Superior Choice Credit Union announces winners of Great Debt Pay Down challenge

GDPD winners
After nearly a year of attending financial counseling sessions, group financial workshops, and working hard to pay down debt, four participants were awarded winners of Superior Choice Credit Union’s Great Debt Pay Down program in partnership with LSS Financial Counseling.

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Get your credit report and score for free February 16!

credit scoreSuperior Choice Credit Union will host April Sanderson, a Certified Credit Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling, on Friday, February 16 at the Tower Avenue branch for a Credit Check Clinic. Members and their partner/spouse may sign up for a 15-minute consultation to find out what's on their credit report; learn their credit score; learn quick tips on how to improve or maintain their credit score; correct any errors; detect and stop identity theft; and more. Thanks to SCCU's partnership with LSS Financial Counseling, these consultations are completely free!

While the consultations are completely free, members should register for a time slot. To register for a free consultation, call 1-800-569-4167. Appointments are available between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 16. All time slots have been filled! Stay tuned for future opportunities, or click here to learn more about free one-on-one financial counseling for SCCU members.

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SCCU donates more than $13,000 to area food programs

food donations collage

Superior Choice Credit Union celebrated the holiday season with donations of more than $13,000 to area food banks and food access programs.

“Credit unions exist to help all people, including those of modest means,” said Gary Elliott, President/CEO of SCCU. “We know that helping our members succeed includes making sure that they have consistent access to nourishing meals. The food banks we support do to so much to help so many in our membership area – either through direct food access or by supporting other food pantries and food access programs.”

A total of $13,610 in donations were split between several food banks and other food access programs:

  • $2,500 was awarded in sponsorship of the annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, serving more than 5,000 Twin Ports people in need. SCCU’s management team also helped with preparing the Thanksgiving meal.
  • $7,750 was donated to the Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency Food Bank helping those in need from Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, and Price Counties in Wisconsin
  • $1,160 was donated to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, helping with distribution to 180 northeastern MN and northwestern WI non-profit agencies such as food shelves, soup kitchens, youth programs, senior nutrition sites, and more.
  • $1,550 was donated to the BRICK Ministries food shelf in Ashland
  • $650 was donated to the BRICK Ministries food shelf in Mellen

Organizations were chosen based on proximity to SCCU branches and service areas, and the total impact that each organization has on area communities. Donation totals for each organization are calculated based on nearest branch membership.

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Join us Thursday, February 22 at Barker's Island Inn for SCCU's 85th Annual Meeting

Superior Choice Credit Union's 85th Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22 at the Barker's Island Inn Conference Center, located at 300 Marina Drive in Superior, WI. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Please plan to arrive a few minutes prior to 7 p.m. to sign up for attendance prizes, grab a giveaway, and enjoy some refreshments.

The sole candidate for the Board of Directors vacancy is incumbent board member William Anderson. The Board of Directors recently voted to reduce size of the Board of Directors from a nine-person board to a seven-person board. One board seat is to be re-elected instead of three as previously planned. Because the number of members nominated by the nominating committee equals the number of vacancies on the Board, the Chairperson shall declare the nominee elected by acclamation at the Annual Meeting and there shall be no election by paper or online banking ballot.

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Start 2018 on the right foot with financial help from LSS Financial Counseling

With the dawn of a new year comes lots of New Year's resolutions. While losing weight, eating healthier, and other lifestyle changes are often the most popular resolutions, financial goals are often top-of-mind around the New Year.

Thanks to a partnership between Superior Choice Credit Union and LSS Financial Counseling, SCCU members can get free one-on-one financial counseling services all year long. Whether your goal is to save money, spend less, raise your credit score, or pay off debt, LSS Financial Counselors can help you set realistic goals and timelines while taking a look at your entire financial picture.

Click here to learn more about LSS Financial Counseling for SCCU members.

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Superior Choice Credit Union fundraiser generates $1,775 for Honor Flight Northland

Honor Flight Northland Donation photo

Thanks to generosity from Superior Choice Credit Union members, employees, and community members, Honor Flight Northland received a $1,775 donation from SCCU’s November Honor Flight fundraiser.

In honor of Veterans Day, from November 1 through November 30, all branches of Superior Choice Credit Union accepted donations for Honor Flight Northland. Members and community members who made a donation could write their support message on a red, white, or blue Honor Flight Northland slip of paper to decorate branches. SCCU offered to match up to $2,500 in donations.

“With Veterans Day falling in November, we wanted to do a fundraiser that would impact veterans in our service areas — from northeastern Minnesota all the way down to the area around our branch in Mellen, Wisconsin,” Gary Elliott, SCCU President/CEO said. “Honor Flight Northland was the perfect fit. They serve veterans all over our service area, and have made a personal impact on some of our employees’ family members. We’re thrilled that our members and community members rallied behind the cause to make such a large donation.”

Honor Flight Northland Organizer Karin Swor (pictured center) joined Ben Altonen (pictured left) and Gary Elliott (pictured right) of SCCU’s executive management team on Dec. 20 for a check presentation and photo opportunity. 

About Honor Flight Northland
Honor Flight Northland is a non-profit organization created solely to honor veterans living in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin for all their sacrifices. Honor Flight Northland transports veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect on their memorials. The next Honor Flight Northland trip is slated for April 2018. Visit www.honorflightnorthland.org for more information.

About Superior Choice Credit Union
Superior Choice Credit Union operates six full-service branch locations around the Northland offering a full line of financial products and services. Since 1932, SCCU has been serving the financial needs of its member/owners. As a member-owned cooperative, members have a say in their financial institution. Please visit www.superiorchoice.com for more information. Superior Choice Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA. Equal housing opportunity.

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Important information regarding paper statement charges for online banking users

Starting with the January 2018 month-end statements that are mailed out in early February, members who are enrolled in It’s Me 247 Online Banking but are NOT signed up to receive eStatements will begin to receive a $2.00 paper statement fee. To avoid paying statement fees, simply enroll in eStatements! To enroll in eStatements:

1.) Log in to It’s Me 247 Online Banking.

2.) Click “eStatement Options” under “My Preferences” in the “Info Center” menu in It’s Me 247 Online Banking.

3.) Read through the terms and conditions on the eStatements Enrollment screen. Then, select the “I would like to receive my statements electronically” statement.

4.) Verify your eStatement email address. This must be a valid email address.

5.) Hit the “Accept” button.

Click here for these step-by-step instructions with photos. For further assistance with enrolling in eStatements, please call 1-800-569-4167.
The $2.00 Paper Statement Fee for Online Banking Users is disclosed in the fee schedule documents you received when opening your account, as well as the Online Access Request form. To view an online version of our fee schedule, please visit https://www.superiorchoice.com/fees

eStatements are faster, more secure, and reduce paper waste. Thank you for enrolling in eStatements with your Superior Choice Credit Union online banking account.

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Form 1099-INT Instructions

This message is to alert members who receive electronic statements (eStatements) that the tax information that is being provided to the IRS will be reported on your December 2017 electronic account statement. No paper copy of the 1099-INT tax form will be mailed.

If you are signed up for eStatements, your tax information can be viewed after January 1, 2018, by accessing your December statement in online banking as usual. 

Below is the "Instructions for Recipient" information from the back of a standard 1099-INT form.

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SCCU's 2017-2018 Holiday Hours

All branches, administrative office, and call center of Superior Choice Credit Union will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Please see our holiday hours below:

Thursday, Nov. 23: Closed for Thanksgiving

Friday, Nov. 24: Open for regular hours

Saturday, Dec. 23: Open for regular hours

Sunday, Dec. 24: Closed

Monday, Dec. 25: Closed for Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 30: Open for regular hours

Sunday, Dec. 31: Closed

Monday, Jan. 1: Closed for New Year's Day

For after-hours lost/stolen credit or debit card contact information, please click here. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we close SCCU facilities so that our employees may enjoy the holidays with their friends and family members. As always, SCCU is available to members 24/7 using online banking and the SCCU mobile app.

Happy holidays from SCCU, and we wish you a prosperous new year!

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Join us Friday, Dec. 8 for our Holiday Open House!

Every year, Superior Choice Credit Union enjoys the tradition of hosting a holiday open house for SCCU members. Please visit your nearest branch of SCCU on Friday, Dec. 8 for cookies and refreshments, prize drawings, and pick up a complimentary 2018 calendar. Festivities start at 9 a.m. until supplies last. Thank you for being a member of Superior Choice Credit Union. May you have a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Holiday Open House Square For Web

 

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Attention mobile check deposit users!

Effective 11/2/2017, Superior Choice Credit Union will be enforcing deposit limits on the mobile check deposit feature of the SCCU mobile app. While these limits have always been guidelines that are displayed on the mobile check deposit screen of the SCCU mobile app, we will begin enforcing these limits as of 11/2/2017 to further ensure member account security and to help fight fraud.

Mobile check deposit users may deposit up to $1,000 per check using the SCCU mobile app. The maximum daily amount is $2,000. The maximum number of checks that may be deposited per day is five (5). A total of $5,000 may be deposited over a rolling 30-day period.

Again, these limits have been used as guidelines, but as of 11/2/2017 will be enforced.

For the safety of our members accounts and to help us fight fraud, we encourage members with checks of more than $1,000 to make a deposit at their nearest SCCU branch. If traveling to a SCCU branch is not convenient, members may take advantage of our shared branching partnership with more than 5,000 branches across the United States. Click here to learn more about shared branching.

Thank you for using the SCCU mobile app for remote deposit capture. We appreciate your understanding as we work to further strengthen our efforts to prevent account fraud.

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Superior Choice Credit Union branches host Honor Flight fundraiser, Holiday Mail for Heroes activities

veterans day activities banner

In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, all through the month of November Superior Choice Credit Union will host a fundraiser and holiday mail activities in support of local veterans and military service members.

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Now seeking SCCU Board of Directors applicants

Superior Choice Credit Union is now seeking nominees for the upcoming board of directors election. If you're interested in applying to be a nominee, please contact [email protected] for an information packet and nominee application. Elections are held January-February 2018, with winners being announced at the February 22, 2018 annual membership meeting. Three directors will be elected by SCCU members to serve a three-year term on the SCCU Board of Directors.

Applicants must be an active member of SCCU by using the services offered and must have joined the credit union at least one-year prior to the record date. SCCU employees may not serve as board members.

Below is a list of director requirements and educational opportunities. More information can be found in the information packet and nominee application. To request those materials, please email [email protected] Applications to be in consideration for a board of directors nominee must be received no later than Friday, December 1, 2017.

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Stop by our Tower Avenue branch on Nov. 10 for a free credit report review

SCCU Counseling day in Tower branch

For questions, please contact Brittany Markgren at [email protected]

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Superior Choice Credit Union Celebrates People-First Banking

Dreams Thrive Here Facebook Cover

On October 19, Superior Choice Credit Union will, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day), and the philosophy and achievements of the credit union movement.

On Thursday, October 19, SCCU members can stop by any branch to sign up for a chance to win prizes. Each branch will have three winners. Kids aged 10 and under may participate in a coloring contest for a chance to win a prize. Click here to download a printable coloring page, or stop by your nearest branch of SCCU to pick up a coloring contest page.

Superior Choice Credit Union celebrates ICU Day because it believes the not-for-profit structure and people-first principles of credit unions make them the ideal financial partners for all people. This year’s ICU Day theme is “Dreams Thrive Here,” a celebration of how credit unions help people achieve their biggest goals in life.

The public is welcome to stop by one of Superior Choice Credit Union’s six branches and celebrate with SCCU a worldwide movement that’s made helping people its No. 1 priority for more than 160 years.

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Attend a Seminar on Three Transitions to Retirement

Are you ready to retire? You might be prepared for the financial transition, but you’ll experience lifestyle and emotional transitions as well. We can help you understand these upcoming changes and provide the information you need to better prepare for this exciting season of your life. Working together, we’ll gain clarity and confidence about your path to retirement.

Join us for an educational seminar on “Three Transitions to Retirement” to be held on November 1, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Superior Choice Credit Union Administrative Office (1320 Grand Ave, Superior WI, 54880)

This information-packed presentation includes a workbook to help you assess your retirement readiness. During this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to confidently address the financial, lifestyle and emotional transitions to retirement
  • How to guard against risks and manage those that are inevitable
  • Whether you are ready for retirement

This no-cost, no-obligation seminar is hosted by Wendy Otterness, the Financial Advisor at SCCU Retirement and Financial Advisors. For more information or to reserve your place, call 715-398-8918 or email [email protected]. Click here to register online. Space is limited, so make your reservations today.

 

This workshop is educational only and is not investment advice. If you need advice regarding your financial goals and investment needs, contact a financial advisor. All guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer. MEMBERS Insurance & Investments and MEMBERS are marketing names for the products, services and programs offered by CMFG Life Insurance Company (CMFG Life), MEMBERS Life Insurance Company (MEMBERS Life) and other leading carriers. MEMBERS® is a registered trademark of CMFG Life. CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, may lose value, no financial institution guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

Financial advisors are not tax experts. For information regarding your specific tax situation, please consult a tax professional. Variable annuities are sold by prospectus only. You can obtain a prospectus by contacting your financial advisor or the insurance company. Read it carefully.

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

MGA-1805761.1-0517-0619
© CUNA Mutual Group 2017

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Notice of Hawkins Ash CPAs confirmation letters

Superior Choice Credit Union's board of directors has engaged Hawkins Ash CPAs for an opinion audit. This requires annual confirmation letters be sent to a random selection of SCCU members. If you receive a letter please confirm requested information and return to Hawkins Ash CPAs per the letter's instructions.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Superior Choice Credit Union partners with American Red Cross to host community blood drive

Duluth, Minn. – Superior Choice Credit Union will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross, located at 2524 Maple Grove Road in Duluth.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or sign up online at redcrossblood.org with sponsor code SCCU.

“Superior Choice Credit Union is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Gary Elliott, SCCU’s President/CEO. “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, colleagues and neighbors an opportunity to help save lives.”

Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer blood donors. With someone in the U.S. needing blood every two seconds, blood products must be constantly replenished, according to the Red Cross.

“We urge community members to donate blood and help ensure that patients in local hospitals have a supply of blood ready and waiting before an emergency occurs. There’s no better feeling than knowing that your blood donation may give someone a second chance at life.”

According to the Red Cross, donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative.

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What to do in light of the Equifax data breach

Equifax LogoIt was annouced on Thursday, September 7, 2017, that Equifax (one of the nation's major credit reporting agencies) was the victim of a data breach. According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and other sensitive personal information.

In light of the Equifax breach, the Federal Trade Commission (the nation’s consumer protection agency working to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace) has a few tips on what to do.

Click here to read the FTC blog post titled, "The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do" on the consumer.ftc.gov website.

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Financial Priorities Young Families Should Address

Wise money moves for parents under 40.

Provided by Wendy Otterness

As you start a family, you start to think about certain financial matters. Before you became a mom or dad, you may not have thought about them much, but so much changes when you have kids.

Parenting presents you with definite, sudden, financial needs to address. By focusing on those needs today, you may give yourself a head start on meeting some crucial family financial objectives tomorrow. The to-do list should include:

Life & disability insurance coverage. If one or both of you cannot work and earn income, your household could struggle to meet education expenses, medical expenses, or even paying the bills. Disability insurance payments could provide some financial support in such an instance. Some employers provide it, but that coverage often proves insufficient. Every fifth American has a disability, and more than 25% of 20-year-old Americans will become disabled before reaching retirement age. One in eight working people will be disabled for five years or longer during their pre-retirement years. Could you imagine your household going that long on only a fraction of its current income?1,2    

Generally, the earlier you buy life insurance coverage, the cheaper the premiums will be. The biggest savings await those consumers who buy coverage before age 30 and before they marry and have kids. After 30, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems may begin to show up on blood tests, and other health problems may surface. As an example, a single, child-free 25-year-old in good health purchasing a 30-year term policy with a $500,000 death benefit will pay a monthly premium of about $75. The premium jumps to around $115 for the typical 35-year-old married parent in good health.3

Estate planning. Is it too early in life to think about this? No. Life insurance, a will, a living trust – these are smart moves, especially if you have children with any kind of special needs or health concerns of your own that may shorten your longevity or lead to weaknesses in body or mind. Besides documents linked to insurance and wealth transfer, consider a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy.

If you are considering designating a guardian for your children in the event of the unthinkable, whoever you appoint needs to be comfortable with the possibility of taking legal responsibility for your child. That person must also have the financial wherewithal to be a good guardian, and his or her family or spouse must also be amenable to it. 

College planning. What will a year at a public university cost in 2035? Vanguard, the investment company, conducted an analysis and projected an average tuition of $54,070. (The 2035 projection was $121,078 for a private college.) So, the message is clear: start saving now. Saving and investing for college through a 529 plan, a Coverdell ESA, or other accounts that offer the potential for tax-deferred growth may give you a better chance to meet those future costs.4

An emergency fund. Ideally, your household maintains a cash cushion equivalent to 3-6 months of salary. Build it a little at a time, set aside a bit of money per month, and you may be surprised at how large it grows during the coming years.

Address these priorities now, and you may lower your chance of financial stress in the future.

Wendy Otterness may be reached at (715) 398-8917 or [email protected]
www.superiorchoice.com

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No financial institution guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

08282017-WR-2189

 

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