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Oct 8

2013

Jenna, Vice President, Operations

As a non-profit financial institution, we strive to offer you convenient, low-cost options to manage your money. Overdrawing your account can result in two types of fees: Courtesy Pay or Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF).

 

Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee
Overdrafts without free overdraft protection or overdrafts that extend beyond your courtesy pay limit will be assessed a per-item, non-sufficient funds fee. The item will be returned, unpaid, to the payee.

 

Courtesy Pay Fee
Overdraft items may be covered by courtesy pay. Courtesy pay is a service we provide to protect our members from accidentally overdrawing accounts. Even if there is a shortage of funds in your account, courtesy pay may cover your transaction and prevent the hassle and embarrassment of declined transactions or bounced checks. It also helps avoid costly returned item fees charged by merchants and retailers.

 

Courtesy pay protection for your checks, electronic payments (ACH) and bill pay transactions is included with your account. You must, however, elect to receive courtesy pay coverage for your ATM and debit card transactions. Visit us online to sign up for this additional layer of protection.

 

We understand that mistakes happen; however, using these convenient services as “short-term loans” can be a more costly form of credit than other options we offer. Here are three tips to achieving responsible money management and avoiding or limiting fees.

 

1. Monitor Accounts
Good account management is the best way to avoid courtesy pay or non-sufficient funds fees. Closely monitor your available account balance using services like BranchLine online banking, mobile banking or free account alerts. Don’t forget to take into account pending transactions, like checks or recurring and automatic payments. You can setup account alerts in BranchLine to send you an email notification when your balance drops below a specified amount.

 

2. Overdraft Protection Transfers
As an alternative to courtesy pay, you can designate another Pacific Service CU account to be used in the event of an overdraft. If your checking account is overdrawn, we will automatically transfer funds from an established savings, money market, Visa or other checking account overdraft source. There is no fee for this service.

 

You can rely on multiple forms of overdraft protection. First, setup your overdraft protection transfer account. In the event that funds are unavailable in your overdraft protection account, we can still offer courtesy pay protection.

 

3. Resolution
If you do overdraw your account, it’s important to deposit or transfer money into the account as soon as possible to cover the overdraft amount, plus any fees associated with the overdraft. A quick deposit or transfer can help you avoid additional overdrafts and fees.

 

Read more in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or for help determining which services best suit you, call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

 

You may also be interested in:

What is Courtesy Pay?

4 Steps to Living Debt Free

Credit or Debit?

Oct 2

2013

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Courtesy pay is a service we provide to protect our members from inadvertently overdrawing a checking account. Even if there is a shortage of funds in your account, courtesy pay may cover your transaction and prevent the hassle of declined transactions or bounced checks. It also helps avoid costly returned item fees charged by merchants and retailers.

 

We understand that mistakes happen, that’s why we offer courtesy pay protection. The fee for this service is $25 per transaction. We don’t think, however, that you should pay $25 for your morning cup of coffee in the event that you accidentally overdraw your account. As a non-profit financial institution, we want to offer you the most convenient, least expensive option to manage your money. That’s why we’ve adjusted the fee to allow our members a complimentary $5 overdraw amount.

 

That means, if you overdraw your account for an amount of $5 or less, we will cover that amount and won’t charge you a fee. We think that is part of the credit union difference and we hope you agree.

 

Read more about courtesy pay in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

 

by Jenna, Vice President, Operations

Sep 12

2013

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Great news! We’ve enhanced our checking accounts by adding courtesy pay protection for your ATM and debit card transactions. Add this new protection to your checking account today with two simple clicks. Or, keep reading for more information.

 

Currently, your Pacific Service CU checking account offers peace of mind by protecting you from accidental overdrafts for checks, electronic payments and bill pay transactions. Our new debit card courtesy pay protection will help you avoid the embarrassment and hassle of a declined transaction for your ATM and debit card.

 

In the event that there’s not enough money in your account to cover a transaction, we will pay the transaction for a nominal fee. If your account is $5 or less overdrawn, the service is free. If your account is $5.01 or more overdrawn, a $25 fee will apply.

 

You must opt-in to receive the additional convenience of ATM and debit card courtesy pay. Sign up today. You’re only two clicks away.

 

Read more about our Courtesy Pay program in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

 

We hope you enjoy the enhancement of ATM and debit card courtesy pay.

 

by Jenna, Vice President, Operations

Aug 22

2013

Great news! You asked and we listened. eCommunications is here. Now you can get away from the cost and clutter of paper and elect to receive communication via email.

 

The safe, fast and environmentally-friendly option of email communication now includes tax forms, disclosures, statements and select notices.

 

When new statements, forms or notices are available, we’ll send you an email notification, instead of paper. It’s that simple.

 

Even if you’ve already elected to receive your statements electronically, you must also elect to receive eCommunications.

 

Enroll now with two easy clicks.

 

For more information, call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

 

by Nannette, Vice President, Technology

Jul 24

2013

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Rising home prices, low-rate mortgage loans and shrinking inventory are contributing to a rapidly improving housing market. People are starting to see their homes as an asset again, one whose value may improve over time instead of decline. If you’re a homeowner who has stayed in your home, you may be asking yourself, ‘Is it time for home improvements?’

 

After several years of decline, the money you’ll likely recoup on home improvement projects is finally on the rise. While not a guaranteed profit generator, home improvement projects can make life easier, improve the value of your home, and make it more marketable.

 

Are you going?
If your goal is to increase your home’s value for resale, above all, be sure your improvement correctly mimics your community. A very high-end kitchen remodel, for example, may only pay off in an expensive neighborhood. Over building or choosing projects that aren’t universally valuable can actually harm your return on investment.

 

Conversely, if you’re the smallest house on your block, an additional bedroom and/or bathroom, especially if it doesn’t overcrowd your lot, could help you compete with other houses for sale in your area.

 

When making improvements to a home that you don’t plan to stay in over the long term, you should consider the concept of mid-range remodeling. Overspending can diminish the return on your investment; however, affordable improvements can add up to big value increases. For example, modest improvements like new counter tops, flooring or appliances can make a vast difference in the appearance of a kitchen, without adding up to big costs.

 

Are you staying?
If you’re planning to stay in your home for a long time, you may not be as concerned about fully recouping the money you spend. You may want to make improvements that are valuable to your family, like a new addition or a gourmet kitchen. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted a pool or an outdoor entertainment area. Now is a good time to invest in your home, your lifestyle or your family without worrying about the resale implications years down the road.

 

If you need to finance your home improvements, you may need to demonstrate your home’s value with a home appraisal. Typically, financial institutions lend up to 80% of your home’s value minus your first mortgage balance.

 

You can start by estimating your property with a home value estimator, like Zillow.com. We often find these estimates are a little off; however, they are a good start. Divide your mortgage balance by your estimated value and multiply by 100. If that number is less than 80%, your value may qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit.

 

If you don’t have sufficient equity for a home equity loan and have much needed home repairs to get done, you may consider a personal loan.

 

For more information, call one of our real estate specialists. We’re happy to help.

 

You may also be interested in:
Pay off your mortgage (and build equity) faster
Top 10 Ways to Save Money
A Buyer’s Market (**)
by Hemlata, AVP, Real Estate

 
   
 
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