Spring 2020 Newsletter

We know it’s been an unusual Spring, but we hope all our members and their families are safe and healthy. Here is a copy of our Spring 2020 Quarterly Member Newsletter!

In a continued effort to go greenwe’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will be available in our branches.

The Spring Newsletter features the following articles:

 To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

We hope you enjoy a long Memorial Day Weekend and we remember all those who have served our great nation!

*Not all applicants will qualify, subject to credit approval. Additional terms & conditions may apply. Actual rate may vary based on creditworthiness and term. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a First Financial loan and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. See credit union for details. A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account/loan. Current First Financial members are eligible to close on a cash out auto loan electronically. New members will need to make an appointment at their nearest branch location to open their membership prior to closing electronically, and should call 732.312.1500. 

What You Should Know About COVID-19 Stimulus Checks

President Donald Trump recently signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan set to provide aid to millions of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The package includes stimulus payments for individuals, additional unemployment coverage, student loan relief, and more. What does that mean for you?

Stimulus Payments

Most adults will receive a check in the mail or via direct deposit. The amount will vary based on adjusted gross income, filing status, and the number of dependents you claim. The break down is as follows:

  • Single adults who made $75,000 or less annually will receive $1,200. If you have qualifying children ages 16 or under, you will receive an additional $500 per child.
  • Married couples with no children who made $150,000 or less will receive $2,400.
  • Taxpayers who file as the head of household will get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less.
  • For single adults who made more than $75,000, the payment gradually decreases until it stops all together at $99,000.
  • For married people with no children who made more than $150,000, the stimulus payment gradually decreases until it stops all together at $198,000.

If someone claims you as a dependent – even as an adult, you will not be eligible for a relief payment. To see your adjusted gross income, look at Line 8B on your 2019 1040 federal tax return. For those who did not get to file in time for tax year 2019 due to the pandemic, this number will be based on your 2018 federal return.

Most people will receive their payments within three weeks. According to the bill, you’ll also receive a paper notice in the mail a few weeks after your payment has been distributed. That notice will also contain information about where the payment ended up and in what form it was made, as a confirmation.

Additional Unemployment Coverage

Under the stimulus package, additional unemployment benefits will be extended to people who wouldn’t typically be eligible for unemployment.

Typically, self-employed and part-time workers, gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits, but under the stimulus package – those groups will be protected. Benefits will be calculated based on previous income using a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program.

Under the plan, eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week in addition to the state unemployment they are currently receiving. The state unemployment and extra coverage is designed to replace the paycheck that has been lost due to Coronavirus.

Student Loan Relief

The federal government has already waived two months of interest and payments for student borrowers. There will be an automatic payment suspension until August 30th for any student loans held by the federal government. Older Federal Family Educational Loans, Perkins Loans, or loans from state or private agencies are unfortunately not eligible. However, if you have a private student loan, it’s worth asking to see what options might be available to you.

Retirement Accounts

The stimulus package has also suspended certain retirement account rules for the calendar year 2020. No one will have to take a required minimum distribution from individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plans.

If you have an IRA or workplace retirement plan, you can withdraw up to $100,000 without the usual 10 percent penalty, as long as the withdrawal is because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The withdrawal qualifies if you, a spouse, or a dependent tested positive for the virus, or you experienced other negative economic effects related to the pandemic. You’ll also be able to spread out any income taxes you owe as a result over a three-year time period from the date of the distribution.

You can also borrow from your 401(k) and can take out twice the usual amount. For 180 days after the bill passes, if you provide certification that you’ve been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can withdraw up to $100,000. If you already have a loan and it’s supposed to be repaid before December 31st, you will get an extra year.

We’re facing unprecedented times, as the pandemic has touched everyone’s lives in some way. Please know, First Financial is here for you during this time. If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic or you just have questions about your finances, reach out to us. We can get through this together, one step at a time.

 

Important Update on First Financial’s Response to COVID-19 in Our Area

March 19, 2020

Effective beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all First Financial branches in Freehold/Howell, Neptune, and Toms River will be operating using Drive Thru and ATM services only during our regular business hours. All branch lobbies will be closed to walk-in visitors until further notice.

Please know this decision did not come lightly. Our senior management team has weighed each and every scenario, and ultimately made the decision that practicing our New Jersey governor’s recommendation of social distancing and limiting face-to-face contact is in the best interest of our staff, membership, and the local community.

We will still do everything we can to meet your banking needs during this difficult time. Our Member Relationship Phone Center will be available to take your calls during regular business hours of Monday-Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 9am to 12:30pm.

We will continue to schedule in-branch visits for loan closings, account openings, and the Investment & Retirement Center by appointment only during regular business hours. Please call us at 732.312.1500 to schedule an appointment at your nearest branch.

As always, you can access your First Financial accounts through the electronic banking services we have available:

Despite this inconvenience, we continue to remain committed to serving you and your family with as little service disruption to your banking experience as possible.

Should you have any questions or concerns during this unprecedented time, please contact our Member Relationship Phone Center at 732.312.1500.

Thank you for your understanding and be well,

 

 

 

 

Issa Stephan
President/CEO
First Financial Federal Credit Union
732.312.1500 – Local Callers
866.750.0100 – Out of Area
www.firstffcu.com

First Financial’s Response to COVID-19

March 15, 2020

Over the past few weeks, it is clear that the world and our nation are facing an unprecedented challenge as we learn how to navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New Jersey.

Like you, we are deeply concerned and want to do all we can to help keep our members, employees, and the local community safe. We are continuing to monitor the situation as it evolves, and we will notify our members should anything change regarding any of our locations.

Rest assured that all First Financial locations are actively following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to maintain a healthy and safe environment.

At this time we would like to remind you to please follow the CDC’s preparation advice, and that First Financial has a number of electronic banking services available to our members that you may wish to utilize at this time:

Remote Deposit Capture (Deposit checks on your mobile phone)
Mobile Banking App
Online Banking and Bill Pay
Electronic loan closings
• Online loan applications available 24/7 on the left side of our homepage under Apply for a Loan
• Drive thru service/ATMs at all branch locations
Co-Op surcharge free ATM network with access to over 30,000 ATMs nationwide

The spread of COVID-19 has all of our attention, and First Financial is doing everything possible to keep our employees and you – our valued members, safe while continuing to deliver the best member experience we can.

Despite the inconvenience posed by COVID-19, we remain committed to serving you and your family with as little service disruption to your banking as possible. Our membership is part of our family, and we will get through this together.

Should you have any questions or concerns about banking during this time, please contact our Member Relationship Phone Center at 732.312.1500 Monday-Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 9am-12:30pm.

Thank you for your understanding during this time and be well,

Issa Stephan
President/CEO
First Financial Federal Credit Union
732.312.1500 – Local Callers
866.750.0100 – Out of Area
www.firstffcu.com

Winter 2020 Newsletter

We hope your 2020 is off to a great start. Here is a copy of our Winter 2020 Quarterly Member Newsletter!

In a continued effort to go green, we’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will be available in our branches.

The Winter Newsletter features the following articles:

To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

We hope you have a wonderful winter season!

*APR varies from 12.40% to 18% for the Visa Platinum Card and from 14.40% to 18% for the Visa Signature and Secured Cards when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. These APRs are for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may vary based on your state of residence, approved loan amount, applicable discounts and your credit history. No Annual Fees. Other fees that apply: Cash advance fee of 1% of advance ($5 minimum and $25 maximum), Late Payment Fee of up to $25, Foreign Transaction Fee of 1% plus foreign exchange rate of transaction amount, $5 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of up to $25. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a VISA Credit Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties.