Posts Tagged ‘save money’

Time to Escape Banking Fees! Time to Join PFCU!

There's no time like the present to escape bank fees and mediocre service by joining a credit union.

Why a credit union?  Why PFCU?  There are LOTS of reasons! 

Suze Orman, Jane Bryant Quinn and numerous financial websites such as CULookup, Find a Credit Union and creditcardconnection.org  to name a few, have been touting credit unions for years.  The clamor reached a fever pitch recently when big banks announced plans to begin charging people to use their debit cards.  When something has been free and suddenly isn’t, people notice.  Actually, there have been more subtle ways that bank customers have been paying more and getting less for several years.  Even as the economy worsened, many consumers saw dramatic increases in credit card rates over the past decade.  Fees of all sorts increased or appeared seemingly out of thin air.  People are feeling it more than ever and are looking for alternatives.

So why a credit union?  There are lots of very good reasons.  First, a credit union is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by members, not stockholders and run by a volunteer Board of Directors from the local community who are also members, rather than a board, which receives compensation and may not otherwise be connected to the people who bank there.  Consequently, credit union earnings which exceed operating expenses are returned to the members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, and fewer fees.  The difference can be quite stark.  The credit union motto is “People Helping People” and we take that very seriously.  That’s why you will see credit union employees out in the community teaching financial literacy, volunteering for community service, and offering sensible, low-cost financial services to our area, including those who under-served by other financial institutions. 

If you are thinking of joining a credit union, Pasadena Federal Credit Union is an outstanding choice!  It’s no accident PFCU was voted “2011 Best Bank/Credit Union in the San Gabriel Valley” by the readers of the Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and LA Times.  We have outstanding loan and deposit products and exemplary service our members rave about. 

Take credit cards for example.  Suze Orman refers viewers and readers to www.creditcardconnection.org, a site that has ranked all of the credit cards for banks and credit unions nationwide.  PFCU has received five out of five stars and made the “Dean’s List”.  Our card has no annual fee, no cash advance fee, no balance transfer fee, no over-the-limit fee and no default rate.  Wait until you see our low APR, which is well-below even the low end of the national average quoted in a recent AP article

PFCU has the same low rate for new or used car loans.  We allow deposits of at least $1,000 at a time to Share Certificates.  We don’t charge you to use your debit card.  You can use our Coinstar™ machine to deposit up to $100 in coin each day for FREE as a member

PFCU is also more convenient than you might think!  Although there is one branch with our name on it, it’s like we have more than 4,000 branches nationwide because we team up with other credit unions.  Go to www.cuswirl.com to find a shared branch location near you that allows you to deposit and withdraw from PFCU accounts and make PFCU loan payments as long as you have your account number and ID with you.  There is also an iPhone or Droid app to make finding a branch even easier. 

PFCU does not charge to use ANY ATM machine.  You may incur charges at a bank ATM, but with more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide including 7-Eleven, Costco and Bank of the West, you won’t need to use one of those machines.  Just text an address, intersection or zip code to 692667 (MYCO-OP) or go to the locations tab of our website.  There are free phone apps and navigation apps as well. 

What are you waiting for?  The time is NOW to join a credit union.  PFCU is a smart choice you will be happy about for years to come.

Is 0% Dealer Financing Really a Good Deal?

Car-buying CAN be a pleasant experience if you do your homework and get pre-approved

Automobile sales are on the rise as the economy improves.  With fuel prices also going up, many people are switching to more efficient vehicles.  

Are you among those Americans in the market for a new vehicle?  Are you being lured to the dealer by 0% financing ads on TV?  Before you hit the showroom floor, you’ll want to consider whether dealer financing is as good in the long run as a loan from your Credit Union.  There are certainly many fine dealerships in existence, but they are well-versed in ways to manipulate a deal, and you should be, too.

One of the biggest complaints consumers have about dealer financing is it puts the dealer in control of the transaction.  When you already have an approved loan from your credit union, it’s the same to the dealer as cash in your hand, which you can take away if you don’t like the way negotiations are going.  You’re in control of negotiating, and can often negotiate a lower price and/or extra options.

If you’re dependent upon dealer financing, the dealer can choose to stand firm on the car’s sticker price rather than negotiate, withhold cash back offers, ignore trade-in credits or add on extras you don’t want, like credit insurance.

And, if your credit history is less than perfect, you won’t qualify for those 0% finance deals.  Additionally, most 0% offers only apply to some makes and models, and are only good for 24 months … after that ‘teaser’ period, the rate increases to far more that you would pay at the credit union, and often come with a penalty if you attempt to refinance elsewhere.

When you finance a car short-term, the payment is often unmanageable. While you may optimistically agree to these terms thinking you can “find a way to make it work,” oftentimes you’ll end up damaging your credit rating with late payments, or suffer an inability to meet other financial obligations.

An old trick in the dealer book is to take your driver’s license from you while you’re testing driving the car. This isn’t for liability reasons, as the salesman will claim; rather, it’s so the credit department can run your credit. If you’re already pre-approved from your credit union, simply show the salesman you have a valid driver’s license … if he insists upon confiscating it for the duration of the test drive, walk away.  (Chances are, he won’t let you walk away and will agree to your terms!)

If you have less than perfect credit, you can be assured your experience will be positive and confidential.  Our loan officers aren’t predatory like car salesmen, and they won’t discuss your credit history out in an open showroom in front of strangers.

PFCU’s current auto loan rates are still historically low.  At those rates, you’re better off taking the cash rebate, or negotiating yourself a better sticker price.  

For more information on PFCU’s auto loans and pre-approval process, visit the Credit Union or call (626)799-0882.  You can also just click the APPLY NOW button on our website at www.pfcu.org