Westmark Credit Union
We are a full-service financial institution, owned by our members & committed to the development of their financial future. We have 12 convenient locations.

Basics of the 529 Plan

Saving for college can seem like an overwhelming prospect. However, a 529 plan can help. By using a 529 savings account for college, you can minimize the tax on your savings while watching your money grow.

Watch this video to learn more about how 529 plans work. You can put post-tax money into your 529 account, and when it is used for college, you won’t be taxed on withdrawals or the interest it has accrued. These plans are very similar to Roth IRAs, except that they are used for college instead of retirement.

Let Westmark Credit Union help you make finance decisions that are right for your family now and in the future. Our credit union in Idaho offers a comprehensive range of financial services, as well as the advice you need to make the right choices for your goals. Find out more by calling (208) 523-1071.

Debt Management 101

Even with careful financial management, debt is a part of life for most people. It’s not possible for most people to make large purchases, like a house or car, without taking out a mortgage or auto loan. Many people also have other kinds of debt, like credit cards and student loans. However, although debt is a reality, it can also be a burden, particularly if your debt repayments outpace your earnings. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt, here is what you need to know about taking back control.

Face Your Finances

One way to let debt take control of you is to try to ignore it. By facing your debt, you know exactly where you stand. Start by understanding the kinds of debt you have. Mortgages, student loans, and other kinds of debt that buy you something that will increase in value is usually considered to be good debt. Debt that purchased something that decreases in value, such as purchases you made on your credit cards, is considered bad debt. All debt needs to be repaid, but considering which debt is a necessary step for improving your financial outlook and which is dragging you down can help you make decisions about allocating your money.

Prioritize Expensive Debt

Debt that is attached to a high interest rate is more expensive than debt with lower rates. After making minimum payments on all your accounts, you can save money by diverting extra payments to your highest interest accounts. Once those are tackled, take that extra money and pay down lower interest rate debt. Following this strategy can save you a significant amount of money on your debt in the long run.

Work with Your Creditors

If you are struggling to keep up with payments, talk to your creditors. Often, it is possible to make payment arrangements that will make it easier for you to pay on your accounts and protect your credit score. Ignoring unpaid bills will only trigger more fees and penalties, which will leave you deeper in debt.

At Westmark Credit Union, we offer financial advice to credit union members in Idaho to help them take control of their personal finances. Contact our credit union today at (208) 523-1071 to see how we can help you.

How Our Members Can Sign Up for Online Bill Pay

At Westmark Credit Union, our convenient online bill pay service means you’ll never deal with another late fee again. It’s fast and easy to sign up for online bill pay services so that the money for your bills comes out of your account and is sent to the vendor at the right time, every month.

To take advantage of online bill pay, you will need to be signed up with our Personal Branch online banking service and have an active checking account with the credit union. Log onto your account and search for the company you want to pay. Next, enter your account number, and set up the recurring payments for the dates you wish. You can also set up reminders so that you know when the payment is due. You can view your past and scheduled payments at any time. Use online bill pay for 15 transactions each month for free, and then pay just 35 cents for each transaction thereafter.

To find out more about the financial services at Westmark Credit Union in Idaho, contact us today. Dial (208) 523-1071 for more information about loans, accounts, and membership.

Secrets to Success for Prospective House Flippers

House flipping can be lucrative, but it isn’t so for everyone. Without a solid, cautious plan for buying and flipping an investment property, you could easily end up losing money. The loans you get for your investment home have a significant impact on your ability to make a profit, so working with a credit union to ensure you get the best interest rates makes sense. These other secrets that have helped other house flippers make a profit will also help.

Balance Price and Location

A good investment property for flipping is available at a good price in a desirable location. That means that buying low is important. You don’t want to buy a property at current market value and then assume that the market will drive the price up enough for you to make a profit. Project your potential sale price plus your expenses for doing any necessary repairs and renovations, and work backwards from there to determine the maximum amount you can afford to invest up-front. However, you can’t simply look for a price tag. A cheap home is an unpopular area will not be profitable for you. The right property is in your budget in a good location.

Think Like an Investor and Not a Homeowner

It’s tempting to put the things you would want in your own home into an investment property, but personalizing the property in this way will diminish your pool of buyers and drive up your renovation costs. Keep your property as neutral as possible, so that buyers who enter it see a blank canvas that they can make their own rather than something that specifically reflects your tastes.

Understand Your Loan Options

Investment properties can’t be purchased with traditional mortgage loans. The interest rate on loans for homes that are to be flipped is typically higher than a mortgage. Review your options with your credit union as you build your business plan, so that you can account accurately for the costs.

Westmark Credit Union can guide you through the process of finding financing and ensuring that your flipping project fits into your financial plan. For financial advice in Idaho, call (208) 523-1071.

Dividends 101

If stocks are part of your personal finance profile, then you may receive dividends. Some credit unions also pay dividends to their members. This video explains what you need to know.

Dividends are payments made to people who invest in the success of an organization. If you buy stocks, your stock purchase is an investment in that company’s success, and if they make a profit, they may pay you a dividend. In some cases, when credit unions—which are nonprofit and member-owned—make a profit, they pay that money out to members as a dividend.

From dividends to credit cards, Westmark Credit Union is committed to helping members reach their personal finance goals. For more information about our financial services in Idaho, call (208) 523-1071.

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2520 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Hours of Operation:

  • Closed Sunday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday