Space Coast Credit Union - www.sccu.com - 321-752-2222
Perspectives July 2008
As we move through the summer of 2008, we continue to find ourselves charting new courses through uncertain and challenging times. The cost of gasoline has risen to levels that have impaired our way of life. Every time I put gas in my car, I feel victimized by something that I cannot control. Economic turmoil has resulted in lost or reduced employment for many of our friends and associates.
It doesn’t seem right.
As a credit union, we cannot resolve the mysteries of gas prices, or resolve employment uncertainties, but we can affect the outcomes in many ways. Our objective is to assist our members in attaining financial self–sufficiency, regardless of economic conditions.
We do this in many ways, some large and some almost imperceptibly small. But the important thing is to ensure that we provide members with simple, actionable ways to be in control of their financial life.
We Promote Savings. The principles of compounded savings represent tremendous power in attaining financial self-sufficiency. However, the biggest hurdle is to start a habit of savings in this buy now, pay later society. Our members have demonstrated that they are more inclined to save when they are focused on a specific goal, so the credit union offers accounts that encourage saving for specific purposes. The My Way Account can be named to indicate any personal goal, such as a wedding or a down payment. Similarly, our Christmas Club Accounts are a great opportunity to budget for holiday expenditures. IRAs can be opened with low minimums.
In addition, we offer interest–bearing Money Market Checking that enables members to earn guaranteed, but very competitive interest, on the funds they use to run their households.
We also provide excellent financial planning and investment education and counseling through our Financial Services group, led by Tom Decker, Vice President, Investment Services. Tom and his team have assisted thousands of our members with setting up savings, investment and retirement plans.
We Build Credit. One of the most valuable things that we can provide to our children is knowledge that allows them to act for themselves. The credit union places tools in the hands of parents that provide the knowledge their children need be financially independent.
Unfortunately, as parents, we tend to protect our children from the potential damage of credit abuse by steering them away from credit altogether. We continually see the unfortunate circumstance of people in their mid–twenties paying exorbitant interest rates for their first car loan because they religiously used debit cards, and then had no credit history when they needed it.
Although it seems scary at first glance, we encourage the early, disciplined use of credit cards. Through our Prosperity Squared program for youth, we issue a savings–secured Visa® as early as 15 years old as a tool for learning how to use a credit card in a disciplined way, and to build a credit history. We are seeing these young members graduating high school with “A” credit scores. This group of young adults will save tens of thousands of dollars in interest costs and are better prepared to avoid the common credit traps aimed at those leaving home for the first time.
We offer fair auto financing. If you did not finance your car with Space Coast Credit Union, you likely paid more interest than you needed to. Although monthly payments are important, if that is all you are focused on, you will likely be disadvantaged with the interest rate, paying hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more in interest than you should. “Buy rates” are a common ploy where the lender allows the dealer to charge higher interest on the deal and pocket the difference, unknown to the buyer. Space Coast Credit Union refuses to engage in such practices. If you are being told that you can get a better rate elsewhere, be cautious. You can call us, and if the deal is truly better elsewhere, we will tell you.
We enable you to avoid fees. We assess fees when accounts go negative, but we offer a myriad of ways to avoid that situation. We offer daily balance alerts to provide you frequent updates on your accounts. You can attach your other accounts as overdraft sources – and we do not charge a monthly fee for that service. We do not deliberately authorize your debit card into a negative balance situation in order to pounce on you with a "courtesy pay" fee. The average “courtesy pay” fee would buy over 7 gallons of gas for your car.
We provide excellent home loans. The prices of homes are coming back into the realm of affordability for our members. Financing home purchases is one of the things we do best because, unlike some of the predatory mortgage lenders who have done such damage to our neighbors, our focus has always been to provide home loans in the community where we all live and work. You behave differently when you are not just “passing through.”
The employees of Space Coast Credit Union are dedicated to serving our friends and neighbors during these tough times. These are the times when a trusted friend is needed the most. These are the times when our true difference makes the most difference.
Douglas R. Samuels
Copyright © 2013 Space Coast Credit Union.