We are experiencing higher than normal call volumes due to branch closures. Questions about your stimulus check? Learn more

Kirtland FCU branches will be closed Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Routing Number: 307070050
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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!
To learn about retirements, investments and financial planning, check out Invested now.


On October 26, 2020, the Kirtland Federal Credit Union Board of Directors appointed Terry Franks to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of former board member Ray Wick.
Franks comes to the Board of Directors following 10 years of service on the Kirtland FCU Supervisory Committee, including eight years as its chairman. Franks has strong background in the energy sector and is the Deputy Division Chief for Mission Planning and Support (RDM), Directed Energy Directorate with the Air Force Research Laboratory, where he leads seven eclectic branches: technology transfer and education outreach; directory security; foreign disclosure; site intelligence; environmental and technology testing; wargaming and simulation of directed energy (DE) concepts; and strategic planning for future DE programs.
Franks has held a number of positions within the Air Force including being Chief of Staff of the Directed Energy (DE) Directorate; Special Advisor on Science & Technology to the US NATO Ambassador; Division Chief, Student Operations at Air Command and Staff College; Division Chief of High Energy Sources Division in Phillips Research Lab. He was also an Advisor for DE with the NM Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM.
His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear/Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in Research and Development and Systems Management from the University of Southern California.
Franks has volunteered his time with organizations including Folds of Honor, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Gondola Club and International Welcoming Committee), the NM Ethics in Business Awards Program, and was a founding officer of the Directed Energy Professional Society in Albuquerque.


As of today, Monday, January 4th, our branch lobbies continue to be open to members by appointment only.  Our drive up, where available, and online and mobile banking channels are open and ready to serve you as always.  This is in accordance with our state and local guidance.
See what we're doing to keep you safe in our branches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know that government stimulus payments (also known as economic impact payments) are crucial to many of our members, so we want to share important information with you.

As part of the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the federal government will begin to provide a second round of stimulus payments to eligible recipients. If you're eligible to receive a payment, you may receive your funds in one of the following ways:

Automatic deposit

If you are receiving a payment, it will be deposited directly into the same account you used to file your 2019 tax return and/or the account number used in the previous stimulus payment program.
You can check your payment status on the IRS COVID Stimulus website

Paper check in the mail

If you did not give the IRS your direct deposit account information through your federal tax return in the last two years and haven’t provided them with your information as a non-filer, you will likely receive a US Treasury check. The check will be mailed to the address on file at the IRS from the prior year tax return. If you receive a paper check, feel free to deposit it using the Kirtland Federal Credit Union mobile app, or at your local branch.


Personal Finance
The holidays are spending season for most Americans, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that for the most part. In 2019, the average gift-buyer in the United States spend just under $1,000 for gifts, decorations, food, travel and other holiday expenses, according to The Ascent research. Considering that in 2020 the average shopper planned to spend $998 on holiday purchases, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the pandemic hasn’t dampened holiday buying behaviors.

If you packed that spending onto a credit card (or several), the first priority in 2021 may be managing that debt. One tool for managing debts is consolidation—combining several debts into one balance with one monthly payment. This won’t lower your debt necessarily but having one payment instead of several could help you manage it.

There are many options out there for debt consolidation. Two of the most popular, balance transfer and a personal loan, both have benefits and considerations. Which is right for you? Well, let’s take a look.

What Is A Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer is the transferring of debt from one credit card to another, usually with a promotional rate on that transferred balance.

Some cards will offer a 0% rate on the transferred balance for a certain period of time. If you pay off the debt in that time, you will incur no further interest charges. However, if you aren’t planning on paying off the balance during the promotional period, the regular interest rate may make the switch less attractive. Additionally, it’s not unusual for cards to charge a balance transfer fee—up to 5% of the transferred balance in some cases—or carry an annual fee.

Kirtland FCU’s Independence Credit Card has no balance transfer fees, no annual fees, and if you transfer the balance by March 31, you’ll pay an interest rate as low as 2.99% APR* on the transferred balance.

Learn More!

Is a Personal Loan Better?

It depends on a lot of factors. One of the key features of a personal loan is the interest rate. There is no introductory period and, according to CreditKarma.com, rates range between 5.99% and 35.99% APR* on average. Some personal loans will require an origination fee as well.

If the rate on your personal loan is lower than you can get on a credit card and you aren’t able to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends and a significantly higher rate kicks in, it’s worth exploring your options. 
Here’s a quick comparison at the difference in the two options (source: CreditKarma.com).
  Balance Transfer Credit Cards Personal Loans (Installment Unsecured)
Fees Balance transfer fee of 0%, 3% or 5% of the amount transferred Origination fee of 0% to 8% of the loan amount
Credit limit or loan amount $300 to $15,000+ $1,000 to $100,000
Interest rate Potential introductory balance transfer APR during a set period of time, then a regular balance transfer APR that’s variable and subject to change as the prime rate changes 5.99% to 35.99% APR

See current Kirtland FCU rates.

A balance transfer is a great way to lower the number of payments you have each month and reduce the amount of interest you’re paying on those high-balance credit cards.
Ready to take advantage of Kirtland FCU’s balance transfer with the Independence Credit Card? Get started today!
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Annual percentage rate and balance transfer rate is based on credit history and other factors. If you do not qualify for the type of card for which you have applied, you may be offered credit under different terms and conditions. The special balance transfer promotion is valid on transferred balances conducted between January 15, 2021, and March 31, 2021. Balances transferred to your credit card by March 31, 2021, will remain at the introductory promotional rate until your December 2021 statement cycle. On your January 2022 statement, all remaining balances will convert to your current Annual Percentage Rate. APRs for purchases and cash advances may vary. Balance transfers cannot be used to pay off existing Kirtland FCU loans or credit cards. For more information on balance transfer, please call 1.800.880.5328. Information accurate as January 15, 2021 and is subject to change. Membership eligibility required.

Security Fraud

New Mexico’s electric utility, PNM, is once again warning customers to be on the lookout for scams related to PNM service:

PNM is warning its customers throughout New Mexico to be on the lookout for phone scams, especially on the weekends. PNM is seeing a surge in scam reports from residential and business customers that scammers are spoofing the PNM name and phone number, pretending to be with PNM, are insisting a past due balance is owed, and are threatening to disconnect electricity unless customers pay, within an hour, with a prepaid gift card.


New Mexico’s electric utility, PNM, is once again warning customers to be on the lookout for scams related to PNM service
Spoofing is a tactic that includes adding a false PNM caller ID name on their phone number to get customers to answer or they leave false call-back phone numbers. Then when customers return the call, they hear similar on-hold messages as PNM, often with a low sound quality, duping customers into thinking it is legitimate.

Classic sign of a phone scam

The common element in all the phone scams is the demand to only make payments with prepaid gift cards. This is a scam.

Spotting a scammer

Scammers are smart and are getting more and more savvy every day to try and convince people they are legitimate.
  • Scammers will claim they are with PNM. If you suspect the person on the other end may not be with PNM, hang up and call PNM yourself at 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766). They’ll be able to tell you if a PNM representative contacted you and whether you are past due.
  • Scammers often spoof the PNM phone number on your caller ID, making it look like PNM is calling you.
  • Scammers sometimes call you from what looks like a local number or a number that is similar to your own.
  • Scammers sometimes leave a false number for you to return their call. When you do, you hear similar on-hold messages as PNM, but often is low sound-quality.
  • Scammers will claim you are past-due on your bill. Customers should check their own bill for their current balance. If customers are ever uncertain if a caller is from PNM, hang up and initiate the call yourself at 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766) Monday through Friday from 7:30 A.M. until 6 P.M. If you wanted to verify your balance, you can also text #BAL to 78766 from the phone number connected to your PNM account. PNM will instantly text you your account balance so you know whether or not you were just called by a scammer. Not registered to text with PNM? Text #REG to 78766 from the phone number connected to your PNM account to register. Even if you are late with your bill, there are several ways to quickly and safely pay without giving the caller personal or financial information.
  • Scammers will demand you pay within a short window of time, usually 1-hour, to avoid shutoff.
  • Scammers usually demand between $200 and $500 for residential customers and more than $1,000 for commercial customers.
  • Scammers tend to target customers by calling during weekends, when PNM is closed, making it more difficult to verify the scammer’s claims and more likely that red flags will just be bypassed. This tactic is intentional. PNM does not shutoff power over the weekend or on holidays. Scam reports show that customers went against their better judgement, reacted out of fear, and overlooked the red flags of the scam explaining they were afraid to be without power over the weekend.
  • And the most classic sign of a scam: scammers ask or demand you pay your supposedly past-due bill with a prepaid gift card. PNM will never ask or demand customers pay a past-due bill with a prepaid gift card.
  • Additionally, there are reports of solar salespeople posing as PNM employees purporting to sell solar panels to homeowners. These are likely solar sales lead generators that are obtaining customer information and selling it to solar contractors. They may say they work directly for PNM or that they have been contracted by PNM to install solar on homes. PNM has received reports that sometimes these people are door-to-door rooftop solar salesmen that claim to work for PNM and ask to see your private PNM bill as a lead-in to sell you something. While PNM works proudly with many reputable solar companies, they are not affiliated with this deceptive tactic. If you know of any companies engaging in these practices, please report them to the New Mexico Attorney General's office as soon as possible. Visit nmag.gov and click on the "Submit a Complaint" button to properly report the incident.

Does PNM contact customers about past-due bills?

PNM notifies customers about past due balances and does sometimes reach out to customers, but PNM would never ask customers to pay with a pre-paid gift card. PNM notifies customers of the balance, offers assistance programs, encourages customers to verify their balance on their own, and customers can pay using an option they feel most comfortable. Prepaid gift cards are never part of the conversation, and if they are, PNM encourages customers to hang-up and report the scam.

Report the phone scam

Regardless if it was an attempt to scam you out of money or if the scammer was successful, please report it. PNM is working the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) because these fraudsters are using VoIP telecommunication phone lines to scam customers out of money, which is a federal crime. PNM and the FBI are asking New Mexico customers for help by reporting the details of any scammers that may have contacted them to the FBI so the agency can track and analyze them against similar scams and suspects. Reports can be made here. PNM is also asking customers to report the same information by calling 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766). You may also chat with a representative Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at PNM.com or you may submit the details of the scam to PNM here. You can also file a complaint with the FTC and the New Mexico Attorney General's office.

If you need to make a payment quickly

  • Make a payment online
  • Initiate the call yourself by calling PNM 1-888-DIAL PNM (888-342-5766) and follow the prompts for making a payment 24/7.
  • Or you can call KUBRA EZ-PAY directly at 1-844-PNM-PYMT (844-766-7968) to make a payment.
  • Make a payment at more than 70 Western Unions throughout PNM’s service area. Your payment will be noted in their system within 1 hour. Find a location near you.

Security Fraud

The first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is finally approved and making its way into hospitals across the nation. The news was met with relief and hope—and with criminals ready to cash in.

COVID-19 scams are popping up like wildfire. On December 3, days ahead of the emergency use authorizing for the first vaccine in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General issued an alert to the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are already using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.

These scams are not new, but the introduction of the vaccine has opened a new avenue for fraudsters. Reports of calls, texts, e-mails and social media messages offering faster access to the vaccine—for a price, of course—began rolling in immediately after the announcement of the approval of the first vaccine in the U.S. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a consumer safety advisory warning families to be on the lookout for these scams as they seek or receive the vaccine.

“We will not tolerate fraud and scams in the delivery of this critical vaccine,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Unfortunately during this pandemic, we have seen the rise of individuals who are looking to take advantage of the fear and vulnerability of our families in these uncertain times; but New Mexicans should remain confident in the advice of healthcare professionals and the law enforcement community, who are working diligently to make sure we all stay safe.”

Balderas said the Office of the Attorney General is working in partnership with law enforcement nationwide to warn of potential criminal activity, including theft and illegal advertising of the COVID-19 vaccine. As a number of COVID-19 vaccines come closer to approval and global distribution, ensuring the safety of the supply chain and identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential. Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives. According to INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Unit, it has identified 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, and around 1,700 of those websites contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware.

  • Be vigilant, skeptical and safe. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not give payment information to anyone claiming to be selling the vaccine or selling early access. Paying will not gain you access to the vaccine.
  • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their personal, medical, and financial information. Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 related products, services, or benefit review.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
  • Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19.
  • Check with trusted health authorities for the latest news and information regarding COVID-19 and its vaccines.
Report any suspicious activity related to the COVID-19 vaccine to local law enforcement. New Mexicans can also report suspicious activity to the Office of the Attorney General by calling 1-844-255-9210 or visiting nmag.gov or to the New Mexico Department of Health at 1-855-600-3453.

On Wednesday, December 2, the new public health order from Gov. Lujan Grisham featuring the “Red To Green” system went into effect with counties receiving a red, yellow or green label to determine restrictions for the county. As of this writing, Bernalillo County, where all Kirtland FCU branches reside, is Red Level.

To support the health and safety of our employees and members, our Albuquerque branches and the Home Loan Center will remain closed to walk-in traffic while Bernalillo County is Red Level.

The Base Exchange branch on Kirtland AFB remains open to walk-in traffic.
Credit unions are an essential business—we are open to serve you with drive-thru service, or our full suite of digital options including Online and Mobile Banking.
While many if not most of your financial needs can be taken care of online or over the phone, we understand that you may need to take care of business in person. If you need in-person service, we’re happy to meet with you! Just give us a call at 1-800-880-5328 to make an appointment to come into a branch.
In accordance with Red Level restrictions, Kirtland FCU has reduced its in-person workforce to the greatest extent possible. Our employees are here to help in-person by appointment or in the drive-thru. 

We’re NM Safe Certified!

If you do need to come into a branch, rest assured that the safety of our employees and our members is first and foremost in our minds. We’re proud to announce that Kirtland FCU recently completed training for important safety certification from the state through the NM Safe Certified Program.
The program, according to the state of New Mexico, is to increase confidence in the safety practices of the business they do need to visit.
“We want businesses to know they are not alone in adjusting to the new environment and we want customers to know they can feel confident about visiting businesses in a COVID-positive world,” NMSAE Executive Director Jason Espinoza said. “The program trains New Mexico businesses in the state’s COVID-Safe Practices to help ensure all of us – customers, employees, and families – remain safe as New Mexico reopens for business and recreation.”
Sarah Horten, Chief Retail and Lending Officer, says the new certification is part of Kirtland FCU’s commitment to service and safety.

“We’re focused on keeping our employees and members healthy while staying present and available to serve you—no matter what.”


Stay up to date with the latest in COVID-19 closures and changes!

Personal Finance
Many of us have experienced it—that awful feeling when the bills are coming in and the money, well, isn’t. 2020 has forced increasing numbers of New Mexicans to deal with a job loss, reduced hours, a struggling business, childcare issues or a medical crisis, squeezing finances beyond their limit. But what you do before and at the very beginning of that hardship can have a big impact on how quickly you’ll recover.
Vaughn Simmons, Vice-President of Account Resolutions, has important tips and information for members who may be experiencing a financial crisis.

You have options. You have more options the earlier you act.

Simmons says if you can do one thing in the face of a pending financial challenge, you MUST call your financial institution as soon as you realize there is a hardship.

“Our main objective is to work with our members who are experiencing financial difficulty. We have options to help,” he said. “The sooner, the better. The earlier you let us know, the more we’ll be able to assist you.”

The biggest mistake members make is not calling before the missed payment, said Simmons. Options include payment plans, shifting due dates, as well as government and Kirtland FCU hardship programs. But some can only be implemented if the member makes contact with Kirtland FCU ahead of a missed payment. Once payments are missed, the situation becomes more complicated and costly for the member. Interest continues to accrue on loans, and late fees will accumulate.

The 2020 Financial Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic devastation has hit New Mexico families particularly hard. In March 2020, Kirtland FCU experienced a major surge in call volume from members experiencing financial hardships. The Kirtland FCU Account Resolution team has worked feverishly to aid these members and their families with a variety of relief programs.

“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides some programs, and we (Kirtland FCU) also have special programs we’ve created to help these members in 2020,” said Simmons. “We’ve helped hundreds of members so far, and the crisis isn’t over.”

For those experiencing hardships, Kirtland FCU also offers debt and budget counseling services through Balance Pro, and Simmons’ team can also put members in contact with debt relief services if that’s what they decide is needed after speaking with the Account Resolution representatives.

Managing Debt

If you’ve accumulated a lot of debt or are trying to work through a financial hardship, there are a few tools you can use to reduce that debt. Consider rolling high-interest rate balances over to a lower interest loan or credit card with a balance transfer. Kirtland FCU offers balance transfers with no fees and amazing rates.

Avoid turning to sky-high interest rate options such as payday loans—these may alleviate short term challenges, but with rates that can top 400%, they cause more problems in the long run.

Whatever your situation, Simmons wants to make it clear that his team has one task: to take care of members.

“Financial issues cause so much stress,” said Simmons. “We don’t want members to have to worry about losing a car or a home in addition to everything else they are dealing with. We want to bring peace of mind to our members, and we work hard to find solutions together. But we can’t help if you don’t call.

Worried about an upcoming loan payment? To reach the Account Resolutions team, call 1-800-880-5328.

And remember: the earlier you call, the more options you’ll have.

Security Fraud

The holidays are always a hot season for criminals and fraudsters, and 2020 presents a uniquely rich opportunity for thieves with record numbers of online shoppers expected due to pandemic worries and closures. Here the top six scams lighting up holiday shoppers this year.

1. E-skimming

E-skimming happens with scammers exploit weak links on an e-commerce platform—where you’re completing your online purchases. In many cases, a victim can be re-directed to a malicious domain where the skimming code can capture the customer's information from the checkout page. The skimming code would capture information in real-time and send it to a remote server where the data is collected by the criminals behind the scene. Your credit card data can either be sold or used to make fraudulent purchases from that point going forward.

2. Social Media Scams

In the midst of a pandemic and especially around the holidays, social media offers an important opportunity to safely connect with each other as well as become another avenue for online shopping. But scammers have also flocked to social media. According to the FTC, Reports that people lost money to scams that started on social media more than tripled in the past year, with a sharp increase in the second quarter of 2020.

Reports about scams that started on social media have been increasing for years. In 2019, total reported losses to these frauds reached $134 million. But reported losses reached record highs, climbing to nearly $117 million in just the first six months of 2020. In that time, the reported scams that started on social media often related to online shopping, romance scams, and supposed economic relief or income opportunities.

Online shopping scams often involve the use of social media platforms to set up fake, online stores. By using social media to advertise the fake website; fraudsters take a victim’s payment, but the victim will never see the goods. Those ads you see as you scroll, personalized to your name or job title, are often fake sales.

Not all social media scams are spread by criminals, either. Popular posts by family and friends about the “Secret Sister” gift exchange are actually illegal pyramid schemes.


3. Porch Pirates

This may be one of the most pervasive holiday crimes, and it feels more personal than other digital crimes. These criminals were on your porch! They may follow a delivery truck or simply be taking advantage of an opportunity after spotting a package, but the result is the same—a stolen package off your porch.

4. Buy Online and Curbside Pickup

This is one of the newest avenues for ‘friendly fraud’, where a member may state they didn’t receive an item and want a refund. Curbside pick-up is also another option for fraudsters to intercept your purchase.

5. Shipment Update Scam

This one also saw a major boost in 2020 with the exponential increase in online shopping and deliveries due to the pandemic. This scam involves a text or e-mail claiming that a shipment is delayed unless action is taken immediately to correct the issue. That action involves a link that may install malware on the device or directs to a fake site in order to collect your personal information.

6. Donations and Fake Charities

It’s the season of giving, but not every plea for assistance is legitimate. 

7. Gift Card Scams

It’s a theme with thieves: requesting to be paid in gift cards for a fake service or product or even selling the victim a gift card that is worthless. Make sure you purchase gift cards only from reputable sellers and directly from the particular store if at all possible.

What you can do to protect yourself
A few good rules of thumb will reduce your risk of falling prey to one of these hot 2020 holiday scams.
  • Purchase gifts and gift cards only from reputable sites.
  • Go directly to the site yourself; don’t click links!
  • Keep track of your delivery days and keep an eye out so you can bring packages in quickly. Or, if available, choose to pick up packages curbside.
  • Avoid entering payment information directly if possible. Services such as PayPal allow you to complete purchases safely online without transmitted card information.
  • Sign up for Online and Mobile banking and keep a close eye on your accounts and transactions. Catching fraud early is key to limiting losses!
This holiday season, contactless forms of shopping will be more popular than ever, and criminals are not passing up the opportunity to cash in. Keep yourself safe and stay financially secure this holiday season.


Kirtland FCU cares about the health and well-being of our members, employees, and communities—for this reason, and per Governor Lujan-Grisham’s latest executive order, we will close the lobbies of all our branches, except for the Kirtland AFB Base Exchange Branch, to walk-in traffic effective Monday, November 16.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Gibson, Montgomery Crossings, and West Alameda Branches
    • Lobby will be closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only.
    • Drive-thru service at all branches will remain open with normal operating hours.
  • Base Exchange Branch (KAFB)
    • No changes to hours or operations
  • Coors Pavilion Branch
    • Lobby will be closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only.
  • Kirtland FCU Home Loan Center
    • Closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only. Apply online 24/7 for mortgages and home equity loans.
  • Kirtland Financial Services
    • Closed to walk-in traffic; members may be seen by appointment only.
Monday, November 16, drive-thru service will be limited to everyday financial transactions on existing accounts. We will not be able to open or close accounts and loans via drive-thru. To apply for a loan or open an account, please call 1-800-880-5328 or visit our website.
We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the many 24/7 digital and online banking tools and services available to you, including:
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • TellerPhone
  • Online Bill Pay
  • Digital Wallet
  • Website
We also understand that there may be instances where members find themselves facing financial hardships. Kirtland FCU is here to help—please reach out to us if you're facing difficulties. We have several options available to assist you.

Stay safe. We'll be here.

Matt Rarden
President and CEO
Kirtland Federal Credit Union