Horizons Federal Credit Union Offering Local Students Chance to Win Scholarships

Horizons Federal Credit Union is offering local high school seniors a chance to win scholarships for college. Horizons Federal Credit Union is participating in the New York Credit Union Association’s statewide credit union college scholarship program, which provides credit union members with scholarships. In 2019, scholarships awarded ranged from $500 to $1,250.

To be eligible, students must be high school seniors attending two- or four-year accredited educational institutions for the first time in the fall of 2020. They must also be members of Horizons Federal Credit Union or another participating New York credit union.

Students/applicants will be competing against other credit union members from across the state. Applicants will be judged based upon academic achievements, extracurricular and community activities and the quality of written essays. Last year, the New York Credit Union Association awarded $21,500 in scholarships to 30 students through the program. In addition, Horizons Federal Credit Union awarded $250 to one local student.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Jess at 607-724-5876 or jessk@horizonsfcu.com

Introducing – Personal Finance Assistant

We are excited to announce our new Personal Finance Assistant!

Personal Finance Assistant allows you to set and monitor financial goals, create budgets and set up financial alerts.

Our new product, which comes at no extra cost to members, will make it possible for you to keep track of all of your finances in one place. The secure site allows you to import credit card, bank and credit union accounts, giving you a complete overview of all of your spending and income.

To get started, login to Horizons @ Home and click on “Personal Finance Assistant.”

Geezeo is a third party company. For questions or help with your Personal Finance Assistant, select “help” in the drop-down menu and submit a secure email directly to Geezeo. Horizons FCU is unable to offer direct assistance with this product.

Miracle Jean Day

Going Casual for the Kids

It’s amazing what dedicated teamwork can do. Horizons FCU employees are “going casual for the kids” and participating in Miracle Jeans Day, a fundraiser benefiting Golisano children’s hospital. On September 11th, members of the Horizons FCU staff will donate $5 to the hospital in exchange for wearing jeans to work. Every dollar raised on this day will help us raise money to contribute to the nationwide goal of raising $350,000.

Members can participate as well! Visit any branch to donate a dollar for a Miracle Jeans Day paper icon, before September 20. Write your name on the icon, so we can proudly display it in our branch for the weeks leading up to Miracle Jeans Day. When the community comes together out of love and support, we can all see and feel good about the results. It truly is a miracle.

Stop by, and help us support the kids!

Help Change a Child’s Life

Horizons Federal Credit Union to participate in coin drive to support children’s hospitals

Horizons Federal Credit Union is participating in Change a Child’s Life, a coin drive with all proceeds benefiting Golisano Children’s Hospital. Do you have change in your pockets or at the bottom of your purse? Stop by a branch and donate it for the kids. Are you cashing a check and getting coins back? Drop them in the change box. Are you tired of all those pennies rolling around in your car? Bring them in and donate to a great cause!

Every single penny helps! One child’s cancer treatment costs $75,000 on average. Can we gather enough change to make a difference that significant? Stop by any Horizons FCU branch today to help children in the Binghamton area.

Together, we can change a child’s life.

Horizons FCU wins 2019 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

Horizons Federal Credit Union has been declared the first place winner of the 2019 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award in the $50 million to $250 million asset size category. This award is given to credit unions who improve the lives of community members through outreach programs. The award will be accepted by Horizons FCU President & CEO Mario DiFulvio at the 2019 NYCUA Annual Meeting and Convention in June.

Horizons FCU is being recognized for its contribution to Horace Mann Elementary school’s “Calming Bench” project. Horizons donated a bench themed “Throw your troubles away.” The bench provides students a place to sit and write about their feelings; it also provides a locked box that students can put their writing in so that no one can read it. The project is meant to give students a judgement-free way to express their emotions. In addition to the bench, Horizons FCU organized classes for students to learn money management skills.

This is the 13th time Horizons FCU has won the first place Dora Maxwell Award. In the past, Horizons has been recognized for its Outstanding Student Night and Family Fun Friday programs.

Additional, Horizons was named the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen of the year in 2008, won the Credit Union National Association Diamond Award for a Community Event, and the United Way Chairman’s Award.

Tech Support Scam

A tech support scam is going around, affecting over 200 million people.

The tech-support scam involves exploiting people by infecting, or pretending to infect, their computer with a virus and offering to resolve the issue for a fee. Scammers often pose as well-known tech companies and use phones or internet pop-ups to warn the victim of a threat to their computer. When the victim accepts help, the scammer will ask for permission to use remote access to resolve the issue. With remote access, the scammer has the ability to install a virus, access personal files and control programs on the victim’s computer.

Horizons FCU urges its members to use caution when interacting with people online; never give someone you don’t know access to your computer or any personal information. If you or someone you know has encountered a scam, don’t hesitate to file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or 877-FTC-HELP.


holiday gift bag photo

Q: I’ve made my gift list and I’m checking it twice. But, I’m getting a bit panicky just thinking about how I’m going to pay for all this stuff! What’s the best way to get me through this expensive season?

A: Relax! You can keep your budget and your sanity, too! You can do it without having to dip into your savings or rack up a high-interest credit card bill that you’ll be paying off well into 2019. Instead, learn about your choices so you can spend responsibly and keep your holiday cheer all through the season.

Let’s explore your options and take a look at why they may or may not be right for you.

1.) No-interest credit cards 

It’s never a good idea to rack up debt. However, if you can get your hands on a credit card that offers an initial no-interest period, you can borrow the money to fund those purchases without it costing you a penny in interest.

Nice: This can be a perfect solution for you if you have an excellent credit score and concrete plans to pay back the bill before the zero interest period ends.

Naughty: Don’t go this route if you have a poor track record of paying down your credit card bills. You might end up carrying that balance well after the intro period ends. You’ll then be hit with super-high interest rates that will make your holiday expenses go much higher.

2.) Personal loans 

Anytime you need a pile of dough, you can stop by Horizons FCU to apply for a personal loan. Our representatives are always happy to help, and you can walk out with the money you need to fund your holiday shopping shortly after starting your application. During this time of year we are offering our Holiday Personal Loans, starting at 2.90% APY*. This will be available until December 31, 2018. Click Here for more info!

Nice: Like all of our lending products, our personal loans have low interest rates, which makes the payback plan affordable for almost any budget.

Naughty: If you’re already carrying a load of debt and unpaid loans, don’t take out another one just to get you through the holidays. Consider lower cost gift ideas and focus on paying off debt.

3.) Skip-a-Payment 

Here at Horizons FCU, we understand that the holidays can be super expensive for our members. That’s why we offer you our own gift this time of year: the option to skip a monthly payment only following loans: Signature loans, new/used auto loans, new/ used RV loans, home advantage signature and auto loans, savings and certificate secured loans and overdraft protection. We this will give you that extra cash flow. It’s more breathing room in your budget, just when you need it most! To learn more about skip-a-payment click here.

Nice: When you choose Skip-a-Payment, you’ll be able to pay for those presents without adding to your credit card balance or taking on new debt. No high-interest bills to haunt you through the first part of 2019!

Naughty: When you choose to skip a monthly loan payment, you are essentially moving that payment to the end of the loan’s life. Every Skip-a-Payment will make the loan’s term one month longer. Consider this: If you skip just one payment a year on an auto loan, the loan will be six months longer than you’d originally anticipated.

4.)  Christmas Club Account

Don’t wait until Black Friday to start thinking about your holiday shopping. Pay a little bit toward this expensive season all year long by opening a Christmas Club Account. This way, when November rolls around, you’ll actually look forward to buying all those gifts instead of dreading it. Put the cheer back in your holiday season by opening a Christmas Club Account today!

Nice: Christmas Club Accounts offer you a way to pay for your holiday shopping ahead of the season, instead of playing catch-up on your bills in the coming months. It’s the perfect way to take the stress out of the holidays! 

Naughty: If you want to open a Christmas Club Account to help you make it through this season, you’re a little late. But, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year!

5.) Deferred-interest financing 

If you’re buying several large purchases at big-box stores, consider signing up for the retailers’ deferred-interest financing. Many chain stores offer customers this interest-free financing option so they can walk out with their purchase today, and pay for it tomorrow.

Nice: Deferred-interest financing works just like an interest-free line of credit, only it’s exclusive to the store selling the item. If you don’t like the idea of opening another credit card but you need that interest-free option, this can be the perfect solution for you.

Naughty: If you neglect to pay off your bill before the interest-free period expires, you’ll be slapped with sky-high interest fees. Worse yet, you’ll have to pay interest retroactively for the entire interest-free period.

If you’re still struggling to get through the holiday season, we can help! Stop by a Horizons FCU branch today. We’ll show you how to stay in the black when your holiday expenses have you seeing red.


We are thankful for our members!

We often take life’s many gifts for granted by failing to appreciate them deeply enough. Thanksgiving offers the perfect opportunity to reflect upon everything that is wonderful in our lives and to show our gratitude for each and every gift we’ve been given.

This Thanksgiving, give thanks for your credit union! Let’s review 10 reasons to be grateful you belong to Horizons FCU.

  1. Superior member service

At Horizons FCU, you’re always greeted with happy faces and representatives who are ready and willing to help you. There’s no cold, sterile atmosphere here! Instead, at Horizons FCU, every member is part of the family. We’re truly invested in your financial wellness and we’re here to help you achieve and maintain it, every step of the way.

  1. You have access to better savings rates

We’re not paying dividends to stockholders, and that means we have more savings to pass back to you. At Horizons FCU, we’re proud to offer you share certificate, money market and savings rates that are well above the national average.

  1. We make it easy to qualify for credit

The absence of a national bank corporate office enables us to be more flexible about offering lines of credit. We don’t have to abide by overly strict credit qualifications—and neither do you! That makes it easier for you to open a new line of credit, even if your existing credit isn’t perfect.

  1. We offer lower interest rates

Need a stash of cash? Stop by Horizons FCU and take your pick of personal loans, home loans, auto loans and more, all with reasonable interest rates that are often lower than the regional or national average. We’ll help you get the funds you need with a payback plan you can actually afford!

  1. Your money is safe here

Federally insured credit unions and banks both offer insurance on accounts of up $250,000. But credit unions are also subject to strict regulations on their investments and loans. This means you can keep your money here without worrying about its security.

  1. Free Checking Accounts

Our checking accounts exist to provide you with a safe, convenient place to store your money—not to milk you for it. Checking accounts at Horizons FCU are completely free to set up and maintain. Conversely, according to a MoneyRates survey, the average monthly maintenance fee for a checking account at a bank is $12. That’s nearly $150 coming out of consumers’ pockets each year!

At Horizons FCU, you’ll have a safe place to keep your money for just a small fee.

  1. You own a piece of your credit union

Credit unions are member-owned and member-operated. You get to weigh in on our major decisions instead of being forced to follow along with whatever the higher-ups decide. Your money=your choices. 

  1. We support local community

Credit unions are invested in the success of local community. Here at Horizons FCU, we’re happy to participate in many local community events, along with donating to local events as much as possible. We believe in our local community and want to help as much as we can.

  1. Fewer fees

Banks are notorious for slapping consumers with fees at any given opportunity. From steep overdraft fees to costly ATM fees, there’s another bill to pay at every turn!

Here at Horizons FCU, we want to help you keep as much of your money as possible. If your checking account is mistakenly overdrawn, we’ll help you untangle what happened instead of hitting you with high fees for the overdraft and every subsequent transaction. Any fees we do have are nominal and generally lower than what banks demand.

We also want you to have access to your money without worrying about expensive ATM fees. To that end, we provide our members with a large network of ATMs with no cost for withdrawing money.

  1. You have access to a variety of financial services

At Horizons FCU, we’re a lot more than just a gigantic piggy bank. We provide members with an array of financial services to meet every money-related need at every life stage. These include: [Credit Cards with low or no annual fees and low interest rates, Direct Deposit, Wire Deposits, Youth Accounts, Holiday/Vacation Clubs, Holiday/Vacation Loans, Vehicle Loans, Notary Services, Online Banking and more!

As a member of a credit union, your money is always in good hands. Aren’t you thankful you belong to Horizons FCU? We sure are thankful for our wonderful members!


17th Annual FFF

Horizons FCU to Host 17th Annual Family Fun Friday and School Supply Giveaway

Horizons Federal Credit Union will celebrate its 17th year of Family Fun Friday with a press conference on Friday, August 31st at 12:30 p.m. at the credit union’s main office at 120 Main Street in Binghamton.

The award-winning Family Fun Friday provides free, fun, and educational activities for children of all ages. This year the children will enjoy crafts, games, music by Mix 103.3, mascots from the Rumble Ponies and Binghamton University, the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park Zoomobile, a school supply and backpack giveaway, and more. Free hot dogs, ice pops, apples, granola bars, chips, popcorn, and drinks will be provided.

Family Fun Friday is made possible with the generous support of Barnes & Noble of Vestal, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Binghamton Devils, Binghamton University Athletics, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s – Main Street, Wendy’s – Main Street, Catholic Charities of Broome County, FidelisCare, Wegman’s, Maines Food & Party Warehouse, Five Below, and Huff Ice Cream Co. Horizons Federal Credit Union members also donated backpacks and funds to purchase additional school supplies and backpacks, making this year the biggest school supply giveaway in the history of Family Fun Friday.

Horizons has won the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award 12 times for its many community efforts, as well as three times for its Family Fun Friday program. This award recognizes a credit union that goes beyond personal finance education and gives back to members of the community through outreach programs. Over the last 16 years, Family Fun Friday has touched the lives of thousands of children and families – fulfilling the credit union’s social purpose of “people helping people” and inspiring a sense of pride for the community.

Horizons Federal Credit Union serves nearly 12,000 members who live, work, or attend school in Broome County. In addition to its Main Street branch, Horizons Federal Credit Union has offices located in the Campus Plaza in Vestal and on Hooper Road in Endwell.

Dora Logo

Horizons FCU Wins Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

The New York Credit Union Association announced Horizons Federal Credit Union as winner of the 2018 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award in the $50 million to $250 million asset size category. The award honors credit unions that strengthen local institutions and materially improve the lives of non-members through community outreach programs and will be presented to Horizons FCU President & CEO Mario DiFulvio at the 2018 NYCUA Annual Meeting and Convention in June.

Horizons FCU is being recognized for its Outstanding Students Program, which was created to recognize local students who excel in academics and leadership in and out of school. Students were selected by their teachers and received a certificate of excellence, tickets to a Binghamton Rumble Ponies minor league baseball game on Outstanding Students Night, and the chance to participate in the post-game parade. In addition to publicly recognizing the students for the success, the program also raised awareness about the financial education and youth products offered by the credit union.

This is the 12th time Horizons FCU has won the first place Dora Maxwell Award. Previous winning outreach efforts include the Family Fun Fridays Program, fundraising efforts for Relay for Life and the American Heart Association, a community art project, and the credit union’s work with the Binghamton Safe Streets Association.

“People helping people is the bedrock of the credit union movement and we fully believe in that at Horizons,” said DiFulvio. “Our mission has always been to provide excellent, friendly service to our members while also giving back to the community that has supported us since 1937, and we will continue to do so.”

Along with earning multiple Dora Maxwell Awards, Horizons FCU was named the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2008. The credit union has also won the Credit Union National Association Diamond Award for a Community Event and the United Way Chairman’s Award.