Frequently Asked Questions at Rogue

This month we asked our team what questions our members frequently ask in our branches. Here's what we found:

  1. Why do we have a monthly fee on accounts and how can you get it waived?

    As a credit union, our member are our owners. The $5 required to open an account is your share in the credit union. Each member-owner has one equal share in the credit union. If the credit union does well, you do well because you are an owner, whether that means lower rates on loans, higher rates on deposits or a dividend deposited into your high-yield Ownership Account.

    When someone opens a membership, but doesn’t use it regularly or at all (aka it has become dormant), it costs the credit union and thus the member-owners, so a $5 membership fee helps deter people from opening accounts and not using them. However, there are many ways to avoid this $5 fee including:

    • Being a member for more than 10 years
    • Having $500 or more in combined deposits (average daily balance on deposits)
    • Having an active checking account (direct deposit into a checking account and online statements)
    • Having a current or paid-off loans
    • Being under the age of 25
    • Having a portfolio with Rogue Investment Services*

     

  2. How are your rates determined on your loans?

    A variety of factors determine the current interest rates on loans. One of the largest influences is the United States Average Prime Rate, which is based off of guidelines set by the Federal Reserve. The US Average Prime Rate is the average interest rate that borrowers with the highest credit scores can expect to pay for a loan. Even if the prime rate is set at a particular percentage, say 4.00%, that does not mean that a lender cannot offer lower rates to well-qualified borrowers, but most banks and credit unions tend to stay pretty close to the prime rate. At Rogue, we have adopted a “better than most” strategy, which means our rates will be better than most of our competitors, while still being high enough to ensure the stability of the credit union for our members.

    Our interest rates on loans are also affected by various factors related to the member and the loan such as the borrower's credit score, and the length of the loan. Different types of loans also have different rates. Secured loans (such as a mortgage or auto loans) for example, tend to have lower rates than unsecured loans (such as a credit card or personal loans).

     

  3. How can I get a better rate?

    There are quite a few ways to obtain a better rate on a loan. The most common are:

    • Raise your credit score
    • Adding a qualified cosigner
    • For mortgages, exploring different term loans or increasing the down payment amount could lower your rate.

     

  4. How do I improve my credit score? 

Your credit score is based on five factors, all of which can help raise your score, though some will raise it more than others. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

35%

Payment History

Pay on time every time. Pay off collections.

30%

Amounts Owed

Keep credit card balances below 30% of the limit.

15%

Length of Credit History

Keep your oldest card open if there is no annual fee.

10%

New Credit

Space out your loan applications by at least 6 months.

10%

Credit Mix

Diversity in the types of loans you have.

 

There is a lot you can do to improve your credit score. Unfortunately, it usually takes 1 to 2 years to see a big difference. Patience is key when you are working towards a higher credit score, and it is worth it! For more tips on improving your credit score check out our infographic or sign up for our email class.

 

*Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFG STC Insurance Agency LLC), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LCC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: *Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured *May lose value *Not financial institution guaranteed *Not a deposit *Not insured by any federal government agency.