UICCU - Can Your Financial Institution Do This? The University of Iowa Community Credit Union recently considered changing its name to Optiva Credit Union. As a member-governed organization, a special meeting was held on 28 February 2007 to discuss and vote upon the name change. At the meeting, of the members who attended and voted, a majority chose to delay a name change - requesting more consideration and greater membership involvement in the name selection.
Member-governance is in stark contrast to some businesses and financial institutions today which are similar in operation to fascist dictatorships - with upper management making all the decisions while employees and customers simply take orders.
A credit union is refreshingly unique because the members ultimately govern and guide the institution. Today, many savvy and successful businesses, though not required to by law, will engage their employees and customers to help govern and guide the institution. This helps create a sense of collective and collaborative ownership. It's this effective approach that is simply built-into the operational structure of a credit union. This business model is similar to how numerous telephone, electric, and grocery cooperatives operate - which is what makes them so popular.
If you are looking for a financial institution, you may want to seriously consider joining a credit union. As you probably know, most credit unions are open to all. So, despite the name of a credit union, you typically don't need to be employed by a particular business or institution to join. Credit unions typically offer all of the financial services of a bank, and even more. They also tend to provide exceptional service.
Other details about UICCU
The UICCU ranked 12th out of 8536 credit unions nationwide!
The 2006 numbers have been released, and once again Callahan and Associates has recognized the UICCU as the leader in Iowa and among the top performers nationwide for Total Return to the Members. This measures how much of the cooperative's profits are returned to the membership in the form of better rates on loans and deposits.
OptivaCreditUnion.org - Purchased by Resources for Life on 1 March 2007 for reasons explained further down on this list.*
University of Iowa Community Credit Union.com - Appears to be owned by Moniker.com which is a domain name squatter that purchases domain names attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting businesses, institutions, and organizations that don't think to purchase the domain name that matches their own business name. This is a practice which should be prevented by federal law - but it isn't. Domain name squatters typically don't use the domain names for any altruistic end. They simply offer to sell the name to the rightful owner at top dollar, or they offer to rent the name at an exorbitant, exploitative, and unfair price. Sometimes these domain names are used for fraudulent purposes in an effort to obtain customer account information. Because the domain name is similar or identical to that of the businesses, organization, or institution, it potentially gives the squatter higher rankings on search engines than the actual organization.
University of Iowa Community Credit Union.org - Purchased by Resources for Life.com on 1 March 2007 in an effort to prevent the domain from going to a domain name squatter such as Moniker. Numerous domain names have been purchased by Resources for Life in an effort to prevent domain name squatters from exploiting those who should be the rightful owners of specific domain names. Resources for Life redirects these domain names to the websites of their rightful owners. In this way, the domain name is protected and the cost of forwarding and annual registration fees are paid by Resources for Life as a courtesy to the organization. The domain names are then available to the rightful owner for purchase at a cost of one penny. Other examples of protected domain names include:
Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford - A Saturday Night Live Skit
With Financial Wellness [ Top | Index ]
To get started with financial wellness, we would
recommend that you consider the following:
Accountability. Consider having someone,
such as a family member, that you meet with on a weekly or monthly basis regarding
your financial planning and management. This can help establish accountability
and continuity. This person need not be a professional, but they should be
available to answer simple questions and help you stay committed to a plan
of financial well being. They can help act as a means of 'checks and balances'
to be sure you are following the recommendations of a professional financial
Financial Services Advisor. Financial
services and debt management services are available in many communities and
larger metropolitan areas. There are also online financial services, such
as MyVesta, that can provide ongoing financial support and services via the
Internet or over the telephone. [Click
here for MyVesta or call 800-MYVESTA]
Financial Training. The more you know
about financial management the better your financial health will be. For starters,
consider taking the Money 101 course offered by Money Magazine [Click
here for Money 101]
Here are the top 10 things
you can do to help build a strong financial future:
Live on Less. Rather
than looking at your income and then figuring out how you will spend all of
it, consider trying to live on as little as possible. Consider living on much
less than what you earn and continue looking for ways to cut your living expenses.
It's a much less stressful way of life. By living on much less than what you
earn, you will soon have a feeling of sufficiency and abundance with your
finances rather than a continual fear of scarcity and constraint. Learn to
curb your wants and desires. Consider having your actual cost of living (housing,
food, transportation, etc.) be sustainable by the equivalent financial resources
that would be produced by a single full-time job at minimum wage. Consider
working two or three jobs and living on the income from just one of them.
Use the additional money to pay off debts, save for retirement, and to establish
an emergency fund. Here's one person's testimonial, "The process of curbing
my desires and learning to live on less was liberating. I soon began to experience
the feeling of having unlimited wealth - a way of life where your wants never
exceed your financial resources."
When you feel an urge to purchase a product or service, write it down
on a list. As the list grows, prioritize items in order of importance. Consider
prioritizing purchases and expenses based on how the products or services
might serve your broader life mission statement. Over time, you'll find that
some items become less of a priority and you may be less likely to buy products
or services you don't need and you'll learn to discern between needs and wants.
Postpone purchases for months or years if possible. Purchases should not be
made emotionally in a moment, but made over time as you labor and save your
money toward a goal. Here's one person's testimonial, "When I began the
practice of writing down purchases, it helped me to think about them more.
By having them on paper, they were no longer in my mind or heart. When several
items are in a list like that, you can more easily identify what is truly
important and what is frivolous."
your ongoing expenses so you can discover ways to spend less money. For example,
some people spend more money on long distance phone charges than they would
on a cellular phone plan that includes long distance. Some people let their
cellular phone replace their home phone - saving even more money. Without
knowing your expenses, you can't make financial decisions that can save money.
So, tracking your expenses is an important part of financial planning and
awareness. Here's one person's testimonial, "I began keeping track of
my monthly automobile expenses. The car I was driving had been costing me
hundreds of dollars per month in fuel costs (at 12 miles per gallon). I soon
realized I could buy a more fuel efficient car and spend less on car payments
and fuel than what I was currently spending on fuel alone. So, I was able
to purchase a new car without spending any more per month."
Consider automated checkbook balancing and financial management. Most banks
now offer online banking services that can balance your checkbook for you
and keep track of expenses using a home computer. This can help you monitor
your spending and look for ways to spend less. Printed reports are an easy
and organized way to share your financial spending with those who are helping
you with financial management. For some people, balancing the check book is
something they do to see how much more money they can spend before their account
is overdrawn. Consider keeping a significant buffer in your account so you
don't need to constantly be worrying about your balance. Don't let money in
a checking account tempt or entice you to go shopping.
Sales. It is sometimes
better to wait until something is not on sale rather than to buy it at a sale
price. If you intentionally wait until things are not on sale to purchase,
you may save more money in the long run because you will learn to break the
habit of habitual-binge-impulse bargain shopping. Many people shop not based
on need, but in response to what is on sale. Their shopping is primarily controlled
by marketing and ads. For some people this can be a type of addiction (physical
chemical dependency) to the drugs (endorphins) released in the body by the
shopping experience. If an item is on clearance, wait until the next model
is introduced. Find products that are a good value anytime and use those regularly
rather than depending on expensive items being on sale. If you wait to buy,
you'll discover the urge to purchase is often short-term and you may eventually
decide you don't really need or want the product or service that previously
Downsize. Learn to
be content with less. Consider putting your possessions in storage and living
in a one room studio apartment (like the residence of a monk or nun). For
some people, the journey toward simplification and minimalism is a slow process.
It's fine to take it slow and learn along the way.
Walk or bike to work.
Live closer to where you work and work closer to where you live. Depending
on your level of commitment to simplicity, you may decide to quit your job
and/or move if necessary. In the long run, this will likely save you time
and money. It is a more peaceful and relaxed way of life. Your income and
primary needs won't be dependent upon a vehicle.
Grow in your Career. Becoming more experienced and proficient in
your career and profession is a good way to help expand your income base.
Either by means of a raise or outside consulting, you can earn more money
and become more skilled over time. Seek out educational opportunities to learn
more. Click here to visit the
Career Management Resource Group for more information.
How would you like to get a
raise next month? You can! In a matter of speaking. Consider that $1,000
income isn't the same for all people. Someone who has learned effective investing,
spending, and saving habits will get the equivalent of $1,500 value out of the
$1,000 income. Someone with poor financial habits may only get $700 or less
in in value out of the $1,000 income. Getting a strong education and understanding
of financial management can help you stretch your money further.
Money 101 is an interactive online
course that contains 21 modules on various aspects of financial management
and planning. [Click
Here are some links to additional financial resources
on the Internet. If you have not done so already, we would recommend that you
start with Money 101 [click
here]. It is a very informative interactive introduction to financial concepts.
Consumer indebtedness is on the rise. Millions of people today are living beyond
their means yet few recognize the problem and fewer are willing to do something
about it. Because this problem is so widespread, most popular financial management
computer programs (like Microsoft Money or Quicken) assume everyone is struggling
with debt and for this reason they have debt management planning built-in. Such
programs can identify payoff strategies to accelerate debt elimination. By paying
off high interest credit cards and loans first, debt can be reduced faster.
As individual creditors are are paid off, financial resources are then consolidated
to target other creditors until all are paid off. Here are some points to consider
for debt elimination:
Prioritize. Identify specific debts that are high interest and get
those paid off first.
Pay More. Pay more than the minimum payment to reduce the amount
of interest paid over time. Consider identifying unnecessary reoccurring expenses
for things you can do without and put that money toward paying off debt.
Keep Going. Once a specific debt or loan is paid off, such as a car
payment, use the extra money each month toward paying other debts. Don't use
that extra money for shopping or luxuries you were able to do without previously.
Refinance. Sometimes it is possible to obtain a low interest loan
to pay off high interest debt such as credit cards. This can significantly
reduce your overall monthly payments.
Ride A Bike. "If you're constantly broke and can't figure out why, the answer may be sitting in your driveway.
Americans are spending more on their vehicles than ever before -- more than $8,000 a year on average -- and it's driving some to the breaking point.
Credit counselor Bill Thompson of Jacksonville, Fla., estimates that one out of every four clients his agency sees has overspent -- sometimes dramatically -- on a car. 'They may be spending 15% to 20% of their (take-home) pay on just the car payment,' said Thompson, who supervises credit counseling for the nonprofit Family Foundations, 'and that doesn't include insurance, gas, maintenance and all the other costs of owning a vehicle.'
And sometimes there's more than one whopping payment. Sandra McGeary, a counselor at Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Western Pennsylvania, says she regularly sees middle-class families struggling with two payments in the $400 to $500 range. The burdens are so big that it doesn't take a major disaster, like a job loss, to send them over the edge." Read more... (20070116tu0242) This is an excerpt from The Reason You're Broke by Liz Pulliam Weston.
Debt elimination services are an alternative to managing your own debt. These
services will help you consolidate your debt. They may also be able to secure
low interest loans and handle lender inquiries to reduce your legal liability
and the stress associated with time consuming debt management. Examples of debt
elimination services are MyVesta (www.myvesta.org)
and AmeriDebt (www.ameridebt.org).