SIU Credit Union Blog

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Pending Legislation on Overdraft Protection Needs Your Input

Dear Member:

You are one of our best members, and we thank you for the trust you have placed in our financial institution.

When you have used our overdraft program, it has enabled us to cover your unexpected expense or help you avoid embarrassment due to an error in your recordkeeping.  This meant you were able to pay for something at the grocery store, fill up your gas tank or unexpectedly purchase a prescription for a sick family member.  These are the reasons you used this safety net – and the reasons it should remain available to you and your family.

As you know, there is a cost for not having overdraft services.

  • The returned check charge from the grocery store (averaging $38.50 in our city)
  • The damage to your credit from bouncing a check.
  • The embarrassment of having your purchase declined with your neighbors watching from the back of the line.
  • The inconvenience of having to return to the merchant to ‘pick up your bad check’ and pay a ransom for it in CASH!

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My Credit Union Story

For the past couple of days, a good friend and co-worker has been continually reminding me that I have yet to turn in an article for our blog.  Since I finally realized his persistence is both shameless and tireless, I decided I better get started.  “This won’t be hard,” I thought to myself.  After all, I oversee compliance for the credit union, so I could just choose one of the hundreds of regulatory changes currently affecting the financial sector, write a short blurb, and be done with it.  However, let’s face it…there are only a few of us nerds out there who actually enjoy reading the minute details of upcoming lending mandates or interchange legislation.  So I thought I would start off with telling my story about what I have learned first-hand about credit unions.

When I interviewed for this position just one year ago, CEO Dennis Schaefer asked me if I knew the difference between credit unions and banks.  I confessed that I did not (somehow I was still hired).  I soon learned that one of the main surface-level differences is that where banks are for profit, credit unions are not for profit, member-owned cooperative networks.  The underlying premise upon formation for all credit unions includes a desire to promote thrift and to provide credit to individuals who may otherwise be unable to obtain it.  When I learned this, I thought to myself, “that is a great story, and I’m sure that was the idea a hundred years ago, but in today’s society, that kind of desire and commitment to help your neighbor just doesn’t exist.”  I was immediately proven wrong.

Throughout this past year I have been amazed at not only SIU Credit Union’s desire and commitment to serve and help its members, but at the entire industry’s dedication to service.  I have attended several conferences and meetings with officers and executives from credit unions nationwide, and everywhere I go, the overall atmosphere can be summed up into one simple theme:  help your neighbor; serve the underserved.  This is evident on a daily basis from here at SIU Credit Union in Southern Illinois, to Washington, D.C. where credit union lobbyists are continually fighting for the best interest of the entire credit union movement.  As cliché as it may sound, I feel like I have become a part of a family here at SIU Credit Union.  I find it very refreshing to be a part of something that, in spite of these tough economic times, still manages to put people first and to go the extra mile.

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Why Credit Unions Aren’t Banks

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When we are out and about in the community, we often hear two things. What’s a credit union? and I didn’t know I could join. To be clear, if you are living in Southern Illinois you are more than likely eligible to join SIU Credit Union. And no, you don’t have to been connected to Southern Illinois University to join the credit union.

But when you explain what a credit union is, it’s almost guarneteed to be followed with … so you’re a bank. Um, no. Here’s the difference.

Banks and credit unions may offer similar products and services. But the similarities stop there. Crucial differences exist–in ownership, in cost of borrowing money, and in use of services.

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ACS Taste of Hope Carbondale

SIU Credit Union has been an active supporter of the American Cancer Society. This year, we raised over $4,000 for the Carbondale Relay for Life.  But we know we can do more. So, won’t you help us get the word out about the second annual Taste of Hope Carbondale? Read below for more information.

Hello from your American Cancer Society,

The Relay For Life of Jackson County Carbondale is partnering with local Carbondale restaurants for the second annual Taste of Hope Carbondale. We need your help! Please dine at any of the restaurants listed below on Tuesday, October 27 from 5:00pm until the close of businessand 20% of the net profit will be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Jackson County Carbondale.

  • Quatro’s Pizza
  • Houlihan’s
  • Newell House
  • Tres Hombres
  • Giant City Lodge

The first annual Taste of Hope raised more than $1,800 in our fight against cancer. A special thank you to the above restaurants for their past participation in Taste of Hope, and for their continued support of the American Cancer Society.

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Get Back in the Game After a Job Loss

A major challenge when losing a job is to move ahead and find new work, while trying to process what happened.

These steps can help jumpstart your job search:

* Get the word out. In addition to getting moving as soon as possible, the most important thing to do is communicate. Let everyone know you’re looking for a job.
* Network. The more people who know you’re looking for work, the better, and don’t forget former co-workers. Experts agree that the best way to find a new job is through personal and professional contacts. Job seekers have a much easier time job hunting if they keep current a copy of their contact database and personal files.
* Establish a daily routine. The job hunt is your new job.
* Be flexible. Finding new work will be easier if you are. For example, consider alternatives to one traditional job, such as a couple of part-time jobs.
* Consider temp work, especially if you need work now. Some income is better than none at all, especially if you need it to keep you or your family financially stable. Don’t make the mistake of holding out for your dream job or for a job with a salary that’s unrealistic in the current economic environment. Besides bringing in some much-needed money, you can try to work on weeknights and weekends, leaving time for job hunting during the day. It also can be a good way to position yourself for a full-time job.
* Consider retraining or going back to school, especially if the hiring outlook in the field you came from is bleak. If you’re deficient in a basic skill, many state employment services offer computer classes, for example.

Remember that perseverance and fortitude may be tough to measure, but they’re indispensable if you’re going to be successful in finding new work, especially if nothing breaks right away. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself too. Find some balance, and keep your mind engaged by continuing to read publications related to your field of expertise as well as recreational sources.

Contact SIU Credit Union. Our professionals are here to help. Don’t wait until you’re in even deeper trouble financially. We can help you through this difficult time.

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