t our credit union, nothing is more important to us than our members. We care about you, your right to privacy, and the confidentiality of your personal information. We are committed to making available products and services that will meet your financial needs and goals. That's why we offer an array of products and services—some of which may require us to work with other companies to deliver them to you.

Sometimes, sharing information with other companies allows a credit union to offer products—such as credit cards and share drafts. While we might share this information, we always keep in mind protecting your privacy and using your information in a manner consistent with your expectations.

New privacy regulations
A new law requires all financial institutions to have a privacy policy in place regarding customer information; they must tell their customers what that policy is by July 2001.

All financial institutions you do business with, including credit unions, must make disclosures about sharing "nonpublic personal information"—any personally identifiable financial information they have. For example, the fact that a person is a credit union member is considered nonpublic personal information.

You will receive a written privacy notice from us in coming months. The notice will outline our specific privacy policy: what information we collect and disclose to others, to whom we disclose the information, how to opt out of certain information disclosures about you, and how we protect your information.

How to protect your privacy
In addition to credit union efforts to protect your privacy, you can follow these steps to protect yourself.

1. Before revealing personal financial information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared with others. If you don't want personal financial information sold or shared, ask to opt out. Opting out allows you to direct your credit union (or other financial service providers) not to disclose information about you to parties that are not affiliated with the credit union. Follow up in writing.

2. Only give your Social Security number when it's absolutely necessary. Ask if you can use another type of identifier, such as a driver's license, instead.

3. Call 888-567-8688 to stop unsolicited credit card offers in the mail. Have your name removed from prescreened lists from the big three credit bureaus—Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian. This should reduce the number of offers.

4. Keep items with personal information in a safe place and either tear them up or shred them when you don't need them anymore. Dispose of share draft copies and statements, charge receipts, insurance forms, expired charge cards, and credit offers the same way.

5. Remove your name from many national mailing lists by writing to the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Include your name, address, and phone number with your request to be taken off mass mailing lists.

6. Order a copy of your credit report from a couple different credit reporting agencies every year. Here's a list of the three national credit bureaus: Experian 800-682-7654, Equifax 800-685-1111, and Trans Union 800-888-4213. Verify that your credit report is accurate and that it includes only activities you've authorized.

7. Consider the information you're supplying on an entry to win a car, shopping spree, and so on. In order to win, some information—such as your age or income range—usually is not necessary. The next time you're filling out an entry form or even a product registration form, think about who gets that information and what they do with it. This is not to say you shouldn't enter to win a car or a $1 million giveaway—but it's not always necessary to fill in every blank line.

    We always
    keep in mind
    protecting your

    We are committed
    to making available
    products and services
    that will meet
    your financial
    needs and goals.

© 2000 Credit Union National Association Inc.