Why It's Worth Taking An
In Credit Unions
Bah, humbug! You don’t have to be a Scrooge to be careful with yourmoney. Whether you're borrowing or saving, you owe it to yourself andyour family to be cautious about cash.That may be why, according to latest figures, membership and fundsare climbing at the 7,500-plus community- or work-based financialinstitutions we call credit unions (CUs).Many people think they're the same as banks, but they're not. For astart, they're owned by their members – mainly customers (savers andborrowers) – not by stockholders. So they don’t have to make a profit;and if they do have a surplus, it goes back to the members.This means that, on average, interest rates are higher than the banks'for savers, and lower for borrowers.
Make Sure the Smallest Room is Also the Safest
It may be the smallest room in the house, but the bathroom is big ondanger, especially for the elderly and youngsters. There are water,electricity, sharp corners, internal locks and perhaps drugs, all lyingin wait for victims. But a few simple precautions will defeat them:
Keep a non-slip mat in the bath and shower (and on the bathroomfloor if it's polished or slippery)
Only plug in electrical items when you use them. Then removeand replace with plastic outlet protectors.
Keep all drugs under lock and key and always out of kids' reach.
Install grab bars beside the bath and inside shower enclosures.
Ensure towel rails are firmly fitted. Check them regularly
Fit door locks that can be opened from the outside in emergency.
Squaring up …
(from Page 1)
This would most likely fall underthe “riot and civil commotion”portion of your homeownerspolicy, regardless of whether ornot you have 'quake or otherspecial cover. A disaster isn’t thetrigger for the coverage; thelooting is. Talk to us about this.
How quickly you start to get backto normal depends on the scaleof the incident and availability ofservices to help you.Obviously, if you're insured, youshould contact us or your insureras soon as possible, to file aclaim.We hope you have arrangedcover, but if you haven't you mayhave to draw on your own funds,or look to state or federal aid if aState of Emergency has beendeclared.There are private companiesspecializing in disaster recoveryand home restoration and, ofcourse, builders and contractorsfor structural and service repairs.It's a wise move to indentifythese people now as there wouldlikely be a long waiting list if theincident was widespread.
One of the best sources ofinformation on dealing with anatural disaster is the FederalEmergency ManagementAgency (FEMA).Despite some bad publicity afterKatrina, the agency offers lots ofinformation and assistance bothin preparation for and duringincidents.
To learn more about credit unions, visit: http://www.ncua.gov/ To find a CU in your area, go to: ttp://www.creditunion.coop/cu_locator/quickfind.php
Credit unions have been around since the 1930s and there was a timewhen they were regarded as rather stuffy old-fashioned organizations,difficult to join and offering only limited services. That's no longer true.Virtually anyone can join a credit union, as long as they live or work inthe area where it's based (or work for an organization or industry thathas its own CU). And because of this relationship, they are seen verymuch as part of the communities they serve.Most of them offer the key services we expect to find at a bank – including savings and money market accounts and CDs; auto loansand mortgages; checking accounts and access to ATMs nationwideand even abroad. Many also issue their own credit cards, includingsome that offer points or rewards.One important way in which they are similar to banks is in protectingsavers' deposits. Bank deposits up to $250,000 are covered by theFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). With CUs, the NationalCredit Union Share Insurance Fund backs deposits to the same level.Credit unions may not be suitable for everyone, and we can't adviseyou on that. But at least now you know they're worth looking into!