OLB, we love thee
But don't be blinded by love >Read Entire Article


Your pennies can lead to big change
Maps Community Foundation supports youth many ways >Read Entire Article


Looking out for you
We work hard to keep you and your money safe >Read Entire Article


Take a drive, make a difference
You can get behind the community by getting behind the wheel of a car.
>Read Entire Article


Not everyone on the Internet has your best interests in mind


Maps awards scholarships to high school grads
Winners show character, compassion and grit. >Read Entire Article


Give us the money…or else
With ransomware, thieves seize access, then demand money
>Read Entire Article


Emails from Tax Man might be fake
Scammers pose as the IRS to trick you into sharing >Read Entire Article


Is the email from the Tax Man?


Managing Money: It's kid stuff
Teaching young people how to handle their finances is as important as ever. >Read Entire Article


Shred your chances of identity theft
Bring your sensitive documents to Maps on April 9; we'll shred them for free. >Read Entire Article


Don't take the text bait
"Phishermen" will try to hook you by pretending to be somebody else >Read Entire Article


Maps makes K-12 lesson plans
Maps teams with Western Oregon University to create lesson plans for students >Read Entire Article


Be careful out there!
Follow these tips to keep you and your device safe. >Read Entire Article


Maps offers students a lifeline
Students see that hard work pays -- sometimes thousands of dollars >Read Entire Article


Watch out: The Boogie Man is after your phone
Your mobile device needs as much protection as the rest of your devices. Take a few of these steps to keep it safe. >Read Entire Article


20 years of priceless lessons
Two decades after opening its first high school branch, Maps continues to teach students about life and money. >Read Entire Article


Keep Up Your Guard While Holiday Shopping
Don't let the Grinches take your riches. Follow these tips to protect you and your money this holiday season.

>Read Entire Article


People Helping People
The credit union movement began 160 years ago with a simple but radical idea. That with the help of your neighbors, you can improve your financial well-being. >Read Entire Article


Phone Call from a Hacker
​I recently received a strange phone call from a person named David claiming to be from Microsoft in Bradley, California (red flag #1). I couldn’t believe my luck: I actually had a hacker on the phone, talking to me, trying to fool me into believing he was from Microsoft! >Read Entire Article


What does an IT executive do to protect his personal computer?
As the VP of Information Technology at Maps, I do a lot of research on data security. I stay on top of the latest threats to computer networks, and the most sophisticated methods to thwart the bad guys.

Not surprisingly, I often get the question, “What do YOU do to protect your personal computer.” >Read Entire Article


Meet the 2015 Scholarship Recipients
Each year, Maps selects some of the most exceptional area students to receive scholarships funds.

This year, the selection committee chose 12 outstanding students to receive a total of $10,500 in scholarship funds. Learn more about them and their academic and personal achievements here. >Read Entire Article


Paying Yourself First When There’s Nothing Left To Save
If you’ve read it once, you’ve read it a million times.

Put money away. Save 10 percent of your income. Fund your 401(k) plan. Pay yourself first. Establish a nest-egg. Spend less than you earn.

But what if you can’t? >Read Entire Article


What is chip technology? And how can it protect you?
With the new credit cards coming to Maps, we're rolling out chip technology, which can make your credit and debit cards more secure. 

Here are some common questions about the technology and how it works.
>Read Entire Article


Tax Records: What to Keep, What to Toss
When it comes to tax-related documents, good record keeping means knowing what to toss, and what to keep and for how long.

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) doesn't require you to keep records in any particular way. Develop a system that helps you and the IRS figure your correct tax. >Read Entire Article


It’s Youth Savings Month!
Every April, credit unions around the country celebrate our young savers with special events, giveaways, and activities designed to help build good financial habits from a young age.

Find out more about what we're doing at Maps. >Read Entire Article


Five Steps to Organizing Your Finances
Do you know your net worth? Or how much you spend each month, and on what? Or how much you can expect from your pension plan or Social Security in retirement?

A no to most of these questions puts you with the majority of the population who have been too busy with life to get a handle on their finances. Fortunately, we've got a five-step action plan to help you take control of your money. >Read Entire Article


Help Maps Change a Child’s Life
Do you know about Credit Unions for Kids? They coordinate national fundraising drives in credit unions across the country to raise money for local children’s hospitals? Well, Maps Credit Union is participating in Change a Child’s Life, a coin drive with all proceeds benefiting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
>Read Entire Article


2015 Mini-grant recipients
Once a year, the Maps Community Foundation offers mini-grants to teachers through a competitive process. Priority is given to projects that promote financial education and college preparedness. This year, we were proud to work with our sponsors Maps Insurance and PEMCO Insurance to present the funds to these local teachers... >Read Entire Article


Opening a new account online is easy
Saving for a special vacation or purchase? Open a secondary savings account — without setting foot in a branch.

Here are the steps to make it happen. >Read Entire Article


How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions?
There’s something about the new year that brings out the child in all of us. There’s the excitement of being on the threshold of something new, a fresh beginning, another chance to get it right. This is going to be the year. The year to put an end to all those bad habits and start some new good ones.  >Read Entire Article


How Quickly Could Someone Guess Your Password?
What’s the best way to protect your personal information?

A password.

Keep reading to find out what makes a password secure — and what else you can do to protect your security online. >Read Entire Article


How to ruin a bad guy’s day
Imagine this scenario: A member logs into their online banking account at a public library, and forgets to log out before walking away. A person with bad intentions then sits down and attempts to send money from that person’s account. Now, imagine an online banking system smart enough to know that this isn’t “normal” online activity for that member — and makes sure it is really the member before allowing the transaction.  >Read Entire Article


Important Notice about Online Banking
We are about to launch our new online banking platform. As we transition to the new system, Bill Pay and external transfers will be unavailable Oct. 20 to 23 — all previously scheduled transfers will be made. Internal transfers will be disabled Oct. 22. FinanceWorks will be disabled the morning of Oct. 23.

We apologize for this inconvenience, but we’re sure you’ll be happy with the great new features of this upgrade. >Read Entire Article


Celebrating the Credit Union Cooperative
What is it about credit unions that makes us different from other financial institutions? Our cooperative structure. That means each and every member is an owner of the credit union — pooling resources to help each other. And October is the month we celebrate our unique structure. >Read Entire Article


Are you excited about Apple Pay?
Apple recently announced Apple Pay, a new feature that allows you to use your iPhone to pay for purchases through a credit or debit card. Apple has stated it will formally launch the service in late October.

At Maps, there are two things of paramount importance when it comes to technology that may affect members: security and convenience. >Read Entire Article


Financial Fitness Tips for College Students
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the typical college student.

What do you see? A disheveled 19-year-old eating Ramen noodles, scrounging for change to do their laundry and buying generic toilet paper? College life doesn’t have to be this way. >Read Entire Article


5 Questions to Ask Before Finalizing a Car Loan
Getting a new car or truck can be exciting – but don’t let that cloud your judgment when it comes to negotiating a fair price or financing the purchase.

Making the right inquiries and carefully going over the terms of a loan to pay for the vehicle can help you avoid costly mistakes. >Read Entire Article


What Are Your Plans for Summer Fun? Add These Events to Your Calendar
Now that Memorial Day weekend is a memory, we are firmly ensconced in unofficial summer – and we’ve got the weather to prove it. That means we’re also into summer festival season. Here are some of the summer events I recommend. >Read Entire Article


It's Mountain Biking Season: Are You Prepared?
Oregon is a mini-mecca for cyclists across the country. We have gorgeous terrain for street riding, plenty of mountains for downhill riding, and endless miles of trails for all-mountain and cross-country distance riding. >Read Entire Article


7 Graduation Gifts for Financial Success
Graduation is not only the culmination of years of diligent study; it is the commencement of the journey we call adulthood. So why not make your gift appropriate for the occasion?

Instead of getting your graduate a commemorative photo or a gift card for her favorite clothing store, get her a gift that will set her up for success for the rest of her life. These seven gift ideas will help get your graduate on the right track. >Read Entire Article


Now's the Time for a Home Equity Loan, and Here's Why
If you have equity in your home and need some cash — whether it’s to consolidate debt, make improvements to your home or pay for other big expenses — now could be the perfect time for a home equity loan. >Read Entire Article


News from Maps about the Heartbleed Internet bug
We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. Our information technology staff and the vendors we use for Online Banking, TurboTax for Online Banking, credit and debit cards, and gift cards have completed preliminary assessments and have not discovered any vulnerabilities. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure that your information is safe, and we will notify you if there are any security issues or actions you need to take. >Read Entire Article


Microsoft discontinues support of Windows XP
Microsoft has announced on April 8 they will no longer support Windows XP. If you are currently using Windows XP, Microsoft recommends you upgrade to a supported operating system to ensure access to the latest security updates they provide. >Read Entire Article


More than just a party crasher
Last month, I got to crash one of the credit union movement's biggest events, the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. The Crash the GAC program is now in its fifth year, and I was thrilled to be selected through a competitive application process to take part. >Read Entire Article


5 Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund
It’s that time again. If you’ve already filed your taxes, you might soon see a refund in your bank account — around $3,034 on average. While it can be tempting to splurge on a fancy TV or a vacation, you could also use the extra cash to bolster your financial security, and save yourself money in the long term. Want to make the best use of your refund? Here are five things you can do with it. >Read Entire Article


Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day?
As people in different parts of the world get ready for St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d take a break from my own preparations, which basically involve searching for my green vest/sparkly hat combo, and study this unique holiday a bit more closely.

>Read Entire Article


Fight the Good Fight
As Americans, we all battle a common foe. No, I’m not talking about our exercise habits (or lack of them). My topic is far more subtle, yet it’s all around you. It’s the Battle of Stuff.

>Read Entire Article


How to Buy Local -- and Stick to a Budget -- for Your Wedding
What’s the average dollar amount spent on a wedding? Go ahead. Take a guess…

Have a number in mind?

Well, according to Cost of Wedding, “On average, U.S. couples spend $25,656 for their wedding." >Read Entire Article


Is a 401(k) or an IRA Right for You?
Planning for retirement can be quite a daunting task, with so many options available. Although a 401(k) plan remains the most popular, you shouldn't ignore Traditional and Roth IRAs.

>Read Entire Article


How to Save for College: Tips for High School Students
 Financing your college education can be daunting, to say the least: the average American student attending an in-state public school paid $18,391 in tuition last year alone. Private-school students had to budget for almost double that amount. That is a large chunk of change that will eventually need to be paid. >Read Entire Article


Everybody wins with Maps, the Oregon IDA Initiative, and IDA 75% Tax Credit
Neighborhood Partnerships is a strong partner of the Maps Community Foundation. They oversee the Oregon IDA Initiative and work to build thriving communities, end homelessness, and create economic stability. We have invited them to talk about the IDA initiative here on the Maps blog. >Read Entire Article


Make Your Gift Count: Donating to Charity Effectively
After reviewing what we’ve accomplished so far this year, many of us are ready to get involved with charitable giving on a scale bigger than our annual Girl Scout cookie purchase. But not all charities are created equal. By following the tips here you can ensure that your money has the greatest possible impact — both on the charity’s beneficiaries and on your own tax profile. >Read Entire Article


Buy Local on the Go
I'm so excited to announce that the Buy Local app has been released! >Read Entire Article


Smart Shopping This Holiday Season
Are you and your wallet ready for the holidays? It’s likely your credit card will be getting some extra use over the next few weeks, which brings up some special risks as well as advantages. Here are some of the best ways to avoid the biggest credit card pitfalls while getting the most out of your holiday purchases. >Read Entire Article


Halloween Memories
It’s funny to look back at memories of Halloween as a child and compare them to the experiences my 5-year-old daughter is en route to have. As a parent, my concerns for the perfect costume and choice in nonsurgical facial “enhancements” take a back seat to a creative strategy of the evening’s dinner configuration, time management, and safety measures.
>Read Entire Article


When and How to Refinance Your Mortgage Payments
This week, we welcome guest blogger Sara Collins from the personal finance site NerdWallet. She gives some great insight into the process of refinancing a mortgage. >Read Entire Article


How Can I Pay Off My Credit Card?
 If you carry a balance on your card, you’ve probably asked yourself this question more than once. Here are some simple strategies that can help you find some extra money to put toward your credit card payment every month. >Read Entire Article


How Do I Pick a Rewards Card?
Maps, like many financial institutions, offers Visa cards in two flavors: Platinum and Platinum Points. Both offer low fixed interest rates and no annual fee, but the Platinum Points card also earns points for every purchase.
>Read Entire Article


How Do You Pick a Credit Card?
What matters when you are choosing the right credit card for you? This post offers tips to help you assess different cards. >Read Entire Article


How Can I Earn More Scorecard Rewards Points?
So you have a points card. How do you maximize your opportunities to earn points that you can redeem for travel, merchandise, and other cool stuff? >Read Entire Article


Why Do Interest Rates Matter?
The interest rate you get for a loan determines the size of your monthly payment. This number hits your pocketbook each month, so it is one of the key elements of any loan or credit card you take on. >Read Entire Article


Personal Finance is "Totes N.B.D."
Working for Maps at the Willamette University campus branch has made me realize just how “uncool” I am.

When a young member says, “Yeah, totes N.B.D.” or that they want Maps “merch,” turns out what they are really telling me is, “totally, no big deal” and they want some “Maps merchandise.”

>Read Entire Article


Why I Love Buy Local
Started in 2010 by my predecessor in this position, Jamie Young, the Buy Local program is the essence of great business development and a true win-win-win partnership. >Read Entire Article


Back to (Financial) Basics
 In my role at the credit union, I often get members asking me “What do I have on my card?”

Young and old have lost the concept of having an account (not a card) that they are responsible for. It is so important to monitor or keep track of your spending, balance your account, and know how much money you have. >Read Entire Article


What's Your Credit Situation?
Suze Orman was quoted as saying, “You must recognize, embrace, and be honest about what is real for you today and allow that understanding to inform the choices you make. Only then will you be able to build the future of your dreams.” When we talk about credit and credit history, it truly does fit into what Suze said. >Read Entire Article


Challenging you to get creative about the issues facing foster kids
Our 2012 Community Challenge was a great success, resulting in private and foundation funding to support the new Youth Empowerment Program at HOME Youth & Resource Center, a drop-in youth homeless day shelter.

This year, we're asking for your creative ideas to address issues faced by teens transitioning out of the foster system.
>Read Entire Article


Check out our high school interns
 In our family, my youngest sibling graduated from McKay High School, turned 18, got into college, and got a job all within the last week of school. I had the privilege of dropping him off on his first day of work, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “Good luck, and welcome to the real world.”

He looked at me with a face that questioned whether my statement was something good or bad. >Read Entire Article


How Can We Help You Build Credit?
What do the following things have in common?
• A baseball game
• A dramatic movie
• Your credit report

They all should have scores! >Read Entire Article


The 4th of July in Film
It’s 4th of July week, and we’re all about to put on our best red, white, and blue shirts, get a wicked sunburn (some of us, anyway), and eat an entire year’s worth of hot dogs. Besides the barbecues and parades, one thing my family loves to do is watch movies. So I thought I’d share with you three that, for me, celebrate what it means to be an American. >Read Entire Article


5 Things Everyone Should Know about Credit Unions
This guest post by Phroogal's founder Jason Vitug addresses and debunks some of the common myths about credit unions. >Read Entire Article


“Buy Local” takes the national stage once again…
Last month, I headed down to Orlando, Florida, to give an update on our Buy Local program to an audience of more than 100 credit union executives from all over the country. The thing that really stood out about our program is that it significantly helped our local economy while growing the presence of the credit union. >Read Entire Article


Taking the 5-2-1-0 Challenge.
A lot has happened to me in the past 12 months. I got my first smartphone. I landed solidly in middle age (double nickels) and discovered muscles and joints I never knew existed. My summer membership in the vegetable co-op expired. And I took up drinking coffee (with a lot of help from Swiss Miss).

>Read Entire Article


Maps and SKEF Take Kids to College
This year, Maps had the opportunity to sponsor the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation You Can Go To College program. >Read Entire Article


Why Buy Local?
 "Buy Local." Nope, this isn’t just a catch phrase coined by Hipsters. Here at Maps Credit Union, the phrase Buy Local represents a nationally recognized, award-winning program designed in 2011 to create winning opportunities for everyone involved. >Read Entire Article


The Sneezes of Spring
Ah, spring. What a joyous season.

Here in the Willamette Valley, spring is very encouraging, because we know that it means we must endure only 3 more months of rainy, overcast days. >Read Entire Article


Financial Education: A key ingredient in helping our community reach its goals
How would you rate your knowledge of personal finance? If you said a C, D, or F, you are among nearly half of adults in the US. 42% rate themselves a C or less. At Maps, we want to change that. >Read Entire Article


Crashing the GAC
After a whirlwind week "crashing" the credit union Governmental Affairs Conference, I have picked the top five experiences of this fabulous advocacy event. >Read Entire Article


Hitting those milestones
 Earlier this month, I hit the big 3-0.

Those big birthdays always make me look back at how far I've come and where I'm headed.

I remember when I was 3 years old, chasing my cousins around the yard of my grandma’s house in the summer of 1986. >Read Entire Article


Congratulations to Our Local Mini-Grant Recipients, part 2
Earlier this month, I announced the first batch of our mini-grant winners.

Here is the second group of teachers who were able to benefit from the Maps Community Foundation Education Grants.
>Read Entire Article


Congratulations to Our Local Mini-Grant Recipients, part 1
Once a year, the Maps Community Foundation offers mini-grants to schools in the Salem-Keizer, Monmouth and Independence, Silver Falls, and Woodburn school districts. I'm excited to announce the first group of mini-grant recipients. I will be back next week to announce the rest of our recipients. >Read Entire Article


Education = Priceless
As Americans, we have diverse views on many, many topics. But on a few things, we generally agree: Brussels sprouts taste bad. Alarm clocks are evil. Exercise is healthy. College education is expensive. Let’s focus on that last one. >Read Entire Article


Have you heard of the Maps Community Foundation?
The Maps Community Foundation is the charitable affiliate of Maps Credit Union and a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. It is also where I spend a majority of my time working. The primary focus of the foundation is to increase the financial capability of community members in the form of asset building.
>Read Entire Article


3 Important Mobile Banking Safety Habits
 Mobile banking is here to stay.

Almost half of all mobile phones in circulation today are of the smart phone variety, so more and more people are discovering the convenience and ease of performing basic financial transactions on their mobile phones. >Read Entire Article


Will we see you at the Crystal Apple Awards in Woodburn?
The Crystal Apple Awards recognize and honor those professionals within the education system who live out excellence and make a positive impact in the lives of those they come in contact with on a daily basis. That includes teachers, administrators, and office support staff who are actively involved in the success of our children. >Read Entire Article


How Credit Unions Work Together to Serve the Underserved
  I recently had the privilege to attend America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) in San Diego. Within that larger conference, I was part of a smaller group of 15 credit union professionals under age 30 who came together for one purpose. >Read Entire Article


Announcing the Winner of the First Maps Community Challenge
 The Maps Community Foundation congratulates Cyndi Astley, deputy director of the Community Action Agency, on winning the first Community Challenge Award. Her Culinary Arts Project has the potential to provide homeless teens with self-esteem, vocational training, and job experience. >Read Entire Article


Thank you for your understanding during the system maintenance and upgrade.
We appreciate your patience as we complete the steps in our system upgrade and work to bring services online.

Those of you who use Quicken will need to do an update of your settings. Read the instructions here.

And read more about the system upgrade here. >Read Entire Article


Sharing the Good Things in Life
Maps Credit Union and whodidgoodtoday.com know that working together can positively transform a community.

This week, the founder of whodidgoodtoday.com talks about the site, the partnership with Maps, and how you can share good news with it.

>Read Entire Article


Emotions and Stress
 This week, we invite Maps member and local chiropractor Dr. Peter Lind to be our guest on the Maps blog.

With all the noise in your brain, how can you even think straight, let alone try to listen to yourself? >Read Entire Article


Back-to-School Budgeting for Everyone
This week, we invite Laura Edgar, from Nerdwallet.com, to be our guest on the Maps blog.

Fall is here, and that means it’s time to go back to school. If you’re a parent or a college student, you know just how quickly all those expenses add up. >Read Entire Article


Announcing the Maps Community Challenge Award
 Teen homelessness isn’t something you necessarily notice, but it is there.  In fact, Marion County has one of the highest populations of homeless teens in the state -- 13% of Oregon's runaways and homeless teens live here, yet we have only 9% of the state's total youth population. >Read Entire Article


Maps Credit Union’s Buy Local Program Makes the NerdWallet List of Favorite Credit Union Marketing Campaigns
 Personal finance website NerdWallet today named Maps Credit Union’s Buy Local program to their list of favorite credit union marketing campaigns. The list, compiled by Laura Edgar, singles the program out for being focused primarily on community goodwill. >Read Entire Article


We All Win When We Buy from Locally Owned Businesses
We gave away quite a few reusable Buy Local shopping bags to our members who participated in the Buy Local Scavenger Hunt in May and June.

But three lucky Maps members got an extra prize. >Read Entire Article


Surviving Disneyland: Tips for a Visit to the Happiest Place on Earth
I am fresh off of a family vacation from Disneyland. Being that I am now in my thirties and had not been to Disneyland since I was in grade school, it was a new adventure.

The magic was in full force with the children, and our adventure on the Small World Ride captured some of it for me as well — nostalgic for sure. >Read Entire Article


Maps Congratulates our Scholarship Recipients
In 1935, a group of 17 teachers started the credit union that would come to be known as Maps.

Every day since then, we have honored our education roots through community service, which focuses on financial education and activities that help increase the asset-building potential for members of our community. Once a year, we award scholarships that help local students realize their dreams of a college education. >Read Entire Article


Get Your Fresh, Local Fruits and Veggies
How would you like to have fresh, organic produce delivered to you at work each week?

We got the opportunity to try it out this year, as 25 of us here at Maps grouped together to purchase shares in the Minto Island Growers CSA. >Read Entire Article


Can You Tell Me My Balance?
Our most popular branch is one the average member has never set foot in: our Salem-based contact center.

When you call us with a question about your account or about a new service you would like to learn more about, you are most likely to speak with one of the member service representatives who staff this phone-based branch.
>Read Entire Article


Honoring Mom
I am the mother of a little boy who is almost two years old. This weekend marks only my second Mother's Day, and it feels a little bit odd to be the one getting the cards and gifts. I've caught on quite well to my birthday and Christmas, so I have faith that I will get used to it.
>Read Entire Article


Making a Difference with Mini-Grants
 You hear a lot about some of the larger projects that Maps funds, such as our $50,000 donation to the Salem-Keizer School District, our support of the Salem Art Association, and the formation of the Maps Community Foundation. But you might not hear so much about some of the smaller initiatives we help our local community with each and every day. >Read Entire Article


Consider Online Statements
Are online statements right for you? My question is "why wouldn't they be?"

Many people fear online banking because they question the security of the Internet; however, at Maps Credit Union, we are continuously assessing new threat protections for our online services to make sure our members’ information is protected.
>Read Entire Article


How to Keep the Kids Happy and Active During Spring Break
“I’m bored!"
"There’s nothing to do!”

If you are a parent, you probably dread these words. But with Spring Break in full force this week, I’d bet we are all hearing them about now. So what’s a parent to do?

>Read Entire Article


Stop Scammers in Their Tracks
Have you ever received an email, official looking letter, phone call or text awarding great sums of money? Offering an incredible new business venture? Expressing the urgency to send money for your long-lost third cousin twice removed so they can receive a life-saving neurotransmitter replacement?

If so, you are not alone.
>Read Entire Article


Democracy Calls for Action
This is a democracy, and you need to step up. You can’t complain about the future if you don’t get educated about the issues and make your voice heard. Do not leave the decisions that affect your financial stability, your future, and your community in the hands of others.

I’m not talking about politics. I’m talking about your credit union.
>Read Entire Article


It's Scholarship Time
A scholarship is very valuable to an entering college student. If a student has spent long hours studying, obtaining good grades, and participating in school sports and charitable activities, scholarship awards are a great reward for hard work.
>Read Entire Article


Are You Ready for Leap Day?
How would it feel having a birthday only once every four years?

When I was asked to write about leap year, I thought to myself I don’t know anything about leap year other than it means an extra day of the year or your birthday only rolls around every 4 years. >Read Entire Article


The Joy of Telecommuting
First, let me introduce myself: My name is Bryant, and I’m 26 years old. I’m fluent in a dozen languages. Unfortunately, all but one are computer programming languages. I live in the sunny Willamette Valley, if there is such a place.
>Read Entire Article


Snapshot of a Buy Local Partner: Luis's Taqueria
A few weeks ago, on a day very much like today — rainy, dark, and ominous — I had the pleasure to sit down with one of our Buy Local partners and discuss their offers for the upcoming year.

I arrived at Luis’s Taqueria in Woodburn about 10:30 in the morning. I was set to meet with the owner, Luis, to discuss his offers for 2012.
>Read Entire Article


Members and Staff Work Together to Support the Community
You may have seen the football cutouts posted in the branches and the displays of See’s Valentine’s candy for sale. Have you ever wondered what that is all about?
>Read Entire Article


Dodd-Frank Legislation: What Consumers Need to Know, Part 4
Today is the final installment in our series on how the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank legislation) will affect consumers.

After their posts on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), plain language disclosures, and the Consumer Complaint Hotline, CU Wireless General Manager Chris Giles and Maps CFO Kevin Cole close with a look at the regulations on fringe financial providers.
>Read Entire Article


Dodd-Frank Legislation: What Consumers Need to Know, Part 3
Today, CU Wireless General Manager Chris Giles and Maps CFO Kevin Cole continue their series on how the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank legislation) will affect consumers.

Previously, they discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and plain language disclosures. Today, they debate the Consumer Complaint Hotline. >Read Entire Article


Dodd-Frank Legislation: What Consumers Need to Know, Part 2
Today, CU Wireless General Manager Chris Giles and Maps CFO Kevin Cole continue their series on how the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank legislation) will affect consumers.

Yesterday, they discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Today, they talk about the requirement that financial disclosures be written in plain language.
>Read Entire Article


Dodd-Frank Legislation: What Consumers Need to Know, Part 1
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank legislation) was passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008. Congress deemed it necessary to introduce legislation that would prevent a recurrence of the practices that contributed to the financial meltdown. The intent of the legislation was primarily to protect consumers and regain stability of the financial system. Within this legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was formed and granted independent authority to pursue this end.
>Read Entire Article


Local Solutions to a Worldwide Problem
Do you know what involves approximately 27 million people worldwide, generates roughly $32 Billion US annually, and is considered the fastest growing international crime?

Human trafficking. >Read Entire Article


The Top 5 Posts of 2011
With 2011 drawing to a close, we decided to take a look at the blog posts that resonated with you the most. We assessed posts both by total visits and number of comments when creating this top 5 list.
>Read Entire Article


The Spirit of Giving Is Alive and Well at Maps
One of the reasons I am so proud to work at Maps is our history as a strong partner to the community.

Historically, the credit union has contributed to our community in various ways, monetarily and through partnership with local schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
>Read Entire Article


Tis the Season to Buy Local
This is the time of year for the hustle and bustle of the holidays, shopping for those special someones, and gathering with friends. As we go about our busy holiday activities, let’s keep in mind the local places that can help to accommodate us with these needs.
>Read Entire Article


Top 5 Staff Holiday Traditions
Now that we are firmly entrenched in the holiday season, we thought it might be fun to share some of our favorite family traditions with you.
>Read Entire Article


What I Learned in Oaxaca
Recently, a group of Maps staff and board members returned from a service trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. We were the 50th team of volunteers who went with Friends of Pimpollo to help the people of Oaxaca build schools so their kids can get the education they need, and we were their first corporate team.
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What is happening to Thanksgiving?
I love Thanksgiving. The sights, sounds, smells, and feelings all take me back to my childhood. I have very fond memories of the annual gatherings with family and friends in Woodburn (where I grew up), watching football on TV, playing board games, and, of course, eating lots of great food. For me, it really comes down to memories, old and new, of time spent with loved ones.
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The High Cost of Recidivism
Marion County has the highest prison admissions rate of any Oregon County, admitting 720 inmates to our local prisons each year. These numbers are expected to increase by 3-4% in the next few years. How does this affect our community and the future leaders of our community?
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Decoding RMD
So you’ve reached age 70 or better? Let’s celebrate by giving a great big chunk of cash to the IRS as a penalty for living a long life and prudently saving in an IRA, 401K, TSA, or other pre-tax retirement savings plan.

Scared you? Good. I meant to. You can avoid that scary proposition by learning the meaning of these three magic words, “Required Minimum Distribution.”
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Happy International Credit Union and Annual Meeting Week!
I hope you had a chance to visit one of our branches last week to share in the International Credit Union Day festivities. We’d love to hear your comments about why Maps is special to you, so please add a comment at the end of this post.

Two of our members think Maps is pretty special right now: Lance and Deanne Hicks.
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The Truth about Soccer Dads
Something about the smell of morning dew on grass makes me happy. It smells like soccer.

I love soccer.
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Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones
Wow, what a few weeks it has been!

Kindergarten is supposed to be such a fun and exciting time in a child’s life. I know we will get to the exciting times, but as I sit here writing this today, there seems to be a long road to travel before we see the sun and rainbows.
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Marriage and Money
Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to us!

It is not always easy, and I must say most of our fights have been about money.
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Welcome Back to School
It’s back to school time! And yep. I’ve always been a nerd who gets excited about it.

For as long as I can remember, this has been my favorite time of year. When I was little, back-to-school was all about the chance to meet new and reconnect with old friends. >Read Entire Article


We Love Our Readers
Updated: We have a winner! Congratulations to Chad B. But, just because the prize is gone doesn't mean you can't have fun with the scavenger hunt! We would also like to hear the topics you would like us to cover in the next few months. Leave us a comment.

We have had so much fun getting this blog up and running this year, and we have you to thank for our success.
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Got Paper (or Pencils or Notebooks)?
Have you noticed the school supply barrels in our branches? We are proud to support local students in need by collecting your donations of school supplies.

It is important that children have the tools they need to be successful, and in these trying financial times, many families are struggling to provide even basic school supplies.
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Getting Ready for College
The transition into college has always been a challenging one, especially for a teen moving away from home. But lately high school graduates, including me, have been staying home to attend community college. This fall, I will be attending Chemeketa Community College under their Scholars Program, which pays for my tuition for two full years. Clearly, this was a deal I could not pass up.
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Join Us for a Party!
Those of us who work in the Woodburn Branch would love to see you at the Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana Aug. 5-7.

Fiesta Mexicana is an award-winning multicultural event, and this will be its 48th year in Woodburn. Everyone is welcome.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Cold Stone Ice Cream
One of my favorite childhood activities was going with my family to the ice cream shop. At the time, we went to the only shop Keizer had. Much to my parents’ chagrin, I always had to have chocolate ice cream on a sugar cone, and there always seemed to be some on my face, shirt, and anywhere else it should not be.
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Keeping the Maps Connection
Moving away for college can be a task all on its own. Aside from meeting a new roommate, shopping for dorm furniture, and packing up most of your wardrobe (half of which you probably won’t wear once you get to school), there are other challenges a student faces once they leave their home and embark on the next journey of their life.
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Supporting Art and Family in the Salem Community
The Salem Art Fair is one of my favorite summer events. It has a great variety of artists, performances, and food, all underneath the big beautiful Bush Park oak trees. It’s a fun event for the day or the whole weekend. (If I get my way, I attend all three days.) >Read Entire Article


Make Maps Glow
During the month of July, when you enter a Maps branch, you will probably see a lot of Children’s Miracle Network balloons on the walls and glow-in-the-dark bracelets on the employee’s wrists. (Yes, I know you probably won’t be able to tell they are glow-in-the-dark in the branch, since we keep the lights on.) >Read Entire Article


Are You Planning a Staycation?
Doesn’t it seem like each summer, we tend to want to plan our two week adventure around a theme of frugality and hominess? In other words, we want to go somewhere close and not pay much money.
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Bring Us Your Box Tops
As you are well aware, we are living in difficult financial times. The current economic downturn has affected a variety of facets of our local area, including our schools. All of the districts we serve have made difficult decisions, and we will feel them as we move into the next school year. >Read Entire Article


The Importance of Dad
Father’s day is coming up, which always makes me think about my wife. You see, my wife is great. She’s the closest thing to Superwoman I’ve ever encountered in my life. She takes care of our family and manages our home while holding a full-time job. Sure, I help out, but it’s definitely her show.
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The True Cost of Owning a Pet
I am the proud owner of two dogs, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Not very many people have seen these dogs before, so we get approached frequently while we are out walking or at the dog park. People ask a lot of questions: “What kind of dogs are those?” “Where did you get them?” “Are they going to get any bigger?” And, invariably, “How much does one of these dogs cost?”
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A Reflection on Memorial Day
Memorial Day is upon us, and what does this mean?

The true idea of this day is to give thanks and remember those who have died in our nation’s service. For many, this means attending various events and places to do this, maybe a gathering, a parade, or a gravesite.
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Site Outage 5/21/11
The morning of Saturday 5/21, mapscu.com became unavailable. Our web hosting provider experienced a hardware failure from which they could not quickly recover. Instead, they had to configure new hardware and restore our site from backup – a very time-consuming process. Our site was finally available again at approximately noon on Sunday 5/22. >Read Entire Article


A Challenge
3,000–5,000: The average numbers of steps each American walks each day

10,000: The amount of steps equivalent to the U.S. government’s recommendation for leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight
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Let's Get Uncomfortable
I guess I am a runner, but I don’t know that I really love to run. So many mornings, I struggle to get out of bed and take my run. It’s raining. I’m tired. My foot hurts. Most days, I can ignore the discomfort and do what needs to be done. >Read Entire Article


Are You Ready for Mother's Day?
Mother’s Day is coming up!

In fact, it’s this Sunday, May 8th.

What do you usually think of when you hear that Mother’s Day is coming up soon?
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What Is SKEF? And Why Do You Care?

What? Who? Where? When?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please let me tell you. SKEF stands for the Salem Keizer Education Foundation, which helps raise funds for the Salem Keizer School District. Their big event is the Awesome 3000. >Read Entire Article


Is It Time to Buy an Electric Car?
I was talking with my 14-year old son the other day about our next car purchase. Our 11-year-old gas-guzzling SUV is making some weird noises lately, so it is time to think about purchasing a new vehicle.

In the course of the conversation, my son asked, “We ARE buying an electric vehicle for our next car… right?”
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Plan Ahead to Buy a Home
If you are thinking about buying a home, when should you start talking to your mortgage loan officer?
  1. Six months before you plan to buy
  2. When you find a home you like
  3. Now
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Protect Your Personal Information to Prevent Fraud
Spring cleaning is a chore!

You have just finished cleaning out your closets, desk and file cabinets along with piles of old clothes and other unnecessary things. You ask your teenage son to help you transfer these bags of trash to the garage with specific instructions to place the bag of documents aside until you can figure out what to do with them.
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Buy Local
What is your favorite local place to grab a cup of coffee, purchases a little something for a friend, or get a bite to eat?

We have all found those secret places we almost hate to reveal for fear that they will become over-run with others who are now coveting your favorite chair in “your” coffee shop. Although that is a valid concern, one other important thing to consider is that spreading the word about these local haunts only helps to support local businesses and our local economy.
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Spring Break and College Are in the Air!
Spring Break: A time when college kids cut loose in Cancun and high school seniors wonder how to get in to the college of their dreams so they can realize their own freedom soon. Many scholarship application deadlines approach at the end of March, and students spend spring break scrambling to complete them. (Maps offers a number of scholarships with an application deadline of March 31.)
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Do You Like Virtual Adventures?
Oftentimes when I visit a store, I go directly to the area that has the stuff I want. I rarely look around to see where everything is and what the whole store looks like. I have this same tendency when I visit a website. >Read Entire Article


Where Do You Connect?
Over the past few months, Maps has tried some new ways to connect with you, and now we’d like to know what works and what directions you would like to see us move in the future.

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Are You a Blood Donor?
I try to donate blood once or twice a year to the Red Cross. I feel guilty if I don’t. I have O negative blood type, which means I am a universal donor but can receive only O- blood myself. The need for universal donor blood is great, so the plea calls are endless until I sign up to give. >Read Entire Article


Who Isn't a Caregiver These Days?
There are all types of caregivers in the world. If you think about it, a mom and a dad are caregivers during all stages of their children’s growth. But most of us think of caregivers as middle-aged people who take care of elderly relatives with various types of ailments.
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Checking on Your New Year's Resolutions
Darn those New Year’s resolutions anyway!

It is already February. Every year the same thing occurs: We face the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and then we are thrust into a New Year with new beginnings, new hope and, yes, new resolutions.
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The Power of Pocket Change
(or purse change, in my case)

I thought I’d follow up on my post about saving money.

I want everyone know exactly how much I saved in January just by digging to the bottom of my purse every day and grabbing the handful of change that was down there ... >Read Entire Article


Navigating Your Credit
Mr. Credit: Ahem. Well sir, the loan request for this beautiful tree house with pink walls and a swirly twirly slide has been declined. You have horrible credit.
Mr. Tree House Buyer: What is so bad about my credit?
Mr. Credit: Your DTI is VERY high. Your recent BK made your FICO take a nose dive. ... >Read Entire Article


Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day
I am a native Oregonian with roots in the rolling hills fifteen minutes south of Salem. My childhood was a simple country life with no traffic lights, one hamburger joint, two country stores, and a single gas station. >Read Entire Article


Go Big or Go Home!?!? Not This Time.
Hey, we’re in a recession here. I don’t think that going “big” in saving or spending is realistic for many people right now. So here are my ideas for saving and spending during 2011. Go small. I’d like to challenge you to: Do some saving, sell some less than treasured items around the house, and even spend a little, to help prepare yourselves. >Read Entire Article


What Makes Maps a Great Place to Work?
Last month, Maps won an award from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. BOLI named Maps a Fair Workplace Champion, which is a business that ensures that it provides living wage jobs and pathways to career development.

We were all really excited about the award, but I was especially proud because I submitted the nomination. >Read Entire Article


Why Children's Hospitals?
Since the 1980s, Maps and other Oregon credit unions have raised money for Doernbecher Children's Hospital through Credit Unions for Kids. Nationwide, Credit Unions for Kids has grown to become the third largest "corporate" sponsor of the Children's Miracle Network, raising almost $9 million annually. >Read Entire Article

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