Q1: Please bring back Iron Mountain shredding.
Are you going to have the truck to grind up records come to the various offices for members’ use this year?
Are you planning on having the Iron Mountain shredder truck have the paper pick-up this year?
A1: Because of the cost of the shredding service we have no plans to offer on-site shredding on a continuous basis. However, we will have a paper shredding truck at the New Windsor location on June 6, 2009, in conjunction with the opening of our new branch. Details will be posted on our website and with our published announcements of the grand opening.
Q2: Why can’t BALANCE have a representative in our area so we can speak face to face?
A2: The BALANCE Financial Fitness Program is offered by an independent, nationally based organization that does not have any local representation. BALANCE programs are available online and via the telephone.
Q3: When will I be able to make principal-only payments on loans online?
A3: The ability to make online principal-only payments for consumer loans will be available by November, 2009. Please note that it is currently possible to make online principal-only payments for real estate loans issued since June, 1996.
Q4: I would like business checking to have Bill Pay access and to be able to transfer funds from my business checking account.
A4: Bill payment services for business members will be available by the end of June, 2009, when we introduce a new internet banking application for business members. Transfers between other credit union accounts are currently offered through Internet Banking and will continue to be offered.
Q5: Will you ever consider opening a LaGrange Branch near Arlington High School?
A5: We currently have no plans to open a branch in LaGrange near Arlington High School. We have previously considered a branch in the LaGrange area. Due to the moratorium placed on drive-up facilities, it was not practical to locate there.
Q6: Deposit slips with checking pads are unused. Can they be eliminated and double the number of checks?
A6: This is not an option with our check program. It is important to note that we provide 175 checks with a standard order. Most financial institutions only provide 150 checks. Many members continue to use the accompanying deposit slips.
Q7: Currently, when you request a transaction on your credit union account, the teller uses the member’s name even if you have listed your account number on the deposit slip/check. The teller also looks at your date of birth (DOB) to ensure that you are “Sr.” or “Jr.” or whatever your suffix is. It is way too much personal information known to the teller who may not be working for HVFCU tomorrow. I know there is a good amount of turnover. These days a personal identification (ID) is being stolen every three seconds. Member’s personal ID/Information is your customer property and HVFCU is obligated to protect it.
A7: It is necessary for HVFCU employees to verify your identification before processing a transaction on your account. We do this to ensure that we conduct transactions only for the authorized account holder.
Q8: I have been a member since the founding in the trailers in E. Fishkill. I have paid off a home equity loan, car loans, etc., for over 40 years. Why am I treated like any other member – should there be some consideration other than current FICO score when applying/granting loans?
A8: The credit union is a financial cooperative that treats all members equally. HVFCU uses credit scores in granting loans for all members. Credit scores are a key predictor of a person’s ability and willingness to repay loans.
Q9: Is there any way to be alerted of a delinquent credit card payment by email or phone before money is pulled from my accounts?
A9: We do not contact members by email or telephone before pulling money from their delinquent accounts. You can avoid delinquencies by signing up for CUAlerts. CUAlerts can be set-up to remind you by email or text message of loan payment dates. To start receiving these email notifications, sign on to Internet Banking and enroll in CUAlerts.
Q10: Why did the Newburgh Branch expand and then cut their employees. The lines are terrible!
A10: We have not reduced the number of employees at the Newburgh branch. We work to ensure that all teller windows in the Newburgh branch are open during the busiest times. Later this spring, we will open a branch at 265 Windsor Highway in New Windsor. This branch will help us to reduce the overcrowding situation in the Newburgh branch and provide HVFCU members who live and or work in that area with another branch option to meet their needs.
Q11: Why don’t you offer more in the way of college loans other than the HELP Loan?
Please address the fact that you will not carry Federal Stafford loans for us. Why is that when the credit union is more safe and secure than other banks?
A11: Due to significant changes made to the federal student loan program by the federal government, it became impractical for the credit union to continue offering federal student loans. We no longer are able to offer federally insured student loans to complement our HELP Loan. The HELP Loan is our only education loan.
Q12: Can I make bi-weekly payments on my mortgage to reduce overall interest?
A12: Yes, bi-weekly payments can be automatically set up with our Mortgage Accelerator Program (MAP). You can learn more about this program online at hvfcu.org or stop into any office for assistance.
Q13: Are there plans to improve/update the coin machines, their reliability is questionable?
A13: Effective March 11, 2009, we implemented an automated monitoring system that allows us to respond more quickly to out-of-service conditions. This will help to ensure better availability of the coin machines.
Q14: When I open a 4.0% or other certificate, and it comes due, I always miss the specials to renew. Why can’t the specials be extended when you know the previous special will end at a certain time?
A14: We offer very competitive rates throughout the year. We time certificate account promotions according to market conditions so that as many members as possible are able to take advantage of them. Certificate promotions come with specific start and end dates. We do not extend promotions beyond their specified end dates.
Q15: Your current investment offerings don’t compare well! In this very scary financial crisis, where one dares not tie up funds for any length of time, how about offering better rates of investments in shorter periods of time (3, 4, 6 months – up to one year), rather than two years or more. Likewise better money market rate increments of say, minimums of $2,500; $5,000; $10,000; $15,000. (2/28/09 Information Sheet – 1.24% for $20,000 and 2.02% for $50,000 are horrid!)
A15: Although we would love to pay higher interest rates to our members, we are influenced by the amount we can charge on loans and the amount we receive on our investments. In trying to keep the two in balance we are paying a rate which we feel is reasonable and competitive and one which we can afford.
Q16: What will happen to the bank funds if the FDIC is liquidated – as predicted for next year?
A16: Funds on deposit with HVFCU are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration, (NCUA) an agency of the federal government. The FDIC insures funds on deposit at banks not credit unions.
Q17: Why is the accuracy of transactions so poor, especially when dealing with the call center?
A17: Our records do not indicate that there are a large volume of inaccurate transactions with the call center or the teller line. However, we do provide extensive training to all of our employees emphasizing the importance of accuracy in processing all transactions. We will be glad to meet with any member who feels they have experienced an unusual number of inaccurate transactions.
Q18: Why don’t your employees ask if people are eligible before they open Roth IRAs (or actually any IRA)?
A18: Employees are trained to address all regulations and guidelines when opening Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for members. As part of this process, employees inform members of the age and income restrictions relative to IRAs.
Q19: How about providing safe deposit boxes?
A19: We have no plans to offer this service because of space limitations.
Q20: When will the Highland Branch be built and open?
A20: As a result of the current economic climate, we have decided to postpone the construction of the Highland branch. We will re-evaluate this decision in the fourth quarter of this year.
Q21: Some banks offer free credit scores, updated monthly. They show up online on your account page. This would be a great benefit for members – and a distinguishing benefit.
A21: The credit union will research this service. We will make a decision about offering this service by December, 2009.
Q22: Some car dealerships claim to do business with the credit union but after checking with the credit union it turns out that they went with a commercial bank that gave us a higher interest rate. What can be done to protect members from dealerships’ lying?
A22: The majority of participating dealers honor and respect the member’s request to obtain financing through HVFCU. In circumstances when the request was not honored, we encourage the member to bring the matter to our attention for immediate resolution. Please call the Indirect Lending Department at 845.463.3011, extension 2052, to bring issues to our attention.
Q23: Do away with being open on Saturday. If you must be open, then only stay open until 1:00 p.m.
A23: We will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays as a convenience to our members.
Q24: If you overdraft your checking account more than once, why do you get charged each time?
A24: Each transaction is processed individually based on the available account balance at the time of the transaction. Fees are charged on a per transaction basis when sufficient funds are not available to complete the transaction. Establishing overdraft from a line of credit loan or savings account could help reduce fees.
Q25: Why can’t the branches have any magazines available to read while waiting to see a Financial Services Representative; it makes the waiting time seem shorter if you can read (other than credit union information).
A25: We prefer to display credit union industry publications that promote the products and services that are available within our industry.
Q26: Regarding checks written from business accounts – currently business owners cannot retrieve copies of checks (three months or older). Can the system be changed allowing access to all check copies at anytime?
A26: Our new internet banking system for business accounts will allow up to six months of check images to be displayed. This system will be available in June, 2009.
Q27: Why do you make it so difficult to sign up for online banking? I tried several times with no success.
A27: Signing up for online banking is a two-step process:
- Call our Information Center at 845.463.3011 / 800.468.3011, or stop by any of our branches and let an HVFCU representative know you’d like Internet Banking access.
- Next, go to hvfcu.org, open Internet Banking, and enroll in Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA enhances the security of your Internet Banking access.
Q28: Why don’t you advertise your Credit Union Alert system to the members? I was not aware of this system as a member for over seven years. It would have saved me $200 in fees.
A28: CUAlerts appears as a menu option on our eServices menu. When signed on to Internet Banking, the service is also available from the menu options at the top of the page. Information about CUAlerts will be in the July issue of Shared Interests.