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Money Matters Blog

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mortgages for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time is an exciting opportunity. It can also be a confusing time that’s filled with lots of questions.  That’s where we come in. Community Financial is here to help you understand what you need to know about buying your first home.

Getting a pre-approved mortgage from Community Financial shows realtors and sellers that you’re a serious shopper. Our experienced mortgage specialists will help you find out how much you can afford and what your monthly payments will look like before you start house-hunting.

Fixed Rate Mortgages are our most popular mortgage loan with competitive rates for 15, 20 and 30-year terms. Plus, our jumbo loans allow us to handle loans over $417,000. If you’re planning on living in your home for more than five years and are looking for stable, predictable payments, then this may be your best option.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) allow Community Financial to give you the benefit of a lower rate for the initial term of the loan. Once the initial period has passed, your rate may change periodically over the remaining term of the loan. The rate increases or decreases depend on loan’s index and margin at the time. An ARM is great if you’re confident that your income will increase steadily or if you plan to move in a few years.

Community Financial's mortgage experts are local lenders with years of experience helping Michigan homeowners into the "right" mortgage.  With competitive rates, affordable low fees, and a variety of terms to make the buying and refinancing process easier, we’re certain that mortgage from Community Financial is right for you!

Visit for more information or call (877) 937-2328 ext. 8500.

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 Options to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

If managing your outstanding debt is a top priority for 2014, it may help to know that you’re not alone. Statistics from the U.S. Census Survey of Consumer Finances and Aggregate Revolving Consumer Debt show the average household in 2013 owed $15,279 in debt.
Debt can come from many sources including student loans, healthcare expenses, car payments and credit card purchases. If you want to reduce the amount you pay in interest or reduce your total monthly payment, consider consolidating your debt in a way that works for you.
Consolidating your debt gives you:
  • A lower monthly payment
  • The ease of having only one bill
  • The ability to improve your credit rating over time
  • The possibility to owe less over time
Here are 3 ways Community Financial can help: 

Debt Consolidation Loans are used to pay off multiple other loans and/or credit card debts. The advantage is the loan may have lower interest rates than the original debt, and allow the borrower to make only one payment per month instead of several. 

Transfer Your Credit Card Balance to a Platinum VISA® card from Community Financial. With rates lower than most department store cards, a Community Financial Platinum VISA card can make it easier for you to pay your balance off sooner. 

Home Equity Line of Credit loans let you tap your available home equity to consolidate debt. With interest rates as low as 2.50% APR, a home equity line of credit is a practical option to pay down credit card debt.

So, before you let debt overcome you, visit to see how Community Financial can help.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Calling All Blood Donors

January became known as National Blood Donation Month in 1970 when the American Red Cross decided to pay homage to nearly 11 million people who donate blood each year.

“Blood donors bring hope and promise to hospital patients who may need blood for their very life,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Donors are people like you who play a vital role in modern health care by helping ensure hospitals have blood for patients.”

The need for blood is ongoing. According to the American Red Cross, blood is needed every two seconds in America. There were major shortages of blood during 2013. The American Red Cross reported that elective surgeries were cancelled in some larger cities because of the blood shortage

Community Financial urges team members and members to give blood this month to help ensure an adequate blood supply for the 2014 year. 

“I make time in my schedule to give blood regularly,” said team member Natalie McLaughlin.  “I feel it is important to donate because I know I am giving the gift of life to people who need my help.”

The American Red Cross says that January is ideal for National Blood Donation Month because it encourages people to start the New Year off by making a difference in someone’s life.

Visit the Red Cross Donation Center to find the closest location near you and to schedule an appointment, visit

Monday, January 6, 2014

5 Financial Resolutions Anyone Can Achieve

With a new year beginning, Community Financial encourages you to add some financial resolutions to your list. Here are the top 5 financial resolutions suggested by our team members.

1.  Reduce outstanding debt.  
Making payments on time and paying more than the minimum amount will reduce the amount of interest you pay over time. Make a resolution to apply a little more money towards each payment than in previous years.

2.  Look for deals. 
Take a few minutes to look for deals.  It’s not uncommon to find savings of 60-80 percent on almost anything with apps from Groupon , LivingSocial and the RetailMeNot. These apps are perfect for getting instant mobile coupons for savings and freebies while you are in the checkout line.*  

3.  Plan weekly meals.  
You’ll find yourself eating out less and spending less time in the drive-thru when you plan your meals and eat at home. Make a list of what you want to eat during the week and stick to purchasing only those items at the store. Cooking at home is most often cheaper and healthier than fast food. Sticking to your grocery list will help you avoid grabbing items you don’t need.

4.  Build an emergency fund.  
Setting aside small amounts of money each month can really help in the time of need. Hospital and physician office visits that result in immediate surgery or long-term health care can be burdensome on one’s finances. Additionally, unplanned pet care visits can take your bank account by surprise, especially if you don’t have pet health insurance. Setting up a vet fund for your furry family members can help ease the stress of vet bills.

5.  Save for retirement.  
Contribute to your 401(k) or 403(b), especially if your employer matches a certain percentage of your contribution. If you don’t have an employer-provided retirement plan, you may be able to open an individual retirement plan or IRA through Community Financial. Check out our IRA webpage to see the options we offer. If you’re already contributing, consider adding one or two percent more to your contribution this year. ^

*Not all retailers honor mobile coupons. Inquire with a staff person at the store before making your purchase.
^Consult your tax advisor regarding IRA eligibility.