Important changes regarding your statement
At Fort Erie Community Credit Union Limited, we are pleased to provide you with monthly
It remains our commitment to offer our members convenience through professional financial management; this service is a significant and convenient upgrade to our previous paper statements.
Our e-statements are an electronic version of your savings and checking account statements and are available at no additional cost to all registered Online Banking users. You can easily access your
e-statements when you log into your online banking through MemberDirect.
It's simple … it’s convenient … and it’s free!
With e-statements, you can:
· access your e-statements at any time, 24 hours a day
· eliminate the need to store bulky paper statements
· view and print your e-statement at your convenience
· receive your account information quicker and safer; no more making a special trip into the branch or waiting for the mail
Effective June 1, 2012, we can provide you with a paper copy of any historical statement you require for a $2 service charge. To obtain a paper copy of a statement, you will need to request it in person at one of our branches, by telephone at 905.871.1552 or 905.994.1201, send a written letter to Fort Erie Community Credit Union Limited or email us at email@example.com.
5 Steps to help you ... Reduce Your Debt
Are you feeling overwhelmed with debt? Worried about how much you are spending on interest each month? Lowering the amount of debt you carry can significantly improve your credit profile, reduce the loan rates you could receive and save you a lot in interest payments. It just takes a few easy steps and a little dedication to take control of your debt.
1. Get the facts … Collect all your account, loan and credit information and go over the records with a fine tooth comb. Write down the monthly payment, debt amount, interest rate and term of each debt on a sheet of paper. Next, write down your total monthly income and list your estimated monthly expenses. Order your Credit Report and Credit Score online to get a baseline for tracking your improvements.
2. Do the math … Calculate your monthly budget and find a way to reduce your expenses so that you are saving 10% of your income each month. Apply these savings toward paying off your debts. Use the following accelerator margin formula to decide what to pay first:
*Create a list of all your debts … for each debt, divide the total amount that you owe by the monthly payment.
Put the debts in order, starting with the lowest division answer.
*Each month make the current minimum payment on each debt … except #1 (lowest division answer)
to which you apply about 10% of your monthly income. - Repeat until debt #1 is paid in full.
*When the first debt is paid repeat the process … pay the minimum monthly payment on all bills except #2.
Pay the 10% amount plus the amount you previously paid for #1. Continue until debt #2 is paid.
*Begin eliminating debt #3 …pay your 10% savings & the amounts owed on former debts #1, #2 and so on...
3. Negotiate and consolidate … While you are working on reducing those balances with the “accelerator margin” schedule, try lowering the interest rates on some of the highest interest debts. Call your creditors and negotiate for a rate reduction or consider moving your balances to less expensive credit cards (this may cause a slight drop in your credit score if you open a new credit account). Take this opportunity to see if you have any account balances above 50% of the available line of credit. Having high balances can harm your credit score; you can help this by transferring some of the debts to different accounts.
4. Refinance … After taking control of your credit card and small loan debts, take a look at your major loans. Would it make sense to refinance your mortgage or auto loan? Reducing your interest rate by a few points can potentially save you hundreds each month. Talk with our lending team about a home equity loan; you can apply the amount you pull out toward reducing your high interest debts.
5. Stick to the plan … Create a payment calendar with the due dates and the payment amounts you just calculated. Sign up for automatic bill payment through your bank or register for online payments to keep you on schedule. Track improvements in your credit profile by registering for Credit Monitoring. With this service you will receive quarterly updates, email fraud alerts, fraud resolution assistance and trending reports that highlight your financial changes over time.
Set goals … don’t forget to celebrate when you reach a major debt reduction milestone! Take control of
Copyright © 2004 Trans Union of Canada, Inc.
November is Financial Literacy Month
Here are 10 budgeting tips from Moneyville that can help you increase your 'financial fitness' ...
1. Gather the facts
It all starts here. Find your financial records for the last three months or so. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, recurring bills and bills for such things as heat, water and hydro, cable and internet and clubs and memberships like the YMCA or gym. Don’t forget to include all your little extras – morning coffee, magazines, buying lunch. Those expenses will be crucial when you’re looking for places to trim.
2. Create a worksheet
Once you have the facts you have to organize them in a way that gives you a clear picture of what you spend and on what. It may not be pretty, but it will tell you what you need to know. The best way is to use a worksheet.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), is a federal agency whose job is to protect and inform consumers about financial services. Credit Counselling Canada offers another version with a pie chart that allows you to quickly see where the money is going.
3. Fixed vs. discretionary spending
Break your spending into fixed and discretionary costs. Fixed costs are such things as mortgage or rent, car payments, and insurance. You must pay them every month and they usually don’t change.
You have more control over discretionary expenses. You have to buy groceries, but do you need Häagen-Dazs super premium ice cream? Other areas to take a look at include gasoline, dining out, movies, clothes, and that latte every morning. Small things can add up.
4. Rules of thumb
Your housing costs should be less than about one-third of your gross income, financial planning experts say. That includes heat, hydro and property taxes. The Canada Home Mortgage Corp. has a mortgage affordability calculator to help crunch the numbers. Another rule of thumb is that your monthly debt payments should not exceed 40 per cent of your gross monthly income. This includes housing, and such things as car loans and credit card payments.
5. Pay yourself first
You’ve heard this one before. That’s because it’s the best way to save money. Try to put away 10 per cent of each pay cheque, preferably using an automatic debit on payday. If you can’t manage 10 per cent, try 5 per cent. Anything is better than nothing and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. Build that into Step 2 when you are creating your budget.
6. Cut out non-essentials
Do you really need to buy lunch five days a week? Can you live without that $5 skinny mochachino? Make it a treat rather than a fixture. You might be able to eat out less often, or dine at less expensive restaurants. Try leaving you credit card at home to avoid impulse purchases.
If you’re looking for help this frugal living Website and blog have plenty of ideas.
7. Pay more than the minimum
When it comes to your debt, interest rates are everything. Pay bills on time to annoying service charges and sky high rates on credit card. Pay more than the minimum balance. For instance, if you owe $1,000 on a Mastercard that charges 18 per cent and pay the minimum $40 per month, it will take you nearly two-and-a-half years to pay off your debt – and you’ll wind up paying close to $1263. This calculator from Industry Canada can help you compare Visa and Mastercard against store credit cards, lines of credit, and rent-to-own programs. You can also change the minimum payment and interest rate information.
8. Save for a rainy day
For safety, your best bets are a high-interest savings account. You’ll be lucky to get an annual rate of 2 or 3 per cent, but it’s better than the fraction of a cent you’re getting, if at all, in your savings account at the bank. Find an account with minimal fees, or consider a Tax-Free Savings Account.
9. Review and adjust
Go over your budget regularly to make sure you are staying on track. Compare actual spending to the budget and look closely at instances when you spent more money than you planned. Was your plan realistic? Should you adjust by cutting in one place and adding in another?
Your spending patterns will change some from month to month, but by tracking your income and expenses carefully, you know exactly where your money goes.
10. Build in a reward
You endured the pain, so build something in to reward yourself for sound financial management. Don’t be afraid to splurge (a little) when you meet your goals to save money or trim the budget – fancy dinner, new shoes, a shiny new gadget. Then, back to the plan.
Moneyville's Moms on Money ... tips to stay warm this winter ...
Stay warm with the furnace off ...
- use space heaters; heating the whole house is more expensive than heating the rooms you're using.
- use ceiling fans; change the direction to blow the air upwards so it bounces hot air off the ceiling and back into the room.
- dress in layers; wear sweaters, wool socks & slippers around the house.
- unpack your throw blankets; they're stylish & provide warmth for couch potatoes
- keep the oven door adjar after baking
- close the fireplace damper; heat escapes through the damper when the fireplace is not in use
- window coverings; gain passive solar energy and let the sun shine in during the day ... close the curtains at night to keep the cold out.
Member alert: US dollar money orders are no longer available for purchase. All US dollar drafts must have a payee and are subject to an applicable fee.
Saving for a Down Payment on a home.....
When saving to buy a house, you have to be able to see that the end result --
... a home of your own ...
is worth the sacrifice. Once you start saving, the satisfaction of reaching even the smallest milestone can be very gratifying ... start by saving just $75 each week ...
- in just 3 weeks, you'll have $225
- in just 3 months, you'll have $900
- in less 3 years, you'll have more than $11,700 .....
enough for a 5% down payment on a home worth $140,000, including the lawyer's fees and your monthly mortgage payment will only be $650!
Talk to us today ... we'll show you how easy it is to save when you know your goal.
By being prepared, you will find the right home and the right mortgage for the right price. For more information about homebuying ... step by step ... pick up a copy of CMHC's Consumers Guide and Workbook ... just ask at either branch.
Thinking about getting rid of the clutter?
Once you're satisfied that your old papers and documents are no longer required, save them in a box and bring them to our Annual Shred Day ... Saturday, September 17th at our Garrison Road Branch.
Here's a general guideline of what to keep and for how long ...
||Shred as soon as you confirm that your monthly statement is accurate. Be sure to shred them, since some include your full bank account number.
||Once your chequing and savings accounts have been reconciled, scan bank statements and save for a year. Consult your accountant about keeping originals if you need to prove tax deductions. Save annual statements for 7 years in case you get audited.
|Credit Card Statements
||Once you’ve confirmed that the statement is accurate, keep it long enough to make sure that any returns are noted (if you’re claiming expenses as tax write-offs, save it until tax time). Request the annual statement and keep it for 7 years.
|Loan and Mortgage Statements
||Wait until the year-end statement arrives, then shred the monthly or quarterly statements. Continue doing this until the loan is paid off in full; save for 7 years.
||1 year or until paid off
||You’ll need them to claim any high costs as tax write-offs. Save unpaid bills until they’re paid in full—and then save the final proof of payment for 1 year.
||CCRA generally does not audit back farther than 7 years (as long as no fraud is suspected), so save all documentation (receipts, tax forms, annual income statements) that backs up the information on your tax return for only this long. Note that you can scan tax documents and save them on your computer; save the returns themselves forever.
|Home Improvement Bills
||Until you sell
||Proof of spending can sometimes be used to lower your taxes. And you’ll need your bills if the buyer wants confirmation that the new roof really is brand-new.
||For investments, keep all transaction receipts, paperwork and annual statements forever.
It's not 'clutter' ... these papers are meant to be kept forever
If it’s irreplaceable ... like the items listed below ... store it in a safe-deposit box. Consider first scanning documents into your computer so you also have a copy.
Family: Birth and death certificates; baptism and confirmation certificates; marriage certificates; divorce decrees; adoption papers; military service records and discharge papers.
Legal: Wills and medical directives; social insurance cards, citizenship or naturalization records; licences to practice your profession; trust or power of attorney paperwork ... make sure a copy of your will is with a trusted family member or that he or she has access to your safe-deposit box. At home, keep passports ... put photocopies of each one in the safe-deposit box; legal paperwork and contracts ... divorces, work contracts; jury duty recognition of service.
Auto and property: Ownership for vehicles and bills of sale; property deed and title insurance policy ... if you have a mortgage, the financial institution has a copy of the mortgage documents; deed for your burial plot.
Insurance and investment: Stock certificates; life insurance policy paperwork. At home, keep pension and retirement benefits agreements.
Pay statements: No need to save the weekly or monthly stubs, but do save the annual statements in case you need to show proof of employment.
Fraudulent credit charges add up to about $400 million a year in Canada
Nearly one-in-four Canadians has been a victim of credit card fraud, according to a recent survey by Visa Canada. Credit card companies are quick to cover the losses – but in return ask consumers to take some basic steps to safeguard their cards and their personal information.
Here are five ways to safeguard your credit card:
- Don’t lend it to anyone ... it may seem like an easy way to help out a family member or friend but it compromises your ability to keep your card safe. If that person racks up a big bill on your card or holds onto the number and the three-digit security code after giving the card back, you may be on the hook for the charges.
- Don’t share your PIN number ... as we move to CHIP technology, it’s critical that consumers protect their PIN at all times and not write it on a slip of paper in their purse or wallet. If you can’t remember your PIN, go into your branch and choose a new one – just make sure it’s not too easy and can’t be easily deduced from identification in your wallet, such as your birthday.
- Never let the card out of your sight when making a purchase ... this is a tricky one. At restaurants and gas stations, staff typically carry your card away so they can swipe it, then return with the receipt for your signature. But those few minutes may be all a thief needs to swipe your card through a skimming device that copies the information. The shift to CHIP technology means that more merchants are installing portable wireless terminals so you can input your PIN yourself.
- Do not send credit card information by email or text ... this information could be easily stripped out of your correspondence by hackers. If they glean your card number and expiry date along with the security code on the back of the card, they’ve got what they need to go shopping online. Add to that your name and address and it’s a recipe for identity theft.
- Do not give credit card information over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call ... these calls typically appear to come from your financial institution and tend to have some urgency around them ... the call may go something like ‘your account has been breached or your card will be cancelled, so please give us information to verify your account’. Fraudsters have been known to ask for everything from your mother’s maiden name to credit card and banking information. Never respond to these requests ... the credit union would never call and ask for this information.
Direct Deposit ..... it's your money!
What are the benefits of Direct Deposit?
- Reliability - your money is deposited on time, immediately available to withdraw or transfer; ready to start earning interest right away ...
- Security - no risk that your money will be lost, stolen or damaged ...
- Confidential - no cheque for anyone to see how much money you are receiving ...
- Convenient - even when you are are busy, sick or on vacation, your money is deposited automatically to your account ...
- Environmentally Friendly - using less paper helps to save our forests and thousands of dollars in adminstration costs ...
To make arrangements for Direct Deposit for your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Old Age Security (OAS) payments, just ask an MSR to ' sign you up '.
'NOTL woman charged in alleged mortgage scam' ...
'Police allege that a $294,000 NOTL house was bought using the name of a person who had no idea about the purchase. Police allege that false claims and fraudulent documents were used during the home-buying process and to obtain mortgage financing for the property.' The Niagara Falls Review 27/04/11
To protect your name, your credit and your family, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ... CMHC ... offers the following tips ...
... never accept money, guarantee a loan or mortgage unless you intend to purchase the property. If you allow your personal information to be used for a mortgage, you could be held liable for the entire debt even after the property is sold.
... always know who you are conducting business with. Never sign anything until you understand exactly what you are signing.
... get independent legal advice from your own lawyer. Talk to your lawyer about title insurance and other alternative methods of protection.
... be very wary of anyone who approaches you with an offer to make easy money in real estate. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of real estate fraud, contact the police immediately. For more information about real estate fraud, visit the fraud prevention section of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals ... CAAMP ... at http://mortgageconsumer.org/protect-yourself-from-real-estate-fraud.
Cops bust fraud team at
Fallsview Casino' ...
'Seven men from across Ontario were arrested Thursday (April 7th) after what police called a "debit-card skimming team" hit Fallsview Casino.' The Niagara Falls Review 09/04/11
Debit-card skimming is an increasingly common criminal activity that could victimize our credit union members....
One significant way to guard against debit-card skimming is to always use your 'chip' enhanced Membercard; if you haven't already activated your new 'chip' Membercard, please come into the branch and take care of it today .....
'Team up' with Fort Erie Credit Union against fraud!
March is Fraud Prevention Month
Protect yourself and your family from fraud and identity theft...
- keep your personal information confidential. Do not throw out documents, letters or any other paperwork with your name, address, birthdate, signature or any other confidential information listed.....this could provide invaluable information for fraudsters to steal your identity and impersonate you to gain access to open up new credit cards;
- protect your 'PIN' number and computer passwords. Do not keep these numbers written down in your wallet or available in your desk where they would be handy for fraudsters to find if you were robbed or broken into.....remember to change them frequently;
- beware of "too good to be true" offers. If it sounds too good to be true, use your good instincts and stay away from these offers;
- if you suspect that you are a victim of fraud or identity theft.....report it immediately. Contact your financial institution and the police and report your suspicions. The fraudsters cannot be caught if the suspected fraud is not reported and identitified by the proper authoritites.
For more information about fraud and identity theft ..... how to identity it and report it ..... visit the Canadian Antifraud Centre at www.anti-fraudcentre.ca or contact Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501.
2010 Annual General Meeting
Join us on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 for our AGM at Bridgewater
Golf & Country Club on Gilmore Road.
Doors open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7:00pm.
Door prizes will be drawn during the evening and refreshments will be served following the adjournment.
Everyone is welcome to attend!
RRSP & Retirement Planning
- are you saving enough to retire in 10, 15 or 25 years?
- do you know how much money will be need to sustain your lifestyle?
- did you know that 78% of Canadians are not saving enough to live comfortably when they retire?
RRSPs are one of the few ways that Canadians can get a meaningful tax break and save for retirement. Contributions, within limits, are tax deductible and the income earned is tax sheltered. You can greatly reduce the amount of income tax you pay and accumulate more money over your lifetime by saving with an RRSP.
Pick up a copy of our 'Understanding All The Basics' booklet to learn more about the benefits of saving for your retirement in an RRSP.
The maximum RRSP contribution you may deduct for the current year is 18% of your earned income for the prior year, up to the maximum amount for the current year minus your 'Pension Adjustment'. The maximum amount for 2010 is $22,000.
We offer RRSP loans for a 1 year term as low as Prime rate.....make an appointment with the loan department to start saving for your retirement today.
MemberCard Chip cards are here!
Your new chip-enabled MemberCard & your new PIN # will have arrived in the mail last week ... you will have received your PIN # prior to receiving your new MemberCard. Once you have signed your new MemberCard, begin using it with your new PIN #.
Conveniently, you can change your PIN # at our Drive-thru ATM at our Garrison Road Branch and at our ATM located in the lobby of our Jarvis Street Branch.…
To change your PIN # at the ATM, you must first use the PIN # that was sent to you in the mail to have access to the ATM transaction screen. There is a new button ... 'more', located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen ... this will provide you with 2 new options ... changing your PIN # or receiving a printout of your last 10 transactions.
Press the button to 'Change PIN' ... this will give you the option to key in the PIN # that you choose, re-enter your chosen PIN # again where prompted and then the ATM will confirm that it has been changed. It only takes about 60 seconds ...
or you can change your PIN # at either of our two locations.....our Jarvis Street Branch or our Garrison Road Branch.
Keeping your money secure is top priority
at Fort Erie Credit Union!
We are introducing our new MemberCard that features ‘chip’ technology. This latest innovation signals a new era of enhanced security and fraud protection by putting the power of a microchip directly onto your MemberCard.
What is a ‘Chip Card’?
Chip-enabled cards contain an embedded microchip which is virtually impossible to replicate – providing significantly increased protection against debit card skimming and the production of counterfeit cards. Your new MemberCard will work together with chip-enabled terminals, your new personal identification number (PIN) and a range of security features creating a multi-layered defense against fraud.
Even though these new chip-enabled cards incorporate sophisticated new technology, they are easy to use – at your local ATM, you will not notice any difference. Keep in mind that it will take time for all stores and restaurants to be set up with chip-enabled point of sale (POS) terminals…your new card will also have a magnetic stripe to make sure that it continues to work in older terminals.
What do I need to do?
You don’t have to do anything – your new chip-enabled MemberCard & your new PIN number will be arriving in the mail starting October 15th… you will be receiving your PIN prior to receiving your new MemberCard. Once you have signed your new MemberCard, begin using it with your new PIN.
Conveniently, you can change your PIN at our Drive-thru ATM at our Garrison Road Branch and at our ATM located in the lobby of our Jarvis Street Branch..…or you can change your PIN at either of our two locations.....our Jarvis Street Branch at 201 Jarvis St or our Garrison Road Branch at 1201 Garrison Road.
We are very proud to introduce this microchip technology to ensure that our members are provided with benefits that give us all greater peace of mind. We trust that the transition to your new chip-enabled MemberCard will be seamless and should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.
MemberCard 'Chip' Cards are Coming...
Fort Erie Credit Union is making the transition to the new 'chip' MemberCard debit card for our members. The new cards will contain a microchip that will provide an additional layer of security against debit card skimming and the production of counterfeit cards.
As a result of this new technology, Fort Erie Credit Union will be able to provide an increased level of security and peace of mind to our membership; we can all benefit from extra protection against debit card fraud.
Members will be receiving information about their new 'chip' MemberCard debit card in the near future.
Get the Mortgage Facts...
Choosing mortgage options that are right for you can be confusing. Here are some mortgage facts made simple:
On a closed, fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate and payment will not change throughout the duration of the term; buyers who like to budget are often better suited to closed fixed rate mortgages.
With a closed, variable rate mortgage, your interest rate fluctuates with the prime rate so it can change from month to month; this feature will continue throughout the term of the mortgage and may not be as attractive as it sounds.
Open, variable or fixed rate mortgages can be paid off at any time during the term; please note - you will be paying a premium on your rate for that privilege. Open mortgages usually attract buyers who plan to make lump sum payments or are considering selling in the near future.
We're here to answer your questions...make an appointment today with Patti Carpenter at our Garrison Road location or with Maureen Murphy at our Jarvis Street location.
Protect your 'PIN'...
Just as the key to your home protects unwanted entry, your Electronic Banking 'Key'... your Personal Identification Number ... 'PIN' ... ensures that only you can access your accounts through ATM machines and POS transactions.
We suggest you practice the following security safety procedures...
- Choose a 'PIN' number that is easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess or figure out. Never choose numbers such as your birthdate, your home address or your children's ages.
- Keep your 'PIN' number confidential. Do not share your number with anyone, including a Fort Erie Credit Union employee. Do not write down your PIN or keep a copy in your wallet. Always be aware that you could be observed when keying in your PIN number; cover your hand when typing on the PINpad.
- Update your 'PIN' number regularly. We suggest you change your PIN every 30 to 90 days; more often if you use your MemberCard as your primary method of withdrawing funds through ATMs or making purchases through POS (Point of Sale in the retail outlets).
Recently, several CUETS MasterCard CHOICE REWARDS cardholders were contacted in an email scam. Cardholders were informed of a non-existent program called "CASH POINTS" and were asked to update their credit card information by email to win 1,000 points.
These emails are fraudulent -- members are advised to delete these emails and do not click on the message. These emails are 'PHISHING' for personal information to help criminals steal your identity or defraud you.
Never disclose personal information such as Social Insurance numbers, credit card numbers, family history or especially the CVC numbers from credit cards. The CVC number is the security number on the back of