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Dec 6

2012

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At Pacific Service Credit Union, we believe that teaching children and young adults about money management instills important financial habits that last a lifetime.  That’s why we’ve designed a suite of products specifically suited to children and young adults.

 

ere are our age-specific products:

 

Savings Accounts
We believe it’s important to teach our children and grandchildren to save money.  For young adults, we’ve lowered our certificate minimums to only $100 to make it easier to maximize their earnings.  We also encourage members under age 21 to save by adding an extra $5 to their account when they deposit their birthday money with us.

 

FirstStep Checking
FirstStep Checking was created for members 23 and under.  It features no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees and out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement up to $3 per transaction and $12 per month.  And it still has all the “frees” of our regular checking accounts like a Visa debit card, mobile banking, online banking, eStatements and bill pay.

 

Visa Platinum Starter Card
We also want to instill the importance of building a positive credit history.  That’s why we developed our Visa Platinum Starter Card program.  It features no annual fee and an initial $500 credit limit, which is low enough to manage for first-timers while they build a positive credit history.

 

First-Time Car Loan
Buying a car is likely in your young adult’s future.  They imagine color, style and features, but they also need to consider a low rate and an affordable monthly payment.  That’s where we come in.  Using a parent co-signer may help them qualify for lowered rates.  That’s a huge benefit and a rare opportunity.

 

We know our kids have challenges ahead, but finding affordable financial services shouldn’t be one of them.

 

If your child or grandchild isn’t already a Pacific Service CU member, it’s the perfect holiday gift.  Skip the “cash in a card” and give them financial benefits that last a lifetime.

by Kristin, Vice President, Marketing

Jun 7

2012

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Building credit is important for everyone.  Good credit can help you finance a car, rent an apartment, get a home mortgage, and set up utility accounts (like PG&E and cable); it can even help you get a job.

 

Here are 10 ways to get started:

 

1.    Open a checking account. Checking accounts and debit cards are not only a convenient way to pay bills, shop online and manage money, they are actually a credit relationship.  It is the first step towards responsible money management.  Look for an account with no monthly fees, no usage fees, and is tailored to young adults, like our FirstStep Checking Account.

 

2.    Authorized User. If your parents will allow you to be an authorized user on their account(s), that can help you get started.  Lenders report authorized users to the credit bureaus which helps establish your credit file.

 

3.    Open your own credit card. If doing it yourself is more your speed, you can open your own credit card.  Look for a starter card that caters to young adults with little or no credit, has a low APR, a low starting credit limit and no annual fee, like our Visa Platinum Starter Card.

 

4.    Use it and don’t abuse it. Don’t let your card sit untouched in your wallet.  Use your card for small, regular purchases and then pay off your balance each month.  Even with a low credit limit, you should only spend what you can afford to pay back each month. Over time, this pattern will show future creditors that you’re responsible.

 

5.    Pay other bills on time. Your credit score is built from your entire credit history and usage patterns.  It’s not just one credit card; it’s other obligations as well.  Landlords can even report rent repayment habits.

 

6.    Avoid big ticket items. If possible, keep your spending to purchases that you can afford to pay off in 1-3 months.  Larger balances that take up most of your credit limit and continue to roll over monthly can adversely affect your score and can increase the interest you pay on the purchase.

 

7.    Tread lightly. Don’t apply for several credit cards or loans at one time.  A spike in loan inquires and applications can show that you are having trouble managing your money and that may lower your credit score.

 

8.    Pay your student loans. First, keep student loan balances down by only financing necessary student expenses.  Then, pay on time each month.  Student loans have a reputation of not counting towards your credit, however, lenders do report to the credit bureaus on student loan repayment histories.  Consumers who have little or no credit need to keep in mind that the credit bureaus and prospective lenders will use all the information they have to make a decision.

 

9.    Keep your accounts open. Frequent opening and closing of accounts can negatively impact your credit depth and history.  Lenders take into account how long you’ve been a credit user, calculated by your oldest line of credit.  A longer credit history will improve your credit standing.  Even if you don’t use your oldest card, as long as you don’t pay an annual fee, go ahead and keep it open.  It is an advantage to keep several loan accounts active and paid up to date.

 

10.    Stay aware. Consumers are entitled to one credit report per year.  Annualcreditreport.com helps you monitor whether your credit score is improving or declining.  Plus, it’s a great way to prevent fraud.

 

It’s important to build credit while you’re young.  Even if it seems like a long way away – your first car or home are just around the corner.  Good luck!

by Hemlata, AVP, Lending

May 22

2012

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The holidays are over, his birthday has passed, but “I want that!” is back. Without the promise of asking Santa or the grandparents, here’s an idea to teach your children financial responsibility, self-reliance and, most importantly, to equate effort with reward.

 

As adults, we often make helpful to-do lists to get organized and track our progress. Kids can achieve the same benefits and satisfaction!

 

Establish a goal.

The goal is up to the child and encourages them to make a choice about what is most important. You should encourage something they really want and won’t lose interest in. My son has been asking for a guitar for months, so we decided that he could earn it.

 

Create a chart.
It’s important to keep track of progress visually using a chart with stars, stickers or checkmarks. Establish clear expectations about the chart and what will happen each day to earn a mark. Explain which chores qualify and which do not. You should not incent for the chores that are regularly expected of them and you can decline a star for misbehavior. If they are young, it may be helpful to graphically represent which chores earn a mark with a picture of the chore, for example, a dog on a leash or a trash can.

 

Set a timeframe.
The size and length of the chart should be commensurate with the price of their special item or the age of your child. A $5 special item may only take 7 days to earn; whereas, a $50 item may take two months. That’s up to you.

 

For younger children, a long wait time can be discouraging. Promote persistence by adding ‘you earned it’ milestones along the way, for example, a donut after two weeks or a movie night after four weeks.

 

Some chore ideas:
Feed and provide water for pets
Empty small trashcans into big one
Clear all dishes from table
Water houseplants
Wash dishes
Load/Empty dishwasher
Trash to and from curb
Wash the car

 

As they work towards their goal, parents can add extra stars when they’ve gone above and beyond helping, sharing or trying. That way, they’ll know you’re always keeping an eye out.

 

Using these tactics, you’re on your way to teaching your child to set goals, track progress and be organized. Good luck!

 

by Barbara, Vice President, Human Resources

Jul 13

2011

 

Happy Summer!  This is the time of year where we see young adults hoping to get a summer job or join an internship program.  Here are a few ways that you can help:


Resume and Experience.
It’s challenging for young adults to showcase their skills when they don’t have any professional job experience.  However, jobs are not the only way for young adults to demonstrate their potential.  Encourage your child to showcase their skills and abilities through alternative involvement and opportunities.


For example, babysitting shows responsibility, especially if the job is regularly scheduled.  Mowing lawns for family and friends over summers shows hard work and discipline.  Or, volunteering – even if required for school hours – demonstrates commitment.  Get creative and show off a little!


Be patient.
The job market is still tight, even for part-time, seasonal and entry-level positions.  In fact, hiring managers are seeing multiple applicants for open positions and many of those applicants are exceptional over qualified.


Your child may have to submit many applications even to be considered for a job or earn an interview.  Remind him or her to be patient and persistent.


Working is a Privilege.
Be supportive. Once they get the job, you need to remind them of workplace expectations.  You may have to give a ride or help plan transportation.  They need to show up on time, dress appropriately and communicate effectively. 


Help your child make responsible choices.  If your child isn’t feeling well, he or she needs to consider if they should go to work or stay at home.  Is a headache a reason to stay home?  Perhaps going to work is the better choice.  If your child is sick, ask them to contact their employer as far in advance as possible or get a shift covered by a co-worker, if applicable.  If your child needs time off, ask for vacation time well in advance so their employer has time to schedule a replacement.  Sometimes they may have to sacrifice a trip with friends because of new job responsibilities.


Often parents tell me their child’s job is work for them!  That can be true; however, working is an important part of growing up and the lessons they learn can benefit them for a lifetime.  A job teaches responsibility and discipline – plus, it helps your child earn extra cash, which can benefit you, too.  Good luck!


by Barbara, Vice President, Human Resources

Jul 7

2011

Steve Punch, President & CEO

Congratulations – you’re entering a new chapter in your life. Graduating high school is bittersweet. Saying goodbye to friends, memories and your comfort zone may be difficult; however, the next steps are filled with opportunity and excitement. How will you shape your future?


College.
If college, junior college or trade school is next on your list, it’s never too early to get started. This could be a good time to assess your interests by taking a class at a local junior college. Try something fun like theatre, explore your intended major or narrow which type of major you’d like to pursue. Some classes may even qualify toward your degree. You could also conduct research to see which classes you should take next year. Course catalogs are often online at your university’s website.


Get a Job.
Whether you’re off to college or not, this is a good time to find a job. You’re young, ambitious and energetic – so look for something that matches those qualities. Look for jobs that allow a flexible schedule, the opportunity to pick up extra hours and future promotions. It’s important to save as much money as you can now. If you starting college in the fall, you won’t have the extra time to hold a job and you’ll need to rely on what you’ve saved.


If you can’t find a job, consider volunteering. Volunteer experiences can shape your perspective, your career and your future. They also can lead to regular employment. Many local charities need extra hands in the summer and getting involved helps you meet new people and gain job experience. Plus, it’s incredibly rewarding to help others in need.


Travel.
If you were fortunate enough to receive cash as a graduation gift, you may consider using it to travel. Many organizations offer study abroad or travel groups for young adults. Check out programs at a local college or university. Traveling can open your eyes to new cultures, foods and experiences – things that you’ll never replicate at home. You may even come home with the foundation of a new language!


Whatever you decide – celebrate your achievement! You’ve done well and I wish you continued success.

 
   
 
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