[permaculture] PERMACULTURE CREDIT UNION Newsletter March 2004

Wesley Roe and Marjorie Lakin Erickson lakinroe at silcom.com
Mon Apr 19 13:08:36 EDT 2004

TOLL FREE: 1-866-954-3479  PHONE: (505) 954-3479 FAX: (505) 424-1624

  Established:  May 18, 
March 2004

Message from the Chair
It’s spring again!  It is time to prepare for the growing season; sowing 
seeds with the hope of reaping the rewards later on.  Here at the PCU we 
are reaping the rewards of the previous year’s hard work, and sowing the 
seeds for even more success in the coming year.  Our CEO, Don Sarich, has 
just completed his first year with us, and it has been a very productive one.
We now have over 1 million dollars out in loans.  Additionally, we can make 
loans in any state and our individual loan limit has grown from $30,000 per 
loan to $70,000 per loan.  Our services have grown as well.  The plans are 
in place to offer Home Equity Lines of Credit and soon we will be able to 
process Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions.  ACH transactions 
allow members to automatically transfer funds from other financial 
institutions to make loan payments, etc.  We are also in the planning 
stages for a credit card offering.  A recent survey of members regarding 
the desire for credit cards from the PCU resulted in an overwhelmingly 
positive response.  The credit card service should be available at the end 
of the summer.
This is all very positive news, yet with growth comes growing pains.  With 
a larger loan portfolio there are more decisions that have to be made about 
what types of loans are best for us and what the best combination of loans 
is.  Along with additional services comes additional responsibilities and 
additional workload.  Some of these new services require us to update 
various credit union policies and some may result in a sharp increase in 
our member base.  These types of changes affect our bottom line and move us 
into a more dynamic environment.  Thankfully, the other aspect of the 
credit union that has grown is our board of directors.  We will be 
increasing the number of board members from 7 to 9.  This should help us 
cope with this new environment.  Being a board member is very 
enlightening  and does not require that you come to the table already 
knowledgeable  only ready and willing to learn.  The same is true of 
The PCU is entering a new stage in our development.  It will be an exciting 
time, full of growth and change, and we will continue to need your support 
and participation.  Mention us to your friends, volunteer your time, take 
out a loan, or make a donation.  We are not ‘out of the woods’ yet with 
respect to complete financial self-sustainability, but we are nearing the 
edges and seeing light through the leaves.
Thank you for all your support.

Permaculture Credit Union’s 4th Annual Meeting
Will be held on May 15 at 10:00 am
Plants of the Southwest
3095 Agua Fria Street Sante Fe NM

Attention: PCU MEMBERS
Members can borrow in person, by mail or by downloading an application from 
our web site.  To get the process started, mail or fax your request to us 
with income information (i.e. pay stubs or tax returns).  Remember, we 
currently process Vehicle loans, Share and Certificate Secured loans, and 
Signature loans in any state where our members reside

Permaculture Credit Union’s New Service  Automated Clearing House (ACH) 
Beginning April 16, 2004, Permaculture Credit Union will begin to offer ACH 
transactions options to our members.  ACH or Automated Clearing House is a 
payments mechanism that replaces paper payments with electronic 
transactions.  Participating financial institutions process credits and 
debits through the ACH Network that goes through the Federal Reserve.  It 
is a more cost-effective and efficient alternative to writing and 
processing checks.

Advantages of ACH to Consumers/Receivers
·       Eliminating the possibility of lost or stolen checks;
·       Reducing the time and cost involved in depositing, processing, and 
clearing checks;
·       Delivering consistent and convenient availability of funds on a 
timely basis;
·       Allowing for bills to be paid on time;
·       Providing a secure and efficient method of payment;
·       Offering a review period before a bill is actually paid;
·       Eliminating check writing, postage expense, and the risk of late 

Introducing PCU’s New Home Equity Line of Credit
A Home Equity Line of Credit loan is a revolving credit in which your home 
serves as collateral and is for owner-occupied homes only.  The rate is 
Monthly Adjustable with a minimum credit limit of $5,000, however, you can 
take an advance for as much or as little as you need at a time.  The loan 
rate up to 90 % Total Loan to Value (TLTV) is Prime + .75%**; the loan rate 
is Prime if it is used for a sustainable practice.  The Prime rate is 
currently a low 4.00 % APR.***
Home Equity Lines of Credit are easy and convenient to use
·       Free voucher access
·       Low interest rate
·       Low closing fees
·       No minimum advance
·       No annual fees
·       Low minimum monthly payment
·       Deductible interest *
*See your tax advisor to determine possible tax advantage.
**Maximum rate is 18.000%
***This APR or annual percentage rate is a variable rate accurate as of 
4/15/04 and is subject to change at any time.

Is the interest on a home equity line of credit tax deductible?
The answer is “maybe”.  Home mortgage interest is deductible on Schedule A, 
Itemized Deductions, of the personal tax return form 1040.  Since tax 
filers may choose a standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions, 
however, this may or may not help.  The standard deduction is currently 
$4,750 per single taxpayer, and $9,500 per married couple.
Itemized deductions include medical expenses beyond 7.5% of your income, 
state and local income taxes, property taxes, home mortgage interest and 
points, gifts to charity, casualty and theft losses, un-reimbursed job 
expenses beyond 2% of your income, and a few other items.  If the total is 
greater than your standard deduction, your home equity interest may reduce 
your taxes.
There are a few more rules to consider.  First, you can only deduct total 
mortgage interest (first mortgage plus home equity loans) on up to two 
homes, and for debt up to $1million.  Second, interest is only deductible 
on debt up to the market value of your home or homes.  Third, home equity 
loan interest (as distinguished from first mortgage interest) is only 
deductible up to $100,000 of debt.
If you have gotten this far, and it is still looking like you will be able 
to deduct the interest, there is still one more thing to 
consider  Alternative Minimum Tax.  The AMT is an additional tax that 
applies to people who have substantial tax breaks - like itemized 
deductions, tax exempt interest, accelerated depreciation, and a 
substantial number of exemptions for dependents.  If you qualify for the 
AMT, then home equity interest that you deducted on Schedule A is added 
back to the AMT if it was not used for home improvements.
As you can tell, this gets pretty complicated.  If you qualify, however, 
you can get a nice tax break.  Suppose you took out a $65,000 home equity 
loan from the PCU at an annual rate of 7%, the deductible interest would be 
around $4,000 for the first year.  If you are in the 28% tax bracket, this 
could save you over $1,100 in taxes.  If you are in a higher tax bracket, 
you could save even more.  If you think it might work for you, consult with 
your tax advisor to

Attention: PCU Members

It’s PCU’s 4th Year of Operation.

To celebrate, we are offering a
special loan rate to members.

4th Year Hybrid Loan Special
(Purchase or Refinance a Hybrid Vehicle that gets 45 mpg or more).

Get Pre-Approved as soon as possible.
Special Rates for Hybrids as follows:

A+  Credit    4.00% APR*
A    Credit    5.00% APR*
B    Credit    7.00% APR*
C    Credit    9.50% APR*

Offer good from 3-31-04  6-30-04.

* For qualifying members.
Rates and terms subject to change

(Currently we can finance up to $70,000 in loans per household.)
All rates subject to change.

Bring your vehicle loan home to PCU

A+ Credit  6.25% APR
A   Credit  7.25% APR
B   Credit  9.25% APR
   C   Credit  11.75% APR

Fuel Efficiency Discounts

Average MPG 35 or more > .75% off APR
Average MPG 45 or more > 1.50% off APR


      Up to 72 months        73  120 months
A+Credit   6.00%APR        7.00%APR
A  Credit   7.00%APR        8.00%APR
B  Credit   8.00%APR        9.00%APR
C  Credit   9.00% APR      10.00%APR

Up to 90% of appraised value, less the balance of your existing mortgage.

A+  Credit  10.00% APR
A    Credit  11.00% APR
B    Credit  13.00% APR
C    Credit  15.50% APR

A+, A, B up to $5,000, C up to $3,000
Up to 48 months

                         3.00% APR + Share or Certificate Rate
Up to 60 months

Membership Vote on the Credit Card Program - Results are in!!

Among our members, we had a 24 percent participation rate on the 
The vote results are as follows:

ResponsePercentage of votesNumber of votes
Yes96 %133
No2 %3
Neutral 2 %3

Over the next quarter, the Board will complete the required compliance 
steps to implement the Credit Card Program.  By October, Permaculture 
Credit Union will provide a progress report to our members

Permaculture Credit Union
Mission Statement
We pool the financial resources of the people who believe in the Ethics of 
Permaculture and strive to redirect those resources to Earth friendly and 
socially responsible loans and investments.
The Permaculture Credit Union promotes thrift among its members and 
provides credit at reasonable rates.  It creates the opportunity for 
members to control the use of their money and contribute to the 
revitalization of their community and the planet.

Attention Members:
The Permaculture Credit Union is temporarily not offering new share 
certificates. We will make certificates available again in the future.  If 
you have any questions, please feel free to contact us toll free at 
1-866-954-3479 or locally at 505-954-3479.  Thank you for your understanding.

Message from the President
I would like to take this time to thank all of our members, Board of 
Directors and volunteers for their support this last year.  It seems that 
this year will be even busier than last year, which will test our limited 
staff and volunteers.  However, I believe everyone involved will reach deep 
into their hearts to make our membership very proud to say they belong to 
an organization committed to reshaping financial services, as we know them.
We appreciate our members investing in the Permaculture Credit Union even 
as our rates are still relatively low.  As we grow, we will continue 
expanding services and increasing the rate of return to our members.
Sincerely, Don Sarich

Just A Reminder from
  the Supervisory Committee

PLEASE notify the Credit Union of any changes to your address or phone 
number.  We want you to receive your statements and information about our 

Privacy Policy: We do not disclose any nonpublic information about our 
members and former members to anyone, except as permitted by law.

Permaculture Credit Union
Office Location: 4250 Cerrillos Rd., 2nd Floor,
  Santa Fe, NM  87507
Mailing Address: PO Box 29300,
   Santa Fe, NM  87592-9300
Toll Free: 1-866-954-3479
Phone: (505) 954-3479
Fax: (505) 424-1624

Office Hours
Monday  Friday
10:00am  2:00pm

Loan Request
Monday - Friday
9:00am  5:00pm
Or by appointment for member convenience.

Management & Staff
Donald J. Sarich
Michelle Lowrie
Account Manager
Lucinda Sydow
Member Services Representative
Board of Directors
Susan Coulter  Chair
Nate Downey  Vice-Chair
Allan Sindelar  Treasurer
Sebia Hawkins  Secretary
Winona Nava  Director
James Stark  Director
Wesley Roe  Director
Supervisory Committee
Carolyn Agard  Chair
Nora Haskins  Member
Amy Brown  Member
Joseph Ellis  Member

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