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					Savings Bonds No                                     Educational Loans
Longer To Be Sold                                    Freedom Credit Union believes in enhancing

At Branches
                                                     professional growth and development through
                                                     continued education. That is why we are
                                                     pleased to offer Educational Loans. This
                                                     private, fixed rate loan can help fill the gap if
The U.S Department of the Treasury has
                                                     federal loans, grants and other financial aid
announced it will end over-the-counter sales
                                                     do not cover all of your education expenses.
of savings bonds at the end of this year. This
                                                     Freedom Credit Union can make educational
includes sales of savings bonds through
                                                     needs more affordable and easier to manage
financial institutions and applications mailed
                                                     for you and your family.
directly to the Federal Reserve Bank by
members.                                             •	 Attractive fixed rate
                                                     •	 Repayment term of up to 120 months (10
Freedom Credit Union members will have                  years)
until the close of business on December
31, 2011 to submit their final purchase
applications and funds. Final applications
mailed directly to the Federal Reserve by
                                                     •	 Borrow up to $50,000 for tuition, books,
                                                        fees, and room and board                           Branch Locations
                                                     •	 Consolidate your existing student loans
members must be received by December                                                                               Springfield
31, 2011. While savings bonds will no longer         •	 Funds are available for college, graduate                  1976 Main Street
be available in paper form, they will remain            school, qualifying K-12 programs and                 413-739-6961 or 800-821-0160
available for purchase as electronic issues             private post secondary schools (Branford
                                                        Hall, Porter & Chester, etc.)                            Northampton
in TreasuryDirect. To learn more, visit www.                                                                      226 King Street
treasurydirect.gov.                                  •	 Ability to apply online                                    413-586-3590
                                                     Visit our website at www.freedom.coop to
Freedom Credit Union will still be able to                                                                          Chicopee
redeem bonds at all eight branch locations.          view the current rates.
                                                                                                                 1976 Memorial Drive
                                                                                                                    413-532-5085

Cooley Street Open House                                                                                          Turners Falls
                                                                                                                  1 Burnham Street
                                                                                                                    413-774-9909
Freedom Credit Union officially held its open house on Saturday, August 6th for its eighth branch
location on Cooley Street in Springfield. Held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, visitors enjoyed food, ice                  Greenfield
cream from Southwick’s Moolicious Ice Cream, giveaways, entertainment and raffle prizes. Rock                       74 Main Street
102 provided contests and giveaways, Screech from the Springfield Falcons greeted attendees,                         413-774-4182
and local celebrity Steve Gonsalves from the Ghost Hunters show signed autographs for fans.
Freedom Credit Union gave away gift cards from the businesses who also share space the Five                       Feeding Hills
Town Plaza. The grand prize was an iPad 2. Approximately 250 people came out to enjoy the day.                   959 Springfield Street
                                                                                                                     413-786-6200

                                                                                                                 Easthampton

Club Accounts                                                                                                     422 B Main Street
                                                                                                                    413-527-7702
If you have a Christmas Club account, you will receive your transfer of funds directly deposited to your         Sixteen Acres
share savings account or checking account on October 4th.                                                         296 Cooley Street
    Don’t have a club account? They are a great way to save for short-term goals and earn some                      413-505-5700
    interest. Because of a small penalty for early withdrawals or closeouts, a club account forces you
    to save. Here are a few key features of our different club accounts:
    Christmas Club – set up automatic transfer or come in to any branch and make deposits to save
    for your holiday shopping. Accumulated funds are transferred on the first business day in October
    into your share savings or checking account.
    Vacation Club – set up automatic transfer or come in to any branch and make deposits to save for
    your special trip. Accumulated funds are transferred to your share savings or checking account
    on a day you choose just prior to your trip.
                                                                                                               800-821-0160
    Rainy Day Account – Open this account with just $25 and make automatic transfers to the account
    to save for a longer-term goal. Choose a term from one to three years and earn interest at a rate        www.freedom.coop
    tied to our one-year certificate rate. At the end of the term, accumulated funds are automatically
    transferred into your share savings account.                                                             Equal Housing lEndEr

Stop by any branch to open your club account today!
                                                                t
                                                           Connecions
                                                           An update newsletter for the members and friends of Freedom Credit Union
                                                                                                 Also found at www.freedom.coop

                                                                                                September 2011




In This Issue
Auto Loan Sale ................................. 2

Managing Your Checkbook
                                                             From the Corner Office
in the Modern Age .................................. 2
                                                            Have Confidence in Freedom Credit Union!
Ask the Advisor .......................................2    It was the Fall of 2008 when we began to monitor the economic
                                                            downturn in our economy. Since that time, we have lived through
Safe Deposit Box Questions ........... 3
                                                            high unemployment in our communities, a global investment
Scholarships - Another Benefit                              crisis tied to private-label mortgage-backed securities, a stock
of Membership .................................. 3          market that looks like a roller coaster ride, rising gas prices, and
                                                            tragic weather events both close to home and nationwide.
Is a Home Equity Loan                                       As we head toward the last quarter of 2011, there is still much
a Good Thing? .........................................3    uncertainty in our economy. Interest rates are low, whether you are looking to borrow money
                                                            or invest some in a share savings account or CD. The stock market remains volatile with wide
Savings Bonds No Longer To Be
                                                            fluctuations on a daily basis.
Sold at Branches ............................... 4
                                                            We realize that there are credit union members who have experienced life changing events
Educational Loans ............................ 4            due to the economic downturn, and we try to work with them whenever possible. Throughout
                                                            these difficult times, Freedom Credit Union has remained financially sound and stable. The credit
Cooley Street Open House ............. 4                    union’s earnings remain above our peer group. Our certificate rates for most terms are at or near
                                                            the top of yields for financial institutions throughout Western Massachusetts. Our loan rates
Club Accounts ................................. 4
                                                            remain highly competitive. Fees we impose for services are reasonable.
                                                            One free service we offer that many members may not be aware of is financial planning services.
                                                            Freedom Credit Union has collaborated with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. to offer non-traditional
                                                            investments and advice. Our representative, Jack Vadnais, is a certified financial planner. Jack
                                                            has an office at 1976 Main Street, Springfield; however, he does visit all branches on a regular
                                                            basis and is happy to set appointments with credit union members at the branch of their choice.
                                                            I encourage you to meet Jack and discuss your financial objectives with him. He will provide you
                                                            with valuable information whether you are a retiree, just entering the workforce, or somewhere
                                                            in between. Personally, I met with Jack over one year ago to discuss my family financial
                                                            objectives and found his professionalism and knowledge to be first rate. I encourage you to stop
                                                            by the branch nearest you to schedule an appointment with Jack. You could also reach him via
                                                            telephone (413-505-5724) or through our website (www.freedom.coop).
                                                            Thank you for your membership at Freedom Credit Union.




                                                            Barry F. Crosby
                                                            President & CEO
Auto Loan Sale                                                                                                Ask the Advisor
It’s that time again! During the month of October, Freedom Credit Union will be holding a car loan
sale. Rates will be as low as 3.75% APR for up to 72 months. You’ll also enjoy financing up to 100%
of the NADA retail value to save you even more on your monthly payment. You can even get pre-
approved before you shop!
Wondering if the 0% rate given at the dealer may be a better deal? Take this into consideration:
                                  1. You might have to forfeit factory rebates on the vehicle to
                                  receive 0% financing.
                                  2. The 0% financing may only apply to certain makes and
                                  models.
                                  3. Many 0% financing offers are restricted to short-term loans,               Jack Vadnais, Financial Advisor
                                  resulting in higher payments.                                                        CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
                                                                                                                         at Freedom Credit Union
                                  4. Members with poor credit may not qualify for the special
                                  financing.                                                             Q: I’m considering retiring and I want to
                                                                                                         know if I am eligible for Social Security
The numbers don’t lie! Compare the two options:                                                          benefits. How do I know if I qualify?

       Freedom Credit Union Loan                               Dealer Financing                          A: In the aftermath of significant financial
              Cost of Car: $20,000                              Cost of Car: $20,000                     losses, it is important to take a close look
                                                                                                         at the income benefits Social Security
            Factory Rebates: $2,000                           Factory Rebates: None                      may provide. The amount of the benefit
           Amount Financed: $18,000                         Amount Financed: $20,000                     paid in retirement is based on the average
                                                                                                         of the highest 35 years of wages earned
   3.75% Loan for 36 months: $529.43/month            0% Loan for 36 months: $555.56/month               and the recipient’s age at retirement.
          Total Payments: $19,059.48                         Total Payments: $20,000
                                                                                                         As you earn income and pay taxes,
                                                             Shop wisely and save at                     you earn Social Security “credits”. For
           Savings Realized: $940.52
                                                               your credit union!                        income you earn in 2011, you accumulate
                                                                                                         one credit for each $1,120 in earnings, for
                                                                                                         a maximum of four credits per year. Most
Managing Your Checkbook in the Modern Age                                                                people need 40 credits (approximately 10
                                                                                                         years of work) to qualify for benefits.
As the technology world evolves, so should the way you manage your checking account. Here are            You generally can start receiving Social
a few ways that Online Banking can help.                                                                 Security benefits as early as age 62.
                                                                                                         However, if you start your retirement early,
1. It’s more up-to-date. Ever balance your checkbook before your statement arrives then compare          your benefits may be reduced. According
it to your statement only to find out you made an error? With online banking, you can double check       to the Social Security Administration,
your transactions before your statement arrives. Often times, they can appear within minutes of          if you were born from 1943 to 1960, the
the transaction, making it quicker to reconcile your account.                                            age at which full retirement benefits are
                                                                                                         payable gradually increases to age 67. If
2. It’s greener. When you sign up for online banking, you will be enrolled in our electronic statement   you choose to retire when you reach full
delivery. Receiving e-statements instead of a paper statement is a great way to save a few trees.        retirement age, you will receive your full
Also, you will have the ability to view and print checks that have been cashed. Best yet, you won’t      benefits.
have to worry about a secure place to file paper statements. They are neatly organized and easily
accessible through our online banking service.                                                           As you prepare to review where you stand
                                                                                                         financially, it may be helpful to consult
3. Online banking is safer. Contrary to what you may believe, online banking is actually safer than      with a professional who can aid in making
doing things the old fashioned way. Your accounts are protected with multi-factor authentication         those informed decisions. Contact me at
and a secure website. Eliminating paper statements                                                       (413) 505-5724 for your free, no-obligation
can also reduce the chance of someone stealing                                                           consultation.
your identity from a piece of mail. Lastly, online bill
pay reduces the number of checks you write, and                                                          Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through
                                                                                                         CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer
you’ll be less likely to have one get lost or stolen                                                     (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
                                                                                                         Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUIF or otherwise
in the mail.                                                                                             federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit
                                                                                                         union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of
                                                                                                         principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS.
Visit our website at www.freedom.coop to                                                                 Freedom Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit
                                                                                                         investment products and services available to credit union members.
sign up for this free service.
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                   Connecions
Safe-Deposit Box Questions                                                          Scholarships -
Renting a safe-deposit box can help secure important personal
documents, collectables, and family heirlooms, but it’s important to make
                                                                            Another Benefit of Membership!
wise choices about what goes in the box and who has access to it.
What should I put in my safe-deposit box?
Items experts recommend storing in a safe-deposit box include birth or
marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, rare coins,
jewelry, irreplaceable family photos, stock or bond certificates, and
foreign currency.
What should I leave out of my safe-deposit box?
Experts say the one document you do not want to leave in your safe
deposit box is your will. Often times, many people do leave it in their
safe-deposit box and a court order is needed to go into the box to
retrieve it once the safe-deposit box holder passes away. In addition,
you do not want to leave a living will or power of attorney document in     If you are a current college student or a high school senior
the box either.                                                             with proof of early acceptance to a college or university, you
Who should get access to my safe-deposit box?                               are eligible to win one of ten (10) scholarships valued at $1,250
                                                                            each. You must be a member of the credit union, with your own
If you rent the box solely in your name, you, a power-of-attorney, or
                                                                            Share savings account, to be eligible to enter. Fill out the form
agent you designate are the only ones who can get into the locked box.
                                                                            below and mail it in or drop it off at any of our eight branch
A safe-deposit box rented with a spouse, child, or friend means those
individuals also have access. Experts say it’s wise to have a designated    locations. Only one entry allowed per student. All entries must
power-of-attorney to handle your financial affairs, including your safe-    be received by Friday, December 16th. The drawing will be held
deposit box, in case you are unable to because you are disabled or          on Wednesday, December 21st at the Board of Directors meeting.
traveling, among other reasons.                                             All winners are notified by mail.
Who can access my safe-deposit box when I die?
                                                                            NAME
Anyone who is a co-renter of the box has immediate access to it upon
your death. But what if you are the sole renter of the box? If you have
someone appointed as your power-of-attorney, they lose the authority        ADDRESS
to enter your box upon your death. An executor that you designated to
handle your estate would get access to your safe-deposit box, however
                                                                            PHONE
probate may slow down the process. The best course of action would
be to have a trusted individual added as a co-renter to your safe-deposit
box.                                                                        ACCOUNT #
Freedom Credit Union has safe-deposit boxes available to rent at its
Greenfield and Main Office locations.                                       COLLEGE




Is a Home Equity Loan a Good Thing?
Homeowners in need of cash can turn their home’s equity into a loan with a favorable rate and term. Home equity loans can be a
good thing when the money is used responsibly and paid back on time.
Benefits – Home equity loans usually have a much lower interest rate than most other types of consumer credit. This is because the
loan is secured by your home. Also, interest paid on up to $100,000 of home equity debt may be tax deductible for those who itemize
their deductions. Please consult your tax accountant to see if you qualify.
Uses – Although homeowners can use home equity loans for any purpose, many use the funds for remodeling a home. Making
improvements to your home that can increase its value is always a good investment. Another common use of a home equity loan is
consolidation of debt. Shifting debt from a high rate credit card to a home equity loan can significantly reduce the interest expense
of paying off the debt. Home equity loans can also be used for paying for college, vacations, and medical bills.
To see if a Home Equity Loan is right for you, contact one of our knowledgeable mortgage staff to schedule an appointment today.

				
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