Archive for mmccu

Meet Tabitha Forman

Tabitha is a Central Wisconsin native originally from Loyal. She now lives in Marshfield with her husband, Bart. She began working at MMCCU in March 2000. Tabitha is a UWSP graduate with a BA degree in Communications.

Her favorite part of her job is the member interactions. In her free time, she participates in a middle ages reenactment group called the Society for Creative Anachronism and also participates in the Trivia contest at UWSP with a team called “Dad’s Computers.”

Be Wary of Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) warns that fraudsters are leveraging fears over the coronavirus as an opportunity to scam financial institutions and consumers.

“We are aware of fraudulent emails looking like they are from the CDC and WHO providing information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Murphy, VP of Finance & Risk at Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU). “When the recipient clicks on the link, they are taken to a harmful website that may install malware or other malicious software onto the user’s computer.”

Other phishing attempts are happening where the fraudster is attempting to capture sensitive personal information from the recipient through email.

“Please pay close attention to the messages you are reading,” said Murphy. “If you are unaware of who is sending you the message, please do not open it and delete it immediately.”

To help protect yourself from scammers:

• Use only reputable sources when searching for information about the coronavirus.
• Be aware of phishing emails and never click unknown attachments or links.
• Be cautious of emails and phone calls offering unexpected information and asking for personal information.

MMCCU will never email asking for personal information.

“The credit union will never email you out of the blue requesting you to provide or confirm personal information, like your social security number, debit card number, or other personal information,” said Murphy. “Do not click on any links in emails you were not expecting or did not request.”

CUNA and MMCCU are following developments of the coronavirus disease and will provide updates as information and materials become available. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to MMCCU at 715.387-8686.

MMCCU Annual Meeting to be RESCHEDULED

UPDATE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, MMCCU will be rescheduling their annual meeting. We will update this website as more information becomes available.

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MMCCU Proud to Support Cancer Fundraiser

MMCCU Employees Attended Marshfield Clinic’s “Comedy Against Cancer” Event

Last night, MMCCU was a proud table sponsor for the Marshfield Clinic’s “Comedy Against Cancer” stand-up event, where all proceeds support cancer care at Marshfield Clinic Health System.

“We’re honored to support a local organization working towards a cure to this terrible disease,” said David Murphy, VP of Finance & Risk. “The event was jam packed with local support!”

“I was really impressed with the program. Not knowing what to expect as I had not attended in the past, I was particularly wowed by how well organized it was and the big crowd,” added Carol Adler, President. The featured cancer survivor gave a heartfelt talk that was moving and funny – laughing through tears. The professional comedians were also very funny – enjoyed both and the room was pretty much filled with audience laughter.”

Eight employees from MMCCU attended the event, held at Hotel Marshfield. All enjoyed the evening immensely.

“The hors d’oeuvres were delicious and the entertainment was great!” said Caroline Retzlaff. “The event is for a good cause. I think everyone of us has a family member, friend, or someone we know that has this terrible disease.”

“The event was great,” added Tabitha Forman. “The entertainment was funny. People should come enjoy a few laughs, maybe cry a little, and support a great cause.”

“The event last night was very relaxing, good stand-up comics with plenty of laughter,” said Jerry Litwaitis, VP of Lending. “There was an insightful and compassionate story from a cancer survivor. We got a firsthand look into the life of what happens when you are diagnosed  with cancer and the battle she faced.  Cancer is a terrible disease that we all need to come together and fight against.  Financial contributions certainly helps the fight as does just being there and being supportive.”

Learn more about the event, here.

What To Know About Saving for College

College tuition has seen exponential increases in the past few decades despite freezes placed on tuition for Wisconsin-based universities.  Depending on the program a student is considering, the school they plan on attending, and whether the student will be attaining an undergraduate degree or needing to go for their masters in a graduate program, the cost for college can be across the spectrum.

Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union encourages members to set savings goals as early as possible.

“There’s never a bad time to start saving for college, but the sooner in a child’s life you can begin saving, the better off you’ll be once your child is through high school,” said David Murphy, VP-Finance & Risk. “If I was personally setting a goal for how much to save for my child’s secondary education, I would target what an in-state 4-year undergraduate program is averaging today and add an arbitrary total to account for inflation.”

Depending on an individual’s financial situation, they may need the student to work to supplement the amount saved.

“I would not assume a percentage of the tuition would be covered by scholarships; rather, I’d prefer to save more and need less to cover tuition than vice versa,” said Murphy. “There are tax-sheltered savings products available in the marketplace that allow you to set aside money for certain educational purposes, but you’ll want to consult with a tax consultant to determine what amounts you’re eligible to save or what happens to the money if your child decides not to attend college.”

Murphy recalls his own college experience – without a large savings set aside, he was able to put off having to rely on student loans through scholarships he was awarded and by working summer jobs and outside of school.

“While I did have to take out student loans to get through the rest of my college, I was able to pay for the first 2-3 semesters from money I had saved up from working,” he said. “If you know what field you plan on studying in college, whether it’s a 4-year program or a technical school, I would encourage you to meet with your guidance counselor to see what scholarship opportunities are available to you.”

MMCCU provides its members with an education fund savings account that offers a higher dividend rate than their regular savings accounts and allows parents to earmark certain money for their child’s education.

“The funds can be used for any level of schooling, so if you send your child to a private elementary school, you can use the funds in this account to pay for the tuition of these schools,” explained Murphy. “As your child ages and is no longer attending school, no matter what level of schooling it may be, the funds will be turned over into a regular savings account and can be used for whatever purpose the accountholder wishes.”

Murphy added that it’s always a good idea for students and parents to be realistic about the career path a student has chosen to determine if the projected earnings for a particular career justify the costs with attending school.

“Even if a student drops out of school, any amounts borrowed for student loans must still be paid back,” he said. “Depending on the student loan program a student borrows from, these loans may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy, so no matter how dire the financial situation gets for a borrower, they may still be liable for the outstanding principal and interest of their student loans. We do not want to see students be saddled with student loan debt for their entire life post-college.”

What to Know Before Buying Your First Home

Buying that first house can be a daunting task, but Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU) is there to help members have the best first house-buying experience possible.

“The 1st step our members should take is to contact the credit union to set up an appointment to talk about the mortgage process, options, programs, costs and interest rates,” said Jerry Litwaitis, VP of Lending. “We know the right questions to ask to determine what program will best fit our member’s needs.”

Litwaitis and the MMCCU team will work with members to complete a pre-qualification to determine their affordability based on the different terms and rates MMCCU has to offer.

“We can educate our member so that they feel confident about the mortgage lending process,” he said, adding that members do not always know what they can afford or how much money is required for a down payment.

MMCCU can determine a member’s affordability, based off their income and current debts. They can also determine what program will fit a member’s financial needs when it comes to mortgage term and type of down payment required.

“The minimum down payment percentage for a conventional fixed rate mortgage is 5% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less (10% down payment for the credit union’s in-house mortgage programs),” said Litwaitis. “You will also need to have money set aside for closing costs along with reserves (which are the principal, interest, tax and insurance payment on a monthly basis).”

If a member applies and is approved for an FHA mortgage, a 3% down payment is the minimum amount. For a USDA mortgage, no down payment is required, although the applicant will need to have enough funds in their account for closing costs.

For first-time home buyers, Litwaitis said to expect a 30-year fixed rate with little or no down payment to get started.

“This will provide our member with the lowest possible monthly payment with the smallest amount of out of pocket expenses,” he explained. “Since there is no pre-payment penalty, you can make extra payments down the road to reduce the balance and term at a faster rate.”

Each member’s situation is different, so working with a professional through this process is important.

“MMCCU has the local knowledge and expertise to get you into the right mortgage program that will fit your budget,” said Litwaitis.  “We have personalized service enabling our member to deal with one person from the start of your mortgage process until the end. MMCCU has the right products, with competitive interest rates and closing costs to complete your home buying process.”

Questions a first-time home buyer be asking their financial institution:

• What type of mortgage programs do you offer?
• What are the current interest rates and annual percentage rates on those programs?
• What are the closing costs for those programs?
• How much of a mortgage payment can I afford?
• How long does the mortgage process take?
• What is private mortgage insurance and how much money do I need to put down to get out of it?
• Is there a pre-payment penalty on the mortgage programs?
• How much of a down payment is required for each of the programs explained?
• Do I even need a down payment?
• What is the difference between a closing cost and a prepaid finance charge?
• What is the difference between an interest rate and the annual percentage rate?

Co-op Shared Branching Allows MMCCU Account Access Nationwide

Co-op Shared Branching, a network unique to credit unions in which members of a participating credit union can transact “simple” transactions at other credit union locations, is available at nearly 6,000 locations. Currently, more than 2,000 credit unions participate.

“Our member (say, wintering in Arizona) can locate a participating credit union close by and deposit funds, withdraw funds or make a loan payment  at that credit union for their account with us,” explained Carol Adler, President at Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU). “The member must have valid photo ID and know their MMCCU account number. There are some restrictions and limitations but overall it works great.”

The “host” credit union sets the rules for availability of specific services. For example, a member cannot close an account or conduct transactions to IRAs, HSAs, CDs, pledged accounts – for various reasons.

Members benefit from the convenience of service locations or “branches” – only second to the biggest bank in the country. With almost 2,000 credit unions participating, shared branching encompasses more than one-third of the credit union industry and serves more than 65 million members.

“We wanted our members to have the convenience when traveling OR if there is an emergency (car breaks down away from home or student needs funds),” said Adler. “There is no charge to the member for this program.”

Between 200 – 300 other members use the MMCCU location monthly and about 100 of MMCCU members use other locations monthly.

New shared branch locations are opening regularly throughout the State of Wisconsin, and beyond. According to the Wisconsin Credit Union Shared Service Centers, Inc, CO-OP Shared Branching is the 2nd largest network among all US financial institutions – and the only one with locations in all 50 states.

Find nationwide branches at www.co-opsharedbranch.org, 888-SITE-CO-OP (888-748-3266) or free apps for Apple and Android devices.