Affinity One Federal Credit Union
545 East Second Street
Jamestown, New York 14701
Main Office: (716) 483-2798 or fax 483-6136 or Info@affinityonefcu.org
Lakewood Branch: 483-2265 or fax 483-2266 or Info@affinityonefcu.org
HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon-Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thurs-Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM - Noon
Better Banking…Your Credit Union Can Do That!
At a time when banks are making record profits and consumers are paying higher fees, many people are searching for a bank that will help them save money as well have easier access to money.
At first glance, there may not seem to be much difference between credit unions and banks, although many people believe the only way to join a credit union is through an employer, which is not the case. Both banks and credit unions offer similar products and services. However, there are some crucial differences that set the two apart.
A key difference is that a credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution that is owned by its members (customers are actually “members” of the credit union). Since they operate as a not-for-profit institution, they can offer higher rates on savings and lower rates on loan products.
Credit unions are member focused. The credit union is a cooperative, which means that it is owned and operated by its members. Contrary to banks, who are owned by stockholders and are profit driven. The initial deposit into a member account gives you part ownership in the credit union and a say in the credit union decisions.
The credit unions strategic direction and policies are carefully managed by a board of directors who are elected by the membership and serve as unpaid volunteers. Election to the board is open to any member in good standing that would like to run. Today, people just like you and I are serving on credit union boards.
Member deposits are insured to at least, $250,000.00 by the U.S. Government. Just as the banking industry is monitored by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), the credit union industry is monitored by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). The NCUA are regulators of credit unions and guarantees deposits in credit unions. Every year credit unions undergo audits by the NCUA to make sure they are following all of the regulations and guidelines set forth by the federal government.
Because credit unions have a member focused philosophy, they are more willing to work with you even if a member has a troubled financial past. Since big banks process thousands of loan applications per month, they streamline the process by setting requirements on income, credit scores, and deposits. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are simply declined by some unknown person in a centralized underwriting area. Credit unions have professional loan officers, making and communicating loan decisions face to face.
As so many people know, selecting a financial institution is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Consumers across America are looking closely and joining credit unions. If you are concerned about your financial institution, now is the time to break free.
Melinda J. Best is Chief Executive Officer of
Affinity One Federal Credit Union
Mortgage Rates Drop
The MBA's loan application survey covers over 50% of all U.S. residential mortgage loan applications taken by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. The data gives economists a snapshot view of consumer demand for mortgage loans. In a falling mortgage rate environment, a trend of increasing refinance applications implies consumers are seeking out lower monthly payments.
Call or stop by your Affinity One office to talk to a specialist today
Debt is one tool consumers can use to build a lifestyle. However, managing that debt sensibly can be a challenge and the implications for mismanaging debt can be far reaching and severe. The first step in managing debt is to understand credit and credit scores.
The credit score is a predictive tool on how a consumer will manage their debt in the future based on how that consumer has managed their debt in the past. There are many factors that go into a credit score, but the main factors are: payment history, capacity (how much credit is available), length of credit, accumulation of debt, and credit mix.
Payment history makes up approximately 35% of the credit score. One common theme in understanding credit scoring is that time has healing power. Because of the higher weight of payment history, making consistent on-time payments monthly is extremely important to maintaining a strong credit score. Keep in mind that delinquencies stay on your credit record for seven years. The longer it has been since a negative incident has occurred, the less it will affect your score. So, if you made a payment late five years ago it will have much less impact than a payment that was late last month. The dollar amount of late payment has no impact on the score. For example, a $10 department store late payment and a $2500 mortgage late payment have the exact same impact.
Capacity represents the ability a consumer has to borrow and it makes up 30% of the credit score. If you have $50000.00 in credit limits and the balance is $49000.00 the capacity is 2%. If you have $50000.00 in credit limits but the current balance is zero the capacity is 100%. The lower the capacity the lower the credit score. A low capacity means the consumer is using all of the credit available to them and could be a riskier borrower.
The length of time that a consumer has had credit makes up 15% of their score. Length of credit is important to a lender. For instance, if a member has a high credit score but has only had credit for 6 months, there is no proven ability to maintain that high score. Time has a significant impact on your score. It is extremely important for a consumer to keep open the oldest account they have. If the oldest account the consumer has is closed, there can be significant impact on the credit score.
An important factor used in calculating a credit score is accumulation of debt in recent months. The more you “shop” for credit, the lower your score may drop. The more a consumer searches for credit may be an indication that he is struggling and therefore may be a riskier borrower. There are some exceptions to this rule: The credit reporting agencies give some leverage with both mortgage and auto purchases. If a consumer has several “like” inquiries within a few days or a few weeks, these do not have a significant impact.
Credit “Mix” means the different types of debt a consumer might have. Installment or closed end loans raise a score. Installment loans include mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans or closed end debt consolidation loans. Revolving loans that are used or have a balance lower a score. Revolving loans include credit cards and open-end lines of credit. The number of finance companies that appear on a credit report also lower the score because finance companies tend to lend to higher risk consumers. These might be referred to as “lenders of last resort”.
*APR - Annual Percentage Rate
If you (or a member of your family) live, work, worship or go to school in our service area, you can become a member. It's that simple.