Consumer News & Views
Published twice monthly
September 1, 2013

This issue is sponsored by


and

In this Issue…

  • Consumer Confidence Inches Upward as Consumers Get Back to Business.
  • Carter Federal Credit Union Champions Financial Loans for Consumers in Louisiana.
  • The Problem with Cheap Car Insurance. Beware!
  • University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union Helps Consumers and Students in the Blue Grass Region.
  • ACC’s Friend of the Consumer Award Recognizes Consumer-Friendly Companies.
  • Apply for the 2013 Green CSM Certification Program.

Consumer Confidence Inches Upward. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in July, increased slightly in August. The Index now stands at 81.5 (1985=100), up from 81.0 in July.

Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators for The Conference Board stated, “Consumer Confidence increased slightly in August, a result of improving short-term expectations. Consumers were moderately more upbeat about business, job and earning prospects. In fact, income expectations, which had declined sharply earlier this year with the payroll tax hike, have rebounded to their highest level in two and a half years. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, on the other hand, was somewhat less favorable than last month.”

Thomas Hinton, president of the American Consumer Council, commented, “Consumers are gradually gaining confidence in the economy and job market despite the fact that Congress and the Obama Administration have almost become irrelevant to America’s economic recovery. This month’s Consumer Confidence Report is a modest, but positive uptick.”
The American Consumer Council forecasted a modest increase in back-to-school spending this month as well as an uptick in holiday travel for the Labor Day Weekend. “It’s not the good, old days,” Hinton added, “but we’re clawing our way back from the dark economic days of 2008-2011.”


The mission of Carter Federal Credit Union based near Shreveport, Louisiana, is to provide value through all stages of life to our members and their communities. We are able to do this by offering members quality, convenient services for savings and credit needs within a sound financial institution. Carter Federal is a full service financial institution, offering a host of convenient services like checking and savings accounts, online eACCESS and more. We’re sure you’ll like lower interest rates on loans to higher earnings on dividend accounts available at Carter Federal Credit Union.

As a member of the American Consumer Council, you’re eligible to join Carter Federal. Click on the following link for more details: http://www.carterfcu.org/membership/new_member_agreement.html -- or call their Membership Department at by phone at 1-318-688-3620 to get exact membership information.

From savings to loans to services designed for your convenience, Carter Federal is a full service institution. Across the nation, credit unions generally offer better rates and better service than banks or thrifts.

Check out the competitive rates and dividends offered by Carter Federal Credit Union. Deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the Federal Government.

The History of Carter Federal Credit Union:
Carter Federal’s beginnings date back to1954, when Floyd Carter chartered the credit union to serve the employees of International Paper Company in Springhill, Louisiana. As paymaster of International Paper, Floyd Carter witnessed predatory lending practices within his own workplace, and made a commitment to seek a safe way for employees to borrow and save money. Mr. Carter was a true credit union pioneer. His mission was to form a financial cooperative based on the premise of “people helping people”. Carter Federal Credit Union was chartered for the purpose of improving the financial well being of its members. This tradition continues today, many years after Mr. Carter’s pioneering efforts. Carter Federal Credit Union is unique among credit unions in the United States as it continues to carry the name of its founder.

Carter Federal continued to operate on site at International Paper until 1979 when the paper mill closed. Moving to a new location was the beginning of a new period of growth for the Credit Union. The 1980’s were marked by expansion and increasing operations. New locations in Shreveport, Mansfield, and Monroe, Louisiana were opened by acquisition of other credit unions through merger. In 1989, three major companies in Magnolia, Arkansas joined the field of membership and a fifth office was opened in Magnolia.

In 2000 the Credit Union added another office in Minden, Louisiana. In 2001, the field of membership grew to include anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in the Parishes of Bienville, Claiborne, DeSoto, Red River, Webster, Caddo, and Bossier and the counties of Columbia and Lafayette in Arkansas. In 2004 the Bayou Walk branch was opened in Shreveport, and most recently another location was opened in Haughton, Louisiana.

By 2005 the credit union industry was faced with unprecedented challenges as the national unemployment rate reached record highs. Another milestone in the Credit Union’s history occurred that year when the Board of Directors recruited James P. Gibson to become President and CEO. Under his leadership, Carter Federal has continued its tradition of service to its members, and has experienced tremendous growth, doubling its asset size in only five years.

Currently, Carter Federal Credit Union operates seven locations, an Operations Center, an Administration Service Center, a virtual Call Center and eight full service ATMs. It is a shareholder and participant in the Credit Union Service Center Network. This expands the availability of teller service for its members across the United States, and included hundreds of locations.

Now with nearly 28,000 members strong and assets topping $200 million, Carter Federal stands proud of its growth and accomplishments and remains dedicated to the mission of improving the well-being of its members.

The American Consumer Council and the Louisiana Consumer Council are pleased to recognize Carter Federal as a Sponsoring Member.


The Problem with Cheap Car Insurance. With everyone trying to save money these days, cheap car insurance policies are looking more and more attractive to many consumers. Most of them believe that they are good drivers and may never have to make a claim against their insurance policy so they see little risk in choosing a policy that does not provide as much coverage. Unfortunately, by the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late. Here are some problems associated with cheap car insurance that many people have found to be common.

Driver Exclusions: A typical, run of the mill car insurance policy generally covers you, each of the listed members of your family, and other friends or relatives that may occasionally borrow your car. A cheap car insurance policy may exclude some of these individuals from coverage when they are driving your car, which means if anything happens to the car during this time, the car insurance company will not pay for it. The types of driver exclusions found on these policies can differ from company to company, so be sure to read the fine print of your insurance policy to see who can be covered and who will not be.

Frequent Driving Record Checks: Many companies offering cheap car insurance check the driving records of their customers more frequently than companies offering standard car insurance policies do. This is to mitigate the company’s risk and allow them to increase the premium price for the policy if negative information is found before the policy is renewed. This is especially true if the driver already had a checkered driving history before the policy was applied for.

Repair Coverage Is Lower: Standard insurance policies generally cover the full cost of repairs to a vehicle, minus the deductible, if the driver or the situation that occurred is covered under the policy. Cheap insurance policies may take the cost of vehicle depreciation into account when calculating the value of the repairs and pay only a percentage of the cost, leaving the policyholder to pay the rest. This cost can be significant and may be more than the policyholder can actually afford to pay, leaving the repairs incomplete or the vehicle held until the total amount owed has been paid.


University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union Helps Consumers and College Students in the Blue Grass Region

In January of 1937, a group of Agriculture College Employees from the University of Kentucky decided to form a credit union that would provide themselves and their co-workers with a better place to save and borrow money. Through their efforts, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union was founded. Today, the credit union serves the financial needs of thousands of students as well as a growing community throughout the Blue Grass region of Kentucky and its neighboring states.

As a member of the American Consumer Council, you are eligible to apply for membership with the University of Kentucky FCU.

Request for Membership Application from UKY FCY
Eligible individuals may apply for membership online by clicking the button below and providing the information requested. You may also call 859-264-4200, 800-234-UKCU (8528), or stop by one of our branch locations to join. JOIN NOW!
If you have any questions, please contact the University of Kentucky FCU at 859-264-4200 or 800-234-UKCU (8528), or send an email to contact@ukfcu.org

Many things have changed over the years, but the one constant that has remained is our commitment to the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”

We think you will appreciate the value and benefits of UK Federal Credit Union. Why use a credit union? You might say low rates on loans and low fees for services, and you’re right. True, these features do make credit unions unique. However, the most important difference is: YOU own your credit union!

UK Federal Credit Union is a not-for profit financial cooperative. Our sole purpose is to serve the financial needs of our members by offering our members quality service and products while maintaining a financially strong institution. Instead of planning for stockholder profits, credit unions focus on serving their Membership:

You’re a Member, Not a Customer!

Other financial institutions can’t come close to matching that philosophy because they’re profit-driven businesses.

Being part of member-driven financial institution, you reap the benefits in lower rates when you borrow and higher rates when you save at your credit union. The extra money isn’t given to a few stock-holders, it’s returned to members like you in the form of better rates and services. Attend your annual meeting and elect your board of directors. Participation in your credit union gives you a voice in your financial future and signifies your ownership. Those are two things you won’t find at other financial institutions, and two more reasons why you’re a member, not a customer.

Rates are subject to change and credit approval.


ACC’s Friend of the Consumer Award Recognizes Outstanding Companies. Is your company or organization a friend of the consumer? Are your policies and corporate practices winning the hearts, minds and wallets of customers? If so, you should apply for The American Consumer Council’s prestigious Friend of the Consumer Award.

Throughout the year, the American Consumer Council receives numerous applications from companies and organizations seeking to be recognized for their commitment to consumers and providing consumer-friendly products and services.

To apply for the Friend of the Consumer Award, complete the online application and return it to ACC with the application fee. Applicants will be notified within 5 days of receipt of their application. Thereafter, a panel of independent judges will review your application and make a formal recommendation within 45 days of receipt of your award application.

For more information, visit: http://www.americanconsumercouncil.org/awards.html


Green CSM Certification Accepting Applications for 2013 Fall Cycle:

If your company or organization would like to increase its credibility with consumers, you should consider applying for the Green CSM Certification. Applications for the 2013 Fall cycle are now being accepted through December 13, 2013.

It's a proven fact that consumers want to do business with companies that are eco-friendly and practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The process is straight-forward and all applicants are recognized by ACC and the Green USA Institute.

All applicants complete the criteria and submit their responses to ACC's Green Consumer Council for review, assessment and feedback. Program details and the Green CSM Certification criteria can be viewed at ACC's website located at: http://americanconsumercouncil.org/greenc.asp