In the News


Coming Soon: DuTrac Website Update

DuTrac's website is currently being updated to improve functionality by providing a more user-friendly, responsive site across mobile devices. These changes will occur this summer. This site will contain the same content and PC Branch will not be affected by this change.

If you have any questions regarding updates to the website please contact your local DuTrac office at (800) 475.1331 or email members@dutrac.org.

 

DuTrac Makes Donations To Local Organizations

Beginning this year, in lieu of its Member Appreciation Days, DuTrac will be making donations on behalf of its members in local communities where DuTrac has a physical branch location. Each donation is given "on behalf of DuTrac's members" giving further recognition to the work and contributions each DuTrac member makes in his/her community. These donations are but one way DuTrac is giving back to the communities it serves, while providing a tangible benefit to all DuTrac members.

January 2015 MAD Donation

  • $1,000 to King's Harvest Ministries in Davenport

February 2015 MAD Donation

  • $2,500 to Dubuque County Fire Association in Dubuque

March 2015 MAD Donation

  • $500 to Monticello Emergency Medical Team in Monticello
  • $500 to Rural Community Food Pantry in Dyersville
  • $500 to Eldridge Medic Emergency Medical Services in Eldridge
  • $500 to Moline Public Schools Foundation in Moline

April 2015 MAD Donation

  • $500 to Maquoketa Fire Department in Maquoketa
  • $1,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters in Davenport

May 2015 MAD Donation

  • $2,500 to Mercy Health Foundation: Autism Program in Dubuque

June 2015 MAD Donation

  • $500 to Monticello Fire Department in Monticello
  • $500 to Dyersville Fire Department in Dyersville
  • $500 to Eldridge Fire Department in Eldridge
  • $500 to Child Abuse Council in Moline

 

"Don't Throw Money Away, Use a Credit Union"

In a recent article published in USA Today, writer Chloe Della Costa highlighted 10 ways people are throwing away money. Noted in the list were never redeeming gift cards, paying late fees and paying banking fees.

Costa wrote, "Between minimum balances, fees for checking accounts, and ATM fees, these charges can add up. No one should have to pay for basic banking services. Many are having better luck avoiding these unnecessary fees after joining a local credit union."

You can view the complete list of 10 ways consumers repeatedly throw away their money here.

 

 

Asbury Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project

Anticipated start date: June 8, 2015
Anticipated end date:
August 7, 2015

The city of Dubuque announced its plans for the Asbury Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project taking place between JFK and Matthew John Drive. Drivers utilizing Asbury Road to access DuTrac's Asbury Road office will only be allowed right turns in and right turns out of DuTrac thus greatly impeding access to DuTrac's Asbury office.


During the construction, members may want to utilize DuTrac's other Dubuque locations but especially DuTrac's Holliday Drive office located across the street from McDonald's on Holliday Drive at the NW Arterial. Please consider using DuTrac's electronic services for your business needs as well e.g. Mobile Deposit Capture, PC Branch and MobileLink.


Buying A Home? Consider These Factors.

When the Federal Reserve stopped buying bonds in October of last year, it only made sense that interest rates would rise.

This sparked urgency among homebuyers throughout the area to take advantage of the historically low mortgage rates before they spiked.

The potential for a rise in mortgage rates is always there, but in the first quarter of 2015 we have seen mortgage interest rates stay flat, if not dip a little, since the end of last year.

Lower interest rates have contributed to an increase in higher real estate inventories. Today, homeowners are considering the option of selling their homes, whether it’s to move up by adding another bedroom or to downsize after the kids have moved out.

Today’s homeowners are willing to give up their low-rate mortgage if they can secure an equally good loan.

Although important, interest rates should not be the only thing considered when it comes time to purchase a new home. These are some equally important factors to keep in mind, as well.

 How long do you plan on staying in your home? How long you live in your home will determine the economic value of buying as opposed to renting.

Within the Dubuque-area market, the appreciation during a three-year period should pay you back for the cost of the transaction and the cost of maintaining the property.

It is very unlikely for a home to be cheaper than renting if you are thinking about purchasing and selling it in less than two years.

 Job Security. Typically, a buyer needs to be on the job for only 30 days before being approved for a mortgage.

However, homebuyers might want to give consideration to their job security before entering into a mortgage. Buyers do not want to buy a home and then discover they will need to relocate in six months or worse, end up unemployed making it difficult to support the monthly mortgage payment.

If you are in a new position, make sure it is the right fit before you make the decision to purchase a new home.

 Down Payment. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have recently announced that they have loosened the guidelines for the first-time home buyer allowing for a 3 percent down payment.

The Federal Housing Administration offers a loan program that allows for as little as a 3.5 percent down payment for anyone who is purchasing or refinancing a home.

Keep in mind that if you have less than 20 percent down you will have to pay private mortgage insurance. There are different options on how to pay the mortgage insurance, but understand that it will increase the overall cost of your mortgage, whether it is monthly or at the time of origination. If you are considering a FHA mortgage, paying mortgage insurance is a “life of the loan” proposition. With a conventional mortgage, you can ask to have the mortgage insurance removed once you have a 20 percent equity position in the property. 

 Financial readiness. Before you buy a home, you want to make sure you have a steady income and some money saved beyond what you will need for a down payment. If you plan on escrowing for your taxes and insurance, you will more than likely be required to pay a year’s worth of homeowner’s insurance and at least a few months of property taxes up front. The lending institution will put those funds in a non-interest bearing account and pay those expenses for you when the payments come due.

Maintenance is an absolute and so is the cost. You will want to have a couple of months of mortgage payments set aside just in case one of the mechanicals malfunctions shortly after you move in.

When you make the decision to purchase your new home, having a professional represent you is important.

Your local residential mortgage professional will advise you of the loan programs and terms that are available. Realtors are trained, licensed professionals that abide by a code of ethics and have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. They are typically experts in their local real estate markets and provide great assistance related to both the buying and selling of property.

 

Benefits of a Home Equity Line of Credit

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) differs from a typical mortgage loan, because it is set up as a revolving line of credit rather than a fixed dollar amount. Consider these five benefits when deciding whether or not a HELOC is the right choice for you.

1. Convenience.

At DuTrac we like to say, "It's your money, use it!" and with a HELOC you can do just that. Once a HELOC is setup it is easy to withdraw funds by using PC Branch to transfer the funds to your designated account. These funds do not have to be used solely for home projects. The "home" in "home equity line of credit" refers to the fact your house is collateral for the loan, rather than how the funds are used. Many people choose to use HELOCs for vacations, graduations, weddings and other large purchases.

2. Low interest rates.

With DuTrac's HELOC promotion you pay only 1.49% APR now through December 31, 2015. After January 1, 2016 your best rate based on the index rate would be 4.99% APR. This interest rate is much lower than the interest rate of a credit card and is a great option for unexpected expenses, such as repairing an air conditioner or replacing a roof. Another benefit of a HELOC-interest is only paid on the outstanding balance.

3. No closing costs.

Unlike a mortgage loan, there are no closing costs associated with DuTrac's HELOC as long as a member has direct deposit to a DuTrac checking account and auto pay has been set up.

4. Increase your credit score.

Once approved for a HELOC and payments begin, this account will appear on your credit report. By making payments on time, your credit score may increase. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report here.

5. Tax deductible.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows the interest paid on a HELOC to be a tax deduction. Consult your tax adviser regarding your particular situation. This is a great benefit that other forms of revolving credit, like credit cards, do not allow.

 

DuTrac Names Scholarship Recipients

Seven 2015 graduates from DuTrac’s field of membership were awarded scholarships by DuTrac Community Credit Union’s 2015-2016 Academic Scholarship Program.

Recipients of the $1000 scholarships were:

  • Samuel Berning, son of Keith and Lugene Berning, is a graduate of Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, IA. Berning plans to attend the University of Notre Dame with a major in computer science.
  • Mallory Rettenmeier, a graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, IL, will pursue a degree in exercise science and psychology at St. Ambrose University. She is the daughter of Stacy and Clete Rettenmeier.
  • Halle Wilmott, daughter of Donn and Heidi Wilmott, is a graduate of North Scott Senior High School in Eldridge, IA. She plans to attend Luther College to major in nursing.

Recipients of the $500 scholarships were:

  • Megan Lenstra, daughter of Michael and Laurie Lenstra, graduated from Hempstead High School in Dubuque, IA and plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa with an undecided major.
  • Alex Savary, son of Scott and Dawn Savary, will pursue a degree in business and political science at Buena Vista University. Savary is a graduate of Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, IA.
  • Sonya Sperfslage, a graduate of Monticello High School is the daughter of Dale and Lisa Sperfslage. She plans to major in nursing at the University of Iowa.
  • Louisa Williams, the daughter of Jeff Williams and Crystal Millerschone-Williams, plans to attend Southern Illinois University or St. Ambrose to major in communication disorders with a minor in Spanish. Williams graduated from River Ridge High School in Elizabeth, IL.

“Education has long been a tenet of credit unions. The purpose of these scholarships was to recognize members of DuTrac Community Credit Union who have demonstrated scholastic excellence, community involvement and who are interested in advancing their education at an accredited community college, trade school, technical college or university,” said Andy Hawkinson, President and CEO of DuTrac.

DuTrac’s scholarships for 2016-2017 for members in good standing for at least one year will be announced this fall. Interested parties should reference DuTrac’s scholarship page, local media sources or guidance counselors for application guidelines.

Chemical Credit Union Membership Approves Merger with DuTrac

During a special meeting, the membership of Chemical Credit Union (Chemical) overwhelmingly voted to approve the proposed merger between Chemical and DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac). The merger vote took place after receiving preliminary approval from both state and federal regulators.

The merger is to be effective on May 31, 2015.

The combined entity will continue to be called DuTrac Community Credit Union with Andrew Hawkinson as president and CEO. The newly combined organization will have 13 branches throughout a 21-county region bordering the Mississippi River serving the Tri-State region of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

“This merger is an excellent opportunity to be able to bring members so much more from their credit union, with greater convenience through more points of contact and expanded service offerings such as real estate, trust, investment and insurance services. The larger organization will be able to leverage certain operational economies of scale that will benefit the membership,” said M. Pat Albrecht, Board Chairman of Chemical.

“Ultimately the shared culture of focusing on the members’ needs was the deciding factor in the merger taking place. We are excited to welcome all the Chemical employees into the DuTrac family,” stated Harlan Pedretti, Chairman for DuTrac. “It’s a ‘win-win’ for both organizations.”

Chemical Credit Union Membership Approves Merger with DuTrac

During a special meeting, the membership of Chemical Credit Union (Chemical) overwhelmingly voted to approve the proposed merger between Chemical and DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac). The merger vote took place after receiving preliminary approval from both state and federal regulators.

The merger is to be effective on May 31, 2015.

The combined entity will continue to be called DuTrac Community Credit Union with Andrew Hawkinson as president and CEO. The newly combined organization will have 13 branches throughout a 21-county region bordering the Mississippi River serving the Tri-State region of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

“This merger is an excellent opportunity to be able to bring members so much more from their credit union, with greater convenience through more points of contact and expanded service offerings such as real estate, trust, investment and insurance services. The larger organization will be able to leverage certain operational economies of scale that will benefit the membership,” said M. Pat Albrecht, Board Chairman of Chemical.

“Ultimately the shared culture of focusing on the members’ needs was the deciding factor in the merger taking place. We are excited to welcome all the Chemical employees into the DuTrac family,” stated Harlan Pedretti, Chairman for DuTrac. “It’s a ‘win-win’ for both organizations.”

 

Financial Advantages of Credit Union Checking Accounts

Credit unions have come out on top when it comes to the consumer cost of checking accounts according to a survey by Bankrate.com. The data collected by Bankrate showed 72% of the largest credit unions in the nation offer free standalone checking accounts compare to 38% of the largest banks. Read the complete article here.

 

VALENTINES-FOR-VETS.jpgDuTrac Collects Hundreds of Valentines for Vets

DuTrac in partnership with Radio Dubuque collected over 600 valentines through their joint community service program “Valentines for Vets.”

Community members dropped off valentines at DuTrac’s Dubuque office locations and submitted valentines electronically. Valentines were hand-delivered by Jim Wagner from the Veteran’s Freedom Center to the Veterans Hospital in Iowa City on February 13.

"’Valentines for Vets’ is a community activity to honor and recognize those individuals who serve or have served our country,” said Jason Norton, DuTrac’s senior vice president of marketing and business development. “DuTrac has received an overwhelming amount of support from individuals, schools, Girl Scout troops and 4-H clubs taking part in this program as a service project.”

DuTrac along with Radio Dubuque plan to make “Valentines for Vets” an annual service program and express their thanks to those who participated.

2015: The Year to Switch to a Credit Union

The Motley Fool, a personal investment website, reported that credit unions have become fiercely competitive. The website predicts that 2015 will be the year for consumers to make the move from a bank to a credit union. Read the complete article here.

 

Begin the new year with a new vehicle!

5 tips to make your car buying experience simple

If you are thinking about starting the new year off with a new vehicle there are many factors to consider. This can be a stressful time for some, but DuTrac is here to make your car buying experience easier with these five tips:

1. Get pre-approved for a loan. Before looking at a vehicle it is always best to get pre-approved for a loan. This can help with determining your budget and save you time once you have found a car you like. At DuTrac applying for a loan is simple, and in most cases your loan can be approved on the spot. Once you are pre-approved you can quickly be in the driver's seat of your new car.

2. Decide on a budget. Knowing how much you want to spend on a vehicle before going to a dealership is an important step in purchasing your future car. You will want to factor in the worth of your old car, cost of licensing and taxes. Checking a website like Kelley Blue Book® or looking in the classified section of the newspaper can help give you a realistic idea of how much your old vehicle is worth. You will then want to decide whether to trade in your old car or if you want to sell it outright.

You will also want to look at dealers' websites to see what the costs of new vehicles are so you can factor that into your budget. The more information you know before setting foot in a dealership the better chance you have at getting the best possible deal. Following your budget can also help you determine what you "need" and what you "want" in a car.

3. New or used? What is best for you? Deciding on whether you would like to purchase a new or used vehicle is another important part of the car buying process. Both have their benefits so you will want to decide what makes the most sense for you. DuTrac does offer new and used auto and motor vehicle loans so whether you choose new or used you will still be able to receive the advantages of a DuTrac auto loan.

4. Deciding on the type of car. There are many features you will want to consider when deciding the type of vehicle you want to purchases. Gas mileage, style, size, all-wheel drive are just some of the options to contemplate. Consider and explore auto insurance and how this car will affect  your rate. DuTrac offers TruStage Auto Insurance to members. TruStage provides discounted rates for DuTrac members, online services and 24/7 claim services. You can learn more about TruStage here.

Once you have decided on the type of vehicle to purchase download DuTrac's AskAuto app. This app allows you to scan VINS to get average retail costs and EPA mileage estimates, as well as allows you to compare, rank and save notes on vehicles you may want to purchase making your shopping experience easier.

5. Choose the right dealership. When choosing a dealership to purchase a car from you will want to pick one with a good reputation. You may also want to contact dealerships to make sure they have the type of vehicle you are looking to purchase.

Once you have found the car of your dreams and are ready to make a purchase make sure you are getting the best interest rate. You are not required to finance through the dealership, in fact DuTrac works with over 50 dealers in the Tri-State area that will allow you to receive financing directly from DuTrac. You can drive your new vehicle home the same day knowing you received great terms and rates for your DuTrac auto loan.

 

Make a Financial New Year's Resolution for 2015

Begin the new year with a resolution to get your finances in order. Follow these seven steps to make sure you stay on track to achieve your financial New Year's resolutions. You can also use DuTrac's Advance, an online personal finance management tool, to create a budget and track spending habits.

 

Practice Smart Shopping this Holiday Season

With the busiest holiday shopping season of the year in full swing, protecting your personal and financial information from falling into the wrong hands is more important than ever. Before you go online shopping, call on classified ads, or select the perfect gift card, arm yourself with these smart holiday shopping tips.  


Support Funding for Individual Development Accounts

Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) is a vital part of our community, serving as the administrator of an important program called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are matched savings accounts for working Iowans of modest means who are trying to improve their lives by improving their education, buying a home, or starting a small business. DuTrac Community Credit Union has been a proud partner with ICUF for this program – and the program has benefited a number of members. Even more members have begun the IDA program and are waiting to reap the rewards from this matched funding program.

When a saver opens an IDA, their own savings are matched against other dollars from various funding partners, including state dollars. The state dollars, in fact, are vital to bringing in additional sources of funding.

Despite IDAs being a valuable saving and financial literacy tool for many Iowans, the program faces an uncertain future due to a lack of funding from the state. Right now, Governor Branstad is putting together his proposed budget for the next two years. ICUF has asked him to fund IDAs in his budget. Being part of the Governor’s budget would strengthen the possibility of IDAs to receive funding in 2015. Please join DuTrac in asking Governor Branstad to include IDAs in his budget by sending a prepared email message.

 

Chemical Credit Union and DuTrac Announce Intent to Merge

Chemical Credit Union (Chemical) and DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac) announced today that the Boards of Directors of each organization have signed a letter of intent to merge the two credit unions.

This proposed merger would combine two financially strong, successful credit unions with shared northeast Iowa roots in the manufacturing industry. In addition, complementary operating philosophies and membership bases will only increase the value each brings to their members, communities and employees.

The combined entity will continue to be called DuTrac Community Credit Union with Andrew Hawkinson as president and CEO.

The newly combined organization will have 13 branches throughout a 21-county region bordering the Mississippi River serving the Tri-State region of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. The merger is pending completion of the credit unions’ due diligence process, regulatory approval as well as a vote by Chemical’s members.

 “Chemical has been actively exploring new strategies, including partnerships and merger, to bring our members greater value, broader product and service offerings and convenience over the long term. As a board, we realized this was an excellent opportunity to be able to bring members so much more from their credit union, with greater convenience through more branches and ATMs and expanded products and services offerings such as in-house mortgage options, business services, remote check deposit, trust, investment and insurance services,” said M. Pat Albrecht, Board Chairman of Chemical.

“What really makes this merger work is that we have the same roots in manufacturing with very similar membership bases. We share cultural philosophies focused on the member.  We’re on the same page in understanding our members’ needs and finding ways to help them achieve their financial goals and dreams. While we’re at the first step in the process, we believe this will be a win-win for our members, sponsor companies, communities and employees,” stated Harlan Pedretti, Chairman of the Board for DuTrac.

 

DuTrac Opens New Branch on Holliday Drive

DuTrac Community Credit Union will be opening its newest branch at 2045 Holliday Drive off of Dubuque’s Northwest Arterial on November 3, 2014.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for DuTrac to better serve its members,” said Andrew Hawkinson, President/CEO of DuTrac. “With the increased traffic flows on Asbury Road as well as membership growth, the new Holliday Drive branch will provide much easier access for members to conduct their business easily and safely.”

The Holliday Drive branch will be a full-service branch including drive-up, ATM access as well as real estate and commercial lending services.

Members of the public should periodically view dutrac.org for details regarding a grand opening of the new Holliday Drive branch. 

 

DuTrac Honored with Award

DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac) was recently recognized by the Iowa Business Education Association (IBEA) with its 2014 Outstanding Service to Business Education Award during the IBEA’s Annual Meeting held in Johnston, Iowa.

With over 130 education professionals in attendance, the Dubuque-based credit union was recognized for the creation of Falcons Branch, Iowa’s first in-school, high school credit union located within Davenport West High School.

Steve Verdon, lead instructor for the Business Career Academy at Davenport West stated, “DuTrac has presented students with a learning opportunity above and beyond any hopes that I had about teaching financial literacy to students. Thank you DuTrac for changing the financial future or our students.”  


Five Things to Keep in Mind When Applying for a Commercial Loan

When it comes down to it, commercial loan requests boil down to five main factors. Understanding how you and your business measure up against those factors can make the difference between a “yes” or a “no” on your loan request. Those five factors are: (1) Capacity, (2) Character, (3) Capital, (4) Collateral and (5) Conditions. Together they are commonly referred to as the “5 C’s of Credit.”

Capacity. This is the single-most important factor. How will the loan be repaid? You want, and DuTrac wants, the primary source of repayment to be cash flow from your business. But can you show it? Are your tax returns filed on time or extended? Do you have recent business financial statements to show how your business is doing since the last tax return?  The more recent your financial information, the easier it is for a lender to make a decision. The same goes for your personal tax returns.

Character. Loan documents don’t repay loans, people do. Character counts. How much experience do you have in your business or in your industry? Does your business have a good local reputation? Are you or your business in the news for problems? Does your business have a problem history with the Better Business Bureau? Do you or your business have outstanding tax liens, judgments, etc? Do you have a good personal credit history? If you haven’t seen your credit report, check it for free at www.annualcreditreport.com before applying. Be sure to check all three credit bureaus at that site (Experian, Equifax, Trans Union).

Capital. Do you have the required down payment amount? The larger the down payment, the lower the risk on your loan. Does your business have cash reserves to survive a downturn? For how long? The personal income and cash reserves of the business owner are also key secondary sources of repayment for your loan request.

Collateral. Collateral is important because it is the third and final way your loan can be repaid, if the business can’t and you personally can’t. What type of collateral are you offering for your loan? What is it worth? How did you determine the value? The more valuable the collateral, the better the loan terms should be.

Conditions.
What is the purpose of the loan? What are the key trends/risks in your industry? How is your business positioned to deal with them? How do local economic conditions/trends impact your business?

If that all seems overwhelming, think of it another way. Let’s say you’re asking for a $100,000 commercial loan. Now turn the situation around, and pretend someone else is asking YOU to loan them YOUR money. Maybe it’s money from your hard-earned savings, or money you’ve set aside for your childrens’ college, or money you’d have to get by taking out a loan against your house. What information would you want to see to decide if loaning them YOUR $100,000 is a good idea or not? Chances are, you’d want to see how they measure up against these “5 C’s” just like DuTrac does.

By Jeff Waller, Business Lending Manager

 

Tips for Traveling with Credit/Debit Cards

Both credit cards and debit cards allow us to travel easier and not have to carry a large amount of cash. However, there are a number of reasons to be cautious. Here are several tips to assist you when you are planning a trip and may be helpful as well when you are home:

1. Contact the credit union ahead of time to advise them of your destination and provide the dates you will be traveling.

2. Provide the credit union with your cell phone number so the Fraud Division will be able to contact you to verify activity if necessary.

3. Obtain the Fraud Division telephone number from the credit union prior to leaving should your card suddenly stop working. 1-866-518-0213.

4. Take more than one card (debit/credit) with you to ensure if the credit union is notified of a merchant breach you will have another card to rely upon.

5. Know where your cards are at all times.

6. Do not leave your purse or wallet unattended.

7. When obtaining cash from an ATM, check to be sure there is no device attached. You may want to ensure nothing in place can slip out. Be aware of your surroundings.

8. Keep toll free numbers for your credit union in a separate location should your card become lost or stolen. Contact the credit union immediately so the card may be shut down to prevent fraudulent activity.

9. If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States, check with your credit union to ensure the country is not a sanctioned country by the Government. The list of blocked countries can be found here.

10. Verify before traveling out of the country if your destination accepts MasterCard and/or Visa. Some countries may only accept one or the other.

These tips may alleviate potential problems. We want you to save you time and avoid any frustration. DuTrac wishes you a safe and enjoyable trip.

 

DuTrac Receives $2500 Biz Kid$ Education Grant

The National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) board of directors has approved a $2500 Biz Kid$ grant for 2014 to DuTrac Community Credit Union. The grant will be utilized by the credit union to build the Biz Kid$ and its curriculum into local schools financial literacy and economic education classes.

In a keynote speech given in June, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said “If our young people aren’t financially literate, we are part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Credit unions have stepped in to become part of the solution through Biz Kid$, the credit union funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship.  The Biz Kid$ education grants support credit unions and state foundations in their efforts to extend the reach of the award-winning financial literacy series beyond the television set into communities across the country.

 “There is a need to improve the financial literacy skills of the youth in America and Biz Kid$ is the perfect vehicle to address that need,” said Danielle Brown, Director of Development & Donor Relations for NCUF. “We are excited to fund these innovative programs that will improve the financial education of youth through the use of the Biz Kid$ program.”

For more information on DuTrac’s financial literacy education program, please contact Karen Tegeler at 563.585.8584.

Off to School: 9 Money Management Tips for College-Bound Kiddos

When a child leaves for college, it can be an overwhelming experience not only for the child but for the parent. For most students, college is the first time they will be managing money. Below are nine financial tips to help prepare high school graduates for their upcoming move to college.

1. Maximize financial aid. When filing for student aid, apply early. Many student aid programs disburse funds on first-come, first serve basis. Make sure forms are completed accurately. One wrong answer can affect eligibility and potentially reduce the aid award. Colleges' financial aid offices can be a great resource for answering questions.

2. Continue to look for scholarships. Scholarships are not just for incoming freshmen, many businesses and organizations off, including DuTrac Community Credit Union, continue to provide these opportunities for students throughout their college career.

3. Find a work study or part-time job. There are on-campus jobs and many businesses where students can work throughout the school to help pay for tuition. These places will work with students' schedules to find hours that will work best for them.

4. Take out a loan. Taking out a low interest home equity loan might be an option for some parents to financially help their college student. The interest paid on this loan can be tax-deductible. Some parents choose to write up a contact between their child and themselves that outlines a repayment plan for after they have graduated and can afford to make payments.

5. Create a budget. This can be difficult for some students to balance with their first year of college, but a good budget will help students track spending and make good decisions. There are online tools that can help relieve some of the stress. DuTrac's Advance is an easy way to help students effectively manage their money.

6. Avoid credit cards. If students need access to funds consider a pre-paid DuTrac VISA gift card or a credit card that offers the parent the opportunity to obtain multiple cards with different card numbers. With this option, the parent is able to give the child a card with a smaller limit to teach them how to use credit.

7. Pay bills on time. Students living off campus will most likely encounter household bills. Check into having rent and utilities automatically deducted to help avoid any late payments.

8. Use your student status. Local businesses surrounding college campuses might offer student discounts when students present their university ID. When going out to eat or having a date night at the movies, remember your student ID and reap the rewards.

9. Watch ATM cash drain. Some ATMs charge in upwards of $3.50 for cash withdrawals-particularly those that are convenient or close to campus. Consider having accounts like DuTrac's EcoPlus, which offers the benefit of having ATM fees rebated up to $10 each month.

By: Karen Tegeler, programs coordinator for DuTrac

School District 40 Employees Credit Union Approves Merger with DuTrac

During a special meeting, the membership of School District 40 Employees Credit Union (SD40ECU) overwhelmingly voted to approve the proposed merger between SD40ECU and DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac). The merger vote took place after receiving preliminary approval from both state and federal regulators.

 The merger is to be effective on August 31, 2014.

The combined entity will continue to be called DuTrac Community Credit Union with Andrew Hawkinson as president and CEO. The newly combined organization will have 11 branches throughout a 21-county region bordering the Mississippi River serving the Tri-State region of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

“This merger is an excellent opportunity to be able to bring members so much more from their credit union, with greater convenience through more points of contact and expanded service offerings such as real estate, trust, investment and insurance services. The larger organization will be able to leverage certain operational economies of scale that will benefit the membership,” stated Mike Daly, Board Chairperson, SD40ECU.

“Ultimately the shared culture of focusing on the members’ needs was the deciding factor in the merger taking place. We are excited to welcome all the SD40ECU employees into the DuTrac family,” stated Harlan Pedretti, Chairman for DuTrac. It’s a ‘win-win’ for both organizations.”

DuTrac Pays Out Over $200,000 To Vacation Club Members

DuTrac Community Credit Union is ready to help thrifty members enjoy some fun in the sun this summer with a chance to get away.

DuTrac recently paid out over $200,000 in Vacation Club deposits to 164 members - an average of approximately $1200 per participating member in its Club savings account.

“With DuTrac’s Vacation Club savings account, participating members are able to take a summer vacation without emptying their wallets,” said Andrew Hawkinson, President and CEO of DuTrac. 

Club accounts are another way DuTrac encourages members to save. By participating in the Vacation Club, members can alleviate the stress of pinching pennies to take a summer vacation.

“If you have ever thought of opening a Vacation Club account, now is the perfect time,” said Hawkinson. “By starting or renewing your club account now, you can maximize your saving potential for a vacation next summer.”

Learn more about DuTrac's Club accounts or stop by any of DuTrac's convenient locations.

 

Davenport West's In-School Credit Union Branch A Success

DuTrac Community Credit Union’s Falcons Branch located within Davenport West High School ended its first school year with 203 members and with $30,000 in deposits. This is a first of its kind collaboration between the high school and DuTrac Community Credit Union and a first for the state of Iowa.

The Falcons Branch membership is open to Davenport West High School students, faculty and staff. It is staffed by high school students with the support of a full-time DuTrac employee.

Lois Scott, Falcons Branch Manager, worked with the student volunteers throughout the year. She stated, “This high school branch has proved to be a great opportunity for the students. It provided them with the real-world atmosphere of a financial institution enhancing their financial literacy and providing them with an experience benefitting them for a lifetime.”

The Falcons Branch will continue operations within Davenport West High School beginning in the fall of 2014. 

“This coming year we will continue to offer this career-development opportunity to students who may be interested in working in the financial services industry,” said Andrew Hawkinson, President/CEO of DuTrac.