How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Holiday Gifts Online

Zach Rigby - Monday, November 28, 2016

Want to avoid long lines and large crowds this holiday season? Shopping online lets you zip through your list with just a few clicks.

Before whipping out your plastic, however, you'll want to make sure you're shopping on a secure site. Use these tips to keep your data safe.

1. Look for the padlock symbol

Don't check out at a website unless you see a padlock symbol on the browser bar of whatever device you're using. This symbol means that the page has extra security to prevent others from viewing your sensitive information.

Another way to tell a website is secure is that it starts with "https" instead of just "HTTP." The "s" means the site is secure.

2. Be cautious around public Wi-Fi

If you need to check your online banking account while you're away from home, avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Many retailers provide free Wi-Fi as a convenience to customers, but you can't be sure who's able to see the data you send on the network — including private information.

Instead, consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, a service that lets you encrypt the information you send over the internet. That way, others won't be able to access your data even if they can access the network. You can also send data over your personal cellular provider's network, which bypasses Wi-Fi.

3. Consider using a credit card instead of a debit card

Credit cards offer better consumer protections than debit cards do. If someone steals your credit card information and uses it to make unauthorized purchases, you could be liable for $50 at most, depending on how quickly you report the loss. 

4. Change passwords regularly  

Even if you take steps to shop securely, a hacker could steal your user name, password or other sensitive information from a retailer's database. Protect yourself by changing the passwords of your online accounts every three months or so. That way, if hackers do breach a retailer's software, there's a good chance they'll have access only to an old password.

5. Update anti-virus software

If you shop from a home computer, keep your security software updated. Anti-virus software companies frequently release security updates to address newly discovered security loopholes.

Follow these tips and you can take advantage of the convenience of online shopping while also protecting yourself from online fraud.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

EICU Facebook & Halloween Contest

Zach Rigby - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

East Idaho Credit Union's

Facebook Halloween Contest

Congratulations to our Salmon Branch for winning the East Idaho Credit Union Costume Contest.

Thank you to all of the branches that participated, as well as the community for helping us decide the winners. We posted all of our contestants photos on Facebook and had those who are following us to like who they think should win. Because of your help, our Salmon branch is getting a free Halloween lunch.

East Idaho Credit Union is devoted to being involved in the communities that we serve. To do so, we take advantage of being able to connect with you (the community) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. Follow us to participate in contests where we give away prizes to those who participated. Here are what some lucky winners have taken home so far:

  • $50 Gift Card to The Home Depot
  • $100 Dollar Gift Card to Footlocker
  • $100 Visa Gift Card
  • And Many More

To see where we are going to be next, follow us on Facebook.

Win an ATV & Plow Through Winter with EICU

Zach Rigby - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let us help you plow through winter!

East Idaho Credit Union is devoted to giving back to the community that has made us who we are. How are we going to do that?

We are giving away a brand new Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O. with Snow Plow Package to one lucky winner. No purchase necessary. Click here to begin!

Official Contest Rules

Idaho is a rugged place to live in the winter, but that is what makes us some of the strongest people in this country; we know how to thrive. East Idaho Credit Union is going on it's 81st winter this year, so we are right there with you.

East Idaho Credit Union is ready for winter, and we want to make sure that you are as well. If you visit any of our credit union local branches, you will see either the actual ATV or an "almost" life-size cut out of it. We aren't just helping you by giving away a brand new ATV with snow plow package, we are offering amazing products and services that will help you get through any time of year. Our low interest rate loans, financial accounts and other many services will help you plow through winter with ease. 

There is so much more to this promotion, and it's easy to find out how you can increase your chance to win. All you have to do it call us at 208.523.9068, or come into your local branch and ask us "how can I win this ATV?".

Credit Union Apps - To Charge, or Not to Charge

Zach Rigby - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

There has been some research within the credit union world about whether or not credit unions should charge for their mobile apps.

An article in the CU Times states that according to the study of 3,897 mobile bank app users, age is the biggest influencer on whether a person is willing to pay for mobile banking apps. They found that older millennials, age 26 to 35, are willing to pay a monthly fee to keep using these apps. This means that there are a lot of credit unions out there that are charging a fee to download, or even keep using their apps.

Here at East Idaho Credit Union, we don't agree with that mentality. A mobile app should not be something that you need to make a decision on whether or not you want to fork over the extra cash to be able to check your account balances, transfer money, deposit a check on the go, or anything that comes with having our app on your phone. The East Idaho Credit Union mobile app can be downloaded on the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store for free!

On the East Idaho Credit Union App, you can:

  • View Accounts & Balances
  • Transfer From Accounts
  • Pay Bills
  • Deposit Checks
  • Earn Card Cash Rewards
  • Pay Others with Popmoney
  • Access our ATM & Branch Navigator using Google Maps

We don't update it every week, because we don't need to. Feel confident in downloading the SECURE app, and know that your finances are in your control. If you ever have questions about the app, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook. If you need some real hands on help, you can stop by any of EICU's local branches.

3 Things to Consider Before Your Next Purchase

Zach Rigby - Monday, August 22, 2016

There are many things that come into consideration before you make a large purchase. This purchase might be a new ATV, car, boat or even a house. No matter what it is that you have your eye on, take some time to consider the pros and cons as to whether you get a new or used product. 

For this example, let's say that you are going out and planning on purchasing a car. Should you buy a new car, or go with one that has a few miles on it already? Here are 3 things that you should think about before you take that risk and go with your gut feeling:

  • Depreciation
Most cars out there depreciate at a rate of about 15% each year. If you are planning on getting a new car, there is usually a 20% depreciation rate as soon as you drive it off of the lot. This is something that you should do the math on before you leave with the car. This will help make sure that you aren't upside down within the first few months of owning the car. The more money that you can put down as a down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be and the easier it will be to stay on top of things.
  • Cost-to-own
Most people who go into buy a car just look at the price tag on the car and think, 'I can afford that'. The truth is, there is a lot more costs that go into a car than what is on the sticker. These costs can include fuel, insurance, maintenance and more. Maintenance costs are very different between manufacturers. 
  • How much can you afford?
Come in with an idea of how much you are able to spend. If you walk into a dealership and you find out that they are willing to lend you double the amount that you thought you were going to get, that may not always be the route you want to go. Sometimes you will be enticed by a low monthly payment, often tied to a extremely long loan term. Make sure to ask what the total amount of interest you will be paying is at the rate they give you.

Come into East Idaho Credit Union before you go into a dealership. We can help approve you for a loan that fits your needs and budget. EICU is here to make sure that the decision you make is the best decision for you. We are happy to sit down and explain everything outside of the high-pressure dealership.

World Council of Credit Unions - Moldova Friends

Zach Rigby - Monday, August 22, 2016

Today we had the World Council of Credit Union's send over some of their delegates from Moldova to learn more about how things are ran here not just the United States, but also East Idaho.

As stated on their website, the World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. They assist credit unions and their associations with rebuilding efforts, providing access to the undeserved, developing integrated business networks, supporting communities at risk and encouraging legislative reform and regulatory system development.

The purpose of the visit was not just to show them how business is ran, but to create relationships with them that can help them down the road as well. We were thrilled to be able to show them around (even during our time of construction). For more information, here is an article about the World Council of Credit Unions.

East Idaho Credit Union has been around since 1935, and we have learned a thing or two about the credit union world. If you want to learn more, take a look at the story of EICU.

Ditch Your Bank for East Idaho Credit Union Today!

Zach Rigby - Monday, August 15, 2016

Individuals who switch to a credit union from a bank save a lot of money every single year. On average, it is estimated that you can save $84 per member, or $159 per member household. These savings come in the form of lower loan rates, no fees or lower fees, and many other benefits. The process to switch is easy, but we want to make sure that you still do it the right way so that it goes flawlessly.

  1. Join East Idaho Credit Union - Visit a branch or call us today. It is smart to make a small deposit in your new account before you make the full transition. Set up online banking, and take a few minutes to find the branch and network ATM locations that are closest to you!
  2. Change your direct deposit information. If you have it set up to get paid through direct deposit, you are going to want to speak with your employer and find out when they will be able to change your deposit to a new account. Talk to your human resource department to get more information.
  3. Identify what automatic withdrawals are coming our of your current account. Sometimes it is easier to get out a piece of paper and just make a list of everything. Depending on your direct deposit date that we figured out in step 2, reschedule your withdrawals from your new EICU account after that first direct deposit goes through.
  4. Transfer the bulk of your money to your new EICU account through an electronic transfer. If your current bank has a sizable fee for an electronic transfer, you can ask for your money in a check and then IMMEDIATELY transfer that check into your new account. It can be safe to leave some money in your old account as a sort of cushion. If there are a few transactions that take a month or two to clear, this cushion can make sure that you don't have any unwanted fees to deal with.
  5. There are some banks out there that have fees for accounts with a low balance. Once you are sure that all transactions have cleared, it can be a good idea to close that account altogether.

Here are East Idaho Credit Union, we are the right professionals to help you make this switch. Call us at (800) 727-9961 or stop in today to make the easy switch and start working toward a successful financial future. We are invested in you, invested in community.

Ammon Days Recap

Zach Rigby - Monday, August 08, 2016

Ammon Days couldn't have gone better for us, as well as the community. We want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who was involved. There are others that went under the radar and still made the whole thing possible, but a special thank you to:

  • The Community
    • You were the reason that we did this in the first place. Everyone was thrilled to interact with everyone who came, and those that reminded us that we have the best jobs out there. Thank you.
  • The Members
    • We had members come up to us throughout the entire day and thank us for all that we have done for them. One thing that we like to remind those who choose us as their credit union - This is your bank too. That means a lot to us.
  • The Employees
    • A round of applause for all of those employees of EICU that came out on Saturday and helped. There was never a lack of hands to go around. Let's not forget about the friends and spouses of employees that came out to help as well. We see you :)
  • The City of Ammon
    • Thank you Ammon for allowing this event to happen, and to dedicate so much time and resources to make sure that it went amazing. We look forward to doing it again!

Ammon Days with East Idaho Credit Union

Zach Rigby - Wednesday, August 03, 2016

This Saturday (8-6-16), East Idaho Credit Union will be a sponsor of Ammon Days at McCowin Park.

Every year this event is held for the community, and we look forward to being an intricate part of this amazing event. Even if you aren't a member of EICU, you are a member of the community. We believe that means something, as highlighted by our everlasting motto: Invested in you, invested in the community.

Come on out on Saturday, August 6th from 10 A.M. - 3 P.M. The event will be held at McCowin Park, located at 3000 Midway Ave, Ammon, ID 83406.

EICU will be giving away free food, swag, and prizes. We will also be holding events for the entire family to have some fun. Most importantly, we will be there to socialize and have a good time with the East Idaho Community.

We look forward to seeing you!

Why a 0% Interest Rate Isn't Always the Best Auto Loan

Zach Rigby - Friday, July 29, 2016

When it comes to auto loans, a 0% interest rate is a head-turner, but it’s not always the best deal.

Car dealerships generally advertise 0% offers in the summer when they’re looking to make room in the showroom for newer models. The offers come from the financing arms of the large auto manufacturers, which unlike traditional lenders profit directly off the sale of the car and don’t necessarily need the interest revenue.

But like any great deal--there’s a catch. According to The New York Times, only about 10% of consumers actually qualify for 0% interest loans, which require pristine credit--usually a FICO score of 720 or higher. Those loans typically are reserved for a limited number of models and are not available if you’re shopping for a used car--which cost less than newer models.

These 0% loans often are paired with shorter-term loans, which cost you less overall but mean a higher monthly payment. So before you head to the dealership chasing a 0% loan, keep these points in mind:

* Look at all available deals. Check for other offers, such as cash back. If you can get a rebate--which lowers the overall price of the car--paired with a low-interest loan, it may save you more than the 0% financing. Be sure to crunch the numbers with an <a href="http://www.eastidahocu.org/loans/tools-and-resources">online calculator</a>.

* Negotiate the price. Before you get to the interest rate, finalize a sale price and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to accept expensive add-ons. Once the sale price is established, then talk about financing; and

* Get preapproved for a loan at East Idaho Credit Union. Heading to the dealership with a firm offer in hand will give you a point of comparison and puts you in a stronger negotiating position. Credit unions, as not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offer competitive rates.

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