Good Things Utah

Answering your money questions: When Should I Refinance My Car?

The season of giving is upon us and America First has recently launched its 13th Annual Community Food Drive. As a credit union, their philosophy is “people helping people” and it’s important to them that they serve others – not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.

Through Saturday, Oct. 21, all branch locations throughout Utah will accept donations of non-perishable food items to distribute to local food pantries and food banks. Since its inception in 2004, the annual community food drive has collected more than 150,000 pounds of food.

According to the Utah Food Bank, one in six Utahans and one in five Utah children live in poverty and are unsure of when they’ll have their next meal, and about 423,000 Utahns risk missing a meal each day.

America First Credit Union is always working with local organizations and businesses to find creative ways to save their members money on fun, family-friendly things to do in the community.

For the month of October, members who use an America First Credit Union debit or credit card will receive $5 off a single day admission to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.

Today’s Viewer Question:

If you have a car loan, should you refinance after a certain amount of time with the goal of getting a better interest rate? If so, does it cost? And at what point in the loan should you refinance?

There are several situations in which it may be beneficial to refinance your car loan. One is if you’re trying to take advantage of lower interest rates. For example, if you purchased your car several years ago back when rates were higher, you may want to consider refinancing in order to get a better rate. Doing so will lower your payment, but most importantly, it will decrease the amount of interest you have to pay on the loan.

It’s also a good idea to consider if your credit situation has improved substantially compared to when you bought the car. If you’ve improved your credit enough, your interest rate is likely to go down, and that means you’ll make a lower monthly payment and you’ll pay out less money in interest.

Another reason you might want to refinance is to get a shorter loan term. This especially applies to drivers who have had major changes in their financial situation. For instance, if you’ve earned a promotion at work or you got a new job that pays better than before, you may want to consider refinancing your long-term car loan to a shorter term. Your payments will be higher, but you’ll pay the car off sooner, and you’ll pay less money over time in interest.


4 tools to protect yourself from fraud

The back-to-school season is here and while parents have been frantically planning to complete the shopping for new clothes and supplies, America First Credit Union is focusing on a special offer for university students. Here today is Nicole Cypers, PR and community manager, to share more.

America First Credit Union is holding orientation events at USU, WSU, UVU, DSU and SUU. Plus, your college student can get a pair of university-branded socks when they open a savings and checking account (with a free debit card) and download the America First mobile app. Offer valid until September 30 for U of U and BYU students.

Nicole also answered the following:

1. What is the easiest way to track your spending?

  • Identify how much money is coming in and going out and where that money is going
  • America First offers free Online Banking & Mobile Banking budgeting tools, including Money Manager, which will allow you to track spending, easily budget, manage debt and create a financial roadmap

2. What’s the best way to protect myself from fraud?

It’s important to know about free tools available to keep your personal information safe. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Create smart, strong passwords.
    • Incorporate capital letters, numbers and symbols.
  • E-mail wisely.
    • Be cautious about what you’re disclosing in e-mail messages. Never send your credit card information, social security number of other private data via e-mail.
  • Shop safely.
    • If ordering online, be sure the site is secure.
  • Take advantage of online tools.
    • America First holds member security as its upmost priority and offers services like Card Guard, which allow you to turn your card on and off and of course Apple and Android Pay.

For more information or to find a branch near you, visit


The sweet deal you don’t want to miss out on

The summer season is officially underway and at America First Credit Union, they’re celebrating with low-rate auto loans all season long with their “The Sweet Taste of Summer” campaign.

Nicole Cyprus joined us to explain what makes this campaign so “sweet”:

  • They’re offering 60 days of no payments on all new auto loans and giving members a chance to win loan payments up to $300 and interest-free auto loans with daily drawings.
  • The contest runs now through August 31, 2017. Members can receive one entry for every $1,000 financed through the campaign dates. Winners will be selected daily, excluding Saturdays,
  • Sundays and holidays. (Visit an America First branch to be financed and entered to win).
  • They will be helping members in the community cool down in the summer sun by having their newly-branded ice cream truck on-site at various community events throughout Utah and celebrating “The Sweet Taste of Summer” with popsicle treats for attendees.
  • It’s a great time of year to become a member with America First for those that aren’t already and take advantage of their low interest percentages and affordable monthly payments.

For more information about “The Sweet Taste of Summer,” visit


New app makes banking easy

America First always strives to be a leader in adopting technology to help members meet their financial needs. They say that by updating the application, America First differentiates themselves from other financial institutions in the industry, while also providing members with the tools to achieve their financial goals and create a customized user experience. The app has all of the great features as old versions, as well as some very noteworthy new ones. Members will still be able to take advantage of Mobile Deposit, Popmoney, Transfers, ABC Deals, Bill Pay, and Loans. Mobile Banking now supports Touch ID/Fingerprint Authentication for logging in. Members will also have the ability to add accounts from other financial institutions and stay on top of their finances with Net Worth, Budgets and Spending.