Message To Members
2022 presented unique challenges for us all. After spending several years with inflation running 3% or lower, it exploded in late 2021. Interest rates more than doubled in a few short months, increasing the cost of borrowing, and making everything more expensive. Hopefully these high rates are relatively short-lived or will at least level off to make life a little more predictable.
Our drive-up and phone service is now open until 6:00 p.m. on Fridays with lobby service remaining open until 5:30 p.m. Our branches will no longer be open Saturdays. As mentioned in our fall newsletter, only 2% of our transactions occurred on Saturdays. Members use self-service options and there is no longer the demand for in person service on weekends. Our 2022 member survey also concluded that only 2.5% of our members primarily use the telephone to do business at Affinity, which are major changes versus what we all remember from the past. Members informed us that our phone access is not convenient, which is something we’re addressing and are committed to improving.
In addition, members requested more frequent communication. Beginning this year, electronic monthly newsletters will be emailed to members enrolled in eStatements, while a paper newsletter will be included with monthly and quarterly mailed statements. These additional newsletters will provide members with timely updates
about happenings at Affinity.
We know you’re looking for better investment rates and we are responding by increasing CD, IRA, Money Market and Regular Share rates in response to the dramatic rise in interest rates. We track the most competitive financial institutions in the greater Des Moines market and are highly competitive in every area.
Affinity’s 74th annual membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9th. This is part of being a member-owned cooperative and our volunteer leaders are a key part of our design. If you have expertise in accounting, management, marketing, human resources, technology, community development or other skills that might prove beneficial as a board member, consider volunteering. If you would like to have an exploratory conversation to learn more about the time commitment and expectations, feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or call me, 515-777-7782.
2022 was unlike a year we’ve ever experienced, but thankfully it’s in the rearview. There was an unprecedented rise in interest rates during the year, and by all indications we’ll continue to experience increases in 2023. That being said, we’ll make sure that our rates remain competitive for both savers and borrowers.
Keeping this in perspective, we had never had thirty-year mortgage rates in the 3% range for an extended period of time and now they’re in the 6% range. Many of us would say that’s still a reasonable interest rate and certainly nothing like the 1980’swhen they pushed into the 18% range for a time. That was much more painful than where we are today. Brian Goetzinger (NMLS #22353) started our mortgage lending program last year and has helped several members with their home loan needs since
arriving. If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, call Brian directly at
515-777-7809 or send him an email at email@example.com to get started. You can also submit your mortgage application by clicking here.
We are very excited to introduce a new insurance partner, Coverage Direct. Headquartered in West Des Moines, Coverage Direct offers an extensive line of carriers for auto, homeowners, renter, RV, boat and other coverages. Every dollar matters. Click here to get a free quote from Coverage Direct or call 888-411-1710.
Our website home page has an entirely new look and added
functionality. Our marketing team of Melissa and Kris have spent
many months preparing for this branding launch, which took place
in early January. They looked at our website from a member’s
perspective and constantly added content and user-friendly features
that we hope you enjoy and find useful.
Affinity’s 74th annual membership meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn – Downtown Des Moines Mercy Campus the evening of Tuesday, May 9th. We encourage our member/owners to attend, as it provides an opportunity to recap the previous year, discuss plans for the future & get to better know Affinity’s staff and volunteer leaders. There will also be food, drink and prizes, which further sweetens the deal. We hope you’re able to make it.
We are pleased to announce that we’re now able to issue debit and credit cards in our branches. The ability to do so addresses a major service issue that we’ve been working to fix for quite some time. Along with this, our cardholders will be receiving a new card with a different number and expiration date. This is a necessary precaution in order to protect your accounts from potentially fraudulent activity.
To our members that visit our Army Post branch, a replacement ATM has been ordered and should be operational early in March. It’s sad to say that over a period of 14 months, 3 machines have been vandalized and ruined. We understand that these events cause members to be inconvenienced and we’re doing all we can to make sure it does not happen again. In the meantime, Shazam Privileged Status machines are all over the DSM area and you can withdraw money without at charge at any participating location. I wish more of our large Iowa credit unions participated in this program but can you there are still many convenient locations to access your money outside of Affinity branches.
I just looked at a popular site designed to help consumers find the best credit cards nationwide and it’s amazing how well the Affinity MasterCard stacks up against the national giants. Did you know the average credit card carries of a variable rate of 21.89% APR? Our MasterCard has a fixed rate of 11.90% APR, no balance transfer or cash advance fees, no over-limit fees and a late payment fee of only $10. Consider refinancing your revolving, high interest debt to Affinity’s transparent and fair MasterCard, which also happens to be one of the few remaining fixed rate cards in the country.
We are just over a month away from our annual membership meeting, taking place the evening of Tuesday May 9. The ballroom at the top of the Holiday Inn Mercy Campus (1050 6th Ave, downtown Des Moines) holds up to 300 & what better way to demonstrate member democratic control than to fill it up? There will be food and prizes, but most important our elected leaders and management will share with you the state of the credit union. We’ll talk about our finances and highlights from the past year, while also focusing on our plan for the future. Some of you have been attending our annual membership meeting for decades, and we hope to continue to see your familiar faces again this year. Arrive by 5:30 to socialize with the meeting expected to begin around 6:00 p.m.
James Reasoner and Webster Kranto will be sworn in as our new directors. James has been very public in sharing his journey as a member and Webster brings a wealth of leadership experience and skills to our board. These are challenging times, but they are filled with opportunity. We’re excited that both gentlemen have agreed to make this commitment.
In the past, when a debit or credit card has been lost or compromised, we issued a temporary card until a permanent card could be issued through our processor. Unfortunately it could take up to 7-10 business days for delivery of the permanent card, which was less than ideal for members. Great news is we can now issue permanent cards instantly in each of our branches. We continue to invest in new and innovative technology to simplify your finances.
Look for several additional services to become more efficient this year. Phone service and loan processing have both been areas of major focus and I’m certain those of you using either are able to notice improvements. We’re not done yet and more upgrades are on the way.
Savers, on our member survey you told us that our rates need to better match up with Veridian and GreenState. Check our rates and disclosures and you’ll see which credit union offers the best return on every major product for our standard programs, not just promotional specials. We do.