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Making an Educated Loan Decision
A college education can open doors to job opportunities, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. As a parent, you want your child to have access to the best college education possible but don’t want them to be saddled with loads of debt upon graduation.
When you have exhausted all other sources of financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and federal loans, Affinity Plus can help. Our Student Choice education solution provides your family a private student loan with your best interests in mind.
We know that determining your college funding needs may be a challenge. Don’t worry – with our private education line of credit, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’re unsure of the college you’ll be attending or the exact loan amount you may need, you can establish your private education line of credit today. Then, once your plans have been finalized, you can come back to request the exact funding you need.
You’ll find our Student Choice line of credit offers competitive rates, flexible funding and repayment options, and educational support to help your student make wise financial decisions – now and in the future.
Webinar: Opportunity to Learn More
Affinity Plus is here to help wherever you might be in the planning process, including webinar opportunities like, "Understanding How to Pay for College". This webinar is hosted by Affinity Plus partner Student Choice. You are able to play the recorded presentation and download the presentation slides at your convenience.
Win Tickets to the Hottest Shows of the Summer
The performers are heating up the stages this summer in the Twin Cities, and Affinity Plus has your ticket needs covered! Register for the member’s only Hottest Tickets of the Summer Sweepstakes and enter for your chance to win tickets to experience an incredible show.
The choice is yours - are you up for shaking it like the Single Ladies with Queen Bey on the Renaissance Tour? Or perhaps you want to Vogue and strike a pose with the ultimate Material Girl herself. And then there’s the colorful performer who is Just Like a Pill and wants to get the Party Started.
Register through your online banking account or your mobile banking app – entries are accepted until June 30, 2023!
Scammers are always looking for ways to take advantage, and one common ploy is by playing with their victims’ emotions. It can be a successful method, and a major reason Impersonation Scams are so popular.
With Impersonation Scams, the scammer pretends to be someone the victim knows or considers an authority. The scammers are using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to mimic the voice of a loved one. They use urgency to disorient, there is often a fake emergency they use to collect personal information from their victims. This fake emergency can cause a victim to feel pressured, threatened rushed and or worried. Often times the victim is told to lie and keep it a secret.
Some examples include:
A family member (nieces, nephews, and grandchildren are popular) calling with an emergency request for money. Some scams say the family member needs bail money or even got kidnapped and they’re looking for ransom.
Other emerging scams involve an urgent call from a loved one stating they’d been in a car accident and someone was badly hurt and money was urgently needed for the victim or for an attorney.
A law enforcement agent calling about suspicious activity or information on your personal devices and threats of legal action.
Be aware of the information you post on social media platforms that could help a scammer carry out these sophisticated schemes. Avoid posting personal information a scammer could use, or socially engineer, to carry out the scam.
And while these sorts of impersonation scams are common, the scammers have also moved beyond just phone calls asking for information. Consumers must now be aware of fake social media accounts, fake mobile apps, and emails attempting to steal their information and money.
If you suspect a scam, take the following steps:
Remain calm, don’t give in to the pressure.
Verify the source. Call the family member, company or bank directly to verify the emergency, do not reply to the suspected scammer. Confirm their location and if they are safe.
Don’t make payments over the phone if the call was unsolicited.
Summer Travel and Cybersecurity
As the summer comes, so will the travel. Are you going anywhere special over the summer months? We chatted with Marsha Kimes, Information Security Analyst, about how to keep yourself secure while traveling.
“Vacations are exciting to plan and prepare for, a time to get away and leave the workload behind, sit back, relax and restore. This summer, whether it is a road trip, flight destination or one of my favorites, a staycation, consider taking these security tips into consideration. While we might be in vacation mode, criminals are always at work,” said Kimes.
Here are the top tips to consider before you hit the road (or air):
Book travel from secure websites. When booking reservations, including flights, car rentals, hotels and tours, make sure you’re using a secure and reputable site. It’s recommended that you book travel through well-known sites you recognize or can find solid information about online. Additionally, any site that doesn’t have a secure checkout page should be avoided.
Before you hit the road make sure that you have updated your devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops. Updates often include security updates. Vulnerabilities of outdated software is a cybercriminal’s fast pass to your information. Make sure that your first line of defense is ready before you leave.
Secure your home network before you leave – this could be simply turning off your router. Or, if you have things in your home that are dependent on internet connection make sure that your router has a strong password.
Enable passcodes/PIN on mobile devices before leaving. Update your password protections and other layers of security on mobile devices like phone, tablets and laptops.
Backup your data – before you leave backup your data to a hard drive or cloud service. If your device is lost or stolen you will still have access to your information like important files and photos.
Turn off automatic Bluetooth connectivity. Know what you are connecting to before you do.
Only use password-protected Wi-Fi networks. Use safe browsing habits when connected to public Wi-Fi or hotspots. On open connections, hackers could be using the same connection to intercept the information you’re sending. If absolutely necessary, use the hotel’s password protected connection or your phone’s data plan when checking banking information or other sensitive sites.
Use a VPN. A VPN protects your identity even if you are using public or shared Wi-Fi, and your data will be kept private from any prying internet eyes.
Check sensitive accounts regularly. Reviewing your accounts will give you awareness if something looks off and prompt you to check on it right away.
Don’t overshare on social media. Consider posting updates about your trip after you return. Criminals may see that you are away from home based on social media content and attempt to steal from your home! If you also share too many details about where you are on your trip, some scammers may attempt to contact your family and friends with a variety of scam tactics. Additionally, consider setting your social media accounts to only allow friends to view your posts and content.
Happy travels – get out there and explore this summer!
Happy Employees = Better Banking Experiences for Members
Happy employees make for better banking experiences. It’s how we do business at Affinity Plus: We want the people who work here to feel that this is the best place they’ve ever worked.
And the approach is working!
According to the Star Tribune, Affinity Plus ranks as No. 5 in the Top 200 Workplaces in Minnesota in 2023. Forbes also declared us the 5th best credit union in the state, showing that our human-centered approach to the banking business is popular not only with our employees, but also with our members.Caring about our employees translates to better care for our members.
We’re succeeding, and it’s creating better interactions and relationships between Affinity Plus and our members. We’re proud that our members and employees feel this care, and look forward to the future we’re building together in Minnesota and beyond!
Gopher Football Parking Spots
Do you love Gopher football, but hate the packed parking ramps? We can help! Get yourself a convenient parking spot only two blocks from the stadium while helping the Affinity Plus Foundation at the same time.
Located at 2520 University Ave SE, our Minneapolis University branch parking lot will have a limited amount of spaces available each game. The cost directly provides funding to the Affinity Plus Foundation, who supports member students with scholarships and local non-profit organizations with critical funding to support efforts to improve financial equity across Minnesota communities.
Guarantee yourself a spot at every game by purchasing a season pass no later than Friday,Aug. 25.
Please note, Affinity Plus can only accommodate a maximum of 25 season passes for the 2023 season and passes will be guaranteed on first come, first serve basis.
You can also choose to pay for a single game on a first-come, first served basis when you arrive on game day. Limited spaces are available.
Gopher Games regular season pass: (7 Games): $250 Gopher Day of Game: $30 (cash) or $35 (card)