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Newsletter First Quarter 2014


CEO Welcome Thank you for your interest in our company. Our company enjoys an exceptional reputation that results from the dedication and hard work of our employees and our incomparable products and services. In a rapidly changing banking industry, with far more players and competition than ever before, consumers are entitled to expect benchmark service and protection from whichever business they deal in the banking industry. Like any major full-service bank, we understand that faster, easier banking can affect the way you run your business and your life. We dare to be different. We're highly experienced, motivated and dedicated to personalized service. Our success is based on doing things better than our competitors. At First Castle FCU, our goal is to provide our customers with the high quality Banking Products and Services they expect from an industry leader. We take pride in our cutting-edge product lines and dedicate substantial resources to developing new and better ways to enhance individual and corporate banking experience. First Castle FCU products provide the best quality and value because we are guided by the belief that “good enough is never good enough�. We know that our success comes only by aligning the interests of our shareholders, employees and customers. We price our products fairly and provide exceptional service to our customers. On behalf of the Bank, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support. Sincerely, Kirk Arnold


The Benefits of Joining a Credit Union

Credit unions tend to have lower fees and pay higher rates. Jan 7th 2014 10:40AM By: Kim Palmer Customers frustrated with bank fees might want to consider their options, including switching their money over to a credit union. According to the Credit Union National Association, more than 96 million Americans use credit unions, which generally offer higher saving rates and lower fees than traditional banks. Credit unions, which, unlike banks, are owned and governed by their members, are often misunderstood as exclusive financial institutions with limited services. They remain overshadowed by the size of banks, with banks holding $14.45 trillion in assets versus credit unions' $1.03 trillion, CUNA reports. The average size of a credit union ($149 million in assets) is also far smaller than that of the average bank ($2.2 billion in assets), as of 2012. But credit unions provide an array of services -- including free ATM use, electronic banking, loans and interest-bearing savings accounts -- and most Americans are eligible to join them. Here are answers to five common questions about credit unions: Am I eligible to join a credit union? While membership in a credit union depends on belonging to a particular community, such as a workplace, region or church, most consumers are eligible, even though many don't realize it. They might just need to investigate options within their communities. So how do you find one? Websites such as mycreditunion.gov can help. Also, ask around -- your employer, spouse's employer or local government can direct you as well. Do credit unions offer better interest rates? On average, credit unions offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on savings accounts -- just what consumers want. The National Credit Union Administration reports that five-year loans for new cars at banks have an average interest rate of 5.19 percent, compared with 2.87 percent for credit unions. The rate on savings accounts for both credit unions and banks was similarly low, at 0.14 and 0.13, respectively, as of June 2013, although typically credit unions offer higher rates of return. In March 2008, for example, the average rate of return on a regular savings account was 0.83 percent at credit unions, compared to 0.55 percent at banks. CUNA calculates that taken together, higher yields, lower rates and lower fees add up to about $5.8 billion total in benefits to members, or about $118 per member household in 2012.


The Benefits of Joining a Credit Union Credit unions tend to have lower fees and pay higher rates. Continued Are deposits insured the same way they are at banks? Yes. Credit unions are insured by the federal National Credit Union Administration, which provides the same protections that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation applies to banks -- insurance coverage on deposits up to $250,000. NCUA's website allows credit union members to check on their insurance coverage; the agency also recommends checking for a prominently displayed sign at the credit union that says it is NCUA-insured. Do credit unions ever collapse? Like banks, credit unions can fold, but that usually means they merge with another credit union. Regardless of what happens, members are protected through the NCUA insurance. NCUA says if a federally insured credit union fails, members typically receive payments for their deposits within three days. CUNA also reports that since the start of the downturn in 2008 through 2012, almost fourfold as many banks have failed as credit unions (465 versus 124). In 2012, 51 banks failed compared to 21 credit unions. What about financial literacy -- can a credit union teach me how to make smart money decisions? Credit unions pride themselves on being a top source for financial information. Many offer seminars and information on topics such as preventing identity theft and managing credit cards. More information on any of these topics can be found at the NCUA website or by contacting your local credit union.


Outside of the Castle New Orleans Saints Players Honor 6th graders with a School Visit and Shopping Spree New Orleans, Louisiana (December 4, 2012) It’s not everyday that kids are honored for their good grades. Yet, every year Gifts 4 GPA™ partners with New Orleans Saints players to honor students with 2.5 GPAs and higher for their scholastic achievements. This year, Lance Moore #16, Roman Harper #41, Malcolm Jenkins #27, Joe Morgan #13, Johnny Patrick #32 and Cam Jordan #94, are giving students another reason to work hard in the classroom by hosting the Annual “Gift for GPA™”, Christmas Program and Shopping Experience. Over 700 students will enjoy an explosive program filled with entertainment, trophies, give-a-ways, a Nelson Charter vs. Martin Behrman battle of the bands, and a motivational talk from Joe Morgan #13 and Malcolm Jenkins #27. Following the Gifts 4 GPA™ Christmas Program, 6th grade essay winner Devin Howard, his classmates, and 4.0 students from Martin Berman, Alice Hart, and Nelson Charter will board buses and head to Target to shop with Lance Moore #16, Roman Harper #41, Malcolm Jenkins #27, Joe Morgan #13, Johnny Patrick #32, Cam Jordan #94, and New Orleans saints mascots Sir Saint and Gumbo on a $100 shopping spree. In his winning essay, Devin stated: “I overheard someone say that children aren’t bad; we are just a product of our community. I sort of don’t agree with that comment. I live in a bad neighborhood, but I’m not bad. I figured if I can bring something into my neighborhood, it would give kids a chance to do something good and prove to the world that we live in a bad community but we are the children of the future.”


Congratulations


Buying a car When purchasing a new or used car, boat or motorcycle – why financing through a credit union can save you $$! These factors allow credit unions to pay dividends to their members (not shareholders) and offer them lower loan rates, higher savings rates and fewer service fees. Who Can Join a Credit Union?  There are various types of credit unions. Some are affiliated with professional groups, others are part of companies, and some credit unions have geographical requirements for membership. So, basically you can join some depending on where you live.  Typically, credit unions are smaller organizations, which means you’re also going to get faster service. Decisions are almost always made locally. Your loan check is going to be cut right there so you avoid overnight delivery fees. Other processing fees are typically lower, too. Possible Savings  According to CUDL, the country's leader in indirect and point-of-sale lending for the credit union industry, credit unions accounted for 16.9 percent of all auto loans originating in 2007, down slightly from 18 percent in 2006. The average used-vehicle loan amount was $18,199 in 2007, a $45 increase from 2006.  The advantage to credit unions is they are owned by their members and are not-for-profit. Terms are usually better with lower interest rates. That means your loan is going to be shorter. CUDL reports that used-vehicle loans, meanwhile, decreased in average maturity from 70 months to 65 months in 2007.

Get Shorter Loans  It makes me shudder that used car loans are more than five years. It’s an indication that people are buying used cars they can’t afford – and paying more. For example, if you borrowed $16,000 for 48 months at 7.7 percent, your monthly payment would be $388.36 and your total payments would be $18,641.16. With a 60-month loan, your monthly payment is going to be lower at $322.13 but your total payment is going to $19,327.80. That means saving $60 a month short-term is going to almost $700 more in the long-term.


First Castle FCU, the Credit Union for all of St. Tammany Parish! COVINGTON LOCATION 100 Cherokee Rose Lane Covington, LA 70433 Phone: (985) 867-8867 Fax: (985) 875-1952 Toll Free: (888) 441-2411 Hours: Lobby: Monday thru Friday 8AM – 5 PM Saturday: 9:00AM-1:00PM Drive Up: Monday thru Friday 7:30AM-5:30PM Saturday: 9:00AM-1:00PM 

SLIDELL LOCATION 1402 Gause Blvd. Suite D. Slidell, LA 70458 Phone: (985) 643-1933 Fax: (985) 676-0733 Toll Free: (888) 441-2411 Hours: Monday thru Friday 8AM – 5 PM Saturday: 9:00AM-1:00PM

NEW ORLEANS LOCATION 7400 Leake Ave. Suite 237 New Orleans, LA 70118 Phone: (504) 862-2561 Fax: (504) 862-1648 Toll Free: (888) 441-2411 Hours: Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM The branch closes daily from 12:00 to 12:30 PM for lunch.


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