4th Quarter 2011
This is the first issue of our new e-Newsletter! As we transition to an electronic-only newsletter, watch for improvements and enhancements. Most will receive the newsletter quicker and everyone will be able to review past newsletters on our website.
Open and Fund New Accounts Online
The new year brings another convenient Spirit of Alaska service...online account opening and funding. Eliminate the need to visit a branch by opening an account right from your computer. Watch for details coming soon!
Get Your 2012 PFD FAST!
Act now! The application period is now through March 31st. Applying for the 2012 PFD is quick and easy. If you selected your Spirit of Alaska FCU account for PFD direct deposit last year, all you have to do this year is check a box to keep it the same. If you are filing for the first time, did not sign up for direct deposit last year, or would like to change your direct deposit to go into your Spirit of Alaska FCU account from elsewhere, the process is simple:
- Select Spirit of Alaska FCU from the drop down menu
- Enter your Account number (not your member number, your checking or savings account number you wish to use)
- Indicate if checking or savings
- And then specify who the account holder is
Finish the application, and remember to print or save a copy of the confirmation page.
You don't need a new car to get new car peace of mind.
The average new car is out of warranty in just two and a half years, and as time goes on, the likelihood of mechanical failure on your vehicle is inevitable. Advanced electronics, complex systems, and rising labor costs mean that a repair that might have cost hundreds of dollars a few years ago may now cost you thousands. Below are some typical cost examples...
Air Conditioning: $1,217
Timing Belt: $802
Front Brakes: $931
Seals and Gaskets: $1,050
With Major Mechanical Protection (MMP), you can protect yourself against these expensive repairs.
MMP is affordable–the total cost of MMP is often far less than the cost of a single repair! And, having this coverage extends the life of your budget. Pay for MMP once, and in most cases you will not have to pay anything more than a small deductible should a breakdown occur.
Plans are available for most new and used domestic and imported vehicles. For maximum value, consider adding MMP protection when you purchase a new or used vehicle.
Contact a Consumer Loan Officer at (907) 459-5970 for vehicle eligibility criteria and more details.
Is it a Good Time to Refinance my Home?
Interest rates continue to hover at their lowest point in decades. This leaves many homeowners who have opted to stay put during the recent real estate and economic turbulence to wonder if refinancing is a good idea.
Consider these questions before you apply:
- Will refinancing save me money?
- Will refinancing get me closer to my long-term financial goals?
- Will refinancing allow me to accomplish something I may not be able to otherwise?
If you are able to answer yes to at least one of the questions, then refinancing may be a viable step for you.
Save Money: Refinancing to a lower rate can save you thousands over the term of the loan. Make sure the savings is not wiped away with refinancing fees.
Long-term Goals: Refinancing from a 30 to a 15-year mortgage as you approach retirement is a good idea if you can afford the increased payment.
Accomplishment: Maybe you want to pay off all your other debts, help a child through college, or start a business. Refinancing to take cash out of your house can help you toward these goals. This should only be considered if you plan on staying in your home for many more years so you can rebuild the equity.
There are several mortgage calculators that will play out scenarios as you contemplate refinancing.
When you are ready, let us walk you through the steps. Call us at 907-459-5974 today to discuss which option will work best for you.
e-Services Keep You on Track
Electronic services or "e-Services" have come a long way since the 1990s when they were first introduced to consumers. Once considered on the fringe, many would now agree they couldn't live without them. Not only are e-Services convenient and easy to use, they are particularly beneficial in keeping you and your budget on track.
e-Teller online banking services give you 24/7 access to account balances and transfers from anywhere you can get internet service. Electronic bill pay services eliminates the stress of paying your loans while on vacation or while sick. And, e-Statements allow you to balance faster and catch mistakes or problems earlier than their mailed counterparts.
Alerts on e-Teller
Setting up Alerts on e-Teller is simple and easy. Sign on to e-Teller and select options in the upper right hand corner. Verify your information is correct and your desired email address is entered, scroll to the bottom of the screen and go to Alert controls. Personal Alerts can be set up as reminders, birthday, etc. Financial alerts can be set up to monitor and send you an Alert if your balance falls below a level you set. You can also set up Alerts to watch for a particular check to clear, any check amount, electronic funds transaction (debit card, etc.), or incoming wire transfers. The power to monitor your daily financial activity is literally at your fingertips, even if you do not log into e-Teller on a daily basis.
If you are currently signed up for electronic Services such as e-Teller, ask us how you can utilize the features to their fullest and to your benefit. Or, talk to us about getting started today. Call 907-459-5900 for more information.
February is Financial-Aid-Awareness Month
February may be a short month, but there is a lot to take care of if you're in college or starting this fall. Over 65% of undergraduate students receive financial aid or assistance, but you must do the work to find it.
- Fill out your FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid—at www.fafsa.ed.gov which is your first step in receiving any federal aid.
- Look at the programs your college of choice has to offer. Many have scholarships for merit, course of study, ethnic background, or need.
- Scour the web for more scholarships and grants. Check out websites like FastWeb.com, studentaid.ed.gov, www2.ed.gov/finaid, and www.finaid.org. These sites provide free searches for thousands of scholarships from all over the country.
Financial aid comes in many forms so don't limit yourself. Check out military connections, faith-based groups, scouts, 4-H, Rotary and Lions Clubs, and other local organizations as well. Talk to your employer and your parent's employers to see if they have scholarship or grant programs. If you're still in high school, check out the clubs you belong to like the National Honor Society, DECA, or Key Club for national scholarship opportunities.
Millions of dollars are left on the table because no one asked or applied. Take the time and reap the benefits.
New to the newsletter, scroll down to read about community events, programs, and other non profits.
February 28th – March 25th
Yukon Quest Start
Fairbanks – February 4th
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday January 16th
Monday February 20th
At SoAFCU we take pride in having strong relationships with our members. That's why we want to thank you for bringing new members into our locally owned credit union.
People are talking about the big banks, their big bailouts, and their big fees on everything from checking accounts to credit cards. So the next time the topic comes up, why not tell your friends and family about SoAFCU? When you refer a friend to SoAFCU and they meet the simple referral guidelines, you'll earn $50!
Please encourage your friends, family and co-workers to call us at (907) 459-5900 or visit us online at www.spiritofak.com. Remember, for every new member you refer, you can earn $50! Go to our website for more details.
Employees Donate to the Stone Soup Café
This year many employees at Spirit of Alaska FCU decided to donate money to the Stone Soup Café instead of exchanging Christmas gifts with one another. In all we raised $425 and many pounds of non perishable food.
A little about Stone Soup Café:
The Bread Line's Stone Soup Cafe provides breakfast and a hot nutritious lunch to Fairbanks North Star Borough residents. The Cafe also acts as a contact place for workers to accept day labor calls and provides them and others with a sack meal for working hours or later in the day.
The Bread Line, Inc. is a non-profit organization that depends on grants, donations, and volunteers for its survival and operation. The current Board of Directors spend countless hours to make sure that the Café keeps its doors open, welcoming those who depend on it to get at least one meal every day.
During this challenging economy we have seen many people lose their jobs, homes, health insurance and they have found themselves not only in financial difficulty but actually not knowing if they are going to have a nutritious warm meal each day. Hard times do not discriminate and they affect a diverse cross section of the residents in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The guests at Stone Soup Café are adults, seniors, youths, mothers, dislocated workers, homeless and transient population as well as those people with very low incomes who may not qualify for Public Assistance.
As the Stone Soup Café is about to enter their 27th year of operation, they are facing on-going and new challenges as well as exciting possibilities, so please consider becoming more involved with the organization. In order to survive they need your time, talent, and gifts of food, supplies and money. www.stonesoupcafe.org.
Johansen LED sign becoming popular with other non profits!
The Johansen main freestanding sign was designed not only to complement the branch, but also to be a good way to communicate with our members and the community. As part of our community outreach, up to 50% of the presentation time is available for other non profit messaging, either for a single event, or about the non profit organization in general to raise awareness. If you or someone you know would like to have their message display on the Johansen LED sign, contact Mike Maynard at 459-5907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 BP World Ice Art Championships
The theme for the 23rd Annual BP World Ice Art Championships is "Dreams Come True" and promises to deliver over one- hundred, larger-than-life sized sculptures. This year, the event is moving to its new home at the George Horner Ice Art Park, 3050 Phillips Field Road. The new Twenty-seven acre park is centrally located and contains a large on-site pond which is expected to produce over four million pounds of "Arctic Diamond" ice—exceptionally clear, thick ice used by the sculptors. Near the pond there is a large designated Kid's Park which features a whimsical set of slides and sculptures. In addition, there are ice mazes, a skating rink, an "ice stage" for various performances and a concession area. Ice carving competitions include the Single Block Classic, the Multi-Block Classic, the Amateur Open Exhibition for novices to try out their skills, and the Youth Classic for high school students.
The 2012 BP World Ice Art Championships is projected to be open daily 10am-10pm, February 28 through March 25, 2012. For more information visit www.icealaska.com.
Feb 28–Mar. 1 – Single Block Classic Competition
March 2 – Single Block Awards Ceremony, 8 PM (Single Block sculptures completed)
Mar 4–Mar 9 – Multi-Block Classic Competition
Mar 10 – Multi-Block Awards Ceremony, 8 PM (25 Multi-Block sculptures completed)
Feb 29–Mar 16 – Amateur Open Exhibition
Mar 13–16 – Frances and Clarence G. Beers Youth Classic
Mar 17 – Frances and Clarence G. Beers Youth Classic Awards and Amateur Open Recognition.
Mar 10–25 – 2 full weeks to view the finished sculptures & enjoy the Kids Park!
Mar 25th – Park closure, 10 PM
Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs is a Tier II Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's West Division. The Ice Dogs play home games at the 2,200-seat Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks. The Ice Dogs originally started in 1997 as hockey program to replace the Fairbanks Gold Kings, and give Alaskan players a chance to play after they finished High School and/or midgets.
Originally a part of the America West Hockey League, the Ice Dogs were the 2001-2002 AWHL Organization of the Year. The team would later move to the NAHL in the AWHL-NAHL merger that took place in 2003. The Ice Dogs went on to win the 2010 West Division Regular Season Title for the 2nd time in 3 years. In 2011, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs won the Robertson Cup National Championship, for the first time in franchise history, in a come from behind win over the Michigan Warriors 4-2.
Remaining Home Schedule:
Kenai River Jan 13-14
Wenatchee Feb 14-15 – Special Stick It To Cancer Series
Topeka Feb 17-18
Kenai River Mar 9-10
Fresno Mar 16-17 – Annual Outdoor Game on March 17th Arrive early to get your free Spirit of Alaska cow bell to make noise with in support of the Ice Dogs!
Alaska Mar 22-24
Dawson Creek March 30-31