Lakeshore Community Credit Union

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Whenever I talk to one of our members about why they decided to open an account at the credit union, they frequently tell me that they have always heard that a credit union is a better choice than a bank. In my experience holding accounts at many different financial institutions, I’ve found that this is almost always true. The national banks are the worst. Regional and local banks are much better, however, there are still advantages to a credit union. Have you ever waited on hold for an hour or been transferred to multiple people when you have a problem, which, by the way, was not resolved after all that time and effort? Have you stated your case for a fee refund only to be told, “We don’t refund fees.”? Have you been turned down for a loan with little to no explanation that makes sense? And at the same time they’re trying to sell you a checking account? I could go on…the pain inflicted by banks is epic. Credit unions make common sense decisions that help you rather than focusing only on their own bottom line. Lakeshore knows the people who have accounts here. We build relationships that last and that improve lives. And there are lots of other benefits like consistently good rates and low fees. When you call with a problem, we solve it. You can do everything for free online, on your phone or at the ATM. We make it easy, quick and pain-less to work with us. You can start the process of opening an account right here.

US Bank charging a new debit card fee

 

US Bank charging a new debit card fee

Lakeshore Community Credit Union charges fees.  We’re non-profit, but we still have to make money to stay in business.   Usually the purpose of charging fees is to discourage bad or encourage good behavior while increasing the credit union’s income.  Word on the street is that a bank is charging another new fee.  No big surprise there.   While everyone does it, ours are fewer and smaller than any bank’s fees.  The new fee in question penalizes those who do not or cannot have payroll deposits made directly into their account at the bank.  This could include those who work for small companies that don’t have direct deposit capability, self-employed individuals, or even those who are not currently employed.  Debit cards have become a more expensive program to run so it’s understandable that financial institutions would be looking for a way to reduce the cost.  To place the burden on those without direct deposit doesn’t seem like the best call, but I’m sure they have their reasons.  Lakeshore Community Credit Union doesn’t charge anyone to have a debit card.  The credit union uses US Bank’s surcharge free network, MoneyPass, so former customers of the bank can continue to use the same ATMs for free.  Stop in or call Lakeshore to learn about all the benefits of having your accounts and loans at the credit union.

lakeshoreccu.com

440-933-3181

service@lakeshoreccu.com

 

Title Loans All Over TV

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I don’t watch much TV but what I have seen has lately been riddled with commercials about title loans.  Before that, it was just for a place that gives you quick cash.  The companies these commercials promote might even be owned by the same corporation.  I admire the techniques they use to promote their product.  Customer testimonials are always a great choice.  They always tell you that you get to keep your car and point out how helpful the employees are.  What they don’t tell you is that you’re headed down a slippery slope and that these companies don’t really have your best interests at heart when they encourage desperate people to take out these loans.  People who might think they have no where else to turn could be right.  But I want to pose an important question to them.  Have they ever tried a credit union?  While we have our policies and limits, we will be much more flexible and understanding than most banks and we will save you a lot of money compared to these cash advance and auto title loan companies.  If you didn’t know a credit union can do an auto title loan, I’d like to set the record straight.  We can get the money in your hand in minutes with no fees.  Your interest rate will be fair and will be based on your credit score.  Lakeshore Community Credit Union also does signature loans, with no collateral at all required.  If you already have a lot of other unsecured debt, we may not be able to help you.  However, if you need money and don’t have any collateral, it wouldn’t hurt to apply.  You won’t regret your decision to visit a local credit union.

Having trouble finding a financial institution that will open an account for you?

Maybe you did something stupid when you were younger.  Maybe you’ve had health problems which wreaked havoc with your credit score.  Maybe you have a bad habit that makes financial responsibility extra challenging for you.  Financial institutions don’t want to judge, but we have a responsibility to our current accountholders to avoid financial loss whenever possible.  Your poor record of financial responsibility does not give us reassurance that you’ll be responsible in the future.  That being said, credit unions tend to be much more understanding of these issues and much more willing to work with people who make an effort to improve their situation.  If your poor credit score is due to medical bills, we’ll most likely overlook the issue.  If you have overwhelming student loan debt, we can probably still give you a loan for a car.  Despite compliance burdens, we frequently make loan policy exceptions for accountholders who have earned our trust.  If you’ve been turned down by banks and find yourself using check cashers and finance companies, stop into a credit union.  Building a relationship based on trust with an established financial institution can make a huge difference in your ability to secure financing and reach your financial goals.  To find a credit union in your area, visit mycreditunion.gov.                             Lakeshore Community Credit Union can currently serve anyone who lives, work, worships or attends school on the west side of Cleveland or the northeast portion of Lorain County.  You can apply to open an account right on our website.  We’ll pull your credit report and get back to you very quickly to let you know what services we’ll provide.  Sometimes we start with a savings account to give you time to prove your willingness to be financially responsible.  If you take good care of your account for 90 days, we’ll give you a checking account and debit card.  From there, it’s up to you to improve your financial situation and make a positive difference in your life!   

Lakeshore Community Credit Union Believes in Educating Teens

ImageBecause of funding shortages, schools have continually been forced to cut back on many programs and activities that used to be standard in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.  Unfortunately, one of the cutbacks is frequently student financial education.   While this can be taught by parents, it’s often overlooked in the rush of everyday life.  In addition, some parents are not so proficient at managing their own finances.  Students are often left to learn it on their own, which sometimes leads to mistakes that can negatively affect them for years.

Because Lakeshore believes strongly in preparing students for the problems and issues they’ll face when they go out on their own, we have chosen to work with Cemark, Inc. to sponsor Making the Right Money Moves program for high school students.  The program involves student and staff workbooks offered to faculty in all high schools in the area Lakeshore serves.  Schools in communities in northeast Lorain County and all through the west side of Cleveland have taken advantage of this free opportunity sponsored by the credit union.  We currently have eleven schools on the program. 

In addition, teachers can request a speaker from the credit union to present supplementary information which can bring to life some of the workbook lessons.  Students in Rocky River, Bay Village, Berea and Westlake have enjoyed presentations by credit union staff. 

Teachers in life skills, economics and personal finance find that this program rounds out their lesson plans and gives the students an opportunity to get some real world information they can use after graduation. 

If you know a teacher who might be interested in this program, contact the credit union for more information.

Debit Card Risk: It’s Real

Debit cards could have been a good thing.  They used to be until hackers ruined it for all of us.  Consumers experiences the convenience of card use for their purchases while avoiding the possibility of accumulated debt that could occur with the regular use of a credit card.  But now it’s time to re-evaluate how debit cards are used and whether or not it’s worth the risk.

There are numerous ways for the wrong person to get ahold of card information.  Besides hackers getting into a computer system where card information is stored or in transit, the information can be skimmed off the card with a small device placed on a card scanner at a store or on an ATM.  In addition, anyone working at a company which issues your card or charges your card out of your sight has access to the information should they choose to use it fraudulently.  Every company attempts to guard this information, however, hackers spend their days looking for ways around the defenses.

This problem should be alleviated by a new technology which will be implemented in this country within a couple of years.  At present, most other countries already use this technology, leaving the United States vulnerable to excess fraud because of the ease of scamming information from cards with magnetic strips.

What can a consumer do to protect themselves?  Unfortunately, with the most recent security breach at Target, as with most breaches, the best defense is for the consumer to keep a very close eye on their account activity.  The credit union monitors card activity and will contact the member if anything appears to be unusual, however, the consumer knows best what transactions should be appearing on their account.  In most cases of fraud, the member retains their card, while the fraudulent activity is completed by someone with a newly created card that contains the cardholder’s information.  Losses resulting from fraud are always reimbursed quickly by the credit union as long as they’re reported as soon as possible by our member or the card issuer.

If you would prefer to avoid the hassle, there are some other options which mostly involve using older technology.  Since they’re less popular and more difficult to infiltrate, there is less fraud when using them.

1)  You can go into a branch, withdraw cash and use it to purchase goods.

2)  You can go back to using an ATM card.  Since it has no Visa or Mastercard logo, it is less widely accepted and always requires a pin number.  Cards allowing for a signature instead of a pin are more vulnerable to fraud.

3)  Have a debit card only on a secondary checking account that’s used for specific reasons and doesn’t have your whole paycheck posting to it.

4)  Use a prepaid debit card to limit your exposure.

Every new breach causes people to wonder and worry that they’ll be the next victim.  Take charge of your finances to help protect yourself.

 

The Holidays are coming! Need to skip a payment?

SKIP_A_PAY_LOGOTake a Holiday from your loan payment!  If you already have a loan with Lakeshore Community Credit Union, sign up for our Holiday Skip-A-Pay program.  You can skip your November, December or January payment on your qualifying credit union loan.

To take advantage of this special offer, simply complete the Loan Change Agreement and return it to our office with the $29 postponement fee for each loan postponed.  We must receive your request at least 5 business days prior to the loan payment due date.  The interest on the loans will continue to accrue, and all other terms and provisions will remain the same.

The following loan types are NOT eligible for postponement:  Mortgages, Home Equity, Overdraft and Certificate Secured Loans.  Loans must be current to be eligible and Lakeshore Community Credit Union reserves the right to refuse and Skip-A-Pay request.  If your loan is paid through Payroll Deduction or Direct Deposit, your payment will remain in your share, share draft, or loan savings account and may be withdrawn.  Come in today to see if you can take advantage of this holiday offer!

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