Newsletter Archive

September

New Grand Forks Market VP and Branch Managers

We would like to introduce you to the Grand Forks and Crookston, MN Managers that have joined FCCU recently. Please join us in welcoming these individuals to the Credit Union Family! We would also like to congratulate our new Napoleon Branch Manager, Eileen Moser.

Jeff Caillier

VP/Grand Forks Market Manager

Hometown: Crookston, MN

Education: Graduate of NDSU and holds a Bachelor's in Finance

Experience: Ag Loan Officer in Grand Forks, ND

Hobbies: Curling, snowmobiling, cooking and travel

Garry Gambill

Branch Manager/Ag and Commercial Lender - Crookston

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Education: Graduate of National University in San Diego, CA and holds a BA and MBA

Experience: Business Relationship Manager and Loan Officer

Hobbies: Playing guitar, home handyman repairs and maintenance 

Eileen Moser

Napoleon Branch Manger

Hometown: Napoleon, ND

Experience: Joined FCCU in July of 1996 as a Member Service Representative. Promoted in 2009 to Loan Officer and again in 2010 to Member Service Manger. Eileen has worked for the Credit Union for over 32 years and has completed the Credit Union Start Education Program.

Your Market VP Could Have Pink Hair?

In an effort to raise more funds and drive more supplies for Hope Lodge, our third quarter charity, we decided to put pink hair on the line. Our Market Vice Presidents, Chief Development Officer and President have generously agreed to dye their hair pink and/or shave!

YOU can get your Market VP to participate by bringing in supplies for Hope Lodge, supplies include Kleenex, Zip Lock bags (any size), saran wrap, aluminum foil, laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Each supply is worth 5 points. Monetary donations are also welcome and are worth 1 point per dollar. 

If the bounty is met, that person will have to dye his hair or shave during FCCU's All Staff Training on October 8th.

Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Jamestown - AARP Driver Safety Course - September 20 at - FCCU Administrative Building
  • Bismarck - Bingo - October 11 at 3:30pm - Dakota Skies Bingo
  • Steele - Bingo - October 18 at 3:30pm - Dakota Skies Bingo, Bismarck
  • All Branches - International Credit Union Day - October 18 - Join us for door prizes, giveaways and treats!

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a widevariety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life andwould like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.

FCCU Receives Crystal Performance Award

FCCU was recently awarded the Crystal Performance Award by Raddon Financial Group (RFG).

The award was designed to recognize credit unions for achieving a top ten ranking based on the RFG Performance Index, a balanced scorecard measurement of growth, income, efficiency and margin management. Each year, more than 500 credit unions are evaluated for the Crystal Performance Award through RFG's CEO Strategies Group program. FCCU was ranked among the top 10 of all credit unions analyzed by RFG for three consecutive reporting periods.

To be eligible for the Crystal Performance Award, a credit union must participate in the CEO Strategies Group for an in-depth analysis of the credit union's financials, sales, products and member household relationships. Beginning in 2009, RFG recognized the top credit unions in two asset classes based on their performance: credit unions above $500 million and below $500 million in assets. The Crystal Performance Award is presented annually at Raddon's CEO Forum.

"This award is the result of each and every employee's hard work and dedication to our members," said Steve Schmitz, FCCU President and CEO. "We continue to be a leader in our industry and this award helps support that notion."

Branch Feature - Crookston

Hello from Crookston!

We are pleased to announce that the operational side of the Agassiz Federal CU merger is now complete. It has been a smooth transition and we are excited to continue serving our community.

Last month we had a member celebration held in Crookston and Climax. Members were invited to stop in for refreshments, door prizes, giveaways and CD and loan specials. Our community also celebrated the famous Ox Cart Days in Crookston. FCCU sponsored a free meal for all who attended.

Agassiz has a long history of serving local communities and we are continuing that tradition as we move forward.

From all of us in Crookston, we hope you have a great fall!

L to R: Noel Schanilec - Marketing Specialist from Grand Forks, Molly - Amanda's daughter, Amanda Lisell, Nora Hahn, Garry Gambill - Branch Manager. Not pictured: Crystal Ray.

Budgeting for Your First Car

Buying your first car is exciting! But with all the makes and models available today, picking out the perfect car can be a little daunting. Here are a few tips to help you prepare to purchase your first car.

  1. Set up a realistic budget. How much can you afford to spend on a car? An easy way to learn what you can afford is to get preapproved at First Community Credit Union. Once you know what you can afford, stick to that amount. Also prepare for additional expenses like gas, insurance, registration, title fees, taxes, maintenance and repair costs.
  2. Do your research. Sure, that sports car looks fun, but how much money will it take to keep it running? Make a list of things you need in a car and research reliability, safety features and gas economy for different makes and models of vehicles.
  3. Only buy what you can afford. If you're financing a car, make sure you can put down at least 20 percent of the car's price or you'll probably end up owing more than it's worth. If you can't afford to put down the 20 percent or pay off the car in 48 months, don't buy the car. Instead, purchase a less expensive vehicle or wait until you've saved more money.
  4. Read the fine print. If you finance a car, know what you're committing to. Dealerships love to convince people they can afford a monthly payment, but sometimes the cost is higher than you think.
  5. Take someone with you to the dealership. Do you know anyone who has a knack for making a deal? Or who knows cars inside and out? Get them to go with you for the test drive and take them out to lunch as a thank you. Having someone with some insight on your side at the dealership can help you make a wiser decision and possibly negotiate a great deal.

Buying your first car is a step toward financial independence. By following these tips, you'll be sure to make the right choice at the right time.

To learn more about the auto loans available at FCCU, or to get preapproved, call 800-850-7676, stop by your local branch or visit myFCCU.com

August

Youth Week Festivities at FCCU

Each year, FCCU celebrates Youth Week to encourage saving among our youth and the importance of proper money management. This year, the theme for Youth Week is 'The Science of Saving'. Most branch locations will be holding events and activities. Kids, make sure to join us so you can receive your idea journal and pen!

  • Bismarck - August 10th - 4 pm to 7 pm - Inflatables with water, pizza, drinks and prizes - Jaycee Centennial Park
  • Fargo - August 9th - 5 pm to 7 pm - Inflatables, hot dogs and refreshments - 52nd Ave S Branch. Root beer floats at all Fargo locations on August 10th
  • Hankinson - August 10th - 9 am to 3 pm - Ice Cream Floats and giveaways - Hankinson Branch
  • Jamestown - August 9th - 5:30 pm to 8 pm - Inflatables, pizza, snow cones and prizes - McElroy Park
  • Milnor - August 6th through 10th - 8 am to 4 pm - Prizes, giveaways and treats - Milnor Branch
  • Napoleon - August 8th - 5:30 pm to 9 pm - Taco in a bag, games, free swimming - Napoleon City Park
  • Oakes - July 31st - 11 am to 1:30 pm - Pee Wee reading to kids and giveaways - Oakes Library
  • Portland - Aug 6th through 10th - 8 am to 4 pm - Treats, giveaways and games - Portland Branch
  • Steele - August 6th through 10th - 8 am to 4 pm - Treats and giveaways - Steele Branch
  • Valley City - August 8th - 1 pm - Free movie, Hotel Transylvania 3 - Valley Cinema
  • Wahpeton - Aug 6th through August 10th - 9 am to 4:30pm - Giveaways, movie passes and treats - Wahpeton Branch
  • Wishek - August 8th - 5 pm to 6:30pm - Pool games, swimming and picnic - Wishek Pool
  • Lake Region (Devils Lake, Lakota, Bisbee, St John & Ft Totten) - August 8th - 3 pm to 5 pm - Swimming and refreshments. Ruger Park, Devils Lake
  • Larimore - August 6th - 10th - 9 am to 4:00pm - Treats, games and giveaways - Larimore Branch
  • Grand Forks & East Grand Forks - August 6th through 10th - 9 am to 4 pm - Treats, games and giveaways - Grand Forks & East Grand Forks Branches

FCCU to Hold Open Houses at Former Agassiz Federal CU Branches

We're excited to welcome our new members that are coming from our merger with Agassiz Federal Credit Union. The operational merger is complete and we're celebrating with open houses held in Crookston and Climax August 13-17. There will be refreshments, door prizes, giveaways and CD and loan specials.

"We invite the community to stop in and celebrate with us." said Garry Gambill, Branch Manager at FCCU. "Agassiz has a long history of serving local communities and we plan to continue this as we move forward as one."

The open house will be held during Crookston's community days called Oxcart Days. FCCU is sponsoring a meet and greet during the Corn and Brat Feed of the community festival. All are welcome to attend the free meal on Thursday, August 16th from 5-7. FCCU will have a tent and will be providing a special treat. Various other activities are planned throughout the week in celebration of Ox Cart Days.

Supply Drive for Hope Lodge

Each quarter FCCU's 225 employees choose an organization to support by raising money and awareness. Beginning in July, FCCU will be supporting the Sandra J. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. Located in Rochester, MN, this facility offers private suites for the comfort of its guests and their caregiver. Fostering a home-like environment, the Hope Lodge is equipped with a community dining room, kitchen,

family room, library and laundry facilities. The Lodge also offers guests a wide variety of cancer programs and services that provide information, resources and support.

The lodge is currently in need of specific items including:

  • Kleenex
  • Zip Lock bags (any size)
  • Saran wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Gas gift cards
  • Monetary donations

Individuals are encouraged to drop off items that they would like to contribute at their local branch. In addition to the supply drive, FCCU employees will also be doing Jeans Fridays and providing a free lunch for the residents of Hope Lodge. The fundraising dates are July 1st - September 30th.

Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Jamestown - Ice Cream Social - August 16 from 2pm to 4pm - FCCU Main Branch
  • Jamestown - AARP Driver Safety Course - September 20 time is TBD - FCCU Administrative Office
  • Oakes - "Won't You Be My Neighbor" - August 10, 11 & 12 at 7:30pm - Grand Theatre
  • Bismarck - Movie - August 9 at 1:30pm - Grand Theatre
  • Steele - Ice Cream Social - August 24 - FCCU Branch

Deb Humann Retires after 31 Years with FCCU

After 31 years of service to credit union members, Deb Human will retire from First Community Credit Union on Thursday, August 30th.

Deb began as a teller in Jamestown in 1987 and moved to Bismarck in 1992. During her three decades of service, she held a variety of responsibilities including indirect loans, loan processing, new accounts and IRA; Deb has been a Financial Services Officer since 2013.

"I'm going to miss the members and all the employees I've worked with over the past 31 years," said Deb. She continued, "I remember there was a time when I was nervous to meet with members and a previous manager stuck with me and encouraged me to get into loans. I'm glad she did. It's the most rewarding part of my job to work with members."

In recognition of her retirement, an open house will be held from 1-4 pm on Thursday, August 30th. Cake and refreshments will be served. The event will be held at the Bismarck North branch located at 3201 Weiss Avenue.

Deb and her husband will be relocating to Napoleon to be closer to family.

Join us in wishing Deb a very happy retirement!

Branch Feature - Jamestown

Hello from Jamestown!

We have had some changes in Jamestown and are excited to share them with FCCU members. Nick Schauer joined us in March as VP of the Jamestown Market. Originally from Wishek, he comes to us after spending 15 years at the USDA and most recently as an Assistant VP at a bank in Napoleon. In May, Monica Hieb was promoted to Retail Manager in Jamestown. In addition to serving our members, she now supervises our consumer loan officers. At the same time, Amy Hehr was promoted to Member Services Manager, overseeing the tellers.

FCCU is proud to have started in Jamestown; we have an excellent team and a wide variety of products to support our strong membership. Monica, Kayla and Holly in the main office would love to help you buy that new car or boat. See Mona or Leah to open your new checking or savings account. Tanya can find the right loan to get you into your new home. FCCU also provides business loans and services. Whether you need a farm loan or are looking to start a new business; Nick, Jeremy, and Brianna will be there to show you the way. If you are near our Buffalo Mall location, Deb and Mike can find the right loan for you. When you walk in the door of our Jamestown Main location you'll be greeted by Janine, our receptionist. Last but not least, our great teller staff includes Sharon, Trevor, Nadine, Tiffany, Shirley, Julie and Barb.

Summer is winding down, but not before our Youth Week celebration! We'll be gathering in McElroy Park on Thursday, August 9th from 5:30 - 8 pm. There will be inflatable games, food, treats and prizes. If you're in the Jamestown area, please join us. The Block Party is another fun summer event in Jamestown. Come visit our booth on Thursday, August 30th from 5 - 8 pm. Dozens of businesses and organizations set up booths downtown to welcome the freshmen from the University of Jamestown. The community supports this event and hundreds of people attend each year. Let's hope for favorable weather…it's usually really hot!

We wish you a great rest of the summer and a beautiful fall.

From Nick Schauer and the Jamestown team

July

Fargo 52nd Grand Opening A Success

grand-opening

FCCU proudly announced that we've expanded in Fargo on 52nd Avenue South. There was a great need for expansion in order to meet the growing membership base in the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as support our 45,000 members across North Dakota and Minnesota.


The stunning 28,000 sq foot facility includes drive-up lanes, conference rooms, a large waiting area, ATM and other state of the art features. In addition to tellers and loan officers, the new building houses business lenders, mortgage officers and several other administrative staff. The branch is located at 5201 42nd Street South, Fargo.


"When we began the building process, we had no idea how quickly we would need the space," said Craig Grundstrom, Chief Development Officer. "With our growth in Fargo and the recent mergers with Citizens Community and Agassiz Federal Credit Union, our new building couldn't have come at a better time. It's a beautiful facility and we look forward to serving our growing consumer and commercial members in Fargo and beyond."


A Grand Opening was held the week of June 11-15 with various festivities. The Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at the new facility at 11am on Wednesday, June 13


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Hope Lodge Named as Third Quarter Charity

hope-lodge

The third quarter fundraising organization, as chosen by FCCU staff, is the Sandra J. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. Located in Rochester, MN this facility offers private suites for the comfort of its guests and their caregiver. Fostering a home-like environment, the Hope Lodge is equipped with a community dining room, kitchen, family room, library and laundry facilities. The Lodge also offers guests a wide variety of cancer programs and services that provide information, resources and support.


"When we first heard of Hope Lodge, most employees weren't familiar with the facility," said Justene Kouba, Marketing Specialist. "We came to find out that several employees have had family members utilize the space while undergoing cancer treatments. It can be very challenging when a loved one has cancer, Hope Lodge helps to ease the journey."


To support Hope Lodge, FCCU branches will be holding a supply drive. The lodge is currently in need of specific items including: Kleenex, Zip Lock bags (any size), saran wrap, aluminum foil, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, gas gift cards and monetary donations. Members are encouraged to drop off items that they would like to contribute at their local branch.


In addition to the supply drive, FCCU employees will also be doing Jeans Fridays and providing a free lunch for the residents of Hope Lodge. The fundraising dates are July 1st - September 30th.


For more information on Hope Lodge, visit: cancer.org/treatment


Christmas in July

christmas-in-july

Holiday Shopping in the Summer? Yes, it's a thing.

"Christmas in July" can mean a lot of things depending on where you live. For many, "Christmas in July" means just that – getting your holiday gifts now when you see a sale or while on vacation. The biggest advantage of holiday shopping in the summer is that you can take your time, stay out of debt, and stick to your budget. Check out the tips below to stay ahead of the holiday rush.


Establish a gift list and set up a budget. This way, you can pick up items when they go on sale and as you see them. Maybe you find a great shirt in Mexico on a cruise, or a fun ornament at Disney for a family member. Or while attending a community festival, you see a homemade blanket or something unique for a friend. Just keep track of what you spend.


Take advantage of holiday savings accounts. Use this money for your holiday shopping or if you need to make payments on a fun holiday vacation with your family. At First Community Credit Union, our holiday account helps you earn a little more interest throughout the year – take a look at what we have to offer at myFCCU.com.


Shop around. Because you're shopping early, you can take time to check out more options and find the best deal. Consider using your card rewards. Consider using the rewards from your credit and debit cards on special gifts for family or friends. Check out the reward options on First Community Credit Union cards at curewards.com.


Don't look at it as rushing into the holiday. Think of it as carefully planning your gift giving.


If you start your holiday shopping now, you'll have more time to spend enjoying the holiday season.



FCCU Raises $5,500 for Suicide Prevention

suicide-prevention

The Jamestown community, home of FCCU Headquarters, has had recent deaths by suicide keeping this cause at the top of employee's minds. We live in a tight-knit community where our members are our friends and we get to know them on a personal level. Losing a member of the community by suicide directly impacts our staff, members, friends and family. Though it is too late to help those who have died by suicide, we strive to prevent it. Across our entire branch network, First Community's employees made suicide prevention our mission for our second quarter charity and raised $5,500 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


There were many activities FCCU participated in to help raise funds and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention including a staff meeting with Samantha, Dakotas Area Director for AFSP, Jeans Fridays, Pin Ups, social media posts, FirstLink's Annual Breakfast, TEARS informational seminar and an Employee Silent Auction.


To kick off the fundraising for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, FCCU hosted a meeting for all employees who wanted to attend with the Dakota Area Director of AFSP. It was an informational meeting to learn more about AFSP and the resources available Employees were able to ask questions and hear directly from someone who specializes in this area. Employees are allowed and even encouraged to wear jeans on Fridays! They need to pay $1 and all money goes towards our quarterly charity.


Pin Ups were sold across all FCCU branches in increments of $1, $5, and $10. Selling Pin Ups not only allowed FCCU to raise money for AFSP, but also helped spread awareness and support. One branch in Devils Lake made a contest out of it between employees and had to request a new supply several times.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is one of the many reasons employees chose Suicide Prevention as our second quarter charity. Marketing posted "Did You Know" pieces on social media and encouraged staff to share. These posts included information such as: on average, there are 123 suicides per day and for every suicide, there are 25 attempts. This information was posted with a link to AFSP to help fight suicide!


FirstLink's 10th Annual Breakfast is another way FCCU employees supported suicide prevention. FirstLink is a separate organization from AFSP, but they are working towards the same goal of a 24/7 online support system. FCCU sponsored a table at the annual breakfast on May 2nd in Fargo, ND and had staff present.


TEARS, Together We Educate about the Realities of Suicide, is an educational group that is established through Altru in Grand Forks, ND. Our Portland Branch hosted a seminar for the entire community to learn about suicide. The town of Portland and surrounding area has been greatly impacted by suicide and FCCU wanted to provide support for their members and community. A speaker came from Grand Forks to educate and answer any questions that people had.


suicide-prevention-psa

FCCU employees took a unique route to raise a lot of money for a cause that is close to our hearts. The Employee Silent Auction was held on FCCU's intranet and all branches were encouraged to participate. Branches donated items $25 and over and employees were able to bid. Our president generously donated a day off to "play hooky with the CEO" for three employees. A Financial Services Officer donated homemade baked goods and was willing to hand deliver them to any of our branches across the state! Dozens of other great items were donated and our silent auction alone raised $2,741! We are thankful for our generous employees and community members who helped make this a successful second quarter charity.



Youth Week Set for August

youth-week

Each year, FCCU celebrates Youth Week to encourage saving amongst our youth and the importance of proper money management.


The theme this year is "The Science of Saving," showcasing fun, sci-fi-inspired characters. Science has proven that if you start with small goals, saving your money can become a regular habit. This year's Youth Week inspires children to begin saving the money they earn so they can attain their dreams of a happy future. Each branch location will be holding events and activities the week of August 6th - 10th.


Kids, make sure to stop by your local branch for giveaways during Youth Week.


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

members-choice-club

Join us for our upcoming events:


  • Jamestown - Annual Picnic - July 19 at 11:30am - ND Farmer's Union

Pick up tickets at Jamestown Main Office by Thursday, July 12th.

Must have a ticket to enter.

  • Jamestown - Ice Cream Social - August 16 from 2pm to 4pm - FCCU Main Branch
  • Oakes - Movie - August (TBD) at 7:30pm - Grand Theatre
  • Bismarck - Movie - August 9 at 1:30pm - Grand Theatre
  • Steele - Ice Cream Social - August 24 - FCCU Branch

We still have openings for our Mystery Tour September 12-16. Consider joining us! Those of you who have been on our Mystery Tours in the past know that they are full of amazing food, beautiful scenery and unforgettable memories. Although you won't know the destination, you'll be sure to enjoy the ride! Contact us for more information.


We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.

June


FCCU TO CELEBRATE FARGO 52ND GRAND OPENING

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The building is now complete and it's time to celebrate! Our Fargo 52nd branch is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind facility and we're excited to share it with you. Join us for Grand Opening festivities June 11-15. There will be treats, giveaways and door prizes including a Yeti cooler, Amazon Alexa Show, Scheels gift card, Valley Fair tickets, Redhawks and Twins tickets and much more. In addition, our Fargo branches will have great CD, loan and new account specials. For more information, visit myFCCU.com. You won't want to miss this event!


There will be a Ribbon Cutting event, with the FM Chamber, on Wednesday, June 13th at 11 am. Members of FCCU and the community are welcome to attend. Free lunch will be served at 11:30 am catered by the Spitfire Grill.


Construction began on the unique building in September of 2016. The stunning 28,000 square foot building features natural light as well as a modern design. Approximately 10,000 square feet is currently finished which includes: 17 offices, a break room, conference rooms and a lobby area. The initial intention was to keep a portion of the building for rental space, however with the recent mergers and growth both locally and throughout our Credit Union, we are not moving forward with 3rd party tenants at this time. In addition to Tellers and Loan Officers, our beautiful building will house our Business Lenders, Mortgage Officers and several other administrative staff such as HR, accounting and audit.


"When we began the building process, we had no idea how quickly we would need the space," said Craig Grundstrom, Chief Development Officer. "With our growth in Fargo and the recent mergers with Citizens Community and Agassiz Federal Credit Union, our new building couldn't have come at a better time. It's a beautiful facility and we look forward to serving our growing consumer and commercial members in Fargo-Moorhead and beyond."


Deb Backer's 40th Anniversary with FCCU

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Deb Backer, Financial Services Officer at the Buffalo Mall Branch in Jamestown, is celebrating 40 years with FCCU!


Deb started with First Community in 1978, as an Ag Loan Processor. "The person I was replacing was only going to be with me for two days so basically I had to train myself. It was a little bit scary!" she commented. Deb also held the position of Insurance and Title Tracking and Member Service Representative before moving into her role as an Financial Service Officer.


A lot has changed over the course of 40 years at FCCU. "Of course the biggest change would be technology," Deb explained, "I started on a typewriter and everything was posted and balanced by hand."


Deb puts members first! After all, they are her favorite part of her job. "I love working with members, they become just like family and you can work with several generations."


In honor of Backer's anniversary, FCCU hosted an open house at the Buffalo Mall Branch in Jamestown on Friday, June 1st from 1-3pm. Cake and refreshments were served.


Please join us in thanking Deb Backer for her many years of service to FCCU and its members.


Magic Minute Warehouse Dash

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Imagine the rush of gripping the handle of an empty, oversized shopping cart in a warehouse stacked to the rafters with high-end merchandise – flat screen TVs, laptops, tablets, sporting goods, appliances and more. You have one full minute to grab as much cool stuff off the shelves as you can. Legs flex ready, eyes forward, you wait for the starting buzzer to sound and... zoom! You're off on a mad dash to bag anything in sight that strikes your fancy!


It can happen to you! FCCU wants to give all of our CURewards® cardholders the chance to win a trip to Chicago for the most outrageously exciting shopping thrill of a lifetime. Just a few years ago, it was FCCU member Brittany who enjoyed this trip of a lifetime!


It's called the Credit Union Magic MinuteTM sweepstakes and here's all you need to do for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the Windy City and a place for you and a guest at the starting line:


1. Register to enter the sweepstakes at www.CUMagicMinute.com.

2. Use your FCCU credit or debit card with points to make at least three purchases per week during any or all of the weeks between June 4 - September 9.

3. Every time you use your card, your name will be entered in up to seven drawings to pick the winners from credit unions participating in the Magic Minute.

4. The more you use your card, the more entries you'll have in the drawings, and the better your chances of winning.


Register now and start dreaming! Check www.CUMagicMinute.com for complete sweepstakes details, rules and free method of entry.

No Purchase Necessary to enter or win. Open to credit & debit cardholders who are legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, 21 or older, who are enrolled in a participating Credit Union CURewards Program. Ends 9/9/18. Void where prohibited. See full rules & how to enter without purchase at www.cumagicminute. com. Sponsor: PSCU, 560 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716.


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

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Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Jamestown - Art Class - June 21 at 1pm - Arts Center
  • Jamestown - Annual Picnic - July 19 at 11:30am - ND Farmer's Union
  • Hankinson - Ice Cream Social - July 3 from 10am - 2pm - FCCU branch
  • Napoleon - Dairy Day - June 13 - FCCU branch
  • Wishek - Ice Cream Social - June 11 from 1:30 - 3pm - Senior Center

We still have openings for our Mystery Tour September 12-16. Consider joining us! Those of you who have been on our Mystery Tours in the past know that they are full of amazing food, beautiful scenery and unforgettable memories. Although you won't know the destination, you'll be sure to enjoy the ride! Contact us for more information.


We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.


Mortgage Department & Tanya Nenow Receive Housing Awards

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L to R: NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline, FCCU's Deb Stoppler, Craig Ventzke Jeremy Lindell, Stephanie Samuelson, Tanya Nenow, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, FCCU's Darin Engstrom and Carissa Martin.

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency recognized its outstanding partners as Champions of Affordable Housing at the Statewide Housing Conference held recently.


Among the lending institutions and individuals recognized was First Community Credit Union and loan officer, Tanya Nenow, who received the 2018 Champion of Affordable Housing Individual Lender Award.

"The Champions Awards recognize and celebrate the work of individuals, non-profit organizations, public agencies, and private sector businesses who go above and beyond to provide affordable housing for North Dakotans." said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.


Through NDHFA's homeownership programs individuals and families, which are typically first-time buyers, receive low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.


"Congratulations to the mortgage team. The entire group works hard to get our borrower's into their new homes and to be recognized by NDHFA is an honor," said Mary Radenz, VP of Mortgage Lending. "Congratulations to Tanya on her individual award as well. She is committed to helping her borrowers achieve home ownership by helping them make informed decisions and finding the loan that best suits their needs."


Simplify Your Finances

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It's easier to get balance in your life when you simplify things. When it comes to your finances, there are a few steps you can take to make them more streamline.

1. Consolidate Your Accounts

If you have multiple checking or savings accounts, consolidate them to one of each – and do the same with retirement accounts. This will reduce paperwork and time spent checking different accounts. With only one account, you're less likely to miss a statement or payment. If you have several retirement accounts from job changes, you can roll these plans into an IRA or other employer-sponsored plan.


2. Stop the Paper Flow

If you're still receiving statements in the mail, enroll in e-statements so you can manage your accounts at your convenience – 24/7. For loans, you can get reminders of when payments are due, or set up automated payments to your account (and likely save money with a better rate).


3. Only Use One Credit Card

If you have multiple credit cards, try to pay each of them off starting with the card with the highest interest rate. Get your stack of cards down to two if possible: one for emergencies (such as an unexpected medical bill or car repair) and one you use regularly. This way, you only have to keep track of your everyday purchases and expenses associated with one account.


4. Work to Become Debt-Free

Budget your spending so your income is more than your outgoing expenses. If you buy less "stuff," you'll have more to pay your bills, save, and even splurge on things. Work to become debt-free and try to increase your savings as well. Living this way can reduce a lot of unnecessary stress.

May


FCCU Awards Seventeen with College Scholarships

In 2014, First Community Credit Union created a new program that supports our dedication to area communities by reinvesting in youth. FCCU donated $1 million into a scholarship foundation to provide additional scholarship dollars to graduating high school students. The earnings from the foundation go to fund scholarship opportunities for members of the Credit Union for years to come.

FCCU awarded seventeen graduating high school seniors from around the state with college scholarships. This year, FCCU will fund approximately $40,000 in scholarships, including multi-year scholarships from previous years.

FCCU and its Board of Directors are honored to provide 11 new multi-year $1,000 scholarships to the following students to use toward their college academia: Abbey Kitchens of Devils Lake, Addie Schnabel of Ashley, Benjamin Berdal of Mayville, Caitlin Phelps of Wilton, Cassidy Walth of Wishek, Dalton Schnabel of Kulm, Hannah Dockter of Valley City, Izaiah Bitz of Bismarck, Lily Hendrickson of Larimore, Ryan Klath of Portland and Sam Huffman of Oakes.

In addition, we are honored to provide an additional six single-year $1,000 scholarships to Bailey Skjefte of Oakes, Caleb Zimmer of Jamestown, Elizabeth Falcon of Belcourt, Kalie Gudmestad of Medina, Olivia Waswick of Gwinner, Race Kath of Hankinson.

Over the past 21 years, FCCU has given out more than $200,000 in scholarships. The Board of Directors recognizes the importance of young people receiving a good education and wants to encourage them to do their best. FCCU continues to do its part in providing incentives to help students reach their full potential.

On behalf of FCCU, we would like to extend our congratulations to the winners of the 2018 First Community Credit Union Scholarship Foundation Program. Best of luck to all our graduates this year!

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$4,000 Raised for Project Ignite Light & New Personal Record for Donations

We are thrilled to share that we have set a new record for the number of pajamas and blankets that we donated to Project Ignite Light for our first quarter charity.

We broke last year's record with 135 fleece blankets and 345 pairs of pajamas to their 'Bags of Hope.' In addition to the items, we raised and donated $4,000. This is the third year in a row that FCCU employees have chosen to support this cause and in the last three years, we have donated 301 blankets, 785 pajamas and raised an impressive $12,000!

"We had the opportunity to deliver the items in person to their facility and help pack Bags of Hope," said Kiella Lawrence, marketing specialist with FCCU. "It breaks your heart to hear that so many children have to go through such a terrible experience, but it's comforting to know that these bags are making a difference in their lives during such a dark time."

Project Ignite Light is an organization that strives to give thousands of abused and foster children a piece of security and hope. They do this by providing 'Bags of Hope' delivered through local advocacy centers. The bags are customized for the child's age and gender and include items such as a blanket, pajamas, undergarments, personal hygiene items, flashlight, book, and a water bottle. Every reported abused child receives a free bag. Currently they provide approximately 250 bags each month throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Since their founding nine years ago, Project Ignite Light has helped 14,000 children and they have a goal of bringing this program nationwide. For more information, visit www.ignitelight.org.

Thank you to everyone who helped us show our support for this wonderful organization.

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Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

Join us for our upcoming events:


Jamestown - Bingo - May 17 at 1pm - Senior Center

Hankinson - Ice Cream Social - July 3 from 10am - 2pm - FCCU branch

Napoleon - Dairy Day - June 13 - FCCU branch

Valley City - AARP Drivers Safety Course May 3 from 1pm-5pm - Senior Center

Wishek - Ice Cream Social - June 11 from 1:30 - 3pm - Senior Center


We still have openings for our Mystery Tour September 12-16. Consider joining us! Those of you who have been on our Mystery Tours in the past know that they are full of amazing food, beautiful scenery and unforgettable memories. Although you won't know the destination, you'll be sure to enjoy the ride! For more information, check out this brochure or contact your local branch.

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.

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FCCU Receives CU Social Good Award

We were recently recognized for our charity work as a Credit Union, as well as our dedication to our members by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD). Hundreds were in attendance at the credit union conference in Arizona as FCCU was recognized with the CU Social Good Award. The award was won for the Credit Union's fundraising efforts for our third quarter charity in 2017, local food pantries.

FCCU collected more than 1,000 food drive items and raised $3,500 for 10 area food pantries. Items donated ranged from macaroni and cheese to fruit cups and granola bars and a few juice boxes.

FCCU wanted to raise money in a unique way that tied to the theme of food and did so by creating "The Community Cookbook" raising additional funds for the local pantries. With help from FCCU members from across the region, the cookbook was packed with delicious recipes. All proceeds went to support your local food pantries.

"The Community Cookbook was an idea that was brought up several years ago," said Janna Bergstedt, Vice President of Marketing. "It was fun to bring it to life. We had a wonderful response from members providing recipes; in fact, we ended up having to change the cookbook because of the large number of submissions. It was a great problem to have!"

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FCCU Welcomes New Market VPs & Promotes New Branch Manager

We'd like to introduce you to several new managers that have joined FCCU recently. As you've likely seen, we're experiencing growth and have a great team in place to assist our members. Join us in welcoming these individuals to our Credit Union family!


KEVIN DAVIDSON

VP - Lake Region Market Manager


Hometown: Bismarck, but grew up in Valley City

Education: B.S. from VSCU, grad school in Boulder, CO and commercial lending school in Grand Rapids, MN

Experience: 30 years of banking, 20 years as branch manager and 30 years in commercial, mortgage and consumer lending

Hobbies: Golfing, gardening, DIY projects and spending time with family


NICK SCHAUER

VP - Jamestown Market Manager


Hometown: Wishek, ND

Education: Graduate of NDSU and holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Statistics

Experience: Loan Officer, AVP at Stock Growers Bank in Napoleon, ND. Before that he was the Deputy Regional Director of Upper Midwest Region for the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service

Hobbies: Bicycling, attending NDSU sporting events, watching his kids sporting events, and volunteer coaching


NATE MEDHUS

VP - Fargo Market Manager


Hometown: Moorhead, MN

Education: Bachelor's of Science degree in Financial Management from the University of North Dakota and is a graduate of the School of Banking in Boulder, CO

Experience: Nate has 15 years of business lending and extensive management experience in the banking industry. Nate also worked as president/CEO for ShareHouse, Inc. in Fargo

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, spending time with family at the lake and exercising


BEN WATKINS

Hankinson Branch Manager


Hometown: LaMoure, ND

Education: Graduate of University of Jamestown with degrees in Business Administration and Management Information Systems

Experience: Joined FCCU in September of 2013 as a Member Service Representative, then promoted to Member Service Representative Team Lead, and again to Financial Services Officer

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and spending time with my wife and baby

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Give Your Grad the Gift of Financial Education


Graduation is almost here. What are you planning to give your child to celebrate? Why not give the gift of financial education. Here are four financial concepts you can teach your graduate before he or she is off to college:


How checking accounts work

Every graduate needs a checking account. If you haven't set one up already, now's the time to do so. This way, you can answer any questions your graduate may have and go through the terms, conditions and fees on the account. Explain how to make a deposit and a withdrawal, and the importance of balancing their checkbook every month. And, tell them how to use a debit card properly and safeguard their information.


How to budget

A budget may not always be popular, but it's necessary – especially for students with limited income. Explain the difference between income and expenses, and how expenses should never exceed income. You could create a budget together and compare how you both do at the end of a month. This way, you can show how to make necessary adjustments and why. With a little competition, it can be fun!


How to use credit cards and why

Teach your graduate everything you know about credit cards – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Use personal experiences to explain how they work, what an interest rate is and why they should avoid paying interest at all costs. Encourage them to use their card for emergency expenses only. Help them understand that too much debt can limit what they can do in the future.


How to create a savings plan and why

Teach teens how to set up a savings plan. They may tell you they can't save in college or when starting a new job, but they can. Tell them it's easy to save a little every paycheck – especially if it's done automatically. Even if you're planning to pay their bills through college, they still need to know what things cost and where that money is coming from. Maybe give examples of how saving has helped you get through emergencies.

As a parent, your most important priority is your children. Send them off into the world with as much information as you can about their finances. Answer any questions they may have and show patience when they mess up. The more they know, the better they'll be in the long run.

Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.?

Source: Southwest Strategic Marketing, LLC

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April

Agassiz Federal Credit Union Merger Becomes Official

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Last fall, FCCU members voted and approved a merger with Agassiz Federal Credit Union of Crookston, MN. Although delayed a few months, the merger is now official as of April 1, 2018.

Agassiz Federal Credit Union has 1,500 members, assets of $13 million and seven employees. They were founded in 1953 and have two locations-Crookston and Climax, MN. The community of Crookston has about 8,000 people and is located 25 miles southeast of Grand Forks. Climax is 17 miles southwest of Crookston.

There is a legal merger effective date, which was April 1, 2018 and there is an operational merger effective date, which will be several months after the legal date. This is when all of the processes will be brought together into one, instead of running separately on two different systems. Note that during the operational phase, services will be limited and you may experience slight delays while we're in transition of accounts, software and processes. This is true for new members visiting existing FCCU locations and existing FCCU members visiting new (recently merged) locations.

"This is a very exciting time to be a part of FCCU," said Steve Schmitz, President and CEO. He continued, "We do want to thank you for your patience during this transition. If only it were so easy as to turn a switch and the merger would be done! It's not that simple. There's a lot of work that's going on in the background to make the transition go smoothly and as always, you will be our highest priority as we move through the merger process."

As we look to the future, we are excited to share that with the Agassiz and Citizens Community Credit Union mergers, as well as the new Fargo 52nd location, FCCU will have 28 branch locations, 45,300 members and serve 23 communities throughout North Dakota and into Minnesota. We look forward to working and growing with you in the future.


Free Shred Events to be Held at Three FCCU Locations

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First Community Credit Union is sponsoring its annual FREE Shred Day at three FCCU locations - Jamestown, Devils Lake and Grand Forks.

This event is free and open to the public. Simply drive up to the Docu Shred or MinnKota truck, deposit the items for shredding and they'll be shredded right before your eyes. Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders, but staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy discs are okay to be shredded.

With the ever growing risk of identity theft, FCCU feels that it's important to give the community an opportunity to discard confidential documents safely and securely. One way identity thieves can get your information is by picking through a person's trash and looking for things that contain identifying information. Shredding those items securely helps prevent the information from getting into the wrong hands.

Noel Schanilec, FCCU marketing specialist says, "We know how items such as bank statements, old tax filings, old checks or duplicate checks, physician statements, credit card receipts or statements, credit card offers and many other private documents can build up in homes. We want to provide the community with a safe outlet to have them securely destroyed."

"This also helps to protect the environment of our communities because all the shredded documents are then recycled," Schanilec adds. "It is a win-win for the members of our communities and the environment - saving the trees and protecting your identity."


Suicide Prevention Second Quarter Charity at FCCU

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Each quarter FCCU raises money and awareness for a different organization, as voted on by the employees of the Credit Union. Beginning in April, FCCU will be supporting suicide prevention in our region. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

"The topic of suicide can be very personal for some," said Janna Bergstedt, VP of Marketing for FCCU. She continues, "Unfortunately nearly everyone has been impacted by suicide, whether directly or indirectly. Our employees chose this cause because it's one that we feel is important and we want to help make a difference in those that have been impacted or could be in the future."

To support, FCCU will be holding fundraisers for members and employees and also finding ways to raise awareness for the cause. We'll be selling pin-ups at the branches with all proceeds going to the local chapters of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Funds raised through casual Fridays and other internal events will also be donated.

About the Local AFSP Chapter

The grassroots work the local chapter does focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.

As a part of AFSP's growing nationwide network of chapters, they bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize the chapter.

There are dozens of resources available for those who would like more information; simply visit www.afsp.org or call 1-888-333-AFSP.


Social Media Privacy. Tips to Protect Yourself Online

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Every day hackers prowl social media networks looking for victims. They use spyware to remotely access your phone, laptop, iPad or computer through downloads, emails, or instant messages in hopes of obtaining your social media passwords.

Identity thieves gather personal information about their victims from what they post on social media - birthdays, email addresses, cell phone numbers, and more. Then, they hack into email accounts and have access to all sorts of personal information. Beware, the information you post about where you are can actually invite burglars or thieves to your home or business because they know you're not there.

How can you protect your information?

Here are some ways to protect your social media accounts so you can network with friends, family, and customers with peace of mind:

  • Create strong passwords that include symbols, numbers, and capital letters. Don't use common passwords, like your child's name, spouse's name or birthday.
  • Choose enhanced privacy options on your social media sites to protect your personal information and be careful what you post. Personal information, such as your children's names or photos or your full name and address, can be used by hackers and stalkers to stalk you, cyber bully, or even steal your identity.
  • Install updated anti-virus and anti-spyware on your computer to protect you from malware, viruses, and spyware.
  • Keep your critical applications updated, such as your operating system and internet browsers (which are prone to hacker attacks).
  • Avoid using social media on public devices - if you do, log completely out after you use the device.
  • Don't click on social media links that look suspicious - even if they're from friends or family. You never know if they've been hacked. And, don't "re-friend" someone - that's usually an indicator that someone has been hacked.

Hackers are constantly looking to access your personal information, so protecting your privacy on social media is worth the effort. Do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe online and always think about what you post.

Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.

Sources:

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-protecting-privacy-social-media.html

https://www.reputationdefender.com/blog/general/top-five-social-media-privacy-concerns-2014


An Estate Plan is Not Just a Nice Idea

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Did you know that less than half of Americans have a will? And, even less have an estate plan? Many people think they don't need an estate plan because they don't have a vast estate. But, the truth is an estate plan deals with the distribution of assets and legacy wishes, and can help you and your heirs pay less in taxes, fees and court costs should you pass away. Ask yourself the following questions to see if an estate plan is right for you.

Do you have children? How do you want finances distributed or managed for your children, when you die? An estate plan states how inherited finances will be managed for surviving children. Additionally, an estate plan can protect children from making bad financial decisions or being affected by negative financial decisions of others.

How big is the estate you will be leaving behind? If it is large and/or complicated (i.e. involves a business, stock shares, retirement funds, etc.), it may be worth your time to establish an estate plan so that the division of your assets goes smoothly.

Do you want to avoid probate? Probate can be expensive and complicated for surviving heirs. By establishing a living trust through an estate plan, your property will transfer to your surviving family members quickly and easily without probate, allowing more of the property you leave to go to the people you want to inherit it.

Would you like some money to go to charities? Your estate plan will make sure your wish to give money to charities is fulfilled appropriately.

Do you own a business? If so, you can legally declare your successor for your business (in the case of your death) in your estate plan.

Do you have any potential creditors? An estate plan can protect your assets from creditors during your lifetime and after your death.

If you feel an estate plan is a good option for you, now may be a good time to get one started.

Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/top-reasons-why-you-need-an-estate-plan-3505444

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-living-trusts-avoid-probate-29848.html


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

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Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Bismarck - Bingo - April 5 at 3:30pm Dakota Skies Bingo
  • Jamestown - Spring Floral Class - April 19 at 1pm - Country Gardens
  • Oakes - AARP Drivers Safety Course - April 26 from 1- 5pm at the Oakes Armory. Call 742-2376 to register
  • Valley City - AARP Drivers Safety Course May 3 from 1pm-5pm - Senior Center

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.









March

Welcome Former Citizens Community Members!


A warm welcome to our new Citizens Community Credit Union members who are reading the FCCU newsletter for the very first time!


We're happy to announce that we will be hosting open houses March 19-23rd in celebration of our merger with Citizens Community Credit Union that took place January 1st. The open houses will take place at the former Citizens branch locations in Bisbee, Devils Lake, East Grand Forks, Fort Totten, Grand Forks, Lakota, Larimore, Northwood and St. John. There will be refreshments, door prizes, giveaways and CD and loan specials.


"We invite members to stop in and celebrate with us. Signage has changed with the new brand, but it's the same familiar faces when you step in the doors and we look forward to continuing to serve our members," said Kevin Davidson, VP of the Lake Region.


A free meal will also be held in Devils Lake at the Knights of Columbus on Wednesday, March 21st at 5:30. Advance tickets are necessary and can be picked up at any FCCU location prior to Friday, March 16.


The foundation of any strong community is its members and their commitment to come together. Both First Community Credit Union and Citizens Community Credit Union share that philosophy. Our credit unions have a long history of serving local communities. As we move forward as one, First Community will now have 26 locations serving 21 communities. We are Stronger Together!


We are currently in the operational phase of the merger, which is when processes will be brought together into one instead of running on two separate systems. This process will be completed by the end of 2018. Learn more at www.myFCCU.com.


Pictured below are FCCU's board of directors during a visit to all of the former Citizens' branches in February. Photo is in St. John, ND, just five miles south of the Canadian border.

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New Financial Management Software Now Available within Online Banking


This isn't your standard financial software. Money Management goes beyond by offering a complete and easy way to budget, gain control over your spending and helping you save more. Money Management replaces the previous system called Finance Works and includes:


• Outside account aggregation

• Spending chart with auto-categorization for both personal and business

• Budgets, including smart auto-creation of budgets based on spending history

• Text and e-mail alerts

• Debt payoff forecasting

• Detailed net worth analysis and tracking

• Cash flow calendar

• Enhanced goals including debt payoff, savings and retirement


Log in to online banking and click on the Money Management link to get started!

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Your Road to Better Credit


Are you looking to improve your credit this year? By following these simple steps, you'll be on the road to better credit, which will lead to a better financial future for you.


Pay Your Bills On Time


It's essential that you pay your bills on time every month if you want to improve your credit score and avoid late fees. One way to accomplish this goal is to set up automatic bill repayment, which you can do using FCCU's online bill payment service or by ACH. If you don't feel comfortable with automatically repaying your loans, you should consider setting up alerts on your accounts to remind you when bills are due. That way, you never miss a payment or forget about one.


Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe


If you can pay a little extra toward the principal amount on each of your loans every month, you'll be able to see the benefits fairly quickly. Of course, this is easier said than done. Start by increasing your payments by an extra $10 each month for all of your loans. As time progresses, you can increase that amount and start reaping the benefits of lower debt and a higher credit score.


Only Use What You Need


Another important piece of advice to follow is to only use the credit you really need. It is always better to save for a larger purchase than to put the amount on a credit card and pay it off over time. You may encounter situations where you must make a large purchase and credit is your only option. Just make sure you use the best credit option available to you.


Get Rid of Unneeded Credit Cards


While it is important to have credit cards, it is not recommended to have 10 of them. Pick one or two credit cards that provide you with the greatest benefit, and work to eliminate the rest. It's important to speak with a credit adviser prior to closing a long-term card, because you want to make sure you are not hurting your credit score in the "length of credit history" category by doing so.


The reality is that improving your credit score may take time. But, if you take small steps every day to do so, you will reap the benefits and end up with a better credit score in the long run. To speak to a credit advisor at FCCU to help you establish goals and improve your credit score, call 1-800-850-7676, or stop by one of our branches.


Sources: 1. www.money.com 2. www.myfico.com


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New 52nd Fargo Branch Opening Soon!


The highly-anticipated Fargo 52nd South branch is expected to open later this month!


Although construction will still be occurring on a portion of the building that will house our ag and commercial lenders, the retail area is nearly complete and we're excited to share this beautiful space with our members.


Stay tuned for more information about the branch opening, including a Grand Opening Celebration tentatively planned for late May!


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Scholarship Deadline Approaching


Do you know a high school senior that's graduating this year? Make sure you let them know about the scholarship opportunities available with FCCU! Once again we'll be offering multiple scholarships to our members this year that are seniors in high school. The deadline to submit an application is March 16th, 2018.


In 2018, the Credit Union will award eight $4,000 scholarships and five $2,000 scholarships, which are $1,000 per year. There are 13 scholarships available for the following schools in which FCCU has branch locations: Bismarck State College, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Concordia College, Lake Region State College, Minnesota State University of Moorhead, Mayville State University, Northland Community and Technical College, North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of Jamestown, University of North Dakota, University of Mary, and Valley City State University. In addition, a limited number of individual one-year scholarships will be available to any college, university, or trade school of the student's choice at the value of $1,000.


For full details and to access the online scholarship application, please visit our website at www.myFCCU.com/scholarships.


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Reminder of 79th Annual Meeting March 19th


Join us as we reflect on the year and look ahead to the future of our growing Credit Union. The 79th Annual Meeting of First Community Credit Union will be held on March 19, 2018, beginning at 5:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Farmers Union Conference Center located at 1415 12th Avenue SE in Jamestown.


Two positions on the Board of Directors need to be filled. They are three year terms. Sharman Zachrison and Bonnie Nelson have submitted petitions for re-election. No other petitions were submitted. Serving on the nominating committee are Jason McKenney, Sue Corwin and Sandy Franke. As directed by the bylaws, the chairperson of the Board of Directors will declare the vacancies filled by acclamation at the Annual Meeting.


Following the business meeting, a meal will be served. Meal tickets must be purchased in advance for $2 and can be picked up at any FCCU office prior to close of business, Friday, March 9.


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Member's Choice Club Events


Join us for our upcoming events:


• Bismarck - Bingo - April 5 at 3:30pm Dakota Skies Bingo

• Jamestown - Movie - March 15 at 1pm Bison 6 Cinema

• Oakes - AARP Drivers Safety Course - April 26 from 1- 5pm at the Oakes Armory. Call 742-2376 to register

• Portland - Luncheon - March 12 at 12pm Portland Sr. Center

• Steele - Bingo - March 21 at 2pm - Kidder Emmons Senior Center

• Valley City - AARP Drivers Safety Course May 3 from 1pm-5pm - Senior Center


We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.


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Still Time to Support Area Children in Need

Our first quarter charity for 2018 is Project Ignite Light, an organization that gives thousands of abused children a piece of security and hope. To support this life-changing organization, each branch is holding a pajama drive. We are collecting new two-piece pajamas in sizes newborn through 18 years of age. New fleece tie blankets are also accepted as a donation. They must be 1.5 yards each side and consist of two pieces of fabric; one solid and one patterned. For specific instructions, please visit: www.ignitelight.org. The pajama and blanket drive will go through March 30th, 2018.


Project Ignite Light provides about 200 "Bags of Hope" each month to reported abused children in Minnesota, North and South Dakota. The bags are free for the children and delivered through local advocacy centers. Each bag is customized for the child's age and gender and includes a blanket, pajamas, undergarments, personal hygiene items, flashlight, book and a water bottle. More information can be found at www.ignitelight.org.

February


Help Support Area Children Through Project Ignite Light


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Each quarter, FCCU holds fundraisers for different worthy organizations. Charities are voted on by employees. For every charity, FCCU will hold various events and promotions to support the organizations in their own unique way.


The following charities will be focused on in 2018: Quarter One: Foster & abused children; Quarter Two: Suicide Awareness; Quarter Three: Hope Lodge (providing private suites for cancer patients and their caregivers) Quarter Four: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Project Ignite Light is an organization that gives thousands of abused children a piece of security and hope. They provide about 200 "Bags of Hope" each month to reported abused children in Minnesota, North and South Dakota. The bags are free for the children and delivered through local advocacy centers. Each bag is customized for the child's age and gender and includes a blanket, pajamas, undergarments, personal hygiene items, flashlight, book, and a water bottle.


To support Project Ignite Light, each branch is holding a pajama drive for staff, members and people of the community to donate. We are collecting new two-piece pajamas in sizes newborn through 18 years of age. New fleece tie blankets are also accepted as a donation. They must be 1.5 yards each side and consist of two pieces of fabric; one solid and one patterned. For specific instructions, please visit: www.ignitelight.org. The pajama and blanket drive will go through March 30th, 2018.


Project Ignite Light is a faith based organization that provides children with important items needed when examined at local Children's Advocacy Centers around the United States for sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. The organization was founded in 2008 by Jamestown native, Pebbles Thompson. They function out of the old Barnes County North High School in Rogers, ND. More information can be found at www.ignitelight.org.


FCCU Raises $6,500 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals


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We recently held fundraisers for our 2017 fourth quarter charity, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) through Credit Unions for Kids. Employees of FCCU choose a different organization each quarter to support by raising money and awareness. FCCU was able to donate $6,500 to CMNH, a network of hospitals that has been helping kids in need for over 30 years.


North Dakota's local CMN hospital is Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo. Since 1984, Sanford Children's has served children and families as North Dakota's only Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Money raised for CMNH at Sanford Children's helps to fund lifesaving medical equipment, special programs unique to sick and injured children, research and education.


"It's humbling to see the impact that a donation can make," said Justene Kouba, Marketing Specialist at FCCU. Kouba continued to share, "While visiting the new Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo, we were able to see the amount of compassion and effort that staff provides to the children as well as their families. It's an honor to be able to donate to such a worthy cause."


Funds were raised through various means including selling chocolate bars, casual Fridays, parking spot raffle, holiday icons, and Shop for Miracles, where FCCU made a donation on International Credit Union Day. In addition, FCCU staff provided free lunch that day for doctors, nurses and residents at Sanford Children's.


Credit Unions for Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Adopted as the credit union movement's charity of choice, they are the 3rd largest sponsor of CMN Hospitals. One hundred percent of every dollar donated through Credit Unions for Kids goes back to the local CMN Hospital



Letter from the Branches: Jamestown Main


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Our branch feature for February is none other than Jamestown Main! This was our very first branch way back when our Credit Union began in 1939. With 16 employees, it's a full-service location with all deposit-related services as well as loan officers specializing in mortgage, business, home equity and consumer loans.


Members may not realize that our IT department is on the second floor of this location. Our five-person IT department supports all FCCU branch locations across the Credit Union. Their duties range from technical support for staff to security of member information and so much more.


Spring is right around the corner, along with many events in our community. The annual St. Patty's Day Run attracts hundreds of locals and tourists. It is held in Jamestown and raises money for various charities. The Home and Garden Show, put on by the Chamber, is another attractive event coming in early spring. FCCU will have a booth again this year, so make sure you stop by and see us!


If you haven't been to an event at the University of Jamestown's Harold Newman Arena, you're missing out. The Newman Arena opened its doors last fall and has been busy with events ever since. FCCU is proud to sponsor the scoreboard at the facility which hosts UJ basketball, volleyball wrestling and countless other college and community events.


From all the staff at Jamestown Main, warm wishes for a great winter. Remember... Spring is right around the corner!



Planning to Buy a Home This Summer? Get Ready Now!


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If you're planning to buy a home this summer, you should prepare now. Here are five things you can do to help you get into the home of your dreams as quickly as possible.


Get pre-qualified.

Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified. This way, you'll know what you can afford and can shop within your budget. Plus, you'll be a "serious" buyer to a seller. Discuss loan options with your lender and start thinking about how you plan to finance your home.


Hire a real estate agent.

You can do a lot of searching on your own, but it's still essential to have a real estate agent help you with the home buying process. Your agent can help you find a home you like, within your budget, and negotiate the best deal for you.


Find out your credit score.

Your credit score is key to getting the best loan possible. By law, you get one free credit report each year by going to annualcreditreport.com. Take advantage of this free offer and review your score. Make sure everything is in order. If your score is lower than anticipated, talk to your lender about how you can improve it before buying your home. There are things you can do to change your score in as little as three to six months. The better your score, the more options you'll have.


Save for your down payment.

The type of loan you choose determines the amount you need to save for a down payment. For example, some loans require as little as 3.5% of the purchase price while other loans require no down payment at all. In most instances, though, you need to prepare for a down payment of approximately 20% of the purchase price.



Get your documents in order.

If you know you're ready to buy within the next three to six months, start a file to use for documentation purposes. Ask your lender what you'll need for the loan and start preparing now. Some of these documents include paycheck stubs, W-2s, bank account statements, investment statements, details on current real estate holdings, or tax returns. Keep this information updated for your lender when you're ready to buy.


Buying a home takes time, but the process is easy when you're prepared. To learn more about the mortgage process at FCCU, contact the mortgage loan office nearest you. We'll walk you through everything you'll need to get into your home as quickly as possible.


2018 Tour & Events Announced


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First Community Credit Union is excited to announce the 2018 schedule for our senior club, Member's Choice Club. Interested in joining the club? Just be over 55 years of age and maintain one of the following account relationships with FCCU: $1,000 in checking, savings or IRA or have $5,000 in CDs.


This year we will be doing a Mystery Tour September 12-16! Those of you who have been on our Mystery Tours in the past know that they are full of amazing food, beautiful scenery and unforgettable memories. Although you won't know the destination, you'll be sure to enjoy the ride!


Satrom Travel, based in Bismarck, will once again be our travel agency this year and Jeff Willer from North Dakota Farmers Union will be our bus driver. Every effort will be made to make your tour with us as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We hope that you will include us in your vacation plans this year.


The Mystery Tour includes:

  • 4 nights stay at hotels
  • Breakfast daily, three dinners, one lunch
  • Roundtrip motor coach transportation by North Dakota Farmers Union
  • Fully escorted with FCCU's Monica Hieb
  • Baggage handling (1 bag per person)


Pricing for this amazing trip is per person as follows: $829 per person for quad occupancy, $915 for triple, $1,059 for double and $1,599 for single occupancy . For more information and to sign up for our Mystery Tour, contact Brenda at Satrom Travel at (701) 258-5000.


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events


FCCU is planning fun activities at each of our branch locations again this year. We ask that you call your local branch to reserve your seat at each of our events. Activities go much smoother when we know how many to prepare for.

  • Jamestown- Bingo - February 15 - 1:00pm - Jamestown Senior Center
  • Valley City- Lunch & Bingo - February 22 - 12:00pm - Eagles Club - RSVP by Feb. 15
  • Portland- Lunch - March 12 - 12:00pm - Portland Senior Center
  • Steele- Bingo - March 21 - 2:00pm - Kidder Emmons Senior Center

December/January


2017 Brings Mergers and Growth Opportunities


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Letter from the President, Steve Schmitz

As we reflect on 2017, we are filled with excitement for our growing Credit Union. This fall, we notified FCCU members of a merger opportunity with Agassiz Federal Credit Union based out of Crookston, MN. Our Board of Directors at First Community and the Agassiz's Board both approved the merger as well as the respective memberships. The next step in this merger process is getting final approval from the state credit union board, which has been slightly delayed, but is still anticipated to happen in early 2018.

Agassiz Federal Credit Union has 1,500 members, assets of $13 million and seven employees. They were founded in 1953 and have two locations-Crookston and Climax, MN. The community of Crookston has about 8,000 people and is located 25 miles southeast of Grand Forks.

We're also excited to share that FCCU will be merging with Devils Lake based-Citizens Community Credit Union. Citizen's has 10 branch locations in 9 communities serving 11,400 members and assets of $185 million. Branches are located in Devils Lake, St. John, Bisbee, Ft. Totten, Lakota, Northwood, Larimore, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

The combined credit unions will still be headquartered in Jamestown, ND and operate under the First Community Credit Union name. These mergers will result in a wider range of products, services and locations available to members, while preserving the friendly, quality service of a locally-owned credit union.

The merger with Citizens Community Credit Union came about a different way. In June of 2017, the NCUA conserved (took control) of Citizen's to ensure the safety and soundness of the credit union and since then, has been overseeing business while continuing to serve their membership. Our Credit Union was one of four North Dakota credit unions that was solicited to merge with Citizens. FCCU's Board of Directors passed a resolution to merge CCCU into FCCU. On November 27th, FCCU was notified that we were selected by the NCUA and shortly thereafter, the State Credit Union Board approved the merger.

The primary reason FCCU was selected was because of our strong financial stability. We completed extensive due diligence and while there were some loan issues, Citizens Community Credit Union was adequately funded to cover reserve requirements. We're excited about the opportunity to grow our Credit Union. Citizens has a strong history, operating for more than 77 years and when you combine that with First Community's experience, we're confident that we'll be stronger together.

Looking back on 2017, our success has been a direct result of the hard work of our employees, the commitment of our Board of Directors and the support and patronage of our members. As we look to the future, we are excited to share that with the addition of Agassiz and Citizens, as well as the new Fargo 52nd location, FCCU will have 28 branch locations, 45,300 members and serve 23 communities throughout North Dakota and into Minnesota. We look forward to working and growing with you in the future. I thank each of you for your part and look forward to another successful and prosperous year in 2018.

Respectfully Submitted,

Steve Schmitz

President & CEO

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Kim Halvorson Named FCCU Volunteer of the Year


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In recent years, FCCU launched a new volunteer program where employees track the number of hours they volunteer outside of work. Whether it is helping at church, coaching basketball, or volunteering at the local humane society, we encourage, recognize and reward staff who are involved in their communities.

Each year FCCU announces a Volunteer of the Year at an all staff event. This year's winner was Kim Halvorson, Internal Audit Manager at the Fargo Northland location. Kim and her son, Codi, spend about two hours each week at the Homeward Animal Shelter in Fargo helping in the kitten ward. Overall, she has spent more than 80 hours this year helping at the shelter. Kim also helps with the Real World Camp in Fargo-Moorhead where they give presentations to 5th graders on financial literacy topics. She has helped the last few years and is going to be on the planning committee next year to help with further preparations.

Overall, FCCU staff accumulated 2,000 volunteer hours during 2017! FCCU extends a huge thank you to all staff that gives of their time to their communities and we look forward to serving our communities for years to come.


Update on New Fargo 52nd Avenue Branch


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Last fall we shared plans for a new FCCU location in South Fargo with construction beginning September of 2016. Since then, the building has been fully enclosed and concrete has been poured for parking. The 28,000 square foot facility is expected to open its doors in spring 2018.

"Continued growth in the Fargo market has allowed the new facility to be built," said Craig Grundstrom, VP of the Fargo market. He continues, "A third location in Fargo allows us to serve our growing consumer and commercial members as development continues rapidly in South Fargo."

The building has a rather unique design. Natural light is utilized, as well as a very modern design. Approximately 10,000 square feet will be finished at opening and the new facility will house over half of our Fargo staff, including our growing ag and commercial lending department. Additional space will be finished in the future, including an area for third-party tenants on the second floor.


FCCU Raises $13,300 for United Way


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This fall, FCCU had four markets contribute their time and efforts to help fundraise for United Way. Between Bismarck, Jamestown, Valley City and Fargo, First Community Credit Union collectively fundraised a total of $13,376. Last year's total amounted to $13,591.

FCCU matched employee payroll deductions of $5,000 and held various other activities to raise funds. Fundraisers included a silent auction, bake sales and even an opportunity for staff to put a pie in several managers' faces, including our CEO! Stay tuned for photos of this event!

FCCU would like to thank the United Way campaign committee members and we look forward to the funds being utilized throughout our communities.

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on education, income and health. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action -- to give, advocate and volunteer -- to improve the conditions in which they live.


FCCU Employees Receive Years of Service Awards

We recently recognized several employees for their years of service to our Credit Union at our staff Christmas party. Their hard work, dedication and loyalty day after day, year after year, is greatly appreciated. Please, join us in thanking the following employees for their years of service to our members.

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College Scholarships Available


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Do you know a high school senior that's graduating this year? Make sure you let them know about the scholarship opportunities available with FCCU! Once again we'll be offering multiple scholarships to our members this year.

FCCU has an education foundation that supports our dedication to area communities by investing in today's youth. In 2014 we donated $1 million into a scholarship foundation to provide additional scholarship dollars to graduating high school students. The earnings from the foundation go to fund scholarship opportunities, including multi-year scholarships for members of the Credit Union for years to come.

In 2018, the Credit Union will award eight $4,000 scholarships and five $2,000 scholarships, which are $1,000 per year. There are 13 scholarships available for the following schools in which FCCU has branch locations: Bismarck State College, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Concordia College, Lake Region State College, Minnesota State University of Moorhead, Mayville State University, Northland Community and Technical College, North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of Jamestown, University of North Dakota, University of Mary, and Valley City State University. In addition, a limited number of individual one-year scholarships will be available to any college, university, or trade school of the student's choice at the value of $1,000.

Find out more and begin scholarship application.

For full details and to access the online scholarship application, please visit our website at www.myFCCU.com in early January. The deadline to submit an application is March 15th, 2018.


79th Annual Meeting to be Held


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The 79th Annual Meeting of First Community Credit Union will be held on March 19, 2018, beginning at 5:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Farmers Union Conference Center located at 1415 12th Avenue SE in Jamestown.

Two positions on the Board of Directors need to be filled. They are three year terms. Sharman Zachrison and Bonnie Nelson have submitted petitions for re-election. No other petitions were submitted. Serving on the nominating committee are Jason McKenney, Sue Corwin and Sandy Franke. As directed by the bylaws, the vacancies will be filled by acclamation at the Annual Meeting.

Following the business meeting, a meal will be served. Meal tickets must be purchased in advance for $2 and can be picked up at any FCCU office prior to close of business, Friday, March 9.


November

Children's Miracle Network Fundraising


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FCCU is now fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) as our fourth quarter charity. Employees chose a different organization each quarter to support by raising money and awareness.

FCCU helped CMNH by participating in Shop for Miracles on International Credit Union Day, October 19th. On behalf of our card holders, we made a donation to the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Sanford in Fargo. In addition, FCCU employees served lunch on International Credit Union day for patients and families at the Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo and Bismarck.

Each branch will also be selling World's Finest Chocolate bars to help raise money for this worthy cause and FCCU employees will hold internal fundraisers, including Friday jeans days.

CMNH is a network of hospitals that have been helping kids in need for over 30 years. FCCU's local hospital is Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo. All of the funds raised through Credit Unions for Kids go to the local hospital, which pays for medical treatment while children are staying at the hospital, as well as life-saving research.

Thank you in advance for your continued support!



Letter from the Branches: Wishek


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Hello and greetings from the Wishek branch!

Fall is definitely in the air in the Wishek area. This is always a busy time of year, as our farmers and ranchers are getting ready for the impending winter season. Grain is being harvested and livestock are being brought home from summer pastures. Although the farm commodity prices aren't where we would like to see them, we have been blessed in this area with bountiful crops and plentiful grass for the livestock to graze. Our wish is that everyone stays safe during this busy fall season.

Fall also brings many activities to Wishek. One that has been going on for over 90 years is the annual Sauerkraut Day that is held the second Wednesday of October, serving up large kettles of kraut and wieners with mashed potatoes and a drink. This was sponsored by the Wishek Association of Commerce and the businesses of Wishek as appreciation to patrons of the community throughout the year. Our employees are involved by being on the Association of Commerce, which plans this event, and also by serving the meal each year. This year, well over 1,000 people were served this free meal.

We are always looking for opportunities to help out in the community. Whether the need is sitting on a board for a community organization or helping fund a community project, we like to be there serving our community.

With November already here, we know the year will be gone before we know it. As Thanksgiving approaches, remember to give thanks for all of the blessings that you have received over this past year. Here at First Community Credit Union, we would like to thank all of our members who support and trust us with their financial needs.

We are proud to be serving this great community!

Wishek Team

Todd Schnabel, Branch Manager, Candace Bader, Jessica Fandrich, and Jennifer Stock



Two Board Positions Open


There will be two open positions on FCCU's Board of Directors. Terms up are Sharman Zachrison and Bonnie Nelson. Both have expressed interest in running for another term.

Nominees must be a member of FCCU for at least two years from the date of the annual meeting on March 19, 2018 and be a member in good standing. Members interested in running for the Board may pick up a petition at FCCU's office located at 310 10th St. SE in Jamestown. You may also request one by mail through your local office by calling 800-850-7676, extension 5127. Petitions are due back no later than December 1, 2017. Voting will take place at individual offices and at the Annual Meeting in Jamestown on Monday, March 19, 2018. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.



The Perfect Way to Budget for Your Vacation


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Going on vacation is a great way to decompress from the daily grind. But, sometimes in our quest for a fun vacation we overspend, which oftentimes leads to more stress upon return. This is certainly not what the purpose of a vacation is, right? One way to avoid unexpected vacation costs is using prepaid gift cards on your trip.

First, take a look at your vacation. Are you traveling within the United States or abroad? Is part of your vacation already paid for (e.g., flights, hotels, tours, etc.)? Are you traveling to areas where you can use prepaid cards? Once you have answers to these questions, consider the following:

If you want to cover day-to-day expenses, such as food, use restaurant cards or gift cards. Using Google Maps, you can find restaurants nearby and plan accordingly. Or, take along some prepaid gift cards and use when needed. Just make certain you have enough balance on the cards and they haven't expired. You may also need to check out the cards' spending limits, or whether there are limitations when it comes time to redeem them.

If you're traveling abroad, be sure to check whether you can use your intended card and what fees are charged. In most cases, a prepaid gift card (e.g., Visa, MasterCard or American Express) will be accepted abroad, but it is always a good idea to double check. Additionally, take a look at the fees charged to use these cards - it may not be worth it.

If you want to put your family on a budget during vacation, give them gift cards to spend. Everyone wants to buy a souvenir from someplace they've visited. Budget for it by giving each family member a gift card to use. This allows them to figure out what they want to purchase and they will not constantly ask for more funds. For example, if you're planning a trip to Disney World, you could give each of your children a $25 Disney gift card to purchase a souvenir.

Using prepaid cards for your vacation is a great way to ensure that you only spend the amount that you had budgeted. You'll return home rested, free of stress, and ready for the daily grind again.

If you are headed on vacation in the near future, ask one of our FCCU representatives about our prepaid Visa gift cards.



Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events


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Join us for our upcoming events:

Bismarck - Pie & Ice Cream Social - Nov. 9 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Bismarck Branches

Jamestown - Bingo - Nov. 16 - 1:00pm - James River Senior Center

Napoleon - Soup & Sandwich Social - Nov. 6 - 11:00am to 12:30pm - Golden Age Hall

Portland - Bingo - Nov. 16 - 2:00pm - Portland Senior Center

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.



How to Plan for the Holidays


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When you hear the word 'holiday', panic may begin to take root in your gut. Yes, the holidays mean Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving feasts, stocking stuffers, and much more to the majority of Americans.

If you are like the normal individual, you leave the majority of your holiday shopping until the last month or two and end up leaving your wallet looking rather sparse. We have a few solutions to share with you on how to keep your wallet from feeling squeezed.

Make a list and check it twice. Santa Claus has been offering up this piece of advice for years and there is a good point to it too. When you make a list of your family members, you force yourself to plan who you all need to purchase gifts for. Once you have that figured out, you determine what you would like to purchase for each individual and write down the costs associated with each item. Adding the estimated costs to each item will create an easier way of totaling you entire expenditures for the holiday season.

Utilize rewards strategically. Are you hosting the holiday meal? Or attending a block party or another festive event? How many gifts do you plan to purchase? Whatever the case, use the credit card that has the highest cash back rewards options for your stores - whether they're grocery or department stores. You can also use your card to pay for gasoline when traveling to Grandma's house to earn points.

If you do not have cash back or some type of rewards credit card, you can apply for one today by stopping in at First Community Credit Union. FCCU's Visa credit cards have great rewards available, including cash back or points toward great merchandise or vacations. FCCU also has Purchase Rewards within onlin banking that provides cash back on your debit card at places like Applebee's, Under Armour and Starbucks. Log in today to start saving!

If you need a new credit card, it's a good time to get one. During the holidays, many credit card companies offer special bonuses when you sign up for a new card. Some of these rewards may double or triple mileage or cash back points. Others may offer a 0% APR* on a card for the first 12-15 months. Don't get a credit card just to get one, but if you're planning to do something in the summer, or even next year during the holidays, take advantage of the offer now. Just be certain to pay back the balance before you're charged interest. This way you can earn rewards and not have to pay more than necessary.

Apply for a holiday loan special. If you aren't able to float all of your holiday expenses on your own dime, consider applying for a holiday loan. It can be nice to not have to worry about the costs of gifts as much. Talk with one of First Community Credit Union's representatives today about our Christmas loan special.

With the help of some of these solutions, you can spend less time worrying about finances and more time on your holiday menu and quality time with family. Don't forget to make the figgy pudding!

October

Join us for International Credit Union Day

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On October 19th, 2017, credit union members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement's impact and achievements. In honor of this special day, First Community Credit Union invites its members and the entire community to an open house at each of our branch locations. We will have giveaways, door prizes, and refreshments.

Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October. This year's theme, "Dreams Thrive Here", embraces the long-standing credit union philosophy.

FCCU will be helping to make miracles happen on International Credit Union Day by participating in Shop for Miracles. By using your credit union debit or credit card on October 19th, you can support the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Sanford in Fargo. We'll be donating up to $1,000 as a result. Like all Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' donations, funds raised locally will stay in the community to support the hospital's greatest needs, including life-saving research, treatments, equipment or charitable care.

On October 19th, credit unions from around the world will join forces to celebrate the day with you through membership drives, contests, and fundraisers to help out their local communities. We hope you can join First Community as we celebrate International Credit Union Day!

For more information about FCCU events, stop by your local branch and we hope to see you at the open house on October 19th.


FCCU Wraps up Quarter 3 Charity

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FCCU recently held fundraisers in support of our third quarter charity, local food pantries. We're proud to share that we collected nearly 1,000 items and rose $3,500 for 10 area food pantries. Items donated ranged from macaroni and cheese to fruit cups and granola bars, even a few juice boxes were found. All of these items are made for easy use, which helps children and families that can use some assistance.

FCCU wanted to raise money in a unique way that tied nicely with the theme of food; so we created "The Community Cookbook" to raise additional funds for the local pantries. With help from FCCU members from across all our branches, the cookbook was packed with delicious recipes. It's not too late to get yours! Just stop by the branch to check out this 300+ page cookbook for only $10. All proceeds go to support your local food pantries.

A sincere thank you to everyone who brought items and supported this cause. Not only were we able to help stock the shelves at local food pantries, but we also had fun while doing so. We thank you for your continued support of these worthy organizations.


FCCU Headquarters Holds Grand Opening

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We recently celebrated our grand opening for the newly expanded Headquarters, located in Jamestown. The event was hosted alongside with the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 100 professionals, including FCCU employees, chamber members and general public gathered for the event. A ribbon cutting ceremony kicked of the evening followed by hor d'oeuvres, drinks, drawings and tours.

FCCU purchased the former rental store connected to our building in 2016. The extensive remodel took place and the Member Relations and Operations departments now occupy the new 3,000 square foot addition. The outside of the Headquarters building was upgraded to a more modern look as well.

"When we moved to the administrative building nearly ten years ago, the goal was to streamline processes and to increase efficiency," said Steve Schmitz, FCCU President and CEO. "Since then, our Credit Union has grown exponentially and this expansion allows us to better serve our growing membership base now and for years to come."

The event was a success and the community enjoyed touring our newly remodeled facility.


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

Join us for our upcoming events:

  • All Branches - International Credit Union Day - Oct. 19 - Join us for door prizes, giveaways, and snacks!
  • Bismarck - Pie & Ice Cream Social - Nov. 9 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Bismarck Branches
  • Napoleon - Soup & Sandwich Social - Nov. 6 - 11:00am to 12:30pm - Golden Age

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.


What You Should Know on the Equifax Data Breach

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Equifax, one of the three major consumer reporting agencies, recently announced a breach impacting an estimated 143 million US consumers. According to their website, the information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases driver's license numbers. Credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 US consumers were also accessed. This unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. For those concerned about the breach, here are some resources available to you:

Equifax website for consumers to verify whether or not they are believed to be impacted by the breach, which can be found at www.equifax.com.

Equifax will provide one year of free TrustedID Premier, which provides the following identity theft protection and credit monitoring components:

3-Bureau Credit File Monitoring

Equifax Credit Report Lock

Social Security Number Scanning

Equifax Credit Report

$1 Million in Identity Theft Insurance

Equifax has published a FAQ page that they continue to update with information about the breach.

FCCU also offers ID Theft Protection services to members that have a checking account. Various options are available including:

Fully-managed Identity Recovery

Member Education

Monthly ID Theft Newsletter

Credit Report

Credit Score

Credit Monitoring

Expense Reimbursement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has further information available for those who are worried that their information has been lost or exposed. For more information, visit www.myFCCU.com.


Two Board Positions Open

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There will be two open positions on FCCU's Board of Directors. Terms up are Sharman Zachrison and Bonnie Nelson. They have both expressed interest in running for another term. Serving on the Nominating Committee are Jason McKenney, Sue Corwin, and Sandy Franke. The Board meets once a month to review financial statements, numerous reports, and determine various policies. Board members are also expected to attend any additional meetings as needed.

Nominees must be a member of FCCU for at least two years from the date of the annual meeting on March 19, 2018 and be a member in good standing. Members interested in running for the Board can pick up a petition beginning October 16 at FCCU's office located at 310 10th St. SE, in Jamestown. You can also request one by mail through your local office or by calling 800-850-7676, extension 5127. Petitions are due back no later than December 1, 2017. Voting will take place at individual offices and at the Annual Meeting in Jamestown on Monday, March 19, 2018. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.


Safe Online Shopping

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Nowadays, more and more people prefer to do their shopping online. You can find a lot of great deals, often with low-cost or free shipping. Having an easy-to-access marketplace that's open 24/7/365 where any product is at your fingertips is great. But it's important to be cautious when shopping online. The tips below can help ensure your purchases are secure.

Use credit cards instead of debit cards when shopping online. Credit cards generally offer additional protection compared to debit cards because credit cards are not directly linked to funds you own. Additionally, credit cards have a limit to the amount you are responsible for if your account information is stolen.

Use secure online payment services (like PayPal.) With these services, the retailer never receives your financial information – that limits the chances of your information being stolen.

Always look for the "https" URL when shopping online. The added "s" at the end of "http" means that the site you're visiting is encrypted, so your financial data (such as your credit card details) are kept private. In most cases, the text in the URL is preceded by a padlock symbol, which also means your information is protected.

Avoid shopping via public Wi-Fi. Instead, opt for your mobile phone network. It may be more convenient to use public Wi-Fi, but there are many risks. Most hotspots are not secure, so your information is available for any hacker to use.

If an online deal seems "too good to be true" – avoid it. Be cautious of bait and switch scams and any website that looks questionable. Check to see if the site is reliable and if anyone has reviewed the product, company or deal.

Only share what's required for your purchase. You'll likely need to give your name, address, phone number, email and credit card information. It's best to just fill in the required information fields that have asterisks.

As great as online shopping is, be cautious when making internet purchases. If you currently do not have a credit card and would like to apply for one, talk to one of our FCCU representatives and they will be willing to help you.

September

Free Isn't Always Free

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Have you ever visited a website where you're required to have a paid subscription to access their site; but then out of the corner of your eye you spot a deal where there is a free trial for a week, a month, maybe even a year? So naturally, you sign up. You enter all of your information into their system; your address, email address, phone number, and sometimes even your credit card information is asked for. Generally you wouldn't hand out your credit card information like that, but they said it is free and won't charge your card until after the free trial. Right?

Wrong. This is where we generally find a few shades of grey in the free offer.

Most websites that offer free trials, or trials at a significant price discount, will generally offer it for a limited time before they start charging your credit or debit card automatically. Though most sites do not charge until the end of your trial, there are some websites that might charge a small fee to begin the "free" trial. This is where we start seeing some shades of grey in the trial offers.

Read the fine print. This is where many companies place key details regarding offers because the information might not entice a consumer as much as what is bold, in bright colors, and is a size forty-six font. Although companies might do this in order to have all of the correct information included on an advertisement, there are some that utilize this too for their advantage because most consumers do not take the time to read through the fine print thoroughly. Gasp!

Locate the unsubscribe button. Before signing up for any free trial, you should know where to unsubscribe or to end your free trial, if you choose. There is a lot of information on most websites and it can be challenging to find out where to cancel your trial before it is up.

Set a calendar reminder. Whether it is 14 days, one month, or even a year, make certain to create a reminder on your calendar or on your phone when your free trial is ending. It's always a good idea to evaluate the product to see if you want to continue the service. Then set a second reminder a few days prior to the end date, so that you have allowed a cushion for yourself in case you forget or become sidetracked when it comes to canceling the trial.

This even happens offline too. There are businesses that take you through paperwork extremely quickly in order to sell you their product(s) without informing you of all of the details.

Before you sign up for your next free trial, take a moment to look through the website, disclosures, and consumer reviews. This will help save you time and money in the long run. And, if you have questions about a site's validity, consult with an FCCU representative. He or she will do their due diligence in order to help protect your finances.

Each year, FCCU celebrates Youth Week to encourage saving amongst our youth and the importance of proper money management.



FCCU Receives Crystal Performance Award

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FCCU was recently awarded the Crystal Performance Award by Raddon Financial Group (RFG).

The award was designed to recognize credit unions for achieving a top ten ranking based on the RFG Performance Index, a balanced scorecard measurement of growth, income, efficiency and margin management. Each year, more than 500 credit unions are evaluated for the Crystal Performance Award through RFG's CEO Strategies Group program. FCCU was ranked among the top three percent of all credit unions analyzed by RFG for two consecutive reporting periods.

To be eligible for the Crystal Performance Award, a credit union must participate in the CEO Strategies Group for an in-depth analysis of the credit union's financials, sales, products and member household relationships. Beginning in 2009, RFG recognized the top credit unions in two asset classes based on their performance: credit unions above $500 million and below $500 million in assets. The Crystal Performance Award is presented annually at Raddon's CEO Forum.

"This award is the result of each and every employee's hard work and dedication to our members," said Steve Schmitz, FCCU President and CEO. "We continue to be a leader in our industry and this award helps support that notion."



Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

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Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Bismarck - Trolley Ride to Ft. Lincoln - Sept. 7 - 2:00pm - 3rd Street SE Depot, Mandan - RSVP to Kem required by Sept. 1
  • Oakes - Pie & Ice Cream Social - Sept. 14 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Branch
  • Steele - Trolley Ride to Ft. Lincoln - Sept. 7 - 2:00pm - 3rd Street SE Depot, Mandan - RSVP to Kem required by Sept. 1
  • Valley City - Pie & Ice Cream Social - Sept. 14 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Branch

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.



Managing Health Care Costs After Retirement

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With so many factors in play and different working components to consider, the concept of saving for retirement can become a great source of anxiety. There may be no greater cause of stress when it comes to saving for your golden years than the cost of medical expenses, and with good reason: Fidelity's 2016 Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate reports that a 65-year-old couple retiring last year could expect to pay approximately $260,000 in health care costs over the remainder of their lifetimes.

This reflects a six percent year-over-year increase from Fidelity's 2015 estimate of $245,000 in lifetime health care costs, which was in turn up 11 percent from the 2014 estimate of $220,000. What this should tell prospective retirees is that the cost of health care is likely to continue skyrocketing. What it should not tell them is to give up hope that comfortable retirement is attainable.

Open a health savings account. There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that you have the money you need in retirement. Kimberly Lankford, contributing editor at Kiplinger and contributor to "Kiplinger's Retirement Report," names supplemental savings in the form of a health savings account (HSA) as one of the surest ways to make sure that you are covered. Lankford notes that HSAs offers tax-deductible contributions (pre-tax if you are contributing through an employer), tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals in any year. The money withdrawn from your HSA can be used for any number of medical expenses up to and including deductibles, co-pays and Medicare premiums, and contributions can be made up until the time that you go on Medicare. If you play it savvy, that adds up to a stress-free retirement.

"Say you contribute the 2016 maximum $7,750 a year from ages 55 to 65, and the money earns 3 percent a year," posits Lankford. "At 65, you go on Medicare and don't touch the account for 10 years. At 75, you'll have more than $120,000 tax-free to pay for medical expenses."

Katie Lobosco, writing for CNN Money, also points out that HSA funds can be invested in stocks and bonds as one would with a 401(K), making it an all-around viable retirement and savings solution.

Consider going Roth. Carla Fried, writing for Consumer Reports, cites the input of certified financial planner and founder of Bedrock Business Results Peter Stahl in suggesting that retirees favor Roth IRAs and Roth 401(K)'s over their traditional counterparts. Reason being, all withdrawals from a Roth IRA or Roth 401(K) in retirement are tax-free, meaning that you will both pay less in taxes and keep yourself in a lower tax bracket, effectively helping lower your monthly Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.

"Managing your tax bracket in retirement will have a direct impact on your expenses," says Stahl. With additional Medicare Part B monthly charges of up to $268 on top of the average $121.80 monthly premium for individuals with income greater than $85,000 and couples with income greater than $170,000, this may very well be an understatement.

If you have a traditional IRA and wish to convert your assets into a Roth IRA, Fried recommends paying a financial adviser to assist you in the process.

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Save more than you think you'll need. But for as much as one might be tempted to err on the side of adhering to expert projections, Lobosco suggests that it is wise to save more than you think you would need.

Citing HealthView, Lobosco writes that a couple's average monthly health care costs--estimated at $583 for a couple aged 65 years--can more than double on a monthly basis by the time they reach the age of 85. Further, longer estimated life-spans suggest that women can expect to pay $22,000 more in health care costs over the course of their retirement.

There is no denying that the cost of health care in retirement is imposing, and that those costs are liable to become more imposing as the years roll on. But with savvy planning and financial know-how, you can ensure that you have all the money you need to live out the rest of your days in peace and good health.

For questions or to open up an HSA account, speak with one of First Community Credit Union's representatives today.



Staying Secured When You Go Mobile

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Smartphones, tablets and laptops have become part of our daily life. We are a society of constant connection. Whether through email, social media or group chatting, we expect instant contact. We work and socialize on the go, but with this convenience comes a few things to remember to keep your financial information safe.

Passwords - Have a password on your phone and enable auto-lock. This might seem annoying, but it's necessary. Avoid identifying words and phrases, such as your dog's name, your birthdate or hometown in your password. These are too easy to access. Use at least eight random characters with a variety of character types (numbers, letters and symbols).

Wireless Connections - Turn off your wireless, Bluetooth and location services in your settings when not using them so your movements won't be tracked when you're not connecting to hotspots. When you're connected to a public WiFi, keep in mind it isn't secure. Avoid accessing your key accounts when using a public network. If necessary, use a VPN (virtual private network) or personal hotspot.

Updates - Keep your operating system, mobile security software, web browser and apps updated. It's easy to ignore all the update requests, but they serve a greater purpose. Some of these updates contain security upgrades developed from flaws in your current system. For added security, you may want to consider a security software app from the iOS App Store or Google Play. Also delete any apps you are no longer using to give you more security and space on your mobile device.

Sensitive Information - Many phones are now able to support USB drives – but don't download sensitive documents on your devices. Pick up a USB "On-the-Go" Flash Drive to connect to your phone or tablet and you can work on your mobile device while keeping important files separate.

Your Online Identity - Use security and privacy settings on websites and apps to limit how much personal information you share. Be cautious when signing up for anything on the Internet. Where you shop, your hobbies and other identifying information can easily be obtained. With fraudulent emails, texts, calls and voice mails on the rise, don't open or respond to anything suspicious. Your personal information is invaluable. It's worth it to take a few extra steps to prevent security breaches.

This Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. For more information, visit the following websites: https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/mobile-and-on-the-go/mobile-devices and or https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/securing-your-mobile-device/.

August

Magic Minute Warehouse Dash

image Imagine the rush of gripping the handle of an empty, oversized shopping cart in a warehouse stacked to the rafters with high-end merchandise – at screen TVs, laptops, tablets, sporting goods, appliances and more – and you have one full minute to grab as much cool stuff on the shelves as you can. Legs flexed, eyes forward, you wait for the starting buzzer to sound and... zoom! You're on a mad dash to bag anything in sight that strikes your fancy!

It can happen to you! FCCU wants to give all of our CURewards® cardholders the chance to win a trip to Chicago for the most outrageously exciting shopping thrill of a lifetime. Just a few years ago, it was FCCU member Brittany who enjoyed this trip of a lifetime!

It's called the Credit Union Magic MinuteTM sweepstakes and here's all you need to do for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the Windy City and a place for you and a guest at the starting line:

  • 1. Register to enter the sweepstakes at www.CUMagicMinute.com.
  • 2. Use your FCCU credit or debit card with points to make at least three purchases per week during any or all of the weeks between June 19 and September 24.
  • 3. Every time you use your card, your name will be entered in up to seven drawings to pick the winners from credit unions participating in the Magic Minute.
  • 4. The more you use your card, the more entries you'll have in the drawings, and the better your chances of winning.
  • Register now and start dreaming! Check www.CUMagicMinute.com for complete sweepstakes details, rules and free method of entry.

No Purchase Necessary to enter or win. Open to credit & debit cardholders who are legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, 21 or older, who are enrolled in a participating Credit Union CURewards Program. Ends 9/24/17. Void where prohibited. See full rules & how to enter without purchase at www.cumagicminute. com. Sponsor: PSCU, 560 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716.



Dean Rohrich Retires After 33 Years With FCCU

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We are announcing the retirement of Dean Rohrich, VP of the Bismarck Market. Dean has been employed with FCCU for 33 years.

Dean started with First Community in 1984, as the Napoleon Branch Manager. From 2000 to 2008, he was the Branch Manager in Bismarck. He continued his journey across North Dakota and began his new role as the Valley City Branch Manager in 2008, where he stayed until 2015 when Dean became the Market Manager in Bismarck and then Vice President of the Bismarck Market, January of 2016.

Over the last three decades, Dean has seen several signi cant changes take place at FCCU. From technology, branch growth, new products and services, to the growth of FCCU overall, he has seen it all. "The only thing that hasn't changed," Dean said, "is the good old fashioned member service."

"The greatest compliment you can receive is when a member comes up to you and asks for your advice," shared Dean. "I have enjoyed my time here over the years as Branch Manager and I can't thank our members, as well as my staff enough. They are like my second family."

We will be hosting an open house at our Bismarck North branch, located at 3201 Weiss Avenue, on Thursday, August 10th, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Cake and co ee will be served. Please join us as we thank Dean for his many years of service to FCCU and our members.



FCCU Begins Third Quarter Charity Fundraising

The third quarter fundraising organization, as chosen by FCCU sta , is local food pantries.

To support the cause, we are holding a food drive at each branch for staff, members, and the community. Here are some suggested items:

  • Canned items such as soup, fruit, vegetables, tuna, and beef stew.
  • Boxed dinners such as macaroni & cheese and rice.
  • Kid-friendly items such as granola bars, fruit snacks, raisins, graham crackers, fruit cups, and pretzels.
  • Peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and spaghetti sauce.
  • Cold cereal, hot cereal mixes, and breakfast bars.
  • Non-food items such as paper products, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.

The items and funds collected will be donated to the following local agencies according to each branch:

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  • Jamestown - Salvation Army
  • Valley City - Barnes County Food Pantry
  • Bismarck - Great Plains Food Bank
  • Steele - Kidder County Food Pantry
  • Fargo - Great Plains Food Bank
  • Portland - Mayport Food Bank
  • Napoleon - Logan County Food Pantry
  • Wishek - Wishek Food Pantry
  • Oakes - Oakes Food Pantry
  • Milnor - Sargent County Food Pantry
  • Wahpeton - Richland County Food Pantry
  • Hankinson - Richland County Food Pantry

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We are also creating "The Community Cookbook" to raise additional funds. We are working with local food pantries and have recipe submission forms and order forms available at the FCCU branches and at the food pantries. Cookbooks are being presold for $10 each. Recipe submissions and cookbook orders must be placed by Friday, August 4th. In addition to the food drive and cookbook, we are encouraging financial donations for those who don't want to donate items, but would like to donate money and help support the cause.

To find out more about how to support this cause, stop into your local branch today. We thank you in advance for your support of this worthy cause.



Banking on the Go is Now Even Easier

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Have you checked out FCCU's mobile app lately? Banking on the go is now even easier with several new features that we've added.

The latest version of the app includes balance widgets allowing you to view your account balance without logging in, ngerprint ID on Android devices, and the ability to set up and view scheduled recurring transfers. Mobile users can also set up banking alerts such as balance updates, low balances, large withdrawals and large deposits, all based on your own balance thresholds.

For those who may not be familiar with all of the app features of FCCU's mobile app, you can:

  • Access your accounts 24/7
  • Check balances, pay bills, make transfers
  • Deposit checks quickly and safely
  • Save money on debit purchases with Purchase Rewards
  • Locate free ATMs nearest you
  • Rest easy knowing the app uses state-of-the-art security encryption

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In addition to our app, we also have text message and mobile browser banking for those who are looking for other techy services. And if you haven't tried our digital wallet, you'll want to check that out too, giving you the ability to pay directly from your phone using Samsung, Android, and Apple PayTM.

Find your free mobile app at the Apple App Store or Google Play. Download it on your smart phone today and carry your very own FCCU branch everywhere you go!



Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

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Join us for our upcoming events:

Bismarck - Dean Rohrich's Open House - August 10 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Bismarck North

Jamestown - Ice Cream Social - August 17 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm - FCCU Jamestown Main

Steele - Ice Cream Social - August 25 - 10:00am - FCCU Steele

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefits including special gifts, events/ tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.



FCCU Raises $2,500 for Special Olympics ND

FCCU recently held fundraisers for Special Olympics of North Dakota and raised $2,500 for the organization, as a part of our second quarter charity work.

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The funds were raised through flower sales around Mother's Day, an employee grill out, ice cream sales, and jeans Fridays. Sta also participated in volunteer opportunities. Nearly 20 FCCU volunteers helped at the spring and summer games that were held in Valley City and Fargo. The competitions included a variety of athletic events where employees helped sell souvenirs, facilitate track and field races, as well as the activities at Olympic Town.

FCCU Bismarck Retail Manager and longtime Special Olympics of ND volunteer, Melissa Johannes, shared, "I'm a partner for Special Olympics volleyball and it is the highlight of my year." She continues, "I love getting together to practice with the individuals and playing the game. They are some of the most competitive people you'll ever have the privilege of playing with. It's great to see the joy in their faces when they win a game. We have a blast when we get together!"



Tips for ATM Security

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With technology rapidly evolving, thieves are advancing their skills and utilizing a multitude of avenues to snag personal and financial information. While computer hacking is still a primary focus for many thieves, others are switching gears to utilize ATMs, according to KrebsOnSecurity.com.

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One of the more recent incidents that's becoming popular among thieves is to pull card information from ATMs. This type of theft involves "insert skimmers", which are wafer-thin fraud devices that have been made to t snug within a cash machine's card acceptance slot and appear invisible to the eye. These devices are meant to record card data, store it onto a miniature ash drive, and then transmit the stolen

card data wirelessly via infrared. Infrared is the same technology that allows a TV remote control to communicate back and forth with the TV. Other skimmers utilize an antenna that allows card information to be transmitted to a tiny camera hidden outside of the ATM. Most skimmers rely on hidden cameras to record a victim's PIN. Any time you enter your PIN, even at a store, you should cover the pin pad with your hand or another object to prevent becoming a victim to such an attack.

Here are some tips for ATM security:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Inspect the machine prior to use and if tampering is evident, do not use l Cover the pin pad while entering your pin
  • Report anything suspicious to financial institution and local authorities

FCCU stays on top of the latest scam and fraud attempts, but keeping our members informed can help prevent you and others from falling victim. Our members are using their cards all over the world and identity thieves are working harder and smarter. We want to do what we can to keep your personal and financial information safe.


July

Youth Week is Almost Here

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Each year, FCCU celebrates Youth Week to encourage saving amongst our youth and the importance of proper money management.

This year, the theme for Youth Week is "Give a Hoot About Saving". Each branch location will be holding events and activities the week of July 31st through August 4th.

Kids, make sure to join us to receive a giveaway! We have color changing water bottles for you to enjoy this summer. Also, we have included a coloring page for you to decorate on the back page of this newsletter. Grab a crayon and get creative.

  • Bismarck - July 31st - 4:30pm to 7:30pm - Swimming, Supper, Giveaways - Hillside Pool
  • Fargo - August 2nd - 4:00pm to 7:00pm - Giveaways, Treats, and Animals - Red River Zoo
  • Hankinson - August 3rd - 8:00am to 4:00pm - Ice Cream Floats, Games, and Prizes - Hankinson Branch
  • Jamestown - August 1st - 5:30pm to 8:00pm - Inflatable Obstacle Course, Pizza, and Prizes - SE Corner of Buffalo Mall Parking Lot
  • Milnor - August 2nd - 9:00am to 4:00pm - Prizes, Giveaways, and Treats - Milnor Branch
  • Napoleon - August 2nd - 5:30pm to 9:00pm - Picnic, Games, Free Swimming - Napoleon City Park
  • Oakes - August 5th through 7th - 7:30pm - Despicable Me 3 - Grand Theatre
  • Portland - July 31st through August 4th - 8:00am to 4:00pm - Treats, Giveaways, and Free Movie Tickets - Portland Branch
  • Steele - August 3rd and 4th - 8:00am to 4:00pm - Ice Cream, Crafts, Treats, and Games - Steele Branch
  • Valley City - July 31st - 12:00pm to 3:00pm - Pool Party, Giveaways, Games, Treats - Wellness Center
  • Wahpeton - July 31st through August 4th - 9:00am to 4:30pm - Giveaways, Movie and Swim Passes, and Treats - Wahpeton Branch
  • Wishek - August 2nd - 5:00pm to 6:30pm - Pool Games, Swimming, and Picnic - Wishek Pool


Upcoming Member's Choice Club Events

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Join us for our upcoming events:

  • Jamestown - Annual Picnic - July 20 - 11:30am - ND Farmer's Union - Must have ticket to attend event.

We have a special package of benefits for our members 55 years and up. Member's Choice Club is exclusively designed with a wide variety of perks and benefit including special gifts, events/tours, and account specials. If you are someone with a zest for life and would like to learn more about getting involved with Member's Choice Club contact your favorite FCCU representative today.



Update on FCCU Expansions

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We have been conducting a few construction projects as you may have seen and we're excited to share an update.

This summer has been busy with building a new branch on 52nd Ave in Fargo, that is on schedule to open this winter, and renovating the previous rental store next door to our Administrative Office in Jamestown.

The addition to our Administrative Office was completed the end of June and several employees moved their work stations. FCCU Operations and Member Relations departments have moved into the west side of the building where our new vendor entrance is located. Human Resources, Loan Processing, Accounting, and Marketing will continue to be located within the east side of the building.

We are excited about the new changes and look forward to serving our members.



Magic Minute Warehouse Dash

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Imagine the rush of gripping the handle of an empty, oversized shopping cart in a warehouse stacked to the rafters with high-end merchandise – fat screen TVs, laptops, tablets, sporting goods, appliances and more – and you have one full minute to grab as much cool stuff of the shelves as you can. Legs flexed, eyes forward, you wait for the starting buzzer to sound and... zoom! You're of on a mad dash to bag anything in sight that strikes your fancy!

It can happen to you! FCCU wants to give all of our CURewards® cardholders the chance to win a trip to Chicago for the most outrageously exciting shopping thrill of a lifetime. Just a few years ago, it was FCCU member Brittany who enjoyed this trip of a lifetime!

It's called the Credit Union Magic MinuteTM sweepstakes and here's all you need to do for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the Windy City and a place for you and a guest at the starting line:

1. Register to enter the sweepstakes at www.CUMagicMinute.com.

2. Use your FCCU credit or debit card with points to make at least three purchases per week during any or all of the weeks between June 19 and September 24.

3. Every time you use your card, your name will be entered in up to seven drawings to pick the winners from credit unions participating in the Magic Minute.

4. The more you use your card, the more entries you'll have in the drawings, and the better your chances of winning.

Register now and start dreaming! Check www.CUMagicMinute.com for complete sweepstakes details, rules and free method of entry.

No Purchase Necessary to enter or win. Open to credit & debit cardholders who are legal residents of the 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, 21 or older, who are enrolled in a participating Credit Union CURewards Program. Ends 9/24/17. Void where prohibited. See full rules & how to enter without purchase at www.cumagicminute. com. Sponsor: PSCU, 560 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716.



FCCU Jamestown Supports Relay for Life

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First Community Credit Union's Jamestown staff recently held fundraisers to raise $1,800 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The Jamestown staff collected proceeds from their second annual FCCU "Striking Out Cancer" softball game for employees, which was held on May 31st, as well as a taco-in-a-bag luncheon that took place at the Jamestown Main branch on June 7th. In addition to fundraising efforts, the Jamestown branches participated in the Stutsman County Relay for Life walk that took place on June 9th at the University of Jamestown's track. FCCU has participated in Relay for Life for more than fifteen years. In the last six years, the Credit Union has raised $50,000 for this worthy cause.



Tips to Protect Your Info Online

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There are many steps you should take in order to help protect your personal and financial information. The IRS provided their readers with various tips on how to protect your personal information while online. Below is a brief summary of the article. You can find a link to the full article in our electronic newsletter.

  • Think before you post. Have you ever googled your name and viewed the search results? Those results can often times show previous addresses, names of household members, photographs, and various social media accounts that you may have. This information is valued by identity thieves, even the post you shared of your new car. This bypasses security verification questions that depend on financial data that you should only know.
  • Protect your passwords. Longer passwords prove to be more difficult to hack. Use at least 10, preferably 12, characters with a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Be unpredictable and don't use the same password for all of your accounts.
  • Educate yourself on fraud prevention and the risk of opening emails and downloading attachments from unknown senders or unfamiliar addresses. Do your research to find out if an advertisement or email is from a reputable company. A little research has the potential to save you a lot of money in the long term.
  • Back up files. It is essential to keep your files in a safe place other than on your computer in case of corruptions. External hard drives, USB drives, and removable discs are a great way to keep your important files, like tax returns, safe in case your computer is compromised.

"Treat your personal information like cash - don't hand it out to just anyone." Follow these simple steps to help protect yourself from hackers.

2011-2017

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