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Posted: Oct 5, 2017
Categories: Credit Cards, Marketing
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Philadelphia’s American Heritage FCU offers a parachute to members in need

When it comes to the record growth of consumer debt, many questions come to mind. What do we know? What can history teach us? What should a credit union do to keep their members safe? According to Federal Reserve data, total U.S. credit card debt has reached $1 trillion, surpassing a previous mark set in April of 2008 just before the Great Recession. For households that carry credit card debt, the average amount per household is now $9,600, which equals 17 percent of an average U.S. household income. The average interest rate on a credit card is 16 percent, and about 24 percent for those with subpar credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year. Yet, despite growing household debt at potentially increasing interest rates, most Americans appear to be optimistic about the future due to the stable economy and low unemployment. Unfortunately, all it takes is one major set-back in the way of a job loss or major medical situation to turn the tide and create problems for consumers with high credit card debt.
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Posted: Sep 21, 2017
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As “banking at the fringes” chips away at traditional banking services, credit unions need to shore up their offerings.

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Today and has been modified.]

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (the OSFI is the Canadian equivalent of the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency) has issued a restriction – that any non-banks must remove the terms “bank”, “banker” and “banking” from any references provided by that financial institution. Any financial institutions that continue to use these terms can face criminal charges. “The restriction applies to all non-bank financial service providers, including both federal regulated trust and loan companies and provincially regulated institutions (i.e. credit unions). So processing checks, granting loans, and managing individuals’ wealth is not considered banking in Canada.

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Posted: Aug 24, 2016
Categories: Debit Cards, Fraud
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Thoughts on the Good News and Bad News for Credit Unions

When a debit card number is counterfeited, like what happens in a breach of data from a merchant, any counterfeit card number usage results in withdrawals directly from the cardholder’s bank account. Even though the cardholder’s liability for fraudulent transaction is limited - under the FCBA, liability for unauthorized use of the card tops out at $50 and many issuers have a $0 liability for fraud - there also can be additional costs and fees as a result. Checks that bounce result in NSF charges or scheduled bill pays that fail and incur late fees are just some of the aggravations that debit cardholders whose cards were caught in one of the many highly publicized data breaches had to deal with.

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