Members First Supports Local Future Farmers of America Programs

Members first has partnered with the Pensacola Interstate Fair Livestock program that helps local future farmers raise livestock, steers that are shown at the Livestock Youth Steer Show and auctioned off at the fair. Members First takes pride in helping the community, especially the youth. We have been lending a supporting hand in our local community for over 60 years. It was an honor and privilege to be able to help local future farmers in this capacity. We look forward to many more opportunities to add value to the community that we live in and serve.

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Photo taken at the Pensacola Interstate Fair.

 

Photo of steers taken at the Pensacola Interstate Fair

Photo of steers taken at the Pensacola Interstate Fair

 

Made possible by Members First Credit Union.

Caryl A. Greene, President/CEO of Members First Credit Union with Youth Steer Show Competitor’s parent – Made possible by Members First Credit Union.

 

His entry was made possible by Members First Credit Union.

Caryl A. Greene, President/CEO of Members First Credit Union with Youth Steer Show Competitor.

For more information about the Pensacola Interstate Fair Livestock Exhibit, visit http://www.pensacolafair.com/

 

 

Members Matter Most

At Members First, Members Matter Most

With seven billion people living in the world, each passing moment provides an opportunity to help one another. By losing ourselves in a cause we believe in and are prepared to fight for, we can find both happiness and genuine success.

This year on October 18, 2012, credit unions in 100 countries will celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day by banding together and appreciating their members.

As a credit union member, you belong to a global movement in which people help people. Worldwide, 188 million members experience the benefits of belonging to a financial cooperative that believes in and is willing to fight for this year’s message: “Members Matter Most.”

Credit unions exist to serve you, the member, not to increase the bottom line. A focus on superb customer service and member satisfaction sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions. As not-for-profit cooperative institutions, credit unions return their earnings to members in the form of higher interest on deposits, lower loan rates, and fewer fees.

Irrespective of the amount you have on deposit with us, you are a member and an owner, with equal ownership and one vote. Members are never just numbers; your ownership empowers you and provides a voice.

In addition to member control, credit unions offer education and training programs. Fifty-four percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 check their social media accounts daily, while less than one third do a daily check on their financial statements. Credit unions actively focus on creating fiscally responsible members through their wide variety of education programs, which positively impact savings and spending habits for a lifetime.

Member control, education and training programs, and concern for the community are key cooperative values that differentiate credit unions from other financial institutions. Our people-first philosophy illustrates an underlying credit union message that will be celebrated this fall. ICU Day’s theme, “Members Matter Most,” conveys a simple message that strikes home in its ability to communicate our top priority.

Credit union membership affects lives around the world. Reina and Rofina, women from an isolated community in Mexico, gained access to a nearby credit union five years ago when a road was built. The credit union secured a loan to build a food distribution center where they now work dispensing beans, rice, and sugar to surrounding villages. Caja Zongolica, their credit union, created stability for Reina and Rofina and their family’s future. It’s people like you, Reina, and Rofina who make the credit union difference a reality.

Copyright 2012 Credit Union National Association Inc.

Back-to-School

Back-to-School

Back-to-School is made easier with the Members First Back to School Loan.

It’s back to school time and everyone is ready to go shopping. To ease the pain on your wallet, here are a few tips to help you save:

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Take inventory and make a budget. Before you run to any store, take inventory of what you already have at home. This will help you have a clear list of what you need. Once you have compiled a list, it will be easier for you to resist all those shiny objects at the store and separate your wants from your needs. Taking inventory will also help you when you are preparing your budget. Your budget should detail how much you want to spend for every item or groups of items. Being conscious of your budget will lessen the chance of you over spending, stay on track with your finances and have a clear picture of what you will be shopping for.

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Shop the sales. Most stores have back-to-school deals. Many retailers post or announce their sales with special circulars on their websites or Facebook. By looking at these items and sites ahead of time and knowing items availability and sales, you can cut down on the number of places you actually need to go. This saves you on gas and time. Once you are at the store, use your smart phone to comparison shop with apps like RedLaser or use your browser to compare store prices with online prices. Keep in mind that some retailers also have special coupons or special promotions to reduce your purchase total.

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Take advantage of the Tax Free Holiday. Most states designate an entire week or weekend for you to make back-to-school purchases without paying taxes on your items. In Florida, for an entire weekend you can purchase books, clothing, and footwear without taxes, as long as the item is $75 or less. You can also purchase school supplies without taxes, as long as they are $15 or less. This tax free weekend also includes items such as football cleats and spiked shoes that are needed for sports.

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Stop by your credit union. Computers, iPads, and scientific calculators can be costly. As your financial partner, Members First has a way to help you get all the items you need for back to school. With the Back-To-School Loan, you can rest easy knowing that you have a low-interest rate and low payment.

Credit Unions: We are still giving banking a better name

Members First gives banking a better name

Credit unions are better than banks because:

10. On average, they have better rates and lower fees.

9. They earn higher customer satisfaction ratings.

8. They are not-for-profit and as a result are able pass along savings to their members.

7. Every member is an owner; so, there is no question whose interests will be served.

6. They give back to their communities with financial education and counseling services.

5. The decision-making at smaller institutions is quicker.

4. They provide services that are tailored to the people who use them, rather than being profit driven.

3. They may offer more personal customer service.

2. They stand by their model of people serving people.

1. Credit Unions in Florida saved their members $239,740,248 last year.

Free Money For College: Scholarships

With summer just around the corner and Graduation or Senior Year so close, many of us know someone starting or in college; however, a big part of college is navigating how to pay for it. While many believe that college will pay for itself later through salaries, there are other ways of paying besides student loans, like scholarships. So if you know anyone in this stage of their lives, or if you are the one going off to college, read on before you take on any loans and search out as much free money as possible using the tips below:

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1. Check non-academic scholarships
There are billions of dollars in scholarships out there for you to apply for and not all of them require you to have an excellent GPA, be at the top of your class, or have anything to do with test scores. Some scholarships are based on everything from your passion for a culture, your nationality, your name, or even your height. Don’t exclude any possibility.

2. Use scholarship databases
Your financial aid department will be a great resource . Here are some other free great sites to get you started:
Scholarships.com
CollegeBoard.org
College-Scholarships.com
College Answer
QuestBridge
Scholarship America
FastWeb.com
Don’t be fooled by sites that ask you to pay for application fees, matching services, or other fee-based services. You don’t have to pay for anything when looking for scholarship money, especially when there is so much free stuff out there.

3. Check locally and offline
Don’t forget to look close to home with local businesses and community-based organizations in your area like Rotary clubs, YMCA, and even churches.

4. Reuse your work
Once you apply for a few scholarships, you’ll see a pattern, and you’ll be able to use and reuse essays.

5. Be persistent!
You have to do the work, but there is money out there. Check every semester, because new scholarships pop up all the time.

Getting into College was the hard part; so, start looking for free money early and don’t give up. Where there is a will, there is a way.

*Source- MoneyTalksNews.com

Save to Spend

Save to Spend with a Members First Savings Account

For most of us, there are some many things we covet: a new pair of shoes, a new purse, a new car, a new house. There are also things we need like groceries, toiletries, rent, etc. What will you be spending your money on in the next few weeks, months, or the next year? For both scenarios, you have to save to spend.

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The first step to any goal is to put it in writing. Then, you can create a spending plan to give yourself enough money to meet your everyday expenses while, at the same time, help you save for your goals.

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Here are Steps to Smart Saving and Spending

 
1. Get a true picture of how you spend your money. It’s really important for you to realize how you spend your money. For two weeks, save all receipts and track all your purchases with your cell phone. After the two weeks have passed, group your expenses into categories such as food, transportation, entertainment, clothing, gifts, etc. Figure out how much you are spending each week, month and year on all categories.

2. Make a list of all your income. Make a list of all the money you are earning from jobs, gifts, or other sources. Calculate what you make each week, month and year.

3. Evaluate your situation. Do your income and expenses even out or are you spending more than you are making? Do you have money to save? Do you have money to spare?

4. Create a spending and savings plan. Figure out how much you need to save each month to reach your goals (ie: that new house) and how much you need to spend on necessities (ie: groceries). Once you have an accurate number, create a plan for yourself. Look for easy ways to save, like bagging your lunch or cutting back on your entertainment and clothing.

Remember, once you reach a goal, review your plan and tailor it to fit your next savings goal!

What You May Not Know About Your Credit Cards

Your Members First Card Offers You These Perks & More

The fight between credit card companies for your attention is at all time high during the Holiday Season. Many companies are highlighting their rewards program, cash back options, and special rates. What they aren’t telling you is that the variety of perks that are staples to most credit cards can save you hundreds of dollars.

Most often, these perks are free to cardholders or require an initial sign-in, but go unclaimed year after year. It’s all in that little tiny-print book that comes with your card statement that many neglect to read. So, here are just a few of the benefits you might want to find out if your credit card offers:

Purchase Protection This benefit increases the refund of the purchase price if something you bought is stolen or damaged within 90 days. Some items many not be covered, and there may be a need to show evidence that the item was indeed lost or stolen, or how it was lost or stolen. However, this perk can have the credit card company refunding you upwards of $1000 per item.
Extended Warranty This benefit doubles the free-repair period of the manufacturer’s original warranty of the item you bought for up to one year. Though there are some stipulations, and some items may not be covered, this perk can save you on additional warranties that companies like Best Buy or Sears offers you next time you make a purchase.

Roadside Assistance With this benefit, if your auto breaks down, your credit card company will send someone to your rescue. This could be a life-saver to many, but don’t call just yet. There is typically a certain limitation on the area where you can break down, and not all services are included. This means that you may pay extra for the services you need like towing or gas delivery; but you can still end up saving money because these services are often negotiated to include lower fees.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver This benefit can reimburse you for the deductible portion of your personal auto insurance policy or all covered damages and theft if you do not have auto insurance. It also covers loss of use damages and reasonable towing charges that the rental company can impose. The big catch, you must have paid for the car rental with your credit card. It also doesn’t cover personal property or any personal liability, and each credit card company has a limit on the number of days you can rent a car for with this feature.