OGDEN, UTAH, March 15, 2017 – The 87th Annual Meeting of Wasatch Peaks Credit Union was held on Thursday, March 2nd at the Walker Cinemas in North Ogden. During the business meeting, the 2017 Board of Directors election results were announced. Nanette Combe, who has 22 years of experience working for credit unions, was elected as the newest member of the Board. Mrs. Combe graduated from Weber State University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She joins the incumbent directors Brad Egbert, Mike Enz, and Mark Ramsey who were elected to new three-year terms on the Board of Directors. Other Board members include Bill Frye, Cindi Hellewell, Ronald Hill, Gary McDaniel, Randy Rounds, Todd Skeen, and Curtis Smout. Wasatch Peaks thanks former director, Gerald West, for his 12 years of dedicated volunteer service on the Board.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of $10,000 from Wasatch Peaks Credit Union to local school foundations. Ogden School Foundation and Weber School Foundation were each given $5,000. Wasatch Peaks is proud to support our students, teachers, staffs, and education programs in the community.

In addition to prizes such as T-shirts, LED lanterns, and cash prizes, approximately 900 members enjoyed the showing of The Lego® Batman Movie and The Great Wall.

Thanks to all who attended and made this special night a success! As always, the board members, management, and staff of Wasatch Peaks Credit Union were delighted to show appreciation to members by hosting an event that members of all ages could enjoy.

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Wasatch Peaks Credit Union is a federally chartered credit union. All those who live, work, worship, attend school in Weber, Davis, and Morgan Counties, or have immediate family who are members, are eligible for membership. Wasatch Peaks Credit Union has eight branch locations, more than 31,000 members, and $293 million in assets. For more information: visit wasatchpeaks.com or call 801-627-8700. Follow Wasatch Peaks Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Published in News

2017 Board

Wasatch Peaks Credit Union members elected four Directors to the Board in the Board of Directors election at the 87th Annual Meeting held on Thursday, March 2nd at Walker Cinemas in North Ogden. There were five candidates running for four Board seats. Brad Egbert, Mike Enz, Mark Ramsey (incumbents) and Nanette Combe (candidate) were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors. Wasatch Peaks thanks former director, Gerald West, for his 12 years of dedicated volunteer service on the Board.

Each of the eleven members of the Board is elected by members of Wasatch Peaks Credit Union for a three-year term. They are respected members of our community and we are proud to have them represent our Wasatch Peaks Credit Union. Here are the members of the 2017 Wasatch Peaks Credit Union Board of Directors: Mark Ramsey, Ronald Hill, Cindi Hellewell, Curtis E. Smout, Gary McDaniel, Todd Skeen, Brad Egbert, Bill Frye, Randy Rounds, Mike Enz, and Nanette Combe.

On Monday, March 6th, at the re-organizational Meeting, the Board of Directors named their officers for the coming year. Mark Ramsey was named Chairman, Ronald Hill–Vice Chairman, and Cindi Hellewell–Secretary.

We thank all of our volunteer officials for their service and leadership; they are instrumental to the continued success of Wasatch Peaks Credit Union. We would also like to thank all Wasatch Peaks members for their attendance at the 87th Annual Meeting and for participating in electing their Board of Directors for Wasatch Peaks Credit Union.

Published in Blog
Monday, 06 March 2017 14:41

Understanding Your Credit Score

Countless blog posts have been written about credit scores and credit reports. Not one post has been written about my personal experience with credit reports. So, I’m going to share my credit story. I would love to hear your experience with credit reports & scores too!

Here are my tips for healthy credit scores:

Understand Your Credit Score

Credit scores determine your ability to borrow money from many lenders. In my early 20’s, I applied for a car loan from a credit union. Then, I shopped for my dream car. The lender told me that I qualified to borrow $10k. That wasn’t enough to buy my dream car. I felt surprised that I didn’t qualify for more. I had heard stories of others who made less than me and qualified for so much more. I didn’t understand how credit was used to grant loans.

Years later I worked for a nonprofit and taught financial education. As I taught about credit, I understood why I hadn’t qualified for more money years before - I even felt surprised that I had qualified for $10k. Since I had no credit at the time, I had no credit score. The credit union was looking at my credit score and my income.

If you are wondering about the end of the story, here it is: Well, that experience helped me realize the value of money. I realized that ten thousand dollars was a lot of money! I actually decided not to buy car at that time. Instead, I used a free bus pass offered through my college until I graduated.

Check Your Credit Reports Regularly

Nine years ago, we refinanced our home. The refinancing process included a credit check. The loan officer noticed that another social security number was being reported on one of my credit reports. It was an easy fix. She sent a letter stating that the social security number reported was not mine, and it was corrected.

Checking your credit report is one way to catch identity theft as early as possible. Also, mistakes on your credit report can negatively affect your credit score. Millions of Americans have mistakes on their credit report at some point in their lives. If you notice the mistake and notify the Credit Reporting Bureau of that mistake, they are required to investigate it. If you need more information on how to do this, check here. Disputes can be done online.

Ever since that time, I’ve checked our reports regularly. How often is regularly? Well, it’s not as often as I should be exercising or eating, but it is as often as I should be getting a physical check up (which I haven’t done for a while). An annual credit checkup has worked well for me. I suggest you find a time that you can remember to check it. If you aren’t preparing to get a loan, it’s easy to forget about checking your credit - just like it has been easy for me to forget about getting a physical checkup because I’ve been healthy.

By checking your credit score once a year, you can ensure accuracy so that when you do need credit, your reports will be accurate and you will be prepared. One friend told me that she checks her credit reports on her birthday so that she can remember to do it. I check my reports when I do my taxes, because they are both financially related. You can check your credit report once a year from three credit reporting companies for free through this website. (It does cost to get your FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score.) Each company reports different information in different ways. You don’t have to get all three reports at the same time. If you want to check one report every four months, you could do that. Decide what works best for you.

Understand Credit Reports

Credit Reports are not the easiest documents to read and understand. I almost needed a magnifying glass to read Transunion’s small wording on its report. I remember feeling confused and overwhelmed the first time that I read my credit reports. The reports seemed too long for someone with such little credit history, but it listed every address where I had lived. It also listed everything I had done financially.

Credit history can be long. Our mortgage loan was sold several times, and we have refinanced twice. So, all of that information is listed. Be prepared to sift through a lot of information. Check to make sure that the information is accurate. There are three different agencies that report credit information: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Each report is different.

There are five basic components of a credit score. If you want more information about those five components of the credit score, read this blog post from Wasatch Peaks. I promise that checking your credit reports isn’t as painful as it may sound and is vital to keeping your credit score accurate and healthy.

To further understand your Credit Report, feel free to use the financial counseling services that Wasatch Peaks offers. The counselors are certified credit report reviewers and are there to give you guidance and support, whatever your financial situation.

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 22:24

Start Using Peaks Money Managerâ„¢

Wasatch Peaks Credit Union is so excited to announce that we are now live with our new Peaks Money Manager™ product.

This is a data-driven money management tool that securely integrates into digital banking products and enables users to take control of their finances. Budgeting, account aggregation, auto-categorization, and debt management are just a few of the tools that this product offers.

It is easy to access – just login to your Wasatch Peaks account online and select Services, then select Peaks Money Manager.

There is also an app available for mobile devices. The apps can be found in the app stores! Follow this link to download for Androids or this link to download for Apple products. Once you download the app, it will ask for an access code. This is generated within the desktop version of Peaks Money Manager. Simply login to your account at your desktop or laptop and select Services and then Peaks Money Manager. From there go to Settings (top right-hand corner) and then select Mobile Devices and click on Generate Access Code.

This is a great way to see all of your accounts at Wasatch Peaks Credit Union as well as any other financial accounts you have elsewhere. You can look at your HSA, John Hancock Account, and many others in one place to help view your total financial picture. Download or access it on your desktop today and take control of your finances!

Published in News
Friday, 17 February 2017 22:15

Investing Step #2: Start Saving

Wasatch Peaks has decided to make this the year of guiding new investors. Throughout the 12 months of 2017, Wasatch Peaks will provide you with 12 easy-to-understand steps about investing, making you a savvy, confident investor by the time the year is out. If you missed our first step, follow this link to learn about getting your finances in order, then come back here for the second step!

Step #2: Start Saving

Don't invest a penny before you build a substantial savings account.

This might sound counterintuitive to a wannabe investor, but it's important to have a solid cushion of savings before you start putting your money into the market. Life is full of surprises. You don't want to be caught in an emergency that leaves you desperate for cash when all your funds are tied up in bonds, CDs and stocks.

This month, work on building up your savings to minimize risk. Here's how:

  1. Follow the 50/30/20 rule. Financial advisors suggest that 50% of your income goes toward necessities, like your mortgage, transportation and food costs; 30% goes toward discretionary non-essentials, like dining out, paying for a top-tier cellphone plan and updating your wardrobe; and the last 20% goes toward savings. If you begin dividing each paycheck automatically, you'll launch a habit of saving that will greatly enhance your financial life.
  2. Put away three to six months of living expenses. Now that you are in the habit of saving, the next sensible step is to put that money toward something substantial. Experts suggest the first step of saving is building up an account that is large enough to cover your living expenses for three to six months. This will tide you over in case there's an unexpected event that keeps you from earning your regular salary. That may be an illness, your company downsizing or anything that leaves you suddenly unemployed. Calculate exactly how much you need to live on each month, and start saving. Then, even if the unthinkable happens, you won't be up a creek without a paddle.
  3. Build up a series of cash reserves - including an emergency fund. Aside from living expenses, it's important to have accessible cash for those unanticipated events, like a major household repair or a medical emergency.

What steps have you taken toward building your savings this month?

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 23:25

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Published in Video
Thursday, 16 February 2017 16:12

Why Refinancing Might Be Right For You

It’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a financial crunch these days, and people looking for a bit of breathing room might be able to find a respite in an unexpected place: Their mortgage loan. We typically think of a mortgage as an expense for obvious reasons, but a home refinance can be a great way to increase your financial flexibility.

At Wasatch Peaks, we’re here to help you with every step as you refinance your mortgage. Why might this process be beneficial for you and your family? Let’s take a look.

Lower Payments

The primary benefit of refinancing a mortgage is lowering your monthly payment. The idea of most refinancing projects is to either extend the period of the loan or lock it in at a new, lower mortgage rate (sometimes both), both of which will lower the amount you’re required to pay each month.

In most cases, mortgage brokers recommend refinancing via interest rate reduction as a smart move if the current market is at least two percentage points lower than your original interest rate. Two percent may not sound like much, but it can have a gigantic effect over the life of a larger mortgage.

Raises Credit

Easier payments generally leads to a rise in your credit as you can hopefully dig out of any financial hole. You can also use the money you save each month to pay down other debts which might be contributing to negative credit. For some people whose belt isn’t necessarily tight financially, a home refinance can be a great way to build equity by lowering payments but continuing to make the original, larger payment anyway. Some people finish paying mortgages earlier than usual through these methods.

Changing Loan Type

Many people who sign adjustable-rate loans do so as a gamble that their rates might significantly drop through the life of their loan, but often the opposite will happen and they’ll reach a point where they can’t handle the instability of rising rates. Moving to a fixed-rate loan is one of the primary benefits of refinancing, and brings much more financial certainty in monthly payments. Check out our rates here.

Want to learn more about refinancing, or any other part of our loan services? Our financial advisors at Wasatch Peaks are standing by.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 18:34

Tips for Keeping Credit Score High

One of the most important parts of the home loan process is utilizing your credit score. Credit score is one of the primary factors that determines many of the vital financial details of a mortgage loan, and can often be the difference between you getting the mortgage rates you need and not doing so.

At Wasatch Peaks Credit Union, we’re dedicated to providing our clients all the knowledge and savvy they need to make the right personal, business and family financial decisions. We’ve seen firsthand the pitfalls of lackluster credit in the mortgage loan process, so what are some things you can do to make sure you aren’t suffering from a low credit score?

Track Spending

Keep diligent track of your spending habits, particularly your lines of credit – exactly how far these extend should be something you know, and do your best to never exceed these limits. Many financial experts suggest the “20/10” rule of thumb: Never let your credit card debt get higher than 20 percent of your yearly post-tax income, and never tie up more than 10 percent of your monthly income in credit card payments.

Keep Emergency Funds

Unexpected expenses are part of life, and if you’re forced to run these up on your credit card every time they happen, it could tank your credit score and impact your financial future. Keep a buffer of 10 to 15 percent of your available credit if possible, or even more if you can manage it. Try setting up a Budgeter Account to save money for an emergency fund. Many people try to keep several months’ worth of income saved up in case of emergency.

Organization

Staying organized prevents negative outcomes like missed payments or unnoticed spending limits. Keep track of your due dates in a comprehensive list you can easily access, and keep all your bills in one place – online and mobile banking with Wasatch Peaks has made this easier than ever.

You can schedule payments either online or in person with your credit union, and set up automatic payments. You’ll be thanking yourself down the line when your credit isn’t the thing keeping you from an affordable home loan.

Keep In Touch

Especially if you’re having any issues with credit card or other debt payments, keep an open line of dialogue with your lender. Lenders want the same result you do – their money back – and even if it often seems like you’re on opposite sides, they’ll generally work with you to restructure things if you’re falling behind.

Interested in learning more about mortgage loans, home refinance projects or any of our other services which may be directly impacted by credit score? Our financial advisors at Wasatch Peaks Credit Union are standing by.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 18:49

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Published in Specials

Creature comforts like smartphone bank deposits are nice, but how much are they costing you? Your statement might not show the costs directly, but there’s an old adage about situations like this: If you’re not paying for a service, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. In this case, corporate banks use slick technological bells and whistles to get you in so you’ll be more likely to take out loans and use other for-pay services.

If you’re tired of being treated like a product, you’re not alone. Last year, 2 million people between the ages of 18 and 35 joined a credit union. 28% of credit union members are under 35 while 54% of them are under age 50. The tools of technology are making it easier to see the value that credit unions offer.

Don’t just take our word for it. Do your research and see for yourself how credit unions compare to for-profit banks. Consider these five categories:

1.) Ease of service

Here’s a fun game. Call a corporate bank with a simple request, like checking the balance of a savings account. Count the number of irritating phone tree menus you have to sift through before you could talk to a real person who could answer your question. You win when you get frustrated and slam the phone down in anger!

For-profit banks have earned a reputation for cumbersome customer service and out-of-touch policies. Getting information on financial services, like credit repair or auto loans, means sitting on hold for hours. Credit unions, on the other hand, provide easy-to-use services and real, live human beings who can answer questions, make recommendations and help you understand the complicated world of finance.

2.) Lending practices

For-profit banks answer to corporate owners. They expect a predictable, stable rate of return on their investments. This demand puts a straitjacket on lending and ensures those practices never deviate from a pre-determined formula. Take income, multiply by credit score, divide by 2, that’s the interest rate they’ll charge.

However, let’s pretend you just got a new job, so last year’s tax returns aren’t a good indicator of how much you are earning. That’s not in the formula, so it doesn’t matter. Credit history ruined by an old medical bill? Corporate banks stop reading after the first three words of that sentence. In short, there’s no room for flexibility and interest rates tend to be much higher.

Credit unions are community institutions, so helping people out is part of what we do. Our rates tend to be lower than those of corporate banks. We also tend to be more willing to make exceptions for details that may not be reflected in the conventional lending formula.

3.) Online banking is everywhere

In the wild west days of the Internet, only corporate banks could afford online banking. Now, your pet gerbil can have his own website. The Internet is everywhere and credit unions are on board. The services you use every day, like online bill pay, direct deposit and checking on account balances are just a click away. Follow this link to learn more about the mobile banking that Wasatch Peaks offers.

Most people don’t handle paper checks anymore, so banking from the computer or mobile device is all most consumers really need.

4.) Educational resources

Corporate banks have historically made a killing by keeping people in the dark about their practices. Credit card companies made it hard to tell exactly how much interest you were being charged. Banks charged overdraft fees without ever telling you they were doing it. These things got so bad, Congress took action. Consumer ignorance was built into the profit model of big financial institutions. Educating consumers was not just a waste of money to them, it was actually costing them business.

Credit unions are not-for-profits that want to make their communities a better place. Wasatch Peaks donates thousands of dollars and volunteer hours each year to our community. Part of the mission of making our community a better place includes financial education. If you need advice about home-buying, making a budget or using credit responsibly, Wasatch Peaks will be happy to help. We also have a blog called "Peaks Financial Fitness" that is published every Monday. It relates everyday topics to finances in a way that is applicable to almost all lives.

5.) Savings

Credit unions work for their members. We pay back the money they make to their members in the form of dividends. Since our members are also the people paying for their services, we don’t have much of an incentive to charge an arm and a leg in interest and fees.

Wasatch Peaks Credit Union offers competitive rates on savings accounts and CDs/certificates. Because we don’t have to siphon off money to pay shareholders, we can return that money to their investors: you know, the people who do their banking with the credit union. Compare the earned interest on a credit union checking or savings account to those offered by a for-profit bank. Then, go open an account at a credit union, like Wasatch Peaks. You’ll thank yourself later.

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