Fraud Alert: Phone Scam May 2021

As of May 6, 2021:  There have been a few fraudulent phone calls made to our Membership using a scheme called Call Spoofing. Please visit   to learn about this technique used to gain access to your personal financial information.

AS A REMINDER: CSE will NEVER call you directly and ask for your CSE Online Log-In Information or other personal information. If you feel you have been a victim of call spoofing or any other fraud, please contact us immediately at 337.477.2000 so we may take the appropriate steps.

Thank you for choosing CSE.



How to Talk Money with Your Partner

What happens when you and your partner have different approaches toward money? How do you bring up this loaded topic without it spiraling into a heated argument?

Once again, it’s CSE to the rescue! Here is the ultimate guide to discussing finances with your partner.

1. Dedicate a time

Let your partner know you’d like to talk about money and, together, pick a time and place that works for both of you. Choose a time when both of you can completely focus without distraction.

2. Prepare your thoughts

Prepare a mental list of topics you’d like to discuss. Include the basics like budgeting, saving and sharing living expenses, along with any specific issues you’d like to change.

3. Start with a vision

Don’t jumpstart the discussion with accusatory statements. Instead, start with a goal.

Here are a few to get you thinking:

  • Would you like to spend a month touring Europe?
  • Wouldn’t it be amazing to move out of this apartment and buy a home of our own?
  • I’d love to retire at 55. Would you?

4. Create a saving plan

Now you can start talking numbers. How much would it cost to spend a month in Europe? How much would we need to save for a down payment?

Together, create a savings plan that will help you reach your shared goal. Work out exactly how much money you’d need to put away each month, and how long it would take you to reach your goal.

6. Build a budget

Before you can start saving, you’ll both need to trim your spending. Without pointing fingers, discuss specific ways to cut back. Together, work out a monthly budget that accounts for all expenses and your new savings goal.

7. Discuss money management

If you aren’t already sharing expenses, now’s the time to bring it up. There are no hard rules here; every couple has their own system. But, if you’re living together, it makes sense to split some basic costs. You may want to go 50/50 on this or make another arrangement that better suits your individual incomes.

At this time, consider linking one of your accounts or opening a shared account at CSE.

Be sure to keep at least one credit card open in your own name. It’s important to establish and maintain your own credit history independent of your partner’s. Check out CSE’s low interest rate credit cards!

When dividing financial responsibilities, assign appropriate tasks that play to each partner’s strengths. Is your partner a stickler for dates and deadlines? Have them assume responsibility for paying the bills on time. Are you a numbers freak? You might want to be in charge of managing your joint investments.

You’ve made it through the money talk. Now, go make those dreams happen!

CSE 2020 Sponsorships

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Black Heritage Festival

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How to Succeed at Your New Job

Q: I just landed a new job, and I’m really nervous. How can I best succeed?

A: Congrats on your new job! It’s super-exciting, but we totally get the nail-biting nerves. What if you sit down at the wrong desk? What if you mess up your first assignment? No worries, though — we’ve got your back! Here’s all you need to know about how to succeed when starting a new job.

How do I start off at my job? 

You’ll never have a second chance at that first impression, so be sure to ace that first day! Prepare everything you’ll need the night before, leave extra time for those unexpected delays and try to get to work a few minutes early.

Get ready to introduce yourself to all your new workmates. Remember, these are the people you’ll be spending most of your day with, so flash your best smile!

Next, pay attention to your surroundings. You’re a foreigner in a new land, and you need to learn the language, the culture and what makes these people tick if you’re going to succeed.

How can I succeed professionally at my new job?

You want to go far at your new job, but first, make sure you know the details about what’s expected of you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear. Research shows that new employees perform better when they ask more questions.

What should I focus on during my first month on the job? 

Give yourself a round of applause — you’ve made it past that first week!

By now, you know where to find the best K-cups and that you’d better greet the front-desk attendant or you’ll hear about it later.

It’s time to step up your game.

During the first month at your new job, focus on adopting good work habits. That can mean setting your alarm a half-hour earlier or using an app like Cold Turkey to keep from checking your Instagram feed every two minutes.

Keep your productivity up and set ambitious professional goals. You can reach the stars. Go get ’em!

10 Tips to Buying Your First Car

Nothing feels better than getting your first car, it is one of life’s most memorable moments. Being a first time buyer in today’s world gives you countless options, all available at your fingertips. The road map below will help you navigate the process of purchasing your first car.

1. Determine Your Budget

When you decide to look for a car having a realistic budget is very important. The budget should be centered on what you can afford per month. When determining the amount that you can spend each month, consider all your expenses throughout the month.

2. Know Your Affordability for Each Month
Although this may seem similar to determining your budget, the matter of indebtedness is different than that of monthly commitments. Neither expenditure should be out of balance in regards to your other assets and will help in concluding what you can spend monthly.

3. Narrow Your List to a Few Cars
Many cars have probably caught your attention by now so you should start out by researching them to see if they will fit your needs and your budget. Take note of the suggested retail prices and the invoice prices of those cars you think would be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that by choosing a less expensive car you can have some leeway within your budget for other monthly expenses.
4. The ‘Wants’ vs. The ‘Needs’
When purchasing your first car you should take note of your wants as well as your needs. The extra attention you pay to these details will help you fulfill those needs and wants. Prioritizing your needs and wants will help you find a car that best fits you.
5. Do Your Research
Take the time to do your research. The internet is a great place to start to gain insightful information on everything ranging from the price, to consumer opinion regarding a particular model. This can help you narrow down your choices and single out exactly what you are looking for. Car dealerships can also be helpful when doing research, however they are trying to sell their vehicles and they often lure customers into purchasing a car that does not fit all the requirements of the buyer.
6. Finding A Dealership
Dealing with a local dealership can be beneficial especially if they hold a good reputation and you can easily take advantage of the car care services they may have to offer.
7. Test Drive
Although you might think that you have found the perfect car, taking a test drive can change your perspective beyond what the reviews or comments have disclosed. You will want to take the car for a test drive in the conditions that are similar to your daily routine to determine whether or not to purchase the vehicle.
8. Determine the Proper Price for Purchasing
Once you have chosen the car that fits your criteria now is the time to negotiate the purchase price. Some lending institutions can help you in gaining perspective for an appropriate purchase price and may even have a contact at the dealership. If that is the case talk with the referral before talking to the salesperson. Also keep in mind, when negotiating the financials, not to reveal what you can pay each month but to stick to a total purchase price.
9. Secure Financing
It is wise to have financing lined up before you speak to a finance representative from a dealership. Talking with a financial institution or insurance provider before you go to the dealership and having your financing ready to go is in your best interest. This will allow you to have more control over the situation. Check out CSE’s Auto Rebates!
10.  Enjoy the Process
Buying your first car is one of the largest investments you will make and it only happens once! Taking your time and understanding the process will make your first car buying experience an enjoyable one.

28 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Since the 1970s, the month of February has been designated as the time to celebrate and commemorate Black history. Schools, television networks and private organizations use this month to increase awareness and to educate people about the rich history of Black Americans.

There are so many ways to celebrate! We challenge you to do one thing for Black History Month on each of the 28 days of February. Here are 28 ideas to help get you started:

  1. Support a Black-owned business. Many small businesses are hurting now. Show your support for a business in your community that is owned or operated by a Black person, partnership or family.
  2. Visit a Black- or civil rights-history museum. If museums are not open for in-person visits in your area, you can take a virtual tour at almost any museum, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the DuSable Museum of African American History or the  National Civil Rights Museum.
  3. Read the poem  “I, Too,” by Langston Hughes and have a family discussion about the poem’s meaning.
  4. Read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
  5. Binge-watch your favorite movies and documentaries on Black history and the civil rights movement.
  6. Learn about the life of Rosa Parks, one of the most influential figures of the civil rights movement.
  7. Read “On Beauty,” a novel by contemporary author Zadie Smith that explores beauty and feminism within the context of race.
  8. Volunteer for a Black charity. You can find a full list here.
  9. Tune into blues music to read up on its history in the Black community.
  10. Look through James Karales’s photos of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights marches and discuss their significance.
  11. Learn the lyrics to “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” released by James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” in August 1968, just four months after King’s assassination.
  12. Donate to a racial justice or educational cause, such as The Sentencing Project, Thurgood Marshall College Fund or the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
  13. Explore Black history through the thousands of sources in the National Archives. This photo series of Chicago in the 1970s is a great place to start.
  14. Read the poem “A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth,” by Maya Angelou. You can also watch this video to learn more about Angelou’s inspiration for this remarkable poem on youth and education.
  15. Learn the unique art of stepping, a form of dancing that uses the body to create rhythms and sounds. Check out Step Afrika!for how-to videos and information.
  16. Play a family game of Mancala, the ancient African game.
  17. Learn the lyrics and the background of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black National Anthem.
  18. Learn about an unknown hero of Black history.
  19. Submit a blog to a Black media outlet.
  20. Read a memoir written by an influential Black figure. Some great picks include “Becoming,” by Michelle Obama, “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History In The Old South,” by Michael W. Twitty and “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir Of Family,” by Condoleezza Rice.
  21. Create an ‘I Have a Dream’ garland with your family. Look up instructions here.
  22. Watch these student-made documentaries on notable African Americans.
  23. Make a reading list of great books by Black authors.
  24. Make a list of your favorite inspirational quotes by well-known Black personalities.
  25. Tune into the free educational program and performance on Black history and culture by the Chicago Children’s Choir. The event will livestream on Facebook and YouTube on Feb. 25.
  26. Learn the songs of the civil rights movement, like “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Oh, Freedom.” Have a family discussion, or open a discussion on your favorite social media platform, about the way the lyrics reflect the hopeful spirit of the era.
  27. Do you know who was the first Black tennis player to win the U.S. Open? Brush up on your knowledge about the many famous firsts in Black history.
  28. Take a virtual tour of Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters in Savannah, Ga.

What Do You Need to Know About Debt Consolidation?

Q: I’m up to my ears in debt, and I’d love a way out. I’m strongly considering debt consolidation. What do I need to know before I move ahead?

A: Debt consolidation is the process of moving several (possibly) high-interest debts into a new loan or line of credit. Debt consolidation can help you pay off your debt quicker, with less money going toward overall interest payments.

Here’s what you need to know about debt consolidation:

What are the benefits of debt consolidation? 

Saving on interest payments. The primary benefit of debt consolidation is saving on interest costs. Long-term debt with a high interest rate can cost thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan. That’s money you may not need to pay! Moving that debt to a new loan or line of credit with a lower interest rate, or sometimes no interest rate at all, can translate into significant savings.

Simplified payments. With just one monthly payment to make, managing your debt will be a lot easier.

Fixed payment timeline. Debt consolidation often means having a fixed payment timeline. This makes budgeting easy and allows you to make long-term financial goals, with a fixed date for when you will be debt-free.

Boost your credit score. If you’ve been falling behind on your monthly payments, moving your multiple debts to a single low-interest loan can help to boost your score.

What are the disadvantages of debt consolidation? 

May prolong the payment timeline of the debt. Moving debt to a new loan can sometimes involve extending the term of the loan. This means the borrower will be in debt for longer.

Doesn’t eliminate irresponsible spending habits. If overspending and irresponsible money management is what landed the borrower in debt in the first place, consolidating debt on its own will not solve the problem.

Lower interest rate may not last. Many low- or no-interest credit cards only offer these features as a temporary promotion. Once an introductory period ends, the borrower will be hit with high interest rates.

How can I consolidate my debt?

You have several options for debt consolidation, each with its own pros and cons.

1. Unsecured loan. Taking out an unsecured loan from CSE will enable you to pay off all your outstanding loans immediately and move your debts into one low-interest loan.

Unsecured loans may have origination fees and other charges. Also, since they’re unsecured, the interest rates on these loans can be high.

Lucky for you, though, as a member of CSE you have access to unsecured loans with low interest rates.

2. HELOC. A home equity line of credit uses your home as collateral for an open line of credit.

The drawback of using your home as collateral to help you pay off debt is that you risk losing your home to foreclosure if you fail to meet your payments. Also, if the value of your home drops, you may end up owing more on your home than what it is worth. Finally, repayment terms for HELOCs can be upward of 10 years.

As secured debt, interest on HELOCs and HELs will be affordable and may provide you with significant savings. Interest on home equity loan products is often tax-deductible as well.

3. Balance transfer. Moving your debt to a new credit card with a low interest rate offer will make it possible for you to pay off your debts immediately.

The obvious disadvantage with opening a new credit card is that it can cause you to rack up a new credit card bill with your expanded available credit. Also, as mentioned, you may be hit with high interest rates once the introductory period ends. A third downside to going this route is that credit cards have no end date, which means you may not achieve that debt-free life anytime soon.

Fortunately, as a member of CSE, you can take advantage of our low interest credit cards to help you get rid of your debt quicker.

If you’re ready to consolidate your debt, we can help! Call, click or stop by CSE today to discuss your options.


Five Steps to Take After a Financial Disaster

As we sail into 2021, many are struggling with the aftershocks of financial disaster. Whether it’s due to a layoff, a natural disaster, medical expenses or a change in family circumstances, the financial fallout of COVID-19 has been devastating.

Recovering from a financial disaster, due to a pandemic or any other reason, is never easy; however, with hard work and the ability to look forward, it can be done. Here’s how.

Step 1: Assess the damage

Evaluate exactly how much financial recovery you need. Are you thousands of dollars in debt? Do you need to find a new job? What are the long-term financial implications of the recent disaster?

Crunching the numbers and putting it all on paper will make it easier to take concrete steps toward recovery.

Step 2: Accept your new reality 

Shock and denial are valid stages of grief for any major loss or disaster, but for recovery to be possible, it’s important to reach a place of acceptance. You can vent to a close friend, express your feelings in a journal, de-stress with your favorite low-cost hobby and then let go. Constantly harping on what could have been will only drain you of the energy you need to move on.

Step 3: Outline your goals

Clearly defining your goals will make it easier to go forward. Are you looking to rebuild a depleted emergency fund? Find gainful employment? Pay down your medical bills?

As you work through this step, choose goals that are SMART:






Step 4: Create a recovery plan

Your plan should consist of consecutive steps that lead to a life of complete financial wellness. Here are some steps you may want to include:

  • Trim your spending until you can spend less than you earn.
  • Build a small emergency fund to help get you through an unexpected expense.
  • Seek new employment or new income streams.
  • Start paying down debts.
  • Save more aggressively, with one eye toward your retirement and another toward a large emergency fund with up to six months’ of living expenses.

Step 5: Make it Happen

Put your plan into action! If you were careful to set goals that are SMART, you should be able to take the first steps in your plan immediately.

Do you need to withdraw your funds early?

You’ve done your part to save… Now let us help you access those funds.

Have you been affected by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta and need to access your hard-earned money NOW?

We want to help during this time of need. We are offering a penalty-free* early withdrawal from your share certificate held at CSE. CSE will be offering you the choice of withdrawing from your term certificate, without a penalty, through the end of the year, 12/31/2020. Whether you wish to make a partial withdrawal, or close your certificate, there will not be a penalty imposed. If you wish to take advantage of this, please contact us at 337-477-2000 to speak to a Member Service Representative or email us at

Thank you for choosing CSE

Learn More

*Minimum balance requirement will still apply on partial withdrawals. 


Jennings Branch Birthday Celebration!




Join us for our Jennings Branch One-Year Birthday Celebration Nov. 30th – Dec. 4th! Stop by our Jennings Branch for giveaways and to enter to win our Grand Prize Giveaway, a Pitt Boss! We are also giving away an Elton Louviere painting and a one year supply of rice! We hope to see you there! 


Pitt Boss- Official Rules

Elton Louviere Painting- Official Rules

Year Supply of Rice- Official Rules


FRAUD ALERT: There have been fraudulent calls using our phone number. LEARN MORE.