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Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers

CONNECTING THOSE WHO PROTECT US

Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 3,100 returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.

Provide a lifeline to America’s bravest. Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference. Make your tax-deductible* donation today by:

Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts ALL makes, models and conditions of cell phones.

New and Used, Broken or Cracked. Both Smartphones and Cell Phones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers allows active-duty military members the ability to communicate to their families and emergency assistance to veterans.  We are accepting donations the entire month of July at each branch location. July 31st is the deadline for donations.

For more information email the CSE marketing department or call 337-562-3160. 

 Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference.

*Consult a tax advisor

Should You Remodel Your House?

Do you need more closet space, need another bathroom for your growing family, or simply want to increase your home’s value? Here are some factors to help you decide.

If you’re contemplating remodeling because you want to sell your home, focus on cosmetic changes instead of functional ones – they’re more likely to draw buyers. For example, people who replace garage doors get 98.3% of their value back in sales dollars, while replacing wood windows returns only 69.5%. To make your property more attractive for sale without spending too much money, skip remodeling. Instead, fix anything that is broken, remove personal touches, declutter, deep clean, paint in neutral colors, refinish floors, and replace aging hardware and fixtures. A remodel may force you to set a much higher asking price than the other homes in your neighborhood, and you’ll have a much harder time selling your home. To determine a reasonable asking price, check recent listings in your neighborhood to see current prices.

If you want to enjoy your living space more, first ask yourself what you want to change. If you want to replace your tub with a walk-in shower or finish out the attic space above your garage to create an additional living area or game room, remodeling may be for you. If you want to add a mother-in-law suite or replace your galley kitchen with a chef’s kitchen, then research all the pros and cons of such a big remodel. Moving might be a better option.

Make sure your house can handle the changes you want. Then compare those costs to the cost of selling your home and buying another. If remodeling is better for you financially, then staying put is the answer.

The following steps will help make your remodeling project run smoothly:

  • Start with design ideas, the more specific the better.
  • Decide whether to combine functional home changes with your remodel.
  • Research materials and contractors to come up with a reasonable budget.
  • Determine how you will pay for the project.
  • Check with the city planning or parish planning department to see which permits you’ll need.
  • Decide how you will tolerate the disruption to your daily life.
  • Ask yourself whether you can remodel while keeping your home’s design consistent with the neighborhood aesthetics?

CSE has a number of mortgage options to fit your needs. Call today!
CSE Mortgage Lenders
Esther Abrahams, 337.562.3181 — eabrahams@csefcu.org
Amy Hannon, 337.562.3330 — ahannon@csefcu.org

CSE Construction Loan Officer
Jeff Johnson, 337.562.3230 — jjohnson@csefcu.org

Written by  Tracy Curtis, July 26, 2018 / Modified for CSE by Liz Trahan,  August 20, 2018

Unwanted Calls

Unknown CallerAre you sick of grabbing your ringing phone only to find a robocaller on the other end?
Those automatic calls are enough to make anyone go bonkers. Read on for the inside scoop on robocalls and what you can do about them. 
How do they have my number? Thanks to the internet, scammers, and telemarketers can find almost anyone’s phone numbers. Robocallers also buy numbers from companies or websites that require visitors to submit basic information that includes phone numbers. Other times, robocallers simply dial thousands of numbers at random.

Who’s on the other end of the line? Robocalls might try to sell you a product or urge you into signing up for services. Other times, they’ll try to scam you by appearing to represent a government agency. Even if just a few people are taken in by the scam, the minimal cost of running the calls is more than worth it for the person behind the calls.

Here’s how the robocalls take a stab at appearing authentic:
• Spoofing. Using software, the robocaller tweaks the way their number shows up on caller ID. They can make it look like the IRS is on the phone, your electric service company is calling or like a representative from Apple is trying to reach you.
• Disguised identity. Robocallers may also choose to show up on your caller ID as “private number,” “unavailable” or “unknown.”

How to block robocalls:
⇒ Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers – If you don’t recognize the number on your caller ID, let it go to voicemail. Ignore all calls from recognized companies you have no reason to believe are calling you as well.
⇒ Block unwanted numbers – If there’s a specific number that calls you persistently, use your phone to block it from reaching you again. Next, check with your phone service provider about possible technologies you can download to block anonymous calls or those from specific area codes. Consider downloading a robocall-blocking app, such as Nomorobo, RoboKiller, Hiya or TrueCaller for a stronger defense against unwanted calls.
⇒ Require caller input – Consider setting up a call-blocking technology, such as the Sentry Active Call Blocker, to greet callers with a message requiring them to enter a number before the call can proceed. That’s something robots can’t yet do.
⇒ Don’t share your number – Never share your phone number with a company unless you absolutely must.
⇒ Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry – Visit www.donotcall.gov to add your numbers to the list of registered callers who don’t want to be bothered by telemarketers.
⇒ File a complaint – If you’ve signed up for the Do Not Call Registry and, after a month, are still receiving robocalls from certain companies, file a complaint at ftc.gov.

Take action against robocalls today and reclaim your peace!

A Different Breed Of Diversification: What Multiple Certificates Can Do For You

Share certificates allow you to earn a good return on your money while keeping it accessible for use for major expenses. If you’re planning on buying a house or a car, keeping your down payment money in a certificate can hasten its growth toward your goal.

However, If you’re saving for two large purchases, it can be difficult to make partial withdrawals from a certificate, and doing so can hurt your earnings.

Here are three ways to solve this problem:

1.) Lump it all together

Place all your savings – your down payment, car funds, vacation savings and rainy-day money – in a single certificate.

The good

Simplicity. One statement to review and only one document with dividends listed to unearth during tax time. Additionally, larger sums of money often earn better rates, improving your long-term returns. When you’ve achieved a savings goal, you can withdraw what you need and create a new certificate with remaining funds.

The bad

With all your money in one pot, it can be difficult to determine how close you are to each goal. You’ll also be stuck on the time frame of your shortest-term goal; if that goal is one year from now, you’ll need to close the certificate then, leaving you with a short-term rate that isn’t as profitable as a long-term rate.

The bottom line

A single certificate works best when your savings goals are on a similar time frame or if simplifying your financial life is your priority.

2.) Different certificates for different goals

You can open separate certificates for your car down payment, your house savings and your emergency fund. Each would be held in different certificate accounts, earning interest separately.

The good

By separating your savings goals, you can lock long-term goals into long-term certificates, earning better rates. Without your money tied to your shortest goal’s term, you can stagger your terms to meet the individual needs of each of your goals, allowing you to earn better rates and make more strategic withdrawals. With more opportunities to re-lock rates, you also avoid the risk of missing better rates that may arise.

The bad

The variable interest rates make it difficult to determine your earnings. Multiple accounts preclude you from getting the best dividend rates, reserved for larger balances and for sums that exceed a certain amount, in “jumbo” certificates. In the event of an emergency that requires dipping into savings, you may have difficulty accessing a significant portion of your money.

The bottom line

Multiple certificate accounts offer flexibility and security helpful for those with a diverse range of goals.

3.) The ladder

A certificate “ladder” uses multiple long-term certificates opened at regular intervals. A ladder’s objective is to secure the best rates possible while ensuring some money is still available at regular intervals. For example, a five-year ladder involves buying a series of certificates so the five-year account is maturing each year.

The good

A ladder is flexible and helps lock in the best available rates reserved for long-term certificates. It also protects against the drawback of those certificates by giving you the option of reinvesting when rates change and securing those better rates.

The bad

Setting up a certificate ladder requires very careful planning, and the minimum investment is much higher as you require the minimum deposit of not one, but five certificates. Additionally, only one-fifth of your savings are available at any one time. If you’re saving for a large single goal, this complicates matters considerably.

The bottom line

Ladders are a complex strategy that can maximize returns for those who are saving for flexible goals like vacations, home renovations and vehicles.

Certificates make saving for your goals easier. Call, click or stop by CSE Federal Credit Union today!

Sources:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/cd/tips/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/cd/is-cd-ladder-worth-it.aspx

Scammers Impersonate Celebrities on Social Media

Did your favorite celebrity reach out to you on social media?

Before you get too excited, are you sure it’s that person? Really sure? We’ve heard reports that scammers, who will try just about anything to separate you from your money, are now posing as celebrities on social media. They’re asking fans to send money for all kinds of supposed reasons – like claiming a prize, donating to a charity, or giving help of some kind. Some celebs do raise money for legitimate causes. But you want to be sure the cause—and the person asking you to support it—are real.

Imposter scams come in many varieties, but they all work the same way: a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. And that’s exactly what these celebrity imposters are trying to do.

So what should you do if a celebrity contacts you on social media and asks for money?

  • Slow down. Before you send money, talk with someone you trust.
  • Do some research: search online for the celebrity’s name plus “scam.” Do the same with any charity or cause they’re asking you to support—and learn more about charity scams here.
  • Never send money, gift cards or prepaid debit cards to someone you don’t know or haven’t met – even celebrities you meet on social media.
  • If you sent money to a scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (your bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or prepaid debit card company). Tell them the transaction was a fraud. Ask the company to reverse the transaction, if it’s possible.
  • Report your experience to the social media site and to the FTC.

To learn more about imposter scams, visit FTC.gov/imposters.

Cut Back On Air Conditioning This Summer

Hot under the collar from your electric bills during the summer months? Here are some ideas for saving on air conditioning while keeping yourself and your family cool:

1. Shut off the air conditioners when you’re not in the room. Sounds simple, but if you have central air, it’s not always the first thing on your mind when you leave the house for a few hours. If you have units, shutting them off when you leave the room can become as much of a habit as shutting off the light.

2. Until the weather becomes unbearably hot, use fans. Fans cost much less to run than air conditioners do. And while they won’t cool off an entire room the way central air or window units will, installing a powerful fan instead of a light fixture will help you take advantage of those not-too-hot days. Since fans cool people, not rooms, they should be turned off whenever you’re not in the room.

3. Is your house well-insulated? Good insulation will make a difference

in how hard your air conditioner works to keep your home cool.

4. Clean and replace filters at least once a month so your air conditioner operates as efficiently as possible.

5. Cut back on heat-generating appliances and incandescent light bulbs (which add heat to your home) as much as possible during the hottest parts of the day.

6. Cracks along windows, door frames, and electrical outlets cause your air conditioner to work harder in the summer, and your heater to work harder in the winter. Take the time to seal and caulk any possible openings in your home so you don’t waste money air conditioning the great outdoors.

Saving money in the summer can be cool! By giving it a little thought and planning, you’ll keep your energy bills under control.

How to Pay for a Financial Emergency?

Q: I’ve had a financial emergency and I don’t know how to pay for it! What are my options? 

A: Ideally, you’ll want to have an emergency fund in place. If you don’t, consider these options…

1.) Credit cards 

Credit cards are super-convenient. You don’t have to wait for approval, take on another source of debt, or even think about paying it back until later. Borrowing with a credit card, though, means getting more than you bargained for. With high interest rates, you’ll end up owing a lot more money than you borrowed.  Check out CSE’s introductory rates to compare.

Also, credit cards make it easy to push off paying what you owe by only requiring a minimum monthly payment. This means you’ll end up carrying that debt for a lot longer than planned.  Check-out CSE’s low-cost credit cards.

2.) 401(k) loans 

Borrowing from a 401(k) should only be a last resort for those who won’t qualify for another loan. They will affect your future in ways other loans will not, so experts only recommend this choice if you are secure in your job and the money will be used for a sound investment.

Also, the payments for the loan will be taken out of your future paychecks, so be sure you can afford less regular income.  If your employer doesn’t offer 401k investments, check into a CSE IRA (Individual Retirement Account).  There’s several options available including IRA Share Certificates.  Ask to speak with an IRA Specialist today.

3.) Friends and family 

For many, borrowing from friends and family is the obvious answer to financial emergencies.  But it can get sticky, fast. Use these guidelines to avoid disaster:

  • Have a clear repayment plan in place, and be sure you can stick to the set timeline.
  • Create a shared contract detailing the loan terms and the repayment plan.
  • Consider having a third party witness the loan and sign the contract.
  • Keep your financial and personal relationship separate.
  • CSE offers Share Pledge loans.  Click here to learn more.

4.) Personal loans 

Personal loans can be granted for nearly any reason, and you’ll usually have the funds in hand quickly. Unfortunately, most personal loans come with high interest rates. As a member of CSE, though, you have access to personal loans with affordable rates.

If you think a personal loan sounds right for you, call, click or stop by CSE today. We’re always here to help!

5.) Building an emergency fund

Start building your emergency fund today, so you’re never stuck in a tight spot again.

  • Create a goal for your fund. Ideally, an emergency fund should be able to cover your living expenses for 3-6 months.
  • Review your monthly budget to find places to cut back.
  • Determine how long it will take you to reach your goal by allocating the saved money to your emergency fund.
  • Open a savings account for this purpose.
  • Set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account to your emergency fund.

From here on, you’ll be prepared for anything!

Always consult your tax advisor in regards to taxes and tax breaks on money pulled from special programs, such as 401Ks or IRAs.

 

CSE Is Expanding

(L–R)  Bob Rust, CLO, Kasey Cormier, HR Manager, Matt Koch, CFO, April Simon, Manager of SJC FCU, Clark J. Yelverton, President and CEO, TL Stegall, CIO, Bonnie McDonald, COO, and Colleen Desselle, Director of Marketing.

South Jennings Catholic Federal Credit Union merges with CSE Federal Credit Union

Lake Charles, LA. (March 7, 2018) – CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) has announced the completion of its merger with South Jennings Catholic Federal Credit Union. The merger of the Jennings, LA credit union with $1.5 Million in assets into the $300 Million CSE Federal Credit Union was effective March 1. The 658 members of South Jennings Catholic FCU are now members of CSE and are eligible for a wider array of products and services, the convenience of more branches, electronic account access, and an extensive surcharge-free ATM network.

Clark J. Yelverton, President and CEO of CSE added, “We are excited to add the members of South Jennings Catholic Federal Credit Union to CSE’s membership. We are confident that this merger will provide greater options to our new South Jennings Catholic Federal Credit Union members. We will continue the long history of service they provided its members and the community.

CSE Federal Credit Union is the seventh largest credit union in the state of Louisiana with assets over $300 million and over 30,000 members. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis Parishes. For any questions concerning the merger, please stop by a CSE branch, or visit csefcu.org or call and speak to a Member Services Representative at 337.477.2000 or 1.800.625.5747. CSE is federally insured by NCUA and Membership/Eligibility is required.

$500.00 Gift Card Winner

On October 19, CSE FCU, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, celebrated International Credit Union Day (ICU Day), and the philosophy and achievements of the credit union movement. In the days leading up to credit union day, members could visit any CSE branch and enter to win a $500.00 CSE gift card.

Congratulations, Tawan Gradney. She was chosen out of 400 member entries from all CSE location. She is a 22-year-old native of Kinder, Louisiana and a Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. She has several different accounts with CSE Federal Credit Union. When asked what her dream was, she said, “My dream is to receive my degree on May 11, 2018, and then pursue a master in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.” She wants to teach children how to communicate effectively and make an impact in their life. At CSE we believe in smart futures and Tawan, your future looks bright. We wish you all the best in your near future.

Whether you dream of attending college or retiring remember at CSE dreams thrive here. For more information about our products and services call 337.477.2000 and speak with a representative today.

(Pictured left to right: CSE CEO, Clark Yelverton;CSE Member, Tawan Gradney; Director of Marketing, Colleen Desselle)

SEG Highlight

Happy Birthday Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy!

“The Massage School” is having it’s 30th Birthday! In 1987, Lake Charles native Susan Salvo founded the Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy after developing a curriculum from workshops that she created and taught in the early 1980’s. In 2012 Alex and Carrie Chaumont became the new “Mom & Pop” of the school. The Institute was started by massage therapists, is taught by massage therapists, and has been operated by massage therapists since 1987. LIMT was one of the first massage schools to be licensed by the state of Louisiana and the first massage school to provide continuing education classes. They are the oldest continually operating massage school on the Gulf Coast and CSE is proud to have them a Select Business Group.

Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy offers a 510-hour program. Their curriculum is designed to be challenging, fun, and exciting. The teaching faculty is made up of highly qualified and dynamic massage therapists. Their dedication ensures quality delivery of the curriculum. Students develop technique-specific skills through many hours of supervised, hands-on instruction. The school continues to produce graduates that are among the most successful in the South.

They offer the lowest tuition rates along the Gulf Coast as well as affordable payment plans. The Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy always refers their students to CSE Federal Credit Union for our great rates on loans to help cover the cost of attending their school.

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