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Support Our Relay For Life Team

Pittsford FCU will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society to participate in the Relay For Life. The goal of this event is to help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The Relay For Life will take place on Saturday, July 9, at Pittsford Sutherland High School's track. At the event, our team will camp out overnight and take turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness.

Please join us in the fight against cancer. You may join our team of walkers, or you can make a donation to the cause. We'll be walking to honor our friends and family members, as well as those Pittsford FCU members who have been touched by cancer over the years. We'll be walking to honor those who have lost the battle with cancer, those who have survived, and those who continue their fight every day.

The impact we can make together is much greater than what any of us can do alone. Please join us, and help us do our part to make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone's life. Join our team at PittsfordFCU.org/Relay.



Go Green with Our Relay Team!

To help us reach our relay team goal, Pittsford FCU will donate $5 for each member who switches from paper statements to eStatements between April 1 and July 9, 2011. Help us fight cancer by going paperless with eStatements at PittsfordFCU.org/GoGreen.



Congratulations, PFCU Scholarship Winners!

Seven college-bound seniors have each won scholarships totaling $1,000 in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and community involvement. This year, two recipients were selected for the $1,000 Rochester Chapter of the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) Scholarships, while Pittsford FCU funded an additional five scholarships. This is the ninth year that Pittsford FCU members were awarded scholarships, with a total of $44,500 distributed to outstanding Pittsford FCU members.

Rochester Chapter of CUANY Scholarship Recipients:

  • Naba Ali
  • Christopher Dunne

Pittsford FCU Scholarship Recipients:

  • Emmett Hawkes
  • Lydia Hunt
  • Robert Knickerbocker
  • Laura McNamara
  • Brian Randall

Photo: Scholarship recipients Brian Randall, Laura McNamara, and Emmett Hawkes, with their parents, receive their scholarships at Pittsford FCU.



Paying Bills During Financial Crisis

Many circumstances can derail even the best financial plans and leave you with less money than you need. However, paying the most important bills first and communicating with creditors for the ones you cannot pay can help you minimize the damage until you are back on your feet.

Your monthly obligations may include:

Mortgage or rent: Your mortgage or rent should be the first bill paid each month. However, if making payments is impossible, let your lender or landlord know – they may be willing to work with you. Is your mortgage or rent affordable long-term? If not, you may want to look for a cheaper place to live.

Car loan: Since your car can be repossessed if you miss payments, paying on time is important. However, if you are not able to do that, ask your lender if you can skip a payment or two or pay back missed payments gradually. If you cannot reach an agreement or resume payments, you may want to sell the car before it is repossessed.

Utilities: Delinquent utility payments can cause your service to be suspended or terminated, but some utilities are more important than others. If a service is not needed, you may just want to cancel it. If it is essential, call the utility company and ask if a payment arrangement is possible. Also inquire about assistance programs for people facing economic hardship.

Student loans: If no payments are made for 180 days, you are considered in default, with possible consequences including tax refund interception and wage garnishment. However, borrowers can often avoid delinquency by asking for a forbearance or deferment.

Credit cards: While you could be sued or have accounts go to collections if you stop making payments, credit cards are less important than a mortgage or a car loan, and most creditors do not take legal action right away. However, avoid completely ignoring creditors. If making payments is difficult, you may want to talk to them about hardship programs.

You do not have to deal with financial hardship alone. As a benefit of your membership, you have access to BALANCE, a free financial education and counseling service. Their counselors can discuss options for handling debt and other bills as well as help you create a budget. For more information, call (888) 456-2227 or visit www.balancepro.net.



Get Most Out of 529 Plan

Almost everyone with children is aware of the 529 College Savings Plans available in most states. New York has a well-regarded plan with an added benefit – a generous benefit available to last-minute savers.

Do you have a child currently enrolled in college? If so, and you live in New York, you may be able to take advantage of special state tax laws.

All withdrawals from a 529 plan are exempt from New York State income tax when used for qualified higher-education expenses. New York taxpayers, who are account owners, can also deduct up to $5,000 of contributions ($10,000 for a married couple filing jointly) on their state income tax return each year.

New York's unique feature is that the money can be saved and withdrawn in the same calendar year. The taxpayer may benefit from a tax savings on the amount withdrawn (to be used for current college expenses). If you are in the top New York State tax bracket (6.85%) you could realize up to $685 in annual tax savings.

Even if you have not accumulated sufficient balances to cover your annual college expenses, you may simply deposit funds into a New York State 529 Plan and withdraw the funds during the same calendar year to receive the tax benefit. You're sending the money off to the college anyway – why not first place it in a 529 account and benefit from the potential savings?

Learn more at NYsaves.com.



Secure Online Chat Available During Business Hours

Go to PittsfordFCU.org and look for the "Live Chat" link in the upper right corner.



Foreign Travel Money Tips

Summer isn't that far away. If your travel plans include a trip to a foreign country, Member Representative Regina Couch strongly recommends the following steps to make the most of your VISA credit and debit card while traveling.

  • Please notify us of the countries and dates you'll be traveling before you leave. When you call, we will ask you to update your contact information to include a mobile number and email address. This information is important in the event that our representatives are investigating a fraud alert on your account. With this information, our representatives will be able to resolve the security block on your card more quickly and minimize service disruption. If our representatives do contact you, they will not ask you to divulge personal or financial information, they will only ask you to confirm the validity of the transaction. And, as always, we respect your privacy and will not contact you unless we have important information about your accounts.
  • Be sure to have funds available in your checking account so you can get local currency from ATMs worldwide. To ensure your PIN is always safe, you should memorize it and never write it down.
  • Make a record of your VISA card account and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards, including international Visa Global Customer Assistance Services numbers. These numbers are available at PittsfordFCU.org.



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