November 23, 2015

Holiday finances too much? Skip-A-Payment can help!

Take a break from your December loan payment in three easy steps:

  1. Apply for Skip-A-Pay via Online Banking. Once logged in, click on ‘Other Services’ then click Skip-A-Pay. Fill out the online form and you’re all set.
  2. Or, fill out the Skip-A-Pay form available at any branch.
  3. Return the form to any branch before your December payment is due.
  4. Pay a $25 loan-skip fee.* 

*Requirements: Mortgages, Home Equity Loans, Credit Cards and Lines of Credit cannot be skipped. All loans must be current to qualify (November 2015 payment made). Lake Michigan Credit Union reserves the right to determine your eligibility for this promotion. See the Skip-A-Pay form for more details.

Investments: The Marriage Benefit

There are many financial and legal benefits to explore. 

The math is obvious. Two incomes add up a lot faster than one. But marriage also affects your finances in many other ways, including your ability to plan for retirement, plan your estate, and capitalize on tax and insurance-related benefits.

Building Wealth
If both you and your spouse are working, you can double up on employer-sponsored 401(K) contributions. Two salaries also make home ownership more affordable, making it easier to save and plan for investments.

Retirement Benefits
Most pension plans provide benefits to survivors in the event of the pensioner's death. Qualifying spouses may also collect Social Security benefits up to a maximum of 50% of the benefit earned by a deceased spouse.

Estate Planning
Couples who wish to structure their estates so that each spouse is the sole beneficiary of the other need to create wills to ensure that their wishes are realized. In the absence of a will, state laws governing disposition of an estate take effect. Also, certain types of trusts, such as QTIP trusts and marital deduction trusts, are restricted to married couples.

Tax Planning
When filing federal income taxes, filing jointly typically results in lower tax payments when compared with filing separately.

Debt Management
In certain circumstances, creditors may be able to attach marital or community property to satisfy the debts of one spouse. Couples wishing to guard against this practice may do so with a prenuptial agreement.

Contact LMIS for a complete and free financial review at (616) 234-6524, or go online to, to make sure you’re taking advantage of all possible benefits.

Debit EMV cards are on the way

What is EMV? 
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. It’s the new global standard for cards equipped with computer chips, and the retail technology used  to authorize chip-card transactions.

New payment card security standards
have been set with the global introduction of EMV chip technology. We’ve been hard at work for months now, making sure EMV capability is incorporated into our credit and debit cards.

How does EMV work?
Old-style cards have a magnetic stripe across the back that contains the financial information necessary to complete a transaction. The information it contains does not change from purchase to purchase— and that’s what fraudsters rely on when a card’s information is stolen and duplicated. An EMV chip–that small, shiny square on the front of the card– creates a unique transaction code that changes with every purchase, making it much more difficult for identity thieves to perform fraudulent purchases.

How will the EMV chip change my transactions? 
Before, you swiped and signed (or provided a PIN). With the new EMV chip, you’ll insert the card into the card reader and wait momentarily for authorization. You will then be asked to either sign or provide a PIN, depending on how the merchant is processing your card. The transaction will take slightly longer to complete compared to what you’re used to, but is much more secure.

When will I get my new EMV credit or debit card from LMCU? 
In January of 2015 LMCU began issuing EMV credit cards to our members. Starting December 15, LMCU will begin issuing EMV debit cards to our members. You’ll receive your new EMV card when your old card is naturally set to expire. You can also call (616 or 800) 242-9790 ext. 9910, or ext. 9915 to request a new EMV debit or credit card in advance of your card’s natural expiration date.

Watch for updates! 
Our ability to instant-issue EMV debit cards at retail branches will be coming soon. As the rollout process continues, we’ll be providing additional information about how to use these new EMV cards. Contact LMCU’s Card Services department at (616 or 800) 242-9790 ext. 9915 with any questions.