First Choice October 2018 Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter, we look at a few enhancements to our First Choice family, a celebration and some information that you might find useful.

First, and foremost, we would like to thank the membership of First Choice Federal Credit Union here in Lawrence County. Without your help, your feedback, your ideas and your trust, we could never be the people that we are.

Next, we’d like to thank the Neshannock Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance during our First Choice Kid’s Club yearly picnic. We had a great day, and it was made even better with your help!

Finally, to anyone reading that lives, works, worships or learns in Lawrence County… we would like to extend a hand in reaching your financial hopes and goals. We offer plenty of products and plenty of service, but its our people that make the difference. If you’re ready to join the First Choice family, your visit our parent website today at FirstChoiceFCU.com, and get started today!

From the Desk of the CEO – Fixing a Toothache

Ever have a toothache? Just a dull, unrelenting, pain that won’t go away. Just enough to change which side of your mouth you chew on. Personally, I have poor teeth. I brush using sensitive tooth paste, use “enamel building” mouthwash, and floss all the time (if my dentist is reading this…if not, I floss when I have something stuck in my teeth using those little pick things). No matter what I do, I still have issues. The only thing to do is go to a professional and have it addressed.

I am like you, BUSY. I even can think of ways to make life better, but despite my great intentions, I get too caught up in the daily “needs” to focus on the “wants” to slow down and improve. I know there are problems…dull and unrelenting, yet not enough to change my patterns.

Recently, our team did some strategic planning exercises. After much discussion we hashed out a model of our credit union experience. We put you, the member, in the middle and talked about all the things you would want from us. What things would we want if we were in your shoes and didn’t work here? We narrowed it down to 4 major categories of things that you want.

The first is Products and Services. Which products are you interested in, what should we be bringing to you? Without giving away too much information, we have great and actionable plans for new products coming to you in the near future. We are VERY excited about them!

The second was transparent, but it is Security. You need to know that your information and money are safe.

We have made even more financial commitments in this area in the past year.

The third was centered around Access. With mobile, online and telephone banking, along with three locations, we have come a long way to make sure we are here for you.

The final area that we identified was Information and Financial Education. Here is the thing about information… you want it – when you want it. We can tell you we have GREAT Vehicle loan rates, but that only really matters to you when you are interested in purchasing a vehicle, or need to lower your monthly payments. We can answer a lot of questions you might have about Estate Accounts, but it only matters if you ever have to set one up.

Information needs to be available to you at your fingertips, any time, and in a pleasing manner. To that end, we are very excited about launching our secondary website at FirstChoiceFCUInfo.com. This site was created to be more interactive. It is streamlined for social media engagement. It is going to be used for simple straight talk about the things that matter to you…when they matter to you. We plan on having instructional videos, blogs, testimonials from members, and Q&As that you submit. We plan to update it often with more content. It is our desire to provide a way for us to connect and you to get real answers to your very real questions. We are not abandoning our existing site, you will still log in there for home banking and all existing information about our credit union. This is another way to reach out to you and thank you for banking with us.

Serving a whole new generation

Eighteen years ago our former CEO, Marilyn Wehr, launched the first ever First Choice Kid’s Club. In order to generate excitement, there were a series of prizes that kids could earn; there was a special window; t-shirts were given out; and there was an annual picnic. Marilyn would always say, “we are here to serve our children’s children and beyond.” Along with our support of the Edward J Cialella Scholarships and the Shenango Valley Chapter Scholarships, we have always placed an emphasis on our commitment to our youth.

We are proud to relaunch and rededicate our efforts to the youth of our Community.

We redesigned the Kid’s Club logo and are modifying the program. We continue to partner with local School Districts to supply Financial Education to elementary and high school students.

We are proud of the work we do in this area, because we are proud to serve this Community and believe in it’s future. Check out just some of the sights from the 18th Annual First Choice Kid’s Club Picnic.

A special thank you goes to the Neshannock Volunteer Fire Department for their time and expertise to teach our kids about fire safety. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

You better not pout, you better not cry…

(Even if you are on the inside) I’m telling you why. As of the writing of this newsletter, it is humid and 93 degrees outside. The leaves haven’t even started to turn, but ready or not, the Big Guy in Red is coming back to town.

Even though we haven’t even decided who we are going to be for Halloween, it is time to think about Christmas. Your Christmas Club checks have been mailed (or deposited to your Savings Accounts depending on your preference). As you prepare for the holiday season, don’t forget to plan for the post-holiday credit card statements. Here are a few tips to help guide you through this season and beyond:

1. Your heart is in your chest…not your wallet. The most meaningful gifts aren’t always the most expensive. Give from your heart.

2. Give the gift of time. Experiences are often more memorable than trinkets that may be obsolete after a year. Buy cameras, a trip, zoo tickets, hotel vouchers, or give the gift of savings. Can’t afford the whole thing, start a “Bucket List Fund” and contribute to it as a gift. Italy here we come!!!

3. Follow Kris Kringle’s example…make a budget list and check it twice before making an impulse buy.

4. Don’t borrow to pay for Christmas…but if you have no other options, look for the best rate you can and pay a little more to your savings account so you don’t get stuck in an endless loop.

Who knew?

We have proudly served this Community and our members for 67 years. We are ever expanding to reach your financial needs and become your primary financial institution. Yet there are still many questions related to what we can offer. Here are just a few services that we offer that might surprise you:

  • Free, no minimum balance Checking Accounts
  • Chip Enabled Debit Cards
  • Chip Enabled Credit Cards
  • Full Family Membership
  • First purchase mortgages (through our partner Owner’s Choice Funding)
  • Fixed rate Home Equity Loans
  • Online Banking w/ Bill Pay (hey look…free stamps)
  • Text / E-mail Alerts
  • Mobile App
  • Night Drop at each location – always processed before any morning work
  • Christmas & Vacation Clubs
  • Budget Counseling
  • Coin Counter (at State Street Office)
  • Best in Class Loan Rates
  • Additional loan rate reduction for Direct Deposit
  • AND…so Much More!!!

Need more information?

Please visit our parent website at FirstChoiceFCU.com today for more details about any products, services or accounts that you’ve read about today. If you would like more information about First Choice, you can also visit the First Choice Facebook page and drop us a like.

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