Quicknotes - November 2016 Visit us at georgiasown.org

A Message from our President

On behalf of the entire Credit Union, I wanted to again thank each and every one of you for your patience during our system upgrade last month. Without your support and hard work put in by our team, the upgrade would never have been the success it turned out to be.

With the system upgrade behind us, I’m pleased to announce some other exciting news – Georgia’s Own headquarters is moving downtown to the iconic Equitable building. This move will not only allow the Credit Union to add our name to the Atlanta skyline, but also allows us to connect more closely with some of our biggest partners, including: Georgia State University, Georgia-Pacific, Philips Arena, the Georgia Aquarium, and others. Read more about our relocation on the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s website by clicking here.

In case you missed the announcement last month, our Roswell Branch will be open for business on November 7th. Conveniently located at 1184 Alpharetta Street, Roswell, GA 30075, our newest location is a high-tech branch, complete with a tech bar, free wi-fi, coin counter, and much more.

As always, thank you for being one of Georgia’s Own.

Dave Preter
Between November 1st and December 31st, swipe, dip, and click with your Georgia’s Own Visa® credit card for a chance to win your balance paid in full!*

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We’ve extended our low rates! Now through November 30th, enjoy rates as low as 1.85% APR** on new and used vehicles. What’s not to love?

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Tip of the Month

Have a question about our fees?

Georgia’s Own prides itself on providing you all the necessary information to help you manage your finances. If you ever have a question about a fee, or want to learn how to avoid a fee in the future, you can see a listing of all of our fees at georgiasown.org/fees.
Atlanta Women's Community Kitchen

Georgia’s Own will be lending a hand to Action Ministries Atlanta this month by volunteering through the Atlanta Women’s Community Kitchen program. This program provides hunger relief and fellowship to homeless women and children in a safe, nurturing environment. To learn more, visit actionministries.net.

8th Annual Georgia’s Own Golf Challenge

Georgia’s Own Foundation raised $100,000 for L.E.A.D., an organization that is transforming the lives of young men through baseball, at our annual golf tournament last month. For more information on L.E.A.D. and how you can get involved, visit lead2legacy.org.

This month our member spotlight is on Reneé Anthony. Reneé is a resident of Mableton, GA, and has been a member of Georgia’s Own for nearly 10 years.

What do you like best about Georgia?
The weather! It’s always so pretty here.

What products and services do you have with Georgia's Own?
I have a checking, savings, and money market, and I’m thinking about getting a car loan.

How has Georgia's Own helped you?
I’m still working toward my financial goals, but the level of customer service and recommendations for financial services to help me reach those goals are wonderful!

Tell us what you love about being one of Georgia’s Own and your story could be featured in an upcoming newsletter! Simply download and fill out this form, then email it to us at marketingdesk@georgiasown.org. If we share your story, we'll give you a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Using Equity Loans to Winterize Your Home

There are all sorts of ways to guard your home from the winter elements. Some are cheap and may even fall in the do-it-yourself category, like adding weather stripping and caulking.

Other endeavors, such as swapping out single-pane windows for energy-efficient double panes, or replacing a furnace, are beyond the skill set of most homeowners — and often beyond the balances in many savings accounts as well.

In that case, taking out a home equity loan or line of credit may be the answer. Here's what you should know before you do.

Take stock

If you know your home needs winterizing, it makes sense to get going on those projects in summer, or sometime before it gets really cold. It's a lot easier to work a caulking gun when your teeth aren't chattering or to have your furnace serviced when demand is down.

What's on your list? Many utility companies offer free energy audits and tips on improvements you can make so that your home doesn't lose heat so quickly, saving you money on your heating bill.

Drafty doors and windows may be something you or a handy friend can handle. For many homeowners, though, installing storm windows or storm doors and adding insulation to an attic — particularly if access is tricky — might start to push the envelope.

Hire a contractor

If you know your heater is reaching the end of its run, or your gas furnace's flame is burning yellow instead of blue, it's probably time to hire a contractor.

You can avoid headaches that come from dealing with unscrupulous or second-rate contractors by researching their backgrounds and reputations before seeking bids. Check government websites that compile licensing and business records, as well as consumer-oriented sites such as Angie's List, your local Better Business Bureau or, if you live in one of the many metro areas it serves, the Consumers' Checkbook.

It's usually a good idea to get at least three bids, and to ask for client references.

Decide how to pay for it

If you don't have enough savings to afford winterizing your home, look into taking out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Typically, both loans and HELOCs:

  • Carry lower interest rates, compared with, say, a credit card.
  • Are secured by the equity in your home; this means you can qualify for a bigger loan but also that you are using your home as collateral.
  • Allow you to deduct interest come tax time, under the IRS' home mortgage interest deduction.

And when evaluating whether to grant either type of loan, and when setting an interest rate, lenders are likely to weigh the value of your home, how much you still owe and your creditworthiness.

But there are significant differences. With a home equity loan, you receive your money in one lump sum, and the terms call for a fixed interest rate and repayment over a specific period of time.

By contrast, a HELOC is a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card. You pull from it as needed, up to a specified amount. HELOCs also come with variable interest rates. You pay only on what you draw, but the rate may rise or fall from what it was when you took out the line of credit. Many HELOCs also come with specified draw periods, followed by a repayment period to pay back the outstanding balance plus interest.

Keeping warm in the winter is certainly a good reason to tackle a home improvement project. And because your home is probably your single most valuable asset, it makes good sense to keep it in top condition — to maintain or boost its value for resale, or to pass it along to your kids. For important big-ticket items, home equity loans are a reasonable route.

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Are you ready to tackle your to-do list? Georgia's Own offers a variety of home equity options perfect for your next project. Learn more and compare products at georgiasown.org, call us at 404.874.1166 (800.533.2062), or stop by any of our branch locations.
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*Each time you make an approved purchase between November 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 with your Georgia's Own Visa credit card, you will be entered for a chance to win your Georgia's Own Visa paid in full up to $5,000. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Visit georgiasown.org for complete contest rules.

**Offer valid 8/16/2016 through 11/30/2016. Your APR may differ based on your credit worthiness and could be higher than the stated rate. Please ask a loan officer for details on how your rate is determined.
Equal Housing Lender/Federally Insured by the NCUA