►  President’s Message

►  What's Your Credit Score?

►  Consolidate Holiday Debt

►  Modernize Your
Retirement Plan

►  Calendar Contest Winners

►  Board Seeks Volunteers



I truly believe that the credit union is the best kept secret of the financial industry. As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, a credit union offers a wealth of benefits that makes it stand apart from other financial institutions.

Each credit union member is entitled to one vote, and together with other members, they elect volunteer board members to oversee the institution. Instead of concern over shareholder interests, the focus of a credit union is improving members’ lives. Credit unions do this by offering higher savings rates, lower loan rates and fees, and positive community outreach and involvement.

As more people learn about these benefits, membership continues to grow. There are over 110 million credit union members nationwide who enjoy the personalized service and lower fees that a credit union offers. When you join a credit union, you soon recognize this positive difference. In fact, credit unions were rated as the top financial institution in customer experience ratings.1

And, becoming a credit union member is easier than many people think. Membership is often based on simple details such as where you live or work.

Credit unions are helping members improve their financial future. Financial institutions like Mountain America Credit Union continue to increase accessibility for members through online and mobile banking tools. Members also have nationwide access to surcharge-free, CO-OP and MoneyPass ATMs, and shared branching locations. This network of branches gives credit union members the ability to perform financial transactions at thousands of convenient locations.

At Mountain America, our mission is focused on being quality people who provide quality products and service through quality delivery systems. We live this out by educating each member about their options to help them achieve their financial dreams. We love helping members save money, reduce loan interest and consolidate debt. Altogether, U.S. credit unions have saved members a total of $10.7 billion from June 2016 to June 2017.2 I am certain this number will be even higher in 2018.

Sterling Nielsen, President/CEO

1. Tempkin Group

2. CUNA Membership Benefits Report

If your financial plans include a credit card, auto loan, student loan or mortgage, you should familiarize yourself with credit scores. Your credit score is a snapshot of your current financial picture, providing creditors with important information on your ability to keep up with payments and bills. Developing a good credit history can save you money and provide you with better financial opportunities. Start with these five steps:


The most accurate scores are provided by each of the three major credit bureaus—for a small fee. Free services such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame offer estimated scores. Access your FICO® Score for free in the mobile banking app with a Mountain America checking account or loan.


Delinquent payments and collections are a major factor in lowering your credit score. Make sure not to fall behind.


Based on your total credit limit, determine your utilization threshold and set up balance alerts to ensure you do not exceed this number. For a $5,000 line of credit, 30% credit utilization would be $1,500.


Only apply for new credit card accounts as needed. A hard inquiry by a lender or credit card issuer will affect your credit for a year. Keep existing accounts open as credit length has a positive impact on your score.


Create a strategy to pay down debt. This may mean consolidating accounts, paying off high rate loans first or focusing on loans with small balances. It all depends on your financial goals.

Your efforts to maintain or improve your credit score will pay off over time. Enjoy better interest rates on mortgages and other loans, receive discounts on insurance policies and increase your borrowing capacity. Learn more about credit scores and your FICO® Score at

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.
If you’re like millions of Americans, you have used department store credit cards to purchase gifts, decorations and supplies this holiday season. After all, department store cards are a convenient way to get the things you need from the stores you frequent, without paying the full amount upfront.
However, this convenience can come at a price—high interest rates. The average credit card has a 16.15% interest rate, and many department store cards carry even higher rates.1 With this rate, a total balance of $3,000 and a minimum payment of 2.5%, it would take the cardholder 16 years to pay off the balance. They would also rack up over $3,065 in interest charges!
One way to avoid outrageous interest charges is to consolidate department store and other high-rate credit cards onto one low-rate card. Take the Mountain America Visa® Platinum Credit Card for example. With a purchase rate as low as 9.24% variable APR, the interest rate is nearly half that of the average card.2 Plus, since there are no fees for balance transfers, it’s easy to move debt over to a Mountain America credit card and save money on monthly payments.
If you already have a Mountain America credit card, simply transfer a balance using the mobile banking app or by speaking with a service representative. To apply for a credit card or learn more, visit
  1. As of November 2017, according to
  2. On approved credit. APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Variable rates starting as low as 9.24% APR, based on creditworthiness. Maximum interest rate over the life of loan is 18% APR. 1% foreign transaction fees. Membership required—based on eligibility.

When was the last time you reviewed your retirement plan—a year, five years, ten years, never? Fret not. You still have time to update your plan, even if you don’t have one yet. Here are a few tips to guide you forward:

  • Envision your retirement
  • Calculate your retirement needs

Regardless of your age or income, it’s crucial to work toward your goal as quickly as possible. Meet with a retirement specialist. It’s free and there are no obligations.

Do you want to travel? Where do you want to live? Is volunteering something that interests you? What will you do to stay active and healthy? The answers to these questions may affect how much you need to save. For example, traveling abroad generally costs more than staying close to home.

Many experts estimate you’ll need about 70% of pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. These guidelines can help you pursue your goals:

  • If you are in your 20s, start saving what you can—even if it’s only $20 a month. Also take advantage of matching employer funds in a 401(k), if available. When you get a raise, give your retirement plan a raise, too.
  • If you’re playing catch-up at age 45 and hope to retire at 65, you’ll need to save 27% of your income each year. If you can put off retirement to age 70, that drops to 10%.*
  • For those who are starting even later, there are different ways to attain a worry-free retirement: start a small business, freelance, look for less-costly living situations and find ways to reduce other expenditures.

*According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

For additional information, check out our free ebook at Then schedule your free meeting by calling 1-800-540-7670.

The Board of Directors is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Board of the credit union. The Nominating Committee will accept one-page resumes and/or biographical information no later than Monday, February 5, 2018. Mail information to: Mountain America Federal Credit Union Nominating Committee, c/o LuAnn Holfeltz, P.O. Box 9001, West Jordan, Utah, 84084-9001. Send email submissions to


The Nominating Committee, comprised of six members of the Board of Directors, will screen applicants and arrange for interviews with qualified candidates. Successful candidates will be nominated to fill the vacancies on the Board of Directors subject to approval by the membership at the Annual Meeting on April 17, 2018.

Congratulations to our 2017 Calendar Contest winners. Check out their stunning photos here, and pick up the calendar at any branch—while supplies last.

2018 Submissions Start Now

This year, we’re extending the entry period. Submit your photos all year long. We especially need winter photos, so take advantage of the cold weather to snap some great images. Get details and submit your photos here.

Uinta Mountains, UTAH
Photograph © Kristin Sims

Big Cottonwood Canyon, UTAH
Photograph © Tylyn Cullison

Washoe County, NEVADA
Photograph © Dave Koch

Mt. Timpanogos, UTAH
Photograph © Tanner Maxwell

Grand Prize Winner
Lower Mesa Falls, Island Park, IDAHO
Photograph © Paul Waldron

Tony Grove, Cache County, UTAH
Photograph © Carly Gillins

San Tan Mountains, ARIZONA
Photograph © Casey Schumacher

Cecret Lake, Alta, UTAH
Photograph © Scott Osborn

Big Cottonwood Canyon, UTAH
Photograph © Michelle Farnsworth

Carson River, Dayton, NEVADA
Photograph © Gretta Phillips

Silver Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon, UTAH
Photograph © Bill Crnkovich

Wallsburg, UTAH
Photograph © Mattie Piscitelli

Board of Directors
Scott Burt, Chair
Lynn Ure, Vice Chair
Charlie Fulks, Secretary
Bruce Reading
Diane Mansfield
Michael Allen
Sam Blundell
Julie Wray
Joel Steadman

Supervisory Committee
David Swan, Chair
Kelly Holt
David Kwant
Marla Spear
Matthew Taggart

Mountain America Corporate Offices
P.O. Box 9001, West Jordan, UT 84084

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Call Us:
Service Center 1-801-325-6228
Toll-Free 1-800-748-4302
Telephone Banking 1-888-370-2275
Investments 1-800-540-7670
Mortgage Loans 1-800-277-7703
Business Services 1-888-845-1850
Student Loans 1-801-325-6574
Insurance 1-877-276-7882

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