Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Santa Visits Nottingham Home

Eaton Family Credit Union offered up holiday cheer to residents of Nottingham Home in Cleveland with gifts from Santa, and a pizza party. The event is a highlight of the holiday season for everyone.

Nottingham is a large, accommodating home that has been renovated to address the special needs of older residents. This program is part of an ongoing effort to create a continuum of opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to encourage integration into the community.

Click here or go to EatonFamilyCU.com/Charitable.php for pictures and learn more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Supporting Our Local Hunger Centers

Eaton Family Credit Union raised over $100 for local hunger centers when we raffled off a leaf blower during International Credit Union Week.

Paul from Wickliffe was the lucky winner - click here to see a photo of Paul and Kelly, Eaton Family Credit Union.

The Euclid Hunger Center and Willoughby Food Pantry will both benefit from our credit union members kind support.

Additionally, Eaton Family Credit Union recently donated $50 from our charitable fund to the St. Augustine Hunger Center in Tremont near our Cleveland branch.

Did you know that these community organizations have 10 to 1 buying power? Meaning that $100 donation buys $1,000 worth of food.

Find a Food Bank near you at FeedingAmerica.org.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bank Fees vs. Us - one year later

On September 10, 2012 The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an updated article by Teresa Dixon Murry titled, "Local banks charge higher checking fees; some even charge to mail you a statement."

She writes, "... most banks in Northeast Ohio are raising common fees for things like overdrafting your checking account, getting a cashier's check or using another bank's ATM."

Click here to read the entire article. Also click here to see more from August, 2011.

She includes a chart listing fee changes from last year. Here are our fees and any changes we've made.
  • Overdraft = $25...no change
  • Cashier's Check = $2...no change
  • Other bank's ATM = $0 for the first 8 transactions with $1,000 savings or direct deposit then $2 per transaction thereafter...no change
  • Stop Payment = $25...no change
  • Wire Transfer = $17...no change
  • Lost ATM Card = $0 for the first then $15 thereafter...no change
  • Returned Deposit = $15...no change
Click here for our Fee schedule.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Research Prepaid Debit Cards First


On Wednesday, September 5, 2012, Sheryl Harris (@consumerwriter), Consumer Affairs writer, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote an article "Pew study finds prepaid cards valuable for some, but carry risks."

Click here for link to the complete study, "Loaded With Uncertainty: Are Prepaid Cards
a Smart Alternative to Checking Accounts?". Click here for a report about the study.

The Pew report lists four findings in the review of 52 prepaid cards. Below you can the find this information and related comments about our FREE Advantage Checking with FREE Debit MasterCard.

  • The varying fee structures and disclosures for prepaid cards make comparison shopping very difficult because most products have 7 to 15 individual fees to consider and their disclosures are not uniform.
    • Eaton Family Credit Union discloses all fees - click here for our fee schedule.
  • The cost of prepaid cards can be less than checking accounts, but the cards come with significant risks. These products are not covered by laws requiring disclosure of fees and terms - nor those that limit consumer liability for unauthorized electronic fund transfers.
    • Eaton Family Credit Union complies with all laws related to fee disclosure.
  • Most consumers use prepaid cards as a way to keep spending within their means; overdraft options run counter to this goal and should not be offered.
    • Eaton Family Credit Union does offer overdraft protection but it is your decision to use it or not - we give you many ways to track your account: online, by phone and via mobile.
  • FDIC insurance does not necessarily apply to funds loaded onto GPR prepaid cards. Those companies that claim funds are FDIC-insured are not federally supervised and, therefore there is no guarantee the protections are executed correctly.
    • All Eaton Family Credit Union accounts are insured to $500,000 - backed by full faith and credit of the United States Government through NCUA to at least $250,000 and additional private insurance to $250,000 through ESI.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Checkless Checking vs. Our FREE Checking

On Sunday, August 5, 2012 The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer ran an article by Teresa Dixon Murray called, "Bid Your Checkbook Goodbye."

Murray discusses the latest trend in banking as an online service with a prepaid debit card for transactions. We like to explain how our FREE checking trumps prepaid debit cards when it comes to fees and services. And we think our FREE checking is better than the bank's checkless checking accounts.

Here are some questions she suggests you ask if you're considering a checkless account and our answers:
  • Can I physically deposit checks or cash to my account at ATMs or in branches?
  • Are there fees to make deposits?
    • No.
  • Can I pay bills or send checks to individuals online?
    • Yes. We have FREE online bill pay that includes both PopMoney for person-to-person payments and the ability to transfer between FI's.
  • If I set up bill to paid at a future date, when will the money be deducted from my account?
    • Bills paid using our online bill pay are deducted from your checking account when the bill is paid or the date you choose to remit payment.
  • Do I get a monthly statement?
    • Yes. You can also view your account information online, with MATT touchtone telephone, via mobile phone and through our 24/7 member center.
  • Will you check my overdraft record with ChexSystems before approving me?
  • Is there a daily limit on ATM withdrawals or purchases?
 Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Legislative Update - issues affecting credit unions


Here are some legislative issues that affect your credit union.

Federal

Tax Support – Credit unions are financial cooperatives where every member has a say in our future. This cooperative structure means that we do not pay taxes on our profits. Congress ratified the federal tax-exemption on several occasions, most recently in 1998 with the enactment of H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act. Big banks and other financial institutions are opposed to credit unions federal tax-exempt status.
Business Lending – Credit unions are limited in the amount of loans we can make to businesses. We are trying to get Congress to enact legislation which increases the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% for well-capitalized credit unions and adds significant safeguards to ensure that qualifying credit unions do this additional lending safely and soundly.
The following legislators supported credit unions on the issues of Tax Support and Business Lending: Senator Sherrod Brown (D), Congresswomen Betty Sutton (D) and Marcy Kaptur (D), and Congressman Steve LaTourette (R).

State of Ohio

In the Senate, the credit union public funds bill is Senate Bill 292, and in the credit union public funds bill is House Bill 441.

Public Funds – Local government entities such as municipalities and schools cannot open credit union accounts. Legislation was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate to allow Ohio credit unions to be eligible depositories for public funds under state law.

More importantly, this bill would be a benefit to the local governments, small businesses and Ohio’s citizens because it will also:

  1. Expand the choices of eligible depositories for public entities to make deposits;
  2. Keep deposits local in the community; and
  3. Allow credit unions and their members to participate in state and local initiatives through their credit union. 

The following legislators supported credit unions on the issue of Public Funds:  bill sponsors in the House are Representatives Marlene Anielski  (R), Casey Kozlowski  (R), Barbara Boyd (D), Mike Foley (D), Kenny Yuko (D), and Sandra Williams (D); bill sponsors in the Senate are Senators  Mike Skindell (D),  and Nina Turner (D).

Friday, July 06, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

College Scholarship Winners 2012


Eaton Family Credit Union is very proud to announce that Daniel Essel, Ryan Schwenke and Zane Franklin have each been awarded $1,000 college scholarships.

“The winners reflect the diverse demographic nature of our credit union,” says Mike Losneck, President. “Danny lives in Euclid, Ryan’s dad teaches in Euclid and Zane’s father works for Eaton Corporation in California. They’re smart kids with bright futures ahead of them.”

Click here or go to EatonFamilyCU.com/Scholarship.php for more information and to see photos.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway Nets $650 For Charity

Eaton Family Credit Union’s Mother’s Day basket giveaway resulted in a $650 donation to Dress For Success, a non-profit organization that provides interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women.


This special Mother’s Day fundraiser is the brainchild of Eaton Family Credit Union employees, Debbie and Kenyita. Over the past two months, $5 donations were accepted for the opportunity to win a Spa Day Package for Mom. Gregory from Euclid is excited to present the basket to his mother on Sunday.

Click here to view the Mother’s Day Gift Basket.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Credit Union Youth Week Super Saver Winner


Super Savers assembled at Eaton Family Credit Union during Credit Union Youth Week from April 22 – 28, 2012. The credit union promoted National Credit Union Youth Week by offering a $20 bonus for new accounts opened and an entry for The Avengers Super Saver Package at Atlas Cinemas when $100 or more was deposited into a youth account. All kids received an Eaton Family Credit Union Super Saver t-shirt for any deposit during youth week.

Daniel from Euclid, Ohio won movie tickets to The Avengers and treats from Atlas Cinemas. He was also made a “millionaire for day” and received interest on $1,000,000. Daniel attends Forest Park Middle School, his parents deposited money to their children’s accounts in honor of their recently deceased grandfather.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prepaid Debit Cards vs. Our FREE Checking

Click here to view a nice comparison of prepaid debit cards from Card Hub called, "Prepaid Cards Report - 2011."

On this page you will find detailed scenarios comparing five popular issuers: Green Dot, NetSpend, AccountNow, American Express and Capital One. They also lay out the cost for an Alternative Checking Account and Child's Allowance.

Eaton Family Credit Union's FREE Advantage Checking with Debit MasterCard stacks up pretty good in comparison.
  • Activation Fee = $0.00
  • Monthly Fee = $0.00
  • ATM Withdrawal Fees = no charge up to eight transactions monthly with direct deposit or funds on deposit ($1,000 savings or $500 checking).
  • Surcharge-Free ATM: national and regional partners - click here for more information.
  • Customer Service Fees = $0.00 - three branches plus shared branch credit union partners and 24/7 account information via Internet, mobile, MATT Line and Member Call Center.
  • Cancellation & Inactivity Fees = $0.00
  • Direct Deposit = Yes.
  • Online Bill Pay = Yes.
  • Maximum Balance = all accounts insured up to $500,000.
Remember, if you've a couple of hiccups along the way, consider our Second Chance Checking with paper checks, online bill pay, ATM access and shared branch access for only $10.00...and down the road you're eligible for our Advantage Checking.

Thank you to our friends at CUinsight for bringing Card Hub to our attention.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Teach Kids to Handle Credit Cards

Here is a really nice article from Kiplinger by Janet Bodnar titled, "How to Teach Kids to Handle Credit Cards."

She starts, "This four-step plan will help prepare your children to control their spending, pay bills on time and avoid fees."
  1. Cash is the cornerstone.
  2. Use a debit card wisely.
  3. Stay away from prepaid cards.
  4. Save a credit card for last.
Click here to view the entire article.

Thanks to our friends at FamZoo for posting this article.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bank Fees Vs. Us

In the February, 2012 Consumer Reports article, "Bank Accounts More fees are coming. How to fight back–or flee." the magazine starts, "People say they’re furious at behemoth banks, for myriad reasons: lending practices that helped sink the economy, government bailouts, foreclosures, huge bonuses for CEOs, and now higher fees and tougher account requirements."


They suggest, "Why this is happening: Banks are fighting pressure on several fronts. Lending is down, interest rates are at historic lows, and there’s been a decline in investment income."


So take a moment to compare our fees to banks and other credit unions as reported by Informa Research Services, "The largest credit unions tend to have lower fees on average than the biggest banks." We think some of us "smaller" credit unions stack up very well too!
  • Non-interest checking per month
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $0
    • Bank = $10.27
    • Credit Union = $6
  • Minimum balance to waive fees
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $0
    • Bank = $1,115.97
    • Credit Union = $0
  • Online bill payment per month
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $0
    • Bank = $6.95
    • Credit Union = $0
  • Use another bank's ATM
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $0 - then $2 per transaction after the 8 with direct deposit or funds on deposit
    • Bank = $2.21
    • Credit Union = $1.07
  • ATM Surcharge
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $2
    • Bank = $2.96
    • Credit Union = $2.79
  • Insufficient funds
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $25
    • Bank = $34.48
    • Credit Union = $27.82
  • Stop Payment
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $25
    • Bank = $31.09
    • Credit Union = $19.43
  • Overdraft
    • Eaton Family Credit Union = $25
    • Bank = $34.48
    • Credit Union = $27.82

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Don't Prioritize For Overdrafts

On February 22, 2012 The Cleveland Plain Dealer Consumer Affairs Reporter Sheryl Harris wrote a story about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and their investigation of financial institution fees called, "Agency to investigate bank overdraft fees."

In the article she states, "...the agency wants to know whether banks process consumers' transactions in an order that makes overdrafts more likely."

We process transactions chronologically. If you have overdraft protection on your Eaton Family Credit Union checking account, be assured that we do not process transactions to maximize overdraft fees.

More specifically, we process your account transactions as they come in. Here are some details by category:
  • Debit Cards - when debit cards are processed after purchase is important because some companies process immediately and others batch process. Therefore you might purchase an item today but we will not see the transaction until tomorrow or the day after. We handle debit transactions daily.
  • Checks - checks are processed in chronological order by check number on a daily basis. You write check number 100 before check number 101 so we handle the lower number check first.
  • Electronic - today paper checks are often converted to electronic transactions and many payments, such as auto debit, are electronic as well. These transactions are also handled daily as they come in.
  • ATM - instantaneous throughout the day. If you take out money from an ATM in Cleveland, Ohio, or Cleveland, Tennessee, or in Cleveland, UK (north east area of England) then it comes out of your account immediately through one of our ATM networks.
Knowing your balance is an easy way to minimize overdraft fees.
  1. Write It Down - keep track of your transactions and account balance with a check book ledger.
  2. Online - with our free home banking you can access account information on the web 24/7.
  3. Phone - by voice or touchtone, our free MATT Line gives you account information 24/7.
  4. Mobile - text, via mobile web or with iPhone App. Get your account information on the run 24/7 for free from us.
  5. Member Center - after hours you can get account information via phone at no charge from our member center.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Local Credit Union Fraud - Not In My House

At Eaton Family Credit Union we take our jobs very seriously. We appreciate that you trust us to make good decisions. Below you will find articles about the investigation at St. Paul's Croatian Credit Union in nearby Eastlake and the efforts we take to ensure your money is safe with us.


On February 9, 2012 another article was featured on the front page of the The Cleveland Plain Dealer that focuses on an organization that makes investments throughout northeast Ohio. The article by Michelle Jarboe McFee, "Cleveland International Fund looks for way forward after resignation, indictment of CEO" includes references to alleged fraud committed at the failed St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union. A companion article by John Caniglia, "Pepper Pike financier A. Eddy Zai indicted in Croatian fund swindle" references bribes paid to St. Paul's officials.


On September 28, 2011 The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article by James F. McCarty titled, "Chief executive officer of Croatian credit union pleads guilty to stealing $70 million, bankrupting the Eastlake bank."

The article starts, "The once trusted head of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union in Eastlake confessed Tuesday to stealing more than $70 million and triggering the collapse of the 67-year-old institution."

We want to address some of the points in the article to explain how this sort of thing cannot happen at Eaton Family Credit Union.

Fraudulent Loans
  • The article mentions that loans were dispensed without requiring collateral, borrowers had little or no assets, no employment history and often with fictitious names.
    • At Eaton Family Credit Union the borrower must complete and sign a loan application. Our loan officers verify this information against the credit report. We ask for employment verification.
Fraudulent Payment
  • The articles notes that, "most borrowers made little or no repayments."
    • Eaton Family Credit Union loans must be repaid. We report loan history (payment and non-payment) to all three credit reporting agencies. Our delinquent loan rate matches peer averages, but from time-to-time we need to efficiently and legally collect delinquent loans.
Oversight
  • The article mentions that federal investigators said the credit union managers, "were running a scam, stealing millions of dollars in phony loans from the credit union."
    • In addition to a professional management team and experienced board of directors, Eaton Family Credit Union has an outside, third-party auditor. We are also subject to state, federal and private insurance audits.
We take our jobs very seriously and intend to be here for a very long time...thank you for your support.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Debit Card: Suze Orman vs. Eaton Family Credit Union

We really like Suze Orman. We're in agreement with her about making informed decisions, setting up emergency fund accounts and the value of using credit unions.

We differ when it comes to The Approved Prepaid MasterCard® which she has "created from the ground up."

Here is a comparison between Suze's card and Eaton Family Credit Union's FREE checking with Debit MasterCard:
  • Fee
    • Suze = $3.00 per month or $36 annually.
    • EFCU = no annual fee.
  • Convenience
    • Suze = debit card or ATM.
    • EFCU = debit card, ATM, EFCU branches, credit union shared branch partners and paper check options.
  • Credit Score Monitoring and ID Theft Protection
    • Suze = TransUnion credit score monitoring TrustedID protection included.
    • EFCU = $2.50 per month - click here for more details on our ID Theft protection and we encourage you to check your THREE credit reports annually for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Insured
    • Suze = FDIC Insured to $250,000 (she is working with a bank).
    • EFCU = Insured to $500,000 with $250,000 NCUA federal insurance plus an additional $250,000 ESI private insurance.
  • Account Balance
    • Suze = text alerts, automated telephone system and customer service - One FREE call per calendar month; $2.00 per call thereafter.
    • EFCU = no charge online, mobile, MATT TouchTone Teller plus live help during business hours in our branches and 24/7 through the member center.
  • Online Bill Pay
    • Suze = free.
    • EFCU = our Webster Bill Pay is free plus you're able to pay others via ZashPay and transfer funds in/out.
We know that prepaid debit cards are NOT exactly the same as a full-fledged checking account but we do want you to be an informed consumer. Check out Suze's fees and compare them to our fees.

Click here to view a New York Times article by Ron Lieber called, "TV Adviser on Money Offers Card." As Mr. Lieber points out, we feel that privacy advocates should take notice that Suze has cut a deal for "TransUnion to collect spending data from Approved card customers."

Click here to view a Forbes article on Personal Finance called, "Does Suze Orman's Prepaid Card Live Up to its Namesake?" The Approved Card is compared to other popular prepaid debit cards including Green Dot and American Express.

Click here to view an article from the blog GetRichSlowly called, "Does Suze Orman's Prepaid Debit Card Make Sense for You?" Sarah Gilbert does a nice job of summarizing the industry and gives Suze a thumbs up with some caveats.

Click here to view an article from American Banker  called, "Why Do Prepaid Debit Cards Have Such a Bad Rap?" Jennifer Tescher states, "The criticism about the Approved Card is largely focused on two issues — fees, and whether Orman can be trusted."