April 29 Ask John Anything: ConnectU Facebook Chat on Homebuying

John Murphy, Mortgage Manager

As part of our Consumers ConnectU financial education series, a special guest, John Murphy, our Mortgage Manager, will be taking your questions about the homebuying process on our Facebook page on Tuesday, April 29 from noon to 1 pm. Do you want to know what to expect when applying for a mortgage? How to determine what you can afford? How getting a preapproval makes the process easier? Bring your questions! We’ll start the discussion with a post on our Facebook page. Comment on it with your questions, and John will respond as questions come in. Please remember that Facebook is a public forum. For your security and privacy, we ask that you never disclose any personal banking information online. Certain questions may require us to refer you to our Member Service Center for personal attention offline. If you have a question about your accounts with Consumers, please call us at … …continue

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La compra de su vivienda: Arme un plan con anticipo

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Si piensa comprar una casa dentro de uno o dos años, puede llegar a pensar ¿en qué me estoy metiendo?’ Las noticias alarmantes sobre el “colapso hipotecario” todavía afectan la confianza de los compradores de viviendas. Abundan la confusión y los interrogantes, sobre todo para compradores de primera vez. Es posible que se esté planteando el tema del anticipo. ¿Cuánto dinero se requiere para un anticipo en el mundo prestamista actual? Una vez que se fijó una cifra como meta, surge la segunda pregunta: ¿De dónde sacará el dinero? ¿Cuánto dinero necesita para un anticipo? Según NAR, en el año 2006, el 45% de los compradores de primera vez compraron su vivienda sin pagar anticipo. No obstante, algunas de esas opciones anticipo cero venían con hipotecas dudosas que a la larga significaron un serio problema económico para los compradores—las hipotecas subprime que tanto dieron que hablar en los últimos años. … …continue

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Successfully Transition into Retirement

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Are you thinking about the next chapter in your life? The first step to ensuring your transition to retirement living goes smoothly is to be prepared. For many workers, investing means having a portion of their paycheck systematically invested in an employer sponsored retirement account. Little thought is given to the retirement account after that. Saving for retirement is arguably the most important aspect in preparing for retirement. Having a carefully laid out plan may help smooth the transition from working to retiring. The sooner you devise a plan, the more time you have to explore and evaluate your options. Taking these steps might make the difference between a successful retirement and a disappointing one. Seek Professional Advice Preparing for retirement is not an easy process. With all of the information and products available today, developing a strategy that best suits your individual needs may be daunting. To avoid the … …continue

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Como lograr que se le apruebe su préstamo para vivienda

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Para cualquier persona que haya soñado con tener su casa propia, la frase “su préstamo ha sido negado” puede sonar como el fin del mundo. Es muy fácil rendirse, especialmente si usted tiene deudas y vive de un sueldo modesto. Pero un poco de paciencia y trabajo duro pueden convertir su casa soñada en una realidad. La mejor estrategia es hacer una cita con un oficial de préstamos de su credit union y aprender el proceso para obtener un préstamo para vivienda antes de empezar a buscar la casa. La manera como los prestamistas examinan las solicitudes de préstamos es decidiendo si son o no buenos riesgos de crédito. En otras palabras, ¿podrá el candidato cumplir con sus obligaciones de la deuda o se atrasará en sus pagos y eventualmente no pagará? Los factores que pueden influenciar de manera negativa una solicitud para un préstamo de vivienda incluyen un porcentaje … …continue

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Walk MS: Each Step Closer to a World Free of MS

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Consumers Credit Union has supported the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk MS for over eleven years. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling, disease that attacks the central nervous system and affects over two million Americans. Funds raised in the event support research for a cure and help address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. This year’s Walk MS will be held May 3 and start at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. 2014 marks Consumers’ sixth year as the Kalamazoo site sponsor. “We are privileged to continue our long commitment of contribution to the MS Society in their mission to provide support, advocacy, and research for those affected by MS,” says Jeff Visser, Sales and Service Manager, who chairs our Walk MS Committee. Last year, our Walk MS team, made up of 13 employees and 19 friends and family members, raised over $6,000 for the cause. Join us in … …continue

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So Much Family Fun, So Little Money

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A lot has changed in the world of kid-friendly, affordable vacations. Today, there are boundless ways families can vacation together at reasonable rates. A growing number of airlines, resorts, cruise lines, theme parks, entertainment centers, restaurants, and sports facilities have responded with discounts to attract families. Here are a few tips to consider. Travel off-season, and you may cut the cost of your trip in half. The best deals usually are at outdoor oriented destinations like ski resorts during the months of November and April and national parks in late fall or early spring. Don’t forget about using frequent flyer miles for free family travel. Did you know most airlines offer half-price seats for children younger than two? You may be able to use an unsold (free) seat for your toddler if you book your flight during an off-peak time, when the flight is less apt to be full. How … …continue

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Consumers Credit Union Introduces 2014 Board of Directors at 63rd Annual Meeting

Rod Adams and Brent Bassett were each re-elected to serve three year terms on the board.

Consumers Credit Union held its 63rd Annual Meeting on Monday, March 24, 2014 at its Stadium Drive Office in Kalamazoo, MI. At the meeting, the 2014 Board of Directors was introduced, including: Brad Lawton, Chairperson Rod Adams, Vice-Chair Patrick O’Connor, Secretary Kim Shook, Treasurer Brent Bassett, Director Kevin McPherson, Director Nick Zafer, Associate Director   Rod Adams and Brent Bassett were each re-elected to serve three year terms on the board. Rod Adams joined the Consumers Credit Union Board in 1979 and enjoys being a part of the credit union’s continued growth. He served as Chairman from 2004 to 2011 and is currently Vice-Chair. Rod retired from Consumers Energy in 2002 after 42 years of service. He and his wife, Char, have 5 children and enjoy traveling, golf and swimming in their pool with their grandchildren and great-granchildren. Brent Bassett has been a Director on the Board since 2010. He … …continue

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Consumers Credit Union Protected Against “Heartbleed” Bug

Computer Security

Consumers Credit Union has diligently investigated the recent OpenSSL vulnerability known as “Heartbleed,” which has affected many popular websites and services. Protecting your personal and financial information is one of our top priorities every day. Our technology team has confirmed that our servers were not susceptible to this vulnerability. We have also received responses from our major partners that they have taken measures to ensure that their systems are secure. For security, we recommend that members periodically change their passwords to all online accounts and use a unique password for each site, especially in light of the large number of popular websites potentially affected by this particular flaw. More information on the Heartbleed bug is available here.

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Las tasas sobre hipotecas todavía son muy buenas

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¡Las tasas hipotecarias están subiendo! ¡Y se nos cae el cielo! Ciertos titulares recientes en las noticias nos hacen creer que las tasas de interés están aumentando y la bonanza ha terminado. Mantengamos la perspectiva—las tasas de interés todavía son excelentes y deben mantenerse de esa forma por muchos meses. El Wall Street Journal es de la opinión que aunque las tasas estén al 5%, las viviendas todavía son asequibles con base a medidas históricas. A principio de los 80s los consumidores pagaban hasta el 18% de interés al comprar una casa—algo que no se puede ni imaginar hoy día. Hay tres clases de consumidores que están prestando atención a la actividad de las tasas: vendedores de casas, compradores de casas y aquellos que quieren refinanciar la hipoteca existente. Hay buenas noticias para todos ellos a pesar de las subidas en las tasas. Los vendedores temen la estampida de los … …continue

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