Best of Harford County

Vote Freedom for Best Credit Union in Harford County!

vote for Freedom as the best Bank/Credit Union in Harford County!

VOTE HERE!

Here at Freedom we appreciate and value all our members and local partners. We are a community-chartered credit union offering financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has five locations throughout Harford County.

If you’re happy with your experience at Freedom, we need your vote to win best Bank/Credit Union in the Harford’s Best Readers Poll. With your help, we would like to be voted Harford’s Best Credit Union in 2019!  

Votes are being collected now until 5pm on December 13th. Please click on the link below and select Freedom Federal Credit Union in the Personal Services Category, Best Bank/Credit Union!

VOTE HERE!

 

 

3 Famous Scary Stories and What They Teach Us

3 famous scary stories

It’s that time of year again! The nights get longer. Haunting winds rattle shutters, and swaying trees cast spooky shadows in the moonlight. It’s time to tell ghost stories!

These stories scare us, but they can also show us something. Let’s see what three of the most popular ghost stories can show us about financial responsibility for a spook-tacular Halloween!

1) The Ghost in the Attic

The Story

It starts a little differently each time. Maybe there’s a bump in the night. A squeaky floorboard creaks and groans even when no one is walking near it. More and more squeaks and bumps that no one can explain keep happening. The cabinets open and close by themselves. Loud noises come from nowhere in the middle of the night. Everyone is terrified, and no one can sleep. Blood starts dripping from walls as screams come from the vents and doors slam. This house is haunted.

It turns out there’s some history to the house. A gruesome murder took place there. It was built on an ancient Native American burial ground. The attic was home to an abandoned child who was forced to live there because of his hideous deformity. The only way to get back to normal is to give these angry spirits what they need.

The Reality

If your house has creaking floorboards, or your heating and cooling system goes bump in the night, you might be headed for a far more serious problem than ghosts. Unexplained noises in the house could be signs of serious structural problems. Knocks in the walls can be a plumbing issue about to break loose. Uneven construction can really make cabinets open by themselves and doors slam uncontrollably. Like in the story, many of these problems come out of your house’s history. It might have been built on an old mine site or just built in a hurry.

Left untreated, these little problems can create big trouble. Squeaky floorboards can break, pipes can rupture and foundation problems can ruin your home. If you’re counting on homeowners insurance to pay for these accidents, think again. Homeowners insurance policies broadly don’t cover “construction defects,” which means you’ll be stuck holding the bill.

Consider getting out in front of these problems. You can use your home equity line of credit to repair your foundation, fix structural problems in your home and perform other necessary upgrades. Don’t let the specter of uncertainty ruin your ghoulish good time!

2) Vampire Infestation

The Story

Up a winding mountain pass deep in the Transylvanian high country sits an ancient mansion. The simple folk who live in the valley will not go near it, nor will they even speak a word about it, for fear of attracting the dark attention of the master of the house. The man is never seen and the house might be assumed empty if it were not for the ominous cackling that echoes through the farms and pastures that surround the mountain.

Legend tells that the man in the mansion is an unholy abomination who subsists on the blood of the innocent. Young children have been found by the road leading up to the mansion, their flesh cold and clammy as though the life itself has been drained out of them. Travelers who arrive at the village scoff at the tale of Dracula’s Mansion, but those who journey up to it are never seen again.

The Reality

While you don’t have any vampires in your life (probably), you do have something you never see that’s sucking the life out of your financial success. Outstanding debt is a seldom-seen figure that casts an ominous shadow over your household finances. Make no mistake: The beast is feeding on your innocent salary and putting your whole household in its sight. The average household has $17,000 or more in debt and faces an average minimum payment of $423 per month.

If you want to drive a stake through the heart of this monster, consider a debt consolidation loan. These loans can repair your credit, lower your monthly payment and free you from the control of the heartless creature. Best of all, you won’t need to deal with the smell of garlic!

3) Zombie Apocalypse

The Story

The streets are quiet. There are no cars or pedestrians. An overcast sky casts flickering shadows on the desolate streets. The ordinary noises of a city are starkly absent. The only clearly audible sound is the slow chomping of the walking dead who are feasting on the bodies of recent victims.

Cowering in basements and perched on rooftops, human survivors band together. Their goal is simple: Stay alive for one more day. Long past the point where rescue helicopters stop flying, these brave souls will go their own way and resist being part of the zombie horde.

The Reality

Zombies are a cautionary example of what happens to us when we consume just for the sake of consumption. A zombie is a sad creature who lacks the capacity to plan or see further than the next meal. We’ve all been there – splurging on a candy bar in the checkout lane, not because we were hungry, but because we wanted it and it was there.

The best way to zombie-proof yourself is to make a realistic budget and stick to it. Make a plan for your income that includes saving and investing. Be sure to include space for planned indulgences – like discount Halloween candy on Nov. 1.

Sources:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/homeowners-insurance-cover-foundation-repair-63590.html

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/

http://www.free-online-calculator-use.com/credit-card-minimum-payment-calculator.html

 

8 Reasons to Love Your Freedom Membership

 

We Are Grateful for Our Members!

This holiday season, we want to thank all of our members for being a part of the Freedom Federal Credit Union family, and are grateful we are here to serve you and your financial needs. We know you made a great decision to be a member of Freedom, and below are 8 reasons to love your Freedom membership.

8 Reason to Love Your Credit Union

Superior Member Service

At Freedom, you’re always greeted with representatives who are ready and willing to help you. We’re truly invested in your financial wellness, and we’re here to help you achieve and maintain it, every step of the way, either in-person, over the phone, or trough online and mobile banking.

You Are an Owner of the Credit Union

Credit unions are member-owned and member-operated. You have a vote on our major decisions instead of being forced to follow along with whatever the “higher-ups” decide. Your Money = Your Voice.

Access to a Variety of Financial Services

At Freedom, we provide our members with a full suite of financial products and services to meet every money-related need at every life stage, including savings, checking, certificates, money markets, home loans and home refinance, auto loans and auto refinance, personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards, business savings and checking, commercial loan and lines of credits, and a host of technology services to provide better access to your money 24/7.

Better Savings Rates

We’re proud to provide you share certificate, money market and savings rates that are well above the national average.

Free Checking Accounts

Checking accounts and debit cards at Freedom are completely free to set up, maintain, and use. You’ll have a safe place to keep and access your money without it costing you a dime.

Lower Interest Rates

Take your pick of personal loans, home loans, auto loans and more, all with incredible rates that are often lower than average. You’ll have the funds you need with a rate you can actually afford!

We Support Small Businesses

Here at Freedom FCU, we’re happy to offer small business loans to qualifying members at extremely reasonable rates. We also offer business checking, business savings, and merchant services so you can run the financial side of your business without worrying about high rates and exorbitant fees.

Fewer Fees

We’re not in the business of feeing you to death. We keep our fees low or nominal, much less than the big banks, and we work to help you understand how to better manage and be on top of your money.

We also want you to have access to your money without worrying about expensive ATM fees. Freedom members have access to a surcharge-free ATM network of over 33,000 ATMs across the country.

From all of us at Freedom, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday!

#FreedomToHelpChallenge 2019

#FreedomToHelpChallenge

Win $1,000 for your favorite local charity!

Freedom Federal Credit Union believes in people helping people and we are challenging Harford County volunteers, companies, and non-profits to participate in the award-winning 2nd annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge photo contest this holiday season. Showcase volunteerism in Harford County for the chance to win a $1,000 charitable donation for your local non-profit of choice and other weekly prizes.

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Like or Follow Freedom Federal Credit Union on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

2. Post public photos showcasing volunteerism in Harford County from November 1st through December 12th, 2019

3. Include a description of the volunteer effort along with the searchable hashtag, #FreedomToHelpChallenge on every post

4. Visit us on Facebook every Friday to participate in public voting to increase your chances to win! (Every like equals a vote!)

On Instagram? Tag Freedom @FreedomFedCU or DM us to follow you if your account is private.

The #FreedomToHelpChallenge was recognized by CUNA in 2019 with The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

 

Read Full Contest Rules and Details Here.

Grand Prize Info: The Final Showdown

Public Voting for finalists will be available on Freedom’s Facebook page on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 10:00 am for 24 hours from the start of the voting period. Every like equals a vote. Share with your friends to increase your votes. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced via Freedom’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page on or before December 20th, 2019.

*Selected charity must be a registered 501(C)3 with a proven focus in Harford County.

Fall 2019 Shred Day

Free Document Shredding for Freedom Members

Freedom is offering a morning of free document shredding for our members!Shred Day, October 5, 2019, 9 am to 12 pm

When:

Saturday, October 5th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM*
*Or until truck is full

Where:

Park Avenue Branch (Located at 2019 Emmorton Rd in Bel Air)

Bring your financial documents to shred, and stop by our table to enter to win a $50.00 Visa gift card! (View Shred Day Drawing Disclosures)

    – Please limit the number of boxes to 4

    – No business materials

    – Please remove any metal (Staples are ok)

2019 Golden Apple Recipients

Freedom Federal Credit Union SELECTS Three Harford County PUBLIC SCHOOLS Teachers to Win Golden Apple Awards

Winners Were Honored at a Reception Held on July 29, 2019

Three female teachers holding golden apple award trophies in front of Freedom banner
Freedom Federal Credit Union awards grant funds to its 2019 Golden Apple Annual Education Award recipients (L to R): Alisa Janiski, Tanya Zelwalk, and Jess Wilson.

Bel Air, MD –At a reception on Monday, July 29, Freedom Federal Credit Union honored Tanya Zelwalk, as the grand prize recipient of the Credit Union’s 2019 Golden Apple Annual Educator Award grant competition. Ms. Zelwalk, who is the Learning Together classroom teacher at North Bend Elementary School, won the top $2,000 grant for her plans to better serve her special needs students, provide additional resources to their parents, and to become certified as a children’s author. The Learning Together Program serves 3-5 year-old special needs children in an inclusive and educational setting that adapts the current pre-school curriculum to the unique needs of these young learners.

Ms. Zelwalk’s request, detailed an inspirational vision to help these young learners, who have a trying journey ahead, learn socialization, empathy, communication, behavioral, and pre-academic skills that will shape their future as older students and then as productive members of society in their adult lives.

Freedom noted that, although a record number of submissions were received this year, it was Ms. Zelwalk’s thoughtfulness and consideration for how the award could affect positive change for her students, their parents, and for her own professional development that made her application standout from the rest.

Additionally, two other recipients were awarded grants: Alisa Janiski, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher at Church Creek and Roye-Williams Elementary schools, and Jess Wilson, Adapted Physical Education Teacher at the John Archer School. Both Ms. Janiski and Ms. Wilson will receive $500 each to fund initiatives at their respective schools.

Turning ordinary days into extraordinary opportunities for learning is Ms. Janiski’s specialty at Church Creek and Roye-Williams Elementary Schools. As a Gifted & Talented Teacher, Alisa Janiski, champions creative and memorable learning opportunities for her students.

Ms. Janiski asked Freedom to imagine walking into a classroom for a normal day at school, just to find that it has been transformed. Teachers are wearing surgical masks, desks have become operating tables, and nametags are preceded with the title, Dr.   It is now up to the students to save their patients with an exciting day of practical reading and math applications. Ms. Janiski’s Ron Clark Academy-inspired Room Transformations, allow students to experience immersive learning scenarios where they might find themselves immigrating to America at Ellis Island, surviving on a deserted island, or camping in the woods.

As the full-time Adapted Physical Education Teacher at the John Archer School in Bel Air, Ms. Jessica Wilson works with students ages three to twenty-one. All of her students have developmental disabilities, in conjunction with either a medical or physical limitation, or both.

Ms. Wilson has accepted the challenge to adapt Harford County’s Physical Education curriculum to her students’ unique needs and abilities. Like any children, the students at John Archer want to enjoy activities accessible in their community, such as miniature golf, but often need help learning the basic psychomotor skills to participate.

Ms. Wilson came to Freedom to ask for help in purchasing miniature golf equipment that could be appropriately modified to compliment the skill progression of her students as they learn to use the equipment, so that they too might enjoy the game in their youth and for years to come. When the equipment is not being used at John Archer, it will be available for use by other students with special needs around the county.

Mike MacPherson, President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, emceed the reception and congratulated the recipients on their achievement.  ”We value all of our members, and it is a special day when we can celebrate and support teachers from among our membership. They have set out to make a real and actionable difference in the lives of our Harford County youth, and it is our honor to play a part in supporting them and their ongoing initiatives.”

Jean Mantegna, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), attended the reception on behalf of Dr. Sean Bulson. “The Golden Apple Award recognizes teachers who continuously seek new and meaningful ways to deliver instruction to our students. Thank you to Freedom for providing this opportunity to honor great teachers and create a positive and lasting impact in the classroom,” said Mantegna.

The annual competition is intended to support Freedom Federal Credit Union members who are employed at a Harford County school and have a creative vision for education that can only be met with community support. All applicants were asked to submit an essay demonstrating how their idea would serve their students, class, school and the Harford County community. Entries were judged by a panel of Freedom employees, board members, and community leaders.

Freedom CEO Appears on WMAR-TV to Share the Difference Between Banks and Credit Unions with Midday Maryland

 

What is the difference between banks and credit unions? This is a question that comes up often around credit unions. President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, Mike MacPherson, joined Elsa M. on a recent Midday Maryland segment, produced by WMAR-TV, to explain not just the difference, but the advantage to becoming a credit union member.

In the interview, MacPherson explains the member-owned structure of credit unions and how these not-for-profit organizations deliver the same services as banks with fewer fees and better rates, combined with superior customer service, and a focus on supporting the communities they serve. The members of the credit union are also the owners, not outside shareholders aiming to make a profit. Because of the not-for-profit structure of credit unions, “after we pay the bills, our objective is to put our money back into the community, into the credit union, and to the members”, MacPherson states during the five-minute interview.

MacPherson touches on the history of credit unions in the United States, including their role in helping to maintain financial stability during the 2008 financial crisis. The segment covers the structure of credit unions, how consumers are eligible, and the focus on being the “heart of the community”. “[For Freedom], we believe in giving back…we have a focus on volunteerism, on philanthropy, doing more for our members, and making the community better”, states MacPherson.

How does someone become a member of a credit union? Every credit union has eligibility requirements. For example, Freedom is community chartered, so if you live, work, worship, volunteer or have family in Harford County, Maryland, you are eligible to join. According to MacPherson, all it takes is one dollar, placed in your own savings account, to become a member and have full access to all the services and benefits of credit union membership.

To learn more, watch the full segment above.