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Retirement in 2017

We thought you might find the following information useful as it explains noteworthy changes to Social Security that both retirees as well as those currently paying into Social Security can expect in 2017.

  • Cost-Of-Living Adjustment– Based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index over the last two years, a Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (or COLA) will be implemented for Social Security income beneficiaries in 2017. This will result in a 0.3 percent increase in payouts, or approximately an extra $5 per month.1 A modest increase compared to a 14.3 percent payment increase back in 1980.2
  • Earnings limit increase– Retirees who plan to work and collect Social Security at the same time may have some of their benefit withheld if they exceed the new earnings limit. In 2017, the earnings limit for those aged 65 and younger will increase to $16,920 from $15,720. Those taking Social Security benefits, who earn more than the new amount, will have $1 in benefits held back for every $2 in earned income over the $16,920 limit. However, the earnings limit will go away once you turn 66 and Social Security payments will no longer be withheld if you work and receive benefits at the same time. Also, payments will increase to credit you for any part of your benefit withheld in the past, according to US News & World Report.3
  • Changes to double claiming– Often married couples age 66 or older have taken advantage of collecting spousal Social Security payments worth half of the higher wage earner’s benefit amount only to later opt to take payments based on the other spouse’s individual work history, which now would be higher due to delaying the claim. Yet in 2017, this will no longer be an option. Retirees who turned 62 on January 2, 2016 or later will no longer be able to double claim a spousal payment and an individual payment at separate times. Instead, they will now just receive the higher of the two benefit options.

Bump in full retirement age – Like the COLA, it may seem like a modest increase, however, this change could affect the Social Security payments that you may plan to receive. Seniors reaching the eligible full retirement age of 66 years old will now have to wait 2 months (age 66 and 2 months) in order to receive full benefits.

How will this impact retirees? Those planning to claim Social Security as early as possible—such as age 62—will see a larger reduction from their overall benefits (slightly larger than the one they’d receive for claiming benefits early) with the extra 2 months tacked onto the full retirement age.

Give our financial services department a call at 775-789-3123 if these changes have you thinking about your retirement strategy, or if you just want more information.

All the best,

Steve Lindquist
Financial Consultant
9600 S. McCarran Blvd.
Reno, NV  89523
(775) 789-3140
Find me on Facebook!


Registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is not affiliated with any other named entity. CA Insurance License #0G30574

Investments are not deposits; not NCUSIF insured; and not insured by any federal government agency.  No credit union guarantee.  May lose value.


The Aftermath of a “Leave” Vote

Steve, our favorite financial consultant, weighs in on the #Brexit by sharing this article with us. Enjoy!

Citizens of the United Kingdom voted last night in favor of their country leaving the European Union (E.U.). This outcome, to a large extent, rejects the status quo in world economic relations and may elevate market uncertainty over the near term investment horizon. It is important to note that while this transition will not be resolved quickly, as policymakers will need time to negotiate new agreements and regulations, it is not a global crisis event. As the markets adjust to new realities, investment opportunities will also arise. In the meantime, we continue to invest for the long-term, focusing our portfolios on prudent diversification with a measure of downside protection.

The vote on whether Britain should remain in the E.U. was caused by a combination of factors, some unique to Britain and some broader, including an anti-globalization sentiment that has taken hold in many parts of the developed world. Growing income inequality in developed countries may be a possible root cause of this, leading to a backlash against current policies and politicians. The trend has undeniably played some role in the rather interesting U.S. presidential primaries as well.

The market reaction to the “leave” vote news has been swift, and for now investors are remaining conservative and are bidding up safety assets as insurance against the uncertainty posed by possible complications from Britain’s exit from the E.U. Polling before the actual vote had been close, causing equities to move up in the early part of this week as a “leave” result seemed less likely. However, after the exit vote a “risk-off” sentiment took hold, causing a still modest selloff in equities, while traditional safe haven assets such as gold and government bonds are trading higher.

In situations like this, we are often reminded that the while the equity markets may be volatile in periods of uncertainty, they tend to recover over time as the focus returns to fundamentals. The chart below shows equities reaction to similar events, and to the extent that history repeats, there is a chance of a stock market recovery over the near term.


Source: Charles Schwab, Bloomberg; Data as of 6/23/2016

With the “Brexit” headline in the rearview mirror, we are starting to shift attention back to fundamentals and to central bank actions. On the fundamentals side we see a U.S. or global recession as unlikely, with tepid economic growth continuing. The secular bull market is likely to extend, albeit with more measured gains. Central banks remain accommodative, and the monetary stimulus should provide a floor to valuations and a measure of protection from bear market downside. If there is a silver lining in last night’s vote, it looks like the Federal Reserve is on hold and not likely to raise interest rates anytime soon. However, as possible unconventional monetary policies are introduced, their effects may contribute to market volatility. The resulting increased dispersion in returns may offer opportunities for active managers to differentiate themselves, and the use of a mix of active and passive strategies remains prudent.

We view the possibility of any meaningful equity market sell-offs this summer as an opportunity to deploy sidelined capital. There may also be good risk/reward opportunities in high yield bonds given a potential for credit spread contraction and in dividend-paying equities as cash flow becomes an increasingly important part of total return in the slower growth global economy that we currently anticipate.

Again, the elevated global uncertainty may likely cause the Federal Reserve to hold from its tightening stance, which reinforces our view that interest rates will be lower for longer. However, given sub-1.6% 10-year Treasury rates in the short-term, the risk is now greater that rates may increase from here, so some caution is warranted regarding interest rate sensitivity. There also is an indication of some inflation pressure building, which could provide a compelling opportunity within commodities and/or inflation-protected securities. Stabilizing energy prices and a steady U.S. dollar should provide opportunities in emerging markets, given their lengthy period of underperformance.

We believe that the markets may be range-bound, and there may still be upside left, as result of which we do not recommend drastic deviations from long-term stock/bond targets. Within stocks, we still favor domestic equities; however, opportunities in international developed markets have increased. Within fixed income, we continue to maintain a somewhat defensive position; although, we favor an allocation toward the long end of the duration spectrum as longer term rates are likely to be more stable. Lastly, to mitigate unforeseen volatility in an increasingly uncertain environment, we believe it prudent to retain an allocation to alternative investments that have low correlations to traditional investments. Case in point, the positive reaction of gold prices to the Brexit news shows how low correlated investments potentially offer diversification benefits in times of market stress.

Last night’s news is still evolving as investors determine the short-term and long-term impacts to the global economy and world financial markets. You can expect additional updates as the ramifications become clearer.

This report is created by Tower Square Investment Management LLC 

Tower Square Investment Management LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser owned by Cetera Financial Group. It provides investment research, portfolio and model management, and investment advice to its affiliated broker-dealers, dually-registered broker-dealers and registered investment advisers.

Cetera Financial Group is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial advice to investors across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. The network is comprised of ten firms: four legacy Cetera®-branded firms (Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services, marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions, and Cetera Financial Specialists) along with First Allied Securities, Investors Capital Corporation, Legend Equities Corporation, Summit Brokerage, VSR Financial Services and Girard Securities.

Cetera Financial Group is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions. Cetera Financial Group delivers award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, and innovative technology to over 9,000 independent financial professionals and over 500 financial institutions nationwide. Through its distinct firms, Cetera Financial Group offers the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving independent and institutions-based financial advisors in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Cetera Financial Group is committed to helping advisors grow their businesses and strengthen their relationships with clients. For more information, visit

The material contained in this document was authored by and is the property of Tower Square Investment Management LLC. Tower Square Investment Management provides investment management and advisory services to a number of programs sponsored by affiliated and non-affiliated registered investment advisers. Your registered representative or investment adviser representative is not registered with Tower Square Investment Management and did not take part in the creation of this material. He or she may not be able to offer Tower Square Investment Management portfolio management services.

Nothing in this presentation should be construed as offering or disseminating specific investment, tax, or legal advice to any individual without the benefit of direct and specific consultation with an investment adviser representative authorized to offer Tower Square Investment Management services. Information contained herein shall not constitute an offer or a solicitation of any services. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

For more information about Tower Square Investment Management strategies and available advisory programs, please reference the Tower Square Investment Management LLC Form ADV disclosure brochure and the disclosure brochure for the registered investment adviser your adviser is registered with. Please consult with your adviser for his or her specific firm registrations and programs available.

No independent analysis has been performed and the material should not be construed as investment advice. Investment decisions should not be based on this material since the information contained here is a singular update, and prudent investment decisions require the analysis of a much broader collection of facts and context. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The opinions expressed are as of the date published and may change without notice. Any forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision.

All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. The market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot directly invest in unmanaged indices. Please consult your financial advisor for more information.

Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability, and differences in accounting standards.

While diversification may help reduce volatility and risk, it does not guarantee future performance.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks and charges, and expenses of the fund carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the fund. Contact your registered representative or the issuing company to obtain a prospectus, which should be read carefully before investing or sending money.



Small Business Loans in Reno

small business loan reno

You have finally made the leap to start your own business. Congratulations! You have the dream and the business plan, but do you have the capital? Learn more about small business loans and how you can get a small business loan for your startup.

Types of Loans for Small Businesses

Business lending can come in different types of capital based on your needs and timeline of repayment. Some business owners open up a line of credit, while others choose a term loan. A line of credit enables you to borrow the amount you need instead of a set amount offered in a term loan. Another business loan option is the merchant cash advance, which is set up so you pay off your loan with percentages of your debit card sales over time.

Small Business Challenges

small business loan reno

Reno startups can be eligible for small business loans at GBFCU.

It can be tough to get a business loan from a larger financial institution or bank when you are just starting out as a business. Some banks will only lend to small businesses if the loan amount is large. How can you take the next step in growing your business if your bank wants you to borrow much more capital than you need? At Great Basin Federal Credit Union, we can lend to small businesses that may need a loan amount that is considered too small for other banks to lend.

New businesses can end up having a hard time getting loans from banks, since the businesses are so new. Many businesses loans at big banks include a requirement that a business has to have been open for at least two years before applying for a loan. The first two years of a business are often the years that require the most investment, so our small business loan is open to entrepreneurs whose businesses have just opened or are even still in the process of opening!

GBFCU Small Business Loan Program

small business loans reno

Learn more about small business loans available at Great Basin FCU in Reno!

Great Basin Federal Credit Union offers business loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs who have passion, a vision, and a business plan. After you apply for a small business loan with us, we take the time to meet with you and learn more about what you need in order to grow your business.

At Great Basin Federal Credit Union, we are proud to have supported over 22 local businesses in the past year! We created the loan program to support local businesses and the Reno community. Each year our small business loan program grows as we help more local business owners with start-up companies and business ventures!

Building Small Businesses

Our small business loan program is not the only effort we use to help start-ups and businesses in the Reno community. We also host a small business seminar series that is free to the public. The small business seminars cover a variety of topics to empower business owners and entrepreneurs to improve their businesses.

Stop by a GBFCU branch today to learn more about our small business loans and small business seminar series!

Applying for Business Loans

small business start-ups

It takes a lot of work to start your business and even more effort to keep it running. Whether you are looking to expand your local business or build a startup for a great new idea, you will need to be prepared for the world of business loans.

When It’s Time For a Business Loan

Banks and financial institutions can lend to businesses for different reasons. Business owners commonly apply for loans when they are about to expand or start a new venture. Many business owners and entrepreneurs find that they need additional funding to take that next step before opening up another branch or offering a new service.

Types of Business Loans

business term loan

Some businesses may prefer a merchant cash advance over a term loan.

There are various options for business loans, and each type of business loan offers different opportunities for the business owners. A common business loan type is the term loan, which offers money in a lump sum that can be repaid in payments over time. Term loans are usually offered in specific amounts, whether you need more or less to grow your business.

Credit unions and banks can also offer businesses a line of credit as a business loan option. The line of credit allows you to borrow as much or as little as you need. The line of credit option is great for business owners who need various amounts of funds over time instead of a single sum given at one time. Keep in mind that a line of credit may also mean a different style of repayment plan.

Another type of business loan that is available to businesses like retail business owners is the merchant cash advance. Merchant cash advances offer the lump sum in the same way a term loan does. The difference between merchant cash advances and term loans lies in paying off the loan. If you borrow using a merchant cash advance, your bank or credit union will receive a percentage of your earnings in credit card and debit card sales as a business to pay off the loan over time.

Loans for Small Businesses

small business startups

At Great Basin, we can can lend to startups and small businesses.

Small business owners often have less options for their business loans, as many lenders will only lend to businesses that have been running for at least two years. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can find themselves in a predicament when it comes to business loans. Many borrowers look to alternative lenders who can offer loans without strict requirements to be eligible for a loan.

Alternative lenders for business loans can have downsides. Even though these types of lenders can offer cash quickly for smaller or newer businesses, the loans may have higher interest rates. These types of loans can also have harsher penalties for a late loan payment, so be sure to read your paperwork carefully before agreeing to a business loan from an alternative lender.

Business Loans at Great Basin Federal Credit Union

At Great Basin Federal Credit Union, we can offer business loans to startups and small businesses that may not have a chance elsewhere. As part of our commitment to the community, Great Basin Federal Credit Union consults with loan applicants to make sure you know how much you need and when as a business owner. We also offer small business seminars to continue empowering local business owners.

Budget-Savvy Improvements That Boost Home Equity

Home Equity

The sun is shining, the spring is springing, and we feel like doing some home improvements! And bonus, we’ll boost our home’s equity! Our friends at NerdWallet have a few tips.

In the age of Pinterest, a mecca of do-it-yourself projects and inspiration, you probably already have several home improvements in mind. Here are four ways to stretch your funds and maximize the payback as you remodel this year with an eye toward selling later on:

  1. Spring clean – Want to get paid to clean your house? Deep cleaning and decluttering is repeatedly a top pick by HomeGain for boosting a home’s value to a prospective buyer. It’s extremely financially efficient — just $400 of organizational additions such as cabinets, shelving, or storage can add $2,000 in value.
  2. Lighten up – Investing in measures that brighten your home can improve its value and may boost your mood as well. Adding a coat of paint, curtains and lighting costs an average of $424 but adds an average of $1,690 to resale price, according to HomeGain.  Simply painting cabinets or trim can make a big difference, too.
  3. Increase curbside appeal – If potential buyers don’t like what they see on a drive-by, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to come inside. Simply installing a steel front door can produce a 96% return on investment in the form of an increase in resale value. Even power washing the exterior or planting a few trees can make a huge difference.
  4. Add a room – If you have unfinished space such as an attic or basement, adding a room can boost value and make your home more livable. On average, homeowners recoup about 84% of the cost of adding an attic bedroom when the house is sold, and almost 78% from remodeling the basement.Save on utilities with energy-efficient additions. Improvements such as solar-powered water heaters or better windows also can provide tax credits.

Save on financing

If you don’t have ready cash for a renovation, lenders such as Great Basin Federal Credit Union provide home equity loans and lines of credit, or HELOCs, that let you borrow against your stake in the property. In general, your home has to have a market worth that’s greater than what you owe on a mortgage – which equates to your equity.

Keep in mind that there may be substantial costs tied to equity financing, and it can add to the risk of foreclosure if you don’t make the payments. But the interest is often tax-deductible, which helps reduce the cost.

When remodeling to improve your home’s value, be careful not to price the property out of the neighborhood. Creating a palace on a street dotted with average houses can make it a tough sell. So don’t let chasing a dream undercut your return on investment.

Cait Klein, NerdWallet