I want to begin by thanking you, our members, for your loyalty and support in 2017. This year, we reached a major milestone when we celebrated our 65th anniversary of serving members. We have grown tremendously throughout the years but we have never lost sight of the fact that we exist only to serve you. We are here for one simple purpose - to make your financial dreams come true.
In 2017, we continued to fulfill these dreams with loans to purchase the items you desire. Most of you need reliable vehicles and see the value of our car loans to help you get them. This year, a significant number of you also chose to utilize our car buying service, We Drive, to advise and locate the best vehicles to meet your needs. We thank you for the confidence you have placed in our trusted partner.
We Florida Financial was also instrumental in helping to fulfill the universal dream of home ownership. Both firsttime as well as experienced buyers chose to use their credit union to make their house purchase or to refinance. We pride ourselves on the highest level of personalized service in a sometimes overwhelming process. And our efforts were rewarded as many of you sent emails and called to convey your appreciation of our mortgage loan officers. In addition to our regular offerings, we continued to meet your needs with non-traditional programs. We fly, our aviation loan program, has been well received by members in flight schools or pilots needing to buy or upgrade small aircraft. Many of you are also buying Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and
have turned to us for your loans.
In 2018, we will continue to provide for your financial needs. We have had a great demand for auto leasing and will be adding this to our offerings early in the year. To assist the credit challenged, we will be expanding our Encore second chance programs. And to accommodate our growing membership, we will be building a new Lauderhill branch and reaching out to more members with the expanded facility.
In our recent survey, many of you praised the great value we offer and spoke highly of our amazing employees. In 2018, we will strive to meet and exceed your expectations. On behalf of our Board and staff, I thank you again for your business and wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year!
CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY HOURS
Saturday, December 23 and Saturday, December 30: Branches with Saturday hours (Pembroke Pines, Wilton Manors, Lauderhill) will be open as scheduled. MemberNet will be available for account inquiries from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We Drive will be open 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Monday, December 25 and Monday, January 1: We Florida Financial branches will be closed. MemberNet will be available for account inquiries from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We Drive will be closed.
SAVING YOU MONEY EVERY DAY
We Florida Financial’s mission is to provide the best financial products and services for our members. We think we do a good job. But don’t take just our word for it. Our claims are backed up by research.
Get the facts from Datatrac, an independent organization which compares our rates to those from other local providers. Datatrac provides financial institutions and consumers with unbiased interest rate information to help both make the best decisions about new loans and deposits.
Datatrac compares and reports data from over 188,200 financial institutions. We've published their findings about our products and services on our home page. The data is updated daily, so you can be confident you're getting the most up to date information. Here's an example from November 27, 2017 that shows members can save up to $1,659 with a home equity loan at We Florida Financial:
Take a look and see how much you can save by depositing or borrowing with We Florida Financial. We think you'll agree that your credit union provides value that you won't find anywhere else.
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY
Why Credit Unions Are Worth Celebrating
In 1924, Roy Bergengren, one of the architects of the credit union movement, reflected on what a credit union can do for people.
“The credit union is, in fact, a bridge,” Bergengren wrote in the inaugural issue of “The Bridge,” the official newsletter of the American credit union movement, which was then in its infancy. “It may be the bridge over which the tenant farmer travels the wide gap that separates him from ownership. It may be the way that opens the great land of opportunity to the wage worker, who finds his savings the ‘open sesame’ to broader possibilities for himself and his family.”
Twenty-four years later, in 1948, credit unions in America, and later around the world, began celebrating the philosophy and achievements of credit unions every year on the third Thursday in October. The theme for International Credit Union Day 2017 is “Dreams Thrive Here,” harkens back to Bergengren’s sentiment, and it’s meant to serve as a reminder of how effective credit unions like We Florida Financial are at helping all people chase and achieve their biggest dreams in life.
This is because, unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are not-for-profit, so their primary purpose isn’t to score record profits in order to send distant shareholders bigger dividend checks. Rather, the primary purpose of credit unions is—and always has been—to be of service to their members. That means you.
This people-first philosophy doesn’t just mean better service, it translates into a better financial deal for consumers. Credit unions, on average, offer higher rates of return on savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and fewer and lower fees than other financial institutions.
Through the first half of 2016, according to data collected by the Credit Union National Association, credit union members saved $9.3 billion over what they would have paid at banks: $1.9 billion through higher yields on savings, $1.2 billion on lower fees, and $6.2 billion on lower loan rates.
We look forward to serving you on International Credit Union Day, and every day.
EQUIFAX DATA BREACH
Equifax was compromised and the personal information of approximately 143 million consumers was stolen. This unfortunate event affects approximately 44% of Americans. The information leaked may include:
• Consumer names
• Social Security numbers
• Driver’s license numbers
This was NOT a compromise of We Florida Financial and no information was taken from our systems. We wanted to share this information about Equifax to ensure you are aware of the issue and take the proper precautions to reduce your chances of fraud and identify theft.
Equifax has set up a special website to provide updated information to consumers:
In addition, Equifax suggests you take the following steps to protect yourself:
• Check if you are affected and regardless, enroll in the free identify protection offered by Equifax:
• Monitor you accounts for fraudulent activity
• Obtain and monitor your credit report
• Consider placing a “fraud alert” on your credit report
• Consider placing a “credit freeze” on your credit report
Equifax recommends that you remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing account statements and monitoring your credit reports. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each company listed below once every 12 months by requesting your report online at www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, or mailing an Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at www.annualcreditreport.com) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281. You may also purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting any of the credit reporting agencies below:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you should contact the proper law enforcement authorities, including local law enforcement, and you should consider contacting your state attorney general and/or the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). You also may contact the FTC to obtain additional information about avoiding identity theft.
We Florida Financial checking account members are protected by We Protect, a fully managed, identity fraud research, remediation and recovery service. Checking account members are also entitled to free credit monitoring (enrollment is required). For details visit the We Protect page.
Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
State Attorneys General: Information on how to contact your state attorney general may be found at www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php.
You may obtain information from the FTC and the credit reporting agencies listed above about placing a fraud alert and/or credit freeze on your credit report. Please also visit the “State Information” tab of this site.
Please contact Equifax for specific questions about the Equifax breach and its effect on your information. Equifax has set up a dedicated call center, which you can contact at 866-447-7559. If you have other questions, please contact us at 954-745-2400.
LOVE TO SHOP? EARN CASH BACK
Your favorite shops and sites, like Target, Macy’s and Best Buy, are filled with the hottest toys and latest looks. And if you’re not earning cash back on purchases, your credit union can change that!
Love to Shop is a fun and easy way to earn cash back when you shop online at your favorite stores. Credit union members receive cash rewards for purchases at more than 1,500 online retailers with Love to Shop. Every time you earn $15 in cash back from your purchases, you’ll receive a check! Whether you’re looking to do your shopping at Home Depot, Gap, Nike or hundreds of other stores, you can save while you spend.
Registration is FREE and easy:
1. Visit the Love to Shop site and register.
2. Start shopping and earning cash back today.
3. Don't forget to use your We Florida Financial credit or debit card!
Learn more about Love to Shop at your local credit union, or visit LoveMyCreditUnion.org/Love-to-Shop.
CHIP CARD ALERT #2
Chip cards have an internal security feature designed to combat counterfeit cards and card skimming. This security feature applies to both PIN and signature transactions. On occasion, the internal counter gets out of sync with our electronic records. This may cause your transaction to be declined. If your transaction is declined and you have available funds in your account, please call 866-820-5864 to reset your card. Once your card is reset, just complete another transaction within 72 hours to complete the process.
CHIP CARD ALERT
We are aware of PIN-based transactions being declined at CVS, Target, Home Depot and Winn Dixie. Please use your card as credit (no PIN) at these retailers. If your chip card is declined at these or any other retailers, please ask the merchant to re-process the transaction as credit.
If you’ve experienced a PIN-based decline on your chip card, please call Card Services at 866-820-5864.
We Florida Financial has been given an A+ rating and placed in the top 10% of healthiest financial institutions nationwide by DepositAccounts.com. This is an outstanding distinction and a vote of confidence in how our credit union is being managed and run. DepositAccounts.com is the largest U.S. online publication dedicated to giving consumers banking information.
We Florida Financial is Rated 5-Stars by BauerFinancial
BauerFinancial, Inc., based in Coral Gables, Florida, is the nation’s leading bank and credit union rating and research firm. BauerFinancial has recognized We Florida Financial as a Superior 5-Star rated credit union. A 5-Star rating denotes that our credit union is one of the best in the nation in terms of its overall financial strength and performance. We are proud to have received this designation.
MERGER WITH PEOPLES CREDIT UNION
We’re excited to announce a merger with Peoples Credit Union to benefit our members and to allow for continued growth. The official merger date will be October 1, 2015. We Florida Financial members will have access to six full-service branches: five in Miami-Dade County and one in Pembroke Pines.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you in this exciting new capacity. Learn More
We Florida Financial named Credit Union of the Year!
- Credit Union of the Year!
We Florida Financial has been named Credit Union of the Year 2014 by the South Florida Business Journal. The publication has recognized us for "several years of impressive growth," unique loan programs to help our membership and our extensive community involvement.
Congratulations to our hard working staff and thanks to you, our members, for your support throughout the years.