Icon Connect – January 2016

February 23, 2016 | Category: Blog ,Member Newsletter

 

 



People helping people; that’s the Credit Union Difference

So, you’re a member of Icon Credit Union. But do you know what that really means?

At first, Icon may have been little more than a great rate on your auto loan, or maybe we helped you refinance your home to help save you thousands in interest. While helping our members save money is always a top priority for Icon’s employees, your membership means so much more to your community than that!

For example, did you know that credit unions are actually classified as a different type of financial institution than banks? All credit unions are not-for-profit, a tax status earned by the fact that the credit union mission is to deliver benefits to members (rather than shareholders or owners). This tax status, along with other factors, allows us to deliver members low rates on loans, high dividends on savings accounts and countless additional benefits. Just look at this chart of the past 10 years to see the powerful impact credit unions have had nationwide (click to enlarge). 


In 2014 alone, credit unions delivered $7.1 billion in direct monetary benefits to members in the United States, plus $2.7+ billion in benefits to other nonprofits and community organizations. And this is no different at Icon! In fact, last year Icon delivered more than $1 million in benefits to our members through low auto loan rates, high yields on deposit accounts and low/nonexistent fees, along with thousands in donations to our nonprofit partners, and it’s our intention that these numbers grow significantly in 2016.

People helping people. That’s the credit union difference, and that’s our promise to you at Icon.

Invest yourself in the credit union movement

Want to take a bigger role in the nationwide movement that is investing billions in local communities and helping people live healthier and happier financial lives? You’re already halfway there as a member of Icon, but odds are there are still a few more things you can do to help grow Icon and, in turn, help us deliver an even greater community impact.
  1. Strengthen your relationship with Icon. Do you have a high-interest auto or home loan or an old certificate of deposit with another financial institution? Moving those accounts to Icon can help us deliver even greater benefits to you, our members and our community. Plus, it usually saves you money in the process! Call (208) 344-7948 or click here to contact us about how moving outside accounts to Icon can benefit you.
  2. Follow the “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” movement to see why Icon’s not-for-profit tax status is critical to maintain to ensure your member benefits and the impact of the credit union movement across the nation.
  3. Attend Icon’s annual meeting at 6 p.m. on May 3, 2016. Learn more about your credit union, vote on important issues and have an opportunity to ask our CEO, Connie Miller, any questions you might have in a relaxed environment. Located in our Meridian community room at 485 W Overland Rd.
  4. Give us your feedback! Whether it’s a testimonial regarding your member experience, a new product or service you’d like to see or something else, click here to let us know.



Idaho phishing not a game

At Icon, protecting your identity and keeping your information secure is one of our highest priorities. And with scammers and fraudsters always on the hunt for new ways to steal your information, it’s important to periodically revisit the best security tips to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep the thieves at bay.

  1. Icon will never ask you for personal information via email. If you receive an email that appears to be from Icon but it asks you to click a link and verify your account number, password, social security number or any other information, this is a scam email and is not from Icon.
  2. Never click email links to go to secure websites, such as iconcreditunion.org, amazon.com, ebay.com, paypal.com or other popular sites. Instead, type these URLs directly in your browser’s URL bar to ensure you aren’t a victim of link-jacking, which happens when a link appears to go to a trusted site but instead diverts you to a fraudulent site.
  3. Report phishing emails, then delete them. Forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov — and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email. Your report is most effective when you include the full email header, but most email programs hide this information. To find out how to include it, type the name of your email service with “full email header” into your favorite search engine.
  4. If you think you’ve been phished, immediately contact the company, bank or organization impersonated in the email. If it relates to your Icon account, call us at (208) 344-7948 immediately to let us know so we can help monitor your accounts to stop the scammers dead in their tracks.

For more information on how to protect yourself from phishing, click here to visit the FTC’s tips page.

Enjoy more than 25,000 fee-free ATMs with our MoneyPass Network

Did you know all Icon members enjoy free access to more than 25,000 ATMs nationwide? That includes more than 50 in the Treasure Valley alone (and three more in La Grande). That’s twice as many as the biggest bank in the area!

To find your nearest ATM, simply visit www.moneypass.com and search with your zip code. You can also download the MoneyPass ATM app on your smartphone (Android oriPhone) to use your GPS coordinates to find the nearest free ATM.

Why start an emergency fund?

The first step is to understand what an emergency fund actually is. An emergency fund is savings to help you maintain your normal life through the financial surprises life hands you. Most of the time, you shouldn’t touch the emergency fund – it just sits there earning interest, waiting until you need it after a job loss, major appliance failure, car repair or other unexpected emergency.

Some people who don’t have an emergency fund see the idea of having to set aside money as some form of punishment – after all, money locked away in a savings account can’t be used to live, right? Actually, it’s quite the opposite – an emergency fund gives you room to breathe! Instead of having to squeeze unexpected expenses onto a credit card or beg a friend for some money, you can just pay the bill – no worries.

Another problem we often hear when it comes to emergency funds is the temptation that people have to spend the money on things that aren’t emergencies. They see that they’ve built up several hundred dollars in savings and they start thinking about buying a flat panel television or going on a trip – and they let the temptation get the best of them.

If you want to have a savings account for big splurges, that’s great – start a “splurge fund,” too, if it makes sense for you. It’s important, though, to just leave the emergency fund until you really need it. Deposit money and don’t look at the balance until an emergency occurs. It takes self control at first, but when you eventually experience an emergency and have the money to cover it, you’ll thank yourself!

Click here to get started by opening a secondary emergency savings account with Icon.