Archive for CSE Source

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

7 Naughty Scams To Watch Out For This Holiday Season

Phishing Scams

Phishing Scams

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And unfortunately, ‘tis also the season for scammers to go after your hard-earned dollars. Keep your money safe by reading up on the most common scams taking place this time of year and practicing caution. 

1. Phishing emails 

Always popular, phishing scams get even more prevalent before the holidays. They can take the form of bogus delivery confirmation requests seeking your information or even a personalized letter to your child from “Santa.” 

Be extra careful this holiday season when it comes to sharing personal information online or with an unverified requester. 

2. Fake charities  

Sadly, many scammers will capitalize on the goodwill that flourishes this time of year by asking you to make a donation to a charity that does not actually exist. Verify the authenticity of any charity you’d like to make a contribution to by checking it out on a website like CharityNavigator.org. Also, it’s best to contact a charity on your own instead of following a website or email link. 

3. Package theft 

It’s holiday time, and those UPS and FedEx trucks are everywhere, dropping off boxes of goodies all over the neighborhood. 

Usually, these drop-offs go as planned. Unfortunately, though, some 23 million customers will have their packages stolen from their doorsteps this year. 

Don’t be one of them! If possible, and especially when ordering something expensive, arrange for a delivery that requires your signature upon receipt. Otherwise, track your order and know when to look out for it so you can bring it inside as quickly as possible after it’s dropped off. 

When sending a gift to someone else via Amazon, consider sending it to an Amazon Locker location instead of to the recipient’s household. There’s no fee for using this service, and this way, your gift is safe. 

4. Bogus sites 

You might get lucky and find that perfect gift at a super-low price, but don’t believe any ads or websites that are practically giving away the good stuff for free. These are, quite likely, scams. Once you click an ad link and place an order, you’ll never hear from the site again. Worse yet, they may use the information you shared to empty your accounts. 

Only shop on reputable sites. Remember to check the website address/URL before placing an order. It may look strikingly similar to a popular site, but if one letter is off or missing completely, the site is bogus and you need to get out. Also, always look for that important “s” after the “http” in the web address to verify a site’s security. 

5. Fake freebies 

Did you really just see a Facebook post offering you a new iPhone, completely free of charge? If you have, run the other way and don’t look back! You’re looking at a scam, designed to lure you into sharing your information with criminals or unwittingly installing malware on your device. 

Fake freebies run the gamut from new phones, complementary cruises and various luxury gift items to free holiday-themed downloads, like music, wallpaper and games. 

If you’re offered any outrageous free gifts by text message, email or social media posts, ignore them. Downloads, though, may be safe, but need to be carefully vetted for authenticity before you accept them. 

6. Defunct gift cards 

Many scammers sell expired or empty gift cards this time of year, hoping to make a profit on a card that isn’t worth more than the plastic used to make it. 

Ask to inspect any gift card you purchase before you finalize the sale. Check to see if the activation code is exposed.  If it is, the scammer has probably already used the card or has copied the information and will use it soon. 

7. Temporary holiday jobs 

Lots of businesses are hiring extra hands to get them through the busy holiday season. Don’t get stuck working for criminals!  

Many scammers will pose as employees of recognized businesses and post help-wanted ads on social media platforms and popular websites. When a job seeker follows the links in these ads, they are directed to a bogus site that looks just like the site of the company the scammer claims to represent. They’ll be asked to share personal information to submit an application. The scammer will then make off with this information and the promised job will never materialize. 

If you’re looking for a seasonal job, apply in-person or directly on a business’s website. Do not follow any links. 

As always, be aware and be cautious when enjoying the holiday season. Don’t get grinched! Stay alert and use caution to keep your money – and your information – safe. 

Your Turn: Have you been targeted by these or any other seasonal scams? Tell us all about it in the comments.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/holiday-season-scams-photo.html

https://www.moneytips.com/9-scams-to-watch-out-for-this-holiday-season

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity#Signs

We’re Going Nuts for Santa!

We invite our youngest members to come and visit with Santa.  If your child is not a member yet, ask us how they may join and start saving for their future.

Free 4X6 Photo ( Limit 1)

Come experience the timeless tradition of the Nutcracker | Petting Zoo | Refreshments| Activities

 

Tailgate with CSE at the McNeese Home Football Games

Earn More!

 
Put your savings to work and earn more with CSE Share Certificates! Share Certificates offer the best return on your savings; commit your money for a one-year set term, and enjoy a higher dividend rate than your share savings account.

Call 337.477.2000 or stop by any CSE location and speak to a CSE Member Services Representative to open your share certificate. View Share Certificate Rates to see the current Rate Schedule listing all rates and term options.

*2.02% is a fixed rate annual percentage yield, based on a 1-year term, as of August 15, 2018. A $25,000 minimum deposit is required for this CSE Share Certificate promotional rate. Membership and eligibility required. Insured by NCUA.
RATE INFORMATION—The annual percentage yield is a percentage rate that reflects the total amount of dividends to be paid on an account based on the dividend rate and frequency of compounding for an annual period. For all accounts, the dividend rate and annual percentage yield are fixed and will be in effect for the term of the account. For accounts subject to dividend compounding, the annual percentage yield is based on an assumption that dividends will remain on deposit until maturity. A withdrawal of dividends will reduce earnings. DIVIDEND PERIOD—For each account, the dividend period is the account’s term. The dividend period begins on the first day of the term and ends on the maturity date. DIVIDEND COMPOUNDING AND CREDITING—The compounding and crediting frequency of dividends are stated in the Rate Schedule. EARLY WITHDRAWAL PENALTY—We may impose a penalty if you withdraw funds from your account before the maturity date. FEES MAY REDUCE EARNINGS. RATE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CSE can cancel this promotion at any time.

 

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!

How To Save For A Boat In 8 Easy Steps

Ready to make waves without sinking your budget? Here are eight simple steps to save up for the boat of your dreams. 

1.) Do your research 

Before you get started, decide what kind of boat you’ll be looking to purchase. Spend time researching your options and calculating how much buying and owning a boat will cost. Include upfront costs, monthly payments, storage, insurance, fuel and boating lessons.

2.)  Create a savings goal 

Now, create a realistic savings goal that will make your boat purchase possible.  Establish a timeline for your goal and divide the total by the number of months that will pass until you are ready to buy that boat. This number is the amount you will need to save each month. If it is too high, you’ll need to lengthen your timeline. 

3.) Review your monthly budget 

Take a look at how much money you spend and earn each month. If you already have a budget in place, this step is already done. Otherwise, track your expenditures and income for a month or two until you have this information.   

4.) Identify your trouble areas 

Take a closer look at how you’ve been spending money on fluctuating expenses. What are the biggest pitfalls? Which spending category is draining your wallet dry? Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll be better prepared to cut back. 

5.) Trim your budget

Start with the biggest money hole and brainstorm for ways you can tighten the strings. Once you’ve got a few good ideas in place, move on to other areas. Continue until you’ve trimmed enough fat to reach your monthly savings goal.

6.) Make it automatic

You’ve got your numbers worked out – now let’s make it happen! The best way to ensure you stick to your plan is to make it automatic. You can do this by linking your checking and savings account and setting up an automatic transfer in your chosen amount to go through once a month. Give us a call at [337-477-2000]; we’ll be more than happy to help you set this up.

7.) Boost your income

If you want to speed things up, look for ways to earn extra money to put toward your boat. A side hustle, like freelancing or working a weekend job, will help you hit the waves a whole lot sooner!

8.) Goal!

Once your goal is within reach, start shopping for the boat of your dreams. Don’t lock yourself in to your original number. If you find a boat that’s a lot cheaper than you anticipated, grab it! Use the extra cash to stock up on fuel and boating gear, or put it aside to jumpstart your next big savings goal.

[Before you set out for the docks, be sure to read our post on How to Buy a Boat!]

Your Turn: Are you a happy boat owner? How did you make your dream come true? Share your best money-saving tips with us in the comments! 

SOURCES:

http://financialfitnessblog.com/how-to-save-money-for-a-boat/

https://www.discoverboating.com/affordable-boating/myths-and-tips.aspx

http://www.boats.com/boat-buyers-guide/how-to-buy-a-boat-tips-for-a-first-time-buyer/

 

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.

 

5 Ways to Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat

5 Ways to Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat

By Ardenis Perez compliments of Family Circle

Cranking up the AC isn’t enough to help pets beat the summer heat. Keep them safe and cool with these simple tips.

  1. Keep Them Hydrated

Make sure their water bowl stays full and cold by adding ice cubes throughout the day. “Pets need to replenish the liquid they exhale when panting or breathing as they attempt to lower their body temperature,” says Barry Kellogg, VMD, a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. You can also set up a wading pool for your dog to take a dip in.

  1. Get Them Comfy

If your home is too warm, you might see your pup leaving behind damp paw prints, signaling that they’re sweating, or notice your cat curled up in a corner obsessively grooming, trying to remain cool. Along with providing your typical fan or air conditioner, help them chill indoors by supplying a cooling bed or mat, available from pet retailers.

  1. Consider a Haircut

“Breeds whose hair grows constantly, such as shih tzus, Lhasa apsos and poodles, may benefit from a summer clip,” says Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, author of All Dogs Go to Kevin. But a short clip can permanently alter the coat of huskies, Pomeranians and other pups. Most pets, especially cats, may need their coat to stay cool naturally. If you’re pondering a trim, check with your groomer first.

  1. Offer Shade

When the temperature soars beyond 90 degrees, your pet should avoid direct sunlight while outdoors. “This is especially true of dogs with dark-colored fur, who absorb heat more quickly than those who are lighter colored,” says Kellogg. In your backyard, encourage your dog or cat to lie under a tree that provides shade, or use an umbrella or tarp to shield them from the sun.

  1. Never Leave Them in a Hot Car

Not even for just a moment. “The interior of a car can jump 20 degrees or more in a matter of minutes when it’s sunny out,” says Vogelsang. And keeping the windows slightly open won’t help matters either. If your pet is tagging along for a drive, remember to take them with you when you step out of the vehicle.

Is It Heatstroke?

If you notice these signs of overheating, get your pet to the vet immediately.

  • Body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (use a pet thermometer to determine)
  • Heavy/excessive panting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Redness of the tongue and mouth
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy or anxiety

Good to know: Persian cats and dog breeds such as boxers, pugs and bulldogs are more susceptible to the dangers of heat because their short noses and airways make it harder for them to pant.

Cool treat! Learn how to make refreshing Kiwi-Strawberry-Banana Pupsicles for your dog at familycircle.com/pupsicle.

 

×

Text Scam Alert! Click to LEARN MORE.