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OnPoint Community Credit Union's new Sherwood Branch manager gives tips on making 2021 a better year.

PetersenSherwood families balance more today than ever before as they try to stay healthy, work from home, homeschool and find ways to socialize safely.

If those challenges weren't enough, a recent poll by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found 61 percent of families across the country today with children face serious financial challenges. As the manager of OnPoint Community Credit Union's new Sherwood Branch, I see firsthand the financial impact of this year on our community. I grew up in the area and attended school in Tigard and Tualatin, where my dad taught for 35 years including coaching baseball and basketball for many of those years, so looking after this community's financial health is personal for me.

To help alleviate a little of that financial stress for Sherwood families, here are the three most immediate actions I recommend: 1) Be on alert as fraudsters lurk in times of crisis. Criminals are more active in uncertain times, hoping to catch you off guard and manipulate you into sharing personal data like account numbers, PINs and login information. To protect your family's finances, OnPoint recommends creating strong usernames and passwords, setting up alerts on your accounts, not clicking on anything sent by someone you don't know, and being cautious when buying or selling online. One of the most crucial points to remember is that financial institutions and government agencies will never contact you to ask for sensitive information like passwords, secure access codes, verification codes or PINs. If you divulge this information, there may be no recourse, and your money could be gone forever. 2) Seek out opportunities to build a safety net for your family. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that the impossible is now possible. Financial experts recommend everyone should have at least six months of household expenditures saved for a rainy day. Protect your family's future by putting a portion of every paycheck into a safety net fund – no amount is too small. While that is easier said than done, I invite you to explore the options available to help you save, including explore the possibility of a home equity line of credit (HELOC), streamlining your services and subscriptions, researching what special accommodations creditors or utilities may offer, and pausing before every purchase to evaluate your needs versus wants. 3) It's never too early to develop young savers. Teaching kids about money, especially during this time of uncertainty, will instill responsible habits early on and build a foundation of financial knowledge that will serve them for the rest of their lives. It's never too soon to begin saving, so look into the different savings accounts available for kids, like the OnPoint Savers Account. As the challenges of this year hit close to home, I've been reminded why I love living and working in the community where I grew up. The heart of Sherwood has been on full display as businesses and residents support each other with donations of food, supplies, clothes and other necessities. In a world that seems to get bigger by the minute, Sherwood embodies community in every sense of the word. If you have any questions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I look forward to connecting with you and your family.

Joshua Petersen, manager of OnPoint's new Sherwood branch, graduated from Tualatin High School.


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