1st Quarter 2018
Inside This Issue:
- Proactive Personal Finance: Tools & Technology for Success
- Tax Refund Reminder
- Holiday Food Drive Results
- After Equifax: Credit Freeze, Credit Lock, or Fraud Alert?
One of the main factors that go into the decision making behind new products, new services, and new technology offerings is “Will this help to improve the financial lives of our customers”. This spring we are rolling out two new services to help do just that by putting control in your hands.
Having a complete grasp of where you stand financially is a powerful thing. When you have more information it allows you to make smart decisions. Money Management is a free personal financial management (PFM) tool that allows you to see your entire financial picture in one location and with real-time updates.
Simply plug your financial accounts like your retirement, brokerage, auto loan, credit cards, and mortgage (including those from other institutions) into the system. From there, Money Management, which is accessible through online banking and our mobile app, enables you to:
• Manage budgets
• Set financial goals
• Analyze your spending
• Monitor your cash flow
• Find transaction trends
• Track your net worth
Money Management will be replacing our current PFM tool, FinanceWorks, this spring. If you are currently using FinanceWorks your accounts will automatically transition over to Money Management alleviating any extra work. And along with an improved user interface, Money Management will be available through our mobile app making it accessible while you’re on the go.
Have you ever lost your debit card or misplaced your wallet? You probably turned your house upside down looking for it. After some frantic searching you may have called us to cancel your debit card, only to find it between your car seat and center console the next day. Or maybe you went on a trip and forgot to inform us. So when we noticed unusual charges on your card from a strange location your debit card was temporarily disabled. It’s happened to the best of us. These are the headaches that we want to alleviate for you. Now we have a solution!
MobiMoney is a free mobile app that enables you to manage your Peoples Community Bank debit card right from your phone. Not only does it allow you to turn your card on and off, you’re also able to set up transaction alerts and can limit debit card usage based on location, merchant type, transaction type, and dollar thresholds. MobiMoney puts you in full control of your debit card.
Tax season is here. If you’re expecting a refund and plan to do a direct deposit make sure to double check that your tax preparer has the correct routing and account numbers. We want to make sure you have access to your refund as quickly as possible and without any headaches.
The Peoples Community Bank Routing Number: 075906016
Each year we are amazed at the level of generosity displayed by our communities during our annual holiday food drive. 2017 proved to be one of our most successful food drives to date. Altogether we were able to deliver checks totaling in excess of $6,400 to our local food pantries. Those funds went directly to help support local families in need. That’s what community is all about. Thank you for your part in helping make a difference!
After the Equifax breach, many are considering placing a fraud alert on their credit file. Others will freeze or lock their credit files to help prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in their name. Here are some FAQs to help you understand the difference and decide what’s best for you.
• What is it? A fraud alert requires companies to verify your identity before extending new credit. Usually that means calling you to check if you’re really trying to open a new account.
• How does it work? The process is easy – you contact any one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion) and that one must notify the other two.
• How long does it last? An initial fraud alerts last 90 days. After 90 days, you can renew your alert for an additional 90 days, as many times as you want. Military who deploy can get an active duty alert that lasts one year, renewable for the period of deployment. Identity theft victims (whose information has been misused, not just exposed in a breach) are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which lasts seven years.
• How much does it cost? Fraud alerts are free.
• Is this for me? With a fraud alert, you keep access to your credit and federal law protects you. But an initial fraud alert lasts only 90 days and then you’ll need to remind yourself to renew it every 90 days.
• What is it? A credit freeze limits access to your credit file so no one, including you, can open new accounts until the freeze is lifted.
• How does it work? To be fully protected, you must place a freeze with each of the three credit reporting agencies. Freezes can be placed by phone or online. You’ll get a PIN to use each time you freeze or unfreeze, which may take one to three business days.
• How long does it last? A freeze lasts until you temporarily lift or permanently remove it (except in a few states where freezes expire after seven years).
• How much does it cost? Fees are set by state law. Generally, it costs $5 to $10 each time you freeze or unfreeze your account with each credit reporting agency. You can get a free freeze if you are an identity theft victim, or in some states, if you’re over age 62. Equifax is offering free freezes until January 31, 2018.
• Is this for me? Freezes are generally best for people who aren’t planning to take out new credit. Often, that includes older adults, people under guardianship, and children. People who want to avoid monthly fees also may prefer freezes over locks.
• What is it? Like a freeze, a credit lock limits access to your credit file so no one, including you, can open new accounts until you unlock your credit file.
• How does it work? Like a freeze, to be fully protected, you must place locks with all three credit reporting agencies. With locks, however, there’s no PIN and usually no wait to lock or unlock your credit file (although the current Equifax lock can take 24 to 48 hours). You can lock and unlock on a computer or mobile device through an app – but not with a phone call.
• How long does it last? Locks last only as long as you have an ongoing lock agreement with each of the credit reporting agencies. In some cases, that means paying monthly fees to maintain your lock service.
• How much does it cost? Credit reporting agencies can set and change lock fees at any time. As of today, Equifax offers free locks as part of its free post-breach credit monitoring. Experian and TransUnion may charge monthly fees, often about $20.
• Is this for me? Depending on your particular lock agreement, your fees and protections may change over time. So, if you sign up for a lock, it’s hard to be sure what your legal protections will be if something goes wrong later. Also, monthly lock fees can quickly exceed the cost of freezes, especially if the lock fees increase over time.
For more information about ways to protect your identity, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) resource page about the Equifax data breach (ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach). And if your personal information is misused, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan.