January 2021 Newsletter
Throughout 2020, Bellco continued to support local organizations focused on our key priorities of Financial Empowerment, Quality of Life, and Arts & Culture. Bellco contributed more than $680,000 to organizations focused on these areas, including more than $280,000 to organizations that help people of all ages (especially youth) learn the basics of good financial health.
We've also been giving back to members. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bellco began waiving a variety of fees in March, saving our members more than $450,000 in 2020.
FINANCIAL LITERACY HIGHLIGHTS
Economic Literacy Colorado - More than 10,000 local kids received printed copies of our FUNancial $marts activity book. Local partners including Food Bank of the Rockies, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Douglas County Libraries helped distribute books.
EverFi School Program - 200 students participated in the program and their understanding of basic financial concepts improved by 31%.
QUALITY OF LIFE HIGHLIGHTS
Basic Needs Organizations - Bellco provided financial support and volunteer hours to the following basic needs organizations:
ARTS & CULTURE HIGHLIGHTS
Denver Art Museum Free For Kids - Nearly 90,000 Colorado youth visited the museum for free, thanks to Bellco’s sponsorship of the Free For Kids program.
Teacher Art Kits - Bellco supported the creation and distribution of 3,000 art kits for teachers and students for virtual learning.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life-changing events and financial hurdles can crop up without much warning. And many people just don’t have the cash on hand to pay for some of those unexpected bills. Luckily, if you own your home, its available equity can be one of your best tools to overcome financial emergencies.
Equity is the value of your home above what’s left on your mortgage. So, for example, if your home is valued at $200,000 and you owe $100,000 on your mortgage, you have $100,000 in equity in your home. As your home value increases and as you pay off more of your mortgage, you have more equity available. In Colorado’s housing market, if you’ve owned your home for more than a decade, you’ve likely seen its value increase, which means you have more equity available than simply what you’ve paid against your mortgage.
All of which is to say that, if you’ve encountered one of those unexpected financial hurdles this year, you might consider looking into a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, to help ease that financial burden. With a HELOC, you tap in to the equity in your home to quickly access cash for anything from consolidating debt (such as from credit cards, personal loans, student loans, and car loans) to home improvements or repairs.
A HELOC can offer numerous benefits, including low or no closing costs, typically lower interest rates than for credit cards or personal loans, flexibility on when and how much to draw against the credit line, and payments on only the cash you end up drawing. Even better, using a HELOC opens the potential of being able to claim the interest on your tax return (consult a tax advisor for additional information regarding tax deductibility).
If you're looking to access the equity in your home, Bellco members can take advantage of the following Home Equity ChoiceLine limited-time offer:
GET A FIXED RATE AS LOW AS 3.99% APR
ON A HOME EQUITY CHOICELINE ADVANCE
OF $10,000 OR MORE.
Get the full details and get started at Bellco.org/ChoiceLinePromo.
Every year, the Bellco Board of Directors selects a Nominating Committee that nominates candidates for election to the Board. The members of the Board ensure that the credit union is following federal and state credit union laws and any other applicable government regulations and that the credit union adheres to the organization's bylaws. The Board also maintains Bellco's financial stability by following good business practices, and it sets the general direction of the credit union.
There are three seats up for nomination in 2021, and the Nominating Committee has nominated three incumbents for those seats. The incumbent Board Members who have been nominated are:
David Powers: Board Member since 1978.
Former Board Chairman. David is managing partner in a telecommunications-consulting firm. Formerly, he was the Vice President of MCI System House and Vice President of Internal Auditing for US West Communications, Inc. Mr. Powers previously served as a Board Member for the Denver Dumb Friends League.
Doug Ferraro: Board Member since 1991.
President/CEO of Bellco Credit Union since 1991. He serves on the boards of Open Technology Solutions, Gateway Services Group, NISCUE Foundation, and S3 Shared Service Solutions. He has previously served on the boards of CO-OP Financial Services, Suncorp Credit Union, Mountain West Credit Union Association, Credit Union Direct Connect, Mortgage Liquidity Solutions, Members Trust Company of Colorado, and the Colorado Division of Financial Services. He formerly served on the Kansas City Federal Reserve Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council and the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank. He was the Chief Financial Officer of Vystar Credit Union, Jacksonville, FL. Mr. Ferraro is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
Laura Sonderup: Board Member since 2014.
Current Board Vice Chairwoman. Laura is the managing director at Hispanidad, a full-service advertising agency headquartered in Denver, Colorado. She is a nationally recognized multicultural marketing expert, published author, and cultural competency trainer. Ms. Sonderup’s background in the financial services industry allows her to contribute a unique set of insights pertinent to the rapidly evolving business environment.
If you are interested in being nominated for a Bellco Board of Directors position, you may do so by petition. The election will not be conducted by ballot, and there will be no nominations from the floor when there is only one nominee for each position to be filled. Please send any questions regarding the nomination process to email@example.com.
Your nomination by petition must include the following: (1) signatures of members in good standing that make up at least one percent (1%; 3,439 signatures as of November 30, 2020) of all Bellco members, as well as their addresses and daytime phone numbers; (2) a signed certificate from the nominee or nominees stating that they are agreeable to nomination and will serve if elected to office; and (3) a 50-word statement of qualifications and biographical data from each nominee.
Send this information to the following address via U.S. mail: Bellco Credit Union, Nominating Committee, P.O. Box 6611, Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6611. Nominations by petition must be received no later than 5 p.m. on February 8, 2021.
Looking to lower your monthly car payments and not make any payments for the first 90 days? With interest rates currently at record lows, Bellco has an offer that can free up some extra cash to help during these unprecedented times.
If you have an auto loan financed at another institution, you can refinance your loan through Bellco with rates as low as 2.99% APR*. Plus, you won't have to make your first payment for up to 90 days.
To learn more or get started, stop by any Bellco branch, visit Bellco.org/Auto, or call 1-800-BELLCO-1. You can also schedule a video or phone appointment to speak directly with a Bellco Financial Specialist.
*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) provided above is for well qualified borrowers. The stated APR only applies to auto loans originated in Colorado. Advertised rates are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to approval. The final APR may vary based on several factors, including personal credit history, term of loan, loan to value and age of auto. You must qualify for membership. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. If you choose to postpone your first payment for 90 days, interest will continue to accrue on your loan during this period. This offer cannot be combined with any other auto promotion. This offer does not include auto leases or commercial vehicle loans. This offer ends 3/31/21.