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Money Matters Blog

Monday, October 28, 2013

Preparing Your Car for Winter Weather

          It’s gloomy to think about cold weather, snow and ice already but winter is quickly approaching.  Winter weather demands more of our cars.  Starting an engine in sub-zero temperatures and maintaining traction on slippery roads are experiences common to Michigan automobile owners.
           Preparing your car in advance will help keep you safe and keep your car running smoothly.  Here are some key areas on your car that you may want to have inspected before winter:
  • · Hoses and fan belts
  • · Spark plugs
  • · Antifreeze and fluid levels
  • · Battery strength
  • · Tire pressure and tread
  • · Air, fuel and emission filters
  • · Spare tire and jack
  • · Wiper blades and washer solvent
If you live in an area with low to moderate snow fall, all-season tires may be sufficient.  Northern Michiganders may want to consider investing in snow tires.  AAA Michigan recommends that all drivers travel with a winter driving kit.  Some suggested kit items include a bag of abrasive material (sand or cat litter), a small shovel, snow brush with an ice scraper, traction mats, a flashlight, booster cables, a blanket, snacks and flares or triangles in case the car is disable.  It’s also a good idea to get a cell phone charger for your car, especially during the winter.

          If you’ve lost confidence in your car or you simply want to get a new one before Jack Frost makes his way to Michigan, visit to see the competitive loan rates Community Financial offers as well as other helpful resources.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saving Time and Money with ePay & Free Checking

            Paying bills and record keeping are chores for many of us, but putting them off can result in late fees and interest charges.  Community Financial Credit Union offers ePay, a convenient, efficient way to pay your bills online. ePay can simplify your life because you are able to pay bills anytime, anywhere, all while managing the history of your payments. By paying bills electronically, you also save the cost of checks and stamps.    
            When you register through our free eBanking service, you can pay businesses, individuals, make charitable contributions and even send gift checks.  Payments can be made as needed or be set up for automatic recur.  Scheduling payments in advance helps you avoid late fees and penalties.  Plus, you’ll be free of the worry that you forgot to pay a bill or that a check didn’t arrive in time.
            Additionally, ePay is included in the credit union’s mobile banking smartphone applications.  These apps provide access to a condensed ePay menu that lets you make payments anywhere from your iPhone or Android device.  To learn more, watch the ePay video on Community Financial’s web site,
It all starts with Checking – Free Checking
The starting point for convenient bill paying is a checking account and Community Financial offers five options that are designed for different needs and stages of life.  All of the checking account options provide a free Visa check/ATM card and free Mobile Banking. 
            Two checking options, Free Checking and free Student Checking Accounts, are available to members and only require a $5 deposit to open.  Three other checking accounts have monthly maintenance fees which can be offset by meeting minimum deposit requirements.
            When it comes to checking and online bill pay, Community Financial provides convenient, flexible options that can save members time, money and stress.  Visit a branch or review the options online at our web site,

Monday, October 14, 2013

International Credit Union Day Celebration

           Thursday, October 17th is International Credit Union Day (ICU Day), a day set aside to commemorate the impact and achievements of credit unions.  This year’s theme is “Credit Unions Unite for Good: A Better Way.”  Across the globe, credit unions will celebrate by educating members about credit union values and simply saying “thank you” to members for their support.  For 65 years, ICU Day has brought awareness to the world about the positive influence of credit unions but credit unions have long been on the scene.

 Did you know?

            Credit unions began in the 1800s in Germany as groups of farmers developed member-owned “people’s banks” that relied on a voluntary management structure.  Early credit unions operated in a cooperative manner with a focus on community benefits.  In the U.S., credit unions began in the early 1900s, providing a safe way to save and obtain affordable loans.

- There are 56,000 credit unions with almost 200 million members in 101 countries.
- Forty percent of Americans belong to a credit union.
- Credit unions serve an important role in in developing countries because they provide financial services to individuals who lack access to banks.
- Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives in which each member’s vote carries equal weight on management issues.

           Credit unions have a different mission and values than for-profit financial institutions, such as banks. Credit union Board of Director members serve voluntarily, working solely for the good of members, not shareholders.  Additionally, credit unions are distinctively recognized because of their commitment to provide the best member service and dedication to providing financial literacy initiatives.  

           At Community Financial Credit Union, our first priority is our members — providing you with affordable, reliable and convenient services that help you succeed in life.  Since 1951, Community Financial has offered competitively priced products, outstanding service and support for the communities where our members live and work.  Join our celebration by visiting your local Community Financial Credit Union on Thursday, October 17th for refreshments.  It’s just our way of saying thank you for your support and loyalty.

To learn more about what makes Community Financial different, visit

Sources: World Council of Credit Unions and Credit Union National Association