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Important Considerations for a Change in Employment Status

Updated October 15, 2018 7:34 PM
Change in Employment

Evaluate your current financial situation

Financial matters are often a source of stress. However, financial challenges can be managed by looking at several different items:

Find out where you stand
What are the bills you must pay? (ex. food, rent or mortgage, utility bills, car expenses, insurance, loans, credit cards, child care, etc.)

What expenses can you eliminate or reduce? (ex. dining out, new clothes, etc.)

Look at your incoming money
What are your sources of income? (ex. unemployment compensation, severance pay, income of spouse and/or children, interest from savings accounts, income tax refunds, etc.)

Look at your assets
What are they and what is their current value? (ex. funds in bank accounts, cash value of home, car and other major possessions, pension plan, investments, life insurance policies with cash value, etc.)

Reduce expenses

Reach out to your creditors and explain your situation. If you anticipate difficulties in making payments, arrange an alternate payment plan. Take the initiative. Don’t wait until you’ve fallen behind on your payments.

Pay with cash whenever possible. This includes groceries, gas, and personal items. By using cash, you will avoid accumulating more debt and more incoming bills.

Check with your local electric and gas utility company about reducing your bills under the Heat Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and with your telephone company about a similar reduction for phone calls or cellular phone plans.

Employment Considerations

Unemployment Compensation
One of the biggest challenges you may face when you lose your job is financial uncertainty. Unemployment Compensation (UC) can help you with this. 

  • UC is administered by individual states.
  • Contact your local Unemployment Insurance Claims Office or Employment Service Office for our state’s specific requirements. Find the location nearest you.
  • File ASAP. It generally takes 3-6 weeks to receive a benefit check, and no benefits can be paid for any week before you actually file your claim.

Verify Your Finances
Final paychecks are often produced manually. Make sure all the details are correct. Count the number of vacation days you had left, if applicable. Make sure the severance amount, if any, is correct.

Job Search
Check to see if your company is offering Outplacement Services as part of their separation package. Many of the following items or topics are handled by these Outplacement Services:

  • Assess Your Skills. Perform a simple assessment of your interests, talents, and preferences; this will be useful in exploring career paths. You may open up doors to new opportunities. Never rule out the possibility that a career change may increase your happiness or chances of finding employment.
  • Network. Many job opportunities are conveyed through contacts. Consider every contact you have – family, friends, old clients, business associates, social clubs, etc. 
  • Sell Yourself on Paper. Create a good resume and cover letter. This will be your first impression to an employer – and first impressions are powerful! Many private employment agencies will assist in your resume preparation, as well as assist you in brushing up on your interviewing skills.

Questions for your Human Resources Department as a result of change in employment

  • What happens to my retirement pension and/or accumulations?
  • Can I continue my current life insurance policies?
  • Can I continue my health and/or dental insurance beyond my layoff date?
  • Can I continue to contribute to my Flexible Spending Account?  What about the money that is already in there?
  • What other benefit programs do I need to be aware of?
  • Will my company be providing outplacement assistance? (ex. resume preparation, job placement/interviewing, retraining, etc.)
  • Are educational benefits still available after my employment ends?
  • Will I still have access to company job postings?
  • Will I be receiving severance pay?
  • Will I receive my unused vacation bank or sick bank pay?
  • Is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available?

Benefits Considerations

Health Insurance Plans
Do not take the issue of health coverage lightly, no matter how healthy you are now. Get all the information you can regarding your health insurance and either get your own coverage or continue with your company’s plan. Your company must continue your health insurance plans under COBRA, which is a law that requires your employer to provide you and your eligible dependents the opportunity to continue your participation in the company-sponsored plan for up to 18 months. You will be required to pay the entire cost of the coverage; therefore, it may be expensive.

A valuable benefits law to be aware of is HIPAA, which may help you to switch more easily from one health plan to another without being rejected because of a serious, pre-existing medical condition. Ask your company to provide you with information about your rights under this important benefits law.

Life Insurance
Check with your employer to see if any of your life insurance benefits offered through the company are portable. Can you take your coverage with you? Review your beneficiary designations, and make sure you indicate both primary and contingent beneficiaries.

Retirement Plans- 401(k), 403(b), 457, etc.
What are your alternatives?  Consider availability, accessibility, account control, and rollover possibilities. Review your beneficiary designations and make sure you indicate both primary and contingent beneficiaries. CCU’s Wealth Strategies can assist you with these details.

Pension Plans - (if applicable)
What are your options?  Consider portability. What amount is available to you and when is it available? CCU’s Wealth Strategies can assist you with these details.

Employee Stock Purchase Plans - (if applicable)
What are your possibilities?  Consider account control, transferability, accessibility, cost, and tax implications.

Helpful Websites

Corning Credit Union’s Wealth Strategies Department.

Please be advised that Corning Credit Union is not liable for the content or availability of the following linked sites.

Job Search Resources

  • NY job information.
  • PA job information.
  • NC job information.

America’s Job Bank

  • Job listings created through a partnership between the US Department of Labor and state and private sector organizations.

America’s Career InfoNet

  • Helps you make better, more informed career decisions.

Social Security Administration

  • Provides you with social security estimated amounts based on your age at retirement.

 

*Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Corning Credit Union and Corning Credit Union Wealth Strategies are independent of RJFS. Securities are not insured by credit union insurance, the NCUA, or any other government agency. Securities are neither deposits nor guarantees of Corning Credit Union. Securities are subject to risk and may lose value.

 

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Posted in Security
Updated August 28, 2019 12:46 PM
Shield

It’s no secret that instances of identity (ID) theft are on the rise. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the steps they can take to help prevent it from happening to them. To help protect your identity and personal information, we encourage our members to follow the steps below.

  • Frequently review your account activity and immediately report unauthorized transactions. Don’t forget, you can monitor your accounts 24/7 with Digital Banking by logging in online or using our free mobile banking app.
  • Review your credit reports for accuracy. You are entitled to one free credit report each year. Click here to get started.
  • Don’t respond to emails, text, or telephone calls asking for personal or financial information. Note that attackers like to use news about a breach to form an attack via phishing and other types of scams. If you are approached, be cautious and seek out information through a trusted source.
  • Set up alerts on your account so you can be notified when suspicious transactions are detected. At CCU, you can enroll your CCU credit and debit cards in our text messaging fraud alert service. Learn more here.
  • Always use multi-factored authentication when available. Multi-factor authentication is a login approval process that helps protect your information. It is a layered approach that requires more than one method of authentication outside of your username and password to access your account.
  • Update Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords, including email passwords, and follow best practices (i.e. using long and complex phrases, and never re-using a password).
  • Consider enrolling in an identity theft protection service to help monitor your accounts and personal information.

Have you experienced identity theft? Here’s what to do.

  • Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies to notify them of the suspected ID theft or fraud.
  • Consider placing an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Doing this will require potential creditors to contact you to obtain permission to open new accounts or lines of credit. Keep in mind that an initial fraud alert only lasts for 90 days.
  • Consider putting a freeze on your credit file. This will block an institution from being able to access a report, lowering the risk of ID theft and the opening of fraudulent accounts in your name. Note that you must freeze and thaw at each credit agency separately. If you are applying for a new loan or line of credit, you must thaw the freeze by using a PIN/password ahead of time or the process may be delayed.

  Learn more about fraud alerts and credit file freezes, and which option may be the best for you.

We know that this can be an overwhelming and frustrating topic, but if ignored, there can be greater implications that could impact you and your credit. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


What is Identity Theft?

ID theft is a crime where someone steals your personal information (name, address, birthday, or social security number) to commit fraud. Once the thief has this information they can use it to apply for credit cards, apply for a loan, file taxes, get medical services, and more, all in your name. As the victim of this theft, your credit could be damaged and you could lose time and money in an attempt to restore your name. To make matters worse, you may not even know you are a victim of ID theft until these acts have already occurred.

 

Helpful Holiday Shopping Tips

Posted in Tips
Updated November 19, 2018 1:50 PM
Shopping Tips

  1. Look for ways to save money when you are holiday shopping. Many retailers have coupons available for additional savings. Think about using your CCU Visa Signature® Rewards+ credit card1 and earn points on the purchases you are planning on making anyway. Pay off your balance at the end of the month to avoid paying interest! Don’t have a CCU credit card? Learn about our credit card options here.
  2. Do not go into stores unprepared and fall into the trap of impulse buying. Write down a plan of action in each store you visit so you don’t end up buying extra items.
  3. Try to make your holiday purchases throughout the year so you don’t have to put a strain on your budget during the holidays. You may want to consider a CCU Holiday Club Account and save throughout the year.
  4. Take a quick look at the interest rate you are paying on your auto loan financed at another financial institution. By refinancing your auto loan with us, you may be able to obtain a better interest rate which will save you money and you will not have to make a loan payment for 3 months2 giving you money in your pocket in time for the holidays!
  5. Shop local if you can, but if you cannot find what you are looking for and need to go online, there are some things you should think about.
    - Make sure you know the total price – including shipping and handling – before you make your purchase.
    - Check online coupon sites for additional savings with online retailers.
    - If you are making purchases for out-of-town people, consider shipping directly to them.
    - Don’t wait until the last minute to shop online.
  6. Set a budget! Take the money you have remaining after paying monthly bills and assign a dollar amount to each person you plan to buy for. This will help you avoid overspending. Interested in a debt-free way to add some extra cash to your holiday budget? Consider taking advantage of CCU’s Skip-a-Payment on select loans3. Just a $25 processing fee is all it takes to skip your auto or personal loan payment for one month.



1 Membership eligibility required. All accounts verified through ChexSystems. Approval for financing is subject to lending guidelines and credit qualifications. The rate you receive is determined by your credit history. Rewards available on Visa Signature Rewards+ and Visa® Platinum Rewards cards only. Rewards not applicable to Visa Traditional card. Points are not earned for cash advances, traveler’s check purchases and balance transfers, unauthorized charges, finance charges, or fees (such as a late fee or ATM fee). This list is subject to change. Points can be redeemed for cash based on our redemption schedule. 2 Approval for financing is subject to lending guidelines and credit qualifications. Must be a refinance from another institution. The rate you receive is based on your credit history, model year, and term. An example of a monthly payment for a fixed-rate auto loan of $10,000 at 2.24% Annual Percentage Rate for 36 months would be approximately $288. You may select your payment date on any day of the month. However, interest begins to accrue at the date the loan is opened. Offer excludes Visa, personal, student, and home equity loans. Some restrictions apply. Cannot be combined with any other offer. 3 Membership eligibility required. Other restrictions may apply. Skip-a-Payment requests are based on approval criteria established by CCU. Limit of one skipped payment per eligible loan on a 12-month rolling calendar basis. All CCU loans must be current for requests to be approved and processed. Acceptance of this offer will extend the term and interest of the loan and finance charges will continue to accrue. GAP or Mechanical Repair Coverage will not be extended with Skip-a-Payment. This service is subject to change without notice. Examples of non-eligible loans include: Visa, student loans, home equity, mortgage loans, construction loans, business loans, and auto leases.