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Season of Giving

'Tis the season to give and UFirst FCU is always excited for this time of year! Sure, we give back in lots of different ways all year long, but there's just something special about giving back during the holiday season. Our staff volunteers at the Christmas Bureau Wrapping Booth. We sponsor a Christmas wish list and help buy presents for families that need a little help getting gifts for their kids. Even our holiday dinner for staff and board consists of donations to help Camp Ta Kum Ta. But we can't do it alone. We need your help to make a difference. You choose how you would like to help give back! Here's how:

  • Donate to Camp Ta Kum Ta - We have set a goal of $7,500 to send 3 kids to Camp Ta Kum Ta in 2018 and we are so close! We're down to our last $1,000 or so to get there and every dollar helps! It doesn't have to be a large donation. Every $1, $2 or $5 helps us to reach our goal! This is an organization that we have found has touched so many of our members lives. Check them out online at takumta.org. Camp is free for kids to attend and that is why they rely so much on donations like ours and yours. To make a donation, you can:
    • Make a check payable to Camp Ta Kum Ta and mail it to UFirst FCU, 274 Rugar Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.
    • Call 518-324-5700 option 1 to make your donation over the phone. We can easily transfer the donation from your account. Or email Meg at mpelkey@ufirstfcu.net.
    • Make your donation at any UFirst location. One of our friendly tellers will happily take care of the transaction for you!
  • Donate a Toy or Gift - UFirst is accepting donations on behalf of the Christmas Bureau until December 16th! Just bring your new, unwrapped gift to a UFirst location nearest you.
    • Need gift ideas? No problem. We've turned our Christmas Trees into Giving Trees! Each of our locations has a tree labeled with gift ideas. From toddlers to teens, we make it easy to find the right gift. Simply grab a tag and drop your gift back off to us.
    • No time to shop? No worries there either. We will accept monetary donations and do the shopping for you! Call 518-324-5700 option 1 to make your donation over the phone. We can easily transfer the donation from your account. Or email Meg at mpelkey@ufirstfcu.net. You can also make your donation with any of our tellers.
  • Buy an Ornament - We are selling ornaments on behalf of the Plattsburgh Rotary Club! Each year, ornaments are designed to commemorate a local landmark like Macdonough Monument, The Valcour Lighthouse and The Ausable Chasm. This year's featured design is the Plattsburgh Train Station. Click here to check it out! Ornaments are $20 and can only be purchased at our Plattsburgh Main Branch located on 274 Rugar Street. All proceeds go to benefit the Plattsburgh Rotary Club. Previous year ornaments may be available upon request. Email Meg at mpelkey@ufirstfcu.net.

Each year, we exceed our expectations thanks to the wonderful generosity of our members. We are so proud to serve you all year long and we thank you for your continued support for charities like Camp Ta Kum Ta and the Christmas Bureau! Happy Holidays!

Make Spirits Bright

It's the holiday season and oh what fun shopping cannot be! Sometimes it can be hard to find the right gift for your boss or neighbor. Even buying for family can sometimes be a challenge! Did you ever think of shopping at your credit union?! That's right! UFirst has the perfect gifts for anyone on your list! Stuff their stockings with discounted movie tickets to Cumberland 12 or Regal Cinemas! And, VISA Gift Cards make the perfect gift because you can add any dollar amount to them and they can be used anywhere VISA is accepted!

So stress less about shopping and enjoy the holidays with family and friends! Your credit union has you covered! Stop in to a UFirst location nearest you! Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!!

HS Scholarships

UFirst FCU: Now Accepting College Scholarship Applications

UFirst FCU is offering college-bound high school seniors the opportunity to compete for statewide college scholarships through the New York Credit Union Association's Scholarship Program. Scholarships will be awarded ranging from $500 to $1,500 and may be used at a two- or four- year accredited educational institution.

Students can take advantage of this opportunity by completing three simple steps:

  1. Stop in to any UFirst location to request a scholarship application or click here to download an electronic application.
  2. Complete the application form, required essay and the required transcripts, along with the signature of a parent or guardian.
  3. Return the completed application and supportive materials to UFirst FCU, no later than January 5th, 2018. (Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted)

 There is no fee for submitting an application, but applicants MUST be:

  • A member of UFirst FCU (All scholarship applicants are required to be members of a participating New York credit union). Not a member?  Click here to open your account online.
  • College-bound high school seniors at the time of application; and
  • Attending either a two- or four-year accredited educational institution for the first time in the fall of 2018.

In early spring, applications will be judged against other submissions statewide. Winners will be announced in May.

For more information about this scholarship program, contact Meg Pelkey by calling 518-324-0618 or email mpelkey@ufirstfcu.net.

Holiday Skip a Pay

Treat yourself to a more joyful and stress-free holiday season with skip-a-payment! As a valued member of UFirst FCU, you may be entitled to skip your December, January or February payment on your UFirst FCU loan(s). You can use the extra money for other bills, gift shopping or unexpected expenses. And, if you have more than one loan, you can skip one month's payment for each!

The processing fee is just $25 per loan to participate (read disclosures below to view exclusions). You may pay in cash or have the fee deducted from your UFirst savings or checking account. If your payment is made through payroll deduction or direct deposit, then the funds will be deposited to your account. If your payment normally originates from another financial institution, contact them to cancel payment for the month you are choosing to skip. If you use recurring transfers from online banking or bill pay, you will need to adjust your payment due date. Interest will continue to accumulate on your loan during the month you skip your payment.

To take advantage of this special opportunity, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Read and complete this Skip-a-Payment agreement.
  2. Indicate the month you want to skip.
  3. Indicate how you would like to pay the processing fee(s).
  4. Sign and return the form by:
    • Fax: 518-324-5777
    • Email: lending@ufirstfcu.net
    • Mail: UFirst Federal Credit Union, 274 Rugar Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.
  5. All forms must be received at least 15 days before payment is due.  

We want to make the holidays more joyful for you. If you have any questions, please contact us at 518-324-5700 option 2.

* Loans for mortgages, home equity loans, certificate/shared secured loans and VISA Credit cards do not qualify for skip-a-pay. Processing fees will be returned to anyone not eligible to participate in this offer. In order to skip your payment, all loans and accounts must be current and in good standing at the time we receive your request, and your loan must have been opened more than 6 months. Note, both the primary member and co-borrower/co-signer MUST sign and return the attached form. The deferral of loan payments pursuant to this agreement will automatically extend the loan maturity date by a corresponding period of time. Deferral of payments will reduce the portion of future payments applied to principal resulting in a larger final payment, or negative authorization. Interest will continue to accrue on your loan as it normally does. Certain restriction apply and not all loans are eligible for this program. If you are not approved for Skip-a-Payment, you will be notified in writing.Program subject to change.

Holiday Loan

It's a UFirst Family Christmas! Buying gifts for the whole family can be hard and expensive, but it doesn't have to be a hassle! UFirst FCU offers holiday loans to help make your holidays a little hap-hap-happier! Borrow up to $2,000 for 12 months with rates as low as 5.00% APR! So instead of getting everyone a membership to the Jelly of the month club, apply for a holiday loan with UFirst FCU and splurge a bit on gifts for everyone on your list! Even your cousin Eddie!

Click here to apply today!

*APR - Annual Percentage Rate. Must be a member of UFirst Federal Credit Union to apply for loan. Must meet credit union lending guidelines. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid from November 1st - December 23rd, 2017. For more details, contact our lending department at 518-324-5700 option 2. Federally Insured by NCUA.

Equifax Breach

Equifax Breach - How to Know if you've been Exposed and Tips to Protect Yourself

You have likely heard about the Equifax data breach, a massive theft of personal information from one of the “big-three” U.S. credit reporting agencies which lasted from mid-May through July.  This event may have exposed Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers of 143 million consumers.  It’s also been reported that credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 people were stolen as well. Equifax has indicated that debit cards were not exposed – therefore, criminals are unlikely to immediately have the capability to withdraw funds from a checking account.

When the breach was announced, there was considerable confusion about the data security standards to which Equifax was subject. Equifax is not a financial institution; however, they are subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act data security requirements as well as subject to guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission. The event is still under investigation and although it has left more questions than answers, there are protective measures you can take to protect yourself from potential identity theft. 

Affected consumers are at risk from criminals using stolen information to fraudulently open accounts. This means that the most immediate (and long-term) threat with this breach is identity theft, and the best thing we, as your trusted financial partner can do is provide you with identity protection tips like the following:

  1. How do I know if I've been exposed?
      • First, check immediately to see if you are affected by accessing the website that Equifax has setup, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on potential impact. You will be asked to enter your last name along with the last six digits of your Social Security Number. Due to this sensitive information that you will need to enter, make sure you are on a secure computer that uses an encrypted network connection. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the Equifax breach.

      • Equifax has also setup a call center to assist consumers. The number is 866-447-7559 and the call center’s hours of operation are 7:00 am – 1:00 am, 7 days a week
  2. Enroll in Free Protective Services
      • Whether you find that your information has been exposed or not, Equifax is offering U.S. consumers a full year of complimentary credit monitoring through their TrustedID product. Important: The designated date of enrollment for this service is November 21, 2017.

      • Also consider Life Lock, while although has an annual subscription, allows you to put a lock on your credit so it cannot be pulled. In the event you need to apply for credit, you can go online and put in a pin to unlock your credit for the time needed. Then you can re-lock your credit information. https://www.lifelock.com/
  3. Request Free Credit Report
    • Get your free credit reports from www.annualcreditreport.com. You can request a free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus. Any accounts or activity you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. In such a case, go to www.IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.

  4. Review Bank Activity Regularly

      • Carefully review bank activity and charges on your credit and store cards. This is important to do regularly even if you’re information hasn’t been exposed. Fraudsters often make small purchases on regular high-use credit cards knowing they can go unnoticed, and may make larger purchases on more dormant cards. Reviewing your activity regularly allows you to detect fraud more quickly before more damage can be done.

  5. Place a Credit Freeze or a Fraud Alert on your Files
    • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files with all three credit bureaus if your information has been exposed. Doing so locks down your credit so new creditors can’t see your credit report and in turn won’t typically allow someone to open a new account in your name. In order to apply for new credit cards, mortage, etc., you will need to temporarily lift the freeze.

    • You can also choose to place a fraud alert on your files in lieu of a credit freeze. This warns creditors that you may have been victimized by identity theft, alerting them to verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.

  6. File your Taxes Early
    • Tax identity theft is more common than you may think. If your Social Security Number was accessed in this breach, it’s best to file your taxes as soon as you have all the necessary tax information.

  7. How UFirst Services Can Help
    • eStatements - remove the risk of your statement getting lost in the mail or falling into the wrong hands.
    • Online/Mobile Banking - keeps you connected to your account 24/7, so you can easily monitor your transactions and take quick action against fraud.
    • Bill Pay - allows you the ability to pay bills securely within your online banking and removes the risk of logging into different merchant accounts online and having to provide your account information.
    • CardValet - gives you control over how, when and where your debit card is used. If you lose your debit card, you can simply login to the app and turn it off. You can also setup preferences like setting transaction limits, where your card can be used and more. It's a great way to help protect yourself from fraud on our account.

The unhappy truth is that data breaches have become common in today's world. Companies' computer systems can be hacked, whether your make online transactions or not. Reviewing each bank, credit and store card statement, as well as monitoring your credit should be part of your personal-finance routine. It's all part of staying safe in today's risky digital world.

 

CO-OP ATM Access

Co-op

UFirst FCU has some exciting news! We've joined a CO-OP ATM Network that allows our members access to nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs from coast to coast! That's convenience even some of the biggest banks can't match. And it's one of the benefits of being a member of UFirst FCU.

What does this mean? It means that you can use any ATM where you see the CO-OP logo. So, whether you're across town or away from home for business or pleasure, finding the closest surcharge-free ATM is easy, using your phone, mobile app, text messaging or internet access.

What is a surcharge fee? A surcharge is a fee that may be assessed by an ATM owner for using the machine. Our members can use ATMs within the CO-OP Network and avoid these fees.

Find ATMs near you:

  • Visit CO-OPatm.org
  • Download the mobile app (search CO-OP ATM and look for the CO-OP logo)
  • Text your current address to MYCOOP (692667)
  • Call 1-888-748-3266

Please feel free to contact us at 518-324-5700 option 1 with any questions about the CO-OP ATM Network!

Co-op ATM Video

Coming Soon: CO-OP Shared Branch!!

Shred Days

Mark your calendars for the UFirst Shred It & Forget It Event!  

Protect yourself from identity theft by bringing your unwanted personal documents to the UFirst Shred It & Forget It event. Adirondack Mobile Shredding will be on site to shred your documents safely and securely, Free of Charge! Here are the details:

** Our Shred Days for 2017 are complete. Keep watching for 2018 dates to be posted! **