Members First Newsletter
First Quarter 2022
Four tips to improve your financial position.
Welcome to 2022! The New Year is a great time to review and refine your financial situation. Here are a few suggestions that can help you enhance your financial position this year:
REFINE YOUR BUDGET
Stay on track of your spending and saving each month by developing or revising your budget. You can start by tracking your monthly expenses and comparing them to your monthly income to determine if your current spending patterns are working for you. If you are stretching yourself too thin or ending the month in the red, then it’s time to make some changes. Bethpage has some great online budgeting calculators to help you manage your monthly finances.
Visit lovebethpage.com/calculators to get started.
One of the best ways to improve your financial situation is to reduce your overall debt. At the beginning of each year, take a look at all of your outstanding debt, including home, auto, student, and personal loans, credit card balances, and medical bills. Then compare the outstanding balances from last year to this year to see how you are doing. Are you progressively paying down your debt, or is your debt deepening? If your outstanding balances aren’t decreasing, it could be time to consider taking more significant steps to pay down your debt in 2022.
REVISIT RETIREMENT PLAN
Improve your future financial security by making the most of your retirement plan. If you have a 401(k), check to see if you can take full advantage of your employer’s matching contributions. In addition, make sure you are contributing as much as your budget allows. You have until the end of the year to contribute the maximum amount of $19,500 to your 401(k). If you have an IRA, you have until April 18, 2022 to add the maximum contribution of $6,000, with an additional $1,000 if you are 50 years or older for 2021.
REVIEW CREDIT SCORE
An important indicator of your overall financial health is your credit score. Your credit score could impact your life in a variety of ways. For example, it could make the difference between an approval or rejection of a loan, employment, a rental unit, insurance, and more. Generally, the length of your credit history, diversity of types of credit obtained, your payment history, credit utilization, and other factors may contribute to your overall score. Maintaining a good credit score may positively impact your financial wellness for years to come.
To see 12 ways to potentially help improve your credit score, visit lovebethpage.com/creditscore.
Mortgage Application 101.
Buying a new home is an exciting endeavor, but applying for a mortgage may feel a bit daunting. Although there are various stages of the mortgage application process, our goal at Bethpage is to make the experience as easy as possible to help get you into your new home quickly. To help you visualize the journey, here is a snapshot of the basic stages of the mortgage application process.
A valuable tool in the home buying process is obtaining a pre-qualification letter. Although not a required step, a pre-qualification letter may help you shop with more confidence as it provides you with an informal estimate of how much you can potentially afford. With a pre-qualification letter, sellers and their agents will see that you are a more serious buyer and have the potential means to purchase the home within the range of the listed sales price. To pre-qualify, lenders will need some basic information, such as your income, assets, employment, and liabilities.
To learn more or get started, please visit lovebethpage.com/prequalify.
SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION
Once you have found your home, your offer is accepted, and you have signed a contract of sale, you can begin your mortgage application. A Bethpage Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) will be assigned to work with you through each step of the application process. For your convenience, you may complete and submit your application online, or MLOs are available to assist you with an application over the phone.
APPLICATION IN PROCESS
Once your application has been submitted, a Bethpage Processor will be assigned to assist you with obtaining the necessary supporting paperwork needed to process your loan. Your Processor will also order an appraisal to ensure the home value aligns with the sale price and loan amount. Once all required paperwork appears to be in order, your application will then be assigned to an Underwriter for review.
UNDERWRITING AND APPROVAL
The Underwriter will review all paperwork provided, such as your credit report, appraisal, income and asset documentation, etc., and render a decision on your loan, including whether additional documents are needed, or whether the loan is approved, denied, or counter-offered. Your MLO or Processor will inform you of any additional items or conditions that are needed. If your loan is approved, congrats!
CLEAR TO CLOSE AND SCHEDULING A CLOSING
Once all conditions have been met on your loan approval, your file is deemed “clear to close.” At this point, a Bethpage Loan Closer will be assigned to the file to begin assembling the closing documents and coordinating a closing date with the various parties (e.g., you, your attorney (if applicable), seller’s attorney (if applicable), the settlement agent, and title company). The necessary party(s) will notify you of any items you need to bring with you to your closing.
You made it! At closing, you will need to sign the closing documents, the mortgage proceeds and other funds will be disbursed by the applicable parties, and then all you need to do is celebrate and find a great keychain for your new house keys!
Apply and track your Mortgage application online.
The Bethpage Borrower Center allows you to track your application progress, securely upload documents, and stay up-to-date on your action items, such reviewing and executing documents. The Bethpage Borrower Center gives you the power of knowing right at your fingertips. Visit lovebethpage.com/mortgageapp to learn more.
All loan terms are subject to credit and loan program requirements. Rates, loan programs, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions and limitations apply. Bethpage does not offer residential mortgage loans in Texas. Credit products require membership at or prior to consummation. Bethpage NMLS ID: 449104.
Don Balducci Board member for 18 years
The Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors of Bethpage Federal Credit Union has placed the names of the individual listed to the right in nomination for a board position in 2022.
Nominations for the Board of Directors may also be made by petition signed by at least 500 members, if received by 5PM on March 16, 2022. The election will be held at the Annual Meeting on April 26, 2022, and will be conducted by ballot unless there is only one nominee for each position. Each nominee by petition must submit a statement of qualifications and biographical data with the petition. The statement of qualifications and biographical data will be published and made available to the public.
For more information or to file a petition and statement for a nominee, contact Lynda Nicolino at 899 South Oyster Bay Road, Bethpage, NY 11714, or call 516-349-6945.
Don Balducci, a Bethpage resident and Senior Performance Consultant, was formerly Vice President, Talent Development at CA (formerly Computer Associates). He began his service with the credit union as one of the first Associate Directors in 1999. He has also served on the Supervisory Committee. Don was elected as a member of the Board in 2003, where he has held the positions of Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair. Don graduated from Hofstra University, majoring in mathematics and education.
Stay up-to-date with your account activity.
Monitor your account with ease when you use Bethpage’s notification tools. Set up alerts in online banking, to let you know what is going on with your account through text, email, or app notifications.
Here are a few things you can be notified about:
- A low balance
- Unusual transactions or large transactions
- Money transfers or cleared checks
- Large deposits, such as your paycheck
To sign up, log into your account and click “Alerts”.
Link to your Digital Wallet for a secure, convenient way to pay!
Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay™, Samsung Pay™, and Google Pay™, make purchasing things in a store (or online) as simple as tapping or waving your smartphone at checkout. You can easily add your Bethpage Mastercard® Debit or Credit Card to your smartphone’s digital wallet. For details on how to get started, visit lovebethpage.com/digitalwallet.
Using a digital wallet provides:
A faster, more convenient way to pay.
There is no need to search for your debit or credit card. Just tap or wave your phone over the merchant’s payment terminal at checkout to make a purchase.
Your card number is not shared with the merchant. Instead, the digital wallet sends a unique, one-time passcode to the merchant’s payment terminal. By doing so, your transaction is processed while keeping your card details secure.
Use your Bethpage Debit and Credit Cards with:
Apple Pay™ is a trademark of Apple, Inc.
Samsung® and Samsung Pay® are registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Fraud Prevention Tip.
Be on the lookout for phishing emails and texts!
These messages pose as legitimate businesses or people, including your family or friends, to steal your personal or financial information. Never provide your information in response to an email or text, regardless of how legitimate it looks.
Bethpage will never email, text, or call you for your personal information, to reactivate an account, or transfer money. Visit lovebethpage.com/stay-secure for other tips to keep your information safe!
Free virtual tax preparation.
The 19th annual Bethpage Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is here!
2022 VITA Program
Tuesday, February 1, through Thursday, April 7.
The VITA program offers free tax help for individuals and families with low-to-moderate income (generally $57,000 and below). While we cannot have physical, in-person VITA sites this year, our volunteers will be able to assist you virtually through video appointments. If you cannot attend virtually, please let us know, and we will find an alternative solution to help you prepare your tax filing.
Additionally, we will host informational webinars and interactive “Facilitated Self Assistance” lab sessions to help taxpayers prepare their returns using our IRS-sponsored software.
Bethpage Virtual VITA Application is open as of Tuesday, January, 18, 2022. For more information, please visit lovebethpage.com/vita, or contact Community Development at 516-349-4288 or email@example.com.
The IRS manages the VITA/TCE program. The program is operated and staffed by volunteers who are not tax professionals.
Empowering our youth.
Youth Empowerment Grants.
Is your child ambitious and looking to effect change? Do you know of a youth group (e.g., after-school program, community group, sports team, school club) with big ideas but needs financial support? Bethpage wants to empower young individuals to come together and become more involved by linking their passions with the need of local communities.
Early in 2020, we launched our Difference Makers program, designed to empower young individuals — 5th graders to college undergrads—who are looking to make a difference in their local communities, with grants ranging from $250 – $5,000.
These funds can be used for special projects, like planting a community garden, painting a mural in a school or community space, and organizing a beach cleanup. Or, the money may be put toward starting a peer mentor program or anti-bullying campaign at a school. We welcome and encourage creativity in the application process. We will ask for a business plan that includes a project summary, budget, timeline, and the community impact it will provide.
Each project will be assigned a Bethpage Mentor for oversight and support. We can’t wait to see the proposals and help make our community an even better place to live!
To learn more or to apply, please visit lovebethpage.com/differencemakers.