution may be required, and protection of assets from creditors & legal judgments. You should consult the plan administrator and a professional tax advisor before making any decisions regarding your retirement assets. Need help deciding the right option for you? Let Rodney Rich & Company help! Contact Chad Stacy at 850-434-5321 to schedule an appointment.

Retirement Income Strategies | Trusts & Estate Planning | Investment Ideas | Insurance Needs
Email: to set up your individual appointments with Chad today!

* Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co. Inc, a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through, Cadaret, Grant & Co. are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through Cadaret, Grant & Co. The Credit Union has contracted with Rodney Rich & Co. to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

5-Star Members First Credit Union of Florida, A Relationship You Can Depend On

Members First Credit Union of Florida has once again received a 5-Star Superior rating. Below is the media release from BauerFinancial.

April 2015: BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, FL is pleased to announce that Members First Credit Union of Florida, Pensacola, Florida has once again earned its coveted 5-Star Superior rating. BauerFinancial, the nation’s premier bank and credit union rating firm, has been evaluating and rating financial institutions since 1983. A 5-Star Superior rating indicates that Members First Credit Union of Florida is one of the strongest credit unions in the nation, excelling in areas of capital, loan quality, profitability and more.

Members First Credit Union of Florida has earned Bauer’s 5-Star Superior rating, an indication of strength and security, for the most recent 81 consecutive quarters. That has earned Members First Credit Union of Florida the added title of “Sustained Superiority Credit Union”. Fewer than 10% of the nation’s credit unions can claim this title.

Karen L. Dorway, president of BauerFinancial notes that, “for the first time, we see even the Big Banks acknowledging the value in relationship banking. That’s something credit unions, like Members First Credit Union of Florida, have always known. In fact”, she continues, “because of their inherent focus on relationships, credit unions are uniquely positioned to serve their membership in ways no one else can. Those relationships pay off for both Members First Credit Union of Florida and the members it serves.”

Established in 1954, today Members First Credit Union of Florida operates through five conveniently located branch offices, one in Pace and the rest throughout Pensacola. Visit for more information.

Members First Credit Union of Florida: “Grow With Us.”

Member of the NCUA and an Equal Housing Lender.

BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Consumers may obtain free star-ratings by visiting

Financial Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of the year when the weather begins to get a little warmer. There is still a bit of crispness in the air, but it’s not alarming. And, you don’t feel like you’re drowning in your own sweat from the heat and the humidity that will soon follow in the months to come. It’s the perfect time for some spring cleaning. While we can’t help you clean your closets at home, we can help clean your financial closets. Below are five tips to help you with your Financial Spring Cleaning:

1) Begin with your budget. Your budget is a fundamental factor when it comes to your finances. What you do with your budget determines whether you meet, exceed, or drop below your financial expectations for any given period of time… a day, a week, a month, a year, and beyond. Budgets should be solid, in that you know exactly where your money is going and why. Budgets should also be fluid, because they need to be able to adapt to any changes in your life, like a loss of income or an increase in rent or bills. If you haven’t taken a look at your budget lately, now is the perfect time to do so. Take a look at what money you have coming into your account and what goes out of it. Are the numbers balanced? Or do you find yourself dipping a little too deep in your savings or even in debt? What are your problem-spending areas? Are there areas in your budget where you are allocating more than you need? If so, adjust your budget accordingly.

2) Cut the Clutter. There are several ways to streamline your financial clutter. One way to do this is to close unused accounts. Some accounts are equivalent to the bridesmaid dress you buy for your friend’s wedding. It’s good for the time, but you probably aren’t going to use it again. While unused accounts don’t really hurt anyone, unless there is a dormancy charge, there really is no reason not to consolidate. The fact is, it is easier to manage one or two accounts that you use on a regular basis. Another way to cut the clutter is to shred and toss old checks and statements that you know you’re not going to need anymore. (Ex: The federal government recommends that you keep your account statements for a year and your tax documents, including supporting records for those documents, for seven years before you discard them.)

3) Say Yes to Paperless. While you’re cutting the clutter by shredding and tossing unnecessary documents, why not put a stop to the paper madness that is your desk, your dining table, your kitchen counter, or your floor? If you haven’t done it already, leave the paper behind, save some trees, and switch to electronic statements and bill pay. If you are worried about needing a paper trail at later date, you can always go online and print most of the documents that you need. At Members First Credit Union of Florida, online account statements, going back 18 months, are available for viewing and printing. If you are in need of documentation dated further back, there is always the option of speaking with a credit union representative at one of our branch locations. Please note, that in some cases, research and copy fees may apply.

4) Cut Costs. Be proactive about finding ways to save yourself money. Cut costs by shopping for better rates on insurance, cable, phone, and internet plans, etc. Consolidate your debt by transferring your balance to a card that gives you a lower rate. Now, until June 30, 2015, Members First Credit Union of Florida is offering rates as low as 5.95% APR* for balance transfers to your Members First Credit Card. This special limited time offer is good for the life of the balance. Also, no balance transfer fees or cash advance fees are required. Another good way to cut costs is by refinancing your current home or auto loan. To see a list of our current rates, visit our website at:

* APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are subject to credit approval. Equal Housing Lender. Member NCUA.

5) Change Old Passwords. New years and spring weather often inspire a change in attitude and mindset. It’s the perfect time to embrace the concept of, “out with the old, in with the new”. It’s also a good time to remind yourself that if you’ve been slacking on changing your password for email, store accounts, and internet banking, now is the perfect time to do it. Changing your password on a regular basis, helps to protect your identity and your accounts from malicious activities. Remember, that when you are choosing your password, it is a good idea to create a password that contains a mixture of letters and numbers. Also, have a password that contains both upper and lower case characters, and if possible, include special characters like a # sign.

The Top 10 Ingredients to a Healthier Financial Future


Consolidate Debt:  If you are carrying high-interest debt from credit cards and store credit accounts, think about consolidating them with a balance transfer on your Members First Credit Union of Florida credit card. In March, we will be launching our special of 5.95% interest on the life of the balance for any balance transfers on your card with no balance transfer fees. Pay off your high-interest cards and make your debt manageable with this special, limited time offer.


Refinance Your Home Mortgage: If you’re currently paying over 5% on your mortgage, it’s time to seriously consider the option of refinancing. In the current market, mortgage rates are hanging at or near historic lows. As unpredictable as the market is, it is hard to tell how long these current rates will last. Be an early bird and take action sooner than later. At Members First Credit Union of Florida, we offer a 7-year fixed mortgage at 3.49% and a 10-year fixed mortgage at 3.99% with no closing costs. Depending on your current rate, think of the money you could save over the term of your loan.

*Rates are subject to credit approval. Equal Housing Lender. Member NCUA.
** To qualify for the no closing cost option, member must meet all loan approval guidelines and must agree to not prepay within the first six months. Also, member must have checking, credit card, and direct deposit to qualify for loan special.


Make Your Credit Cards Work For You: If you’re going to charge it, why not charge it knowing that you’ll be getting something back in return? With a rewards card at Members First Credit Union of Florida, you earn cash back on purchases you make with your card, including balance transfers. Rewards will be applied to your account annually. Not to mention, everyday banking is even sweeter when you’re part of the club. Being a member of the Rewards Club gives you a discount on checks and safe deposit boxes. You also get one free money order and one free cashier’s check per day. Members must have a checking account, direct deposit, and credit card with Members First Credit Union of Florida to be eligible for rewards.


Build Your Credit: In today’s world, you can’t go very far with bad credit or no credit at all. Here at Members First Credit Union of Florida, we believe in giving chances and second chances. If your credit is looking a little puny, why not beef it up by applying for a Credit Builder loan? Come see one of our member service representatives today at any of our branches or call (850) 434-2211 for details.


Refinance Your Auto Loan: Rates rise and fall, and it may be time to see how much you are paying in interest on your current auto loan. If you feel like you should be getting a better rate, it might be time to look into refinancing. Here’s a little secret, if you refinance your auto loan from another institution with Members First Credit Union of Florida, we could save you up to 2% off your current rate.

*Rates are subject to credit approval. Equal Housing Lender. Member NCUA.



Download the MFCU App: Your time is valuable, and we know it. Downloading the MFCU App on your smart phone or mobile device gives you a key to 24/7 Internet Banking. Keep track of all your finances, make payments, pay bills, and transfer funds with ease. Also located in the app is a map listing our branch locations and fee free ATMS.

App_Apple App_Android App_Download



Take Advantage of CU Membership Perks: Being a member of a credit union is a beautiful thing. We are here to serve you in the best way we can, and we strive daily to meet this goal. Being a member of Members First Credit Union of Florida gives you access to discounts on Here you will receive deals and special offers that will allow you to save on brands, such as Sprint, Directv, GMC, Chevy, Cadillac, and more. You can also purchase discount movie tickets for the Carmike and Ridge at all of our branch locations. It pays to be a member at Members First Credit Union. Through our Refer-A-Friend program, you can receive $10.00 when a friend, family member, or neighbor opens up a new account, along with $50.00 if they apply for a loan of $5,000.00 or more.



Invest in Your Financial Future: Let’s face it, million-dollar sports contracts and lottery winnings don’t happen to most of us in our lifetime. Your long-term financial success depends on choices you make today. Most of us, however, don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources it takes to make our finances reach its full potential. That’s why Members First Credit Union of Florida has partnered with Rodney Rich & Company. Through this partnership, we are able to provide you with consultation on Retirement Income Strategies, Trusts and Estate Planning, Investment Ideas, and Insurance Needs. Take hold of your financial future and make an appointment with Chad Stacy, Financial Advisor with Rodney Rich & Company, today. To set up your individual appointments with Chad, call (850) 434-2211 ext. 11105 or email


Protect Your Identity: Here at Members First Credit Union of Florida, we work hard to protect your finances from malicious activities; but, you can also take steps to make sure that your identity and finances are safe.

a. When using online banking, create a password containing a mixture of letters and numbers. Have a password that contains both upper and lower case letters and include special characters such as a # sign if you can. Never write down or give your password to anyone and try to change your password at least every month.

b. Pins for your credit or debit card should be something easy for you to remember. However, you should stay away from using your birth year or the last four digits of your social security number as a pin number. Never give away your pin to anyone. Your pin is for you alone, and it allows you to access your finances. Giving your pin to someone leaves you open and liable for charges that are made on your account.

c. Stray away from giving sensitive personal and account information over the telephone or through email. The growth of technology with all its many advantages has unfortunately opened new ways for criminals to target you and your finances. Scams have become more sophisticated and are made less easy to spot.


i. Beware of Phishing. Don’t click on links in emails that ask you for your personal information and don’t open unexpected attachments. Look for errors in spelling or grammar and delete suspicious emails.

ii. Beware of suspicious, unsolicited text messages. For example, you may receive a text message that provides you with a number to call for account discrepancies. Once the number is called, it may then prompt you to give your account information and pin numbers. You should always be wary of such messages and delete them as soon as possible, because spyware may be attached to the text messages. Contact Members First Credit Union of Florida directly at (850) 434-2211 or toll free at (877) 434-6328 to verify the validity of the message.


d. Monitor your account(s). It is good practice to log into your account(s) daily or at least once a week, through online banking or our mobile app, to make sure transactions have processed correctly and that they are transactions that you have made. To view real time information about your credit card with Members First Credit Union of Florida, you can enroll at If you don’t have a smart phone, you can take advantage of the credit union’s 24-hour Phone Teller or opt in for text alerts.

e. If you feel like your account(s) may have been compromised or you’ve lost your debit/credit card, don’t delay. Take action right away by calling the lost/stolen numbers for your card(s) and/or call or visit your financial institution. Here at Members First Credit Union of Florida, we are always happy to help and keeping you and your finances safe is important to us.


Be Informed: Knowledge is power and knowledge empowers you to be a financially-fit and smart person. Stay abreast of credit union specials and updates. Here at Members First Credit Union of Florida, we work hard to provide resources to better serve you. Power Your Life With A Credit Union You Can Trust.

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Debit Card/ Credit Card Travel Tips

If you will be travelling and plan to use your MFCU Visa Debit card or your MFCU credit card, we recommend that you notify us in advance. Changes in your spending pattern, especially transactions made out of state or overseas, often trigger a security alert with our fraud detection system.  Following are five quick and simple steps to follow in regards to travelling with you CU card.

1. Notify the Credit Union – Avoid frustrating debit and credit card declines by notifying us of your travel plans. Due to fraud in different regions of the country and around the world your card may become blocked or denied if you do not notify us before traveling. Give us a quick call or stop by one of our branches before you head out of town so that we can ensure your card will work in those areas.

2. Know your card fees and daily spending limits – When traveling abroad your debit and credit card are subject to foreign transaction fees, up to 1%. Your debit card may also be subject to an ATM withdrawal fee when using another financial institutions ATM. Your debit card does have daily cash out and spending limits. Give the credit union a call before you leave to check your card’s limits. It is also a good idea to verify your credit card’s credit limit and the amount you have available to avoid in unexpected surprises.

3. Pack multiple cards – Even though we would love for you to only have cards with Members First Credit Union of FL, it is always a wise idea to have more than one card option in your wallet in case of an emergency. You never know when you could have a card damaged, lost or stolen while you are traveling. If you don’t have a credit card with the credit union consider applying for one as a back up to your credit union debit card. You may also want to carry a little extra cash on you just in case you find yourself somewhere cards are not accepted or card terminals are down.

4. Get your cards “travel-ready”  – Ensure all your accounts are set up for online access. Having account access at your fingertips allows you to monitor your spending while you travel. It is also a good idea to save your card’s toll free number to your phone or in another secure location for easy access in case of an emergency.

5. Watch for duplicate charges during your trip – Hotels and car rental companies typically place holds on your debit or credit card when making the reservation, if you decide to use another form of payment, there is a chance you could be charged twice. Always keep copies of your receipts so that you have proof if you need to settle any disputes during your trip. To avoid having the funds in your checking account tied up consider using a credit card rather than your debit when making hotel or car rental reservations.

If there appears to be fraudulent activity on your card, it will be temporarily until we verify the expenses with you. Contacting us in advance may help to avoid any inconvenience of not having your card available to you while away from home.

Members First Credit Union of FL is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience in accordance with ADA standards and guidelines. If you are using a screen reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website, please contact us at 877-434-6328. We are actively working to increase accessibility and usability of our website to everyone. All products and services available on this website are available at all Members First Credit Union of FL branches.
Any external links or websites to alternative sites are not operated by Members First Credit Union of FL. We are not responsible for the content of the alternate site or their accessibility standards.
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