Living Greater Member Newsletter
Celebrating 64,000 Members Strong With SPECIAL RATES THIS JANUARY!*
Greater Nevada Credit Union is celebrating our strongest year of membership growth ever with exclusive rate specials to say thanks to all our members who have been with us in 2017.
We’ll be offering great rates on Certificates and IRA Certificates to kick-start your 2018 savings plan; loan rate specials for autos and recreational vehicles to get you behind the wheel of your dream machine; and personal loan specials to help you recover from holiday spending and move forward with new year plans.
Whether you’re saving or spending, we’re ready to help you live greater – with special rates beginning January 2, 2018, and lasting through the month. Watch gncu.org and other member communications for more details coming soon!
*These special rates will be available to Greater Nevada Credit Union members who joined on or by December 31, 2017. All loans subject to approval by GNCU. Federally insured by NCUA.
From the President
Recently I was asked to describe the difference between a credit union and a bank from the perspective of “Credit unions offer many of the same services as banks, so are the two truly different?” That is a question I have been hearing throughout my nearly 30-year career at Greater Nevada. While I can appreciate how on a cursory view one might surmise that, in actuality there is a key difference between credit unions and banks that seems simple, yet is very impactful: They have completely different ownership structures.
Banks are owned and controlled by a group of stockholders, sometimes large, as often seen with publicly traded national banks, and sometimes small, such as a family or group of local investors, as can be the case with community banks. Regardless of the size of the ownership group, the reason any bank exists is to generate profits from its customers for the financial benefit of the bank’s owners.
Unlike banks, credit unions are 100 percent owned by the members they serve, which is anybody who opens an account or gets a loan from the credit union. At Greater Nevada we currently have more than 64,000 members who are also our owners. Like any credit union, Greater Nevada exists to improve the financial well-being of our members, and we return the earnings we generate by providing the quality and affordable financial products and services our members need and ensuring the safety and soundness of their credit union.
Credit unions are also democratically controlled by their members, who elect their Board of Directors from within the membership. Every eligible member has an equal vote in those elections, regardless of how much money they have on deposit or how much they have borrowed, based on cooperative principles and known as “one member, one vote.”
To sum it up, where a bank exists to increase earnings for a few people (i.e., stockholders), at Greater Nevada Credit Union earnings are used to “Help More People Live Greater.”
So, please take full advantage of your Greater Nevada Credit Union membership and ownership using the many personal and business banking products and services we offer, and by participating in the upcoming election for your Board of Directors.
Best wishes for the new year,
Wally Murray, President and CEO
The Growing Greater Nevada Family
On October 1, 2017, GNCU welcomed more than 7,000 former Frontier Financial Credit Union members, growing our family to more than 64,000 members and your credit union to more than $800 million in assets. It also resulted in two additional branch locations, as well as more team members to serve you.
The merger of these two credit unions means an ongoing focus on helping more people live greater, whether that’s providing affordable, quality products to help members improve their financial well-being; supporting the many great causes in our community; or helping employees enjoy opportunities to pursue their personal and professional goals.
Thank you to everyone who is part of the Greater Nevada family!
Announcing Your 2018 Board of Directors Candidates
Greater Nevada Credit Union’s Board of Directors is comprised of seven Greater Nevada members who volunteer their time and experience to oversee the management of your credit union. Directors are elected to serve three-year terms, which expire on a rotating basis. This year two Director positions are available, and Greater Nevada is pleased to announce the three candidates who are seeking to fill those seats. Click here to review each of the candidates and learn about the petition process.
Greater Nevada Credit Union Named Lender of the Year – Again!
For the second year in a row, Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) was named the National Lender of the Year by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The award was presented to GNCU in October at the National Rural Lenders Association Conference in Washington, D.C., during part of USDA’s observance of National Cooperatives Month. Earlier this year, GNCU was also recognized as a top Nevada Small Business Administration (SBA) Lender.
GNCU’s Commercial Services continues to grow, as more people discover the many banking products and services tailored to help our local businesses thrive. For more information and some insider tips from our Commercial Services experts, see the article Three Ways to Improve Your Business Cash Flow on the next page.
Teaching Financial Life Lessons
The 2017-2018 school year started with several financial education presentations from GNCU throughout our communities. They included four real-life simulations called “Bite of Reality” at local high schools and at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Participants receive random personas that include jobs, salary and family status. They then visit different needs booths (such as housing, transportation, childcare, food and entertainment) to develop a budget based on their income, needs and wants. GNCU also presented financial education at the elementary school level, as well as budgeting for students of Western Nevada College’s Drivers Education program. In addition, GNCU is the sponsor of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Money Mentors program, which is available to all of the school’s students.
As a GNCU member, finding greater ways to manage your financial health is always at your fingertips. Simply visit our Financial Education & Tools online center. You’ll find a variety of topics for students of any age.
Get a Head Start on Next Year
Did holiday expenses sneak up on you this year? Now’s the time to open a Christmas Club Account, and be prepared for 2018!
A Christmas Club Account is a dedicated savings account that helps you plan for holiday expenses by saving a little all year long. You can “set and forget” with automatic recurring deposits, or simply make transfers as and when you choose. Funds are automatically disbursed to your checking account on November 1 – just in time for the big shopping season.
To learn more and open your account, click here.
Three Ways to Improve Your Business Cash Flow
One of the foundations of healthy business management is maintaining liquidity. If you run a small business and find yourself dealing with restricted cash flow on a regular basis, following these basic steps will help.
As soon as a job is complete, send the bill. Consider asking for upfront deposits or partial payments if your business undertakes long, complicated and/or expensive projects.
Incentivize prompt payments
Pay bills when due
Make it clear when payments are due, and offer a small discount for quick payments. For example, two percent off if paid within 14 days.
Don’t pay your own bills sooner than required. Check when bills are due and schedule payments accordingly to keep your cash on hand for as long as possible. For instance, you can schedule payments using GNCU’s online bill pay.
Want to learn more about improving the financial health of your business? Call (775) 882-2060 or visit your local GNCU branch to speak with a Commercial Services representative.
Give Yourself the Gift of Financial Protection
If an emergency strikes, are you prepared? This holiday season, give yourself the gift of stronger financial protection: an emergency fund and comprehensive insurance.
Last year, the Federal Reserve surveyed 5,000 people and found that 46 percent said they didn’t have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense. Instead, they would have to put that expense on a credit card and pay it off over time, borrow from friends or family, or simply do without.
The ability to manage an emergency without going into debt is an important part of your financial health. The general recommendation is to keep on hand at least three months’ worth of living expenses. If that’s too great a burden to your budget, start small and save what you can. For instance, set up automatic savings into your GNCU savings account. You control how much to put away and how often.
Another key step to protecting yourself and your family is buying insurance at appropriate coverage levels for your most valuable assets, which could include home and vehicle insurance, as well as life insurance. These main types of coverage provide crucial financial support when the unexpected occurs. You can get a free, no-obligation quote from Greater Nevada Insurance by calling (775) 886-1444. On average, members save $665* a year!
*Available insurance products are not deposits of Greater Nevada Credit Union and are not protected by any type of deposit insurance, are not obligations of or guaranteed by Greater Nevada Credit Union or its affiliates, and may be subject to risk. Insurance products are not insured or guaranteed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or any other agency of the United States. Any insurance required as a condition of the extension of credit by Greater Nevada Credit Union need not be purchased from our Agency but may, without affecting the approval of the application for an extension of credit, be purchased from an agent or insurance company of the customer’s choice. Figure of $665 is a national average savings number from the previous 12 months of auto, homeowner, and packaged policyholders’ savings when compared to the policyholders’ former premiums. Individual premiums and savings will vary.
Rock Checking: The Account That Helps You Groove
Rock Checking is the innovative account that lets you earn rebates on anything you purchase on iTunes®, Amazon.com® and Google Play™. In fact, you can earn $140 your first year!*
Check out everything you can get:
- Up to $10 in credits per qualifying month*
- $20 bonus for the first month*
- Up to $15 in out-of-network ATM fee refunds in qualifying months*
- No minimum balance requirement
- Plus, all our usual checking extras, including free online and mobile banking, free Visa® debit card and surcharge-free ATM access nationwide
Are you a student?
Student Rock Checking lets you earn the same rewards as Rock Checking while requiring fewer qualifications, making it perfect for members ages 14 to 24.
Making the switch to Rock Checking or Student Rock Checking is easy! Apply online, visit any GNCU branch or call (775) 882-2060.
*Up to $140 in iTunes, Amazon.com, or Google Play purchase reimbursements based on up to $10 in reimbursements each qualifying month and a one-time $20 sign-up bonus reimbursement. Monthly qualifications are as follows: 15 debit card purchases must post and clear, one direct deposit received and account statements delivered via eStatements. For Student Rock Checking, the monthly qualifications are 9 debit card purchases must post and clear and account statements must be delivered via eStatements. $20 bonus is additional reimbursement within first month account is open if qualifications are met. Other rewards received when monthly qualifications are met include ATM fee rebates and waiver of the $10 monthly service fee ($3 service fee for Student Rock Checking). “Qualification Cycle” means a period beginning one day prior to the first of the month and ending one day prior to the last day of the month (ex. July 31-August 30 for August statement). iTunes, Amazon.com, and Google Play are not affiliated with this account. Membership requirements apply. Available to personal accounts only.
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Do’s and Don’ts to Keep Your Account Information Safe
The internet and smartphones have transformed how we live, work and do business. And unfortunately, scammers use that same technology to commit crimes for illegal financial gain. Hackers steal personal information and money through unsolicited emails or texts, copycat websites and robocalls with promises of free vacations, prizes and products.
Here’s what you should know when it comes to your membership with Greater Nevada.
- We will never ask for your PIN when discussing your account information. To keep your identity and personal information safe, NEVER give your PIN to anyone over the phone.
- If you receive a call from someone who represents themselves as an agency such as law enforcement, government, etc., ask for their number so you can call them back. Use your judgement – is there any reason one of these agencies would be calling you?
- Consider these tips when managing your account information, both online and off:
- DO create strong passwords.
- DO keep passwords private.
- DO set up account alerts.
- DO switch to eStatements.
- DO shred sensitive paper documents.
- DON’T click on suspicious links.
- DON’T include account information in emails.
- DON’T overshare on social networking sites.
- DON’T use public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions.
- DON’T give out personal information to unknown callers.
You can check out phishing.org for additional tips and information about preventing and reporting phishing. If you have questions or suspect fraudulent activity on your account, call GNCU at (775) 882-2060.
Greater Nevada Mortgage Now Serving California!
Looking to purchase or refinance a home? GNM is now serving borrowers in both California and Nevada.
Greater Nevada Mortgage is your one-stop resource for making your dreams of home ownership a reality. Our competitively priced loans are designed to make your dollars go further, and our team of dedicated professionals will assist you every step of the way.
GNM offers a variety of products to fit your home financing needs that include:
- First-time homebuyer programs
- Down payment assistance programs
- Fixed- and adjustable-rate programs
- Jumbo loan programs
- Government loan programs such as FHA, VA and USDA
In addition, convenient electronic application and optional digital closing platforms offer a faster mortgage loan process, cutting the average signing appointment in half!
Move to Greater! To see how we can help you buy or refinance your home in Nevada or California visit GreaterNevadaMortgage.com or call (775) 888-6999.
Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Equal housing lender.