possibilities - Ascend Federal Credit Union

Published for the members of Ascend Federal Credit Union
let's get
holiday closings
we are here
preferred checking
let's get fiscal
auto loans
retirement plan
'stache your cash
apr i l 2013
When it comes to your finances, you want to work with people you trust, and you want them to be local.
Since 1951, Ascend Federal Credit Union has served more
than two generations of Middle Tennessee families. Mem-
Ascend’s 2012 Annual Report is Now
P.O. Box 1210, 520 Airpark
Dr., Tullahoma, TN 37388
quick Reads
Arnold Dr.
E BASE 452 N. Hap
ll Blvd.
W. James Campbe
3150 Aspen Grove Dr.
Ascend Makes Tax Filing Convenient with TurboTax
Log into E-BRANCH and click on the My TurboTax tab to
get started today!
Rock Crusher Rd.
800- 342- 3086
1929 McArthur St.
Star Mall, 1410 Sparta St.
1250 W. Clark Blvd., 750
S. Church St., 4051 Franklin
bers have access to their funds from a growing number of
financial centers, a mobile app, electronic account access,
and fee-free access to ATMs worldwide. And, over the past
eight years, we’ve given back more than $44 million to those
same folks in bonus dividends and loan interest refunds.
When you need a bigger home for your growing family. When
you need to replace a piece of farm equipment. When you
want to send your child to college. When you need a vehicle
to get back and forth to work.
ial Blvd., 2600 Elm Hill
1900 N. Main St.
SMYRNA 769 Nissan
Current Promotions
Now – April 30
Youth Promo
Decherd Blvd.
This credit union is federally
insured by the National
Credit Union Administration.
When you need us, we are here.
2012 ANN UAL
N. Jackson St.
Membership is limited.
0312 A2120
Now – May 30
Preferred checking Promo
Shred Days
We are pleased to announce the following Shred Days
for 2013:
Saturday, April 20
Tullahoma financial center
1611 N. Jackson St.: We are once again partnering with the
Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee for a Shred
Day from 9 a.m. to noon (or until the truck is full).
When you compare Ascend to other financial institutions,
the difference is clear.
Connected. Respected. Protected. Directed.
Tullahoma financial center: 9-11 a.m.
Murfreesboro-Victory Station: 9-11 a.m.
On the Road
Ascend – the exclusive credit union of Blue Raider Athletics – will be participating in MTSU CUSTOMS for all incoming freshmen on the following dates: May 22-23 and 30-31;
June 5-6, 11-12, 14-15, 18-19, and 26-27; and July 9-10,
19-20, 24-25, and 30-31. Bring your MTSU-bound student
and open an Ascend youth account!
Learn how these words highlighted that difference last year
in the 2012 Annual Report, which is available on a first
come, first served basis inside our financial centers. An
electronic version can also be viewed and downloaded at
Thank you for your membership with Ascend!
Better than Basic
Murfreesboro-Victory Station financial center
4051 Franklin Road: 9-11 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12
WE Are
Holiday Closings
All credit union offices will be closed:
• Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day
• Thursday, July 4 for Independence Day
preferred checking
If you can get by on basic, why look for anything better?
Because “getting by” is not preferred.
Preferred checking from Ascend elevates your membership to the best it can be. This account earns dividends, and there are no
minimum balance requirements and no per-check charges. Get all of these features for just a small monthly fee:
identity theft insurance • identity fraud support • accidental death and dismemberment insurance
purchase protection • extended warranty • cash savings • rebate rewards • card monitoring service
A checking account that goes beyond basic and adds value to your membership? That’s preferred. Visit your nearest Ascend financial center and ask for Preferred checking, or call 800-342-3086.
possibilities • april
10 Ways to Avoid Fraud
Let’s Get Fiscal.
Scam artists in the U.S. and around the world defraud millions of people each year. They use the phone, email, postal mail and the
Internet to trick you into sending money or giving out personal information. The consumer site on FTC.gov offers the following tips
to help you avoid fraud:
What to Do
What Not to Do
Know with whom you’re dealing. Try to find a seller’s
 Don’t send money to someone you don’t know. It’s
address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number.
best to do business with sites you know and trust. If you buy
Know that wiring money is like sending cash. Con
пЃѓ artists
often insist that people wire money, especially over-
seas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers, to
sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment, or to anyone who claims to be a relative or friend in an emergency
and wants to keep the request a secret.
we can make your money talk
Read your monthly statements. Scammers steal acпЃѓ count
information and then run up charges or commit
crimes in your name. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t O.K., contact the credit union, card issuer or
other creditor immediately.
a disaster, give only to established charities.
пЃѓ After
In the aftermath of a disaster, give to an established charity
rather than one that has sprung up overnight.
to your doctor before you buy health prodпЃѓ Talk
ucts or treatments. Ask about research that supports
You’ve been packing on the interest for some time now.
Your credit cards are bloated. Your auto loan rate is through the roof. And speaking of roofs, how much interest are you
paying on your mortgage right now? Five percent? More?
It’s time to shed those unflattering rates. It’s time to get fiscal.
Ascend Federal Credit Union will help you get fiscally fit by turning those rotund rates and portly payments into huge savings.
Feeling trapped under the weight of high-rate credit card debt? Bring those balances to Ascend and let one of our low-rate
Visa cards do the heavy lifting. Need an auto loan with more flexible rates and terms? Refinance with Ascend and find out
how much lower your rate can go. Want a mortgage rate that doesn’t spike your heart rate? See how shaving off a percentage
or two at Ascend will relieve the pressure.
Hear that? It’s your money saying it’s time to lose the dues and firm up your bottom line. To make your budget leaner and
your pockets greener, call 800-342-3086 or visit your nearest Ascend financial center.
a product’s claims and possible risks or side effects. In
addition, buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S.
pharmacies. Otherwise, you could end up with products
that are fake, expired or mislabeled.
there's no sure thing in investing. If
пЃѓ Remember
someone contacts you with low-risk, high-return invest-
items through an online auction, consider using a payment
option that provides protection, like a credit card. Never
pay fees first for the promise of a big pay-off later whether
it’s for a loan, a job, a grant or a so-called prize.
 Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money
back. You’re responsible for the checks you deposit. If a
check turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for paying
back the financial institution.
 Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or fi-
nancial information. It doesn't matter whether the mes-
sage comes as an email, a phone call, a text message or an
ad. Don’t click on links or call phone numbers included in
the message, either. It’s called phishing. The crooks behind
these messages are trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If you receive a message like this and you
are concerned about your account status, call the number
on your credit or debit card or your account statement and
check on it.
 Don’t play a foreign lottery. It’s illegal to play a foreign lottery. They ask you to pay “taxes,” “fees” or “cus-
toms duties” to collect your prize. If you must send money
to collect, you haven’t won anything. And if you send any
money, you will lose it. You won’t get any money back either, regardless of promises or guarantees.
ment opportunities, stay away.
Report Scams
If you think you may have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you are outside the U.S., file a
complaint at econsumer.gov. Visit ftc.gov/idtheft, where you’ll find out how to minimize your risk of identity theft. Report scams to
your state Attorney General. If you get unsolicited email offers or spam, send the messages to [email protected] If you get what looks
like lottery material from a foreign country through the postal mail, take it to your local postmaster.
possibilities • april
Find Fee-Free ATMs Near You!
With fee-free access to more than 50,000 ATMs worldwide, why pay ATM fees when
you don’t have to? Ascend offers two great tools to help you find a fee-free ATM near
you, no matter where in the world you are.
Cruise into Spring with a Great
Low Auto Loan Rate from Ascend
As we enter the season of growth and renewal, you might be thinking it’s a good time to
replace your old vehicle.
Since you’re a member of Ascend, it’s actually a great time! Why? Because you have access to the lowest vehicle rates in town. Right now, get a rate as low as 2.99%* for new
vehicles or 3.24%* for used vehicles.
If you have your auto loan someplace else, refinance with Ascend and save money. Qualified members can finance a new vehicle up to 84 months or a used one up to 66 months.
Visit your nearest Ascend financial center or apply online at ascendfcu.org. You can also
get credit union financing at a growing number of participating dealerships. For a complete list, visit our Web site.
*The quoted APRs (annual percentage rates) are fixed rates based on your credit score, a 36-month term, use of Ascend’s
Freedom Card, and authorization of payments through payroll deduction, direct deposit, or as an ACH payment. You will be
informed of the APR for which you qualify before you become contractually liable for the loan account. All loans subject to credit
approval. Rates subject to change without notice.
Be Ready for a Rainy Day
Experts in personal finance often recommend having an emergency fund in case the unexpected hits – a layoff, an injury,
or any event that interrupts your paycheck. Such a safety net
should cover at least six months’ worth of living expenses
(six to eight months’ worth for a more comfortable cushion). To calculate how much you need to save:
пЃ“ Collect all your financial records for the past
year, including bank and credit card statements,
ATM receipts, and canceled checks. Sort them
by month.
пЃ“ Using graph paper or a ruler, make a grid listing the 12 months of the year across the top.
Down the left-hand side write all your fixed expenses, e.g. mortgage or rent, insurance policies, car
payments, utilities, medical expenses. Then add other major
spending categories such as food, entertainment, etc.
пЃ“Refer to your financial documents to fill in the amount you
spent in each category during each month. Total the expenses for each month, and write it at the bottom of the column.
пЃ“Add all these monthly totals and divide the sum by 12. This is
your average monthly expenditure.
пЃ“Multiply the average by six (or eight). This is how much you
should have for a comfortable safety net.
The first is called LocatorSearch. Visit ascendfcu.org and click “About” in the toolbar
and then “Search for Locations.” You will see a map where you can search for the
nearest fee-free ATM. Switch between Map View and Satellite View, get directions to
the nearest ATM and print or even download locations to your GPS. You can also narrow your search to just ATMs that accept deposits.
The second tool to help you avoid ATM fees is Ascend’s mobile app. Along with helping you manage your credit union accounts at the touch of a button, the app will also
help you find the nearest fee-free ATM. If you have an iPadВ®, iPhoneВ® or Androidв„ў
device, download the app for free from the iTunes StoreВ® or Google Playв„ў Store app.
Before you pay another ATM fee, check out Ascend’s free and convenient tools that
can help you save some money.
Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.
Our Cards Can Take You There!
Whether you’re thinking about a quick spring break getaway or considering several
summer vacation destinations, an Ascend Visa can take you there.
Our Visa cards feature no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no fee for cash advances, and annual percentage rates (APRs) as low as 9.50%.
With an Ascend Visa, the most difficult part of your next escape will be planning where
to go! Apply online at ascendfcu.org, or visit your nearest Ascend financial center.
*Your APR will be based on your credit score. You will be informed of the APR for which you qualify before you
become contractually liable. All loans subject to credit approval.
Ascend’s Money Market account (MMA) is a great place for
your emergency fund. You get the accessibility of a Share
account but with a better rate. It just takes $2,500 to
open an Ascend MMA. You can make six free withdrawals per month, and if you need to make more,
it’s just $10 per transaction.
Open an MMA at your nearest Ascend financial
center, or call 800-342-3086 for more information.
possibilities • april
Customers Face Surcharge Fee
for Credit Card Purchases
Ascend is Your Trusted
Mortgage Loan Advisor
Ascend is not only your home for great mortgage loans, but we’re also
an excellent resource for your mortgage loan questions.
Should I consider
refinancing my mortgage?
When is the best
time to refinance?
There are so many mortgage
products out there, from conventional fixed loans to balloons
and adjustable rate mortgages
(ARMs). How do I know which
Rates remain at historic lows. If your current interest rate is five percent or higher, it’s time
to consider refinancing.
The general rule is to refinance when you will save at least one percentage point on your
rate. If you are at five percent, it will be worth it to refinance to four percent if you plan on
staying in your house more than three years.
First, decide what your goals are. Is this your first home? Are you planning on living there
five or seven years? Or, is it your dream home where you plan on living 30 years? Then,
make an appointment with an Ascend Mortgage Service Representative by calling 800342-3086. These folks will listen to you and help you narrow your search to the mortgage
that’s right for you.
loan is the best for me?
What should I do first – begin
looking at houses, or consider
my mortgage options?
How much of my budget
should I spend on housing?
It’s best to see what you qualify for before you get in the car with a realtor. Bring your W-2
and recent paystubs to your meeting with one of our mortgage advisors, and they will help
you determine what you can afford.
Typically, you want a house payment that is no more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income. But there are other potential expenses – such as new furniture and a lawn
mower – that will need to be considered.
Whether you’re buying, refinancing or even renovating a home, Ascend is your trusted mortgage
loan advisor. Visit ascendfcu.org and apply for
a mortgage loan at your convenience. Or, call
800-342-3086 and make an appointment with a
Mortgage Service Representative.
The next time you use your credit card, you
could be paying up to four percent more for
your purchase.
When you use a credit card to buy something,
merchants are charged something called an
interchange fee from Visa or MasterCard.
Thanks to a recent settlement, merchants
in the U.S. and U.S. territories may add a
payment surcharge, also known as a checkout
fee, to certain credit card transactions.
Credit Unions –
Tax Exempt for a Reason
There is a reason credit unions are exempt
from income taxes. It’s because all credit
unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that
are owned by their members. And while
the members come from all walks of life,
by and large those who belong to credit
unions are everyday people – 96 million of
them, in fact, across the U.S.
Merchants who choose to administer the surcharge are required to follow a
few guidelines:
As not-for-profits, credit unions return what
they earn to their members in the form of
lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings and lower and/or fewer fees.
•They must limit surcharging to credit card transactions only – no surcharging
debit or prepaid card purchases. Debit purchases include those made with
Ascend’s Freedom Card, even if you choose “Credit” rather than “Debit” at
In fact, for every $1 of their tax exemption,
credit unions return $10 to consumers in
better rates and lower fees. That’s a solid
investment in our communities.
•The surcharge cannot be more than the interchange fee the merchant
would pay. This is called the “merchant discount rate.” In cases where the
merchant discount rate exceeds four percent of the transaction amount, the
merchant cannot assess a surcharge more than four percent.
Now, some (mostly banks) say credit
unions should pay income taxes, even
though it was banks (not credit unions)
that took huge governmental bailouts.
•Merchants must disclose the actual dollar amount of the surcharge on every
receipt and disclose the fact that they are assessing a surcharge at the point
of store entry and at the point of sale.
The truth is, if credit unions were taxed –
and remained not-for-profits – it’s unlikely
their members could continue to receive
lower rates on loans, higher savings return,
and low fees.
If customers spot a merchant charging excessive payment card surcharges
or surcharging debit and prepaid card transactions, they can visit www.visa.
com/checkoutfees and fill out the “Report a Merchant Violation” form. Alleged
surcharging violations will be investigated.
You might say taxing credit unions is really
a tax on 96 million credit union members.
Currently, 10 U.S. states have surcharging restrictions including California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York,
Oklahoma, and Texas.
Also, you probably don’t have to worry about the new fee if you travel abroad.
Surcharging remains prohibited outside the U.S. and U.S. territories unless
there is a local law or variance that requires merchants to be permitted to
engage in the practice.
For more information, visit www.visa.com/checkoutfees.
possibilities • april
A Message from the MEMBERS Financial Services Program
Do you have a clear direction for a
Make sure your retirement plan is headed in the right direction.
Retirement is a time to enjoy life, not a time to be
overwhelmed with financial concerns, and the right
plan can make all the difference.
What are your goals for your retirement journey?
How do you design and implement a retirement
income plan?
How do you stay on track year after year?
Contact your financial services representative today to answer these questions and set a
course for your retirement.
Your lifelong partner for retirement, investment and insurance planning.
For more information about any of these services, please contact
800.342.3086, ext. 1307 or 7388
Randall Harris, CFP©, ChFC • 931-454-1307
Vice President, Wealth Management
Tullahoma, TN
Kent Hart • 931-461-8743
Financial Advisor
Murfreesboro, TN
Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member NASD/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly,
Iowa 50677, toll-free (866) 512-6109. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with
the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members.
В©CUNA Mutual Group
Ascend Congratulates MEMBERS for 15 Years of Service
In May, Ascend Federal Credit Union will celebrate a 15-year partnership with MEMBERS Financial Services (MEMFS).
Designed exclusively for credit union members and located at Ascend, MEMFS is a full-service financial advisory program. They provide retirement, insurance and investment services at no initial cost or obligation to members of Ascend.
MEMFS professionals are located inside Ascend’s financial centers, and they offer services that compliment the credit union’s own financial resources. They help members with retirement planning, investments, college planning, IRA and pension rollovers, inheritance,
life insurance, and long-term care planning. They also conduct presentations for employees of Ascend’s select employee groups (SEGs).
it for later
your cash
your own 'stache!
Looking for a great place to help your child learn the value of saving? Then check out a Discover, Venture or Go youth account from Ascend Federal Credit Union.
Discover is for kids age 12 and younger; Venture is for teens age 13 to 17; and Go is for
young adults 18 to 24. Each account has incentives to encourage young people to spend
and save wisely. Plus, youth account holders can participate in drawings based on how they
use their account.
Our brand promise is to educate and help members become effective financial stewards. To
jumpstart your child’s savings, Ascend will deposit $10 into each new youth account opened
in April.1
Plus, open a new or make a deposit to an existing youth account in April and register to win
a $1,000 stash of cash!2
Teaching your kids good money habits doesn’t have to be a big hairy deal. Start your child on
the path to a solid financial future by opening an Ascend youth account today.
1} The $10 for new accounts will be deposited into the new youth account at the end of the promotion period.
2} Twelve $1,000 prizes will be awarded. No purchase necessary to register or win. Registration forms will be available inside the financial
centers during April. Ascend Federal Credit Union employees, officials and any of their family members are not eligible to enter the drawings.
• 11 •
To make an appointment with a MEMFS representative, call toll-free 800-342-3086, extension 1307 or 7388.
possibilities • april
u.s. postage paid
Nashville, TN
Permit #1
p.o. box 1210
520 Airpark Drive
Tullahoma, TN 37388
for our members in the home of:
We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Membership is limited.
loc ati o n s
www.ascendfcu.org • [email protected] • 1-800-342-3086
P.O. Box 1210
520 Airpark Drive
Tullahoma, TN 37388
1372 Rock Crusher Road
Lewisburg, TN 37091
6201 Centennial Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209
2600 Elm Hill Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
Arnold Air Force Base
1929 McArthur St.
Manchester, TN 37355
452 N. Hap Arnold Drive
Arnold AFB, TN 37389
981 W. James Campbell Blvd.
Columbia, TN 38401
Three Star Mall
1410 Sparta St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
cool springs
3150 Aspen Grove Drive
Franklin, TN 37067
Franklin County
2459 Decherd Blvd.
Winchester, TN 37398
1250 W. Clark Blvd.
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
750 S. Church St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
1900 N. Main St.
Shelbyville, TN 37160
769 Nissan Drive
Smyrna, TN 37167
1611 N. Jackson St.
Tullahoma, TN 37388
4051 Franklin Road
Murfreesboro, TN 37128
Raising Possibilities