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.

Things to Consider When You're Shopping for a Car

A car is one of the biggest single purchases most people will ever make, so it pays to approach it cautiously. From comparing cars to comparing loans, there is a lot to consider when you invest in an auto. Fortunately, your credit union can help you make sound finance decisions when you’re in the market for a car. Since they work for you, not a board of directors, they can help you find the right car loans for your needs and your budget. When you make the decision to buy a car, keep these things in mind when you shop.

Car Safety Ratings

Driving a safe care doesn’t just offer you and your family extra protection on the road; it also helps to keep your insurance payments down. Look into the safety records of the cars you’re considering to see which ones are highly rated. Pick a car that is proven to withstand accidents better than its competitors and that has an impressive list of safety features.

Repair Needs and Costs

Whether you buy a new or used car, repair costs are inevitable. Some models of cars are vastly less expensive to repair than others for a number of different reasons, including availability of parts and the degree of specialized training mechanics need to work on the make or model. Look into the required maintenance for the car you’re considering as well as the average repair costs for common mechanical issues to get an idea of the ongoing costs of ownership. If you are buying a less common import make or an older car that is no longer on the market, make sure there are repair shops in your area who can handle the repairs.

Car Loans

Before you go to the dealership, it can be helpful to visit your credit union to discuss your finance options. Be sure to understand all parts of the loan, including the interest rate and your monthly payments. Don’t overlook the additional upfront costs of buying a car, including the down payment, taxes, tags, and fees.

Westmark Credit Union is here to make buying a car as simple as possible for all of our members, with competitively priced car loans in Idaho and financial advice as you approach this major purchase. Start the loan process today by calling (208) 523-1071.

Get the Facts About Mobile Security

Don’t let concerns about security keep you from enjoying the convenience of mobile and online banking. At Westmark Credit Union, your money is in safe hands with all of our mobile products. We use the highest level of authentication and encryption for all of our mobile banking services, so you can feel confident in every transaction you make.

Every time you use mobile banking, we use multiple steps to verify your identity. Your account numbers are always masked, and you are automatically timed out after 10 minutes of inactivity. You can also increase your security by always locking your phone and signing out of your credit union accounts when you are done.

If you have questions about mobile security or any of our credit union services, contact Westmark Credit Union today. With access to great rates on loans, multiple saving and checking account options, and personal financial advice when you need it, our credit union has everything you need to make your money work for you. You can find out more about our services, including mobile banking in Idaho, by calling (208) 523-1071.

Comparing Debit Cards and Credit Cards

If you’re like most people, when you reach for your wallet, you have both a debit card and a credit card to choose from. Understanding how each of these cards work and when to use them is an important part of managing your credit union accounts and your finances. Here is what you need to know about using both of these financial tools to take control of your money.

What is a debit card?

A debit card allows you to spend money in your checking account without having to actually carry a checkbook. The card looks like a credit card and is swiped in the same way, but instead of a signature, you may be prompted to enter a pin number to complete your purchase. When you buy something using a debit card, the money comes out of whatever account the card is linked to either immediately or within a few days of making your purchase. Because the money comes out of the account right away, you can’t carry a balance and don’t have to worry about interest.

What is a credit card?

A credit card allows you to spend money without having it come out of your account right away. Based on your creditworthiness, your credit card issuer will give you a spending limit, and you can use that money as you see fit. You have to make a minimum payment each month, and you are charged interest on any balance you carry over.

Which one should I use?

There are places for both debit cards and credit cards. Debit cards are ideal for everyday purchases, as they prevent you from spending what you don’t have. Credit cards are helpful for large purchases. Many credit cards also offer rewards, like cash back or airline points, that can make them a smart choice for some purchases.

At Westmark Credit Union, our representatives are always available to provide financial advice in Idaho to our members to help them make the right choices, from debit cards and credit cards to loans and savings accounts. Learn more about our services and find out how to join our credit union in Idaho by calling (208) 523-1071.

Should You Use a Personal Loan to Pay Off Debt?

If you are carrying a large amount of high-interest debt, you may consider a personal loan to pay it off. A personal loan essentially lets you consolidate your debt into a single payment each month, and it could help you save money. Is a loan the right answer to dealing with your debt? Here are some things to consider.

What are the interest rates?

The interest rates on your debt should guide your decision about getting a personal loan. If you have debt with a high-interest rate, such as a credit card, the rate on a personal loan may be lower, thus saving you potentially thousands of dollars. However, if the rate on the loan you are considering is higher than the debt you already have, taking out a personal loan will actually cause you to pay more for your debt.

Why do you have debt?

Consider the reasons you have debt before deciding if a personal loan is right for you. If you are carrying debt because you aren’t in the financial position to pay it off, a loan may only be a temporary fix. If the circumstances that caused you to accumulate debt have passed—for instance, if you relied on credit cards while looking for a job but are now employed—a loan could help you save money as you get out of debt. Likewise, if your debt has skyrocketed because of late fees and interest rate hikes because you frequently forget to make payments on time, having a single loan payment can be beneficial.

Are you ready to stay out of debt?

A risk of using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt is that some people are tempted to use their credit cards again when the balances are cleared. This could leave you with your loan payments plus a whole new round of high-interest credit card debt. Make sure you have a plan for avoiding a similar situation in the future before you close on a loan.

Let Westmark Credit Union offer financial advice about using our products to manage your money, from debit cards to loans in Idaho. Speak to a representative today by calling (208) 523-1071.

Easy Ways to Save More Money

If you are trying to give your savings account a boost but aren’t sure how to cut more corners, you may be surprised at the painless ways you can save a little extra money. Shaving a few dollars off your living expenses here and there can add up quickly. Watch this video to learn more.

Skip your iced coffee for cold-brewed coffee at home to watch your savings account group quickly. Make smart swaps, like generic products instead of brand names, and borrow books instead of buying them. All it takes are little changes to make a big impact on your savings.

At Westmark Credit Union, we’re committed to helping our members thrive, with sound financial advice and all of the tools you need to take control of your money, like online banking. Find out how to join our credit union in Idaho by calling (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