Thursday, September 7, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Join A Credit Union

Without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you (and everyone you know) should join a credit union (specifically, U.S. Eagle). 

Keep Your Money Local

Yep, keep your money in New Mexico. The majority of credit unions are local. U.S. Eagle was founded in 1935 in a federal building located in downtown Albuquerque. 82 years and nine branches later, we’re still local and, we still have a branch downtown - see our sign atop the tallest building in New Mexico!  We aren't going anywhere, in fact, we are so close to one billion in assets, we can taste it. 

Not-For-Profit, Financial Cooperative

Breakdown: Credit unions use funds to pursue our mission and keep the lights on. Our mission is to improve the financial well-being of each members and the community we serve through trusted relationships. Our members are our owners!  Your voice is heard and your vote counts. Attend our Annual Meeting on the first Wednesday in May to learn more about your credit union.

Community Service

If you follow us on social media or read our newsletter, you know we are big on community. Check out our blog from August and see what we’ve been up to around town. Since most credit unions are local, we do our best to invest in our community. Whether it be through the financial support of a local baseball team, volunteering at a food drive, or hosting a bake sale – we do our best to ensure the success of our community. 


No question is a dumb question. We want our members to succeed and one way we ensure their success is through our personalized service.  You will notice a different experience when you set foot inside a credit union. Our staff greets you warmly when you enter a branch, members can grab some coffee before speaking with their favorite teller, and receive assistance with confidence.

Favorable Rates, Low Fees

You got that right – our rates are favorable, after all, we distribute our profits back to our members through higher returns and lower fees. The fees we do have can be waved with qualifying products. Fees that are charged, are returned back to our members! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

U.S. Eagle in the Community

Giving back to the community is one way U.S. Eagle exhibits the credit union difference. We do our best to emulate the credit union philosophy of "People Helping People". 

Here are our community service initiatives for the month of August:

  • Packaging Food:  Every other week, employees from different branches and departments head to Rio Grande Food Project to help package food for those who may not know where their next meal will come from. Rio Grande Food Project provides food and emergency support to working families, seniors, and people in need. Our employees spend their morning packaging beans, veggies, rice, and more for those in need. 

  • Popcorn Sales: U.S. Eagle sells popcorn throughout the year with proceeds benefiting a local nonprofit organization. This month, members and nonmembers can purchase popcorn from our tellers for $2.50 with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Association New Mexico Chapter. Popcorn flavors include cheese, green chile cheese, cherry, green apple, and caramel. Treat your sweet tooth all for a good cause!

  • School Supply Drive: Access to books, backpacks or the materials needed to learn is a challenge for New Mexican children and their families. U.S. Eagle is dedicated to helping those in need and are again hosting an in-branch school supply drive. In all our branches, members and non members can donate school-related goods or cash to helps students at La Luz Elementary and El Camino Real in Albuquerque, Adelante in Santa Fe, and Farmington Public Schools. These donations will go directly to the students in need.

  • Blue Star Mothers Supply Drive: U.S. Eagle supports Rio Grande Valley Blue Star Mothers by hosting supply drives at our branches. Drives collect much needed supplies to send to our troops overseas. Supplies include: toothbrushes, shaving cream, packaged snacks, and of course, green chile! Make a soldier's day, drop off some supplies at any of our branches.

  • Meals on Wheels: Every week, a pair of U.S. Eagle employees come together to deliver meals to residents around Albuquerque. They meet at the Meals on Wheels headquarters, pick up warm meals, and hit the road to ensure the meals are delivered. Our employees knock on the door and provide a delicious meal to someone in need. Recipients are thankful and look forward to seeing a friendly face. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque is the only home delivered meal program in our area supporting special diets. They provide service to anyone of any age. 

  • Casa Esperanza: Twice a month, U.S. Eagle employees come together to plan, purchase food, and prepare a meal for residents at Casa Esperanza. Employees meet at Casa Esperanza, cook, and mingle with residents as residents enjoy a home-cooked meal. Casa Esperanza provides appropriate housing and emotional support for patients and their families who are temporarily residing in Albuquerque while the patient receives treatment. A delicious meal and friendly conversation could be just what someone needs while enduring a difficult season. 

These are just a few examples of what your credit union does to help our community. When you buy a bag of green apple popcorn, donate a can of hatch green chile, provide colored pencils, or make a monetary donation, you're helping someone else in our community.Thank you to everyone who make these opportunities for us to help, possible. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

5 Habits To Help You Live Frugally

Check out these 5 tips sure to help you live frugally. How many of these habits do you practice?

1. Coupons

Remember when you were a kid and your Mom would drag you to the grocery store? She’d pull out a big book of papers and sort through them at the register. I would always wonder how much my mom would actually save by using coupons. The notorious “coupon book” actually is a great way to save money. Digital coupons may be a bit handier and greener, but cutting coupons can definitely help you save money during your weekly grocery shopping trip. Check your mail, newspaper, or the internet for coupons that could help you save hundreds annually. Also, make sure you shop around. Some places will price match with what you find in flyers or even online. Groupon also offers some really affordable deals for family fun!

2. Emergency Funds

If you follow along with our blog, you know we are big advocates of emergency savings. I know I sound like a broken record, but experts recommend saving six months’ worth of expenses. You never know what life will throw at you, and you want to be prepared for when it happens. Utilize automated payments, and have funds transferred to your savings account.

3. Buy in Bulk

Buy your groceries in bulk. Head to the nearest Costco or Sam’s Club and purchase your household needs and groceries at a lower price per item than you would at your grocer. If the cost is too much to buy in bulk, split it with a family member or friend.

4. Clean Sweep

Simplify your life. Do a clean sweep of your closet, attic, storage unit, or shed and have a garage sale. Take your gently used clothing to a thrift store and make some extra cash to add to your savings or for a fun night out with the family. Websites like Glyde are great for selling your old electronics that you no longer use! Poshmark is also a great app to sell gently used clothing.

5. Limit Eating Out

You never really know how much you spend eating out or purchasing Starbucks until you start adding up the transactions. For one month, record every time you eat out. You will probably be shocked at the total. Once you pick your jaw up from off of the floor and realize that this is fixable, you can start limiting the amount of times you eat out. Save money by simply bringing lunch to work, brewing coffee at home, or passing up a soft drink and ordering water at your next trip to a restaurant.

For more information on how to take control of your financial wellness, speak with a financial counselor through Balance. A financial counselor will help you avoid or resolve financial distress and establish personal financial control. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

5 Tips for Managing Your Credit Card

Time to talk credit cards. How well do you understand how credit cards work? Check out these 5 helpful tips sure to help you achieve credit card success.

1. Make your payments on time – pay off your balance

Always, always make your credit card payment on time, or even better – pay off your balance in full. If you miss a credit card payment, you’ll be hit with a late fee, and you’ll receive a nice ding to your credit score which could even result in a higher interest rate. Not good. If you tend to be on the forgetful side, use the automated payment feature. Your requested dollar amount will be withdrawn automatically from your bank account before the due date. No one is perfect – if you forget to make your payment, call your credit card company and see if they'll work with you. The worst could happen is they’ll say, “No”.

2. Pay over the minimum – don’t max out your card

If you can afford to pay over the minimum – do it. Even if it’s just ten dollars. This will decrease your credit card utilization. Try not to maintain a balance over 30% of your credit card maximum and never max out your credit card, it could damage your credit score. While you’re holding that new pair of Nikes in the store, ask yourself, “Do I really need a third pair of Nikes?” Probably not. Before making a purchase on your credit card, make sure you determine if it is a want or a need.

3. Ask for a higher limit

If you’ve been making your payments on time and maintaining a low balance, request for a higher limit on your credit card. A higher limit will boost your available credit, resulting in lower utilization.

4. Understand your credit score

Initially, understanding your credit score could be a little bit tricky. It’s important to check your credit score at least once a year. You can check your credit score for free and without penalty on Credit Karma. U.S. Eagle members also have access to Balance - free financial counseling to review debt management and credit scores. Click here to learn more.

5. Shop for a low rate

Make sure you do your research and find a credit card with a low rate. U.S. Eagle has a credit card suite with rates as low as 6.9%! And, don't forget about rewards. U.S. Eagle's Rewards! program allows you to accumulate points that you can redeem for name brand merchandise, travel services and experiences, entertainment and dining, and even gift cards. Find a credit card perfect for your lifestyle. And don't worry - U.S. Eagle has you protected with EMV chip technology which is easy to use, and prevents counterfeit and fraud. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

National Credit Union Youth Month Recap

Bad news first, then good news.

Bad News: National Credit Union Youth Month has come to a close. 
Good News: U.S. Eagle treats every month like National Credit Union Youth Month! 

U.S. Eagle had such a great month hosting financial literacy, posting fun contests on social media, organizing scavenger hunts, and participating in National Take Your Kid to Work Day! Here is a quick recap of all the activities and winners of April’s National Credit Union Youth Month.

Financial Literacy

Your credit union takes financial literacy very seriously. We strive to provide basic money management classes wherever there is a demand. This month, we provided multiple Mad City Money classes around the city. So, what's Mad City Money? Mad City Money is a real life simulation which gives students a sense of adulthood with income and bills to pay. Participants are assigned a temporary identity, including occupation, salary, debt, marital status, children, and more. They have to decide where they will live and how they will live, all while staying within budget.

Mad City Money at Warehouse 508

Social Media Contests

U.S. Eagle s social. We had a blast hearing from our members via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! We posted questions and received such a great feedback from our followers.



Scavenger Hunt

You heard it right – we hosted scavenger hunts at our branches. Clues were posted all over social media, and the first child to find the hidden blue ticket won a VISA gift card!

Take Your Kid To Work Day

U.S. Eagle made sure to celebrate Take Your Kid To Work Day! About thirteen kids showed up bring and early to learn about the credit union difference. They met our President and CEO, Marsha Majors and THE Eagle! Kids played credit union bingo and learned about the different departments of the credit union. The day ended with the kids learning about the vital roles their parents play to make U.S. Eagle operate smoothly.

U.S. Eagle treats every month like National Credit Union Youth Month. We strive to offer financial literacy wherever there is a demand. We post financial tips and important articles on all our social media pages. Make sure to follow us or add us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn

If you are interested in U.S. Eagle providing a Mad City Money experience for your class, please call Danielle Silva at 342-8875 or send an email to  and schedule a complimentary financial literacy session for your students. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Credit Union Youth Month

April is National Credit Union Youth Month! Kids – the spotlight is on you! Credit Unions all across the nation designate this month to our youth. It highlights the understanding of basic financial concepts, such as saving and budgeting, and of course, the credit union difference!

U.S. Eagle is celebrating three ways:

1. Social Media Contests

If you haven’t already, “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter! Every week we will be posting a financial question – submit your answer and you could win a VISA gift card.

2. Scavenger Hunt

Each week, we will be hiding a prize around one of our nine branches. Clues will be posted on our Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. When clues are provided, be the first to find and retrieve the object. Make sure you’re on the lookout for your chance to win a fun prize! There is one rule: you must be under the age of 18 to play. So, bring your grandchild, son, daughter, niece, or nephew and find the prize! Make sure you alert someone at our branch that you won our scavenger hunt! 

3. Balance  

Balance Financial Fitness Program is a free financial counseling service sponsored by U.S. Eagle. Financial counselors work with you to help avoid or resolve financial distress and establish personal financial control. Programs include debt and budget coaching, student loan coaching, credit report review, and more. Take advantage of this free program and let a Balance financial counselor help you develop a customized plan for achieving your financial goals! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

BYOB – Build Your Own Budget

And now for my next trick, I will successfully manage my money using just my budget!

If it were that easy, more people would budget. Budgeting is tricky. It’s one thing to notate and categorize expenses, but it’s a whole other ball game to cap your spending. For this month’s blog, I will show you how to BYOB using these five easy steps:

Step 1: Record your expenses. 

What does that entail? Write down every transaction you make – big or small. If you are tech savvy, start your budget on an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure you record the date, item or item description, place, and then identify whether or not the transaction is a debit or credit.

Debit: Money going out of your account
Credit: Money going into your account

Subtract the amount from your balance, or add the amount to your balance and you’re done! Now, on to the next step.
*Tip: Use “Google Sheets” to record your transactions on the go or at home!  There are also many apps available to help you with your budgeting needs.

Figure 1

Step 2: Categorize your expenses.

Recommended categories include: housing, transportation, food, personal care, healthcare, debt, utilities, and entertainment. Everyone is different, so feel free to create categories as you see fit.

Step 3: Cap it!

Now that you know where your money is going, figure out where you can decrease your spending or create a category amount you cannot surpass. You must discern between which purchases are “wants” and which purchases are “needs”. As much as you think that third Starbucks during the week is a “need”, it’s actually an extra $5.00 you could use to pay off debt or stick in your emergency savings account.

Here are the recommended budgeting guidelines according to the Credit Counseling Society:

In the figure below, you will notice where caps have been created for each category based on the amount spent the previous month. You will notice in Figure 1, the individual had an unexpected flat tire at the end of the month that put his account in the negative. The individual probably had to pull money out from savings in order to recover. For the next month, the cap of $100 for “Personal Care” and the cap of $300 for “Food” will prevent overspending.

Step 4: Create a master budget. 

The longer you track your expenses, the better idea you will have of how much money you should budget per category.  Some people eat out more, but spend less on personal care; other people enjoy traveling more than purchasing clothes. You can also decrease your spending in certain areas to pay off debt quicker. After a few months, you should be able to create a master budget to further assess your financial wellness.

Step 5: Keep calm and budget on.

Budgeting may be a little mundane...monotonous...etc., but, once you notice your checking account balance is never negative, your savings account is growing, AND YOUR DEBT IS DECREASING, you'll learn to love it. Are you up for the budget challenge?

Happy budgeting!