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Welcome To The Insighter!

Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland FCU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight!


Home Loans

First-time homebuyers—or those who haven’t owned a home in years—face unique challenges in the home loan process. One of these challenges is the down payment. While an FHA (Federal Housing Administration for first-time homebuyers) loan offers reduced down payments, the sum required—3.5% of the sale price—will still total in the thousands for the average home.  This is on top of any other closing costs and other standard mortgage processing costs.

And for a buyer who hasn’t owned a home in years but is ineligible for an FHA loan, the even more sizable down payment may seem out of reach. Without an existing home sale to fuel a future purchase, the down payment can be a major barrier in the home buying process.

For these homebuyers, there is Jump Start!

Jump Start is a down-payment assistance program that provides up to 3% or $6,000 toward a down payment for qualifying homebuyers.
 
Think you may qualify for a Jump Start? Here are a few details you need to know:
  • Jump Start does not need to be repaid. While you do not have to repay this assistance (provided you meet the qualifications below), the addition of the program could affect your interest rate. Ask your home loan team for more details. 
  • Jump Start does not cover the entire down payment. The minimum buyer contribution to the down payment is $500.
  • You must remain in the mortgage for at least four (4) years. If you sell, transfer, or refinance the property you purchase with Jump Start before that, you’ll be responsible for repaying the full amount of the assistance.
  • There are income restrictions. Buyers must make no more than $65,500 for a 1–2-person household and $74,750 for a 3+ person household at the time of purchase to qualify.

Want to learn more about how the Jump Start might help you start your homebuying journey? Come talk to a Kirtland FCU home loan specialist today at the brand-new Kirtland FCU Home Loan Center at 6700 Jefferson NE, Suite D-1. 

Learn why Kirtland FCU is Albuquerque’s home loan leader and start your application today by calling 1-800-880-5328 or visiting us online at KirtlandFCU.org/HomeLoan.

 
An equal housing lender. Financing available for properties in New Mexico only. Income limits for this program mirror the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority. Maximum assistance will be 3% or $6,000 of the purchase price, which cannot exceed $206,000. Loans with Jump Start assistance will require PMI. Total loan amount cannot exceed $206,000. Borrowers will be required to complete a homebuyer education course. At least one borrower cannot have owned a home in the past three (3) years to be eligible for Jump Start assistance. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Program may be cancelled or suspended at any time without notice. Restrictions apply. Membership eligibility required. See a representative for complete details.

News Home Loans

You dreamed of a home, and so did Kirtland Federal Credit Union’s home loan team.

On the northeast corner of Jefferson and Osuna, a transformation has been underway in expectation of Kirtland Federal Credit Union’s new Home Loan Center. This centrally-located office now houses all of Kirtland FCU’s mortgage and home loan services under one roof for the first time in their 60-year history.

Mortgages? Check. Home equity services? Check. Education and learning opportunities. Check, check! If it’s home-related, it’s happening here at the Kirtland Federal Credit Union Home Loan Center, which proudly opened its doors on May 1, 2019.

Thinking of buying your first home? Exploring a home equity loan or line of credit? Come see the local experts at the Home Loan Center!

“Masters of mortgages. Heroes of homebuying.”

Kirtland FCU is Albuquerque’s home loan leader. Every step of the process is done locally, right here in Albuquerque. And after you get the keys and unpack the boxes, all your payments are made right here, too. You’ll never send a check out of state.
 
Even if you’ve already talked with someone else, apply and see how Kirtland FCU compares.
 
Great rates. No hidden fees. Local payments and services.
 
Let’s get moving!

Kirtland Federal Credit Union – Home Loan Center

HOURS:
Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Sunday CLOSED

ADDRESS:
6700 Jefferson NE
Suite D-1
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Apply today at
KirtlandFCU.org/HomeLoan.

 
An equal housing lender. Financing available for properties in New Mexico only. All loans are subject to approval. Membership eligibility required. See a representative for complete details.

Investments Retirement Savings

Investing is risky! Right?
 
Not necessarily. You have many options for investing your money, each with a different potential for risk and return. Many options offer the potential for higher returns but pose a risk to your principal balance. Other investing options, such as the Market-Linked Certificate of Deposit (CD), offer a much safer path for potentially growing your money.

Kirtland Financial Services can help you invest in several different ways—now including Market-Linked CDs.
 
A market-linked CD offers the same type of security for your principal investment as a traditional certificate of deposit but with the greater potential for income or growth you’d find in other market investment options.

WHO MIGHT CONSIDER A MARKET-LINKED CD?
  • Anyone who has suffered market losses in the past and is hesitant to risk principal again.
  • Anyone who wants to grow their money beyond the constraints of traditional savings methods.
  • Retirees and others who are in risk-averse situations.

ARE MARKET-LINKED CDs INSURED?
Yes, Market-Linked CDs carry federal deposit insurance administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government up to a maximum amount for all deposits held in the same legal capacity per depository institution. In general, the FDIC feature guarantees principal of, and any accrued interest on, the Market-Linked CDs up to $250,000 if held to maturity.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Market-Linked CDs are highly versatile instruments that may fit a variety of market outlooks and may hedge a variety of existing positions.
 
They also offer an estate feature known as a “death put” or “survivor’s option”—a benefit that may be appealing to investors concerned about their estate because their beneficiaries may be able to redeem the Market-Linked CD at par, without interest, before maturity upon death or adjudication of incompetence, subject to the terms and limitations of the issuer.

The Wealth Management Advisors at Kirtland Financial Services are ready to discuss the ins and outs of Market-Linked CDs as a possible investment solution as part of your overall financial strategy.

Let the team at Kirtland Financial Services help you focus your goals and make an investment plan that’s right for you and your situation.

Make your appointment now!

 
Principal protection is the return of an investor’s initial principal amount if held to maturity. MLCDs should be purchased with the intention of holding until maturity. Some MLCDs may offer an early redemption opportunity, allowing holders the option to redeem prior to maturity. Generally, MLCDs held to maturity are entitled to full return of the principal amount invested. A secondary market for the MLCDs may develop, although there is no guarantee that any person will maintain a secondary market. The value of the MLCD sold prior to maturity in the secondary market will be subject to the prevailing marketing conditions and may include a transaction charge. The sale proceeds may be less or more than the original purchase amount paid. Market-Linked CDs are FDIC insured up to the FDIC limits. Any amount that exceeds the FDIC limits is subject to the credit and claims paying ability of the issuer. Subject to particular offering documentation. Participation in any underlying or linked product is subject to certain caps and restrictions. There is no guarantee of return above principal. Return of principal is subject to the credit risk of the issuer. Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial. A registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates.

Not NCUA Insured | No Credit Union Guarantee | May Lose Value
Securities and Financial Planning services offered through LPL Financial. A registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Kirtland Federal Credit Union and Kirtland Financial Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Security Fraud

They’re polite. They’re trusting. They’ve spent a lifetime building nest eggs and positioning themselves financially, and many have excellent credit. In other words, seniors represent a very attractive target for scammers and fraud schemes.
  • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone.
  • Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.
  • When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks—or more likely, months—after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.
  • Senior citizens are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties, and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given every American hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim.
Telemarketing Fraud for Seniors

If you are age 60 or older—and especially if you are an older woman living alone—you may be a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations.

Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information they need to assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your wallet, rifling through your trash, or by compromising your credit or bank information. They may approach you in person, by telephone, or on the Internet and ask you for the information.

The sources of information about you are so numerous that you cannot prevent the theft of your identity. But you can minimize your risk of loss by following a few simple hints.

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft:
  • Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
  • Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
  • Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
  • Report unauthorized financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
  • If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
If you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.

Do you have a question or need help reporting an issue? Give us a call at 1.800.880.5328!

Security Fraud

Few pieces of personal information are as integral to your financial life as your Social Security number (SSN). Required for starting a new job, enrolling in school, opening a bank account, and using credit, your SSN unlocks doors that protect your money and your identity—making it a deliciously attractive target for scammers.

How does the scam work?

Phone scams attempting to gain access to your SSN are plentiful, and their methods are varied. A phone number, which may or may not mimic an actual Social Security Administration phone number, pops up on your phone. When you answer, the caller informs you that your SSN has been compromised or is currently locked as a result of fraudulent activity. They may even threaten your Social Security benefits if you don’t cooperate.
 
No matter the story, the scammer concludes by asking you to confirm your SSN or turn over other identifying information such as your birth date. Many scammers also ask for payment to “unlock” your SSN. 

How do I avoid this scam?

Awareness is key.

The Social Security Administration will NEVER call you requesting personal information of any kind, threaten your benefits, or ask for payments.

NEVER give out your SSN—not even the last four digits—to anyone who contacts you by phone.

ALWAYS be suspicious of a call you did not initiate. If you did initiate a call, as you might to your credit union or credit card company, be aware of your surroundings if asked for information to help identify you.

NEVER make any kind of payment on a call like this. Callers asking for wire transfers or gift cards as payment are also thieves. Requesting these methods of payment is a big red flag.

NEVER trust the caller ID on your phone. It’s shockingly simple to clone a number so the call appears to come from a legitimate Social Security Administration phone number.
If you do receive one of these calls, do not reveal any personal information. Instead, hang up and call the Social Security Administration directly at 1-800-772-1213 to check. 

If you believe you have discovered a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Do you have a question or need help reporting an issue? Give us a call at 1.800.880.5328!

Security Fraud

April 15 is fast approaching, and millions of Americans are in the final days of preparing their 2018 tax returns for the IRS. Tax time is also prime time for scammers and identity thieves.
 
Their techniques are varied, but scammers have one thing in common—their contact is intended to intimidate and create a sense of urgency in the victim to rectify a potential problem.

Scammers may know a lot about their targets, or nothing at all. Commonly, the caller will demand payment in some form (frequently wire transfers or gift cards) to clear up a tax-related problem, or the scammer will attempt to get the victim to divulge more personal information, including their birth date or Social Security number.
 
Be aware! E-mails and calls from the IRS are a scam intended to steal your identity. The IRS will NEVER call you on the phone or e-mail you about a problem with your taxes—they will always send you a letter in the U.S. mail first.

If you receive an e-mail regarding a problem with your taxes, you can delete it. If you get a phone call about a problem with your taxes, it’s fine to hang up. Don’t trust your caller ID—it’s incredibly easy to clone a phone number to make a call appear that it’s coming from a legitimate IRS agent.

If you’re truly concerned that there could be a problem with your taxes, please don’t call any number referenced the e-mail or the phone call! You can speak to a legitimate IRS agent on the phone by calling the agency's general tax assistance number at 1-800-829-1040.

Hearing impaired individuals can reach a live IRS agent by calling 1-800-829-4059. The IRS number for businesses seeking tax assistance is 1-800-829-4933.

Read more about the latest IRS and tax–related scams at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.

Security Credit Fraud

Do you know your credit score? And what’s the difference between your credit score and your credit report? Taking control of your credit starts with knowing the answer to these questions. 

How do I check my credit score?

Actually, you have more than one credit score! Your credit score is a simplified view of your credit, calculated by each of the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Credit score service sites like CreditKarma.com can show you your score from all three bureaus at the same time. Many of these sites are free to you (funded by advertising) and others may charge a subscription fee. Be sure to read the details before signing up. 

Your credit score can also be found on your detailed credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Your credit score is a good way to quickly gauge your credit worthiness and track improvements. 

Take a look at this chart from Experian.com to see where your credit score would fall. 
 
Credit Score Rating % of People Impact
300-579 Very Poor 17.0% Credit Applicants may be required to pay a fee or deposit, and applicants with this rating may not be approved for credit at all.
580-669 Fair 20.2% Applicants with scores in this range are considered to be subprime borrowers.
670-739 Good 21.5% Only 8% of applicants in this score range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.
740-799 Very Good 18.2% Applicants with scores here are likely to receive better than average rates from lenders.
800-850 Exceptional 19.9% Applicants with scores in this range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders.

 

What the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

Your credit score is derived from many different aspects of your credit report, the detailed history and culmination of your credit activities. Your report includes open lines of credit, mortgages, auto loans, payment history, bankruptcies, total debt utilization, and other details. 

Monitoring your credit report at least yearly can help you catch fraud and identity theft before it can do significant damage to your credit. See a line of credit that’s unfamiliar? You can contact the company and the credit bureau to protect yourself from further damage. 

You can get a FREE copy of your credit report annually at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Security Fraud

Nigeria, a small country on the coast of Africa, is the source of a scam costing victims millions of dollars.
 
This scam combines the threat of an impersonation fraud scheme with a variation on an advanced fee scheme. Typically, a letter or e-mail is sent to a potential victim. The source of the letter is Nigeria and its contents offer the victim an “opportunity” to share in a large sum of money. All the victim needs to do to claim their portion is help the sender illegally move the money out of Nigeria. Once that task is accomplished, the victim is assured, a percentage of the sum will be sent to them as a reward for the assistance.
 
Payment of taxes, bribes to government officials, and legal fees are often described in great detail with the promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are spirited out of Nigeria. In actuality, the millions of dollars do not exist, and the victim eventually ends up with nothing but loss. Once the victim stops sending money, the perpetrators have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim, draining bank accounts and credit card balances.
 
While such an invitation impresses most law-abiding citizens as a laughable hoax, millions of dollars in losses are caused by these schemes annually. Some victims have been lured to Nigeria, where they have been imprisoned against their will along with losing large sums of money. The Nigerian government is not sympathetic to victims of these schemes, since the victim actually conspires to remove funds from Nigeria in a manner that is contrary to Nigerian law. The schemes themselves violate section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the label “419 fraud.”

How do you keep from falling victim to this scheme?

Criminals often look for easy targets—those who will respond the letter or e-mail. The easiest way to avoid this scam is to simply not respond to the request. Additionally, you should send the letter or e-mail to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant.
 
If you know someone who is corresponding in one of these schemes, encourage that person to contact the FBI or U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible. 

Bottom line? Do not ever believe a promise of large sums of money for your cooperation, whether the request originates in Nigeria or elsewhere. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Sources: www.FBI.gov
 

Receive a scam letter? Report it!


Security Credit Fraud


Originally posted 2/1/19 - updated

Identity theft and fraud are on the rise. In fact, a study from Javelin Strategy and Research found an estimated record-high 15.4 million people were victims of fraud in 2016—at a staggering cost of around $16 billion. More fall victim every year.

Visa works hard to detect and prevent fraud using a variety of methods. Kirtland FCU also has safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. But fraud still may occur.

Here are steps YOU can take to prevent and limit fraud.

SET ACCOUNT AND CREDIT CARD ALERTS
A variety of text and e-mail alerts are available to you through your Online Banking account or by giving us a call. The earlier you discover fraud, the faster the thief can be cut off.

SET A CODE WORD
A code word is a special password you will need to give over the phone before any sensitive account information is discussed. This simple line of defense makes sure that no matter what kind of other information a fraudster may possess, he cannot access your accounts over the phone or in person without the word.

Call 1-800-880-5329 or stop by a branch to set up your code word with Kirtland FCU.

DON’T SHARE ACCOUNT INFORMATION
Professional identity thieves aren't the only threat. Fraud is often a crime of opportunity. Don’t give your credit card information or bank account information to anyone who isn’t an authorized signer, even those you may trust. Just like a secret isn’t a secret once someone else knows, once the information is out of your hands, you have no control over where it is shared.
 
USE ONLINE AND MOBILE BANKING
The more in tune you are to your spending, the faster you’ll notice something amiss. Check in with your accounts daily, and alert Kirtland FCU if you notice anything unusual.

DO NOT REUSE PASSWORDS
It’s tempting to set one password for multiple sites: bank login, Netflix, Amazon, credit card account, etc. But, if your password is compromised on one site, every site you’ve used it on is now vulnerable.
 
Instead, choose a different password for each website. Many browsers can also generate and save tough auto-passwords for you (note: do NOT take advantage of this feature on public computers or public Wi-Fi). In addition, consider taking advantage of two-factor authentication wherever it is offered. This type of login will text or e-mail a one-time login to you each time you enter your password, ensuring that your password alone cannot give a thief access.

Bottom line: keeping tabs on your accounts and safeguarding your important information are the biggest keys to preventing or limiting fraud and identity theft.

Stay savvy out there!


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