IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION

We are currently experiencing high call volume with longer than usual wait times. Account information can be accessed online. We are here for you during COVID-19 with updates on how We Florida Financial is supporting our Members and what we are doing to stay focused on serving your financial needs while helping to contain the spread of the virus within our communities. Learn more...

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Sandra

Think saving money in a checking account is a waste of money?  Think again.

 Today, everyone talks about building an emergency fund.  And it is the prudent thing to do in our uncertain times. An emergency fund should consist of money that you set aside to cover three to six months’ worth of household expenses or unexpected occurrences like major car problems, big medical bills and even unemployment.  It is a buffer against the unknown.  Ideally, these funds should be placed in an account that is easily accessible, pays above market yields and is fully insured against loss.  In the good old days, one would put the funds into a Certificate of Deposit (CD) or a money market account to ensure higher yields.

Nowadays, many of those options may not meet the requirements just described. Have you considered a checking account? Believe it or not, these can still give you good dividends. It all depends on the account itself. The ideal solution may lie in what is known as a “high-yield rewards” checking account like the one offered by We Florida Financial. It’s called the EarnMore Checking.  Here’s what you can get:

High Earnings

The EarnMore pays dividends of 3.00% APY on balances up to $10,000, a high yield that is almost impossible to find in the current market.

ATM Fees Refunded

For people who like to travel in their local areas, around the state or across the country, ATM fees are sometimes an expensive, if necessary evil.  The EarnMore Checking reimburses you up to $20 per month for ATM fees so you have the convenience without the expenses. The millennials in your family will certainly like this one.

Online banking at your fingertips

The EarnMore Checking offers online banking so you can manage your money 24/7, from the comfort of your home, office or anyplace. Of course, you can easily check your balances, deposit checks with your smartphone or pay bills whenever you choose. 

You can sleep well with fraud protection

This account gives you the benefit of We Protect, the credit union’s ID theft detection and recovery program.  Some financial institutions charge a fee for this valuable service.  But it is included at no cost with the EarnMore Checking account. 

How to qualify

While there is no minimum balance, the EarnMore Checking does require a minimum of at least $250 direct deposited into the account each month.  You must also enroll in e-statements and make ten or more Visa Debit card pin-less transactions of at least $5 each every month.

Even with these requirements, the EarnMore Checking is truly an excellent way to stash your cash for a rainy day. It certainly checks all the boxes with its high yield, liquidity and no-risk benefits. Definitely not a waste of money, it is a win-win by any measure.

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Sandra

Electronic banking is not a fad. It can truly simplify your life.

We are all live busy and hectic lives. If many of us could afford it, we would pay for a personal assistant to help with chores, run errands and keep us organized.  The good news is that as credit union members, we already have a right-hand assistant. It’s called electronic banking.  And it’s free.

Electronic banking can minimize your stress and simplify your life. Recent events have caused even the most tech-resistant to take a second look and to make the proverbial leap of faith. Here are some of the ways that you can use these tools to streamline your money management and take control of your finances.

Sign up for direct deposit

Get your paycheck, pension and other payments sent directly to your account.  It’s safer, easier and more convenient than getting a mailed paper check which you then have to deposit into your account.  It’s also a way to automate savings, helping you to hit your fiscal goals a lot quicker.

Use online banking

Online banking at your credit union is the best of the items in your tool box.  With this single service you can see all your accounts, check balances and make transfers. With online banking’s bill pay, you can receive due date reminders, pay all bills from one location instead of logging into each biller’s site and even schedule recurring bills to be paid whenever you choose. No more forgetting a due date and no more late fees. You can also read educational articles, access a useful budget, pay a friend for lunch and get notification of balances.  Setting up is easy and it’s quick and free.

Get e-statements

Sign up for e-statements, and you will have one less chore to do.  No more piles of paper.  No more tedious filing. And no more waiting on the mail, wondering if your private information might go astray.  It’s another no-cost service that will liberate you from tedium.  

Make check deposits from your bed, or anywhere

Have a check to deposit? Don’t go to your branch. With mobile deposit, you can do it anytime, anywhere. Simply snap a picture of your check and follow the on-screen instructions.  It’s like magic. Except it’s not. Mobile deposit to your credit union account is accessible through the We Florida Financial mobile app available in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

So there you have it.  No more excuses.  We can all afford a personal assistant to simplify our lives.  It’s electronic banking and it’s free!

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Social Team

How to Protect Your Credit During Difficult Times

 Credit Rating

 In the throes of a pandemic, keeping your credit score at a good level might not be top of mind if your job is in jeopardy and you are wondering how to keep the roof over your head and feed your family.

It is important nevertheless to do everything to keep your score intact. Your credit report is important. Blemishes stay on your file for seven years and can affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or secure certain types of insurance. Here are some practical ways to achieve that goal.

Prioritize

Write down all recurring bills. If you can pay some of your bills but not all in month, make sure you start by paying secured debts first. These are debts tied to a tangible asset such as a house or a car. Falling behind on these bills might have big consequences. Not paying a mortgage might lead to foreclosure. Not paying your car loan might lead to repossession.  For unsecured debt like credit cards, try to make the minimum amount required.

Use your credit card wisely

Be aware that running up your card balances can affect your score.  Generally, using more that 30% of your available credit will reduce a credit score. Of course, this fact may not be of the utmost concern now but this is information to keep at the back of your mind.  If you need to use your card to pay bills you may be able to help your score by using a program that gives you credit for items not typically included on a report.   One such program is Experian Boost that will give you credit for phone and utility bills. 

Be aware of your protections

Don’t forget that under some circumstances, the recently passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) provides relief by letting you postpone payment on federally backed mortgages.  The Act also suspends payments on federal student loans through September 30.  You may be able to benefit from these protections due to your particular circumstances. Read and research.

Check your credit report

Don’t assume everything is OK. Be sure to keep on top of your credit report. Historically, the big three reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have long offered a free annual credit report.  Now all three are offering free weekly credit reports for the next year to help consumers protect their score during the coronavirus crisis.  Scrutinize for errors and ask for corrections to be made if there are mistakes on your credit reports.

Contact your lenders

If you are unable to make payments, be sure to contact your lenders right away.  Most financial institutions have offered emergency loan deferments, the waiving of late fees and loan extensions.  For more information on how your credit union can assist you during these troubled times, visit us at WeFloridaFinancial.com/covid-19.

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Sandra

Hurricane Preparation

It’s hurricane season. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms with six to 10 becoming hurricanes. Floridians are always being urged to make preparations. Most of us do, to some degree. This year however, things have changed. We are in the midst of a pandemic that shows no signs of abating. Under these circumstances, we need to make changes to our usual hurricane preparation plans. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed:

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Social Team

Protect Yourself and Avoid Identity Theft

In the age of data breaches, phishing scams and fraudsters using technology to steal identities, we have to be so careful with our personal information.  Criminals take the information they steal and sell it on the Dark Web.  Not just once, but, many times over.  What is the Dark Web?  It’s a whole different side of the internet that is anonymously used by criminals to buy and sell stolen identities for illegal profits. Once your identity has been stolen, it can take up to 6 months or longer to fix and cost thousands.

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Sandra

Coronavirus: 7 Things You Need to Know

      1. The credit union is still here for funding
        Life goes on even in a pandemic, and most people must drive to provide for their needs and those of their families. We want you to know that the credit union is here to assist with auto loans at low rates and at reasonable terms.  At this time, some homeowners are also looking to refinance with the market’s low rates. For more information on car loans and mortgages, please see page 2.
      2. Coronavirus scams are rampant
        Scammers have been working to collect money for fake vaccine research, unknown charities and nonexistent companies hawking protective gear. We urge everyone to practice healthy internet usage by refraining from contact with any unknown entities, not clicking on links from unknown individuals and to never share private information on the phone or online.
      3. We are here for you
        The coronavirus and its ensuing effects has caused great distress for you, our members and our entire community.  As we have been communicating and can’t stress enough, We Florida Financial is here for you.  In the spirit of “people helping people,” the credit union is offering emergency relief loans and deferred loan payments.  For more information go to WeFloridaFinancial.com/covid-19.
      4. Your money is safe and insured
        Even with the overall downturn of our economy and the falling values in the stock market, your funds are safe at the credit union. Your accounts are fully insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) up to $250,000.
      5. A financial planner can help
        If you are feeling nervous and uncertain about your investments you might want to get professional advice from a financial planner. As a credit union member you can use the services of the MEMBERS Financial Services Representative at We Florida Financial. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact Michael Varga at 954-745-2317.
      6. You can make social distancing productive
        With many adults working remotely and children attending school online, time spent at home can be time well spent.  Try something new like making an exotic dish, exercising to build up your immune system, calling old friends or brushing up on some financial learning.  It’s a good chance to reconnect with yourself and your life.
      7. Be sure to get information from legitimate sources
        In times of crisis, gossip thrives, especially on social media. Be sure to use reliable sources that provide the best updated information. These include the sites of the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and that of the World Health Organization www.who.int).

STAY SAFE!

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Social Team

Credit Union Auto Loans Are a Better Deal

cu auto loans are a better deal

Did you ever wonder why car dealers want to have you finance at their dealership?  It’s customary in the industry for lenders to pay dealers a fee for these loans, and in some cases dealers are allowed to mark up the rate (APR) and keep the difference.  It’s perfectly legal but I bet you didn’t know about it.  

When you come directly to your credit union, you get a great rate and we have rate discounts for many members.  We offer rate discounts for members in our Premium and Select relationship levels.  If you have certain services with us, such as a checking account and a credit card, you may qualify for additional rate discounts.  We also give “loyalty discounts” to reward members who have been with us for certain periods of time.  And if you take advantage of our We Drive onsite dealer partner, we reduce your rate even further.  Plus we give you lower “new car” rates on pre-owned vehicles up to two model years old with less than 36,000 miles.  We’ve got rates that go as low as 1.74% with all discounts as of October 2019.

Please call or stop by We Drive to talk with one of our friendly staff and start taking advantage of what your credit union has to offer.  

Not a member?  Ask about joining.  It’s easy and open to everyone in South Florida.

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Social Team

Top 5 Tips for Your First Meeting with a Loan Officer for an RV Loan in Florida

Top 5 Tips for Your First Meeting with a Loan Officer for an RV Loan in Florida

So you've shopped around for an RV loan in Florida and you think you've found the one? As a lender for RVs and boats, we want to get you on the road or in the water as quickly as possible so you can start living out the dream. But we also want to make sure that you have no regrets about your relationship with us.

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What is Car Equity And How Does it Help Me Qualify For A Loan?

What is car equity?

Equity is a nuanced concept, but everyone who owns a car needs to understand it. This is especially true for people who want to refinance their car to pocket cash or pay off high-interest debt.

People sometimes describe equity as how much of an asset you own. However, we may own the t-shirt we're wearing. No one talks about having equity in a t-shirt.

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Social Team

4 Ways You Can Save Money While Traveling

Ways You Can Save Money While Traveling

Why is it that your money seems to evaporate whenever you are traveling? It is easy for expenses to pile up once you set out on your travels. Here are some tips to help keep money in your wallet while still having a great time on your vacation.

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Social Team

The Various Ways That Pilots Can Earn Flying Hours

Earn Flying Hours: Several Unique Ways To Do It

There are a variety of certifications and ratings that pilots can earn. Some of these only require a few hundred hours; however, those who are looking to apply for a job with the airlines often need 1,500 hours or more. Furthermore, other positions might even require experience flying multi-engine craft or even turbine time. Therefore, how can a new pilot build flight time? There are a few ways that this can be done.

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Social Team

Can't Save a Down Payment? There's an Alternative.

Zero Down Mortgage Financing from We Florida Financial

The real estate landscape can be tough for first-time homeowners with no equity. Many people struggle to meet the demands of everyday bills and still find space in the budget to put something away for a family home. Let's take a look at how long you could spend saving for a down home. Then, we'll look at an alternative loan program that can help you get into your dream home faster.

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Consolidated Credit

How to Avoid Imposter Scams

How to Avoid Imposter Scams

July is National Military Consumer Month. It’s a month where the Federal Trade Commission focuses on helping military Service Members, Veterans and their families learn about key consumer protections they need to be successful. For the second year, the FTC is focusing Military Consumer Month on imposter scams. The goal is to help military personnel understand imposter scams and the steps they can take to avoid them. But in reality, everyone can use this advice to avoid getting scammed.

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Consolidated Credit

10 Money-Saving Summer Budget Tips

10 Money-Saving Summer Budget Tips

How to have fun in the sun this summer without taking on extra credit card debt.

Summer has officially kicked off, which means that it’s a good time to set a summer budget.

A summer budget can help you maintain stability over the next few months, so you can avoid credit card debt. With that in mind, the experts at KOFE have some tips that can help you build a budget that will help you stay on track this season.

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Consolidated Credit

Financial Literacy Month 30-Day Check List

Financial Literacy Month 30-Day Check List

April was National Financial Literacy Month and to help consumers expand their knowledge and achieve a better outlook, KOFE created a 30-day action plan. It’s designed to help you build your understanding of key financial topics and then take actions related to each topic.

The check list is based on the eight key areas of financial understanding. Each key area is broken up to three specific actions you can take to make sure your financial life is up to speed in that area of interest. You have a few days allocated to focus on each area so you can end the month in a better place financially.

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Sandra

Five Easy Tips for an Enjoyable and Healthy Vacation

Five Easy Tips for an Enjoyable and Healthy Vacation

It’s summer time and the living is easy. For many, it’s vacation season. Time to get away from the daily grind and kick back on a near or distant shore. But before you go, here are a few health and financial tips (5 to be exact) from a seasoned traveler who has explored many a clime and made it back to tell the tale.

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Social Team

5 Unique Fly-In Vacation Destinations Made for Pilots to Enjoy

Unique Fly-in Vacation Destinations

Imagine: on your final approach, you look down and see the beautiful remote location where you and your family will be spending the next week. You touch down, taxi to your tiedown, and everyone gets out and looks around. Wow, they say, I never imagined we'd come to a place like this.

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The Borrowers Guide to Boat Loans

The Borrowers Guide to Boat Loans

It’s summer in South Florida and that means one thing: boats! It time to stop hoping your friends will invite you out on theirs, and purchase one for yourself so you enjoy it whenever you’d like. Before you go running off to a dealer, here are some things you need to know.

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Social Team

Low-Interest Credit Card vs. Rewards Credit Card: Which one is right for you?

Low-Interest Credit Card vs. Rewards Credit Card

Credit cards come in so many varieties that it can be hard to know which one is the best choice for you. Some people like to earn cash back or other rewards while they shop, while others need help avoiding more debt as they pay off their balance.

If you're not sure which type of card you need, we're here to help! Here's a brief guide to low-interest credit cards and rewards credit cards to help you choose the best card for your needs!

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Social Team

The Ultimate Guide to Cryptocurrency Investment

Cryptocurrency - what is it?

A cryptocurrency is a digital form of money or medium of exchange built on blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies use cryptography to secure and verify transactions hence their name. Its developers come up with these cryptography protocols based on computer engineering principles and advanced mathematics to make these protocols impossible to break. This makes them also impossible to duplicate or produce counterfeit. This level of security is achieved by masking the identities of the cryptocurrency users so that it’s difficult to track a particular person’s or group’s funds and transaction flows.

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