Will Lund, superintendent of Maine's Bureau of Consumer Protection and his staff have put together a useful guide for individuals, families and businesses seeking to improve their financial health in 2017.
Lund's "Top 10 list of financial health New Year's resolutions" is based on the agency's discussions with hundreds of consumers who called the bureau's hotline (1-800-DEBT-LAW) for assistance and advice during 2016.
Here's the list:
1.) Check credit reports with each major credit reporting agency (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian) at least once this year, which can be done for free by going to www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
2.) Reduce or eliminate credit card balances and resolve to use cash or a debit card whenever possible. Resolve to consider doing business with banks or credit unions that have offices here in Maine, because then if a problem arises you'll be more likely to find an actual person to resolve it.
3.) Resolve to be suspicious of offers that involve romantic relationships with individuals you "met" only online. Ditto for offers involving Nigerian finance ministers who claim to need your help moving large amounts of money out of their country.
4.) Resolve not to send funds in order to claim foreign "sweepstakes" winnings when you didn't even enter the sweepstakes contest.
5.) Resolve to purchase a telephone caller ID and an answering machine for elderly relatives who are bothered by too many junk calls and teach them how to use the system, reminding them that "real" friends and family who call will leave a message.
6.) Resolve to stay in touch with elderly relatives, encouraging them to tell you or their friends if they are presented with investment opportunities. Remember that investments are governed by the Maine Office of Securities, whose helpful staff can tell someone whether the investment they are being offered has been properly registered with the state.
7.) Resolve to take time when making a big purchase like an automobile or major appliance, learning all you can about the product beforehand, visiting more than one retailer, negotiating the best price, getting all aspects of the deal in writing and walking away if the sales pitch becomes pressured.
8.) Resolve not to be intimidated by collection calls demanding payment for debts you do not owe. Remember that debt collectors must be licensed by the state and that the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection stands ready to provide assistance and to enforce the laws.
9.) Resolve to be suspicious of any phone call you receive from someone you don't know, including callers who tell you that a virus has been detected on your computer and that you must turn on your computer and give the caller access in order to fix the problem.
10.) If you find yourself providing credit card numbers over the phone to someone you don't know on a call you did not initiate, or are heading to the Western Union window to purchasing prepaid cash cards to send money to someone you don't know, resolve to recognize that you are likely being scammed. Seek immediate advice and assistance.
Lund urges people with questions about items in this Top 10 list or any other issues related to consumer credit or financial concerns to contact the bureau. Its website is www.Credit.Maine.gov and the phone number is 1-800-332-8529.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union announces the hiring of Marc Crocker as their new mortgage loan originator for PeoplesChoice Credit Union. Marc was born and raised in Lincoln, ME and graduated from the University of Maine, Orono in 1990. After moving to southern Maine in 1997, Marc began his career as a mortgage loan officer specializing in conventional and government loan programs. Marc has been a member of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals, Maine Association of Realtors, and is nationally licensed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. Marc currently lives in Portland, ME with his wife and daughter. Marc can be reached seven days a week at email@example.com or at 207-632-4337.
PeoplesChoice is also excited to announce the arrival of our new Marketing Manager, Curt Carlson. With nearly a decade in marketing, Curt brings us a unique perspective and experience. Raised in Kennebunk, he has lived, studied and worked on both US Coasts and Europe. Curt is excited to join the PeoplesChoice team and share the benefits of Credit Unions with his fellow Mainers. He graduated from Portland State University in Oregon and now lives in Southern Maine. He spends his free time exploring the New England wilderness and beaches with his dogs Winnie and Abel. Curt can be reached at CCarlson@pcume.com or at 207-571-5139.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union just ranked #7 credit union out of 733 in the nation in overall ranking as reported by Callahan & Associates, for credit unions with assets between $100 million and $250 million.
Callahan & Associates promotes the philosophy that credit unions exist to serve members, and they developed the Return to the Member (ROM) scoring system to measure how well credit unions follow this philosophy. Developed by Callahan & Associates in 1996, ROM provides a comprehensive scoring system of member value that looks beyond the traditional safety and soundness issues covered by NCUA’s CAMEL scores and other regulators’ measures.
ROM attempts to capture all aspects of a member’s relationship with the credit union, including three core credit union functions: Return to Savers (savings), Return to Borrowers (lending), and Member Service Usage (product usage).
This week we have experienced an increase in fraudulent transactions related to skimming devices attached to ATM machines. We believe based on our very early research that multiple financial institutions in the York County area may be affected. Since 2013 we have invested in Anti-Skimming Technology for our ATMs as well as daily employee checks of our ATMs, however, perpetrators keep advancing their technology and techniques. We will be making further enhancements to our ATM security, however, keep in mind these skimmers can be placed easily at any gas station as well.
We have tightened our fraud monitoring software, however, there is a fine line in making sure your card works for legitimate transactions. We would ask that you keep a close eye on your accounts and utilize our Notify Me Alert Technology in online banking. You can set up custom alerts to be emailed or texted to your phone. In addition, we have just added an APP called CardValet for Apple and Android devices that you can download today and have complete control of your DEBIT card. You can turn your debit card On and Off, establish transaction controls for dollar amount limits, merchant categories, and use the geolocation tracking for increased security. You can also set alerts when your card is used, approved or exceeds the transaction controls you set. More information can be found at www.cardvalet.com.
Please contact us anytime if you believe you have fraudulent transactions. We stand 100% by our members and you will never incur a loss for fraudulent activity. We will keep you posted as our investigation continues and for some members we will be replacing cards soon. Unfortunately, this seems to be a daily part of our lives and we will work with you, our valued members, to minimize its’ impact.
Multiple Credit Unions, including PeoplesChoice' members have received text messages informing members that their debit card has been compromised and to call a toll free number. When the member calls, they are asked to provide their card number and CVV2 code. At this time, two toll free numbers have been reported (844-334-6152 and 844-611-0709); however, other numbers could be associated with this phishing scheme. Both of these numbers have been reported to the FCC as well as the Secret Service for further investigation.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union is now live with Samsung Pay for your debit and credit card, and we are live with Android pay for your debit card only (look for credit card option in about a month). And of course we have been live with Apple pay for some time now. Shopping & doing business on the go has never been easier!
PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently promoted Susan Lavallee from Branch Manager in Sanford to Branch Manager II in Biddeford.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently promoted Daniel Dallaire to Mortgage Administration Manager at its Saco branch. Dallaire was previously a Mortgage Loan Originator servicing the Sanford/Wells area.
This summer PeoplesChoice members will begin receiving texts and/or emails asking you to confirm if suspicious purchases are valid or not. We will ONLY ask you to verify if you did make the purchase(s) or not, we will not ask for account or personal information. Keeping you protected is important to us and we are excited to bring you these new enhanced fraud services!
|Kevin Cerroni- promoted from Asst. Branch Manager in Wells to Branch Manager in Saco|
|Meagan Gray- promoted from Teller III in Wells to Assistant Branch Manager/Head Teller in Wells|
|Heather Boyle- promoted from Teller III in Biddeford to Head Teller/MSR in Biddeford|
|Ashely Lavalle- accepted new position of Human Resources Assistant/Saco (was Head Teller/MSR in Biddeford)|
|Sean McQuaide- transferred from Branch Manager/Commercial Lender – Saco to Branch Manager/Commercial Lender-Wells|
|Michelle Lavigne- will be promoted from Branch Manager in Biddeford to AVP of Operations/Saco|
In this It's a Money Thing video, Jen learns how mortgages work including fixed and adjustable types, annual percentage rates, principle, interest and amortization. This is great info for the first-time home buyer or refresher content for the seasoned pro.
Washington, DC – PeoplesChoice Credit Union was ranked the #17 credit union out of 726 in the nation in overall ranking as reported by Callahan & Associates for the fourth quarter of 2015, for credit unions with assets between $100 million and $250 million.
Callahan & Associates promotes the philosophy that credit unions exist to serve members, and they developed the Return to the Member (ROM) scoring system to measure how well credit unions follow this philosophy. Developed by Callahan & Associates in 1996, ROM provides a comprehensive scoring system of member value that looks beyond the traditional safety and soundness issues covered by NCUA’s CAMEL scores and other regulators’ measures.
ROM attempts to capture all aspects of a member’s relationship with the credit union, including three core credit union functions: Return to Savers (savings), Return to Borrowers (lending), and Member Service Usage (product usage). PeoplesChoice scored 91.46% in Return to Savers, 82.78% in Return to Borrowers, and 97.80% in Member Service Usage.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union’s President Luke Labbe proudly presents a $15,000 donation to local organizations at our 2016 Annual Member Meeting in April - part of our ongoing commitment to ending hunger and homelessness in Maine, via the Maine Credit Unions Ending Hunger Campaign.
“Year-end data show the credit union system remains sound and focused on providing affordable financial services,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “Rising deposits indicate consumer confidence in the system, and credit unions are turning those deposits into loans that allow members to buy homes, cars and other goods. New loans also grew by 15.8 percent in 2015. As lending increased, credit unions’ exposure to long-term investments declined. Nevertheless, NCUA will continue to closely examine credit unions for interest rate risk.”
Read the full article here: https://goo.gl/7SNRdu
PeoplesChoice Annual Newsletter is now available at all of our branches. Stop in a pick one up today, or download the digital version here.
December 24th closing at 1:00 pm
December 25th closed
December 26th open normal Saturday hours
December 31st closing at 3:00 pm
January 1st closed
January 2nd open normal Saturday hours
According to a recent MetLife survey, seniors 60 years and better lose nearly $3 billion a year to financial abuse. Seniors are lucrative targets, in part, because crooks know that they likely have money socked away for retirement—money just waiting to be tapped and fleeced.
Here are some of the most common scams.
- Lottery scam. In this scenario, someone contacts you to pay for something you never ordered. Maybe it's a large prize you need to pay fees to receive or a product they said you purchased. Regardless, never give out any personal information to strangers asking for financial account details, your Social Security number, and so forth, and definitely don't pay them anything.
- Grandparent scam. The fraudsters will call posing as either a relative or someone representing a relative, usually a grandchild, and claim this person is in danger in a foreign country. Of course, to get the relative out of trouble, they'll want you to wire them money immediately.
- Cash or sweetheart scams. Only donate to charitable organizations you’re familiar with. In sweetheart scams, a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance gets close to a senior in order to gain access to his or her accounts. Check statements regularly for unknown charges.
- Computer scams. This one usually involves someone stealing your computer to access your financial information. To prevent this, password protect your computer.
- Time-share scam. If you own a time share and are trying to sell it, thoroughly research any company offering to sell it on your behalf—especially if the company wants money upfront.
- Homeowner scam. This one involves people who come to your door saying they were driving by and noticed something wrong with your house that needs immediate attention. They’re selling home repairs you don't need. Tell them you'll have your lawyer— or son or daughter— get back to them. Even better—don't answer the door.
Any questions or concerns, we are here to help. Please call Brenda Piecuch at PeoplesChoice Credit Union, 207-282-4156
Q: How does our CO-OP Network fare in comparison to other financial leaders' ATM locations?
A: More surcharge-free ATMs than just about any bank, anywhere!
PeoplesChoice Credit Union of Saco announces the promotion of Amanda Whittier to Residential Mortgage Loan Processor. Congratulations Amanda!
A man recently entered a business and stated that he worked at First Data, a payments processor, and presented a business card with his information. It is important to note that this visit was unsolicited and no advance notice was given. After presenting his business card, the individual asked to see the First Data statement to confirm banking information and... then asks for access to the POS system. He told the business that he would not charge any fees, and that the business needed to update the information and system by October 1st, to be in compliance.
After checking with First Data, the business confirmed that he was not an employee of the company. The Secret Service advises that no criminal activity associated with this individual has been identified as of yet, but warns that businesses may want to be aware of this information.
PeoplesChoice urges our business members to take necessary precautions, and be proactive in confirming the identity and purpose of an individual before allowing access to any sensitive information or data. We would also suggest that the business communicates this risk to its employees, as well.
We even had Steve Erickson’s son throw out the first pitch before the game (Steve is one of our partner realtors working with our senior mortgage officers to help his clients) – yes, it was a strike!
- We are excited to announce the launching of Lightning Pay! This new feature will allow members who are paid by direct deposit to their PeoplesChoice CU account(s) to receive their payroll funds up to 2 calendar days ahead of their scheduled payday.
Lightning Pay is a new way of applying payroll direct deposits that allows members to get early access to their payroll funds. This new feature will allow members who are paid by direct deposit to their PCU account(s) to receive their payroll funds up to 2 calendar days ahead of their scheduled payday.
In addition to payroll direct deposits, Lightning Pay will also apply to all other electronic deposits.
PeoplesChoice is the only Maine financial institution offering this member benefit! We hope you enjoy it!
Lightning Pay – Member FAQs
How does Lightning Pay work?
Financial institutions are notified of forthcoming electronic deposits before we receive them; instead of waiting for the funds to arrive, PCU gives our members their money sooner by advancing payroll, and any other electronic deposits, as soon as we are notified that they are on the way – up to 2 days early.
When will I get my money?
Members who are paid by direct deposit to a PCU account can expect to receive their pay up to 2 calendar days ahead of their scheduled pay date.
Which members will have access Lightning Pay?
ALL members who have their payroll and any other electronic payments direct deposited to PCU accounts will automatically benefit from Enhanced Direct Deposit, no matter where you work or who your employer is.
Do I have to opt-in to this service?
No. Lightning Pay will automatically be applied to any PCU member with payroll direct deposit, and any other electronic deposits, into a PCU share account, including checking and savings.
Will there be a fee for this service?
No. PCU does not charge fees for Lightning Pay.
Does this mean that my payday has changed?
No. The day that you are paid by your employer remains the same. PCU simply advances your payroll funds so that you will be able to access them up to 2 days before your scheduled payday. This is strictly a service that is provided by PCU for PCU members; this is not a service that your employer provides or is in any way affiliated with.
Please note: While PCU will try wherever possible to advance payroll direct deposits by up to 2 days availability of funds ahead of the original scheduled pay date is not guaranteed. PCU members should not rely on Lightning Pay to satisfy the needs of scheduled bill or loan payments, or any other date-sensitive financial obligations.
Will I be able to access my payroll funds any sooner if I am currently being paid by check?
No, Lightning Pay advances the electronic deposit of payroll funds only and does not apply to checks. Any applicable standard check holds will still apply. To set up direct deposit of payroll funds to your PCU account and take advantage of this Enhanced Direct Deposit feature, simply provide your payroll department with PCU’s routing number (211287515) and your 14-digit account (MICR) number that appears at the bottom of your checks.
For additional assistance, contact Member Relations at 207-282-4156 or visit any branch location.
"Credit Unions are a vital part of our culture and provide an EXCELLENT alternative to the Financial Service industry." Some Choices Matter, including choosing where you bank. It’s time to get the message out — where we choose to bank has a massive impact on our communities. "... a very powerful video..."
Congratulations Dave Meserve, who is a proud PeoplesChoice member through our Sanford branch. Dave won 1st place in the shot put, 1st place in the 100 meter dash and 7th place in the 200 meter dash at the Special Olympics Maine Summer Games in Orono this June 5, 6, & 7. We are all proud of you!
- Thanks to all participants for your efforts in making the 2nd annual Thornton Academy Financial Fitness Fair a success! This award-winning, half-day event targets high school juniors and seniors and is similar to the game of "LIFE," where participating students are given a career and monthly income and then have to visit booths associated with various expenses that the average adult is faced with each month. Costs, such as transportation, housing, clothing, food, student loans, insurance and several other everyday expenses, are filled in on a monthly budget form by each student. At the end of the event, the goal is for students to have monthly budget that does not exceed monthly income. Read more about the fair at http://goo.gl/77kHai
Staff member Jason Ketterick is paired up with Martha Judkins of PeoplesChoice Credit Union at Thornton Academy 2nd annual Financial Fitness Fair.
APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS - PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently hired Dan Dallaire as Mortgage Loan Originator at our Wells/Sanford branches. Dan comes to us from Megastar Financial Corporation dba Harbor View Lending where he was the Operations Manager and 203K loan specialist. Prior to that he was President of Harbor View Lending Group. Dan lives in Lyman, Maine. You can reach Dan at 207-590-5913 or DDallaire@PeoplesChoiceME.org for more information on our many loan options in refinancing and home ownership.
- In alignment with our 2015 fundraising efforts to end Hunger, our Social Responsibility Committee donated $100 to the Red Nose Campaign and purchased red noses and smile badges for every employee.
Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. Learn more at www.rednoseday.org
See all the fun photos at https://goo.gl/mh3uWA
In Maine, 1 in 6 people struggle with food insufficiency every day. PeoplesChoice Credit Union's (PCU) Social Responsibility Committee (SRC) unanimously agreed that 2014 would be our year to dedicate all efforts toward eliminating this unacceptable reality. We set a goal to raise 13,000.00 for Ending Hunger, with the monies ultimately returning to feed the communities and members we serve. We are very proud to report that we exceeded the Goal.
Dora Maxwell was an early credit union pioneer. One of the original signers of CUNA's constitution at Estes Park, Colorado, she worked as an organizer for the movement's trade association (then called the Credit Union National Extension Bureau) and held numerous volunteer positions at the local and national level. In addition to organizing hundreds of credit unions, she developed volunteer organizer clubs and worked with organizations on behalf of the poor.
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or chapter/multiple credit union group for its social responsibility projects within the community. The award is given for external activities.
- Congratulations Doris Marchand of Biddeford! Doris was the Grand Prize Winner of $520 at PeoplesChoice 2015 annual meeting. This year we gave away over $3000 in cash and prizes!
PCU has opted to take a pro-active approach to this problem by purchasing and mounting an AED at each of our four branch locations and training management staff in CPR/AED. We Value our employees. We Value our Members. We Value Life.
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union in Saco recently hired Shari Smith as Payment Services Manager. Previously Smith was the VP of Compliance & Training at Saco Valley Credit Union.
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently hired Jenna Frost Arnaudin as Indirect Lending Manager. Previously, Frost Arnaudin served as Senior Indirect Lending Officer at Town and Country FCU.
- The National Credit Union Administration is alerting consumers that texts they receive from an agency telephone line, 703-518-6301, asking for personal information are not coming from NCUA.
This attempted fraud scam is called “spoofing." The perpetrators are able to mimic a telephone number to generate text messages. The texts may warn of a debit card reaching its limit or use some other trick to persuade individuals to provide personal information or go to a malicious website. Consumers should not click on links in the message, provide information to any websites referenced in the message nor attempt to conduct any financial transactions through those websites.
More than 40 consumers around the country received text messages yesterday.
Consumers who suspect they may have become victims of identity theft should immediately contact their financial institutions and, if necessary, close existing accounts and open new ones. When identity theft occurs, NCUA urges consumers also contact the three major credit bureaus—Equifax (800-525-6285), Experian (888-397-3742) and TransUnion (800-680-7289)—to request a fraud alert be placed on their credit reports.
- Fake IRS agents have targeted more than 366,000 people with harassing phone calls demanding payments and threatening jail in the largest scam of its kind in the history of the agency, a federal investigator said Thursday.
More than 3,000 people have fallen for the ruse since 2013, said Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration. They were conned out of a total of $15.5 million.
HOW TO AVOID TAX SCAMS
The IRS is warning taxpayers about a nationwide scam in which fake IRS agents call people on the phone, demand payments and threaten them with jail if they don’t pay.
Some tips from the IRS:
• The IRS will never call on the phone to demand immediate payment and will never call about taxes owed without first mailing you a notice.
• The IRS will never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount the agency says you owe.
• The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes.
• The IRS will never ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.
• The IRS will never threaten arrest for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what the IRS says to do:
• If you think you might owe back taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, at 1-800-366-4484, or online at www.tigta.gov.
– The Associated Press
Photo By Susan Walsh/AP
The scam has claimed victims in almost every state, Camus said. One unidentified victim lost more than $500,000.
“The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds,” Camus told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing. “The callers often warned the victims that if they hung up, local police would come to their homes to arrest them.”
The scam is so widespread that investigators believe there is more than one group of perpetrators, including some overseas.
Camus said even he received a call from one of the scammers at his home on a Saturday. He said he had a stern message for the caller: “Your day will come.”
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said he got a similar call, but realized it wasn’t a real IRS agent.
“It was a very convincing, convincing phone call,” Isakson said.
So far, two people in Florida have been arrested, Camus said. They were accused of being part of a scam that involved people in call centers in India contacting U.S. taxpayers and pretending to be IRS agents.
“These criminal acts are perpetrated by thieves hiding behind telephone lines and computers, preying on honest taxpayers and robbing the Treasury of tens of billions of dollars every year,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “Taxpayers must be more aware of the risks and better protected from attack and these criminals must be found and brought to justice.”
The IRS and the inspector general’s office started warning taxpayers about the scam a year ago, and it has since ballooned. This year, it tops the IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.
Tax scams often increase during tax filing season, when millions of Americans are preparing their returns.
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently promoted Diana Cabral to Residential Mortgage Loan Processor including Secondary Market Processing. Cabral was previously a consumer loan processor within the department.
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union has landed top twenty-five standing in both total funds raised and highest per member contributions for the 2014 Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger. Peoples Choice placed #15 in total funds raised and #12 in per member contributions.
The 2014 Campaign is a wonderful example of what hard work, and the power of cooperation canaccomplish. Thanks to the generosity of Maine's credit unions, including staff, volunteers andmembers, we continue to reach new heights in our collective efforts.
A record-setting $552,257.43 was raised to help end hunger in Maine. Since 1990, Maine Credit Unions have now raised nearly $5.9 million for the Maine CUs' Campaign for EndingHunger. We can be proud of the fact that 100% of this has gone directly to hunger organizations inMaine, and for the leadership credit unions have demonstrated on this issue.
- GREAT NEWS FOR OUR MEMBERS! PeoplesChoice Credit Union members now have access to the Rite Aid network of ATMs for surcharge FREE access, making PeoplesChoice the most convenient financial institution in Maine!
When combined with our SURF and Shared Branching network - this adds 79 more ATMs to the PeoplesChoice network. The Rite Aid locations in York County will be logo’d up soon with PeoplesChoice Unbanking wraps. The ATMs north of us may have other banking institution logo’s, however, our members will still have surcharge FREE access at all locations – a special advantage for our members only! Another great reason to join PeoplesChoice today!
- Credit unions ranked significantly higher than banks in consumer satisfaction rankings, according to findings released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in mid November. Credit unions scored an 85, while the average bank scored a 76.
"The ACSI score demonstrates how credit unions are best in class in financial services," said Jim Nussle, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association. "Credit unions are steadfast in their dedication to member services, in large part because credit union members are credit union owners. Our not-for-profit structure allows us to serve our members rather than focus on maximizing profits for shareholders."
- Brenda Davis, co-founder of The Maine Credit Unions’ Ending Hunger Walking Tour visited our Wells branch to warm up a bit. Since it began, the Tour has covered more than 10,000 miles and is part of the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger, which has raised more than $5.3 million to help end hunger in Maine! This year's Walk runs from October 24-December 3, when it ends at University CU in Orono. Brenda is pictured here receiving a check for the charity on behalf of PeoplesChoice Credit Union and all its members. Good luck, and much thanks Brenda!
Click on the link below for more info including the entire route and a list of food pantries that will receive contributions.
- New research findings conclude that credit unions like PeoplesChoice and www.PeoplesChoiceME.org offer significantly better rates and term advantages on varied accounts and services than national or regional banks. Further proof that more and more people are moving to credit unions over banks in Maine and elsewhere. Read the story HERE.
Because millions of American seniors are targeted each year by scam artists or fall victim to other forms of financial abuse, NCUA has created two new videos aimed at helping consumers and credit union staff recognize and prevent fraud.
The agency's latest videos were released and posted on NCUA's YouTube channel. The first, Scams Targeting Seniors, is a dramatization of how an unwary consumer could become the victim of a typical scam. The video offers advice to credit union members who suspect they may have been targeted. The second, Reporting Elder Financial Abuse or Exploitation, explains to credit union managers and staff how to spot, prevent, and report cases of financial abuse.
NCUA Consumer Protection Update:
Scams Targeting Seniors
"An educated consumer is the first line of defense against fraud or exploitation," NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. "Research suggests financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, and perpetrators can be scam artists, dishonest financial advisors or even caregivers. Our new videos are the latest effort to help credit unions and members understand how this can happen and how to steer clear of trouble. If fraud or abuse happens, we also want people to know where they can get help."
NCUA also offers valuable information on its consumer financial literacy microsite, Pocket Cents, that can help seniors better understand how fraud or abuse can occur and how to protect themselves. NCUA sent a Letter to Credit Unions in September 2013 urging them to review their policies and procedures and ensure staff were trained to recognize signs that financial abuse or exploitation may be occurring.
- Marcie LeBel has joined the Residential Mortgage Loan Processing team at PeoplesChoice Credit Union, Saco ME. Previously LeBel was the Mortgage Loan Processor for East Coast Mortgage in Auburn.
- PeoplesChoice Credit Union has been proud and chill to recently be a part of the ALS ice bucket challenge craze. All branches in Saco, Biddeford, Wells, and Sanford have been participating to raise awareness and money to the gigantic good cause of ALS research and fundraising. To learn more, google, ALS ice bucket challenge and embrace the cold – and the cause. Much thanks from all your friends at PeoplesChoice. We typically ask – Have you unbanked today? But perhaps more importantly, have you taken the bucket today!?
Watch us take the challenge!
- Don't miss the Member Appreciation BBQs, Thursday & Friday, Aug 28 & 29. First 125 Members happily served free. Stop by, say hello, and enjoy Famous Dave's Pork and Chicken sandwiches with beans and slaw.
For more information please call 207-282-4156.
Thursday Aug 28, 11:30 to 1:00 - Biddeford branch - 369 Elm St
Friday Aug 29, 11:30 to 1:00 - Wells branch - 774 Post Road, Route 1
For over 50 years we have never charged a late payment on any consumer loan. We believe our members appreciate that and remember it. When bad things happen to good people we won’t make it more difficult to get them back on their feet. While other companies may be burying them with late fees, over-limit fees, etc. PeoplesChoice’s No Fee Strategy is a way to build loyalty and trust with members and why we rise to the top in retaining members and their customer satisfaction.
I know of no other financial institution in the entire United States that does not charge late fees on consumer loans or VISA credit cards…we are truly here to help our members in good times and bad!
Empowering Members to Achieve Financial Success
- After a search that drew applicants from 18 to 25 year-olds from throughout the state, one has emerged victorious in her pursuit of the ultimate prize—a dream job as the Young & Free Maine spokesperson, or “Spokester”. Mallory Lavoie, a 24-year-old from Orono, is the winner of the fourth Young & Free Maine spokesperson job search! This news was unveiled at special announcement at your League’s Annual Meeting and Convention in Portland, where it was celebrated in the presence of nearly 600 credit union representatives. Current Spokester Lauren Reeves will complete her one-year term in early July.
Mallory was awarded the position after receiving the most public votes, as well as for her suitability for the job through the "If I were a Spokester" phase of the competition. Mallory graduated from the University of Maine with a B.A. in Journalism and French in 2012, before beginning work for the Indian Island Elementary and RSU 26 school systems. Mallory won the position after an intense competition with her fellow finalists, Alexis Albert, a 24-year-old from Old Orchard, and Andrew Soucy, a 20-year-old from Biddeford.
Ray Gagnon - 2014 Alexander Ferguson Award for Outstanding Credit Union Volunteer!
"Ray was a Founding Father of our credit union and has devoted over 51 years of exemplary, on-going service. Ray is a life-long and steadfast learner. His positive and influencing personality keeps the board on its toes with historical reflection and roots. Ray has given PeoplesChoice a gift of direction, sound business insight, and caring for and about community." Luke Labbe, President, PeoplesChoice Credit Union
"He is one of the most level headed, grounded individuals I have ever met. Ray serves with grace and diginity and members first decision making." Craig Pendleton, Board Chair, PeoplesChoice Credit Union.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently appointed Penny Hastings as the assistant branch manager of their Wells Branch located at 774 Post Road. Hastings was previously assistant branch manager in Biddeford.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently promoted Nicholas Plummer to Head Teller/Member Service Representative at its Biddeford Branch located at 369 Elm Street.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union recently promoted Kaitlyn Morse to Head Teller at the company's Saco location, 23 Industrial Park Road.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union, with support from other local credit unions, recently brought real-world finances and money management to nearly 200 seniors at Marshwood High School in Eliot with the Financial Fitness – A Money Management Experience held at the School on April 2.
The Financial Fitness Money Management Experience is a half-day event during which students will check in and receive a scenario packet of their life at age 22, which includes their occupations, income and credit history. From there, students had to map out their financial future from financing their housing to purchasing food and clothing.
Luke Labbe, president/CEO of PeoplesChoice CU, said the experience is an effort to help students understand the importance of making smart financial decision at any age.
PeoplesChoice CU’s Martha Judkins, left,helps students with their spending plan at the recent Financial Fitness Fair at Marshwood High School, hosted by area credit unions.
“With these students having heard a lot said on the troubled economy in the last few years, this event actually gives them the opportunity to better prepare themselves by truly understanding the importance of being financially fit,” he explained. “These students are preparing to enter the real world, be it through applying to college or joining the work force. In order to be successful, it is necessary to have strong understanding of money and how to spend and save. The interactive nature of this event gives them a hands-on way to gain these important skills.”
Feedback from students was that the event was “eye-opening.” One student said, “I am going to think about a different major in college because, based on today, I can’t afford to do the career I chose.” Another added, “Now, I know why we can’t just do take-out every night because it adds up. This really helps me as I prepare to go off to college.”
Labbe said it is exactly those types of choices and sacrifices that makes having students go through this experience “so valuable. If they make one different decision when they get to the age of 22, based on today, and it is a different and better decision because of today, then this is a success. We’ve seen the successful results with students who have participated in one of these fairs.”
To everyone that volunteered – thank you for making this event possible for the students of Marshwood High School.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union held its' 11th annual Polar Bear Scramble on the state of the art golf simulators at Val Halla Indoor Golf in Cumberland, Maine. This year's event featured a sold-out field and raised $12,874 for the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger and Maine Special Olympics. In just eleven years, the event has raised over $118,153 for these two important causes.
Participants included a number of other credit unions from across Maine as well as business partners and friends of PeoplesChoice Credit Union. Congratulations to the top teams this year of AAA Energy, Pro Search, and C-Port Credit Union for their winning ways.
"We look forward to next year's tournament and continuing to improve the quality of life for people in Southern Maine. This is a team effort and we are pleased at what this event has accomplished in just eleven years for two great area causes that are near and dear to our hearts," said Luke Labbe, President, PeoplesChoice Credit Union.
One of many participating teams was C-Port Credit Union, (l to r) Paul Young, Board mbr; Scott Paquet, Board mbr; Gene Ardito, President of C-Port Credit Union.
- As free checking disappears from the nation's biggest banks, the accounts remain alive and well at credit unions.
About 72% of credit unions offer free checking accounts with no strings attached, like required minimum account balances or direct deposits, according to a Bankrate.com survey of the 50 largest credit unions.
That's unchanged from last year and down only slightly from 78% in 2010. Another 24% of these institutions have accounts that are free if customers meet certain requirements like making direct deposits.
"Free checking remains well within reach of most Americans, and often means looking no further than their credit union," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst.
It's a very different story at the big banks, though. Only 38% of banks now offer free checking accounts, which is down slightly from 39% last year and a big drop from 65% in 2010, based on responses from 10 major banks.
Credit card issuer Capital One isn't shy about getting into customers' faces. The company recently sent a contract update to cardholders that makes clear it can drop by any time it pleases.
The update specifies that "we may contact you in any manner we choose" and that such contacts can include calls, emails, texts, faxes or a "personal visit."
Switching to a Credit Union makes more sense every day!
On Tuesday, February 11, more than 100 representatives from Maine’s credit unions were joined by Miss Sue Mitchell, a memorable character from the award-winning movie, The Blind Side, and who was portrayed in the film by Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, in announcing that the 2013 Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger raised a record-setting $513,309.19. This represents an increase of more than $42,000 over 2012’s record-setting total. The announcement was made at a special ceremony held at The Marriott in South Portland.
Please join us at City Theater in Biddeford on Friday, February 7th at 7:30 for a fantiastic show with David Mallett, one of America's true original troubadours. All proceeds from this show are going to the area food pantries. More info and tickets...
A new report finds Capital One repsonsible for 21% of the 25,000 gripes filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2010. Citibank and Bank of America took a close 2nd and 3rd place.
Billing issues represented the largest percentage of complaints (18%), followed by gripes about interest rates (10%).
Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experian’s® ProtectMyID® product which includes identity theft insurance where available.
To receive your unique activation code for this service, please go to creditmonitoring.target.com and register before April 23, 2014. Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014. You can find additional information and FAQs about this incident at www.Target.com/databreach.
All debit cards that were compromised in the Target security breach have now been replaced. New cards will take 5 to 10 business days.
Saco — PeoplesChoice Visa® Cardholders who register their card and provide a valid e-mail address to the ScoreCard® Rewards Program when they create a user profile between November 4 and December 14, 2013 will be entered into six weekly drawings for a $100 Visa gift card and a Grand Prize Drawing for a $500 card.
Saco: In an ongoing effort to live up to a mission of empowering members to achieve financial success the Saco, Maine PeoplesChoice Credit Union will be once again offering two more classes in it’s ongoing Financial Fitness Series. The series of seminar-styled classes put on by PeoplesChoice is designed to help consumers—young and old—to build a solid financial management skill set.
SACO: As a member of PeoplesChoice you are a part owner in a not-for-profit financial cooperative. We need to ask your support in ensuring that PeoplesChoice retains this important distinction. There are forces at play in the halls of congress that wish to take away the fundamental ideals that make Credit Unions so valuable to the American public. Take a minute and learn what you can do to help stop this from happening today.
Saco: In an announcement made at the end of last week from the main office of PeopleChoice Credit Union in Saco, Maine, PeoplesChoice Credit Union has received the distinction of again being named to the annually released list of Best Places to Work in Maine. This is the fourth concurrent year that PeoplesChoice has participated and been selected for this high honor which serves as a measure of employee engagement for Small, Medium and Large-sized businesses across the state of Maine.
Last June, PeoplesChoice Visa credit card holders began collecting ScoreCard® Rewards Bonus Points and enrolled in the rewards program. Now you have the ability to browse for Rewards Online.
Rewarding yourself can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Register, Collect and Enjoy.
Saco, Maine -- Starting this June 2013 all PeoplesChoice Visa credit card holders can begin collecting ScoreCard® Rewards Bonus Points. PeoplesChoice Member Visa credit card holders in good standing will be able to log in to the points-based reward program at the ScoreCard Rewards website to check on their collected Bonus Points balances and shop for rewards ranging from gift cards from retailers like LL Bean and the iTunes store to iPods, iPads, the PCU 50th Anniversary Portland Sea Dogs jersey, domestic air travel vouchers and more. Cardholders can even apply rewards to the End Hunger in Maine cause.
Do you have your retirement dreams? Do you have your retirement plan?
PeoplesChoice members are invited to hear trusted credit union partner Salem Advisory Group and their special guest speaker Ryan Perkins of GamePlan Financial as he shares his Seven Keys to Optimizing Social Security Benefits and other retirement planning strategies at the PeoplesChoice Saco Operations Center at 6:00 pm on May 15, 2013. A second session is also being held at The Coastal House in Wells on May 16 at 6:00 pm.
To reserve your seat for this informative Social Security, retirement and insurance sales presentation call 207-641-8332. There is no cost and no obligation for the event. Hors d’oeuvres & desserts will be served.
Independent Research Firm Callahan & Associates also puts the Saco, Maine Credit Union in top 5% of all US Credit Unions
March 25, 2013 — Saco, Maine - In Q4 2012 Callahan & Associates measure of Credit Union Member Valuation—called the Return of Member Index—PeoplesChoice Credit Union was the leading credit union in southern Maine and placed in the top 5% of all US Credit Unions in their class. PeoplesChoice placed 29th nationwide in a class of 702 credit unions with assets valued between $100M-$250M.
Saco, ME – March 10, 2013 – In February the Maine Credit Union League and PeoplesChoice Credit Union along with it announced the best year ever in the ongoing campaign to fight hunger in Maine by posting a $25,000 increase over the 2012 effort. The generous outpouring from credit unions and their members across the state set an excellent example for future giving efforts to everyone; especially to children like Jada.
The Maine Credit Union League has posted a record breaking year in funds raised in their Campaign to End Hunger. The 2012 campaign, which raised $471,744.42, embodies the collective spirit, passion and commitment of Maine's credit unions to helping others. (CLICK FOR PICTURES)
February 12, 2013: What an exciting night it was for a couple of great buddies in Portland recently. Not only did the Pirates shutout the Albany Devils on February 2nd, but two pair of Big & Little Brothers had the chance to enjoy the action at the Civic Center for free thanks to a ticket donation by PeoplesChoice Credit Union to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine. Salty Pete, the Pirates Mascot, also came by and spent a few minutes with the group at the special event with Junior Achievement and the Pirates.
Saco, ME – January 29, 2013 – PeoplesChoice Credit Union today announced the promotion of Shannon Kashinsky to Vice President of Human Resources. Shannon joined PeoplesChoice two years ago, and immediately became a vital member of the organization.
PeoplesChoice’s popular FINANCIAL FITNESS SERIES returns to Saco this winter
Come learn strategies and tips to help you succeed and support positive financial management of your life. This program is for anyone seeking information on ways to make a dollar go a bit further in their life — the homemaker, working parents, retirees, anyone — this series is for you. All Financial Fitness events take place at our Saco operations center on the date indicated from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Visit our website for further information. All events are free and open to the public. Reserve a space by speaking with a PeoplesChoice branch teller, RSVP by phone at 282-4156 or email to info@PeoplesChoiceME.org
January 24: Best ways to build a budget and improve your credit score
January 31: Chrystie Vachon, Extreme Couponing Expert Returns
February 7: eBanking 101 - Online Banking Education
Come into your PeoplesChoice branch between now and the New Year and find the Christmas tree that gives memories and delight in the form of stories to be shared with those you love. As our gift to our members we have erected a tree in each of our four branches for the holiday season and beneath the boughs of each of these beautiful trees you will find books ready for the taking.
In recent years, the turbulent banking industry has pushed increasing numbers of consumers toward financial alternatives to the biggest national banks. A taxpayer-funded bailout, new and increasing fees for basic banking products, and a series of industry scandals have left a bad taste in the mouths of many bank customers. Enter credit unions.
PeoplesChoice has selected and announced the winners of its recently ended “It’s My Tech Choice” contest. The promotion offered participants the chance to win their choice of an Apple iPad or an Android Smart Phone.
The Android Phone was won by Biddeford resident Lucille Murphy and the iPad went to Laurie Hatch of Cape Porpoise.
Lewiston, ME—October 12, 2012— PeoplesChoice Credit Union, located in Saco, ranked #1 “Best Places to Work in Maine” small/medium category at an announcement made by The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Maine State Council’s awards and recognition dinner held last night at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston.
On May 30, 2012, a property closing in a private sale of 35 Bradbury Street in Biddeford was completed transferring ownership from PeoplesChoice Credit Union to Good Shepherd Parish Catholic Church. Good Shepherd already owns the adjacent property - St Joseph Church .
Thanks to everyone for your donations and support PCU team for Mary’s Walk 2012, held March 11 in Saco. Each year the Kerrymen Pub holds Mary’s Walk in honor of Mary Kerry Libby to help fund Maine based cancer research. Since its inception in 1999 Mary's Walk has raised over $1,410,000 for cancer research in Maine.
Saco, ME – March 7, 2012 – PeoplesChoice Credit Union held its’ 9th annual Polar Bear Scramble on the state of the art golf simulators at Fore Season Indoor Golf in Portland, Maine. This year’s event featured a sold-out field and raised $11,700 for the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger and Maine Special Olympics. In just nine years, the event has raised over $93,200 for these two important causes.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union, based in Saco, was recently and once again named as one of the “Best Places to Work in Maine.” In just their second year on the list PCU moved up from 19th to 13th place in the Small-Medium Companies category.
In early July, a highly skilled unit of professionals was deployed in Saco to send 15 unmarked packages to Afghanistan in a mission of mercy. At the other end of that delivery five very lucky U.S. soldiers unwrapped care, comfort and some much needed ‘stuff’ from home.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union proudly announces the promotion of Brenda Piecuch to Vice President Compliance. Brenda joined PeoplesChoice in 2009, adding to her 20 year career with financial institutions and public accounting. As a dedicated financial professional she thoroughly monitors PeoplesChoice Credit Union compliance issues in today’s hyper-regulated financial environment.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union's wonderful front desk ladies, who cheerfully answer the phone each and every day, to help our customers with any needs, recently came across a very bad individual who was trying to take over one of our members accounts.
PeoplesChoice recently completed a special partnership with charitable organization Dress for Success of Southern Maine.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union was recently awarded the prestigious Dora Maxwell Award for outstanding member service, public service and volunteerism in their communities.
The Maine Credit Union League recently honored six individuals, including one with ties to York County, for their contributions to the success of Maine's credit unions. The recipients were recognized and presented with their awards at a special ceremony held in Augusta on May 20 in conjunction with the Maine CU League's 73rd Annual Meeting & Convention.
generally offering lower interest rates, lower penalty charges, and reduced fees, a Pew Health Group study has found.
The results are in, and in 2010, PeoplesChoice Credit Union raised $8,203 of the record-setting $402,000 that the Maine Credit League raised for Ending Hunger in Maine.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union held its’ 8th Annual Polar Bear Scramble on the state of the art golf simulators at Fore Season Indoor Golf in Portland, Maine. This year’s event featured a sold-out field and raised $10,588 for the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger and Maine Special Olympics.
The Celebration starts here! From October 17-23, Maine credit unions are celebrating International Credit Union Week. Celebrations are taking place at credit unions across Maine. Stop into any of our conveniently located offices and find out how to become a PeoplesChoice member.
Consumers saved $7.3 billion in 2009 by using a credit union instead of a bank—a savings of about $80 per credit union member according to the Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues. The savings came in the form of lower fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates associated with credit union membership.
PeoplesChoice was a proud title sponsor of the Portland Pirates Player of the Year 2009-2010 season. Tyler Ennis was selected for the award. Ennis is projected to be a solid NHL player in the immediate future.
What's more annoying than the vuvuzela, the South African horn that has become the soundtrack for this year's World Cup?
Probably nothing. But checking account fees come pretty close.
MADISON, Wis. (6/24/10)--U.S. credit unions are outperforming big banks and are quickly gaining market share, said a Huffington Post blogger Tuesday. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is featured prominently in the article.
Suze Orman's CNN interview advises the public to look at credit union credit cards, gives credit unions props for being member-focused.
PeoplesChoice Credit Union is pleased to announce that it now belongs to the CO-OP Network, the largest credit union-owned ATM network in the United States.
Interest rate limit is a unique consumer protection.