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.

FAQs and Answers About Home Equity Loans

A home equity loan is a great way to finance large purchases with a low interest rate by leveraging the money you have already paid into your house. Could a home equity loan be the right way for you to meet a major expense? Here are the answers to some questions that may be on your mind about using home equity loans for your personal finance needs.

What exactly is a home equity loan?

Your home equity is the amount of money you have paid into your home. In other words, the amount of your mortgage that you have paid off is your equity. A home equity loan allows you to use that money when you need it. Home equity loans are usually made for a portion of your equity, but in some cases, it is possible to take a loan for the entire amount of your equity. The home equity loan payment is paid monthly in much the same way you pay your mortgage. As you repay the loan, you rebuild your equity.

What is the difference between a home equity loan and home equity line of credit?

A home equity loan is paid out in one lump sum. Home equity lines of credit are more like credit cards. You get a card or checkbook with an account that has a limit of the total amount of the home equity loan. You can use it as needed over time by using the card or writing a check. As you make payments, that money becomes available to you again, as it would if you made a credit card payment or checking account deposit.

Is a home equity loan right for me?

Home equity loans offer low interest rates and friendly terms, but if you don’t repay them, your house could be on the line. Talk to someone at your credit union about your loan options to see which one is the best choice for you.

At Westmark Credit Union, we’re committed to providing the best possible finance advice to our members, to help each member achieve their goals. For more information about mortgages, home equity loans, and our other banking products, call our credit union in Idaho at (208) 523-1071.

Taking a Closer Look at High-Yield Checking

High-yield checking accounts give you an opportunity to earn interest on the account you use the most. Don’t settle for interest payments on your savings accounts alone. Let your checking account work for you as well by choosing a high-yield account.

At Westmark Credit Union, our high-yield checking account is tiered to make earning interest easier for all members. Keep a $500 minimum balance, and you’ll begin receiving dividends based on your daily balance. The higher your daily balance, the higher your dividends. You also receive a free Visa debit card, two free boxes of checks per year, and 15 free online bill pay transactions per month.

Westmark Credit Union is pleased to offer a variety of checking and saving accounts to help you find the right fit for your personal finance goals. You can learn more about all of our accounts as well as our loan services in Idaho by calling us today at (208) 523-1071.

Financial Accounts Everyone Should Have

When you’re ready to take charge of your finances, having the right accounts to support your goals is the first step. Personal finance needs vary from individual to individual, but there are certain basic accounts that everyone should have to manage their money. If you haven’t yet opened these accounts, make an appointment with your credit union to get them set up and working for you today.

Checking Account

A checking account is the account you will use for most of your spending. Most people have their paychecks put into a checking account via direct deposit and then use the money to pay everything from their car loans to their daily coffee bill. To manage your checking account, you will need to keep track of your spending and your deposits, to make sure you don’t spend more than you have. Some people find it useful to have more than one checking account, to keep money that is earmarked for necessary expenses separate from money used on miscellaneous, non-essential purchases.

Savings Account

Use a savings account to build an emergency fund that can cover you in the event of a financial emergency. You can transfer money into your savings account from a checking account or have a portion of your paycheck deposited directly into it. You may opt to have more than one savings account so you can save for different goals. For instance, in addition to your emergency fund, you may want to have a savings account that you use specifically to save for vacations or holiday spending.

Retirement Account

It is never too early or too late to start saving for retirement. Using a specific type of retirement account, like an IRA, lets you reap special tax benefits you don’t get from a standard savings account. Most people use multiple retirement accounts, thanks to accounts they get through work.

Let Westmark Credit Union help you open the accounts you need to manage your money more effectively. For financial help in Idaho from our credit union, please call (208) 523-1071.

Answering Your Questions About Joining a Credit Union

Credit unions offer an alternative to traditional banks for people who want to manage their finances with affordable accounts at an institution geared towards helping them each their goals. Could a credit union be the right choice for you? Here are the answers to some of the common questions people have about credit union membership.

How is a credit union different from a bank?

The ownership structure is the main difference between credit unions and banks. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that are owned by the members. They don’t have a board of directors to answer to or that shapes the decisions the organizations makes about financial products. Banks are for-profit institutions who are obligated to generate earnings for investors and board members.

What are the advantages of joining a credit union?

In most cases, credit unions can offer better rates on accounts than banks. They can offer lower fees for checking accounts, better interest rates on savings accounts, and lower interest rates on loans. They also have more leeway when it comes to loans because they can take a more holistic look at a member’s financial situation when evaluating credit applications than banks, which must stick to an approval formula. Credit unions can offer these advantages because of their nonprofit, member-owned structure. Any profit that is generated by a credit union is reinvested in services for members, so they can afford to offer more attractive rates.

Is it hard to become a credit union member?

Most people are eligible to join at least one credit union. Membership criteria vary and can include things like place or type of employment and residency. If you meet the membership requirements, transferring your accounts from a bank to a credit union is an easy process.

If you’re interested in joining a credit union in Idaho, contact Westmark Credit Union to learn more about membership. One of our helpful team members will be pleased to offer advice when you call (208) 523-1071.

Tech-Savvy Ways to Manage Your Credit Union Accounts

At Westmark Credit Union, we know that you are always on the go and that you need the flexibility of managing your money from anywhere. That is why we offer a comprehensive range of mobile banking options so that you can always have access to your credit union accounts when you need it.

Embrace technology to take control of your accounts by logging into our online banking system, where you can check all of your balances, transfer money, and even make payments. Download our mobile banking services to use your smartphone to do your banking from anywhere. Our state-of-the-art security protocols mean that your checking account, saving accounts, and other personal finance accounts are always safe.

If you’re a Westmark Credit Union member, contact us today to find out how to set up online and mobile banking in Idaho. For more information about joining our credit union, 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