MAKING THE SWITCH TO ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS
Do you use fewer checks and postage stamps than you used to? Like most people, you’re probably completing more transactions electronically, either by choice or because companies and government agencies have made it increasingly necessary.
Although it should come as no surprise that Bellco has been offering electronic payment services for years, we still receive nearly 13,000 mailed-in loan payments per month. As a company that is committed to contributing to the quality of life in the communities we serve, Bellco is always looking for ways to do better. Here are four smart reasons to go paperless that can make a positive impact.
Save Time. With electronic payments, you no longer have to wait for a mailed check to arrive at the credit union and be applied to your account.
Save Money. Switching from mailed-in auto loan payments to ePayments can save you money on first-class postage stamps and trips to the post office.
Save Resources. According to PayItGreen.org, switching from paper to electronic payments, billing, and statements each year, would save households 6 pounds of paper and 29 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Added Convenience. Bellco offers several options that you can choose from for electronic payments—all without leaving your home. Our most convenient payment methods are:
ACH payments can be a one time or recurring authorization to pull from another financial institution to pay your Bellco loan. Your account will be automatically deducted on the date you selected (if the date you selected falls on a holiday, it will be pulled the following business day). Visit the forms section
on Bellco.org to set up your ACH.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Through Bellco’s Online Banking, you can schedule a one-time or recurring transfer from your Bellco checking account to your Bellco loan at your convenience.
To learn more or get started, visit Bellco.org/GoGreen and choose the option that best fits your needs.
HOMEOWNERS' TO-DO LIST FOR OCTOBER
While October typically makes people feel that summer yardwork is far behind them, homeowners should still take the time to get out and take care of some important lawn and garden work, to help ensure that plants, trees, and the yard will thrive past the upcoming snowfalls and into the spring. If you’re unsure of what should be on your to-do list, here are some ideas:
- Plant bulbs such as hyacinth, daffodils, crocus, and tulips. If bulb-loving animals (particularly squirrels and mice) are around, you can dip the bulbs in a liquid repellant before planting, and be sure to remove any of the papery skin from the planting site to help diminish the bulbs’ scent.
- If you planted root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, leave them in place under heavy mulch—if you keep the ground from freezing, you’ll be able to harvest them through the winter.
- For a great-looking spring lawn, try to remove as many weeds as possible this month. Now is also a good time to seed any areas that might be bare; you’ll be giving the grass time to become established before winter. Also, now’s the time to aerate and fertilize your yard.
- If you haven’t already, shut down your sprinkler system—even if it’s self-draining, double-check that all the water is out of the lines. Winterize fountains and container ponds—be sure to completely drain and dry any pumps before you store them.
- Take care of your trees—after all of the leaves have fallen, give your trees and shrubs a good drink of water so they can start winter with moist soil.
- With our low-angle winter sun, many trees’ cells warm up and become active during the day, only to freeze at night. To prevent that in your most susceptible trees—the young or newly planted ones—wrap them from October through April.
If you have specific questions about your plants or yard, refer them to the experts at your local nursery.
A REFRESHER GUIDE TO FRAUD RESOURCES
With the rise of ID fraud and theft, like the recent Equifax data breach, knowing how to protect your identity and financial information is your best defense. But what should you do if you are the victim of identity theft? Here are a few resources to help you along the path to recovery.
Through their website, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a thorough guide on steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft or fraud:
• Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies to check your credit report and place a fraud alert on your report.
• To file a fraud report, contact the FTC online or call them at 1-877-ID-THEFT.
• Visit the Social Security Administration to acquire a new number and card.
• Contact your financial institutions to freeze accounts, and then begin the process of closing fraudulent accounts and opening new accounts.
• Contact your local police department to file a report. While this may not seem helpful, a report can be used as evidence to creditors that someone else accessed your financial information and that you took the necessary steps to resolve the situation.
• Keep records of all of your actions since you discovered the fraudulent activity, which includes the companies and agencies you’ve contacted, as well as copies of all of the forms and reports you have filed.
For your added protection, Bellco has partnered with Identity Fraud, Inc., to offer a variety of identity crime-related solutions to help protect you, your family, and your business against identity crimes and data theft. Although no company can prevent all identity theft, these services may help you protect yourself against certain types of identity theft.
Bellco members are eligible to receive Identity Fraud, Inc. solutions at a discount. To learn more about their program benefits, including $1 million identity insurance, triple bureau credit monitoring, IF Cyber monitoring, public records monitoring, family protection and more, visit their website. If you are a victim of fraud and currently have an Identity Protection Plan from Identity Fraud, Inc., call 1-866-4ID-FRAUD (1-866-443-3728).
Each type of fraud has its own specific steps. For more information on fraud and ways to prevent it, visit ftc.gov.
OCTOBER CHARITY OF THE MONTH
During October, Bellco will collect donations for PawsCo, a local non-profit that rescues and saves animals from shelters and works to find them a quality adoptive home. This includes providing exceptional support to families fostering animals, collaborating with other rescues and shelters, and educating the public.
In addition, Bellco will be holding a PawsCo adoption event at our Longmont Branch on Saturday, October 7.
To make a financial donation for this worthwhile cause, please visit Bellco’s Charity of the Month page. To learn more about PawsCo, just visit PawsCo.org.