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Help Kids Get Money-Savvy
Authored By: ICCU on 3/16/2021

One of the most important life skills you can teach to your children is how to manage their own money. The sooner children begin financial education, the greater the likelihood they'll avoid the mistakes many adults make today.

The average per week allowance for American children is $30, according to the American Institute of CPAs. If parents help their children save and manage this money wisely, these young consumers will be better prepared to navigate the increasingly complex financial world as they grow older.

Educating your kids about money matters isn't as hard as you might think. Here are some simple ways to start teaching your kids the value of money:

  • Open a savings account in your child's name.
    Kids as young as five years old can begin to understand the idea of saving. It doesn't matter how much money is deposited - what matters is creating a regular savings habit. Take your kids to the credit union with you and let them take an active role in saving. They'll understand more than you think.
    • ICCU has the perfect first account for your young savers to earn "gold coins" for their deposits and trade them in for fun prizes! Learn more about the Treasure Hunt Savings Account.
       
  • Set goals with your kids.
    Having a reason to save makes kids want to save. Their goals don't have to be huge - for many kids, watching their money grow is a reward in itself.
     
  • Consider your child's age and find appropriate ways to communicate. 
    While it's important to start early, make sure activities or discussions are age-appropriate. Younger children learn through books, online activities, and simple saving, while older children can create budgets and manage allowances.
     
  • Include older children in family financial planning meetings.
    Some parents feel uncomfortable talking about their budget or other money matters with their kids but letting them witness your habits before they are forced to make their own decisions gives kids a solid financial foundation.
     
  • Show kids your money values through your actions.
    Forget "Do as I say, not as I do." Kids watch their parents and mimic their habits. If your money management habits are less than perfect, use this as an opportunity to education yourself about financial matters, and then share what you learn with your kids.

At ICCU, we are happy to assist you will all of your financial needs, whether you need financing, a safe place for your money, or help creating a budget you can stick to. 

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Steer Clear of Auto Fraud
Authored By: ICCU on 3/11/2021

When a used car deal seems almost too good to be true, it probably is. Since this is a major investment, it's important to do your research to verify the car is safe and the dealer is trustworthy. If you're considering buying a used car, be aware of these types of automobile fraud:

Air Bag Fraud

Will your air bag protect you in a crash? Dishonest auto shops bypass the high cost of repairing deployed air bags by installing salvaged or stolen air bags, or by filling the airbag compartment with trash. Determining whether a car has a dummy air bag system is nearly impossible - and unsafe - on your own. Only a certified mechanic using computer diagnostics can ensure your air bag system is installed and in working order.

VIN Cloning

ID theft for vehicles according to the National Crime Bureau, 773,139 vehicles were stolen in 2018. A thief masks a car's identity by replacing its vehicle identification number (VIN) with that of a similar vehicle. Buyers become victims by purchasing the stolen vehicles. When the police catch up to them, the cars are impounded, leaving perplexed victims with loan payments and no car.

Not Disclosing Damage from Accident of Flood

In most states, used car dealers must disclose whether a car has been damaged, but private sellers aren't required and may not even be aware of damage done by prior owners. Due to the many flooding disasters in the U.S. in the recent past, millions of cars have been damaged. Used cars are transported from all over the country, so even if you don't live in an area hit by flooding, your local used car lot may be selling cars from flood zones.

Odometer Rollback Fraud

The lower the mileage of a vehicle, the more it's worth - and for unscrupulous sellers, it's tempting to tamper with the odometer. Rollback fraud hurts victims because they end up paying more for vehicles than they're worth, and they may have to pay for costly repairs to keep the car running.

An informed buyer is an empowered buyer. To protect yourself when shopping for a used vehicle, consider these tips:

  • Take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic for a thorough inspection, including a check of the air bag system.
     
  • Don't purchase a vehicle without a vehicle history report. Most major dealerships will provide one for free on the detail page of the vehicle you're interested in. If you're buying from a private dealer, you can purchase a report yourself from CARFAX or AutoCheck using the vehicle's VIN.
     
  • Obtain a title report from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to find out the car's ownership pattern.

 

Taking the time to conduct a thorough investigation could mean the difference between a smart purchase and one that could cost you unnecessary frustration or even your life.

Isabella Community Credit Union can help with all of your auto financing needs. Stop by, give us a call, or apply online. 

Apply Now

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5 Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund
Authored By: ICCU on 3/4/2021

Five Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

Tax time is just around the corner. Wouldn’t a big fat tax refund come in handy? Well, here are steps you can take now to boost your tax refund when you file after the first of the year.  

  • Itemize your deductions. The standard deduction is $12,400, so it’s tempting to claim it rather than tracking down receipts and tax forms so you can itemize your deductions. But itemizing might be worth it if you are a homeowner with a sizeable mortgage, gave money and “stuff” to charity, or paid points when you took out your mortgage. If you are an educator, you can deduct up to $250 of school supplies even if you don’t itemize deductions. Start gathering information right away so you’ll have everything ready at tax time.

  • Claim education expenses. If you are paying college expenses for yourself, your spouse or a child, two education credits can help defray those costs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The AOTC is a partly reimbursable credit for 100% of the first $2,000 of education expenses you pay and 25% of the next $2,000. The Lifetime Learning credit (LLC) is 20% of the first $10,000 of education expenses. The AOTC is eliminated once your income exceeds $90,000 and the LLC at $68,000. There are other differences as well, so weigh your options carefully in deciding which credit to claim. Start gathering the data you’ll need to claim the deduction, and consider prepaying tuition or other costs to get the maximum credit possible.

  • Claim credit for your “full house”. If your adult children, their significant others and friends have come to live with you, you may be eligible to claim a $500 tax credit for non-child dependents you support if their income is less than $4,300. You can claim the credit for parents you support, even if they don’t live with you. Stick a note into your tax file (you do have a tax file, don’t you?) reminding you to look into claiming these credits at tax time.

  • Contribute to tax-deductible retirement accounts. This is a way to save for your future and boost your tax refund. If your income is under $65,000, you may qualify for a Saver’s Tax Credit as well. That’s three different benefits from the same action. Make contributions to your 401(k) by the end of the year. Though you have until the tax filing deadline to contribute to an IRA, if you are claiming the Saver’s Tax Credit, do that by year end as well. 

  • Deduct worthless investments. If you have any investment that went belly-up, sell it before the end of the year and claim a tax loss. If someone owes you money that you can’t collect, you can claim that as a bad debt deduction as well. Write a description of the debt that includes the name of the debtor, the amount and the date the debt was due, and any relationship between you and the debtor. Describe the efforts you made to collect, and why you think the debt is now worthless. 

Here’s a bonus tip: File your tax return on time. You won’t get a tax refund until you file your tax return. But really, even if you aren’t required to file a tax return because your income is low, file anyway to claim your refund for taxes withheld and any refundable credits you are entitled to. If you wait more than two years to file, the IRS will not issue you a refund.

When it's time to file your taxes TurboTax is here to help! 
From simple to complex taxes, TurboTax® has you covered. And when you need help, real experts are standing by — and can even do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live®. Getting your biggest possible tax refund has never been easier. And as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTaxClick here to get started today!

The information in this article for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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Exclusive Carvana Member Offer
Authored By: ICCU on 3/1/2021

We're excited to announce that Carvana has joined the Love My Credit Union Rewards family with an exclusive $100 cash reward for credit union members!

Carvana is the leading e-commerce platform for buying used cars and the fastest growing used auto retailer in the country. With Carvana you can:

  • Browse certified inventory: low mileage, no reported accidents, 150-point inspection.
  • Shop from home: buy online with delivery or pickup available as soon as the next day.
  • Get more for less: save valuable time and money by shopping online.
  • Buy with confidence: 7-day money back guarantee, 100-day warranty.
  • Finance with ease: easily finance a Carvana purchase with a loan from Isabella Community Credit Union

Get pre-approved for your auto-loan today and start shopping over 20,000 vehicles with Carvana all from the comfort of home! Visit lovemycreditunion.org today!

* Valid only for Carvana purchases through LoveMyCreditUnion.org. See Terms and Conditions.

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Financial Advice You Should Never Follow
Authored By: ICCU on 2/26/2021

The beauty of the Internet is that anyone can start a blog. The ugly truth about the internet is that anyone can start a blog. And no, that's no typo. There's a lot of content floating out there about how to manage your money and build long-term wealth, but not all of it is good.

  1. Ignore advice that is shameful in nature. If you're on a diet, you don't necessarily want someone shaming you for eating a piece of candy. It doesn't accomplish anything and probably makes you want to eat even more candy. Same with financial advice. If you follow a blogger who makes you feel like you have to take an all-or-nothing approach to your spending strategy, it's probably not very good advice and won't get you anywhere.
     
  2. Completely disregard anyone who tells you to keep your money in cash. There's a blogger out there whose tagline is literally, "Hoard Your Cash." That is probably the worst financial advice ever. To build wealth, you need to invest to make your money work for you, and it's easier to save if the money is being automatically routed to savings and investment accounts from your paycheck. Any "financial guru" who tells you to keep it in cash probably isn't very good with money.
     
  3. Anyone who calls themselves a guru ...because real financial pros usually call themselves CFPs, or certified financial planner.
     
  4. "Go ahead, just spend!" A lot of bloggers get affiliate income from pushing certain products. It's not wrong, but sometimes, big banks have big pockets to influence pushing different financial products, like high-interest credit cards. If it seems spammy, it probably is. A lot of bloggers also make good money from their blogs, but it's hard to get authentic advice from someone in a different financial situation. Be sure to look out for #spon or #ad tags so you know to take the advice with a grain of salt.

The best advice is to find a financial institution you love. But what's more? You should also trust the people at the branch (or at least trust their mission). ICCU’s mission is to build lifetime member relationships as a trusted financial partner, and we have financial service representatives on staff who can help provide actionable steps to build long-term wealth, not just short-term security. The key is to building relationships, not just following advice because it seems like a good idea at the time.

With ICCU, it's easier than you think! Stop in or make an appointment so you can come in on your schedule. 

Request an appointment

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Preapprove Your Way to a Better Car Deal
Authored By: ICCU on 2/25/2021

Before you set foot on the car lot, get preapproved for an auto loan at Isabella Community Credit Union. Getting preapproved for a car loan means you'll know what kind of rate you'll pay, and what size loan you're qualified for.

If you have questions about how much car you can afford, or how financing works, an ICCU Financial Service Representative will be happy to help.

Once you're preapproved, you'll receive a preapproval letter that you can take car shopping showing the amount you're approved for.

Getting preapproved is a big advantage. It removes the pressure of negotiating financing contracts at the dealership and allows you to focus your attention on finding the right vehicle. And, if you need another incentive, our low auto loan rates can get you on a faster track toward making your dream car a reality.

Contact us today at 989-773-5927 or click on the buttons below to get started! We're here to help with all of your vehicle loan needs.

Apply Now Request an Appointment

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Money Matters for New Parents
Authored By: ICCU on 2/21/2021

Becoming a new parent is one of the most exciting things that can happen in your life. It can also be very disorienting as you try to take care of a new human, manage your relationship with your partner, and adjust to your new role and identity. During pregnancy, parents are consumed with visits to the doctor's office and reading baby book after baby book. But something that is often overlooked is how your little bundle of joy will impact your financial outlook. Here are some key things to think about:

Budgeting
Babies are expensive! Yes, they are cute, but there are financial obligations that come with parenting. According to the book Baby Bargains, parents spend more than $6,200 in the first year on food and gear alone. But you can definitely get by for way less. The book recommends this more reasonable budget:

  • Crib, mattress, dresser, rocker: $1,280
  • Bedding, decor: $200
  • Baby clothes: $340
  • Diapers: $300
  • Maternity/nursing clothes: $540
  • Nursery items, high chair, toys: $225
  • Baby food/formula: $350
  • Stroller, car seat, carrier: $200
  • Miscellaneous: $500

Total = $3,935

Notice that this budget does not include some high cost items, such as childcare. If you require childcare, keep in mind that prices can range anywhere from $400 to $2,000 per month depending on location. 

Medical bills are not included in on this budget either. In order to understand the costs of delivery and follow-up visits, make sure to contact your healthcare provider and your health insurance company. Make sure you understand exactly what is and isn't covered by your insurance. Prices and coverage vary widely.

Ways to Save
There are lots of ways to cut back on costs. Some are time-consuming, while others are incredibly simple. When you combine all of these tips and tricks, you will see some massive savings.

Shop at resale stores
Babies grow out of their clothes very quickly, so it can be a budget buster. To cut back on costs, shop at thrift-stores or resale shops. You will be able to find pre-worn clothes at a fraction of the cost of retail. You can also find a lot of cute stuff!

Borrow from Friends
If you have friends or family who have kids, they will likely have more expensive items (like cribs and bassinets) just lying around their house. Borrowing for a year or two will save you money and them storage space win-win!

Make your own baby food
Here's a secret: baby food is just mashed up fruits and veggies. Rather than spend money on marked-up prepackaged baby food, mash up some sweet potatoes and avocado and a fraction of the cost. Your little one won't know the difference, and you'll save a lot of money!

It's never to early to start saving!
Once your child is born, you can open an account with them at ICCU!
Schedule an appointment below or stop in with their social security number and birth certificate. 

Request an Appointment

 

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ICCU's New Contact Center
Authored By: ICCU on 2/12/2021

We are excited to announce the opening of the ICCU Contact Center! Beginning in mid-February, when you call your credit union, you will be calling local ICCU employees at our contact center. 

We began this journey towards a contact center well before COVID-19 pandemic was at the forefront of our minds. Although we had to delay the opening until now, we hope that this expansion will help us to meet your needs quickly and simplify things by getting you in touch with the right person the first time as much as possible. 

Contact Center Team

ICCU’s contact center will be open weekdays during ICCU’s normal business hours, 9am-5pm. We will continue to rely on the existing overflow call center for extended hours member service from 8 am until 8 pm on weekdays and 5 pm on Saturdays.

With the addition of ICCU’s contact center, we will be adding texting capabilities to help us provide excellent, timely service. In addition to our member support team texts, as part of our fraud prevention measures, our card processor will begin verifying card activity for unusual transactions via SMS text.

Contact Center Team

With all of these modern improvements, please remember, ICCU will never ask for your account or card number via text message or email.

We believe the contact center is an excellent investment for our cooperative long into the future. We hope you enjoy the streamlined process for contacting your credit union. 

Here for you,
Isabella Community Credit Union

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5 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a New Car
Authored By: ICCU on 2/11/2021

So, you've found the perfect car. You've shopped around, and this car has your name on it. Well, not quite yet. Not if you want the best deal anyway.

Here are five simple things that can help you afford the car of your dreams.

  1.  Go to ICCU and get preapproved for an auto loan
    Because credit unions are not-for-profit, and owned by their members, you can get better borrowing rates. Plus, knowing exactly how much you can spend, your interest rate, and what your monthly payment will be really gives you confidence when sitting across the desk from the salesperson. Apply for an Auto Loan online!
     
  2. Price check
    Check out Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. These sites have information that can help you figure out the dealer's wholesale cost - that's the price the dealership would pay the car manufacturer. Also, shop around to find out how other dealers are pricing your make and model.
     
  3. Shop on a week day, at the end of the month, and, even better at the end of the year
    Yes, if you can slip out of work on a weekday when there aren't a lot of potential buyers in the place; the dealership will be eager to make a deal. At the end of the month, dealerships will be trying to hit their monthly sales goals, and you can take advantage of that situation. And, if you can hold off until the end of the year, when most dealerships are trying to unload inventory, that's a great time to buy!
     
  4. Stick to the price of the car
    Don't get pulled in another direction with options for add-ons, trade-in value, or a lower monthly payment. You can negotiate those things after you've confirmed the price of the car - that's the number you should be negotiating. Everything else is a distraction.
     
  5. If the price is still too high, don't be afraid to walk away
    Even if you believe this car is perfect, be prepared to let it go and don't look back. If you've followed these tips, you'll know if it just wasn't meant to be anyway. And when it is meant to be, your credit union will still be there to give you a loan you know you'll be able to afford.
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Stress and Spending
Authored By: ICCU on 2/5/2021

As we move deeper into the year, the magic of the holiday may have worn off, and many of our New Year's resolutions are becoming faded memories. With tax season approaching and the pace of our working lives becoming more and more accelerated, stress can start to take its toll on us emotionally.

How Stress Impacts Spending

According to a joint study out of Rutgers and the University of Miami, stress causes people to use their resources to regain a sense of control. In many ways, stress is a response to a loss of control in a particular situation, and one way we cope with that is by spending.

The study also notes that stress can lead to both beneficial and reckless consumer behaviors.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, stress tends to increase people's saving habits. This is to ensure that money is available when needed. Saving is always a great idea for establishing financial wellness, so this aspect of stress can actually be beneficial.

Reckless spending in stressful situations tends to take the form of increased spending on things people perceive as necessities. However, stress also alters our perception of what those necessities are. For instance, people who are stressed about a new job tend to overspend on work clothes.

One of the authors of the study says stressful situations lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol. This makes us hyper sensitive to threats, so we work hard to ease that feeling. In short, we enter into survival mode.

So how can you cope with stress? The first step is to prevent it before it starts. 

How to Prevent Stress

While we can't control every stressful situation that life throws at us, there are two time-tested ways to prevent stress from taking over our mind and body.

Meditate

Meditation is a powerful tool for preventing stress, and it's becoming more and more popular in top companies and schools. While meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, it has only recently undergone scientific scrutiny. Researchers found that meditation is a successful tool for reducing anxiety and depression when practiced for as little as 10 minutes per day.

Hit the Gym

Exercise and physical activity is another great way to prevent stress before it starts. When you work out, you produce a group of natural painkilling chemicals called endorphins. These help lift your mood and make you feel at ease. Additionally, endorphins help you sleep, which is something that is often disturbed during stressful times.

How To Deal With Stress Once You've Got It

If you are feeling the urge to impulse-shop, try these strategies:

Give It 24 Hours

If you've spotted an item you just need to have, stop and say you'll come back tomorrow to get it. If you still want it, it's likely a need. If you don't, you just saved yourself some money and storage space.

Find Another Outlet

If you're using shopping as an outlet for stress, try something different. As mentioned earlier, meditation and working out are great options, but they may not be for everyone. Find something that works for you, whether it's journaling, reading, gardening, or taking a stroll through the neighborhood.

Remember: The problem with stress spending is that it ultimately leads to more stress down the line.

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Car Buyers' Worst Mistakes
Authored By: ICCU on 2/5/2021

How much money do you think educated car buyers can save over uneducated buyers when buying the same car? Would $5,000 get your attention?

While you may not save as much as $5,000, you'll save a bunch if you avoid these classic car-buying errors.

  • Showing enthusiasm
    If you act excited, the sellers know they have a unique product you want. The price goes up instantly. Keep that enthusiasm in check until you've driven home.
     
  • Buying in a hurry
    If you buy on your first visit to a dealership, you don't have time to compare. Take your time. Be willing to walk away. The price at most dealerships falls quickly if you move slowly.
     
  • Giving deposits before the dealer approves your offer on a vehicle
    Feel free to deposit, if you really want a vehicle. But don't give it until the boss has said "yes." Some dealerships use deposits to keep you there while they try to convince you to pay more. And you can't leave if they have your deposit - money, a credit card, a driver's license, or your kids.
     
  • Being switched to leasing without doing your homework
    Because dealerships make a much larger profit if they lease rather than sell, even the best dealership may try to "switch" you. They'll try to convince you leasing is cheaper than buying. In most instances, it isn't. If you want to lease, fine. Just don't do it on the spur of the moment.
     
  • Trading in your old car without knowing its value in advance
    A dealership has the right to give you the least you will take for your old car. But you have a right to get the most your car is worth. To know that value, simply clean it up, and try to sell it to several used car dealerships. The highest amount you're offered for it is your car's real value right now. Don't accept less than that in trade.

     
  • Financing automatically at the dealership
    The dealership may not be the cheapest place to finance. To find out, simply bring a copy of the filled-out dealer contract to Isabella Community Credit Union and compare. If the dealership won't give you a copy, they're probably not the cheapest.

Big mistakes, big bucks out the window. We like to help you preserve your money—that's what credit unions are all about. Avoid these mistakes and put that money to work rather than throwing it away.

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Your Top Tax Questions About Working Remotely, Answered
Authored By: ICCU on 2/4/2021

Your Top Tax Questions About Working Remotely, Answered

Last spring, many of us were asked to leave the office and begin working remotely from home. If you were one of them, you know that presented a lot of issues to be solved as you juggled work and family, including children newly banished from their schools. It was a tumultuous time, and congratulations for dealing with it powerfully and creating solutions that worked for everyone. Whew!

Now, with tax time approaching, there are tax implications of working remotely that you need to address, and we are here to help. So, let’s take a look at the tax issues of remote employment.

What tax issues? I still pay tax on my income, right? Yes indeed. The income from your job will be reported to you on a W-2 in January, and you’ll report that income on your tax return. Nothing there has changed, at least for the federal tax return. But you may have special tax issues to deal with when you file your state income tax return unless you live and work in a state that has no income tax.

What’s different about state returns for remote employment? If you live in the same state in which your employer is located, state taxes are pretty straightforward. But when the pandemic hit and commuting to the office became a thing of the past, many people left urban areas and moved to the less-populated country where it was less expensive to live. If you crossed state lines to do that and now live in a different state from your former office, you may be dealing with the income tax rules of two states, not just one.

Oh no, do I owe taxes to both states? Good question – it depends. Most states look to your physical presence in determining whether to tax you. If that’s the case, if you live and work in one state for an employer in another state, you will only owe tax to the state in which you live and work. But each state is different, so be sure to use tax preparation software such as TurboTax® that considers the facts and circumstances of your employment situation in light of the tax laws of the states involved.

Can I deduct the costs of working from home, such as my computer, internet, office furniture, and supplies? Probably not. Unfortunately, the tax act passed at the end of 2018 axed those deductions for most employees, with the exception for teachers that allows them to deduct up to $250 for supplies used in the classroom. If you aren’t entitled to a deduction for your expenses, your best bet is to ask your employer to give you a non-taxable reimbursement for those costs.

When it's time to file your taxes, TurboTax® is here to help!

From simple to complex taxes, TurboTax has you covered. And when you need help, real experts are standing by — and can even do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live®. Getting your biggest possible tax refund has never been easier. And as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTaxClick here to get started today!

The information in this article for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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Rental Assistance During COVID: How to Get Help
Authored By: ICCU on 1/28/2021

The Coronavirus has hit American families hard, on many different levels. As the virus continues spreading (the U.S. is averaging over 3,000 deaths each day), businesses have had to temporarily shut down or close altogether and lay off workers. Without a steady income, this is putting many households at risk of losing their homes.

In late December 2020, lawmakers passed a $900B coronavirus relief bill which included $25B to help households that are at risk of becoming homeless due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money is given to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes (eligible grantees) to be used to assist eligible households or rental assistance programs.

The money can be used for rent (current or past due), utilities services (current or past due), and other expenses related to housing. Funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers.

To see if you qualify for this assistance, you'll need to meet at last one of these criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median. However, states have been instructed to prioritize applicants at or below 50 percent of the area median.

To apply for rental assistance, you must go through programs established by eligible grantees. To find such a program in your area, contact your State housing authority site. Also, visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development webpage for information specifically for renters experiencing hardship because of COVID.

If you're worried about being able to pay your rent or utilities during this extremely difficult time, know that there is help. Seek out the assistance available to you through your state and local governments. 

Mt. Pleasant Housing Commission
Phone: (989)773-3784
email: director@mphcstaff.org

1 W Mosher Street
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

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Five Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund
Authored By: ICCU on 1/25/2021

Five Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

Tax time is just around the corner. Wouldn’t a big fat tax refund come in handy? Well, here are steps you can take now to boost your tax refund when you file after the first of the year.  

  • Itemize your deductions. The standard deduction is $12,400, so it’s tempting to claim it rather than tracking down receipts and tax forms so you can itemize your deductions. But itemizing might be worth it if you are a homeowner with a sizeable mortgage, gave money and “stuff” to charity, or paid points when you took out your mortgage. If you are an educator, you can deduct up to $250 of school supplies even if you don’t itemize deductions. Start gathering information right away so you’ll have everything ready at tax time.

  • Claim education expenses. If you are paying college expenses for yourself, your spouse or a child, two education credits can help defray those costs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The AOTC is a partly reimbursable credit for 100% of the first $2,000 of education expenses you pay and 25% of the next $2,000. The Lifetime Learning credit (LLC) is 20% of the first $10,000 of education expenses. The AOTC is eliminated once your income exceeds $90,000 and the LLC at $68,000. There are other differences as well, so weigh your options carefully in deciding which credit to claim. Start gathering the data you’ll need to claim the deduction, and consider prepaying tuition or other costs to get the maximum credit possible.

  • Claim credit for your “full house”. If your adult children, their significant others and friends have come to live with you, you may be eligible to claim a $500 tax credit for non-child dependents you support if their income is less than $4,300. You can claim the credit for parents you support, even if they don’t live with you. Stick a note into your tax file (you do have a tax file, don’t you?) reminding you to look into claiming these credits at tax time.

  • Contribute to tax-deductible retirement accounts. This is a way to save for your future and boost your tax refund. If your income is under $65,000, you may qualify for a Saver’s Tax Credit as well. That’s three different benefits from the same action. Make contributions to your 401(k) by the end of the year. Though you have until the tax filing deadline to contribute to an IRA, if you are claiming the Saver’s Tax Credit, do that by year end as well. 

  • Deduct worthless investments. If you have any investment that went belly-up, sell it before the end of the year and claim a tax loss. If someone owes you money that you can’t collect, you can claim that as a bad debt deduction as well. Write a description of the debt that includes the name of the debtor, the amount and the date the debt was due, and any relationship between you and the debtor. Describe the efforts you made to collect, and why you think the debt is now worthless. 

Here’s a bonus tip: File your tax return on time. You won’t get a tax refund until you file your tax return. But really, even if you aren’t required to file a tax return because your income is low, file anyway to claim your refund for taxes withheld and any refundable credits you are entitled to. If you wait more than two years to file, the IRS will not issue you a refund.

When it's time to file your taxes TurboTax is here to help! 
From simple to complex taxes, TurboTax® has you covered. And when you need help, real experts are standing by — and can even do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live®. Getting your biggest possible tax refund has never been easier. And as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTaxClick here to get started today!

The information in this article for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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Get Smart About Debt
Authored By: ICCU on 1/21/2021

7 Tips to Help You Get Out of Debt NOW

If you are dealing with debt, you aren't alone. The average American household has an average balance of about $5,900 in credit card debt, and that's not taking into account home, auto, and student loans. Paying off your debt isn't always easy, but having a plan can go a long way in achieving your financial goals.

Check out these seven tips from our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness that can help you to get out of debt more quickly, so you can save more, plan for the future, and live life financially well.

Get an idea of what you are currently spending.

To know where you're going, you have to know where you're coming from. Are you spending more than you make? Do you have excess money each month that you could be putting toward your debts? Use GreenPath's budgeting worksheet to get an idea of how much money you have coming in vs. going out each month. Take a look at your spending habits. Once you have a full financial picture of your monthly surplus (or deficit), figure out what your spending havits are and how you might change them to get out of debt. Maybe you're spending too much on subscription services - or realize you're spending more than you allotted for groceries each month. 

This online class on Redesigning Your Financial Habits is a great place to start. In about 30 minutes, you will learn some of the science behind habits, identify your spending habits, and make a plan to retool them to work for you.

Prioritize expenses and identify areas where you may be able to save.

Once you have an idea of where you are spending and why, see if there are areas where you can cut back. If you need some extra help deciding where to make cuts, this workbook is a great tool to help you prioritize your expenses.

Hold yourself accountable and check back in on your spending habits.

Great, you've made a plan! But are you stimcking with it?

Plan your paychecks and check back to see how your actual spending compares with your plan. Use the Highlighter Test to see if your spending habits are in line with your goal, or if you might need to change this up a bit. Make adjustments as you need to.

Automate everything.

Set up direct deposits and automated payments so that you don't miss due dates and get hit with a late fee. Use alerts and overdraft protection to help you avoid mistakes.

Choose a debt payoff strategy that works for your situation.

When choosing a strategy, you will probably want to pay the minimum on all your debts and focus extra payments on one debt at a time. When you pay one account off, redirect the monthly payment to the next one in line, adding it to the minimum you were paying already. This way, each time you pay off one debt, your payment on the next one gets bigger.

Look into a debt management plan.

Depending on your situation, there may be options for you to get out of debt more quickly. If you have high-interest credit card or other unsecured debts, a debt management plan (DMP) could be just what you need to get out of debt for good.

A DMP works with your creditors to bring your accounts current, lower interest rates, and eliminate fees. This means that more of your payment goes toward reducing your account balances. It can help you pay off debts faster and save money on interest. An added benefit is that once the debt management plan is established, diminishing collection calls and creditor balances help reduce worry and stress about your debt situation

If you are considering a debt management plan, look for a reputable, nonprofit credit counseling agency to assist you. Our partners at GreenPath offer free debt and credit counseling, and if appropriate to your situation, they can support you through a DMP. Check out their DMP calculator to get an idea of how much you could be saving.

Speak with a financial counselor.

Taking control of day-to-day financial choices is the foundation for creating more opportunities. If you're still unsure of where to start in paying off your debt, we encourage you to connect with our partners at GreenPath for a free financial counseling session. Their professional, caring counselors will explain your options and support you to develop a personal action plan that works for you.

Learn more about GreenPath Financial Wellness.

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Sorting Out Your IRA Options
Authored By: ICCU on 1/13/2021

Here are general guidelines to help you decide which IRA (Individual retirement account) is right for you:

If you're eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA and also make tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA:

Assuming you would contribute the same amount to either type of IRA, your decision depends on what you'd do with your take savings if you make tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA. Your decision also depends on your projected tax bracket in retirement.

Fore example, if you contribute $5,400 a year to a traditional IRA and you're in the 24% federal income tax bracket, your tax bill would be reduced by $1,320. Would you take this amount from your tax refund or from savings and invest it in a taxable account for retirement each year?

If you invest this savings and add it to your traditional IRA, and you project that your income tax bracket in retirement will significantly decrease, you would have more after taxes at retirement with a traditional IRA than a Roth IRA. Why? You're sheltering current income from a higher tax rate now and making withdrawals later at a lower tax rate.

Even if you'd invest this savings, but you project your income tax bracket in retirement will stay the same, fall only slightly, or increase, you'll have more after taxes with a Roth than a traditional IRA.

Similarly, if you wouldn't invest this savings, you'll have more after taxes at retirement with Roth IRA. That's because you spent all your up-front tax savings from your traditional IRA contributions, so that money is not part of your retirement fund.

If you're not eligible to make tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, but you're eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA:

You'll have more after taxes at retirement if you contribute to a tax-free Roth IRA rather than making nondeductible contributions to a tax-deferred traditional IRA.

If you're only eligible to make non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA: Whether this type of IRA contribution is right for you depends on what types of investments you'll make and other available retirement savings options.

If you're only eligible to make non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA: 

Whether this type of IRA contribution is right for you depends on what types of investments you'll make and other available retirement savings options.

If you have questions about your IRA and want to know more about your options, please talk to us. We're happy to help!

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I am back to work now, what does that mean for my taxes?
Authored By: ICCU on 1/7/2021

I Was Temporarily Furloughed and Then Came Back to Work, What Does That Mean for My Taxes?

Whether you are furloughed, laid off or fired, it hurts. It’s a blow to your ego, and losing a regular paycheck is a blow to your finances. Fortunately, for many it was temporary, and after the initial weeks and months of the pandemic they were able to go back to work.

If you were furloughed and your paycheck continued during your furlough (lucky you!) then your finances and taxes didn’t change much. But if you had a gap in pay, with a corresponding gap in taxes withheld, what does that mean for your overall tax picture for 2020? 

If you received unemployment benefits during the period you weren’t working, those benefits are taxable, but income taxes weren’t withheld unless you made a special request. As a result, the taxes on those benefits are due when you file your tax return in the spring or will reduce the amount of your tax refund.

Speaking of refunds, the amount of your refund depends on how much was taken out of your paycheck for income taxes compared to the actual taxes on your tax return. If you had more taken out than the actual taxes, you are due a refund of the difference. But during the weeks or months you weren’t receiving a paycheck, nothing was taken out. That will result in a lower refund at 2020 year end.

There is one ray of sunshine in all of this. Our system of income taxes is graduated, with higher rates applying to higher income. If your income dropped for 2020, your tax bracket may have dropped as well, and that could increase your refund a bit. And now that your income is lower, that could make you eligible for tax credits that didn’t apply to you before, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

When it's time to file your taxes TurboTax is here to help! 
From simple to complex taxes, TurboTax® has you covered. And when you need help, real experts are standing by — and can even do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live®. Getting your biggest possible tax refund has never been easier. And as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTaxClick here to get started today!

The information in this article for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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New Year, new Money Habits
Authored By: ICCU on 1/5/2021

Small Changes for Improving Your Financial Health in the New Year

The New Year is a time for powerful new beginnings. It also presents an opportunity to look at our everyday habits - whether those havits relate to our health and fitness or our money habits as we manage any financial challenges.

What is a habit? A good working definition is that a habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur without a log of conscious thought.

Many of us already have healthy habits that we do by routine - like brushing our teeth or washing our hands.

We might also have healthy money habits. Carefully reviewing your credit card statements each month could be a habit you already have in place, for example. As the year gets underway, there are opportunities to reinforce healthy money habits that already work for you. And it's an opportunity to create new habits like writing down financial goals or building savings.

Make It a Habit

Building positive money habits can affect your entire wellbeing. Here are a few ideas to try as the New Year gets underway.

  1. Make a Goal (and Write It Down)
    Goal-setting gives you direction. You can decide on your destination and make a plan to get there. This action might seem small, but it's not. Make it a habit to look at monthly finances and jot down one or two goals. The goal could be taking a bite out of your credit card balances or setting aside a small amount each month for a large purchase. Tip: Keep track of your goal progress with ICCU's MoneyMap Goal Tracker tool.
     
  2. Set it and Forget it
    You likely have many of your outgoing bills set to "automatic payment", which is a positive money habit. Setting up "auto pay" on monthly utilities, cable, and other bills are paid on time. Consider setting up "auto save" as well. If you set a goal to save for a big purchase, like the down payment for a car, automate monthly savings to help you achieve your goal. Set up automatic transfers or use direct deposit from your paycheck to automatically place funds in your goal account. Tip: Contact ICCU to set up automatic transfers.
     
  3. Spend with Care
    Mindful spending is a powerful financial habit to build. If you don't already have one, build the habit of using a monthly spending or budgeting plan. You'll learn how much money you have to work with, the amount that is going out each month for bills and expenses, what you need to set aside for other bills and living expenses, and how much you can devote to your goal from each paycheck. Tip: ICCU can help you get started with a custom-made budget based on your spending using ICCU's MoneyMap Bubble Budget tool
     
  4. Deal with Debt
    Think about your havits when using your credit card and when considering your total debt situation. Are most of your purchases made with consumer credit cards? What are your current credit card balances and other debt balances? Listing out all your monthly debt payments helps you stay aware and act if needed. If you are in the habit of only making minimum payments on your credit card balances or experiencing collection calls, consider learning about how a Debt Management Plan can help support healthy money habits. Tip: See how you can pay off your debts faster with ICCU's MoneyMap Debts tool
     
  5. Celebrate Your Progress
    As we noted, you likely have many positive havits already. That's something to be proud of, as you can apply those lessons to building new money habits. Make it simple. Tackle one habit at a time and celebrate your wins. The New Year is sure to be a success when you tackle one havit at a time and make it work for you.

Ready to build new money habits? 
Our partner GreenPath specializes in helping people improve their financial wellness.

Learn more about building financial habits here: https://www.greenpath.com/redesign-financial-habits/

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When 0% Interest Isn't Your Best Auto Loan
Authored By: ICCU on 12/16/2020

When it comes to auto loans, a 0% interest rate is a head-turner, but it's not always the best deal.

Car dealerships generally advertise 0% offers when they're looking to make room in the showroom for newer models. The offers come from the financing arms of the large auto manufactures, which unlike traditional lenders, profit directly off the sale of the car and don't necessarily need the interest revenue.

But like any great deal - there's a catch. According to The New York Times, only about 10% of consumers actually qualify for 0% interest loans, which require pristine credit - usually a FICO score of 720 or higher. Those loans typically are reserved for a limited number of models and are not available if you're shopping for a used car - which cost less than newer models.

These 0% loans are often paired with shorter-term loans, which cost you less overall but mean a higher monthly payment. So, before you head to the dealership chasing a 0% loan, keep these points in mind:

Look at all Available Deals

Check for other offers, such as cash back. If you can get a rebate- which lowers the overall price of the car - paired with a low interest loan, it may save you more than the 0% financing. Be sure to crunch the numbers with an online calculator.

Negotiate the Price

Before you get to the interest rate, finalize a sale price and stick to it. Don't feel pressured to accept expensive add-ons. Once the sale price is established, then talk about financing; and

Get Preapproved for a Loan at Your Credit Union

Heading to the dealership with a firm offer in hand will give you a point of comparison and puts you in a stronger negotiation position. Credit unions, as not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offer competitive rates.

Apply Now

 

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It's Time to Winterize Your Home
Authored By: ICCU on 12/4/2020

Not surprisingly, energy costs will rise again this winter as consumers try to keep their homes warm and toasty. Residential electricity rates have risen on average about 15% nationwide over the last 10 years, an increase of about $0.02 per year. Consumers who use oil heat are expected to pay about 20% more than last year.

Before you spend more on you heating bill than you need to, consider taking these steps to conserve heat and make your home more energy efficient:

Adjust Your Thermostat

Throw an extra blanket on the bed and turn down the temperature in your home by 5 to 10 degrees at night to save energy and money. Buy a programmable thermostat and let it adjust the temperature for you.

Fill the Cracks, Gaps, and Leaks

Pick up some spray foam insulation and look for gaps around your windows and pips. If you have a gap under your door, install weather stripping of just make a "door snake." This can save up to 40% on your annual energy bill - for both heating and air condition seasons.

Take Advantage of Free Sunlight

During the day, open the blinds on windows that face south and turn down your thermostat. At night, close the blinds so the heat doesn't escape through the window. Remove any objects that might block the sunlight from shining on heat-absorbing walls.

Add Extra Insulation

Start with the larger gaps around the chimney, furnace flues, plumbing pipes, and ductwork. Then check your roof insulation to make sure it's about 10 to 16 inches deep. If it isn't, have more installed. If your home is more than 50 years old and still has the original insulation, consider replacing it with newer insulation.

Use a Space Heater in Moderation

Use it if you keep the central temperature in your house very low and you want to heat one or two rooms. Turn it off when the room reaches a comfortable temperature. Place your space heater at least three feet from any flammable objects such as bedding, drapery, and furniture, and never leave a space heater unattended.

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Weatherization Grants for Small Businesses
Authored By: ICCU on 11/16/2020

Weatherization Grant Made Available for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

At least $3,000,000 in CARES Act funds have been made available by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to help qualifying small businesses expand their capacity by adding weatherized, temporary outdoor facilities. Business owners who have made previous additions beginning August 1, 2020 can apply for grant reimbursement. Small businesses in qualified industries may submit grant requests between $1,000 and $10,000. Commercial property owners and municipalities will be considered for grants of up to $15,000.

Eligible business can begin applying November 18, 2020 at Noon EST. We encourage you to prepare your grant request as soon as possible as grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apply Now

Weatherization Grant Details

Who is eligible?

Commercial firms and nonprofits with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees in these industries:

  • Restaurants and/or bars
  • Banquet centers
  • Retail stores
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Local governments, including cities, townships, villages and counties that provide common space for businesses
  • Commercial property owners who provide common space for tenants

Qualified ideas to add capacity include:

  • Temporary structures, such as canopies, igloos and tents to cover outdoor seating
  • Portable heaters
  • Outdoor furniture and tableware
  • Outdoor cooking equipment
  • Fencing; dividers such as planters, hangings, or Plexiglas panels
  • Sanitizing supplies and equipment
  • Security devices
  • Electronic menu access
  • Upgrades necessary to increase capacity for carryout and delivery service
  • Delivery charges and labor for installation

All funds must be used in support of weatherization of outdoor capacity expansions. Construction of permanent structures is not an allowable use.

Preparing your application:

To prepare to submit your application, research the costs to implement work, purchase products, etc. If the work has already been done, prepare to submit your receipt and date(s) in which the work has been done for reimbursement. Purchases must be made between August 1, 2020 - December 30, 2020. All receipts are due no later than January 15, 2021.

Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis with a goal of giving at least 10 grants in each of Michigan's prosperity regions. 

Visit the Small Business Association of Michigan website for more information. 

Apply Now

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How Much Do I Need For Closing Costs
Authored By: ICCU on 11/14/2020

If buying a home is in your list of goals you are probably already saving money for the down payment, but what about the closing costs? If you haven’t thought about those yet, it is time to start!

It is important to know what fees are required at closing and have an idea of how much they will cost, this will help you plan and have the funds available so that your homebuying process goes smoothly. As a general rule, you will want to budget between 3% and 5% of the purchase price of the property you are buying for closing costs, but this can vary a lot, so let’s take a closer look into the most common types of closing costs and how much they might cost you.

Don’t forget that there are many different resources to help you with both closing costs and down payment, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, find out more here.

Application Fee
The application fee covers the cost for the lender to process your mortgage application. Check with the lender what is covered under this fee. It usually ranges between $300 and $500.

Appraisal
The appraisal process confirms the market value of the property. It generally costs around $300 and it is payable to your mortgage lender, they will arrange for the appraisal.

Home Inspection
It is safer to make your offer conditional upon passing a home inspection, this will protect you from any possibly detectable problems with the home. The cost depends on the size of the home but it is usually around $400 and payable directly to the inspector of your choice.

Certificate of Location or Land Survey
The seller should present an updated survey or certificate of location, but in case they do not have it, it will be necessary to pay for one. The cost will also depend on the size of the property and it is generally between $1000 and $2000.

Mortgage Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20% on a conventional mortgage you will need to have mortgage insurance. It ranges between 0.6% and 6.5% of the loan and it is arranged by your mortgage lender. It is usually added to your mortgage payments, but can also be paid in full upon closing.

Home Insurance
The home insurance will cover possible damages to your home. The cost will value according to the price of the property, and other property and personal details.

Closing Fee
This fee is paid to the company that is conducting the closing. It is paid directly to the company and it usually includes a base fee of around $300 and an additional $1.75 to $2.75 per every thousand of the purchase price.

Recording Fee
Your local recording office will usually charge a fee for the recording of public land records, the cost is usually under $100.

Property Taxes
You are generally required to pre-pay any taxes due within the next 60 days during the closing.

Now you have an idea of the most common types of closing costs you might need to be prepared for. Of course these can change in different scenarios, reach out to one of our Loan Officers to get an estimate of how much your closing costs would be.

And to search for your dream home and get a cash reward of 0.5% of the value of the property you purchase when you work with one of our recommended real estate agents, use our home search platform!

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5 Spending Tips to Bring You Less Stress (and More Joy!) This Holiday Season
Authored By: ICCU on 11/13/2020

After a year full of twists and turns brought on by a global pandemic, man Americans are understandably looking forward to the holiday season.

This year, many Americans may find they are dealing with financial setbacks such as a loss of employment, reduced income, or other unanticipated expenses that may make it more difficult to avoid having holiday debt follow them into the new year. 

Here are five tips designed to give you less stress and more joy this COVID holiday season:

  1. Set a Holiday Spending Limit
    During the holidays, it can be easy to let spending get out of control. Put a cap on your spending by creating a holiday budget/spending plan.

    Be sure to factor in additional non-gift related expenses that can easily add up- things like holiday photos, decorations, food, and if your family gathering is cancelled, shipping of gifts to love ones.
     
  2. Avoid Putting Holiday Debt on Credit Cards 
    The number one of financial wellness? Avoid spending money you don't have. While it's easy to do, putting holiday spending on credit cards can be risky- especially if you don't have the funds to pay it off when the bill comes due. 

    According to a recent survey, Americans racked up an average of $1,325 in holiday debt. Of those surveyed, 75% said they wouldn't be abe to pay it off in January, with 15% saying they only intended to pay the minimum monthly payment. In case you're wondering, that translates to over $600 in interest and 5 years of making payments--ouch!

    Tip: If you've already found yourself paying off high-interest credit card debt, a GreenPath debt management plan may be able to help you lower your interest rates and pay off debt faster. Try out their debt payoff calculator to see your potential savings.
     
  3. Trade Pricey for Priceless
    A great gift doesn't have to be expensive. Think outside the box and treat your loved ones to a thoughtful gift that generates excitement without the price tag. Maybe that's a handmade item, DIY project, a fun experience, a coupon book, or just the gift of your time.

    Check out this blog article for some great ways to spread holiday joy (without spending too much cash).
     
  4. Keep Your Personal Info Safe 
    The holiday season is a time when people are more vulnerable to identity theft scames. Not only are they making more purchases than at any other time of year, but they are often distraced when doing so.

    According to a recent Experian study, as much as 43% of holiday shopping identity theft occurs online. As the current COVID environment drives more people than ever to online shopping, it's important to be aware of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft:

    * Stay up-to-date with online scames
    * Use strong account passwords
    * Monitor your credit report

    If you do find yourself the victim of identity theft, here are some important steps to take.
     
  5. Stay the Course with Free Financial Counseling from GreenPath
    If you are caught up in the holiday frenzy, and you are stressed about overspending, the counselors at GreenPath can help.

    In fact, 90% of people surveyed report feeling better prepared to handle their finances after speaking with a financial counselor.

    Get ahead of your holiday finances and connect with a counselor today- it's free, no pressue, and 100% confidential.

The Path to Financial Wellness Starts Here
No matter what your goals may be, our partners at GreenPath can help you to take control of your day-to-day financial choices to create more opportunities for achieving your dreams.

  • Create a Budget
  • Save More
  • Pay off Debt
  • Improve Credit
  • Buy a House
  • Plan for the Future

Connect with a GreenPath counselor today! By phone, at 877-337-3399 or online www.greenpathref.com

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3 Budgeting Tips
Authored By: ICCU on 11/5/2020

In a time of uncertainty, many of the people we speak with find that making a budget is a powerful step to help improve financial health.

Taking the time to create a simple budget helps people figure out how to meet financial goals, and weather any unexpected financial challenges that might come along.

Why Budget?

Making a budget lets you:

1. Boost confidence: Even the most basic household budget has the ability to increase your confidence since you’ve taken the first step to get in control of your finances. By paying attention to monthly income and expenses, you have confidence that you can track exactly what’s happening each month.

2. Help you meet goals: Looking to get through an unexpected challenge? Getting ready for a big purchase like a car? Anticipating changes in your family situation? Planning out income and expenses helps you meet these financial goals, and others that might come along. In addition, careful budgeting can help take the sting out of unexpected bills.

3. Increase your awareness: It can be eye-opening when you start to track how much you spend on essential things, like bills, rent/mortgage, and food. A simple budget helps you stay on top of what you are spending. It also shows your progress in saving money or setting aside money to manage debt payments. Your budget can help you find places to save money and trim expenses.

How to Budget?

Now that we’ve lifted up why it makes sense to budget, how do you get started?

Check out our “Budgeting 101” blog for all of the steps.

The “how-to” part of making a budget involves the following main areas:

  • Capture all expenses: This step includes taking a full inventory of monthly expenses, including rent/mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, insurance, food, medicine, childcare, transportation, and other key monthly expenses.
  • Rank expenses by priority: Once a full inventory of expenses is taken, assigning priority based on your values is the next step.
  • Track all monthly income: On the income side, a simple budget is a vehicle to track all monthly household income and listing it out to calculate the monthly flow of income.
  • Make the plan: This is the part of the process where tracking monthly expenses against monthly income reveals any challenge areas. Will the monthly budget allow for other financial goals such as building emergency savings or setting aside money for a big purchase?

Get Your Workbook

To expand upon the ideas offered here, download the Aligning Priorities Workbook which helps you make a simple plan and budget.

You’re in charge of your plan and your goals. It’s always a good idea to pay off debt and to make savings a priority (pay yourself first!) You can always adjust your goal along the way, review your budget and make adjustments to trim expenses or direct money toward something different.

LEARN MORE AND REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR

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Celebrate No Spend November!
Authored By: ICCU on 11/1/2020

November brings longer nights, shorter days and a time to reflect on all that we are grateful for. It's also the perfect time to shift our mindset about money and re-evaluate our financial situation. That's why GreenPath Financial Wellness is bring back our No Spend November challenge!

Here are four challenges to try during this No Spend November:

Challenge 1: Decide to dine at home this month, versus spending your hard-earned dollars on take out. According to Forbes, "at over $20 per serving on average, a restaurant delivered meal is five times as expensive as cooking at home from scratch." Eating a more satifying mean at home will have your stomach and wallet thanking you. You could also try packing car snacks that will fill you up and prevent you from going through a drive through or make the decision to pack your lunch for the week instead of going out to eat. 

Challenge 2: Start planning early for the holidays. Try creating a spending plan so that you know how much you can afford for the holiday season. Think about how you can break that number down for each person you're planning to buy for. It may be helpful to set money aside in a savings account of put $10-$20 per paycheck in an envelope dedicated to holiday purchases.

Challenge 3: If you're someone who usually makes holiday purchases with credit cards, challenge yourself to rely on cash for your holiday spend. If your credit cards are out of sight they will be out of mind. Try hiding credit cards in an untouchable space like the freezer, in a locked safe, in the attic - somewhere that deters you from easily using credit.

Challenge 4: November is a fantastic time to declutter and sell those items you may no longer use. Check out Amazon/Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Let Go, or a local consignment store. That way, you can get some holiday cash and make someone else's holiday merrier.

 

GreenPath Financial Wellness have caring, respectful counselors who are here to support you in meeting your financial goals. Including: free financial counseling, debt management plans, housing services, student loan counseling, credit report review, financial education. Learn more about Greenpath Financial Wellness.

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First Time Homebuyers FAQ
Authored By: ICCU on 10/26/2020

It is true that buying your first home is likely one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make, but with some guidance and careful planning we can help you be prepared to make the best decision at the best time for your finances and your family. Here are the most popular first-time homebuyer questions and our best tips!

Should I Buy a House?
There are several benefits in buying a home, most importantly, a home is a financial investment, with every mortgage payment you build your net worth. Your home will also likely increase in value over time, which also helps to build your net worth. A further benefit is that you may be able to deduct some of your mortgage from your federal income tax. Ultimately, you have to make sure that buying a home fits your needs and capabilities at the moment.

Am I Ready to Buy a House?
When considering buying a home the first point to think about is having a steady income, that should be not only for right now, but also for the foreseeable future. You will need to make sure you can afford your mortgage and all other homeownership related expenses. Another point to review is your credit, the better your credit score, the higher are the chances that you will be approved for the mortgage loan of your choice and be able to get a got mortgage rate. Keep in mind that you can always work on improving your credit score.

How to Apply for a Mortgage?
The first step in applying for a mortgage is to gather the information about yourself and any other borrowers: social security number, employer contact information, estimated income, assets, and liabilities. Then you can start your application online here!

How Can I Get the Best Mortgage?
The best mortgage will be the one that fits your needs, goals and financial situation. You should start by deciding the area where you want to purchase a home, what you would like that home to be like and how much you can afford. There are several options of mortgage loans available and your Loan Officer will be the best person to guide you in your choice and make sure that you are benefiting from the best programs available to you.

How Does My Credit Score Impact My Mortgage?
Your credit score is a summary of your credit history and it gives mortgage lenders information about your current and past financial situation. By having a higher credit score you might qualify for better mortgage rates, on the other hand, if your score is on the lower side, you might get a higher mortgage rate or not qualify for the mortgage loan you chose. The good news is that you can always work on improving your credit score, this can be done by reviewing any possible errors, paying bills on time, keeping low balances on credit cards, and much more, talk to your Loan Officer to find out more.

How Much Do I Need for My Down Payment?
Saving for your down payment is one of the first steps in your homebuying journey. While some people believe it is necessary to have 20% of the value of the property saved up for down payment, that's not necessarily true. With a 20% down payment you have the extra benefit of not having to pay for mortgage loan insurance, but if you do not have that amount saved, there are many other options available. In reality, the average down payment for first-time homebuyers is around 6%, and there are mortgage loan options that make it possible to have an even lower down payment, such as FHA, VA, USDA and conventional loan. There are also down payment assistance programs that you might quality for, specially if you are a first-time homebuyer. 

What Other Upfront Costs Do I Need to Consider?
When thinking about how much you need to save up before you buy a home, the down payment is not the only cost you should be thinking about. You will also need to take into account closing costs such as property taxes and mortgage insurance, these usually run between 2% and 5% of the value of your mortgage. And don’t forget to include moving costs, any repairs you might want to do to the new home, or any appliances and furniture you are planning on buying right away.

What Monthly Costs Do I Need to Consider?
Buying a home will also likely affect your monthly costs. Other than your mortgage payments you should also consider utilities, property taxes and home maintenance expenses. Ideally, you want to keep these costs below 30% of your household income.

Haven’t found your home yet? Find your dream home with us and get a cash reward of 0.5% of the value of the property you purchase when you work with one of our trusted real estate agents. Search homes now!

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The Credit Union Difference: Reaching Out to Those in Need
Authored By: ICCU on 10/14/2020

Credit unions are unique in the world of financial institutions. Nowhere is the credit union difference more vivid than in the diverse ways they reach out to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans who seek basic financial services to realize their dreams.

The examples of outreach are heart-warming, and the results are life changing. Some credit unions offer individual development accounts - savings accounts with matched incentives - to low-income members who are saving for a home, educations, or small business development. Others offer financial literacy training to members trying to re-enter the workforce, to people who are incarcerated, and to new Americans.

Building bridges with the Hispanic community is an important goal for credit unions, as well as fostering entrepreneurship through business loans. Credit unions also offer alternatives to lenders who often take adventage of low-income people who are not using mainstream financial institutions. Coupled with financial literacy programs, these individuals are able to build savings accounts and improve financial well-being.

Some credit unions offer financial counseling programs as well as programs for area schools, colleges, and universities. Student credit unions operate in many schools, allowing the credit union to work with the resources and needs of the school.

And these are just a few of the many ways credit unions impact small and large communities across the country.

Isabella Community Credit Union is here to serve you. Contact us at 989-773-5927 to learn how we can help you realize your dreams. 

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Mid Michigan College Annexation Proposals on November Ballot
Authored By: ICCU on 10/8/2020

As an educational credit union at our core (originally School Employees of Isabella County Credit Union), ICCU cares about making quality, affordable education opportunities available for local students. In fact, “thrift” is a key principle adopted by credit unions worldwide. With these things in mind, we want to make sure you are aware of the Mid Michigan College Annexation proposals that are on the November ballot for residents in the Gratiot-Isabella RESD (GI-RESD). We hope you will take a moment to learn about Mid’s invitation to join its community college district so our students within the GI-RESD have the opportunity to attend at the 40% lower in-district tuition rate of $132 per contact hour (vs. the current $220 out-of-district rate).

For decades, Mid has had a site in Mt. Pleasant and has prepared thousands of students to go on to serve our local manufacturing industries, health care providers, businesses and offices. Thousands more complete their general education requirements and transfer successfully to universities, including CMU, saving themselves a lot of money.  In fact, today Mid serves more students from Isabella and Gratiot counties than from its current in-district areas in Clare and Gladwin counties.

Proposal I asks Gratiot-Isabella RESD voters to determine whether they approve annexation into Mid Michigan College’s district.

Proposal II seeks ratification of a taxable rate of 1.2232 mills (the College’s current operating millage rate and the second lowest in the state).

Proposals 1 and 2 apply only to Mid Michigan college and do not impact the GI-RESD. If both proposals pass, they would lead to the effective annexation of this area to the Mid Michigan College district and resulting millage. A homeowner whose house has an assessed taxable value of $50,000 (true market value of $100,000) would pay slightly more than $60 a year in property taxes to support Mid.

In turn, Mid tuition would be lowered by 40% for students living in the GI-RESD, saving full-time students over $2,100 per year or more. At the College’s current enrollment rates, this change would collectively save GI-RESD residents about $1.5 Million each year, most of which would remain in the community to support our local businesses.

I, personally, will be supporting the annexation by voting “yes” on both ballot measures.  No matter how you choose to vote, thank you for taking the time to read about this proposal so you can make an educated, informed selection. To learn more visit midmich.edu/annexation.

Thank you,  

Jenny Hoyle
President & CEO
Isabella Community Credit Union

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5 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a New Car
Authored By: ICCU on 9/23/2020

So, you've found the perfect car. You’ve shopped around, and this car has your name on it. Well, not quite yet. Not if you want the best deal anyway.

Here are five simple things that can help you afford the car of your dreams:

1. Go to your credit union and get preapproved for an auto loan

Because credit unions are not-for-profit, and owned by their members, you can get better borrowing rates. Plus, knowing exactly how much you can spend, your interest rate, and what your monthly payment will be really gives you confidence when sitting across the desk from the salesperson. Apply online and even sign your loan documents securely in our new virtual closing room!

2. Price check

Check out Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. These sites have information that can help you figure out the dealer’s wholesale cost—that’s the price the dealership would pay the car manufacturer. Also, shop around to find out how other dealers are pricing your make and model.

3. Shop on a week day, at the end of the month, and, even better, at the end of the year

Yes, if you can slip out of work on a weekday when there aren’t a lot of potential buyers in the place; the dealership will be eager to make a deal. At the end of the month, dealerships will be trying to hit their monthly sales goals, and you can take advantage of that situation. And, if you can hold off until the end of the year, when most dealerships are trying to unload inventory, that’s a great time to buy!

4. Stick to the price of the car

Don’t get pulled in another direction with options for add-ons, trade-in value, or a lower monthly payment. You can negotiate those things after you’ve confirmed the price of the car—that’s the number you should be negotiating. Everything else is a distraction.

5. If the price is still too high, don’t be afraid to walk away

Even if you believe this car is perfect, be prepared to let it go and don’t look back. If you’ve followed these tips, you’ll know if it just wasn’t meant to be anyway. And when it is meant to be, your credit union will still be there to give you a loan you know you’ll be able to afford.

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How to Buy a House with No Money Down
Authored By: ICCU on 9/2/2020

It is a common homebuying myth that you must have a 20% down payment saved up before you buy a house. However, that is not necessarily true, it is beneficial to have a 20% down payment as it helps you avoid paying for private mortgage insurance, but it is not mandatory. In fact, the average down payment for first-time homebuyers is around 6%, with several loan options making it possible to put down even less.

The options for assistance with down payment and closing costs are plentiful and range from money gift seller paid closing costs. While first-time homebuyers are in a specially good position to take advantage of programs and grants that were created specifically for them, there are also many other options available to all homebuyers!

  1. Homebuying Grants: There are many homebuyer grants available that help with both the down payment and the closing costs. Several of them are only available to first-time homebuyers, but many are also available to all homebuyers. Some of these programs and grants are available nationwide and others are specific to you State. Reach out to our Mortgage Team to find out which programs and grants are available to you!
     
  2. Zero or Low Down Payment Mortgage Loans: There are a few different types of mortgage loans that give you the opportunity to have a zero down payment or a very low minimum down payment between 0% and 3.5%. Let's look further into these options.
    • The USDA Rural Development loan has been growing in popularity lately as many people consider moving to rural or suburban areas, it offers the possibility of a 0% down payment. This loan is issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, with the goal of making rural suburban housing more affordable. The homebuyers also have to meet the income limitations that vary by area. 
       
    • Another 0% down payment option is the VA loan. Available to active-duty service-members, veterans, and their family members this loan is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It allows homebuyers to purchase a home with no down payment and little-to-no closing costs, another benefit is the mortgage rate, which is lower than most.
       
    • For homebuyers with low credit scores, the FHA loan is a great option. It is available to homebuyers with credit scores as low as 500 with a 10% down payment. But for those with credit scores of at least 580, it is possible to have a down payment of as little as 3.5%.
       
    • The conventional loan should definitely also be considered when you are looking to buy a home with no money down. It allows you to have a down payment of as little as 3% and the eligibility requirements are more relaxed, making it available to most homebuyers.
       
  3. Seller Paid Closing Costs: A great option to not spend money out of pocket when buying a home is to try to negotiate so that the seller pays the closing costs. This is a better option when you are buying in a "buyers market" meaning that there is more supply of houses that demand, and the sellers are more willing to make concessions.
     
  4. Money Gift: Finally, using a money gift to cover down payment and closing costs is another great alternative that is on the rise. The lucky homebuyers that have a family member who would like to gift them money, can use it as long as they follow the requirements set forth by the lender and provide a paper trail showing the source of the money as well as a statement declaring that no repayment is necessary.

With all these options available to help you buy a home with no money out of pocket, becoming a homeowner might be easier and cheaper than you imagine. Our Mortgage team can help you find out which are the best options available to you, reach out!

And to search for your dream home and get a cash reward of 0.5% of the value of the property you purchase when you work with one of our recommended real estate agents, use our home finder platform!

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Personal Finance Hacks for Students
Authored By: ICCU on 8/17/2020

College years are the time when many people establish financial habits that will carry them for the rest of their lives.

Pay attention to these items to get off on the right financial foot:

  • Spending plan: Know how much money you have available for college expenses. Create a workable monthly spending plan that balances income, loans, and gifts with anticipated expenses.
     
  • Records: Use an app to track expenses or monitor expenses online. Tracking expenses will help you see where your money is going and adjust your spending as needed. Also, remember to review your financial statements every month.
     
  • Credit cards: Commit to paying credit card bills in full and on time each month. Using credit wisely teaches you how to live within your means while creating a positive credit record that could help when buying a car, renting an apartment, obtaining insurance, and even landing a job.
     
  • Organization: Keep all financial records, bills, and account statements in one location. This will help you pay bills on time, avoid late fees, and keep an unblemished credit score. Check out ICCU Bill Pay in It'sMe247, where you can pay people and companies securely, without having to go to a bunch of different websites. It's free for members as long as you pay at least one bill per month. 
     
  • Personal information: Learn about the different forms of identity theft, the kinds of personal information you need to protect, and how to protect information - even, and especially, from friends and roommates. Learn the pitfalls of careless use of social media. 

Apps make personal finance easy

There are many apps to help you manage your money. ICCU offers a personal financial management tool, called MoneyDesktop, that allows you to see all of your accounts in one place, even the ones not at the credit union so you can monitor all of you transactions, create budgets, and set goals. MoneyDesktop is available for free for members securely in It'sMe247 Online Banking and using the ICCU mobile app. 

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5 Tips to Spend Less on Groceries
Authored By: ICCU on 8/12/2020

Are You Spending Too Much on Groceries?

How many times have you checked out at the grocery story and were surprised by the total? It's easy to let our grocery bill get too big if we're not careful. Yes, food prices have gone up for certain items lately, and we're making more meals at home now rather than earing at restaurants, below are 5 tips to help keep that expense under control.

  1. Figure out how much you can reasonably spend on food. Financial advisors suggest spending no more than 10% of your income after taxes on food. That includes the grocery store as well as restaurants. If you want actual figures worked out for you, check out the USDA's website for food plans based on averages for four levels: thrifty, low-cost, moderate, and liberal plans.
  2. Make a shopping list. There are many grocery shopping apps available. Find one that fits your needs. These help you create digital shopping lists, including some that offer digital coupons. If you prefer going old school, make you list with a pen and paper and post the list on a board in your kitchen. As you run low on items, put them on your list. Then, when it's time to shop, stick to that list and try to avoid impulse buying.
  3. Use reward programs. If you use a major retailer, the store will likely have a store reward program. Make sure you sign up for it to get store discounts and coupons. The store may even have its own shopping app.
  4. Consider ordering online. Not only does it save you a trip inside a store during the pandemic, it also keeps a running total of your expenses before you check out. If you go over your shopping limit, you simply take certain items off your list to bring down your total. Ordering online can also lessen impulse buying.
  5. Buy only what you need. Avoid buying anything simply because you have a coupon or because the store offers a bulk discount. If you can't eat 2 bags of salad greens in a week, a "buy one, get one 50% off" will simply fill your garbage can with wasted food.

Keeping your food expenses under control is easy with a little planning. The digital tools available makes this even easier. The hardest part will be controlling your impulse to reach for a sweet treat before checking out, and for that, you're on your own. 

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5 Reasons Credit Unions Offer the Best Auto Loans
Authored By: ICCU on 8/4/2020

The average cost of a new vehicle today is around $37,000.

The purchase of a car likely will be the second largest expenditure you have, second only to the purchase of a home. Whether you desire the shiny, brand new one, or if you are content with finding a reliable used one, we want to help you to get the most for your money. 

Here are five reasons it makes more sense to get your loan through us.

  1. With us, you have a better chance of getting your loan approved. Even though the loan application process is the same and the underwriting process is similar, the credit union may make some adjustments that a commercial bank would not. ICCU makes sure to look at the big picture and your unique situations, rather than simply a credit score to make a decision.
     
  2. We have lower rates. A five-year term is the most common loan term for a new or used car, and the rates at a credit union are typically much lower than the average rate at a competitor bank. The savings in interest alone is a major reason to consider this financing. Just think of what you can do with that money!
     
  3. We provide personalized service. Because we are a not-for-profit organization and work to provide members with high-quality member service, you can openly discuss your concerns about your loan, talk about flexible repayment options, and review your financial situation with a professional lending officer. This can alleviate some of the pressure of applying and securing financing for your vehicle and you can be more confident that the credit union is working with your best interests in mind.
     
  4. We offer educational resources. ICCU provides information such as financing options, how to make the best decision by assessing the value of your car purchase, and how . If you're a first-time car buyer and apprehensive about the loan process, you can turn to us for unbiased answers.
     
  5. We offer a non-sales approach. At ICCU, we promise to always work in your best interest. Which means, making sure you have the products and services you need, and not the ones you don't. Our Financial Service Representatives will talk you through the buying processes to make it as convenient and simple as possible.
     

As a credit union, the bulk of our profits go back to our members in the form of lower rates on financial products and more flexible loan options. If you don't like the pressure of working with lenders from a big bank, Isabella Community Credit Union is the answer.

Not an ICCU member yet? Apply for membership today!

Apply for Membership

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Common Credit Report Mistakes Could Cost you
Authored By: ICCU on 7/28/2020

If you haven't requested a copy of your credit report, there are many reasons why you should. Studies show that a high percentage of consumer credit reports contain errors. One-fourth of credit reports contain such serious errors that those individuals could be denied credit.

What are the common errors?

  1. Misspelled names
  2. Wrong Social Security numbers
  3. Inaccurate birth dates
  4. Inaccurate information about a spouse
  5. Out-of-date address
  6. "Closed" accounts listed as "open"
  7. The same mortgage or loan listed twice
  8. Absence of major credit, loan, mortgage, or other accounts that could be used to demonstrate creditworthiness

How can these errors happen?
Most mistakes can be pinned to creditors who provide inaccurate information to credit bureaus. Mistakes happen when credit accounts change hands. Other mistakes simply are human error. One report found that some banks admit to not providing credit bureaus with complete information about their customers. Some errors are the result of thieves stealing your personal information and establishing fraudulent accounts in your name.

Why should you care?
Lenders use credit reports to determine the interest rates on loans; the more creditworthy you appear on paper, the lower the rate you pay. Errors may cause you to pay more. In some cases, you could even pay a higher premium for auto and homeowners insurance, because insurance companies have found that people with poor credit histories tend to file more claims. And many people are surprised to learn that a potential employer turned them down for a job because of negative information on their credit report. Federal law, however, requires that the employer get your permission before pulling your report.

How much does a credit report cost?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the "big three" credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion -- to provide you with one free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Go to annualcreditreport.com to request your reports. (Tip: To keep a close watch on your credit report all year, don't request your credit report from all three agencies at once. Instead, request your free credit report from one agency at a time, several months apart.)

How much does a credit score cost?
If you want your credit score, a three-digit assessment of your creditworthiness, you'll pay approximately $15 per credit bureau or $30-$40 for scores from all three credit bureaus.

What if you find an error in your credit report?
Write a letter to the credit bureau, which is obligated by law to contact the creditor who supplied the disputed information. The credit bureau must respond to you within 30 days. If you're not satisfied with how the dispute is settled, ask that a brief written explanation be added to the bottom of your credit report.

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6 Local Fixer-Upper Homes for Sale for Under $60,000
Authored By: ICCU on 7/7/2020

We have gathered 6 fixer-upper homes so that you can have your dream home without breaking the bank. These homes are all under $60,000! Perfect for first-time homebuyers that are looking for a deal or for someone looking for an investment property or low-cost living!

Are you dreaming of a beautiful home with a large yard where you can gather all of your friends and family for dinner parties and barbecues but it doesn't seem to be in the budget? It might be time to consider a fixer-upper. A lot of older homes have great bones and can become a dream home once you put some work into it. You can hire a contractor or even do some of the work for yourself, and as a bonus, you get to choose all the details of the home exactly how you want. 

Is the idea sounding interesting? We have gathered 6 fixer-upper homes for sale in Isabella County so that you can have your dream home without breaking the bank.

Have you applied for a pre-approval yet? The pre-approval should be your first step when you are looking to buy a home. It's simple, easy, and requires no commitment. Start here or talk to one of our mortgage officers!

3691 S Leaton Rd, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 - $45,000

3691 S Leatoon Rd

This comfortable home offers 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. There is also a deck in the back of the house that is perfect for hosting family and friends.

Learn more about this home.

1305 Harold Ave, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 - $50,000

1305 Harold Ave, Mt. Pleasant MI

This ranch home offers an open floor plan, main floor laundry, a durable steel roof, and much more. THe home has good bones, a good furnace, appliances as well as a newer hot water heater, and updated laundry. With a little work, it can be a perfect dream home and a great investment.

Learn more about this home.

6095 E Tomah Rd, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 - $58,5000

6095 E Tomah Rd

The renovations in this home have already started! With a little more work you could have an updated 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, charming home!

Learn more about this home.

1010 Robert St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 - $59,000

1010 Robers St. Mt. Pleasant MI 48858

This is a perfect home for low-cost living or rental income. A very low maintenance 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home, with recently installed foam insulation. This home can be lived in as is or can also benefit from some upgrades!

Learn more about this home.

8077 Geradin St., Lake, MI 48632 - $59,900

8077 Geradin St., Lake MI 48632

This 3 bedroom home has stunning country views, an attached garage with a workshop, and potential for additional parking in the attached barn. 

Learn more about this home.

5620 E Remus Rd., Mt. Pleasant MI 48858 - $60,000

5620 E Remus Rd, Mt. Pleasant MI

This beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home comes with 9 acres of partially wooded land. It is just waiting for a buyer that will restore it to its former glory.

Learn more about this home.

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5 Tips to Make Your Home Office Work For You
Authored By: ICCU on 6/11/2020

With many Americans currently working remotely from home, and more and more companies changing the ways they allow their employees to work, revamping your home office space is not a bad idea. Whether you are working from a comfy couch in your living room, from your kitchen table, or hiding out in your home office, making a few adjustments to these spaces allows you to be more creative, productive, and efficient. Here are some tips for setting up your home office in a way that works for you and a few great home offices in homes for sale in Isabella County, in case you are thinking about relocating.

  1. Choose A Specific Area

Choose a space that is quiet and somewhat separate from the rest of your home (and your tribe of kiddos, if you have them). Ideally, this space should be separated with a door that can be closed. However, if you don’t have an extra room available, you can corner off a specific area of your house for you to do your work. When you have found a space that works for you, you can set it up to accommodate your needs, such as a big desk or a comfortable chair.

  1. Good Lighting is Key

When choosing a space for your home office, make sure it has lots of windows or exposure to natural light.  Having an office space with natural light has several benefits, such as improving productivity, boosting mental and physical health, increasing alertness, and promoting relaxation. It’s also great for all those video conferences!

  1. Keep The Personal and Professional Separate

It’s essential to separate yourself from your work after the workday is over. One way to do this is by having a separate work phone, which will prevent you from checking notifications or answering quick emails. Another way to do this is by closing the door on your home office, if you do not have a separate room for your office and are working from your kitchen or living room, consider using a drawer or a cabinet to store your work gear after work.

  1. Get Organized and Declutter

It’s time to do some spring cleaning! When setting up your home office, take some time to throw out anything that is no longer useful to you. Once you have gone through your junk, take a look around you and clear the area of any mess behind you (this will come in handy for video calls). When everything is tidy, set up your office to have all of your essentials close to you, such as your phone, laptop, day planner, headphones, and more.

  1. Add Personal Touches

Now it’s time to make your office feel more like you with personal touches! Whether it’s your favorite art piece, flowers, aromatherapy diffusers, snacks, or a scented candle or two, these small things will make you feel inspired and help keep productivity up.

What if I don’t have a home office or space in my house to create one?

Here are some beautiful homes for sale in Isabella County with home offices in case you are thinking about relocating.

1087 El Camino Grande, Weidman, MI 48893

1087 El Comino Grande

This beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has several vital assets, including a master suite with walk-in closets, a glass door that leads to a saltwater pool, a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, and an adjoining office for you to get all of your much-needed work done. Check out the rest of this home here.

 

500 E River Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

 

500 East River Rd

 

This 4 bedroom, 2 bath ranch offers close to 4000 sq ft. It was built in 1995 and has been well maintained. This home offers a great layout for entertaining but plenty of space for privacy. The ample basement has plenty of space for an office or even two, check out more of this home here.

 

3902 E River Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

3902 E River Rd

This spacious and well-organized office is already set up for your success! Located within a beautiful four-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch-style home, you can enjoy excellent amenities such as a gas fireplace while working from the comfort and safety of home. Check out the beautiful pond views from the screened-in porch here

 

25 N Lincoln Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

 

25 N Lincoln Rd

 

This 1.5 story farmhouse just a stone's throw from mt pleasant which offers spacious brand new quartz kitchen, new flooring, fresh paint, & beautiful countryside views. There is a beautiful built-in office in the main floor, check out more of this home here.

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Your Guide to Banking at ICCU!
Authored By: ICCU on 4/22/2020

Did you know that as ICCU members, you can still get your items notarized at the main office in drive-thru? Just give us a call so that we can have everything ready when you get there. 

During this uncertain time we want you to know that your credit union is here for you! Of course, we have had to take precautions in order to protect our employees and members. Please take a look at the chart below to make sure you know the best ways to access your accounts at ICCU! 

I need to...Here's How

 

I Need to... 

  • Request a Payment Deferral
    • For consumer loans call, 989-772-6508
    • For mortgage loans call, 989-772-6510
  • Request a Loan or Credit Limit Increase
    • Apply Online
    • Call 989-772-6508
      • If your income was impacted by COVID-19: Ask about our Relief Loan.
  • Deposit a Check
    • Use your smartphone to deposit your check with ICCU Mobile
    • Visit an ICCU ATM or Drive-Thru
  • Get Cash
    • Visit an ATM or ICCU Drive-Thru
      • Please note: To prevent the spread of the virus, limit your use of cash. Instead, use your debit card, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Online Bill Pay, or other virtual payment method.
  • Request Debit/ATM Card
    • Call 989-773-5927
  • Activate Online/Mobile Banking
    • Call 989-773-5927
  • Become a Member

If you have any questions, give us a call at 989-773-5927 or for more information, visit ICCU's COVID-19 Information page

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Jenny Hoyle, President & CEO on all things COVID-193/30/2020

Listen as Jenny Hoyle talks about COVID-19, your money at the credit union, how to access your account, and relief assistance that ICCU has to help you through this uncertain time.

Coronavirus

 

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Managing Your Finances During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authored By: ICCU on 3/27/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only causing fear and uncertainty about our health, but our livelihood as well. Many wonder, "What happens to me and my family if my employer has to lay off people or my hours are cut?"

Now more than ever, it's important to keep track of your expenses to make sure you're not spending more than you make or increasing your credit card debt. If you feel like you live paycheck to paycheck, then now is definitely time to take a hard look at your expenses, see where you can make adjustments, and take firm control. 

To get control, you need to know exactly what you're dealing with- how much money is coming in each month, and how much is going out. To get a clear picture, create a budget. There are many apps and online templates you can choose from, we recommend using ICCU's MoneyDesktop, where your information is safe and secure behind your It'sMe247 login and you be giving your information out to another company. With MoneyDesktop, you can view your complete financial picture all in one place, including your 401k and accounts you have with other financial institutions.

A budget will tell you if you're setting aside enough money for the essentials (rend, utilities, food) and how much is being eaten by non-essentials (like concerts, eating out, cable, or gym memberships). If money is tight, cancel non-essential subscriptions services temporarily. You can always restart them when things get better. Since most of us are practicing social distancing to minimize contagion, you may already be saving money by not going out and not even realize it. 

If your credit card debt is high, see if any of your existing cards are offering low interest rates on balance transfers. ICCU offers credit cards with fantastic low rates, no annual fees, and ScoreCard Rewards! Transfer the balance from the highest card to a lower interest card and pay more than the minimum payment whenever possible. Also, until you have paid off the debt, only use your card for emergencies.

Another important task is to beef up your emergency savings or start an emergency savings account if you haven't already done so. Ideally, you want to save at least 3 months of your take-home pay. You can start with as little as $5 a week. Simply save $5 consistently each week and when you think you can add a little more, increase your deposit. To make this easier, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account. It's easy to do on our website, go to ICCUonline.com and login to It'sMe247, then click on the transfer button above your account summary (it looks like two arrows) and enter in the details for the transfer. If you need help, contact us, we're happy to help!

ICCU has recently introduced a new loan, the COVID-19 Income Replacement Loan*, for established ICCU members who have lost their income and anticipate trouble paying their rent/mortgage, household expenses, or ICCU loan payments. This loan was designed to cover a members income for 3 months or up to $10,000 with an amazingly low 2.5% Annual Percentage Rate, for a term of up to 36 months. We will also defer your first payment for up to 90 days, and have additional deferral options built in, should it take longer for your employer to get back to business as usual. (*Special underwriting criteria applies, subject to approval.)

We have many other relief options available depending on your personal situation, including payment deferrals on existing ICCU loans, smaller personal loans, waiving early withdrawal fees on Certificate's of Deposit. Please contact us so we can work with you to come up with a customized plan for your circumstances. 

Please know that Isabella Community Credit Union is always by your side and we will do everything in our power to help you get through this difficult and uncertain time. #StrongerTogether #StayHomeStaySafe

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Beautiful Ranch-Style Homes for Under $400,000 in Isabella County
Authored By: ICCU on 3/24/2020

With our new home search tool you are able to search for homes online, and by using one of the real estate agents we recommend to purchase your dream home, you can qualify for a cash reward as well!

Love the look of ranch-style homes, but aren't sure where to start? Take a look at these ranch homes that are gorgeous and roomy in Isabella County.

Here’s a list of five picturesque ranch-style homes priced under $400,000 in Isabella County.

A Sportsman's Paradise

7391 W Battle Rd Lake, MI 48632

For Sale: $389,800

Size: 1620 sqft with 77 acres of land

7391 W Battle Rd

This gorgeous three-bedroom two-bathroom home was built in 2000, and it sits on 77 acres of luscious land with several ponds, woods, wetlands, and an apple orchard. This home has a large kitchen with a grand view of the ponds, a heated pole barn, a two-car garage, and an unfinished basement plumbed for an additional full bath and spacious enough for two additional bedrooms. Let’s take a look inside!

An Open-Concept Ranch Home

3400 E Blanchard Rd Shepherd, MI 48883

For Sale: $300,000

Size: 2834 sqft

3400 E Blanchard Rd

This spacious three-bedroom, three-bathroom, ranch-style home was built in 2007, and it has two large ponds on the property! Within this home, you can enjoy an open concept kitchen and living area and a large basement that can serve as an entertainment area for you and your family.  Let’s see what’s inside!

Ranch in Irish Hills

2026 W Kelly Dr Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

For Sale: $254, 900

Size: 3060 sqft

2026 W Kelly Dr

An adorable open concept ranch home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, this property is the perfect place for you and your family to settle. This lovely home has several quality features, such as oak flooring, crown moldings, a double pantry in the kitchen, and a home theatre. Check out the interior of this home here!

 

Not Your Typical Ranch

1453 S Lincoln Rd Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

For Sale: $290,000

Size: 2804 sqft

1453 S Lincoln Rd

A well maintained, four-bedroom, two-bathroom, ranch-style home, which is equipped with updated features for you and your family to enjoy! The kitchen is suitable for a chef, with stainless steel appliances, a sub-zero refrigerator, and beautiful granite countertops. This home has something to offer for nature lovers too - two acres of land and a beautiful pond! Check out the interior of this beautiful home here.

A Sweet Home on Helen Lane

1219 Helen Ln Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

For Sale: $219,900

Size: 1680 sqft

1219 Helen Ln

Situated on a long private road within a quiet neighborhood, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is the perfect place for you and your family. The property features a large back deck with a hot tub, a pole barn, an attached garage, a beautiful pond, and perennial gardens. Let’s take a look inside.

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How Much Home Can I Afford?
Authored By: ICCU on 3/4/2020

How Much Home Can I Afford?

Buying a home can be an exciting time. It’s also a significant decision that should be carefully thought through. Before you begin looking for a home, there are 3 things to consider before you sign anything:

  1. Actual cost vs. Monthly payment: As you move throughout the mortgage application process, you will receive a quote for a monthly payment. Take for example a mortgage of $200,000 at an interest rate of 4% APR over 30 years. The minimum monthly mortgage payment would be $955.00. This is just the amount going toward principal and interest. But there are other expenses you’ll have to pay each month as well:
  1. Taxes and Insurance — These expenses won’t be included in your quoted monthly payment. However, since lenders want to make sure you pay your taxes and insurance, many will require you to open an escrow account to collect the money for these expenses. They’ll then pay these bills with this money on your behalf. A percentage of these yearly costs are then added to your monthly payment. That cost varies depending on property taxes and home values in your area. It is important to note that this payment can fluctuate, typically every 12 months. In most instances, plan on a slightly higher payment each year you own your home.
  2. Repairs, maintenance, upgrades, etc. — Used homes and newly built homes will have repairs. Once you join the world of home ownership, you own (literally) the cost of all repair work. Plan on setting aside a certain amount per month for these costs, on top of your monthly mortgage payment, so you don’t have to incur additional debt.
  1. Explore different lending programs: Are you aware of FHA, Veteran’s, or USDA loan options? What about first-time home buyer programs? Down payment assistant programs? Minimum or “no” down payment options? There are multiple programs that are worthy of exploration. However, be careful of who you give your information to – you’ll want to deal with a reputable lender, like your local credit union. They can review multiple options, assess your situation, and tell you about programs for which you may qualify. Take the time to learn about and explore these options. Ask questions and seek clarity. 
  2. Net income vs. Gross Income: To start the mortgage lending process, your lender will calculate a debt-to-income ratio. Most lenders base their lending decisions on your gross income and not your net. (The “gross” is pre-tax and the “net” is what is deposited into your account.) The debt-to-income figure is calculated by adding up all the tradelines (credit accounts) on your credit report and dividing that figure by your gross income.

For example, if your expenses add up to $1,500 and your total income is $5,000 per month, then your debt-to-income ratio would be 30%. Keep in mind, the total debt typically does not include groceries, cell phone payments, gym memberships, etc. To stay on solid financial ground, most financial experts recommend that you add all your housing expenses, then divide that by your net income. Try to keep your debt-to-income ratio under 35%.

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Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Emptying Your Wallet
Authored By: ICCU on 2/12/2020

Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to let your loved ones know that you care. However, it can easily take funds out of your budget. Below are some tips that can help you show your love without emptying your wallet

  • Go Outside! Build a campfire and roast marshmallows under the stars. Or if the weather doesn't allow for you to be out, you can use your oven to make the perfect marshmallows for s'mores.
  • Check out local park and recreation departments and state tourism calendars for free local events
  • Go on a scavenger hunt in your own city! Make a list of special things to find and take a photo together at each place. Turn the photos into a collage and give that as a gift.
  • Make a batch of homemade cookies
  • Make a special dinner at home
  • Volunteer your time together. Walk stray dogs together at your local animal shelter, roll up your sleeves and help the homeless at a local soup kitchen or by helping to build first homes, visit an elder care facility and spend time with older members of your community.
  • Make an appreciation jar. Fill a mason jar with notes about reasons or memories that describe what it is you appreciate about someone special. 
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5 Bad Money Habits and How to Fix Them
Authored By: ICCU on 2/6/2020

Learning how to use money wisely is an essential skill that isn’t always taught to us as children. Some of us pick up bad money habits on our journey to adulthood. Often, we’re just not being mindful of where our money goes.

See if you have any of the following bad money habits. Then read on to learn how to break them and replace them with good habits.

1. Use credit cards to pay for a lifestyle beyond your means – It’s easy to spend wildly with a card; you don’t see the money slip away until you get the monthly bill. If you can’t pay off your credit card balance each month, then at least pay more than the minimum payment. Remember that even if you don’t use the card, the interest charges will compound, increasing your total debt. To break a credit card habit, try using cash or your debit card instead for a few weeks and look at your checking account balance every day. You’ll quickly learn to stop and think twice before making a purchase.

2. Living paycheck to paycheck – If you’re spending as much as you earn, you’ll always be short of funds by the end of the month for your rent and bills, and you’ll never be able to save. So, first, get a clear picture of your essential expenses: your rent, utilities, gas, insurance, groceries. Add them up, then deduct that total from your monthly take-home pay. Ideally, essential expenses should take up only 50% of your income. If it’s more, then you’ll need to either find ways to reduce those expenses or get another job. Of the remaining 50% of your monthly income, use at least 20% to pay down debt and add to savings and use the last 30% for everything else you want.

3. Not saving for an emergency fund or retirement – Life is unpredictable; you can’t always tell when your job may be downsized or your car needs a major repair. That’s why it’s important to build an emergency saving account that has enough to cover at least 3 months of expenses. Relying on a credit card will only send you further into debt. It’s also important to begin saving for retirement. The younger you are when you start, the more you’ll earn through the magic of compounding interest.

4. Keeping subscriptions you don’t use – If you have an automatic recurring expense, like a gym membership or a streaming service, but you aren’t using them consistently, then why are you paying for them? Review all subscriptions and if you haven’t used them on a regular basis for 3 months, cancel them. Put the money you save into your savings.

5. Not tracking spending. Just try it one month to get a clear idea of where you are spending your money. Keep a receipt for every purchase, categorize them in a budgeting app or spreadsheet, and add them up. You may discover that buying lunch everyday instead of making your own is costing you about $200 every month, money that could be used to pay down a student loan or credit card bill.

Like any bad habit, it will take some work to change bad money habits to good ones. Just know that the peace of mind a healthy financial status brings is priceless.

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Share the Love of ICCU Membership
Authored By: ICCU on 2/1/2020

If you love your credit union, shouldn't the people you love get to love us too? When you share the love of ICCU to your friends and family before March 31st, we'll give you $25 and they'll receive $50 when they open an eChecking account with direct deposit! Here's how it works:

  • Fill out the Share the Love Coupon with your name and birthday (so we can make sure it's your account)
  • Give the coupon to your friends/family
  • Have them come into ICCU and open an eChecking account with direct deposit
  • Once their first direct deposit comes into their new account, the money will be deposited.

Learn More

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3 Tips for a Business Loan
Authored By: ICCU on 1/30/2020

Isabella Community Credit Union is able and eager to make loans to small businesses, but regulators require us to verify and document business owners’ ability to repay loans, business soundness, and credit quality. So, before you approach a lender, make sure your documentation shows the strength of your business and your expertise.

  • Start with an updated business plan and financial statements.  These documents show lenders that you understand your industry, the market, the competition—and your niche—your products/services, growth strategies, revenue and expense projections, and cash-flow analysis. Your plan also should demonstrate your expertise in running your business, from marketing to accounting. If you don’t have certain skills, show that you’ve hired resources or outsourced those functions.

  • Outline how you’ll use the loan.  Lenders want to know that the funds will help you reach a specific growth objective, that you haven’t just run low on cash due to poor money management. Tie the loan amount to a specific piece of equipment or project. Show research you’ve done about the asset or project and how resulting growth will help pay for it.

  • Highlight your ability and willingness to repay the loan.  Show that your cash flow will let you make loan payments and cover operating expenses each month. Include credit reports to demonstrate that you have a strong credit history and have paid past bills and loans consistently. Calculate your debt-to-equity ratio to show that you aren’t a high-risk business carrying excessive debt. List business assets that could act as security for the loan, along with personal resources. Lenders like to see that you’re confident enough about the business to invest your own assets.

If you’re able to illustrate that you know your business, that the loan will further growth, and that you’ll be able to repay, you’re likely to qualify for a small-business loanContact ICCU today for all your business needs at 989.773.5927.

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Get Your Maximum Refund and Special Savings on TurboTax
Authored By: ICCU on 1/28/2020

Tax time doesn’t have to be stressful! With TurboTax, you’ll get your biggest possible refund fast and your taxes done right. PLUS, credit union members save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products, all through tax season.

TurboTax makes it easy to find the best solution for your unique tax situation. For example, are you a simple filer? Free Edition might be for you. Homeowner? TurboTax Deluxe searches 350+ deductions to make sure you get every tax break you qualify for. Independent contractor, freelancer or side-gigger? TurboTax Self-Employed uncovers deductions personalized to you and your line of work, and includes a complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed for effortless expense and mileage tracking, year round (To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed, sign-in and access your account at least twice by 7/15/20, see details*).

File with confidence, knowing that TurboTax guarantees 100% accurate calculations, running thousands of error checks as you go. And if you do need help along the way, TurboTax has it: From answers online anytime, to unlimited advice and a final review from a CPA or Enrolled Agent with TurboTax Live.

Save on TurboTax today! Try it for free and pay only when you’re ready to file.

* Visit http://turbotax.intuit.com/lp/yoy/guarantees.jsp for TurboTax product guarantees and other important information. Limited time offer for TurboTax 2019. Discount applies to TurboTax federal products only. Terms, conditions, features, availability, pricing, fees, service and support options subject to change without notice. Intuit, TurboTax and TurboTax Online, among others, are registered trademarks and/or service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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4 Steps to Deposit Your Checks with Your Phone!
Authored By: ICCU on 1/24/2020

Did you know that as members of ICCU, you can deposit checks with your smartphone!? It's a simple and easy way to make deposits from where ever you are without having to make the trip to the credit union. Just follow these steps:

  1. Download ICCU Mobile in your phones app store.
  2. Click on "Move Money" on the bottom tabs and then "Deposit Check". Sign in using your It'sMe247 Online Banking username and password. 
  3. Follow the instructions to set up mobile check deposit. 
  4. Once approved, you can deposit your checks! 

Checks deposited using your phone are typically approved within a few seconds of submitting the check. Be sure to keep your check at least until you can verify that the deposit has been made into your account. If your check is not approved you will receive a message communicating the situation within one business day.  

Tips to make sure your check is approved:

  • Double check that the writing on the check is legible. 
  • Take the picture with the corners of the check in the designated area, on a dark surface, away from other objects.
  • Write "Mobile Check Deposit" on the back of the check, or simply check the check box for Mobile Check Deposit, if the check has one.

We hope you enjoy depositing checks with your phone. Please let us know if you have any problem or concerns!

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A Loan to Help You "Go Green"
Authored By: ICCU on 1/23/2020

Many Americans are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and live sustainably. Is it possible to help the protect the environment, reduce your carbon footprint, AND save money? Yes, it is! One way is to consider installing solar energy system on your property. By adding this renewable energy system, you’ll not only decrease your impact on the environment, but you’ll also decrease your energy costs and increase your home’s value.

Although a solar energy system will pay for itself over the long run, the cost of installing it can be quite expensive. ICCU would love to help you finance your new solar panels. 

According to the U.S. Solar Energy Technologies Office, the monthly payment for these loans is often smaller than a typical energy bill.

Buying a solar energy system also has tax benefits. Installing a system makes you eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit, allowing you to deduct a certain percentage of the installation cost from your federal taxes. Currently, the credit is 26% and will decrease to 22% by 2022.

If you are considering “going green” by installing solar panels, but need help paying for the upfront cost, then talk to one of our loan officers to get started!

Apply Now

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ICCU. Local Service. Global Reach10/16/2019

On October 17, 2019, Isabella Community Credit Union (ICCU) will join with 56,000 credit unions around the world in celebration of International Credit Union (ICU) Day®.  Stop by any ICCU office and enjoy donuts and cider to celebrate with us! 

There are 200+ million credit union members around the world—more than 100 million in the U.S. alone—and ICCU joins them in celebration of the not-for-profit cooperative spirit that all credit unions share.

This cooperative spirit has led to life-changing opportunities for people all over the world who’ve wanted to start a small business, own a home or continue their education but were denied access to other financial institutions. In many parts of the world, people’s first taste of democracy is through their credit union, where “one member, one vote” is the governing structure.

At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans—it is literally people helping people. This is why Isabella Community Credit Union celebrates ICU Day. Because credit unions empower people, wherever they are in the world or life, to take control of their financial future.

The public is welcome to stop by any office and celebrate with Isabella Community Credit Union a movement that concerns itself with the financial success of all people.

 

 

Copyright 2019 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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ICCU's Teacher Mini Grant Program8/21/2019

ICCU will be awarding four $500 grants to applicants from any Isabella County Schools. We will be accepting applications until September 30, 2019 and will be awarding the grants on October2, 2019. 

ICCU is so excited about this new opportunity to give a little back to our area schools! Teachers and education are very near and dear to our hearts, as ICCU started out 61 years ago in Mt. Pleasant High School as School Employees of Isabella County Credit Union. Since then we have grown into our three branches in Mt. Pleasant, with an additional Student Run Credit Union in the Gratiot-Isabella Technical Education Center.

We are passionate about learning and financial education! If you are ever interested in having someone from ICCU visit your classroom to help educate your students about financial related topics ranging from counting change to learning about a credit score, we would love to help!

apply now

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Tax Reform 1011/7/2019

Tax Reform 101: 5 Reasons You Should Start Planning

Even if you didn’t owe money this past tax season it’s more important than ever to plan for next tax season now. The idea of tax planning isn’t anything new, but with so many changes under the new tax reform law, Isabella Community Credit Union wanted to break down the five reasons to start planning and the moves you can make now to help you save money on your taxes when you file next year.

Don’t worry, TurboTax Has You Covered

TurboTax is always up to date with the latest forms and 100% accurate calculations. With TurboTax, you can file your taxes with complete confidence – and get your biggest possible refund, guaranteed. AND, as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products. Click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

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Five Reasons to Start Planning

Lower tax rates, more money. One of the biggest changes under the new tax law that may impact how much you need to have withheld from your paycheck is the reduced tax rates. Tax rates were reduced about 1 – 3% for the majority of taxpayers so you may be seeing more money in your paycheck. Although the IRS adjusted the withholding tables that employers use to produce the correct amount of tax withholding for people with simpler tax situations, for instance, those who only take the standard deduction, the withholding tables don’t reflect some of the other changes that impact more involved tax returns like the reduction of some itemized deductions.

Elimination of personal and dependent exemptions. Under the new tax law the personal and dependent exemptions of $4,050 were eliminated. If you are married and have a few kids, the elimination of your personal and dependent exemptions can mean a big reduction in the number of write-offs you once had.

Increase in the Child Tax Credit. Although you’re no longer able to take the dependent deduction, the new tax reform law increased the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. The law also adds a new, non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. Finally, it raises the income threshold at which these benefits phase out from $110,000 for a married couple to $400,000, which means more people will be eligible for the credit. Because the Child Tax Credit is for kids under 17, if your not so little one celebrated their seventeenth birthday this year, you may see a change in your taxes, since you can no longer take the Child Tax Credit for your 17-year-old.

Changes if you’re a homeowner. If you are a homeowner or are considering buying your dream home, some of the changes in the new tax law are very important for you. As an existing homeowner, you may see fewer tax deductions that lower your tax liability especially if you live in a state with high property taxes since the new law limits the amount of state and local property, income, and sales taxes that can be deducted to $10,000. In the past, these taxes have generally been fully tax deductible. Due to the cap on these tax deductions, you may now also have to take the standard deduction on your taxes instead of taking itemized deductions since the standard deduction has almost doubled. Don’t worry about knowing if you should take the standard deduction or itemized deduction at tax time. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the option (standard deduction or itemized) that’s best for you.

If you are considering purchasing a new home this year, one thing to keep in mind is the law also caps the amount of mortgage indebtedness on new home purchases on which interest can be deducted at $750,000 down from $1,000,000 in the former law if you already own a home. If you are trying to make a decision between purchasing in a high property state like California or a state with lower property prices, knowing about these changes could help you with your decision.

Elimination of tax deductions. The new tax reform law eliminated several popular tax breaks starting in tax year 2018 (the one you file in 2019) like miscellaneous itemized deductions. This includes deductions such as job search expenses, unreimbursed work expenses, investment expenses and tax preparation fees, exceeding 2% of adjusted gross income as well as moving expenses.

What You Can Do to Start Planning Now?

Adjust your withholding allowances. One of the best things you can do is to use the TurboTax updated W-4 calculator to boost your tax refund — or your take-home pay.

Reduce your taxable income. You can decrease your taxable income by making smart money moves throughout the year like investing in your 401K or IRA. Also, don’t forget expenses like paying student loan interest can be tax deductible and will decrease your taxable income at tax time.

Don’t worry about knowing the new tax laws. TurboTax has you covered and will be up to date with the latest tax forms and 100% calculations. When you are ready to file, click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

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The 5 Tax Reform Changes Isabella Community CU Members Should Know1/7/2019

The 5 Tax Reform Changes Isabella Community Credit Union Members Should Know

It’s a safe bet that parts of the most recent tax reforms left you a little — or very — perplexed. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. According to one survey, the new tax law confuses 77% of respondents. The confusion is understandable — there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to any tax changes.

Don’t worry, TurboTax Has You Covered

TurboTax is always up to date with the latest forms and 100% accurate calculations. With TurboTax, you can file your taxes with complete confidence – and get your biggest possible refund, guaranteed. AND, as a credit union member you can save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products. Click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

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To help clear up the confusion, Isabella Community Credit Union has provided the top 5 tax reform changes you should know:

1. Lower Tax Rates and Changed Income Ranges

The seven tax brackets found in the former law remain, but a number of tax rates are lower. The income thresholds at which the rates apply also change.

  • The former brackets were: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%
  • The new brackets are: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%

The income thresholds at which these brackets kick in change for single and married joint filers, as well.

Tax Chart

 

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Community Pie Sale November 20th & 21st11/12/2018

Stop by any ICCU office on November 20th and 21st for ICCU's 13th Annual Community Pie Sale!

Pick up a pie, cookies, breads, and/or muffins for your Thanksgiving dinner (or as a snack for your way home!). All baked goods are made by ICCU employees or donated by local businesses.

This year, 100% of your donation will support the William Strickler Nonprofit Center building purchase through the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation! The Center will provide space for The Care Store, Clothing Inc., Community Compassion Network, and Isabella County Restoration House to better serve our community all under one roof!

To find out more ways to help this very worthy project, visit mpacf.org/nonprofit-center!

 

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Junior Achievement Job Shadow Day!2/28/2018

Today at the credit union, we had wonderful students from Mary McGuire Elementary visit with us and learn all about what we do!

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12th Annual Community Pie Sale11/15/2017

Stop by an ICCU office on November 21st and 22nd to pick up a pie, cookies, breads, and/or muffins for your Thanksgiving dinner (or as a snack for your way home!).

All baked goods are made by ICCU employees or donated by local businesses.

This year, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Foster Closet in Mt. Pleasant.

Thank you to everyone donating pies and baked goods this year!

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Mobile App for Your Debit Card!11/13/2017

With the biggest shopping time of the year right around the corner, don't forget to download CardNav and register your ICCU debit card! With CardNav, you can set up notifications for purchases made on your card, limit transactions by location or by a specific dollar amount. You can even turn off your card with the tap of a button should it become lost or stolen.

Stay protected, use CardNav with your ICCU debit card!

VISA credit card holders, check out VISA Purchase Alerts to be notified when your credit card is used.

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Scheduled Transfers are New in It'sMe247!11/11/2017

We are excited to announce a new feature in It’sMe247 Online Banking! You are no longer limited to "Right Away" transfers. Schedule recurring transfers (weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly) with start and end dates in It’sMe247 Mobile and Online Banking. Login now to see all of the new transfer options available to you!

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Traveling for the Winter?11/10/2017

Are you going south for the winter?

Are you planning a trip?

Don't forget to let us know so you don't have a problem accessing your accounts while you're away!

Print a Traveling Out of Area form and send it to ICCU:

Isabella Community Credit Union
P.O. Box 427
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-0427

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Tips to Protect Your Identity and Credit11/9/2017
  • Do not give out personal information.
  • Be sure you keep a close eye on all of your accounts and report any suspicious activity right away.
  • Monitor your credit report (one free report from each of the three credit agencies, per year) at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Consider placing a freeze on your credit report by contacting the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian) to prevent new credit from being taken out in your name.
  • Please click here to learn more.
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VISA Purchase Alerts11/8/2017

Receive alerts when purchases are made on your ICCU credit card!

All you need to do is create an account at www.purchasealerts.visa.com, confirm your email address, and add your card information.

Once you’re enrolled, you can set up email or text alerts:

  • when a transaction meets or exceeds a certain amount
  • if your card is used outside of the United States
  • if a purchase is made online or by phone

If you ever become aware of any suspicious activity on any of your ICCU accounts, please let us know as soon as possible.

Let us know if you have any questions or have any trouble!

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Pumpkin Promenade10/26/2017

Bring your little ghosts, goblins, and princesses to downtown Mt. Pleasant for Pumpkin Promenade from 4pm - 6pm on October 31st. Local businesses will be handing out lots of candy for trick-or-treating! Be sure to stop by ICCU's Downtown Branch and say hi!

Happy Halloween!

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5 Steps to Smart Saving and Spending10/24/2017
  1. Get a true picture of how you spend your money. To help find where your money goes, save all your receipts or track all purchases with your cell phone for at least two weeks. Then, group your expenses into categories, such as entertainment, transportation, food, clothing, and gifts. Figure out how much you're spending each week, month, and year. Click here to learn about MoneyDesktop! It can help your create and stick to a budget. Login to It'sMe247 and click on the "Personal Finance" tab
     
  2. Make a list of your income. Write down what you earn from jobs, gifts, and any other sources. Calculate what you make each week, month, and year.
     
  3. Evaluate your situation. Do your income and expenses even out? Are you spending more than you're making? Do you have money to spare?
     
  4. Create a spending and saving plan. Figure out how much you need to save each month to reach your goals. Then decide how you'll come up with this money.

Take a look at ICCU's free budget and finance manager in It'sMe247 Online Banking called Money Desktop. To get started, login and click on the "Personal Finance" tab.

 

America's Credit Unions & Credit Union National Association. (1994-2015). Guide To Money. Get ahead of the game. USA: Credit Union National Association Inc.

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Christmas Club Account Transfers November 1st!10/23/2017

It’s almost that time of year!

Your Christmas Club account balance will be automatically transferred into your checking or savings account on November 1st.

Remember: Any further additions to your Christmas Club account after the transfer date will be saved for next year.

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Why Credit Unions are Worth Celebrating!10/18/2017

In 1924, Roy Bergengren, one of the architects of the credit union movement reflected on what a credit union can do for people.

"The credit union is, in fact, a bridge," Bergengren wrote in the inaugural issue of "The Bridge," the official newsletter of the American credit union movement, which was then in its infancy. "It may be the bridge over which the tenant farmer travels the wide gap that separates him from ownership. It may be the way that opens the great land of opportunity to the wage worker, who finds his savings the 'open sesame' to broader possibilities for himself and his family."

Twenty-four years later, in 1948, credit unions in America, and later around the world, began celebrating the philosophy and achievements of credit unions every year on the third Thursday in October. The theme for International Credit Union Day 2017 is "Dreams Thrive Here," harkens back to Bergengren's sentiment, and it's meant to serve as a reminder of how effective credit unions, like Isabella Community Credit Union, are at helping all people chase and achieve their biggest dreams in life.

This is because, unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit, so their primary purpose isn't to score record profits in order to cut distant shareholders bigger dividends checks. Rather, the primary purpose of credit unions is-- and always has been-- to be of service to their members. That means you.

This people-first philosophy doesn't just mean better service, it translates into a better financial deal for consumers. Credit unions, on average, offer higher rates of return on savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and fewer and lower fees than other financial institutions.

Through the first half of 2016, according to data collected by the Credit Union National Association, credit union members saved $9.3 billion over what they would have paid at bank: $1.9 billion though higher yields on savings, $1.2 billion on lower fees, and $6.2 billion on lower loan rates.

Please just us at any ICCU office on October 19th for the International Credit Union Day celebration!

Maybe we'll even sing* this song written for International Credit Union Day in 1955 and published in The Bridge.

Hail all hail to Credit Unions
They’re life save through and through
For the cash you lay away
To combat the rainy day
For the loans you need
To make your dreams come true

* Don't worry--we won't. We actually want you to come!

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Isabella Community Credit Union Celebrates People-First Banking!10/16/2017

On October 19th, ICCU will, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, celebrate International Credit Union Day, and the philosophy and achievements of the credit union movement.

ICCU celebrates International Credit Union Day because we believe the not-fo-profit structure and people-first principles of credit unions make us the ideal financial partner for all people. This year's International Credit Union Day theme is "Dreams Thrive Here,"  a celebration of how credit unions help people achieve their biggest goals in life.

The public is welcome to stop by any ICCU office for donuts and cider on October 19th to celebrate this worldwide movement that's made helping people its Number 1 priority for more than 160 years.

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The 4 Biggest Credit Union Myths10/13/2017

With International Credit Union Day right around the corner, we'd like to clear up the four biggest myths about credit unions.

  • They aren't big enough. There are big and small credit unions, but just like bank's, your deposits at a credit union are insured by the federal government up to $250,000.
     
  • It will be hard to access my money. Credit unions have access to a network of 30,000 free ATMs and 5,000 shared branching locations, making it easy for you to access your money anywhere.
     
  • I can't join. Anybody can join a credit union. You may be eligible based on your employer, where you live, or your family, as most credit unions allow members' families to join.
     
  • They don't offer as many perks as banks. Credit unions offer the same financial products as banks - checking account, debit and credit cards, online banking , IRAs (individual retirement accoutns), and home and auto loans - but because they're not-for-profit, the often offer better rates than banks.

If you are interested in joining ICCU, stop by any ICCU office!

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International Credit Union Day10/10/2017

Visit any Isabella Community Credit Union branch on Thursday, October 19th, for our annual International Credit Union Day celebration!

On the third Thursday of October, we join 222 million people worldwide in celebrating 160 years of credit unions putting the dreams of people before profit.

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Business & Community Expo Oct 12th!10/9/2017

Stop by the Comfort Inn on Thursday from 4pm - 7pm for the Business & Community Expo! Be sure to visit ICCU's table to win PRIZES!

Hope to see you there!

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A Great Way to #Drive4Less10/5/2017

Don’t pay more than you need to for your new vehicle! The SmartLoan is the perfect option for you if you want a lower payment and love driving newer vehicles.

Why is the SmartLoan a Smart Choice?

Payments are up to 40% less than conventional auto loans

• You control your loan with term, mileage, and end-of-term options

• You retain ownership of the vehicle

• Drive a newer car, more often

Click here to learn more about the SmartLoan or talk to us!

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Coming Soon: Same Day Processing of ACH Debits9/6/2017

Coming Soon: Same day processing of Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits

What’s Changing?

Currently debit transactions are posted to accounts once per day while credit transactions are posted multiple times per day. As of September 15, 2017, debit transactions will also be posted multiple times per day.

How does this affect me?

Transactions such as checks converted to ACH and bill payments will post to your account multiple times throughout the business day.

What are the benefits of same day ACH debits?

The conversion to same day ACH debits will enable you to make easier on-time bill payments as well as faster crediting when you are moving money among accounts that you own at different financial institutions.

How does this affect me?

In the past, you may have checked your account in online banking or mobile banking in the morning and known that no more ACH debits would post that day. Going forward, items may post to your account throughout the day. Also, ACH payments authorized over the phone or online, plus checks that payees convert to ACH payments, could post to your account the same day they're authorized.

Will my direct deposit be affected?

No. Your direct deposit will continue to be credited to your account on the correct posting date set by the originator of the payment.

Debit items could post to your account the same day they're authorized. To avoid overdrafts, funds should be in your account before you authorize any payment.

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CFX Movers for Mom's with Two Men and a Truck4/17/2017

ICCU is collecting items for moms in need at all offices! Donated items will be picked up on May 14th and delivered to Women's Aid Service on Mother's Day.

Needed Items  (New or Unused items only, please)

Personal Hygiene products:

  • Hair Brushes/Combs
  • Firngernails/Toenail Clippers
  • Hair Ties
  • Bobby Pins
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Depends (S, M, L)
  • Pregnancy Tests

Clothes:

  • Baby Clothes
  • Hoodies
  • New Underwear
  • New Yoga/Sweatpants
  • New Sports Bras
  • New Sewatshirts/Loose fitting t-shirts
  • New Women's Socks

Infant Hygiene products

  • Diapers (Size 4 & 5)
  • Pull-ups
  • Baby Wipes
  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Formula
  • New Bottles

Household Items:

  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Dish Soap Cartridges
  • Sponges
  • Vinegar (White & Apple)
  • Broom/Dustpan
  • Mr. Clean Erasers
  • Lysol
  • Mr. Clean Roller Mop Refills
  • Trash Bags (13 gallon)
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Paper Towels
  • Shower Curtains

Thank you!

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Your Adventure Starts Here!4/17/2017

Your Summer Adventure Starts Here!

Make sure you have everything you need for your next adventure! Whether you are looking for a boat, car, camper, or ATV, ICCU wants to help get you out and exploring the world this summer. From now until June 30th, ICCU is offering up to 90 days payment-free on almost all of our vehicle loans!* Both new purchases and refinances from other lenders are eligible for this promotion.

Take advantage of no payments for 90 days on:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • SUVs
  • Motorcycles
  • Campers
  • Motorhomes
  • RVs
  • Boats
  • ATVs

Talk to a financial service representative to learn more, or apply online!

*Subject to credit approval and lending criteria. ICCU SmartLoans or internal refinances are excluded. Minimum loan value of $5,000. Offer expires 6/30/17.

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Spring Newsletter4/7/2017

The ICCU FOCUS Spring Newsletter is availble now! Check it out here.

Included is information regarding:

  • 90 days Without Payments on Almost all Vehicle Loans!
  • Now Offering 10 and 12 Year Fixed-Rate Terms on Boat & Camper Loans
  • ICCU Mobile 2.0 Coming Soon
  • HTML emails from ICCU

 

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International Credit Union Day!10/14/2016

Visit Isabella Community Credit Union on Thursday, October 20th for our International Credit Union Day celebration! At this time of year, we join millions of members all across the world to celebrate the unique, cooperative spirit of credit unions.

At ICCU, we will be handing out doughnuts and cider in the lobby of each of the 3 credit union locations. Be sure to stop by!

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October is National Cyber Security Month10/4/2016

Don't Become a Victim of a Scam!

There are many different scams circling through email, social media, phone calls, and even "snail" mail that can seem legitimate at first glance. Some instances that ICCU has heard of recently included job offers, romantic relationships, or even helping of a friend who is traveling. Please be on the look out and verify information that you receive using external resources (like your credit union) before sending money or information to anyone that you don't know.

You can help to protect yourself!
Follow these helpful tips:

  • Do not believe the person you are dealing with is who they say or that their story is truthful until it can be verified thoroughly.
    • Professional scammers are often use fake names and information to trick you. Be sure to use even more caution if you have never met the person. The personal information you put on social media can be used by a fraudster to create elaborate stories and situations that seem truthful at first. Do not trust them until you can verify what they say is true.
  • Never share your account numbers, PIN numbers,  online banking credentials, or personal information with anyone.
  • If you believe you are being scammed, contact ICCU as soon as possible!
    • The earlier we are notified about fraud on your account, the faster we can take action to prevent losses to your account.
  • Report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

For more resources, visit ICCU's Online Safety & Fraud Center.

 

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Focus Newsletter - Fall 201610/1/2016

ICCU's SmartLoan... the Smart Choice in New and Pre-owned Vehicle Financing!

How would you like a low payment vehicle loan program that combines the best features of conventional financing along with the benefits of leasing?! Sound too good to be true? ... Well, ICCU  has the vehicle financing answer for you... the SmartLoan!

The SmartLoan gives you the best of both worlds. Like a lease, the SmartLoan offers payments considerably lower than conventional financing on your new or pre-owned vehicle. Yet, unlike leasing, with the SmartLoan you own the vehicle and receive all of the flexibility and benefits of vehicle ownership!

Find out how low your SmartLoan payment could be! Use the SmartLoan Payment Calculator to build your car and compare a conventionally financed vehicle payment with the low SmartLoan payment. For more information, contact a Financial Service Representative.

Note: SmartLoan financing is available on used vehicles up to 5 model years old.

Find out more information on the SmartLoan and other ICCU happenings in the Fall 2016 Newsletter.
Here's some highlights:

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3rd Annual Play it Safe!7/26/2016

ICCU's 3rd Annual Play it Safe! Kids Health & Safety Day is coming up on Friday, August 5th! Meet us in Island Park from noon to 4pm for fire truck tours, fingerprint ID Kits, vision testing (perfect for young kids entering school), tours through emergency vehicles, arts and crafts, bike helmet fittings, reindeer and Alpaca, photobooth, along with food, games, and prizes with Captain Penn E. Pincher!

We hope you will join us in the park for this great, free, community event!

More Information.

A special thanks to our generous sponsors:

  •  American Red Cross
  • Central Michigan District Health Department
  • Child and Family Enrichment
  • Coca-Cola
  • IRide
  • Konwinski Construction
  • my 104.3 & AM830
  • Ric's Food Center
  • Meemic Michael Metro Agency
  • Mitchell's Gourmet Deli and Market
  • Mid-Michigan Agency, Inc.
  • Rent Rite
  • Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm,
  • United way
  • Walgreens
  • City of Mt. Pleasant
  • Central Michigan University Police Department
  • Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Police Department
  • Michigan State Police Department
  • Isabella County Sherriff
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4th Annual Do GOOD with Your Car Loan Results!7/5/2016

Thank you April borrowers!

You helped ICCU donate 57 bags of groceries this year, equalling a donation of $1,140 to the Community Compassion Network! This allows them to purchase 11,400 pounds of food for individuals and families who need it in our community.

Since inception, 4 years ago, we have donated a total of 261 bags of groceries equalling out to 52,200 pounds of food. Thank you for helping us to make a difference in your community!

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Summer Newsletter7/1/2016

We have the products and services to keep your business growing! With low-fees and low loan rates, ICCU is the best financial institution for your business.

Here are a few of the exceptional business services available at ICCU:

Checking accounts

• No minimum balance requirement

• No per check charge or fee

• No monthly service fee

 

VISA Credit Cards

• Everyday business transactions

• Credit limits up to $20,000

• $50 annual fee

 

Other Business Lending

• Commercial Real Estate Mortgage

• Secured Closed-End Loans

• Secured Line of Credit

 

Square Merchant Services

• Point-of-sale tools

• Appointment scheduling

• Instant deposits & online invoicing

Get a free Square Card Reader!

 

For more information, please contact ICCU at 989.773.5927 x 230.

To view the 2016 Summer Newsletter, click here.

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2015 Annual Report4/18/2016

The latest ICCU Annual Report is now available online!

Check it out to learn all about the financial status and upcoming happenings of your credit union.

Click here to view ICCU Annual Reports.

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Save Money on Your Debts4/7/2016

Of course, there are no magic wands or legal loopholes that are going to take seven years off your 30-year mortgage. Shaving off a significant portion of your loan has to be done with a little extra effort and investment on your part. But how little of an effort is what tends to shock most borrowers.

This is a simple formula that can be applied to nearly any loan or credit situation. A mortgage, vehicle loan, student loan, credit card — barring any special stipulations, it works for all of them.

What You Need to Do

The ultimate goal is to make the equivalent of one extra payment per year. If you’re current with the loan in question, this entire extra payment can be applied directly to the principal balance, circumventing interest. This is significant because during the early stages of a long-term loan — particularly a mortgage — upwards of 90% of your payment is going to interest and escrow. During those first few years of a 30-year loan, often less than 10% of your payment is applied to the actual amount you borrowed. Shocking, right?

Let’s be realistic. Not many people will be able to simply make a double mortgage payment one month out of the year. The trick is to spread it out over 12 months.

Here’s the formula: Take your normal monthly payment and divide it by 12 (number of months in the year). Now, take that number and add it to your monthly payment. That’s it!

For the sake of nice round monthly payments, let’s look at an example using a 30-year mortgage loan of $107,000 at 5% APR. The monthly payments in this case would be approximately $900 per month:

  • $900 ÷ 12 months = $75
  • $75 + $900 = new monthly payment of $975

In this instance, we just add $75 per month to our payment. It’s a little extra, sure, but if you’re not spread too thin, here’s why this is a big deal in the long run:

  • $900/month = 30 years of payments
  • $975/month = 23 years of payments

That’s right, by paying $975 each month instead of $900, we’re able to cut seven years of payments. This same principle can be applied to most credit cards, vehicle loans or other long-term borrowing. As in many financial situations, a small investment in the short-term can pay for itself many times over in the long run.

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The Smarter Way to Your Biggest Refund3/1/2016

This year, file your taxes the smarter way, and get your biggest possible refund – guaranteed. TurboTax® guides you every step of the way. Plus, Isabella Community Credit Union members can save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products.

  • TurboTax translates taxes into simple questions about your life and puts everything in the right forms for you.
  • TurboTax searches over 350 deductions and credits, so you won’t miss a thing.
  • TurboTax runs error checks and a final review to help make sure your taxes are done right.

    Click here to start TurboTax today and save.

© 2015-2016 Intuit Inc. All rights reserved. State filing charges apply. Limited time offer for TurboTax 2015. Terms, conditions, features, availability, pricing, fees, service and support options subject to change without notice.  Intuit, TurboTax and TurboTax Online, among others, are registered trademarks and/or service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other parties' trademarks or service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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FOCUS Newsletter - Winter 20162/2/2016

Happy Groundhog Day!

The Winter 2016 FOCUS Newsletter is on its way in your monthly statements.

Click here to view it now!

Here's what's going on at ICCU:

 

• ICCU's Annual Membership meeting is on March 16th at 6pm in the Dr. Dale D. Gust Board and Conference Room.

• The 10th Annual Community Pie Sale provided a fantastic donation to the Child & Family Enrichment Council of Mt. Pleasant.

• West M-20 Branch remodel is complete!

• Coming to ICCU in 2016!

• TruStage Insurance products might save you some money.

Check out the Newsletter to learn more!

 

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Welcome to ICCU's New Website and Blog!1/12/2016

We'll use this space to keep you up to date on credit union events, provide financial tips, and have some fun!

As I am sure you have noticed by now, we have completely changed everything about the ICCU website. But don't worry, as always, we are here to help!
Please, let us know what you think.

New things coming to ICCU in 2016:

  • ApplePay is available for ICCU Credit Card holders. Click here for more information.
  • It'sMe247 Online and Mobile Banking are getting a much needed facelift, everything should stay in the same place though.
  • ICCU Mobile App is in the works and should be available for download in the Apple and Google app stores around April 2016.
  • Remote Deposit Capture

We are extremely excited for all of the new features and services we will be able to offer ICCU members throughout 2016!
It is looking to be a fantastic year.

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