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Welcome to the first digital issue of Member Focus, Affinity Plus’ member newsletter. We hope you will enjoy this publication, which contains the same great information you’re used to, but in a new format! We welcome your feedback at any time.

 

Technology Improvements coming Sept. 28–Oct. 1

Affinity Plus is making major system improvements to create a more effective, efficient credit union for our members. We take a major step forward beginning Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Oct. 1.

During that weekend, branches, call centers and online and mobile banking services won’t be available as our teams of experts make system upgrades.

However, you will have access to your money, subject to daily limits and your balance on Sept. 28:

  • you’ll be able to use your debit and credit cards like normal.
  • you’ll be able to withdraw funds from ATMs.
  • you will be able to write checks.

In addition, previously scheduled loan payments, transfers and direct deposition will process, as will bill payments.

We’ve created a dedicated web page with up-to-date information on the Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 system upgrades,  It’s your best information source about the upgrades.

The web page includes:

  • a video overview of the system improvements by Dave Larson, Affinity Plus President/CEO
  • an easy to read breakdown of what services will be impacted
  • links to additional details so you can find what you want to know
  • contact information so you can reach in the way most convenient to you

Please know – the security of your accounts and personal information is important to us, now and into the future. Watch for more information from Affinity Plus in the coming weeks!

 

Protecting You: Your Information Is Secure

The security of your accounts and personal information is important to us, now and into the future. Once in place, our new systems will provide even more ways to keep your data safe. You can rest assured that our dedicated teams are on guard 24/7 to anticipate, address and help prevent security threats.

Affinity Plus uses state-of-the-art security systems to monitor our physical and technical environment. For additional information about our practices and tips to protect yourself against security threats, visit our Information Security page.

 

Affinity Plus receives state, national accolades

This summer, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has received accolades from state and national publications, including Forbes, the Star Tribune, Minnesota Women’s Press and more. These awards are a result of employees, members and vendor partners advocating for Affinity Plus.

Our goal is that members feel our core values of care, excellence and integrity when working with us and that members trust we have their best interests at heart. We are #affinityplusproud to hear from so many of you that this is the case!

“Over the past five years, we’ve made substantial changes as a credit union, and outside organizations are starting to notice the strength we’ve built for our members and employees,” said President/CEO Dave Larson. “We’re confident Affinity Plus is having a positive impact on members and communities, and that we’re headed in a really positive direction.”

A summary of recent awards is included below.

  • Forbes: Best-In-State Credit Union

Global media company Forbes named Affinity Plus as tops in Minnesota in its Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions ranking. Forbes compiled the list based on surveys from more than 25,000 consumers across the country, based on satisfaction, trust, branch and digital services, and financial advice. more

  • Star Tribune: Top 150 Workplace

Affinity Plus ranked #7 in the Top 150 Workplace awards, based on employee engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. The Star Tribune’s survey partner analyzed 71,000 employee responses from more than 2,400 companies to produce these awards. more

  • Star Tribune: Dave Larson, Top CEO

As part of Top Workplace survey, the Star Tribune recognized President/CEO Dave Larson as “Top CEO” out of all large companies (500+ employees) in Minnesota. The newspaper’s annual Top Workplaces announcement recognizes Minnesota’s most-progressive companies, based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. more

  • Minnesota Women’s Press: Favorite Financial Institution

In April, Affinity Plus was named the “Favorite Financial Institution” in 2018 by Minnesota female consumers, in a survey conducted by the Minnesota Women’s Press. That recognition is bestowed on local businesses nominated by readers of the Twin Cities-based publication. more

  • CU Direct: Innovation in Lending

Following a dramatic upgrade to its internal lending system in November 2017, Affinity Plus received the “Innovation in Lending” award from CU Direct Companies. The efficiencies gained with the new system, coupled with several other lending experience enhancements in the past few years, have increased the sophistication of its consumer lending program and factored into the innovation award selection. more

  • Fidelity National Title Group: Excellence in Action

Affinity Plus Title Company received the Leading Title Agency “Excellence in Action” award by Fidelity National Title Group. This award places Affinity Plus Title Company in the top 20 title agencies in Minnesota, and recognizes outstanding performance in best practices, customer service and operations. more

 

Affinity Plus Foundation offers $3,000 and $5,000 scholarship opportunities!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have $3,000 – or $5,000 – to use for education expenses? The Affinity Plus Foundation has two scholarship programs that are open for applications! Student members of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union are welcome to apply. For information, visit our foundation scholarship page.

  • Campus Scholarship Program

    The Foundation’s Campus Scholarship Program offers $3,000 awards to recognize students positively impacting their campus communities while attending local universities and colleges. Students at the following schools are welcome to apply: Bemidji State University; Minnesota State University – Mankato; Minnesota State University – Moorhead; St. Cloud State University; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; and Winona State University.

    Additionally, four $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to students attending Minnesota-based technical or community colleges. Applications must be received by Oct. 31, 2018, and awards will be announced before the end of the year.

  • Annual Scholarship Program

The Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Program offers $5,000 awards that recognize Affinity Plus members for their leadership, character, community building and pursuit of education. Incoming freshman, current students, graduate students and nontraditional students are all welcome to apply.

Applications must be received by Jan. 31, 2019, and awards will be announced in the spring.

 

Amanda’s secret to savings success: “Make it feel untouchable”

Amanda C. is in a stage of life that is familiar for a lot of people in their 20s and 30s: a growing family and a new house. Changes that lead to real-world expenses, many of which are unexpected. Over the last few years, Amanda has enrolled in two savings programs through Affinity Plus – Stash Your Cash and Savings Accelerator – to make it easier to build a nest egg for her family.

“It’s really good to save, but it’s just not as simple as saying, ‘Just save the money, then,’” Amanda said. “People have a lot of baggage rolled up into how they feel about savings and money and debt. For me, building up your savings over time in the background keeps it from becoming an emergency.”

Amanda admitted that if she has money in her checking account, she wont’s save it. If she looks at her account balance and there’s money that appears, she said she feels free to spend. That’s where Affinity Plus comes in.

  • Stash Your Cash offers a simple method for saving that is available to any member with a checking account. Every time a member makes a purchase using their Affinity Plus debit card, the amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the excess change is transferred to the savings account of their choice.
  • Savings Accelerator is a loan feature that helps members save money over the life of their auto loan with Affinity Plus, while also receiving a reduced rate. All members approved for an auto loan can take advantage of this savings feature, and some members can use it to receive a loan when they may not have otherwise qualified.

 “With direct deposits made to my savings, it makes that money feel untouchable. I almost forget I have it until I look,” Amanda said.

 “Plus, [these savings programs] don’t get in the way of other methods of saving. I still have the flexibility to choose another savings method that works for me and my family,” she added. “They run in the background and don’t interfere.” 

So in a phase of life that’s full and ever-changing, Amanda feels confident in some of the unexpected expenses that she knows will come along.

In a short period of time, Amanda has saved more than $1,500 through Stash Your Cash and the Savings Accelerator. 

“It’s nice to know the money is there in our savings, and that an unexpected expense wouldn’t wreck us,” Amanda said. “There’s comfort in that.”

CONGRATULATIONS, AMANDA, ON YOUR SAVINGS SUCCESS!

Interested in learning more about these and other products? Contact a member advisor today!

 

 

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