Skip to Content
StraightTalk Blog Banner

Creating a Positive Impact on Elmira-area Businesses - National Small Business Week 2021

Posted in
Updated May 14, 2021 2:36 PM
Blog Header National Small Biz Week 2021 5 21

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve looked for ways we can help meet some of the biggest needs in the communities we serve. One of the ways we’ve assisted small businesses and put a significant amount of money straight into the local community is through local gift card matching initiatives. We saw great success when we partnered with Corning’s Gaffer District and Corning Enterprises in the spring of 2020 for their Buy Now, Shop Later program, where we exhausted our matching funds in fewer than three days. After this overwhelming positive response from the community, we continued to look for more of these initiatives in other areas. In conjunction with this year’s National Small Business Week from May 3-7, we partnered with Elmira Downtown Development (EDD) for their very own Buy Now, Shop Later program.

We provided a dollar-for-dollar match on gift card purchases to Elmira-area businesses throughout the week. Customers were able to purchase a gift card right on the EDD website or by phone where CCU automatically made a matching donation to that business for up to $50. That means a business received $50 for a $25 gift certificate purchase. The match ran until the $25,000 in matching funds was exhausted (spoiler alert: funds were exhausted in just under three days!) and 62 different businesses had gift cards purchased and matched. Gift cards were mailed out by Friday, May 7, so if you made a purchase, you should expect it in the mail soon if you haven't already received it. 

So, why Buy Now, Shop Later? According to Jennifer Herrick-McGonigal, EDD Executive Director, “Participating in this program means supporting the heart of what makes our community unique and supporting our local businesses at a time when they need it most.” For us, we recognize small businesses have seen some the biggest challenges they never could have imagined during this past year. We’re proud to support them and directly inject cash into the small business community. We believe we can make a difference together, especially right now.

Initiatives like these help create a positive impact on our communities and we look forward to other ways we can help in the future. 

 

Mail Delays and What To Expect

Posted in
Updated March 04, 2021 2:02 PM
Mail Delays 300x200 3 3

Communications that you may be expecting from CCU through the mail (like statements and notices) may take longer than usual to arrive due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on postal services. Delays may also impact anything you are mailing to CCU, such as loan payments or other documents. 

Don’t worry – we’re still here to help ensure you have access to your accounts and your information! With 24/7 account access through online and mobile banking, the following are options available to you: 

•  Go paperless 
•  Pay bills 
•  Set up automatic transfers 
•  Turn on account notifications 
 
For information on other services available to you, visit www.digital.corningcu.org.


 

Why Your Feedback Matters

Posted in
Updated March 03, 2021 9:00 PM
VOM Image 300x200 3 21

We're always looking for ways to improve to ensure you receive exceptional service. Maintaining your loyalty and trust is very important to us. Through our "Voice of the Member" survey program, we're able to receive valuable feedback from our members and implement changes as a result. 

In 2020, we received 12,592 survey responses from our members. More importantly, we reviewed every single response received. As a result of your feedback, several service and process improvements – including team trainings to enhance member experiences and digital banking enhancements – were implemented. 

Your feedback helps us grow. If you receive a survey, please consider completing it. If you have not had the opportunity to share your feedback or would like to tell us more, we encourage you to let us know about your experience. 




 

Four Ways to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Posted in
Updated December 23, 2020 3:05 PM
Blog Header  General Fraud Info 12 20

By taking steps to protect yourself from fraud, you can help keep your personal information safe. Minimize the risk of someone accessing your personal information by following the four steps below.

Set up Fraud Alerts and Purchase Alerts

When you have alerts set up, you’ll be the first to know when there's activity on your card(s). Alerts are easy to set up and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re being proactive with monitoring your account.

If you’re a CCU member, you can set up Automated Fraud Alerts to receive a notification whenever there’s suspicious activity on your cards. You can also set up Visa Purchase Alerts to stay up-to-date on all of your purchases. We also encourage you to check out our Fraud Prevention Services.

Shred Documents with Sensitive Information

Shredding documents makes it less likely for dumpster divers to steal any information on sensitive documents containing your name, address, credit card info, and more. Learn more about how long to hold onto certain documents and when it’s time to shred them here.

Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information

A reputable business will never ask you for your personal information. It’s important to be cautious about who you give your information to – no matter how convincing it may sound – because it could be a scam. Always ask why someone needs the information and what happens if you do not provide it. If you are speaking with someone over the phone and have a feeling it may be suspicious, hang up right away and call the business directly to speak with someone who works there.

It’s important to make sure you’re also cautious about the information you are sharing online. If you receive an email or a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is. These types of scams are usually referred to as phishing scams, and the scammers always try their best to be as convincing as possible. That’s why it's important to pause, check to see if the communication or offer is legitimate, and keep your information out of the wrong hands.

Also, be sure to think twice before sharing on social media. By oversharing information about yourself on the Internet, a fraudster could figure out your password or answers to your security questions just by knowing your pet’s name, where you were born, or what kind of car you drive. To learn more about phishing scams and how to keep your personal information even more safe, click here.

We will continue to share information on the most recent scams so you can stay up-to-date and protected. We also encourage you to check out this page for additional information and resources.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords make it less likely for fraudsters to hack your accounts and steal your information. Make sure you are creating a unique and strong password for every account using a variety of characters and symbols. We recommend using a passphrase and password generator and storing these passwords in a safe place where you are the only person able to access them. As an extra layer of protection, we also recommend setting up login alerts when given the option, so you always know if there is suspicious activity on the account. To learn more about building strong passwords, click here

Think You’ve Been a Victim of Fraud?

At a minimum, you should do the following:

  • Place fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus
    • Experian: 888-397-3742
    • Equifax: 800-525-6285
    • TransUnion: 800-680-7289
  • File a complaint with the ID Theft Hotline: 877-ID THEFT
  • Check credit report information and review accounts
  • Alert your financial institution of the situation
  • Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
  • File a police report (and keep a copy of the report for your records)


 

What You Need to Know About Escrow on Your Mortgage

Posted in
Updated October 06, 2020 6:18 PM
Blog Header  Escrow 10 20

Many homeowners have a variety of questions when their mortgage includes an escrow account. Whether you’re an experienced homeowner or a first-time homebuyer, we’re here for you. That’s why we’re breaking escrow down for you to help you understand the annual escrow analysis statement you’ll receive in the mail. 

What is Escrow?

Your escrow payment is part of your total monthly mortgage payment. Escrow funds are used to pay real estate taxes, property insurance, mortgage insurance, and other related items. Each year, an escrow analysis is conducted to estimate future payments to and disbursements from your escrow account.

It’s important to note if taxes or insurance change, it would impact your monthly mortgage payment. To learn more about your assessed value which is used to calculate taxes, reach out to your specific town, city, or village tax assessor.

Based on the location of your property, the following taxes could apply:

  • Town
  • County
  • City
  • Village
  • Borough/Township
  • School
  • Fire District

What is an Escrow Account Disclosure Statement?

An Escrow Account Disclosure Statement projects the tax payment activity for the upcoming twelve months and calculates your new payment and indicates the surplus or shortage, if applicable. The annual history shows all transactions for your account since your last escrow analysis.

What if I Have a Surplus in My Escrow Account?

If you have a surplus greater than $50.00 in your account, you will receive a check in the amount of that surplus. If the surplus amount is less than $50, it will be retained within the escrow account and will lower your monthly payment by 1/12 of the surplus amount.

What if I Have a Shortage in My Escrow Account?

Your monthly payment will be increased by 1/12 of the shortage as indicated on the last page of your statement. You can reduce the amount of this increase by depositing additional funds into your escrow account prior to your payment due date. Also, remember all such deposits must be made by the date stated in your analysis statement. If you choose to make an additional deposit, you will receive a new escrow analysis statement with your adjusted monthly payment.

What if There is a Change to My Monthly Payment?

If there is a change to your monthly payment, you may need to make adjustments through: 

  • Your employer’s payroll department
  • Your financial institution’s online bill pay service
  • Your financial institution’s recurring payments

For changes to the amount of your automatic transfer within your Corning Credit Union account, including a reduction, please contact us to speak to a Member Service Representative.

Property Tax Relief Programs

Some states offer property tax relief programs for eligible homeowners. Be sure to check with your local government for any applicable property tax relief programs you may qualify for.

What if I Have Additional Questions?

If you have questions regarding your escrow analysis, please contact our mortgage department weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. (ET) at 607-962-3144 or 800-677-8506. Press option 1, followed by option 3, then option 4.

 

3 Steps to Take After Opening a Windfall Checking Account

Posted in
Updated September 22, 2020 2:46 PM
WF Checking Steps 8 20

If you’re reading this, chances are you just opened a Windfall Checking® account at CCU. Congratulations! Now that you have a high-yield checking account with benefits, including no monthly fees and refunded ATM fees with no minimum balance requirement, you might be wondering what happens next.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your account, we’ve outlined a few steps for you to take. These steps are requirements to ensure you receive your Windfall Checking benefits each month. If these requirements are not met, no dividend will be paid and ATM fees will not be refunded – but don’t worry! If you can’t meet the requirements in one month, you’ll start receiving your benefits the next month that you do. The steps listed below are simple and quick, and we’re confident they will make your banking experience even better. 

Step 1: Sign up for eStatements 
With eStatements, you can reduce the paper clutter in your home (and we know it can pile up at times!) while helping the environment. Once you’re signed up, you can receive and view your monthly account and Visa® credit card statements online or in the mobile app whenever you need.

To sign up for eStatements on the CCU mobile app: 

  • Log in to your digital banking account
  • Tap "More," then select "eDocuments"
  • Select “Settings” in the corner of the screen
  • Tap "Subscribe" and follow the instructions then tap “Subscribe” again to complete the process

To sign up for eStatements online:

  • Log in to your online banking account
  • Go to the eDocuments widget
  • Click Subscribe in the Overview section then follow the instructions then click “Subscribe” to continue

Learn more about eStatements benefits.

Step 2: Set up Direct Deposit

Would you rather worry less about picking up your check before you leave work for the day? Even better, do you want to skip the lines in a branch or the extra steps in mobile banking to deposit your check? The good news is you can. By setting up direct deposit, you can have your check automatically deposited into your account by the opening of business each weekday. Plus, it’s FREE!

To enroll for direct deposit:

  • Ask your employer if they participate in a direct deposit program
  • Provide your employer with CCU’s Routing and Transit Number (222380359) and the additional information below depending on whether you’d like your deposit to go into your savings or checking account
    • For savings and checking: Head to the “Information Widget” in Digital Banking (either within the CCU app or on desktop) to look up your direct deposit numbers
    • For savings and checking: Contact us to have a CCU representative print, fax, or email your direct deposit information to you
    • For checking: Give your employer a voided check or the full 14-digit account number from the bottom of your check, starting with "9570"

Learn more about payments that can be directly deposited into your account and payroll distributions.

Step 3: Make At Least 12 Card Purchases Each Month

Plan and make sure you have at least 12 CCU Visa credit or check card purchases posted to your account each month. We recommend making your Windfall Checking account your go-to account to help meet this requirement. A helpful way to do this is by linking your card to your monthly utility payments, Amazon account, and any other subscriptions you may have, such as Netflix or Hulu.

Thanks for Choosing Windfall Checking at CCU!

We’re so happy you chose Windfall Checking for your financial needs and hope you enjoy your better banking experience. If you have any questions, please contact us.  

Learn more about Windfall Checking!

Federally Insured by NCUA. All accounts are verified through ChexSystems. Membership eligibility required. Dividends paid on balances up to $20,000. ATM fees refunded up to $30 a month. To qualify for a dividend and ATM fee refund, member must: have at least 12 CCU Visa® credit or check card purchases posted to your account each month, have a direct deposit into your account, and receive eStatements. If requirements are not met, no dividend will be paid and ATM fees will not be refunded.


 

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance Your Home?

Posted in
Updated September 10, 2020 2:49 PM
Refinance A Home

If you’re looking for ways to save money during the pandemic, the answer could be right above your head (quite literally). You might be seeing your friends talk about refinancing their mortgages on social media or read news articles that are circulating about low mortgage rates, leaving you wondering if refinancing is an option for you. No matter what others are doing with their loans or what the news is suggesting, it’s important to do what’s best for you and your financial situation at the end of the day.

Refinancing Could Save You Money
It’s no secret rates are historically low – much lower than they were even a year ago. Many people are refinancing their homes and other loans, even if they just took out a loan last year. By doing so, some have been able to save on their monthly payments, even after rolling in closing costs. Some have even been able to refinance with a shorter term (length of payback time), and their payment either stayed the same or, in some cases, is lower than their current payment.

But what does that mean for you? Depending on the rate that you currently have, you might be able to refinance with a shorter term and your payment will either stay the same or may be lower than your current payment. In some instances, your payment may go up, but you could save money in the long run. Regardless, we can review what will work best for you and see what is most beneficial for your financial situation.

Determining if Now is the Right Time to Refinance

Before jumping on the refinancing train, it’s important to review a few key factors that could indicate the time might be right to refinance. When it comes to rates, we suggest considering a refinance if the interest rate you receive is at least 1% lower than your current rate. The lower the new rate, the faster you could break even on the closing costs you’ll pay on your refinanced loan. These are figures we can review with you to determine how a new rate will affect your situation. 

Sometimes, a refinance isn’t the only way to save money over the length of your loan. For example, if we see that a refinance would increase your payment but shorten the term of your loan, we can take the amount of that increase and add this additional amount to your principal payment you currently have. From there, we can calculate if you could save more money by just increasing your monthly payment each month and avoiding closing costs on a refinance. If you find yourself in a challenging financial situation in the future, you would also have the additional flexibility to stop the additional payment and save the hassle of redoing your loan again. 

Figure 1 shows an example of someone’s possible current situation. In Scenario 1, the member has a 20-year term and their monthly payment amount is $554.60. Instead of refinancing, they add an additional $150.00 to their monthly payment (for a $704.60 total payment each month). They’ll pay off the loan in 20 years and pay slightly more in interest over that term, but less in overall payments. In Scenario 2, the member is refinancing at a lower rate and for a 15-year term. Their monthly payment is nearly identical, but they’ll pay off the loan in 15 years, resulting in lower interest payments but slightly higher total payments.

Figure 1


Where to Begin
If you would like to learn more, we can help you work through these calculations and make the best decision based on your unique goals; it’s free and does not affect your credit. We can talk through your options by phone at a time that’s convenient for you.

If you are already certain a refinance is for you, you can also apply online. We will honor the rate at the time you apply, even if rates increase before we contact you. 

What to Expect When Refinancing Your Home With CCU

First and foremost, we believe in providing you the highest level of service. Even though rates are at historic lows and volumes of refinance requests are high, you can expect us to typically reach out to you after submitting your online application within 5-7 business days.

When it comes to the refinancing process, it will generally take between 45-60 days from start to finish. This includes the wait time from when you submitted your application to finalizing all paperwork. It can be delayed by title work or the appraisal depending on the volumes other vendors are experiencing during this time.

Ready to Get Started?

If refinancing your home is of interest to you and you would like to see if it will save you money, call us or apply online today. For additional questions, please contact us, and we will be happy to assist you. 

What Our Members Have to Say About Their Recent Mortgage Refinance

“Even during a pandemic and working from home, our loan officer was nothing short of amazing! She guided me from start to finish, seamlessly via phone and email and answered every question I had! I am so glad we went through CCU for our mortgage refinancing!”

– CCU Member

“Great process, great people, great rate. Reduced our term by three years with the same payment, with no out-of-pocket expense and the satisfaction of knowing our mortgage is now held and serviced locally. What could be better? We're very pleased, and thank all involved for making this the most painless process ever.”

– CCU Member

Equal housing lender. Membership eligibility required. Approval for financing is subject to lending guidelines and credit qualifications. The rate and term you receive will be determined by your credit history. Must be a refinance from another institution.



 

What to Expect While Visiting a CCU Lobby During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted in
Updated August 11, 2020 4:30 PM
What to Expect 8 20

In March, we closed our lobbies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all three of our markets. In May, we began to welcome members back into some of our lobbies after we implemented careful precautions to keep our members and team safe. If you have yet to visit one of our open lobbies or are curious about how we’re moving forward together during the pandemic, you can learn more about what to expect while visiting a CCU lobby during the COVID-19 pandemic below.

Safety Precautions Inside the Lobby

As we carefully monitor the evolving situation, we are gradually and strategically opening up our lobbies with limited services. We encourage you to visit us inside an open lobby if you have a more complex transaction. Before visiting us inside the lobby, please note the following precautions are in place to help protect our members and teammates during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Face masks are required when inside any branch in NY, PA, and NC
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed at all member representative stations
  • Approximately half of our member representative windows will be open
  • Social distancing is required
  • Only limited services will be provided (teller transactions only; coin machines are now available at some branches – please call us to find an available one near you)
  • The number of members inside the branch at any one time is limited, which may lead to longer wait times.

To find an available lobby near you, please click here

Other Convenient Ways to Complete Your Transaction

While using the lobby is a great option for assistance with your transactions, we also offer other convenient ways to complete your transactions. If you have a simpler transaction, such as a deposit or withdrawal, we recommend using the drive-thru or a local surcharge-free ATM. Additionally, with digital banking, you can perform almost all of your banking transactions from the comfort of your own home using your smartphone or computer. From paying bills to depositing checks, you can safely and securely bank from home whenever you need. Learn more about managing your money from anywhere here.

We Look Forward to Serving You

Whether you choose to visit us in the lobby, in the drive-thru, or remotely for your next transaction, we look forward to serving you – now and in the future. If have any questions or are unsure about the best way to conduct a transaction, please contact us for assistance. 

 

Lobby vs. Drive-thru: Which One is Best for Your Next In-person Transaction?

Posted in
Updated July 09, 2020 4:09 PM
2020 Lobby vs Drive thru

As communities continue to reopen, you may be wondering if visiting the lobby or using the drive-thru is the best option for your banking needs. Rest assured, our goal is to make your next visit as seamless as possible while also maintaining a safe environment. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the NY, PA, and NC markets we serve, we’ve outlined how we can best serve you in person during this time. 

When to Visit a CCU Lobby

We are gradually and strategically opening up our lobbies with limited services. If you have a more complex transaction, we welcome you to visit an open lobby for assistance. During your lobby visit, please note we have instituted the following precautions to help protect our members and teammates during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Face masks are required when inside any branch in NY, PA, and NC
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed at all member representative stations
  • Approximately half of our member representative windows are open
  • Social distancing is required
  • Only limited services will be provided (teller transactions only)
  • The number of members inside the branch at any one time is limited, which may lead to longer wait times

To find an available lobby near you, please click here.

When to Use a CCU Drive-thru

Using the drive-thru is a great for simpler transactions, such as deposits and withdrawals. When visiting the drive-thru, please note we are still seeing an increase in drive-thru traffic and longer than normal wait times on certain days. To learn more about wait times and using the drive-thru, read our Drive-thru Tips to Make Your Trip Easier blog post.

Additional Options

If you would rather skip the lobby and drive-thru for a withdrawal or deposit transaction, using an ATM might be a good choice for you. You can access a number of convenient, local ATMs, as well as thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country. Find an ATM near you.

Simultaneously, we understand the importance of staying home and minimizing the number of places we visit during a pandemic. Luckily, with digital banking, you can perform almost all of your banking transactions from the comfort of your own home using your smartphone or computer. From paying bills to depositing checks, you can safely and securely bank from home whenever you need. Learn more about managing your money from anywhere here. 

Questions?

If have any questions or are unsure about a transaction, please contact us for assistance. We’re here for you – now and in the future. 

 

Drive-thru Tips to Make Your Trip Easier

Posted in
Updated April 13, 2020 8:46 PM
DT Tips BLOG 300x200 4 20

As we adjust to the way we live and work during these unprecedented times, we understand this also includes adjusting to the way we bank, too. It’s no secret drive-thrus are seeing an increase in the number of members visiting to complete a variety of transactions. This means wait times to perform your transaction may be longer than usual. The good news is that our team is working diligently to ensure your visit to the drive-thru is as seamless as possible. That’s why we put together a few tips to help improve your next drive-thru experience. 

Filling Out a Drive-thru Slip

If you are withdrawing or transferring from your account, you will need to fill out a drive-thru slip. These slips are located in the receptacle in the drive-thru line as you pull into the drive-thru. Use the tube system to give your completed slip to the representative to complete your transaction. View a sample drive-thru slip here.

Remember Your ID and Account Information

Don’t forget to bring a form of ID and to have your CCU account number or your debit card(s) ready. You will need to provide these to verify your identity and perform your transaction safely and securely.  

Some Days May Be Busier; Expect Longer Wait Times

While we have seen a general increase in drive-thru traffic due to the impact of COVID-19, we have found that some days are also busier than others. If you’re planning a trip to the drive-thru, please note that we typically see an increase in drive-thru traffic on the 1st and 3rd of each month, particularly if they fall on a Thursday or Friday, resulting in longer wait times. If you’d like to visit us on these days, please plan ahead to give yourself plenty of time to make it to your other destinations. 

Depositing Coins or Large Deposits

If you would like to deposit rolled/loose coins, or large/heavy deposits, you can do so by placing them in the night depository. If placed in the drive-thru canisters, it could cause them to get stuck or break. To find out where the nearest night depository is located, click here or contact us

Other Tips

When visiting the drive-thru, please note:

  • Transactions must be performed from the safety of your vehicle
  • There are lane markers to help with traffic and decrease the chances of blocking any vehicles exiting the parking lot
  • We encourage you to endorse your checks before getting in line at the drive-thru – this will help complete your transaction quicker and minimize your contact with others
  • If you have a loud vehicle, we encourage you to turn off your engine while you wait in line to allow our member service representatives to hear the members they’re helping – this will help decrease wait time, too
  • Stay alert and pull up when able
  • Please be aware that we are unable to do the following at the drive-thru:
    • Notary services
    • Process bonds
    • Open, close, or add an account 

If you need assistance with any of these transactions, please contact us.

Would You Rather Skip the Drive-thru? There’s a Chance You Can!

To make a withdrawal or deposit, you can also visit an ATM. Find out where the closest ATM to you is here. 

If you do not remember your PIN for your CCU debit or ATM card or if your card is locked, you can reset your PIN by giving us a call. Need a debit card to use at an ATM? Call us and we’ll get one ordered for you right away.

Additionally, you can manage your money easily from the comfort of your home, such as depositing checks into your accounts, through digital banking. 

We're here for you now -- and in the future.

Corning Credit Union is one of the strongest and safest financial institutions in the country. Thanks to decades of sustained growth and profitability, we’re well-prepared for the uncertainties that may lie ahead. Your deposits are also federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration. Learn more about how your accounts are federally insured to at least $250,000. If you need help, please contact us. We’re always here for you.