Member Education - Episcopal FCU

Member Education

Updated NCUA Share Insurance Booklet Now Available

NCUA today released the latest version of the Your Insured Funds booklet, providing consumers and credit unions with the latest share insurance coverage information in a new, easy-to-read format.

Click Here to Download


Keeping Your Accounts Active

In order to keep your United Methodist FCU account active, all you need do is conduct one transaction every 12-month period. Naturally, we encourage you to conduct more than that as you work toward your financial future.

If your account does become in-active, or dormant, your account will be charged $10 each month until you reactivate it again with a transaction. Or until it is closed.

Dividends paid to your account and any insurance premium payments do not maintain an active account.


Fraud Targets Senior Citizens

Seniors are prime targets for scam artists, through the mail, the telephone, or the internet and electronic mail. Following are some precautionary steps you can take to safeguard against fraud:

  1. Register on the National Do Not Call registry by calling (888) 382-1222. You can also visit their web site at By reducing the telephone traffic from telemarketers, you can reduce the potential for fraudulent activity at the same time.
  2. If a telemarketer does call and the call seems suspicious in any way, call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before agreeing to anything.
  3. Secure your mail box. Don’t leave outgoing bill payments in an unsecured mailbox.

The United States Postal Service has produced a digital videodisc (DVD) on the different types of fraud and precautionary steps to take to prevent fraud. The DVD is entitled “Dialing for Dollars” and is free. You can order this DVD by contacting the United States Postal Service at (877) 987-3728.


e-Branch Online Home Banking

Our e-Branch Online Home Banking system allows you access to your UMFCU accounts 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, simply by connecting to

  1. Check your current loan and deposit balances
  2. See which checks have cleared
  3. View both sides of your cleared checks and print the image for your records
  4. Transfer funds between accounts AND between financial institutions*
  5. Make inter-member account transfers (provided you are a signor on the other member account)
  6. Make loan payments by transferring funds from your UMFCU deposit account to your loan(s)
  7. Print our e-Statements instead of receiving paper statements via mail **
  8. Order new checks for your checking account
  9. Apply for loans

e-Branch Online Home Banking is FREE of charge and available to all members on United Methodist FCU.

Contact us at (800) 245-0433 and tell us you wish to be set up for e-Branch Online Home Banking. If you’re currently using our audio system or our previous home banking module, you’re already set up! Simply enter your member/account number and use the same PIN code to access your account.

*You will need to register information from your bank account at another financial institution i.e. the financial institution’s routing number, your account number, etc. Once you have set up this link, you can transfer from UMFCU and to UMFCU from this other account. Some restrictions apply. Contact United Methodist FCU with any questions or for more information.

** A $2.00 charge will apply if you decide to have an electronic statement AND a paper statement mailed to you.


Debit Cards

Debit cards, also known as check cards, look like credit cards or ATM (automated teller machine) cards, but operate like cash or a personal check. Debit cards are different from credit cards. While a credit card is a way to “pay later,” a debit card is a way to “pay now.” When you use a debit card, your money is quickly deducted from your checking or savings account.

You can use your card anywhere merchants display your card’s brand name or logo. It’s a great alternative to carrying a checkbook or cash.

What is the difference between a debit card and a credit card?

Debit means “subtract.” When you use a debit card, you are subtracting your money from your own bank account. Debit cards allow you to spend only what is in your bank account. It is a quick transaction between the merchant and your personal bank account.

Credit is money made available to you by a bank or other financial institution, like a loan. The amount the issuer allows you to use is determined by your credit history, income, debts, and ability to pay. For more information on credit cards, visit our Visa page.

Seven tips for responsible use of debit cards

  • If your card is lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to your financial institution.
  • If you suspect your card is being fraudulently used, report it immediately to your financial institution.
  • Hold on to your receipts from your debit card transactions. A thief may get your name and debit card number from a receipt and order goods by mail or over the telephone. Your card does not have to be missing in order for it to be misused.
  • If you have a PIN number, memorize it. Do not keep your PIN number with your card. Also, don’t choose a PIN number that a smart thief could figure out, such as your phone number or birthday.
  • Never give your PIN number to anyone. Keep your PIN private.
  • Always know how much money you have available in your account. Don’t forget that your debit card may allow you to access money that you have set aside to cover a check that has not cleared your bank yet.
  • Keep your receipts in one place — for easy retrieval and better oversight of your bank account.

* Source: National Consumer League.


Phishing…The New Craze in Internet Scams

Recently reports indicate that “phishing” scams are at an all time high. “Phishing” is usually an email purportedly from your bank, your Internet provider, eBay or any other institution to which you’ve given personal information. It looks legitimate, but its sole purpose is to defraud you of your account information.

There are some 57 million people in the United States on the receiving end of a “phishing” attempt within the past year.

Avoid being a victim:

Spend a few minutes at the web site to check up on the latest permutations of the “phishing” epidemic.

Instead of clicking on a link in an email, retype the URL into your browser. That protects you from seemingly legitimate links that actually redirect you to bogus sites.

Internet provider Earthlink offers a downloadable toolbar ( available to all Internet users. It can alert you before you enter a known scammer’s web site.

Source: Fast Company magazine, August 2004 issue, page 32.


Keeping Score: Facts about credit scores

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that lenders use to objectively measure your creditworthiness. Your credit score is a snapshot of your finances at a particular moment in time. As information in your credit file changes, so will your credit score.

Who calculates my credit score?

Some lenders create their own credit scoring models. Others hire developers, such as Fair Isaac, to customize a scoring model for them (FICO score). The three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) that compile your credit score all use a FICO scoring model and they weigh credit factors differently. Your FICO score can vary by 30 points to 100 points between the three bureaus.

What factors are taken into consideration for my credit score?

  1. Payment history
  2. Total debt
  3. Length of credit history
  4. New credit
  5. Credit mix

What can I do to improve my credit score?

Your credit score takes your entire credit history into account, including if you’re chronically late in paying your bills. Also, check your credit report once a year to verify the information is correct because inaccurate information could negatively influence your score.

Where can I find my credit score?

Here are some useful resources that may help.

Equifax and Fair Isaac have teamed up to provide a detailed score along with your credit report, for a fee, at

HSH Associates: A General Guide to Credit Grades –

Fair Isaac & Co. –

Experian –

Trans Union –

Source: “Keeping Score: Facts About Credit Scores” – Credit Union Consumer Facts;


e-Branch Security Information

e are pleased to offer home banking services via the
Internet. Delivering these services requires a solid security framework that
can protect you and our institution from outside intrusion. The information
below summarizes our security framework, which incorporates the latest proven
technology. A section at the end also summarizes your responsibilities as
a user of the home banking system with regard to security.


There are several levels of security within
our security framework. User Level deals with cryptography and Netscape’s Secure
Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, and is the first line of defense used by all members
accessing our Home Banking Server from the public Internet. Server Level focuses
on firewalls, filtering routers, and our trusted operating system. Host Level
deals specifically with our home banking and the processing of secure financial

User Level

There are several
components of User Level security that ensure the confidentiality of information
sent across the public Internet. The first requires your use of a fully SSL-compliant
browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. SSL is an
open Protocol developed by Netscape that allows a user’s browser to establish
a secure channel for communicating with our Internet Server. SSL utilizes highly
effective cryptography techniques between your browser and our server to ensure
that the information being passed is authentic, cannot be deciphered, and has
not been altered en route. SSL also utilizes a digitally signed certificate
which ensures that you are truly communicating with the Home Banking Server
and not a third party trying to intercept the transaction.

a secure connection has been established between your browser and our server,
you then provide a valid User ID and Security Code (PIN) to gain access to the services.
This information is encrypted, and a request to log on to the system is processed.
Session time-outs, a limit on the number of logon attempts, and special browser
caching techniques are examples of other security measures in place to ensure
that inappropriate activity is prohibited at the User Level.

Server Level

All transactions
sent to our Home Banking Server must first pass through a filtering router system.
These filtering routers automatically direct the request to the appropriate
server after ensuring the access type is through a secured browser and nothing
else. The routers verify the source and destination of each network packet,
and manage the authorization process of letting packets through. The filtering
routers also prohibit all other types of internet access methods at this point.
This process blocks all non-secured activity and defends against inappropriate
access to the server.

Home Banking Server is protected using the latest and most powerful firewall
platform. This platform defends against every kind of system intrusion and effectively
isolates all but approved customer financial requests. The platform secures
the hardware running the home banking applications and prevents associated attacks
against all systems connected to the Home Banking Server.

measures to ensure the security of information involve the separation of server
applications from host data. This means that information of value does not physically
reside in the Home Banking Server. Logging of security information occurs at
all times and there is always a backup of the information logged about every
attempt made to access the system. These security logs allow us to constantly
monitor for a wide range of anomalies and to determine if attempts have been
made to breach our security framework.

Host Level

passing through the Home Banking Server, the transaction is sent via secure
dedicated communication lines to our Transaction Server which verifies member
identity. Once authenticated, the member is allowed to process authorized
home banking transactions using host data.

User Responsibilities

we continue to evaluate and implement the latest improvements in Internet Security
technology, users of the home banking system also have responsibility for the
security of their information and should always follow the recommendations listed

• Utilize the latest version of either Netscape
or Microsoft
Internet Explorer
. The home banking system is best viewed and is most secure
when you use one of these two browsers, as they are both certified for use at
our site.

• Your PIN must be kept confidential. Utilize a full 4 digit PIN and change
it frequently to ensure that the information cannot be guessed or used by others.

• Be sure others are not watching you enter information on the keyboard
when using the system.

• Never leave your computer unattended while logged on to the home banking
system. Others may approach your computer and gain access to your account information
if you walk away.

• Click End Session when you are
finished using the system to properly end your session. Once a session has been
ended, no further transactions can be processed until you log on to the system

• Close your browser when you are finished, so that others cannot view
any account information displayed on your computer.

• Keep your computer free of viruses. Use virus protection software to
routinely check for a virus on your computer. Never allow a virus to remain
on your computer while accessing the home banking system.

When you follow these simple security measures,
your interaction with the home banking system will be completely confidential.
We look forward to serving your home banking needs both today and into the future
- securely!


Click here to download an informational brochure regarding Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).