New Website Unveiled!

news & information from YOUR credit union
September/October 2009
New Website Unveiled!
We can still be found online at the same address: Check out our new “About
UMassFive” section, highlighting our history and the
Credit Union Difference. Visit our robust Resource
Center with tools to keep you financially savvy,
ranging from helpful articles to lending and saving
calculators. Sign into EZbank Online Banking right
from our home page. Register for a Workshop or
Seminar online!
UMassFive is thrilled to announce the launch of our
new website! With local web designers at Tortus
Tek, we have improved the navigation, reorganized
content, added great new features, and given the
site a cleaner overall look and feel. The new website
still offers all the convenient services you have come
to expect from UMassFive and much more!
There are new links to Generation NEXT, a website
with resources specifically created for Generation Y,
and Debt in Focus, a website to help you get a handle
on your finances. As always, you can learn about all
of UMassFive’s products and services. And you can
take care of lots of banking business at any time of
day or night with our comprehensive eServices and
online Applications and Forms.
Visit the new website and let us know what you
think! If you have questions, please contact us at
[email protected] or 800.852.5886.
What is a Credit Union
Service Organization?
A Credit Union Service Organization (or CUSO) is a
business jointly owned by several credit unions. Since
they were first conceived nearly 40 years ago, CUSOs
have traditionally offered credit unions the ability
to remain competitive by improving efficiencies and
by offering a wider array of products and services
through collaboration. This collaboration between
credit unions is a natural extension of the Cooperative
Movement from which credit unions were founded.
Most credit unions are smaller than banks. They don’t
have the large infrastructure to independently support
some products or services that members need. By
working together through a CUSO, credit unions can
acquire that kind of scale and market power along
with other resources like capital and staff that far
exceed their individual sizes. Our Board of Directors
saw the unique CUSO business model as a great way
to improve the overall offerings here at UMassFive.
If you have met with our Financial Advisor, gotten a
Mortgage since January, applied for our new Student
Loan, or used our nationwide Shared Branching
network, you have already used the services of a
Our Financial Investment Services group was the first
CUSO we partnered with to offer financial planning
and brokerage services to our members. In January,
UMassFive became a part owner of a CUSO when we
invested in Member Advantage Mortgage, allowing
us to improve our mortgage loans. This spring, we
partnered with another CUSO to offer CU Student
Choice private student loans.
We have been part of the CU Service Centers Shared
Branching network since 2006, which allows our
members to take advantage of services from credit
unions nationwide, and allows members from other
credit unions to take care of their banking business at
UMassFive. This CUSO offers thousands of branches
throughout the country!
We will continue to explore other opportunities with
CUSOs in our continuing effort to offer the best to
you, our members.
Be part of something.
Member Name:
Demma Rodriguez
What is your occupation?
Manager of Special Projects
at Tortus Technologies, Inc.
Where do you live?
Windsor, CT.
Do you have kids? Yes —
my 18 month old son, Isaiah,
otherwise known as, Izzy
Monster the Elmo Lover.
What do you like best about UMassFive? UMassFive
offers every service and product I can find at a bank,
but the staff is much more customer-oriented; I find
them friendly, professional, and efficient. I actually
enjoy coming into a branch, although I rarely have to
because my loan payments are automated. I can get
all the information I need online or over the phone.
Have you had an especially good experience with
UMassFive? When I needed to move, I was not certain
how to obtain a personal loan or even if I could. I went
to UMassFive and within one hour I was a member and
was able to leave the same day with a check for the
amount I needed — without an ounce of stress.
My loan officer, Rosaleen Quinn, was compassionate,
informative, and funny. She helped me figure out how
much I would need, told me all my choices, and
processed my application right in front of me. She
serves as an informal financial planning coach and
advocate, helping members make responsible lending
decisions. I am very happy with my choice to join
UMassFive and plan to stay for life.
What do you do in your free time? I like to read, write,
and spend time with my nuclear and extended family,
going on outings to the beach or the park, or having
family parties.
What is your favorite food? Carne Guisada
Puertoriquena (or Puerto Rican Beef Stew): http://
What profession other than your own would you like
to attempt? Music production — as in creating musical
arrangements for other artists to perform over or for
songwriters to create lyrics to.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could
only have three items with you, what would they be?
A yacht to get back home to my son, sun block, and a
boat captain…for the yacht.
Spread The Word!
Community Support
UMassFive always puts YOU first because we’re YOUR
Credit Union. Especially during difficult economic
times, the benefits of being part of a not-for-profit
financial cooperative cannot be overestimated. Unlike
other financial institutions, YOU own UMassFive and
everything we do is for YOUR benefit, no one else’s.
Generations of members have put their trust in us to find
solutions to meet their unique financial needs because
we care about improving YOUR financial life.
This fall, UMassFive will be involved in a number of
events to support the community. Please consider
getting involved to help out those less fortunate.
So, we’re asking YOU, our loyal members, to spread the
word about membership at UMassFive! You know what
we’ve done for you—now you can help us help others.
If you refer a family member, colleague, or other eligible
friend to UMassFive before the end of 2009, we’ll
TRASH-TO-TREASURES – September 11 & 12
Trash-to-Treasures is an annual fund-raiser for the
Amherst Survival Center timed to coincide with
the opening of school to provide students and
lower income families the opportunity to furnish
inexpensively. Donated gently-used furniture is sold
on the Amherst Common to generate funds for the
Survival Center, which provides food, health care,
clothing, and community through volunteer efforts.
lower loan rates, higher CD rates, or to waive fees!
Donations may be brought to the Center by
appointment or a pick up can be arranged in the
Amherst area for a small fee. All donations are tax
deductible. Visit to learn more.
Pet Insurance
WALK TO CURE CANCER – September 13
The Walk to Cure Cancer is the largest, singleday fund-raising event in Central Massachusetts
give you 1,000 valuable Co-op Points as a
“thank YOU”! Co-op Points can be redeemed for
Those of you who share your home with animals
know that the cost of a trip to the vet for a regular
check-up can be pretty expensive, not to mention the
illness or accident-related visit. But Fluffy and Fido are
part of your family and they deserve quality medical
care. Consider VPI Pet Insurance, a new offering
from UMassFive. Since 1982, VPI has been the #1
veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance
provider. You can purchase affordable, comprehensive
VPI coverage for your pet through our website at Simply visit “Other Services” and click
on “Pet Insurance.” By getting this coverage through
UMassFive, you’ll receive a 5% discount! It’s easy to
sign-up online. Protect your pet and your wallet.
Even Better Auto Loan Terms
UMassFive now offers extended terms on the same
great Auto Loans on new and used cars. You have the
option of choosing up to a 66 month term. This may
make your monthly payments easier to manage.
Bike Clinic A Success
UMassFive’s Green Committee
held a free Bike Clinic on
June 19 at our Northampton
Branch. With the help of local
cooperative, Pedal People, we
welcomed all bike owners to
come and learn about bike
maintenance and repairs. We
addressed questions about fixing flats, understanding
gears, bike fit, brake adjustments, suspicious squeaks
and creaks, and riding safely in traffic. A number of
people, including UMassFive staff, were able to fix
their own bikes on site!
What do you do to be “green?” We’re always looking
for environmentally-friendly ideas from our members,
to share with us and each other! Email your “green
share” idea to us at [email protected]
Everyone who sends in an idea will be put into a raffle
drawing for an eco-friendly gift basket. Additionally,
ideas will be posted on our website for others to
benefit from!
benefitting the UMass Memorial Cancer Center
at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
in Worcester. Funds raised support cutting-edge
research and wide-ranging preventive and behavioral
studies that help to improve advanced cancer care
of oncology patients. The center integrates some
of the most vital cancer research and treatment
activities available today. To date, the five mile walka-thon has raised over $6 million, enabling cutting
edge cancer research, bringing us one step closer to
finding a cure. Visit to learn
UMassFive, in collaboration with the Massachusetts
Credit Union League, will participate in the 8th
Annual Hebert Candy Sale beginning in October
to benefit the Massachusetts Coalition for the
Homeless. We are proud to have the opportunity
to support the Coalition and its efforts to eradicate
homelessness. Please visit any UMassFive branch to
purchase your Hebert candy bar.
Blocking Can Tie Up Your Accounts
It’s everyone’s nightmare: You’re at a restaurant with
a business client or a date and your debit card is
declined. No one wants it to happen to them, but it
can—even if you have enough money in your account
to cover the bill.
It’s called “blocking” and it’s perfectly legal. It works
similarly to the way credit card blocking works. For
example, if you check into a hotel or rent a car, the
clerk usually contacts the company that issued your
card to give an estimated total. A hold then is placed
on your card for an amount that is sometimes greater
than the actual purchase amount. This hold can block
your use of the money for up to three days on a debit
card and possibly 10 to 15 days on a credit card.
For debit card users, blocking happens most often
at gas pumps, but can occur whenever you use your
card before knowing how much you’ll be spending.
According to the Federal Trade Commission,
merchants use blocking to make sure you don’t exceed
your account balance before leaving a gas station or
checking out of a hotel, leaving the merchant unpaid.
Some tips to avoid blocking are:
• Use credit cards, not debit cards, for hotel bills,
gas, and car rentals.
• When traveling, use major brand gas stations
instead of older, rural, or off-brand stations. Newer,
better-known stations process debit and credit cards
more quickly due to newer technology.
• When you choose a credit/debit card, ask issuers
how long they block accounts for transactions
involving hotels, rental cars, and gasoline stations.
Typically, credit unions lift a hold automatically after
a few days even if the transaction has not cleared.
© Copyright Credit Union National Association, Inc.
Employee Profile: Angel McMickle
Angel McMickle works on the Teller
line at the Hadley Branch. Angel has
been employed at UMassFive since
2006. She started as a part-time Teller
and was recently promoted to the fulltime position of Senior Teller. In this
new position, Angel will be performing
teller functions, training new tellers,
and opening new accounts in our
member service area.
What do you like best about working at UMassFive?
I like how everyone is so friendly—it’s like a big
Describe your most memorable experience in
helping a member. A member had a large number
of overdraft fees, so I suggested to her that I check
to see if she had enough Co-op Points to waive
them. We ended up giving her back a considerable
amount of money. She was so thankful
that I saved her so much money and said
she would never forget it. It was a great
What is one thing that you have at your
desk that you couldn’t live without? The
picture of my kids. Not really the picture
—but them!
Where is your favorite place to vacation? Anywhere
with my family.
What is your favorite meal? Sushi!
What is your favorite movie or book? The Notebook
is my favorite book and movie.
Please see Angel in the Hadley Branch for any of
your teller and/or account servicing needs.
Real Financial Advice
These days you don’t need to look for financial advice
—it finds you. It shouts from magazine covers: “The
top five investments you need to own today!” and
from websites: “How to be debt-free in three years!”
More people seem to want to give you financial advice
than ever before. But is it really advice or a cleverlydesigned sales pitch preying on your desire to know
the inside scoop?
It’s hard to sift through the piles of information out
there to find the real financial advice. Celebrity financial
advisors entertain us with their jokes and dazzle us
with their quick wit. A CEO touts his company’s stock
on a financial channel. These may not be good sources
of information, as reliable advice should be unbiased.
Knowing the source of information is important, yet
some people look to chat rooms and on-line bulletin
boards for investment advice. While the internet offers
a wealth of information, it is extremely important to
know that many sites are unaccountable for content
and/or have no real financial wherewithal to start
Advice overload can make one shut down. And if
you can recognize good advice, do you even need it?
There are several things to look for when it comes to
financial advice. First, is the advice targeted to you or
is it for everybody? Some advice can be informative
in a general context, but it may not be right for your
specific situation. Useful and effective financial advice
takes into account all the things that are unique to you,
your values, and your life. One size doesn’t fit all.
Although we are constantly bombarded with financial
advice, good financial advice may not be free. It has
been said that you get what you pay for. Professional
services fields like accounting and the legal profession
make no bones about it. They charge what they charge.
Some financial advice is seen as so readily available as
to be foolish to pay for. But was your unique situation
analyzed? Is the subsequent advice unbiased and
relevant to you and your goals?
You would never fly a plane with instructions you
found on the internet or self-diagnose and treat a
serious medical condition with some tips from a chat
room. Why would you risk your financial future on
questionable financial advice? You don’t have to
be your own expert. Real financial professionals are
available to help.
Introducing Tony Sabetti
Investment Services (available
through CFS*) is pleased to
introduce Tony Sabetti, our new
Financial Associate. Tony joins
Financial Advisor Craig Layman
in helping our members reach
their financial goals through
planning and investing.
Tony graduated from Pennsylvania State University in
2001 with a Bachelor of Communication degree. Over
his professional career, he has been active in various
capacities with several professional organizations,
Receive 250 Co-op Points for attending one of these
Home Buying 101
Wednesday, 9/16/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Northampton
Thursday, 9/17/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Hadley
Tuesday, 10/27/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Hadley
Wednesday, 10/28/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Northampton
This seminar will walk you through the entire home
buying process. Gain the confidence necessary to
make the best home buying decisions for you and
your family.
Living on Less
Tuesday, 9/22/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Hadley
Tuesday, 10/20/09, 5:30-7:00pm – Hadley
When illness, injury, or job loss causes financial
hardship, it’s time for planning. We’ll show you how
to assess your current financial situation, set priorities,
and create a financial plan of action.
Tony lives in Amherst with his wife, Caroline, and
10-month old daughter, Amelia. In his free time, he
enjoys spending time with his family, exploring the
many trails of the Pioneer Valley, and long-distance
Budgeting Essentials
You can reach Tony at (413) 256-5580 or [email protected]
Everywoman’s Center
Needs Your Old Cell Phone!
Everywoman’s Center is reaching out to the
community for help with their used cellular phone
collection drive. Collected phones are reused or
recycled, with proceeds benefiting essential programs
at their agency. With your assistance, thousands of
We are dedicated to helping you become an
educated consumer. This fall, UMassFive and CFS*
will offer the following complimentary workshops at
designated branches. Seating is limited. Please RSVP
to 800.852.5886 or register online at
to reserve your seat.
most recently at MassMutual Financial Group in their
Retirement Income Department. Tony holds a FINRA
Series 6 license (Investment Company/Variable
*Investment products and services offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), an independent broker-dealer,
are not NCUA/NCUSIF insured, not Credit Union guaranteed, and may lose value. Advisors are employed by UMassFive
College Federal Credit Union and registered through CFS. (Member FINRA/SIPC)
Everywoman’s Center’s Rape Crisis Services Program
at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is a nonprofit community-based program that provides free
and confidential crisis intervention services for the
Hampshire County community. Their program aims
to support and empower all survivors of physical and
sexual violence. To learn more, visit:
dollars can be raised through the collection of used
cell phones at no cost to you!
Everywoman’s Center’s fund-raising partner, Shelter
Alliance (, works with over 2,000
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault agencies in all
fifty states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Participating
agencies have earned over $3,000,000 since 2001
to benefit thousands of survivors. Shelter Alliance
contributes up to $30 (or more) per phone! Phones
that do not receive payment are recycled in a socially
responsible way. You may drop off your used cell
phone at UMassFive’s Hadley or Northampton
Wednesday, 9/23/09, 5:30-6:45pm – Northampton
Thursday, 9/24/09, 5:30-6:45pm – Hadley
Wednesday, 10/21/09, 5:30-6:45pm – Northampton
Thursday, 10/22/09, 5:30-6:45pm – Hadley
Learn money management techniques designed to
help you understand and take better control of your
finances. We cover basic budgeting and good use of
credit as well as money saving tips.
Ready for Retirement
Tuesday, 9/22/09, 5:30-6:30pm – Hadley
This is a hands-on workshop for UMass employees
who are at or near retirement. Our goal is to help
you streamline the transition from employment to
retirement with efficiency and confidence.
Basic Investing
Tuesday, 10/13/09, 5:30-6:30pm – Hadley
Whether you’re starting out to save for retirement or
education, or building and trying to manage a nest
egg, it is vital to understand the basics of investing.
This knowledge will help put you in the driver’s seat,
heading toward your desired financial destination.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Tuesday, 10/27/09, 5:30-6:30pm – Hadley
At this seminar you can learn:
• What long-term care is and how much it costs.
• What Medicare and Medicaid really cover.
• How proper planning can help you protect your assets, estate, and your family’s well-being.
• How to stay in your own home as long as possible.
Main Office:
200 Westgate Center Drive
Hadley, MA 01035
Member Update
tel: 413.256.5500
toll-free: 800.852.5886
fax: 413.253.9123
Presort Standard
US Postage
Permit 183
Greenfield, MA
Holiday Closings:
Labor Day: Monday, September 7
Columbus Day: Monday, October 12
Federally insured by the NCUA
Printed on 50% recycled paper
with 25% post consumer fiber
Worried about upcoming
winter heating costs?
Our Energy and Fuel Conservation Loan can help.
This special loan offers $3,000 at the low rate of 3.9% to help pay your utility bills, including pre-paid oil. You
can also use this loan to purchase items such as: wood/pellet stoves, wood or pellets, Energy Star-certified appliances
(, weather proofing products, and storm doors. Remember: Specific home improvements may
qualify for tax credits up to $1,500!
Dog Portraits
In May, UMassFive held a donation drive for the Dakin Pioneer
Valley Humane Society during which all who made a donation
were entered into a raffle to win a dog portrait with local
photographer Mark Rea. Members Cathy and Bob Cornwell
were the lucky winners! Mark presented them with a beautiful
portrait of their two rescued dogs, Willow and Cinnamon.
Mark Rea has been a photographer for about 27 years. The
first 12 were focused on special effects and studio photography
of high tech products. Then he became a dog guy. It all started
with an ad in the Optimist in 1995 inviting people to bring
their dogs for black and white portraits. Since then, Mark has
photographed over 300 dogs.
His goal is to create a telling portrait, one where the owner will see the spark in their dog’s eye that
speaks volumes. This requires collaboration between the dog, their person, and Mark. If you’d like
a great picture of your favorite pooch, contact Mark at [email protected] for more
information. (You may already be familiar with Mark’s work from the photographs of the Five
Colleges at our branches and on our website!)
OCTOBER 15, 2009