Once you become a member at CESFCU, you are eligible to apply for a loan. There is no waiting period. Like most other institutions, our loan decisions are based on your credit, financial history and ability to repay the loan.
Auto Loans & Recreation Loans
CESFCU is a great place to turn for all your auto or recreation loans! Whether you are refinancing an existing loan or purchasing a new or used car, truck, RV/campers, motorcycle/ATV/UTV, or boat/personal watercraft, let CESFCU give you the best offer we have so you can complete your refinance/purchase with confidence and a smile!
CESFCU makes the process simple, comfortable, and virtually hassle-free with competitive rates, flexible, terms and a easy application process.
CESFCU can provide loans for your Farm Equipment and Trailer needs. CESFCU makes the process simple, comfortable, and virtually hassle-free with competitive rates, flexible, terms and a easy application process.
Unsecured /Personal/Signature Loans
Let CESFCU help with your personal loan needs, whatever they may be. You can use an unsecured or personal/signature loan to consolidate debt, finance a vacation, cover holiday expenses, medical expenses, or handle life's unexpected events. CESFCU offers unsecured or personal/signature loans with low interest rates, fast processing and convenient repayment terms (36 to 60 months).
The amount a member may borrow is based on 10% of member’s annual income and member’s credit score. Our new maximum loan limit for unsecured loans is $15,000
Share Secured Loans
Want to get a loan but continue to earn dividends on your savings? With a CESFCU share secured loan, your deposit in a CESFCU share savings account or savings certificate serves as collateral to secure your loan. Share secured loans have low interest rates, fast processing and convenient repayment terms (36 to 60 months).
At CESFCU, we offer what we think is the best, VISA credit card in town! Let us provide you with our convenient credit card service, low costs and excellent personal service. Why spend more on fees and interest charges than you have to? Discover the savings of a CESFCU VISA® Credit Card and all of the conveniences we offer.
Get Started Today by completing an application Visa Credit Card Application & Disclosureor calling 501-671-2038!
- 6.00%-11.50% APR
- No balance transfer fee
- Same low rate for purchases and cash advances
- 10 day grace on payments
- No fee for cash advances through the Credit Union
- Mail payments to Visa, PO Box 4521, Carol Stream, IL 60197-4521 of to our office or call to transfer your payment from your savings
- For account information call 800-599-7889
- For Online access cesfcu.orgthen click Online Banking Login at the top of the page (for website support call 501-671-2038)
- For account information call: 800-599-7889, By acceptance and use of this Card, Cardholder agrees to the cardholder agreement of the Card Issuer. This card remains the property of the Card Issuer and must be returned upon demand. For emergency assistance call 1-800-VISA-911. Outside the USA call collect 303-967-1096.
- Suspected Fraud or Falcon Alert Follow-up contact number is 855-961-1602 (Please call from the phone number on file with the 7 digit case number)
- Information on the back of the credit card is: For account information call: 800-599-7889, By acceptance and use of this Card, Cardholder agrees to the cardholder agreement of the Card Issuer. This card remains the property of the Card Issuer and must be returned upon demand. For emergency assistance call 1-800-VISA-911. Outside the USA call collect 303-967-1096.
Credit cards offer lucrative opportunities to build credit and earn rewards. But when not used responsibly, they can lead to spiraling debt. The best way to use a credit card is to avoid paying interest by paying off the balance every month on time. Interest rates, known with credit cards as Annual Percentage Rates (APR), apply to purchases, cash advances and balance transfers for most credit cards. Generally, cardholders want to avoid paying interest whenever possible, but there are several important steps to take when learning how to use a credit card.
One of the most essential rules to owning a credit card is paying bills on time. A single late payment within a year of on-time payments might not seem to be much, but it could be a slippery slope that leads to debt and low credit scores and it will impact your credit.
Your payment history is important because it makes up 35% of your credit score, which banks and other lenders use to determine whether you’re a risky credit borrower. Late payments tend to spiral—cardholders get hit with late fees and interest charges that are hard to pay off, then credit scores fall as debt rises. Later if cardholders in debt want to apply for a mortgage or auto loan, they could face higher interest charges due to a low score and increased risk of default.
You can avoid missing payments by setting up auto-pay or setting reminders on your phone.
Card issuers calculate minimum monthly payments for cardholders based on monthly balances. Cardholders must pay the minimum amount to keep an account in good standing and avoid late fees. Minimum payments can be as low as $25, but it likely won’t cover all of your purchases for an entire month. Any remaining balance will be charged interest in the next billing cycle.
Most credit cards give cardholders a grace period of at least 21 days to pay off a balance without being charged interest—this is called a grace period. Some credit cards do not provide grace periods for purchases or other types of charges. Always read the terms (including payment due dates and billing cycle length) before applying for a credit card.
It’s tempting to think of a credit card as an endless supply of borrowed money but it’s imperative to remember credit cards are not consequence-free. Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can charge to a card, and you have to pay back everything you spend (plus interest or even fees if you miss a payment).
The average credit card interest was 16.17% as of February 2022. Paying interest on a credit card balance will quickly cost more than the value of any rewards you have earned. By restricting your card use to only what you can afford, it will be much easier to pay off your balance in full every time and avoid being charged large amounts of interest each month.
Maxing out credit cards or ever-increasing interest charges can lead to high credit usage—also a dangerous game with your credit. A cardholder’s credit usage, commonly known as a credit utilization rate (CUR), is the second-most important factor affecting credit scores.
Your CUR is the amount of credit used compared to the total amount of credit available. For example, if your card limit is $10,000 and you have a rotating balance of $3,000, you’re using 30% of your available credit. Experts recommend keeping your CUR below 30%, but the ideal range is much lower.
Spending only what you can afford makes it much easier to stay out of credit card debt. If you’re getting your first credit card, think of it as a debit card in the sense that you don’t want to spend more money than you have in your bank account. Only a certain amount of money is available in your bank account each month, so don’t spend more than what’s available minus other bills like phone payments, rent and more.
Part of using a credit card is understanding how credit scores can work for or against you. Lenders use credit scores to determine whether applicants are risky borrowers. The higher the credit score, the more it proves to lenders that someone is a responsible borrower who makes payments on time, pays off balances and has a healthy mix of credit.
Three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) use slightly different scoring models to measure credit scores. The FICO model is used by 90% of top lenders. FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850—from poor on the low end to exceptional at the high end:
- Fair: 659-620
- Good: 699-660
- Very good: 719-700
- Exceptional: 850-720
Payment history and credit utilization make up a big part of your credit score, but so do the mix of credit types, length of credit history and the number of recent credit card applications. A high credit score means you’re more likely to be eligible for lower interest rates when taking out big loans for mortgages or car purchases.
Now that you know how credit scores work and what factors affect your score, let’s see how you can build your credit score from scratch or rebuild from a low score.
Remember the factors affecting credit scores:
- Payment history
- Credit utilization
- Length of credit history
- Credit mix
- Recent credit card applications
Besides paying your bills on time and in full, let’s look at the other ways to increase your credit score.
While it may seem counterintuitive, you don’t want to apply for a stack of credit cards to see which one you can get. Most card issuers perform hard credit checks during the application process, which can temporarily lower credit scores. Keeping up with payments can help a score rebound, but too many applications in a short period can have a lasting negative effect.
The best practice is to research which credit cards are best suited to your needs first, narrow the list down to two or three cards and finally, pick one to apply for. If the first application isn’t approved, try again for a different card. If the second one isn’t approved, wait a few months before applying again. You may need to improve your credit score to qualify for certain cards.
When available, use a card issuer’s pre-approval tool to know which cards you qualify for. Pre-approval tools typically result in soft inquiries with no impact to a credit score. Receiving a pre-approval for a card can also inform you of which rates, fees and terms you may receive if you follow up with a formal application.
Keeping balances low is one of the best ways to build or rebuild credit at any stage. Credit utilization is the second biggest factor affecting credit scores. Experts recommend cardholders keep credit utilization under 30%.
The best way to keep balances low is to spend only what you can afford and pay every bill on time.
Using a credit card for purchases online is much safer than using a debit card. But even then, you have to be vigilant and keep credit card protection in mind. The new chip credit cards do help prevent cloning, but if the account number is stolen, fraudsters can still use your account online.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were almost 1.1 million reports of fraud, identity theft and related crimes in just the first quarter of 2022.
Online fraud is a constant threat, but you can enhance credit card security by implementing the following steps. Here are five ways to practice credit card safety while shopping online.
Here are some steps to take to make sure you're protected from viruses. Don't underestimate how devastating it is to have your computer hijacked by malware, which is malicious software that can collect and share personal and financial information about you.
- Secure your devices. Before you buy anything online, you need to make sure that your computer has a firewall and that it's turned on. Also, make sure your devices are equipped with software that defends against viruses, spyware and other threats. I use Norton, but there are many options to choose from.
- Download updates from your provider. You need to stay on top of this. As cybercriminals try new hacking methods, the antivirus providers adjust their products to handle new risks.
- Change passwords regularly. Every three months or so, update your passwords. And don't use your cat's name or your birthday. There are plenty of free password management tools at your disposal. Pick one, and use complicated passwords with random capitalization and symbols.
- Keep account information private. Don't share your login information with anyone. Don't give it out over the phone or in public where you could be overheard.
Phishing scams might come in the form of emails, texts or phone calls. You'll get an email that looks like it's from a legitimate company, and you'll be asked to click on a link or an attachment. But once you click the link or open the attachment, your data gets stolen via malware.
Another example of a phishing scam is to pose as a charity asking for a donation. This often coincides with a major disaster that's in the news, such as a hurricane or a pandemic. You're told it's easy to help – all you have to do, of course, is click the link. If you'd really like to contribute to the charity, get on Charity Navigator and find out if the charity is real.
Here are some clues that you're dealing with a phishing scam:
- There are misspelled words and odd sentence structures in the emails. Fraudsters might be crafty, but they aren't usually great writers.
- A trusted financial institution calls you or asks you to email or text your account login information. Your bank or credit card issuer will never ask for sensitive data to be sent that way.
- A text alerts you that your account information has been compromised. It asks you to click on a link to update your information. The link then takes you to a malicious site that steals your sensitive data. By the way, mobile phishing is referred to as smishing.
- An email that says it's urgent to act now. This might include a special offer for a low price on an item in high demand. The hope is that you'll react emotionally to grab the offer. And, of course, supplies are limited, so you need to hurry!
Now that your devices are secure, you need to be aware of what can happen if you aren't careful online when you make purchases.
- Check for the extra "s" in the web address. On unsecured sites, you'll see "http://" at the beginning of the web address, also known as the URL. But on a secured site, you'll see "https://" in the address. The "s" stands for "secured." It's easy to get scammed into thinking you're on your bank's website when you're really not. Don't give account information if you don't see that very important "s" in the URL.
- Don't make purchases using public Wi-Fi. It's OK to browse online while sipping your triple espresso, but it's not OK to make a purchase using your coffee shop's Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals have access to that Wi-Fi signal, too, and can intercept your data. Now, if you have access to a virtual private network, or VPN, you'll be logged into a password-protected network, and your information will be protected from hackers.
- Use virtual credit card numbers. A virtual credit card is one way to keep your account numbers safe. This isn't a plastic card like the one you hold in your hand. It's a randomly generated number that changes whenever you use your real credit card to purchase an item online. Your true account number is never stored on the targeted website. If the retailer's website gets hacked, the fraudster isn't able to use the virtual numbers obtained. Not all issuers offer this, though, so check with your issuer whether this is an option for you. You can also check into using Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode if your issuer doesn't offer extra security for the credit cards you use.
- Use a digital wallet. A digital wallet allows you to pay for purchases using your smartphone. These apps offer encryption, plus additional protection, such as required authorization. These features make it difficult to steal your sensitive information. PayPal also functions as a digital wallet that offers more credit card security. If it's an option, use PayPal to make payments online, and you'll get added protection.
- Set up transaction alerts. You can turn on purchase alerts and get notified when your card is used to buy something. Turn alerts on via your preferred mobile banking app, such as the Chase Mobile App. Follow the prompts on your phone to set up your digital wallet and enable purchase alerts by email, text or push notifications. This is an excellent way to catch fraudulent purchases almost right away.
According to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2021, credit card fraud totaled $181 million in 2021. You can reduce your chances of being a victim of fraud by checking your account information online frequently.
You'll be surprised by how little time this takes. Review your purchases online and look for purchases you or an authorized user didn't make. If you find rogue purchases, that indicates that someone stole your credit card account numbers and used them to buy items. Monitoring your accounts helps you catch credit card fraud in the early stages. Also, look for small amounts under $10. Sometimes, criminals will use the card for little purchases to verify that it's a "live" credit card.
But checking your credit card accounts only helps you monitor your existing accounts. To find out if someone has stolen your identity and opened new accounts in your name, you'll need to check your free credit reports. Look at the listing of accounts and make sure that every account was opened by you.
If you discover fraudulent purchases or you lose your credit card, report it to your credit card issuer right away. It can freeze your account and stop further purchases. If you find new accounts opened in your name, you need to report that as soon as possible, too. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a list of steps and contact information for the credit bureaus if you've been a victim of fraud or identity theft.
I can't stress enough how important it is to have a sense of urgency when fraud or identity theft occurs. U.S. law states that you can't lose more than $50. But many issuers will give you zero liability if you promptly report fraud.
Through our partnership with Servion Mortgage, we’re proud to provide our members with a wide variety of financing options such as: Conventional Loans, FHA Loans, VA Loans, USDA Loans, Jumbo/Non-Conforming Loans, Fixed-rate and ARM options at comparable rates (rate sheets are available upon request).
Before you apply you can request a Product Matrix provided by Servion Mortgage to assist you in choosing the right product as well as the Homebuyer Guide/Purchasing a Home. Here is the CESFCU Mortgage Quick Application to get started or call the Credit Union at 501-671-2038 for information on how to apply for a mortgage loan or get started now online Servion Mortgage.
NOTE: When completing the Application Process online, you must select Cooperative Extension Service Federal Credit Union from the Lender Affiliation drop down for your loan to be associated with your account at CESFCU.
All Loans are Subject to Eligibility and Credit Approval.