A QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER FOR ACCLAIM FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MEMBERS

THE
PERMANENT
PRESS

FOURTH QUARTER
Fall 2021

The Financial Bridge Linking our Members to their Goals

Video Banking is here!

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Chat with a live Acclaim FCU Representative

We’ve added a fantastic, new product to our array digital services available to our members!  Introducing Acclaim FCU Video Banking!  Now you can connect virtually with a live Acclaim representative and get the quality member service you deserve.  Video banking is safe and secure, saves time, and is a great socially distant alternative to traditional in office meetings. Plus, you will connect with the same friendly faces you see in our branch! Log in to your Online Banking or call us to schedule your appointment today!

Use Acclaim FCU Video Banking to:
paying bills on computer and alexa device

How Do I Apply for FAFSA?

If you or someone in your family is getting ready for college, you know it’s time to fill out the FAFSA forms to determine eligibility for financial aid.
Q: Help! I need to fill out my FAFSA forms and I don’t know where to start! What do I need to know about filling out my FAFSA forms?

A: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) season is in full swing! Whether you’re a college student, a high school senior or you’re seeking financial aid for your college-age child, it’s time to get those forms filled out. The rules and deadlines can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Below, we’ve answered many of the questions you may have on applying for FAFSA.

When is my application due? 

There are three FAFSA deadlines you need to note: federal, college, and state. The federal FAFSA submission has one set date, while each college and state sets its deadlines that may or may not coincide with the federal deadline. 

To be considered for federal student aid for the 2021–22 award year, the FAFSA form must be completed between Oct. 1, 2020, and 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2022. Any FAFSA corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, 2022.

The application for the 2022-23 award year will become available on Oct. 1, 2021, and must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2023. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 10, 2023.

As mentioned, many states and colleges have their own deadlines for submitting applications for state and institutional financial aid. You can find your state’s deadline hereopens in a new window. Check with your college choice(s) about their deadlines.

The deadlines can get confusing, and while the federal government provides ample time to submit forms, many states and colleges provide aid based on a first-come, first-served basis. For this reason, it’s best to get your application in as soon as you can to increase your chances of receiving aid. 

 Who is eligible for FAFSA?

To qualify for FAFSA, you must meet the following criteria:

Accepting Applications October 1 - February 1

Acclaim Federal Credit Union is proud to announce that we are now offering an annual college education scholarship award, The Ed Thomas Community Service Scholarship Fund.

Ed was an Acclaim board member from 1987 until 2021. He held various positions during his tenure including Chairman. During his many years of admirable volunteerism, he offered unwavering support and guidance to the ever growing success and growth of Acclaim. In honor of his hard work, volunteerism, and dedication to our credit union, we have established an annual $1,000 scholarship fund available to our members.

Acclaim has partnered with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to offer an and easy-to-manage application process for our members. There’s a simple sign up process which allows you to manage your scholarship application through their portal.

In addition to the Acclaim Federal Credit Union Ed Thomas Community scholarship, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation is offering additional scholarship awards. An applicant that does not receive a scholarship award from Acclaim is automatically entered in the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s scholarship pool.

Visit our webpage to learn more or apply

There are more eligibility requirements for FAFSA. You can view the full list of criteria hereopens in a new window

How do I apply for FAFSA?

You can now apply for FAFSA using the free myStudentAidopens in a new window app, available on Appleopens in a new window and Google Playopens in a new window. If you use the app with an Apple device, be sure to disable the “smart punctuation” feature before filling out the form to avoid errors. You can also apply for FAFSA online at FAFSA.ed.govopens in a new window

You can still send in your application via snail mail, but this is not recommended for several reasons: Online applications are simpler to complete and generally have fewer errors because they are designed to detect common mistakes and/or typos. Your application is also likely to be processed sooner when it’s submitted online. Finally, when applying for FAFSA online, you will be given the option to have your IRS data automatically retrieved and then populate the relevant fields, significantly lowering your chances of errors in your tax reporting. 

What are some common mistakes people make on the FAFSA form? 

A mistake on your form can delay your application and limit your eligibility for aid. To avoid errors, be sure to read every question carefully and review your application before submitting it. 

Here are some of the most common errors on FAFSA forms: 

  • Leaving blank fields. If a question does not apply to you, enter a “0” or write “Not applicable.”  
  • Using commas or decimal points in numeric fields. Instead, round to the nearest dollar.
  • Listing an incorrect Social Security number or driver’s license number. Triple-check these numbers to ensure accuracy. 
  • Using the wrong name. Be sure to use your full legal name as it appears on your Social Security card. 
  • Entering the wrong address. Use your permanent address to avoid confusion. 
  • Forgetting to list your college. Be sure to obtain the Federal School Code for the college you plan on attending and list it along with any other schools where you’ve applied for admission.
  • Forgetting to sign and date. Don’t forget this crucial step! 

 

Can I apply for FAFSA as an independent? 

If your parents are not paying any part of your college tuition, you may be able to apply for FAFSA as an independent. If you can apply as an independent, your parent’s income will not be considered when your eligibility is determined. 

You may be able to apply for FAFSA as an independent if you meet any of the following criteria:  

  • You will be 24 years of age or older by Dec. 31 of the award year. 
  • You are an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, in foster care or you were a ward of the court at age 13 or older. 
  • You are a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or serving on active duty.
  • You are working toward a master’s or doctorate degree.
  • You are legally married.  
  • You have legal dependents (excluding a spouse). 
  • You are an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship. 
  • You are homeless.

If you do not meet any of these requirements, consider contacting a financial aid administrator to discuss your options. 

The sooner you apply for FAFSA, the greater your chances of obtaining financial aid for college. Don’t delay; complete your FAFSA early! 

Budget-friendly Meals Under $8

root beer bbq pork on a bun
Slow Cooker Root Beer Barbecued Pork

Busy fall nights leaving you with little time to cook? No worries! Dust off the slow cooker and let it do the work for you!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large boneless pork chops (you can also use boneless chicken breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ cups root beer (you can use cola or cherry-flavored soda, but do not use diet soda
  • 1 ½ cups barbeque sauce

Directions: 

  1. Spray the insert of the slow cooker with nonstick spray and place meat inside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic powder, onion powder, soda and barbeque sauce.
  3. Pour over the pork or chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Shred the meat and mix in the juices to keep it moist.

 

Serve over rice or on hamburger buns or rolls. Enjoy!

Beware of Gift Card Scams

Everyone loves a gift card for their favorite retailer or restaurant. It’s like getting money to spend in any way you please! Unfortunately, scammers also love gift cards, but for all the wrong reasons: They often use gift cards to pull off scams. Here’s what you need to know about gift card scams and how to avoid them.

How the scams play out

There are several ways scammers utilize gift cards to con victims out of their money:

  • The IRS gift card scam. In this scam, a target receives a threatening message that’s allegedly from the IRS and claiming they are at risk of arrest for tax evasion if they do not pay up immediately. However, they insist that payment can only be made in the form of a gift card. Often, the scammer will ask specifically for an iTunes gift card, because, as you know, the IRS always asks for tax payments in the form of digital music. 
  • The tech support gift card scam. In this variation, a caller pretends to represent tech support at a recognized company, like Apple or Microsoft. They’ll insist there is something wrong with the victim’s computer and offer to “assist” in fixing the problem. Payment can be made with a gift card, of course. Lucky for you, there is nothing wrong with your computer, but you’ve just been targeted by a scam and are at risk of getting tricked. 
  • The romance gift card scam. A new dating partner found through a dating website asks for money in the form of a gift card to help them out of a sticky situation. Believe them and you’ll lose both your date and your money. 
  • The sweepstakes gift card scam. Congratulations — you’ve won a trip to the Cayman Islands! But first, you have to pay the small processing fee via gift card. Follow directions and you’ll never see that vacation or the money you spent on the gift card again. 
  • The utility gift card scam. You don’t want your gas or electricity cut off, do you? If you don’t pay up with a gift card, the lights might just go out. They won’t, but if you fall for the call, you’ll be out the money you spent on the gift card.
  • The balance-check gift card scam. You spot a discounted gift card up for sale online and happily purchase the card. The seller will send you the card, but then ask you to read the numbers over the phone to confirm the balance. If you comply, the seller now has all the information they need to use up all the funds on the gift card. 

 

How to spot a gift card scam

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way in recognizing gift card scams:

  • The IRS will never initiate correspondence by phone call, text message, or email. Instead, they will send a letter to taxpayers through the U.S. postal system. 
  • No authentic business or government agency will insist on payment by gift card. 
  • If you don’t recall entering a sweepstakes, chances are you didn’t win it either.
  • A caller or message claiming a matter is urgent and demands immediate action is nearly always a scam. 

In general, gift cards should be used for purchases or to send as gifts, and not as payments. Also, as with all sensitive information, the numbers on your gift card should never be shared over the phone or online. Finally, it’s best to only purchase gift cards through reputable sellers or those that have excellent customer reviews and/or offer a cash-back guarantee.

If you’ve fallen victim to a gift card scam

If you’ve paid a scammer with a gift card or shared your gift card information after being taken by any of the above ruses or similar schemes, take immediate steps to mitigate the damage. 

First, contact the company that issued the card as soon as possible. You can find the customer service number for most companies on the card itself or through a simple Google search. Tell the representative what happened. If you still have them, hold on to the receipt and the actual card for proof should it be required. 

Next, if the scammer continues to contact you by phone, text message or email, do not engage further. Block the scammer’s number from your mobile device and mark their emails as spam. 

Finally, report the incident to the FTCopens in a new window and alert your family and friends about the scam. 

Stay safe! 

CLOSINGS:

November 11, 2021 -Veterans Day
November 25 & 26, 2021 - Thanksgiving Holiday
December 24, 2021 - Christmas Holiday
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Address: P.O. Box 29527
Greensboro, NC 27429
Telephone/Text: 336.332.5302 
Toll-Free/Text: 888.794.1001 
Email: Admin@AcclaimFCU.org

Lost/Stolen Credit Card: 800.325.3678
Lost/Stolen Debit Card: 888.241.2510
Admin Fax: 336.332.4103
Loan Fax: 336.579.9035
Mbr Service Fax: 336.579.9035

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