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Money Matters Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Good Could You Do with $1,000?

The season of summer brings warmth, flowers…and $1,000?  

Community Financial Credit Union is gearing up for another “Summer of Sharing.” Throughout the summer, beginning June 7, Community Financial will donate $1,000 each business day to a deserving non-profit.

Summer of Sharing, now in its third year, invites the community to nominate non-profit organizations that are doing exceptional work in their communities, by sharing a story that explains how $1,000 would help accomplish goals that in turn, help the community. 
Community Financial team members present a check for $1,000 to the Lighthouse Family Charity organization of  Michigan during last year's Summer of Sharing. 

“We are always happy to invite the community to tell us which organizations are doing great work and deserve additional financial support,” said Bill Lawton, Community Financial Credit Union president/CEO.  “It is part of our culture to give back to local communities and we are proud to bring ‘Summer of Sharing’ back once again.”

Since the inception of Summer of Sharing, Community Financial has donated over $120,000 to non-profits in the area and plans to donate an additional $60,000 this year.

“We know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful non-profits doing amazing work to make our communities great places to live,” Lawton said.  “We want to help celebrate and benefit them, but we need the communities’ help to let us know who they are.”

So, as you kick off the summer, think about a charitable organization that helps your community.  To nominate your favorite non-profit and to see who receives $1,000 each day, visit

Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Begins at Community Financial

With the Memorial Day weekend coming up, plenty of Michigan families are making plans to head Up North, open backyard pools or put their docks in at their summer cottages.

Across the country, according to a survey, more people are planning to travel this weekend and over the course of the summer compared to last year.  Between finding work-life balance, stress relief, or simply scheduling time to “veg out,” Americans are clearing their schedules this summer to make time for themselves and others.

How will you invest in yourself this year?  

Why not experience Pure Michigan by getting the boat you’ve had your eye on? Or perhaps you could finally get the motor home you’ve been longing for to take the family on that long-awaited vacation.

Whatever you have been dreaming about for this summer – from autos or boats to RVs or ATVs, Community Financial Credit Union has the loan to fit your needs – and your budget.

The loan process is quick and easy so you’ll spend less time filling out paperwork and more time with family and friends.

Apply online, over the phone, or in person at one of our eight convenient locations.

So, what are you waiting for?  Kick off the summer right this year and make it one to remember with a loan from Community Financial!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Student Summer Job Blues

While the unemployment rate has dropped in Michigan, it can still be challenging for high school and college students to find jobs for the summer.

According to a recent news report, teen and student employment has been slipping for more than a decade. The report, from Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, said that in 2000, over 51 percent of teens had summer jobs in 2000 while only 30.5 percent worked last year.

So what is a student to do while home from school for the summer?  According to Sue O’Connor, senior marketing representative at Community Financial and mother of two college students who have successfully landed summer jobs while in high school and college, there are some things students can do to increase their chances of being hired.

“Don’t be afraid to be aggressive, without being rude or a pest,” O’Connor said.  “For example, in high school my daughter landed a job with a new restaurant by visiting the construction site before the business was even open.  She was able to get her application in early and she worked at the business for several years. ”

Some other tips from O’Connor include:

·         Make a resume:  Make sure it is free of errors and be sure to include leadership experience and school involvement if you don’t have employment experience.
·         Include if you have your own car & references that are not relatives: Look to people like neighbors, teachers or people who hired you to babysit. 
·         Look the part: Dress up to deliver your resume and apply – often times you will be judged before you are even considered. 
·         Treat everyone like they are interviewing: The other employees may have a say in who will be hired, so be courteous and outgoing to everyone.
·         Be ahead of the hiring: Look for new stores that are not open and call or email any contact listed to see when they are hiring.   
·         Network: Ask friends who work if their employers are hiring.
·         Follow up:  Send a thank you note to anyone you interview with and ask when you should hear back from them – then follow up again if you do not hear anything a few days after that.
·         Be open to any job: Don’t limit yourself.  Working at a variety of places can give you the experience future employers are looking for.

The above tips aren’t a guarantee of summer employment, but following them could put you on the right track to earn some extra cash this summer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Car Shopping? Remember to include the financing

Consumers spend so much time and effort finding the right car online and at local auto dealerships, it comes as a  surprise that they are  ready and willing to settle for  their auto loan right there on the spot, without doing much research.

Not shopping for the right loan could cost customers large sums of money, especially when better options could be available if they took the time and looked outside the dealership.

Consumers may not realize it but more often than not, auto financing at the dealership is negotiable. The dealerships’ business managers are actually salespeople working on commission.  That means that may or may not always be interested in getting their customers the best rates. 

That is why it is important to arrange your auto financing with a financial institution before going into the dealership.  With your auto financing settled before, you’re able to compare what the dealership offers and stay within your budget.

Dealerships also make profits on loans and leases negotiated on site, a practice that has led to the Center for Responsible Lending and other consumer advocates to argue that dealerships should disclose how much they make on loans and leases to clear any confusion among customers.
When buying or leasing a new car, it’s important to take your time and not make any snap decisions without considering all your options.

And when it comes to loans, it’s best to take the time to shop around and find the best rates before visiting the dealership.  Consider using an online financial calculator that can help you compare different terms and rates.

To help you understand your finance options as they relate to your specific situation, talk with experts in the finance field in order to get the best value in what will be a major purchase. 

Community Financial Credit Union is here to help and currently offering rates as low as 1.24% APR*, a historically low number.  You can learn about financing in a low-pressure environment where you can make the best decision for you and your family.

*Click here for complete loan disclosure information, call 877 937-2328 or stop into one of our eight convenient locations.