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What You Should Know About the Stimulus Checks April 2, 2020

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Small Business Relief March 30, 2020

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A Letter From Jennifer March 30, 2020

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Coronavirus March 16, 2020

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Pay Yourself First February 19, 2020

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The 5 Basics of Financial Literacy January 10, 2020

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Holiday Shopping and Information Security December 2, 2019

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2019 Giving Trees are Here! December 2, 2019

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Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks November 5, 2019

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Kids Free San Diego October 16, 2019

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Three Key Steps for Female Entrepreneurs

Hi from your Financial Consultant, Steve!

I recently learned that women launch and lead businesses at a rate five times faster than the national average. Women are also majority owners of nearly 40% of the country’s businesses, up from 29% in 2007.1

However, for many entrepreneurs, building an equally strong personal financial plan sometimes takes a back seat to building their business. This guide from Brighthouse Financial outlines three of the most vital issues to consider in creating a successful personal financial plan.

I hope for both your professional and financial success. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this email further, please feel free to contact me at 775-789-3140.

I also invite you to join us for our free “Let’s Talk: Women in Small Business” seminar on Thursday, October 16th. Details here!

All the best,

Steve Lindquist

steve

Steve Lindquist 
stevelindquist@peakfns.com 
Financial Consultant
9600 S McCarran Blvd
Reno, NV 89523 
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/

Steve Lindquist is a registered representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC a Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 9600 S McCarran Blvd., Reno NV 89523.

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

1The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, American Express OPEN & Womenable, 2016

Our Story

Our Story

As a credit union, we can be rather humble about what we do in our jobs day to day. We know that we help people through some of the toughest times of their lives, but it’s just what we do.

You might think I am being dramatic. The toughest times? What does that have to do with my credit union or bank? Well, a lot! Money has a seriously big role in your life when you think about it. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck, or maybe you don’t have enough money saved for a big emergency. A good example of this came from a story someone once told me about how your finances affect your health. The story went something like, “a man was at the doctor for high blood pressure. The doctor told him to reduce his stress. The man, let’s call him Greg, said, ‘If you want me to have less stress then pay my electricity bill.’” This story really put it into perspective for me, because he was right! Money can be one of the most stressful parts of your life. So much so that it can literally affect your health.

We want to help people like Greg. Or those people that really need a loan in a crisis situation. Or a long-time member who just can’t make their payment this month because of a life event. We hope to have that relationship with you and be a part of your life. We want to help you achieve your dreams! That’s why we believe it’s so much better to belong than just bank.

Credit unions were originally created to serve the under-served.  In the early 1900’s, “people were poor, interest rates were financially crippling, and the credit union offered a way out.” The idea was that “a person’s desire to repay (character) would be considered more important than the ability (income) to repay; they were, after all, borrowing their own money and that of their friends1” who were the other members of the credit union.

Here at Great Basin, we love what we do, and we love being able to help those members who maybe don’t stand a chance at a big bank where the rates really can be crippling. We care about our members, we are more flexible with policies, and we believe in those 100+ year old credit union philosophies!

Here is a story about a real member whose changed by coming through our doors. These are the members that remind us of the bigger picture and why we do what we do.

Note: names have been changed for the purpose of anonymity.

“As I sit to write-up this success story, I hesitate, unsure of how to begin. The story is interlaced with such profound grief that it feels strange calling it a “success story,” and, yet, it really is a success; we helped a member coping with the tragic loss of his son bear his hardship.

The sad story started months ago when our member, Joe, began having unexplained seizures. The doctors were unsure of the cause, so they began running tests in an attempt to find answers and help Joe. Unfortunately, at the same time that he was undergoing these tests, Joe‘s life started to crumble along with his health. His license was revoked, due to his medical situation, and the loss of his job followed. Then tragically, while home alone one evening, Joe had a seizure. He fell, fatally hitting his head, not to be found until days later.

Joe had been a member with Great Basin for some time, and along with his accounts with us, he held a loan for a motorcycle, a cherished Harley. Joe had fallen behind on his Harley payments after the loss of his job. During that period, our collections department did everything they could in an attempt to help him keep the motorcycle, understanding the health problems he faced.

Shortly after Joe’s death, his father came into Sparks Crossing and spoke with Audrey, the branch manager. Audrey had known Joe personally, so this was a difficult conversation for her. However, it was both her kindness and the knowledge she had of Joe that helped to assuage the feelings of grief the father felt for his son. During their conversation, the father expressed his desire to keep Joe’s motorcycle if he could, as the bike had meant so much to his son he didn’t want to part with it. Audrey discussed the options with him, and she then reached out to the collections department to explain the situation. Thanks to them, he is working to keep his son’s motorcycle, and he is grateful.

Additionally, Joe also had a truck loan with another Credit Union, and we were able to approve the father for a personal loan so that he could pay off that loan and refinance the truck with us. He is forever thankful that we were able to put ourselves in his shoes and do everything we could to help him during this tragic time.

In fact, in gratitude, he came back a week after getting his personal loan with us to move all of his accounts to GB from US Bank. I was lucky enough to sit down with him recently and open these accounts and take his application for an advance line of credit. The appreciation that he had for the kindness and understanding he had been shown at Great Basin was apparent. He is still mourning the terrible loss, but we did help him feel less alone in his grief.

We deal in transactions here at Great Basin, but it’s important for us to always remember that our members are people and it is our relationships with them that make our credit union special.”

This is just one story in the scope of our entire story, and we can’t wait to share more. 

hearts made from hands

The Impeccable Irene

irene

The Impeccable Irene

Meet the Impeccable Irene! In September, she has worked at Great Basin Federal Credit Union for 10 years! We asked her to take a minute out of her busy day in the loan department to tell us all a little about herself.

Favorite movie: Too many, I love Disney movies and cute romantic comedy movies.

Favorite thing to snack on while working: I can eat fresh fruits all day long, my favorite are cherries and mangoes, yum!

Last song that you listened to: I have been listening to oldies, last song was “never never gonna give you up” by Barry White.

Favorite part about working at Great Basin: I love how small and local we are, we are like a big family.

When I was little, I wanted to be: Famous singer or an actress. Even though I can’t sing, haha!  

Favorite pastime: Cooking, spending time with my family, hiking, I’m a home buddy I love being home 😊.

Little known fact/fun fact about me: I enjoy travelling with my husband. We have been to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Cancun, Dominican.

Aren’t we lucky to have a gal like Irene.

Congratulations to Irene on this huge accomplishment! Here’s to 10 more great years!

What I’ve Learned from Working at a Credit Union

What I’ve Learned from Working at a Credit Union

The Credit Union Difference and the Great Basin Difference

What have I learned from working at a credit union? Maybe the question should be, what haven’t  I learned?

When I first started my career at Great Basin Federal Credit Union, I honestly didn’t know too much about the credit union world. Similar to the average consumer, I knew credit unions existed, I was a member of one once. I knew that they were financial institutions, and that they weren’t huge corporations like B of A, but that’s all I knew. I didn’t realize there was so much more to it.

Aside from all of the amazing training I have received, learning about everything from loan auditing to ACH posting, I learned a lot about the credit union movement and what makes us so much different than banks.

The Credit Union Difference

First of all, there’s a little something called the credit union difference. In short, “credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates.” 1 

Credit unions really are different, and in this industry, we like to highlight that! We have the same products, technology, and easy access that you can get at other financial institutions, but we’re not driven by making profit off of our customers. We’re driven by giving the best service and most value to our member-owners. As a cooperative, we all win together.

Learning this really opened my eyes to the fact that credit unions really do offer the same products and services as banks, but have more of a heart when it comes to consumers money.

Not-for-Profit

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations, so somewhere in between for-profit and non-profits, you can find us! This means that we still need profits to run, keep our doors open, and provide all of the products and services our members need, but we also return the profits to our members. This can be in the form of less or lower fees and better rates. (No, really. We really aren’t looking for ways to fee you, and we are more flexible with our policies than banks.)

Realizing this was another eye opener to me. Less fees, lower rates, more savings… why wouldn’t  I (or anyone) bank at my local credit union?

Member-Owned

When you open an account here at Great Basin, you are required to keep $25 in your savings account for the life of the account, this is your share in the credit union. You’re an owner! And as we also like to say, you’re the boss. As an owner, your voice is heard. Whether it’s through attending the annual member meeting, answering one of our email surveys, or talking with our local staff about your wants and needs. We truly want to be sure we are providing the best to our member-owners. And when we’re not, we fix it.

Having a say in a company is such a powerful thing. I really enjoy continually learning what our members want and finding ways I can help make that happen.

Volunteer Board of Directors

Did you know that we also have a volunteer board of directors and supervisory committee? We don’t report to any outside shareholders or paid board members. Our board members are members just like you, some with full time jobs, who take their personal time to commit and volunteer to oversee the credit union. They make sure the decisions made are in the members best interest and that the profits are being used in the best way.

Our board members really embody our values, and it is so refreshing to see, especially from the inside. These people really care about doing what is best for the members, and show that we are for the people not for the profit.

Membership Qualifications

Credit unions usually have some sort of membership qualifications, but don’t let this scare you or make you think you can’t join a credit union. To become a member at Great Basin you must live, work, worship, own a business, or go to school in Washoe County.

There are so many credit unions out there, with their own look, feel, values, and service promises. Being a member and employee at Great Basin, I love feeling like I belong somewhere, and that I can bank somewhere that knows my community on a first-hand basis.

Community Involvement

Credit unions are usually local, and tend to be really involved in their community! We love our community just like you do. We spend many hours giving back in various ways all year long, our employees are especially involved in Moms on the Run and our branches participate annually in fundraisers for Operation Backpack, Pack the Pak, and more. We also offer free community seminars all year long on topics ranging from retirement to budgeting to college planning. In addition to seminars, we offer free online financial education so that our community can learn and make the best financial decisions they possibly can.

Being involved in the community is a lot of work, and from the inside, I can see how much work we put in to making sure Great Basin is there for our community. It truly gives me an amazing feeling inside knowing that we contribute so much to local causes.

Cooperative

Credit unions tend to share resources, and that is one of the coolest things I have learned throughout my career here. The people I have met in the industry are never hesitant in sharing new ideas, what has or hasn’t worked for them, and resources. Going to conferences really showed me how many people are so passionate about what they do and how many support the credit union movement.

Many credit unions, including Great Basin, even participate in something called Shared Branching. With this, you can access CO-OP’s nearly 30,000 ATM’s and 5,000+ shared branches nationwide. This means you have more direct, surcharge-free access to your money than most traditional bank customers do.

The Great Basin Difference

Service has always been what separates us from other banks or credit unions. We offer the products and conveniences that you need, and that’s important to us. But our members get more. They stick around for a long time, and they’ll all tell you it’s because of the service. We know your name, we appreciate you, we’re down-to-earth, and we take your financial situations very personally. And we’re truly local. We are the largest Washoe County-based credit union!

Every time I have an interaction with a financial institution now, I try to remember what is important to me in my financial institution. Everyone has different things that are important to them, whether that is the tellers knowing your name, having the lowest rate possible, or having someone there to give you advice on something you don’t know much about. The experiences I have had here have made me grateful to be able to better evaluate where I want to keep my money, as well as making me proud to work at an institution like this which has a greater purpose. I love being able to share the credit union difference with my friends and family!

I also asked a few of our employees what they’ve learned from working here:

“I have learned many things working for a Credit Union in my personal and professional life especially working here at Great Basin. I have learned that Great Basin strives to create a special environment for member and employee experience. Finding your ‘second’ home is vital in any work environment and I can honestly say that I have found my second home here at Great Basin. From my first day, I had already felt like part of the family as I was able to meet each and every one of the employees that work here at the Credit Union. Unlike any other bank or credit unions, Great Basin truly strives for admirable service and I believe each employee exemplifies every single one of our service promises. Great Basin has a special place in my heart because it is local, it is community oriented and we passionately care for our members. From raising money for certain events like Moms on the Run, the Veteran’s Memorial or Operation Backpack, Great Basin does their absolute best to make an impact on members, employees and the community.” -Marissah

“I’ve learned how to be more confident with myself; in my abilities, my knowledge, and not to let fear hold me back. 🙂” -Keisha

“Banks know to teach the concept of empathy but Credit Unions will actually go the extra step to listen, feel and not give our members a “one size fits all” experience. I’ve found that servicing in a Credit Union naturally requires a far more personalized approach due to the fact that we’re member owned.” -Jill

 


1: https://www.mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/credit-union-different-than-a-bank 

Hidden Costs of Owning a Car

Hidden Costs of Owning a Car

If you live in Washoe County (or anywhere besides New York City) you probably need a car to get around. Buying a new car is an exciting and proud moment, no matter if it is your first commuter car in college, a new minivan for your expanding your family, or a new sports car after you finally made enough hard earned cash.

There are some hidden costs associated with being a car owner, not just your initial down payment and your loan payment.

Insurance

A big hidden monthly cost of driving your new vehicle is car insurance, so look at your options and see who can offer you the best coverage for the best price. It is important to reevaluate your insurance every few years to see if you are getting the best deal you can. Also, roadside assistance is not always included in this estimate, so make sure you add that on when you are asking for a quote.

Maintenance

Every 5,000 miles or so, you will need an oil change. This can range from $50-$100 and you will probably need about two oil changes per year. Tires can also be a huge hidden cost, costing hundreds of dollars when needing new tires. You may also need other maintenance on your vehicle, even if you have not been in an accident. This includes things like air filters, new batteries, etc. Once you have a new car, you want to keep it clean, (I hope) and car washed can be another $10-$20 a month.

Gas

Okay, maybe this one isn’t hidden, but it can be a huge cost that you may not have accounted enough for in your budget. With gas prices fluctuating so often, estimate how many miles you drive a month, how many miles per gallon you car gets, and the average price of gas.

Registration

Your annual registration can cost a few hundred dollars as well. You can use this calculator to estimate how much registering your new vehicle will cost.

Depreciation

You may have a loan or maybe own the car outright, but cars depreciate like no other. Some say it is the worst investment you can make because you will never make any money off the purchase. However, most of us need cars. Just know if you are buying a brand new car, it depreciates thousands right when you drive it off the lot.

Parking

Parking can cost a pretty penny, especially in big cities. Is you do live in a bigger city, you may want to compare the prices of public transportation to parking costs.

car

Even though there are a lot of hidden costs, owning does have its benefits. Learn more at our free Let’s Talk seminar on car buying!

There is a lot to think about when purchasing a new car, and that can make you wonder – should I just lease a new car instead? If you are the type that wants to trade in your new car every year or so, maybe owning isn’t the right choice for you.

Is leasing a better option?

There is no right or wrong answer here, it really does depend on your preferences and your financial situation. Benefits of leasing can include much of the maintenance and repairs being paid for, lower monthly payments, and being able to trade in for a newer model after a few years! However, if you do not choose to buy the car at the end of the lease, you do lose the money you paid monthly for the lease.

Great Basin offers another option – the Payment Saver Loan – which offers the low monthly payments of a lease, without all the heavy restrictions and hidden costs of leasing.