Education is the foundation of University Credit Union. At UCU we are committed to providing our members with financial education that will help them attain personal financial success.
UCU is serious about helping to advance our member's financial wellbeing in every stage of life, as well as ensuring they stay financially fit. Because of this, we have created a member education program, U Financially Fit. With our program, you will be able to learn more about things such as budgeting, investing, homeownership, and retirement planning. Some other topics to help get U Financially Fit include vehicle loans, credit cards, savings accounts, and much more.
Some of the major highlights of our program include:
- A robust library of 50+ learning topics with something for everyone, regardless of life stage or financial circumstances.
- Essential information for each learning topic can be consumed in just 3-6 minutes in order to fit into today’s busy lifestyles.
- Designed to work great on a cell phone, tablet, or computer, it can be accessed from almost anywhere.
- The option to choose between taking a short quiz at the beginning of your journey that helps target what you need to know about your personal financial goals, or choosing the self-guided option in which you select the exercises as you see fit.
U Financially Fit Teen features three engaging playlists of content, each made up of three to five 10-minute modules. The modules are developed for 7th-12th grade students and feature timely & relevant story lines, diverse characters, and fun interactions to engage students around critical financial topics.
Have you ever been “off track” financially or maybe just need a little financial guidance? Our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC) are here to help U!
Across our state-wide locations, and virtually, UCU's Certified Financial Counselors are here for U, no matter where you are and what financial questions you may have. Our financial counselors can provide a counseling session focused on education and assistance in areas such as:
- Credit score improvement
- Debt management
- Suggestions to work towards long term goals
- Tips to improve your financial situation
Personal Finance is something we all navigate. Sometimes, all it takes is support and education from our financial counselors to help steer and make the journey more of a success!
Story of Success
Lesley Ridge, CCUFC has counseled a UCU member for a few years, the journey began when the member was a college student and reached out to her for some financial advice. At that time, the member had no savings, needed to buy textbooks, and had a few maxed out credit cards with a credit score that was not favorable. After weekly sessions filled with conversation topics of sticking to a budget, paying bills on time, and maintaining a savings account, this member was able to get back on the right track.
Within a short period of time, they were able to increase their credit score, pay the credit cards down, and started maintaining a substantial savings. At a final meeting, the member thanked Lesley and was able to purchase a car, take a long awaited trip, and was able to pay off the credit cards.
Set up an appointment today by calling 800.696.8628. Our financial counselors can help you use credit wisely and be a smart consumer, empower yourself to work towards your financial goals. We are here for U at University Credit Union and our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC) can help you along the way! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment 1-800-696-8628.
The Maine Consumer Council is the state association of the American Consumer Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education, advocacy and financial literacy. they offer a video education on financial topics that can be found on the ACC website. As a UCU member, you are eligible to join MECC at no cost as a member benefit. Please visit the website for American Consumer Council, and click the join here button. From there, complete the form using the code university for your complimentary membership.
Digital Banking features the option for members to enroll and use SavvyMoney to keep track and learn more about their credit score. Check out this video to learn more!
If you have a UCU checking account, chances are you also have a VISA debit card. This convenient way to pay has rapidly become one of our most requested services. It makes shopping so much easier and safer because there are no worries about carrying cash or a checkbook. UCU members aren’t the only ones
enjoying this product - merchants prefer this method of payment for the same reason members do – convenience. But when you get to the cash register a question blinks on the screen: “Credit” or “Debit?”
What’s the difference? When you select debit, you enter your PIN and the funds are deducted from your account immediately. When you select credit, the transaction requires a signature, and is processed by the Credit Union. The funds may or may not be immediately deducted from your account, depending on how the retailer handles their transactions. Some stores “batch” their credit transactions and send them in at the end of the day. Your immediate response is probably “debit” because it’s a “debit” check card. It makes sense – but take a closer look. There are certain benefits to selecting “credit” to make the purchase. When you use this card for purchases the money comes directly from your checking account, just as if you were writing a check. You have probably noticed that some merchants (gas stations, grocery stores, etc.) instruct you to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN), the same one you use for ATM withdrawals, when you use your card.
Although the card is referred to as a debit check card, you should select credit when making a payment. Here’s why – whether you use the ATM/debit option, which requires you to enter your four digit code, or the credit option, which requires you to actually sign the receipt, the money comes from your checking account the same way. However, if you use the debit option (and enter your PIN), it actually costs the Credit Union to process the transaction and could expose you to some risk. When you select the signature-based option, the Credit Union earns a small fee from the merchant and you eliminate the chance of somebody watching your PIN.
Your Security If someone should steal your card and use it with your PIN, you have a maximum potential liability of $50. The more closely you guard your number the less likely that is to occur. With a signature-based transaction, you are protected against disputed purchases and payments and you have no liability if your card is stolen and used with a forged signature. This may all sound confusing, but it matters in the long-run. The small fee that the Credit Union earns from the merchant on the signature-based transaction helps us offer many other services at no cost or a fee that is much lower than that of our competitors. Remember, even though it’s a “debit” check card, please select the “credit” feature for payment.
That way you and the Credit Union both benefit.
Keeping a watchful eye on your credit score is an important item on your financial to-do list, especially in today's uncertain economy. Simply watching your credit score isn't enough. You have to understand how credit scores work and how using your credit can affect your score. UCU can provide you with information to better understand your credit score.
Understanding How Credit Works
5 Steps for Healthy Credit
Credit Karma - Free Credit Reports & More!
Annual Credit Report
Credit Score Simulator - See how different actions can affect your credit score
U Financially Fit - Credit Scores & Reports
If you have a lot of debt, you're not alone. More and more Americans are troubled with credit card and loan payments. Whether you are trying to improve your money management, having difficulty making ends meet, want to lower your monthly loan payments or just can't seem to keep up with all of your credit card bills, you may be looking for a way to make debt repayment easier. UCU can provide you with some useful information to make your monthly obligations a little more manageable.
SavvyMoney Checkup - Personal Debt Assessment Tool
U Financially Fit - Debt Management
Every stage of life has important financial considerations. Whether you're figuring out how to pay for college, starting your 401(k), budgeting for a growing household or looking to retire, UCU can provide you with the information and tools you need to enjoy today and plan for tomorrow.
Going Green While Saving Green
At UCU, we know that preparing for retirement is an important but complex process that can be tricky to navigate at times. These exercises are designed to help our members feel more confident in their preparation of retirement. Upon completion, you should be well on your way to a relaxing and successful retirement.
When to Collect Social Security
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)