Monday, January 26, 2015

Prepare for the Possibility of Rising Mortgage Rates

We’ve been experiencing historically low mortgage rates in the U.S. for several years now, but unfortunately those great rates can’t last forever. As we begin 2015, the question remains, how long will rates stay low?

While no one has a crystal ball to predict the rise or fall of housing rates, there are some market indicators that suggest now may be a good time to consider buying or refinancing a home. Even more so if you plan on staying in your home for many years.

Whether you’re buying your first home or ready to refinance, a small rate change can make a big difference. How important is something as little as .5 percentage point increase on a mortgage rate? Consider this. For a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of $200,000, an interest rate of 4.5 percent, instead of 4.0 percent, would cost roughly $58 more per month. That totals more than $21,000 over the life of the 30-year loan. 

During 2015, we expect that mortgage rates will rise throughout the year as the economy continues to recover. There are many reasons for this including relatively low inflation, Federal Reserve monetary policies and other factors.

Not quite ready to buy yet? It is important to keep mortgage rates in perspective. Even though rates have been bouncing up and down a few percentage points over the last few years, there is little question that they remain very low historically. In general, rising interest rates have been an indicator of a healthier economy. When the economy gains strength, home values tend to increase along with interest rates.

The important thing is to buy a home when the time is right for you. You should buy a house when you’re financially ready to do so and your life circumstances dictate it.

If you are looking to discuss your options or get pre-approved, contact one of our mortgage specialists at www.cfcu.org/mortgages or (734) 582-8500. No matter what your mortgage needs, we are here to help you find the perfect home for you!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Community Financial Warms Hearts by Supporting Michigan Nonprofits


Forecasters are not predicting another polar vortex this winter, but Michigan temperatures have still been dipping below zero. Severe cold this time of year puts extra strain on families that are forced to choose between paying utilities and putting food on the table.

That’s why Community Financial Credit Union started the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign. This unique program engages community members on social media to help direct Community Financial donations to organizations that assist Michigan families in staying warm and well-fed during these cold winter months.

For every Facebook like, tweet and Instagram picture Community Financial received, the credit union donated $25 to select nonprofits in north and southeast Michigan.

When the campaign concluded in December, Community Financial donated $40,000 to local nonprofits. Recipients were: The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), food pantries in north and southeast Michigan, The Salvation Army’s “Coats for Kids” program and Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. Each group received a $10,000 donation.

2014 marked the third year of the Warming Hearts & Homes campaign. The program began in 2012 to enhance the well-being of the communities the credit union serves.

The entire Community Financial team is dedicated to supporting the fight against cold and hunger in Michigan this winter.

“As the temperature drops,” said senior marketing representative
Susan O’Connor. “We can never take our warm coats for granted. Families all over Michigan can’t just turn up their heat. They have to balance feeding their kids, providing them coats and having a safe, warm home. This program is just another example of how Community Financial steps up to help our neighbors and why I’m proud to be a member and employee of the credit union.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Recover from Holiday Spending

Giving gifts to loved ones during the holiday season can be a great way to show how much you care. But if spending habits get out of control it can also cause unnecessary stress.

It’s easy to lose track of our spending in the midst of holiday parties and family gatherings. It’s estimated that the average American spends more than $700 on gifts for others during the month of December. If you have blown your budget this holiday season, it’s time to scale back. Here are some ideas to recover from your holiday spending:
  1. Avoid the places you spend extra money. Whether your weak spot is a local shop, the ice cream aisle in the grocery store or your favorite restaurant, avoid it over the next few months. This will help you get into the habit of treating yourself only when you have the extra cash to do so.
  2. Take advantage of leisure activities that cost you (and your friends!) less. Instead of spending money on common outings like eating out or shopping, try these more frugal alternatives:
    Ask friends to bring movies to your place for a movie night instead of going to the theater.
    Organize a potluck dinner instead of going to a restaurant.
    Volunteer your time at a local charitable organization instead of going to a sporting event or concert.
  3. Did you get a holiday bonus this year? Be sure to use it wisely. Pay down a credit card balance or put it into savings! These checks are easy to spend frivolously on a big ticket item that you want, but probably don’t need. Avoid that impulse buy.
  4. After you’ve finished the books that were in your stocking or under the tree, take a trip to the library instead of the bookstore. Library books are completely free entertainment! There’s also a multitude of other forms of entertainment at the library including craft projects, CDs, DVDs and kid-friendly exhibits. Some libraries even offer free passes to local museums and other attractions.
  5. Start saving for 2015’s holiday shopping now. If you put away $50 a month in a Community Financial Holidays Savings Account, you’ll have $500 after October, just in time for holiday shopping! You’ll feel less stressed about spending money around the holidays if you’ve set it aside ahead of time. Plus, you’ll have this amount in cash so you won’t have to worry about paying interest on gifts.
With a little planning and assessment of your goals, you can be in great financial shape by next holiday season. Remember, Christmas is only 351 days away!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Community Financial and Salem High School Preserve Memories of Graduates

Community Financial Credit Union’s Community Shares Program helps fund school projects, school functions and school foundations across the southeast Michigan and northern Michigan communities it serves.

This year, a portion of the donated funds is supporting is a community display of a historical research project conducted by Salem High School teacher Darrin Silvester and his students. The project focuses on the historical impact of Central Middle School and the graduates of the previously known Plymouth High School.

Silvester and his students are excited the grant allows them to present their work in a format that makes it useful to the entire community. The grant will be used to purchase museum quality display boards to display the students’ work, and also will give more accessibility of town history to the public. Silvester’s class project provided students the opportunity to build upon skills to create an exhibit for everyone to see.

“The grant from Community Financial is helping to honor the great work that Plymouth High School graduates have done in Plymouth and the rest of the nation” Silvester said. “We are excited to share what we have found. There has been great work done here for more than 150 years and we want to share it with the community.”

Community Financial is proud to be able to give back to the community in a way that sets our communities up for brighter futures.

“Our local schools are the backbone of strong communities here in Michigan and so we feel it is important to give back to the communities that have been so good to us,” Community Financial Marketing Manager Sarah Cousineau said. “This project has a special significance as it is helping to preserve the history of Plymouth, the town where Community Financial started.”

Community Financial has donated a total of $25,500 for Community Shares in 2014. Eight school districts located in southeast and northern Michigan communities have benefited from the charitable program.

“All the work that the students do is not completed in front of me in the classroom with this project. It’s done for everyone. When classroom work can be connected to the community, the better kids are prepared for their futures,” Silvester said.

Community Financial Credit Union, P.O. Box 8050, Plymouth, Michigan 48170-8050;
© Community Financial 2013
Federally insured by NCUA.
Equal Housing Lender
Additional coverage provided by ESI.
Federally insured by NCUA.