A Message From the CEO
Tips for Your Digital Security
Do You Have a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan?
We Welcome You to Our Annual Meeting
Leave Debt in the Dust
What an exciting 2017! It seems like every year moves forward faster and faster. This movement is especially prevalent when you are part of something special, such as this credit union. We have been working diligently to improve your financial experience in many ways. Technology is moving forward at a quicker pace than ever before. We are making sure we keep up with the latest financial technologies that will provide you efficient and secure access to your accounts. You will be noticing new and exciting products and services as we enter 2018.
Your credit union experienced a few milestones in 2017.
We crossed $80 million in assets
Partnered with the San Bernardino 66ers for the Hit the Books program
Installed two new ATMs, one at the new PDC Building and the other at the Rialto School District
Adopted Middle College High School
Launched MobiMoney, in-depth controls for your debit and credit cards
Implemented the ability to deposit checks via your smartphone
Hosted the financial simulation, Bite of Reality, for 12 local schools and organizations
These are accomplishments that could have only been done with the support of you, our members. Thinkwise is recognized as a strong community supporter, and we will continue to develop and strengthen that bond in the years ahead.
Thinkwise demonstrated outstanding financial performance during 2017. Your credit union ended the year with a Net Worth Ratio over 13.35 percent, which is significantly higher than our peer group of similarly sized credit unions. The National Credit Union Administration considers a credit union well capitalized at 7 percent. Our deposits, assets, and loans are at very healthy levels. Loan growth is one of our priorities for 2018. The lending team continues to do an excellent job of engaging members to identify lending opportunities. We continue to refinance millions of dollars in loans from other institutions, saving our members tens of thousands of dollars in monthly interest payments. Nothing reinforces our commitment to improvement more than having members bring us more of their loan and deposit needs. Our products, services, and pricing will stay competitive to attract even more potential members in the future.
Identity security has always been an issue, but 2017 showed that we have to be more diligent than ever. We are excited to announce Wise Checking, a new benefits checking account that will provide members with the tools they need to keep their identity safe. That security is just a portion of what this new product will provide. You will see more communications on this product very soon.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the board for selecting me as the President/CEO of Thinkwise Credit Union. I started with Thinkwise in 2012 as the VP of Operations and have been a part of many of the benefits and additions you have experienced in the last few years. The rest of the Thinkwise staff and I are ready to serve and exceed your needs in 2018!
If you are a current member, I would like to say thank you for being with us on this journey. If you are not a member, see if you can join us! We would love to have you on board with our 2018 successes.
Heri “Eddie” Garcia
Thinkwise Credit Union January 2018
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A Message From the President/CEO
Your Digital Security
SplashData recently published its annual list of the worst passwords of the year, which was based on more than
5 million passwords that were leaked by hackers in 2017. SplashData estimates that almost 10% of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on the list – which includes “123456,” “password” and “qwerty” (as well as the somewhat puzzling “monkey”).
With a 2016 Pew Research Center survey on cybersecurity habits supporting that many Americans do not follow cybersecurity best practices, and that 64% of respondents have personally experienced a major data breach, Thinkwise Credit Union encourages you to take the following precautions for your digital security:
Use a different password for each online account.
Avoid sharing passwords to your online accounts with anyone, even family and friends.
Use a password manager to securely store all of your passwords so you can create complex passwords (knowing you don’t have to remember them).
To protect your phone from being compromised, always install updates to your smartphone’s apps or operating system.
Use a screen lock or other security features on your phone to block unwanted access.
Regularly back up your data, in case of a disaster.
Enable multi-factor authentication where available.
Close accounts you don’t use, including social media accounts.
And make sure your password isn’t easy to guess! Experts recommend that all of your online passwords use a mix of characters, including numbers, capital letters and spaces. Using a phrase, versus a word, is also a good way to have a safe and unique password.
The Best Free Password Managers of 2018*
LogMeOnce Password Management Suite
1U Password Manager
*According to www.pcmag.com
Hackers and security breaches aren’t the only threats to our digital information, as shown by the recent wildfires in our area as well as other devastating natural disasters this year. Whether you're a home PC user or a network administrator, having a personal disaster recovery plan for your computer files can be a lifesaver in tough times.
A disaster recovery plan sounds much more complicated than it has to be. You just need to cover the basics so you can rest easier knowing that your important documents and files, cherished photographs and personal projects are safe.
Do computer backups and store
The offsite storage part of this is critical. If your backup is in the same place as your computer, it doesn’t help you much. There are dozens of online backup services available via a secured connection. Be sure to schedule backups to occur regularly.
Take advantage of free cloud storage through Thinkwise
As a Thinkwise Credit Union member, you have free access to My Virtual StrongBoxTM, a secure online safe deposit box for sensitive digital documents including wills, loan forms and more. You get 10 MB of space at no cost, and it’s easily accessible through our online banking platform, It’s Me 247. You can even receive or share secure documents.
Keep critical numbers handy
If disaster strikes, you will need quick access to your home, health and automobile insurance policy numbers. Keep these numbers in a secure remote location that you are able to access quickly from anywhere. Also, memorize your bank account numbers and your driver’s license number.
Once you’ve established your disaster recovery plan, be sure to also test and update your plan regularly to include updated points of contact, software version information and other changes.
Do You Have a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan?
To see how easy it is to use My Virtual StrongBox, view our tutorial at
We Welcome You to Our Annual Meeting
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Location: San Bernardino Scottish Rite, 4400 Varsity Avenue
Did seeing your latest credit card statement knock the wind out of you? If you got a little carried away with holiday shopping, or if you just got behind last year and want to improve your borrowing habits, you can still beat debt in 2018.
Revisit your budget and cut costs
Experts suggest spending no more than 36% of your gross monthly income on all your debts, including home and auto loans. If you’re getting too close for comfort, you can:
Switch to a lower-interest credit card to cut down the cost of carrying a balance.
Refinance your loans to reduce monthly payments.
Pay down a high balance – the lower it goes, the better your credit score.
Don’t settle for the minimum
Making minimum monthly payments on your credit card means you’re paying too much interest. The average Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on retail cards is around 24-25% – think what you could do with that extra cash.
Try to pay off your balance each month (or pay as much as you can over the minimum, such as 30% extra).
If you carry several credit cards, pay down the one with the highest rate first and at least the minimum on the others.
Put the money you save toward an emergency savings fund with at least $1,000 in it.
Keep track of time
Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so late payments on credit cards or other loans can really hurt you. According to FICO data, a credit score of 720 could fall to 580 or 590 for just one late payment. Plus, you’ll likely pay late payment fees.
Set up automatic payments so you don’t have to remember them.
Consider seeking expert guidance through Springboard's financial counseling services.
Let us help
If you’re having trouble making ends meet, please turn to us at Thinkwise instead of to a cash advance lender. The APR for a cash advance is usually worse than that of your highest-rate credit card. You’ll also pay the lender a costly fee or percentage of the amount you borrow.
Come talk with us. A low-interest personal loan may be the answer to the cash you need, and we can also save you money with a balance transfer or loan refinance. The bottom line is that we’re here to listen and offer personalized advice on how to best manage your situation.
What Makes Up Your Credit (FICO) Score?
35% Payment History
30% Amounts Owed
15% Length of Credit History
10% Credit Mix (types of credit, such
as auto, mortgage, student loan, etc.)
10% New Credit
Drive It Forward funded 261 auto loans totaling $13,050 in school donations in 2017
Thinkwise Credit Union Gives Back
to local schools and our community through the Drive It Forward auto loan program, donations, sponsorships, etc.