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  • What Does 0% Financing Really Mean?

    by Zenia Bahel | Dec 21, 2017

    We hear ads about 0% financing from auto dealers all the time, do you save big in the long run? Well, the answer is both a yes and no. Here is why: 


    How Is 0% Financing Possible?

    If you are given a loan at 0% interest,  this means you're borrowing money from a financer  but paying no fee for the privilege of doing so. In this case, you are usually financing through the auto dealer and not a separate financial institution. Normally dealers have very strict requirements for this type of lending offer. So, buyers are required to have the highest-tier credit and are also required to take a loan term of only 2-3 years. Most buyers can’t meet this type of criteria. However, even if a buyer does qualify, there is still one more key point to consider before taking this offer. If the dealer isn’t making money (interest) on the financing, they will need to ensure that they do on the sale price of the car. So, they will likely inflate the price of the vehicle to offset the cost of lost revenue on the 0% interest rate. So, for example, if a member were paying cash or borrowing from an outside lender, like Century Federal, the dealer might incent them to purchase the car by offering a cash discount/rebate on the purchase price. HOWEVER, this offer would likely not be available to someone opting for 0% dealership financing.

    So How Can You Get the Best Deal?

    Get pre-approved for an auto loan with your preferred financial institution before heading out to an auto dealership. This puts you in control of the car buying process. You will know what you can spend, the best interest rate for which you qualify, and how much your monthly payment will be. With all this information in hand, when you approach auto dealerships, you can compare how much you will end up paying for the car with the deal they are offering, keeping in mind the accruing interest for the loan amount being offered. This way you can negotiate to get the best deal for the price of the car. Happy auto shopping! 


    December 2017 

     

  • Keep Your Identity Safe this Holiday Season

    by Zenia Bahel | Dec 04, 2017


    We are all recovering from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. While some of us may have resisted, many are still lured in by website ads, social media ads or the coupon that was sent to us via email. We all have been there! Online shopping is probably the most convenient and comes with great deals, but also comes at the threat of risking your identity.









    This holiday season, here are tips to help protect yourself from identity theft when shopping online:

    • Always shop on a secure network: Remember that you can risk your identity if you use a public WIFI to make transactions online, therefore it is best if you make purchases within the comfort of your home.
    • Look for deals directly from a trusted retailer website, not search engines: If you heard about a great deal online from friends, family or colleagues, always remember to ask them which website they got it from. Don’t just rely on search engine results, because you can fall prey to an adware attack, henceforth compromising your identity.
    • Shop at familiar online retailers: Try to only shop from retailers you are familiar with, and always look for the "padlock" icon in the browser's URL bar so that you know you are accessing a secure site.
    • Keep your passwords unique and credit card information to yourself: Try to add a 2-step authentication process if you can. And if you find It difficult to remember passwords, you can download an app for your passwords. Also, try to enter in your credit card information every time to make a new purchase rather than have retail websites or apps you use remember them for you.
    • Closely monitor your card statements: Keep a close eye on every transaction on your card, especially in the wake of some of the recent company data breaches. You want to be able to alert your credit card company/bank/credit union immediately of any fraudulent activity.
    • Read Reviews about websites you are unsure of: You may think how is this related to protecting my identity? It is, because if you are planning to shop on a website not familiar to you where you found a good deal, make sure you read reviews about the website. If the website is scheming, someone may have been a victim and written a review about them.

    Happy holidays folks and happy shopping

    December 2017 

  • Army Veteran Bruce Banfield can cheer up anyone with his humor!

    by Zenia Bahel | Nov 11, 2017

    Bruce Banfield is Century Federal Credit Union’s IT Network Administrator, who’s wit and sense of humor is unmissable. Bruce joined the United States Army in 1986, and served until 1990 as a Fire Support Specialist. Bruce’s duties involved managing communication and logistics for fighter planes and artillery. Bruce was in the 75th Infantry Regiment, and was the 3rd Ranger Battalion stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia in Special Operations Command division. 





    However, Bruce’s time in the army doesn’t end there; after getting out in 1990, he joined the Ohio Army National Guard 16 years later in 2005 and served until 2009. Bruce was an Information Technology Specialist, a role he continues at Century Federal Credit Union. Bruce, while describing his experience of serving in the military, says, “The Military has completely shaped the way I approach almost everything I do, especially in the work place.  The values and dedication to your job and those around you, and making sure that the job gets done right have been very important and valuable takeaways from my service in the military.”

     

    Century Federal is extremely thankful to Bruce for his service to our nation, and for his commitment and dedication to his work, and to his team members. We #ThankYouForServing!

    (Published in November 2017) 
  • Century Federal Rocks Promotion

    by Zenia Bahel | Nov 09, 2017

    Century Federal Credit Union kick started a campaign in October 2017 to help raise $1000 for the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. This campaign was meant to be our own version of the Kindness Rocks Project. We came up with this idea after opening our new branch in Independence, Ohio. Our goal was to engage with the local community, and create awareness about credit unions.


    That is when Century Federal’s team began painting rocks and hiding them around the City of Independence, Ohio. We decided to donate $20 for every rock found, and our team members hid over 50 rocks in retail spaces, and outside offices and recreational centers in the city of Independence. Each rock found was to be returned to Century Federal’s branch in Independence, Ohio for us to donate $20, equivalent for the one rock returned. We are thrilled with the response, and appreciation we received from the residents of the city of Independence and the news media. We were interviewed on Donovan Live for WKYC, Channel 3. Check out the link to the interview with Jimmy Donovan here.

    We would like to express our gratitude to the people of Independence for finding the rocks and helping us donate to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. We are extremely thankful for the participation. #CenFedRocks




    (Published in November 2017)
  • Century Federal Credit Union security efforts

    by LKCS Team | Aug 14, 2017
    Century Federal has a wide variety of security tools in place for the protection of our members’ accounts. The following is an overview of these security efforts.
    • Our data center and other facilities have a number of technologies, back-up systems and products that we use to protect our systems from intrusion and other criminal activity. We are continually monitoring fraudulent activity on the internet as well as researching and utilizing technologies that can help combat this fraud.
    • We protect account information accessible through our Online/Mobile Banking systems with unique user ID and passwords. To access your account online; you must provide a user ID and a password. Your User ID and password are compared with what we have on file for you. If you enter your password incorrectly more than a few times, your account will be locked until you contact us to unlock your account and reset your password.
    • Your Online Banking sessions will time out after a specified time period of inactivity. This prevents other people from continuing with your existing Online Banking session if you walk away from the computer or forget to log out.
    • You have the ability to set up account e-lerts through our Online Banking system. A number of different notifications can be sent to you when different account activity takes place in your Online Banking account. For example, if your account balance falls below a certain threshold.
    • Century Federal cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information you send using your own email service because the information may not be encrypted or transmitted over a secure network. Specifically, we discourage you from including the following in unsecured email:
            • Your Social Security number
            • Your Century Federal member/account number
            • Other confidential financial information
            • Your Online Banking user ID and/or password
    • Century Federal will not include such information in any unsecured email messages we send you. Century Federal is not responsible for any damages you sustain or the privacy and security of your account information if you transmit confidential or sensitive information to us via unsecured email.
    • Century Federal will not ask you for confidential financial information, such as member/account numbers, PINs, Social Security numbers or passwords, via email. If you receive an email that appears to be from Century Federal and it solicits you for this type of confidential financial information, it is most likely fraudulent. You should contact our Member Service Center immediately at 216-535-3200 and, if possible, forward the email to memberservice@CenFedCU.org.
  • Expecting a refund? We've got 3 Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund

    by LKCS Team | Aug 11, 2017
    If you have a tax refund coming your way, consider using it to bolster your personal balance sheet. We’ve list out 3 smart uses for your tax refund.

    Get Rid of Your High-Interest Debt

    Using your refund to pay off a balance with an 16% interest rate is like earning 16% on your investments -- an incredibly valuable use of the money. And if you pay off your balances, you can afford to close some cards that are now charging high fees. We listed this first for a reason. Simply put, it doesn't make sense to put more money in your savings or even to invest when you're paying someone else 16% interest or more for the privilege of owing them money.

    Replenish Your Emergency Fund

    Many people have raided their emergency fund over the past several years and have had little extra money to restore it. You could use your refund to start rebuilding that fund, which can help you avoid landing in credit-card debt if you have an emergency. Keep the money easily accessible in a money-market account or savings account that earns interest.

    Boost Your Retirement Savings

    If the first two items on this list are taken care of, that is, you don't have a significant amount of credit card debt and you have enough cash in the bank to cover an unexpected expense, the best use of your tax refund may be to invest. Retirement saving is hands-down the best tax break of all, and for good reason. Not only can you get tax savings, but you'll be setting yourself up for financial comfort later!

    Whether it’s a major windfall or just a drop in the bucket, your refund should feel like “found money” – and if you’re smart, you can put it to work for you and improve your financial situation. You can even treat yourself – just don’t blow it at on a huge, unnecessary splurge.

    Need a little extra help with your credit cards, auto loan rates, or mortgage rates? Stop by any of our branches and our staff will be happy to help you.

    Or if you’re looking for investment planning, retirement planning, college funding, etc. contact our Money Concepts representative Andy, to schedule your complimentary discovery meeting.

    March 2017