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Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

With the advent of online commerce, credit and debit card fraud has exploded. Unfortunately, credit card fraud can go unnoticed until it causes serious damage. Here, we’ve outlined what you need to know about credit and debit card fraud, how to protect yourself, and what to do when you’re targeted.


What is credit card fraud?


Credit and debit card fraud occurs when a scammer gains access to a victim’s card information and goes on to empty their accounts, commit identity theft and more.


Credit card fraud can be pulled off in many ways:


  • Card skimming involves a scammer tampering with an ATM or payment terminal. The machine reads the victim’s card information and transmits it to the scammer.
  • Brute force attacks employ an auto-dialer to access the card numbers issued within the target’s BIN. The scammer can perform infinite guesses until they land on the card’s expiration date, security code and numbers.
  • Online phishing is done through insecure links embedded in emails or online ads, or through bogus surveys, solicitations, job offers, dating profiles, and the like. The scammer uses these means to gain access to the victim’s credit or debit card information.


Protect yourself


Follow these tips to stay safe from credit and debit card fraud:


  • Monitor your checking and credit card accounts frequently so you can spot the first signs of fraud.
  • Sign up for alerts. Many issuers will send you texts or emails when new charges post to your account or card-not-present transactions happen.
  • Use strong, unique passwords across all your accounts.
  • Choose a card with zero liability protection so you won’t be held accountable for any fraudulent charges made on your card.
  • Shop with caution. Only shop at reputable sites and avoid clicking on pop-up ads or links in emails from unverified senders. To confirm a site’s security, look for the padlock icon and the “s” after the “http” in the URL. Avoid storing your credit card info in online shopping accounts. Finally, make sure the security settings on your devices are current.


If you’re targeted


If you believe your card has been frauded, take immediate steps to mitigate damage. First, let the credit card company know about the fraud.

Report fraud or lost/stolen cards

To report fraud on your card or if it has been lost or stolen, please call 1-800-558-3424. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (For missionaries who are unable to call 800 numbers, please call collect 1-701-461-0125.)

Travel Notice

In a continuing effort to prevent fraud, transactions that fall outside of your normal spending patterns could cause disruption of service. If you are going to be traveling and would like to place a travel note on your account, please call 1-800-558-3424. In order to place the alert, you will need to have your credit card in hand to verify important information. (For missionaries who are unable to call 800 numbers, please call collect 1-701-461-0125.)

Similarly, if your debit card has been frauded, let AGCU know as soon as possible.


Call the number below that applies to you.
Stateside (in the U.S.) Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. : 1-833-933-1681
or during business hours call AGCU 866-508-2428

After Hours: 855-961-1602 and speak with Fraud Detection.

International: 1-812-647-9794


ALWAYS call AGCU for a replacement card after reporting a lost or stolen card and speak with a Member Care Representative. Do not depend on email; speak to a person!

Your old card will be canceled, and you’ll be issued a replacement card immediately. You may also want to place a credit freeze on your accounts to prevent the scammer from taking out a loan or opening another account in your name.


AGCU will never solicit you for information relating to your account in an email or over the phone.

The NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) does not have any personal information on our membership. Email posing to be from the NCUA is false and an attempt to obtain your personal financial information.

If you have moved, we may contact you to verify your current address.

If you are suspicious of an email appearing to be from AGCU, please call us to verify its validity.


Banking With A Purpose

Much more than a catchphrase, our tagline is our passion, our reason why we do what we do. This is the impact of your membership with AGCU.
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Beware of Job Scams

Financial Self-Defense: Don’t Get Caught In A Job Scam

Bogus work opportunities can seem like a dream come true until your identity is stolen, your accounts are emptied and/or you’re asked to cash a check and then mail back most of it to the “company” due to accidental overpayment.


Don't Get Caught in a Job Scam!

It’s an amazing employment opportunity–or is it? Scammers often hijack the job market to ensnare job seekers. Here’s what to know about these scams.

How the scams play out

There are several variations of job scams. Here are the most common:

  • Bogus job listing. There’s a Help Wanted ad for a dream job. The eager job-seeker applies, sharing their information,and even paying a small fee for an interview or resume submission. Unfortunately, the job doesn’t exist and they’ll never hear from the “employer” again.
  • Imposter hiring. An alleged rep from a well-known agency or hiring firm reaches out to a target, asking them to send funds to cover a job screening. While the job may exist, the “representative” is a scammer, and the money the victim shares will go directly into the scammer’s pocket.
  • Phishing emails. In this scam, a victim is targeted by email. It offers the victim a fantastic job, but asks that they first share confidential info. If the victim complies, they’ll be giving their personal information to a scammer.

How to spot a job scam

Learning to identify the signs of a job scam can help you avoid them. Here are some red flags to watch for when job-hunting:

  • The emails the “company” sends are highly unprofessional.
  • There’s no street address for the company.
  • You’re asked to pay an upfront fee before you’re even hired.
  • You’re asked to share personal information before an official contract is signed.
  • When “hired,” you’re underworked and overpaid.

Before applying to or accepting a job offer, do thorough research. Ask for references of past or current employees and check out the company website to see if it’s secure and has real information about the firm, including a street address. Check out the company’s social media accounts, too. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the employer any questions you may have about the company or job.

Job-hunting can be stressful, but getting caught in a job scam can bring that stress to a whole new level. Stay alert and stay safe by following the tips outlined here.

Banking With A Purpose

Much more than a catchphrase, our tagline is our passion, our reason why we do what we do. This is the impact of your membership with AGCU.
Learn More About Banking with a Purpose

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Employee Spotlight – Zandra Nelson

Employee Spotlight Zandra Nelson

Employee Spotlight

Zandra Nelson

Consumer Loan Underwriter

With AGCU 35 Years

Relax with a Book

Zandra spent most of her life in Springfield and finds joy in reading, with a particular passion for mysteries and detective novels.

Her family is her pride and inspiration, and she delights in sharing stories of her daughter and two stepchildren, as they carve out happy lives.

Zandra relishes the peaceful moments with a book, her loving husband and their feline companion, Missy.

Zandra started as a teller, and has served in various departments during her career, but especially enjoys the loan department. She shines at evaluating loans and advising members about ways to enhance their eligibility. Her unwavering commitment has made her an invaluable asset to AGCU and our members.

What Does Banking With A Purpose Mean to You?

Accurate and up to the minute account information from employees who really care about members.

What’s the next place on your travel “Bucket-List”?

An island vacation in the Caribbean on Turks and Caicos

How do you define “Success”?

Doing something that makes you happy

Favorite Place

I love being at the lake and watching the water. It’s so calming.

More Employee Spotlights

What is a CD And How Do They Work?

What Is a Certificate of Deposit And How Do They Work?

What is a CD And How Do They Work?

With so many financial products available, choosing which type of account to open can be just as stressful as deciding where to open one. For consumers looking for earnings on their savings, one of the options that AGCU offers is share certificates. Here’s a brief overview of how they work and some of their advantages and disadvantages.

Jump To:

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a low-risk savings tool that can boost the amount you earn in interest while keeping your money invested in a relatively safe way.

Like savings accounts, CDs are considered low risk because they are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. However, CDs generally allow your savings to grow at a faster rate than they would in a savings account.

How CDs Work

In exchange for depositing your money into a bank for a fixed period (usually called the term or duration), the bank pays a fixed interest rate that’s typically higher than the rates offered on savings accounts. When the term is up (or when the CD matures), you get back the money you deposited (the principal) plus any interest that has accrued.

If you need to access your funds before the CD’s term ends, you are subject to an early withdrawal penalty, which can significantly reduce the interest you earned on the CD.

Tip: Before opening a CD, make sure you have an emergency fund—a comfortable amount of savings in an easily accessible account, such as a savings account.

How Terms, Minimum Balances and Rates Interact

CDs come in varying terms and may require different minimum balances. The rate you earn typically varies by the term and how much money is in the account. In general, the longer the term and the more money you deposit, the higher the rate you are offered. (A longer term does not necessarily require a larger minimum balance.)

Compounding interest: Interest Rate vs. APY

Like savings accounts, CDs earn compound interest—meaning that periodically, the interest you earn is added to your principal. Then that new total amount earns interest of its own, and so on.

Because of the compound interest, it is important to understand the difference between interest rate and annual percentage yield (APY). The interest rate represents the fixed interest rate you receive, while APY refers to the amount you earn in one year, taking compound interest into account.

Choosing the Right CD For You

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a CD. First, when do you need the money? If you need it soon, consider a CD with a shorter term. But if you’re saving for something five years down the line, a CD with a longer term and higher rate may be more beneficial. Check CD Rates Here

Also, consider the economic environment. If it seems that interest rates may rise, or if you want to open multiple CDs, CD laddering can be a good option.

Building a CD Ladder

Overall interest rates may change during your CD’s term. If rates rise, you miss out on earning those higher rates, since your money is committed for the CD’s term. However, if rates go down, you benefit: You still earn the higher rate that was offered when you opened the CD. CD laddering, buying multiple CDs of varying term lengths, can help address this concern.

It can also be a way for you to take advantage of longer terms (and therefore higher interest rates) while still giving you access to some of your money each year.

With a CD ladder, you divide your initial investment into equal parts and invest each portion in a CD that matures every year. For example, say Leo has $10,000. To build a CD ladder, he invests $2,000 each in a 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year and 5-year CD. As each CD matures, he reinvests the money at the current interest rate or uses the cash for another purpose. If Leo reinvests his money, he might choose a new 5-year CD, which would ensure he has one CD maturing each year as long as he continues laddering.

How a CD Ladder works. When your CD matures, reinvest your initial deposit plus dividends into a new 5-year CD

Combining CDs With Other Accounts

Be sure to consider other options for saving or investing your funds. Diverse accounts offer different levels of risk and return.  Learn about AGCU CD Rates and get started today!

Call 866-508-2428 or start a video banking call today!

Start a Call Video Banking

Employee Spotlight – Kim Purcell

Employee Spotlight - Kim Purcell

Employee Spotlight

Kim Purcell

Member Experience Team Lead

With AGCU 7 Years

The Queen

Married for 45 years, mother and grandmother of seven, Kim’s family calls her Queen!
She loves crafting, hanging out by the pool, and cheering at her grandchildren’s basketball games!

Kim was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Springfield. She is excited to learn more about her Eastern Shawnee Nation roots and talks about the tribe’s history and language.

Kim joined AGCU as the Independence Branch Team Lead, and like any proud mother, is more comfortable sharing stories about the accomplishments and teamwork growing within her departments than talking about her own success building towards those strong relationships.

What Does Banking With A Purpose Mean to You?

Building relationships with members.
Helping, teaching and sharing knowledge and experience.

What chore do you absolutely hate?

Folding laundry! Most tasks are relaxing and therapeutic, but laundry never stops!

What is the first concert you ever attended?

It was a festival with five or six bands, but I saw Peter Frampton and Styx.

Define Success

Success isn’t necessarily monetary.
It’s being happy where you are!

2023 Scholarship Recipients

AGCU Scholarship Recipients


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  We announced the recipients of our 2023 AGCU Scholarships Thursday, June 8 at the Annual Business Meeting held at Central Assembly.

Every year we award scholarships to a number of New Attitudes members who are graduating from high school and plan to attend an accredited college or university in the fall of their graduation year. It’s just our way of thanking our New Attitudes members who have chosen AGCU as their banking institution.  If you would like to learn if you or a loved one qualify for an AGCU Scholarship, contact your local branch!

Annalise Goodwin

Annalise Goodwin

$1000 Scholarship
Merrell K. Cooper Memorial Scholarship

Annalise is graduating as a homeschooled student in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and plans to attend Southeastern Assemblies of God University – Ohio campus as a media and design major. She is a member of Timothy Teams at Ohio Ministry Network Kids Camp and assists with children’s ministry for Africa missionary field conferences. Annalise designed her parents’ missionary prayer cards for their ministry in Africa. She is also active in her church serving as a greeter and member of the choir and orchestra.


Jackson Hayes

Jackson Hayes

$4000 Scholarship

Jackson is graduating from New Covenant Academy in Springfield, Missouri, and plans to attend John Brown University as an electrical engineering major. He was accepted into the Missouri Boys State program and served on the House of Representatives in the program. Jackson is a member of National Honor Society.

Natalie Vaughn

Natalie Vaughn

$4000 Scholarship

Natalie is graduating from Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Missouri, and plans to attend John Brown University as a biology major. She is valedictorian of her class, student body president, and vice-president of National Honor Society. Natalie serves as an assistant pre-K teacher at her church and is actively involved with her youth group. She also volunteers with numerous community service projects.

Nathan Buller

Nathan Buller

$4000 Scholarship

Nathan is graduating from Bauxite High School in Bauxite, Arkansas, and plans to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University as a digital media major. He is vice-president of Student Congress, a member of Future Business Leaders of America, and National Honor Society. Nathan has also been a member of the AV Tech/Media Team at his school and church.

Oliver Puccini

Oliver Puccini

$4000 Scholarship

Oliver is graduating from Breck School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and plans to attend the University of Notre Dame as an aerospace engineering major. He is a member of the Breck School Stampede Robotics team and writes for the school newspaper. Oliver is also a member of his school Bato Bato Marimba band and jazz orchestra. Additionally, he has been a mission team leader assisting a Ukrainian Refugee Center and tutors for the Neill Elementary’s Science Enrichment program.

Madeline Berkey

Madeline Berkey

$4000 Scholarship

Madeline is graduating from Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, and plans to attend Trinity Bible College as a Children’s Ministry and Missions major. She is a National Honor Society member. Madeline is member of the women’s basketball and volleyball teams. She serves in the children’s program at her church, as well as a member of the Spiritual Life Committee at her school.




Banking With A Purpose

Much more than a catchphrase, our tagline is our passion, our reason why we do what we do. This is the impact of your membership with AGCU.
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7 Money Habits that Can Boost Your Credit Score

Wanna Know 7 Secrets for a Higher Credit Score?

7 Steps to Improve Your Credit Score Right NowTime to Read: 3 minutes

Having a good credit score can open doors to so many financial opportunities, like lower interest rates on auto loans, the chance to buy a house, and more credit opportunities. And while boosting your credit score may seem like a tough task, it’s doable if you know how to go about it. Here are some simple steps that can help you improve your credit score in no time!

Check Your Credit Report First!

Knowing the state of your credit score begins with checking your credit report, which is a record of your credit history that contains details about your credit accounts, payment history, and debts. You can get a free credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year. Give your report a careful look and dispute any errors you find with the credit bureau.

Always Make Timely Payments!

Your payment history is a big factor that impacts your credit score, so don’t be late or miss payments. According to Wells Fargo, payment history makes up 35% of your FICO credit score – that’s a big deal! So, it’s definitely a good idea to set up auto payments for your bills and work on paying off past debts to avoid future late payments.

Try and Cut Down on Credit Utilization

Your credit utilization, or the amount of credit you use compared to your credit limit, is another key factor that affects your credit score. Keep your utilization low (under 30% according to Experian) by paying off your credit card balances in full each month and only using your card when you need to. If you have high credit card balances, consider consolidating with a personal loan or balance transfer credit card.

Your Old Accounts Should Stay Open!

The longer your credit history, the better your credit score, so try to keep old credit accounts open and in good standing. According to CreditKarma, the age of your credit history generally accounts for 15% of your total credit scores. A good rule-of-thumb is to think twice before closing an old account, no matter what it is, because it could hurt your credit score if you’re not careful.

For example, many young adults these days begin their credit history when they take out student loans in their late teens/early 20s. If you are planning on paying off your student loans in a shorter period of time (less than 5 years), you may want to consider getting another line of credit going so that you don’t see your credit score drop suddenly (according to Transunion) once you pay off your longest credit history item.

Limit New Credit Apps

Every time you apply for new credit, like a personal loan or a vehicle loan, it shows up as a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your credit score. While new credit apps only account for 10% of your FICO credit score, according to Bankrate, apply for credit when you need it and avoid opening too many new accounts in a short period of time.

Try Out a Secured Credit Card Option

If your credit score isn’t looking so good, a secured credit card can help big time. This type of card requires a cash deposit, which becomes your actual credit limit. Use the card responsibly by making on-time payments like you would with a regular credit card.

Make sure to follow standard principles, like keeping your utilization low, and over time you can build a good credit history and improve your score. This option definitely poses the least amount of risk to those who have poor spending habits!

Seek Help from a Credit Counselor

If you’re struggling with debt and your credit score is suffering, a credit counselor can help. They can help you create a budget, reduce debt, and improve your credit score. There are many reputable credit counseling agencies that offer free or low-cost services, so do your research and find one that works for you.

Keep a Healthy Debt-to-Income Ratio!

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your debt-to-income ratio, or the amount of debt you have compared to your income, is another factor that affects your credit score. 

Keep your ratio low (According to Experian, many lenders prefer ratios below 36%) by reducing debt and increasing income, and consider consolidating your debt with a personal loan or balance transfer credit card.

Wrapping Up How to Boost Your Credit Score:

Great credit scores can open up a world of financial opportunities, from lower interest rates on loans to buying a house. But don’t worry, boosting your credit score is easier than it seems! 

Start by checking your credit report and disputing any errors. Making timely payments, reducing credit utilization, keeping old accounts open, limiting new credit apps, and getting a secured credit card can also help move the needle in the right direction.

If you’re struggling with debt, seek help from a credit counselor or keep a healthy debt-to-income ratio. So, take control of your finances and show your credit score who’s boss!

Employee Spotlight – Janora Reed

Employee Spotlight Janora Reed

Employee Spotlight

Janora Reed

Fraud & Debit Card Specialist

With AGCU 17 Years

Group Mentor

Meet Janora Reed, a wife, mother, and grandmother with a passion for teaching, sharing, and loving.

A child of missionaries, Janora grew up in Africa before returning to the United States at the age of 16.

Janora has been a valued member of multiple departments with AGCU and has become her team’s go-to source of advice.

Janora’s love of pouring into the lives of others makes her a cherished asset to her family and our AGCU family alike, with a desire to help others succeed and offers a wealth of information to answer most questions.

Although Janora began her career at AGCU’s Campbell location in the lobby, her enthusiasm to serve global workers soon led her to take on a more specialized role. She now provides expert debit and credit card services along with fraud protection and education for member accounts, and acts as a financial liaison for special accounts.

What Does Banking With A Purpose Mean to You?

To serve members by taking financial pressures off of them so they can focus on what matters most in their lives.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about your job?

I wish they knew how easy it is to fall for a scam.

Do you volunteer anywhere?

I’m a member of the ”Dream Team” at James River Church, and serve as a host in the auditorium.

What’s The Best Piece of Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Consider all of your options. Write a list of Pros and Cons. Don’t make rash decisions.

Mortgage Lenders and Credit Checks

Navigating Mortgage Lenders and Credit Checks: Your Roadmap to Informed Choices

If you need a mortgage but you’re worried about the negative effect on your credit from a credit check, remember the 45-day rule. Learn about that and more in our guide!

Navigating Mortgage Lenders and Credit Checks: Q: What happens when a mortgage lender checks my credit score?

A: That’s a great question! Let’s explore the mortgage-shopping process, how credit checks can affect your score, and some helpful tips for choosing the right lender.

Understanding Credit Scores:

First off, what’s a credit score, and why should it matter to you?

Your credit score is a three-digit number that reflects your financial responsibility and creditworthiness. It considers factors like your payment history, credit utilization, types of credit, outstanding debt, and credit history. A higher credit score not only improves your chances of mortgage approval but also helps you secure more favorable interest rates.

Demystifying Credit Checks:

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will likely request your credit report from one or more major credit bureaus. This process is commonly known as a credit check. The lender examines your credit report to evaluate your creditworthiness and determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for a mortgage. If any concerning red flags appear, it could lead to a higher interest rate or even a potential denial of your mortgage application.

Impact on Your Credit Score:

A credit check can have a temporary impact on your credit score. Each credit inquiry is noted on your credit report and might be viewed as a potential risk by lenders. However, the good news is that the effect is usually minor and short-lived. Your credit score typically bounces back within a few months.

Managing the Effect on Your Credit Score:

Contrary to common misconceptions, you don’t need to limit your mortgage applications out of fear of harming your credit score. Here’s the encouraging part: Multiple credit checks from mortgage lenders within a 45-day window are treated as a single inquiry on your credit report. Lenders understand that you’re in search of a single home loan, so these inquiries won’t be seen as multiple loan applications. This means you can take your time, explore various lenders, and gather loan estimates without worrying about negative consequences to your credit score.

Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender:

When seeking potential lenders, it’s always valuable to consider personal recommendations from family and friends who share your values. Additionally, you can explore online ratings and reviews of lenders to gain insights into their reputation and customer experiences. As you evaluate different options, prioritize lenders who demonstrate excellent customer service, transparent loan processes, reasonable closing costs, and fees, and offer favorable interest rates.

This knowledge will empower you as you embark on your homeownership journey. By understanding the impact of credit checks and making well-informed decisions, you can confidently select the mortgage lender that resonates with your beliefs and values.


AGCU is committed to helping you find the right home loan option for you. We offer a variety of products to meet your requirements. Whatever your lending needs are, AGCU is here to help you navigate the process.

Visit our Home Loan Center to get started!

Should I Buy or Lease a Car Now?

Buying and Leasing a Car: What You Need to Know

Finding a new or used car that meets your criteria is a challenging endeavor in today’s market. If you need a new car right now, what’s your best choice? Let’s take a deeper look at buying versus leasing a car to help you determine which option makes the most sense for you.

Should I Buy or Lease a Car?

4 Tips to Help You Decide: Should You Buy or Lease?

In every market, there are some drivers who are better suited toward owning a car and others who benefit more from leasing. The following are the top four important factors we suggest for you to consider when making this decision.

1. How long do you hold onto your cars?

If you like to swap in your cars for a newer model every few years, a lease may be a better fit for your lifestyle. On the flip side, if you tend to hold onto your cars for many years, consider buying a car instead.

2. What kind of insurance costs do you want?

Leases require full insurance coverage, which can be pricey. When you own your vehicle, though, the amount of insurance coverage beyond what is required by law is your decision.

If you like having full protection that includes GAP insurance (GAP Insurance pays the difference between what you owe on a car and its true value if it’s totaled in an accident or stolen), then a lease may be a better choice for you. If you tend to purchase just minimum coverage, you may be better off purchasing your vehicle.

3. How much mileage do you typically drive?

If you usually put more than 10,000 miles on your car each year (the standard milage amount allowed by most leasing companies before charging extra), you may be better off buying a car. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll still need to pay for those miles in depreciation costs of the car.

4. Are you willing to pay for your vehicle’s maintenance?

When you lease a car, most maintenance costs are on the leasing company. You’ll need to pay for anything related to wear and tear of the vehicle, but most other repairs will be covered. You’ll also have the option to pay extra for tire protection, and dent and scratch insurance.

When you own your car, you’ll be footing the bill for all these costs, plus any maintenance needs. To minimize these costs, don’t finalize a car purchase without first ensuring it’s in good working order. You can do this by using its VIN (vehicle identification number) to look up its car history and by having it professionally inspected by a mechanic.

Long Term Effects of Leasing or Buying a Vehicle

While individual circumstances vary, in general, you can expect the cost of purchasing and leasing a vehicle to break even at the three-year mark. While a lease may offer you cheaper monthly payments, you’ll likely earn back two-thirds of the price you paid on a car if you sell it after three years.

If you’re choosing between buying or leasing a car, be sure to weigh all variables carefully before making your decision.
When you’re ready to make your decision, a great option to consider is applying for an auto loan face-to-face with AGCU’s video banking service.

Banking With A Purpose

Much more than a catchphrase, our tagline is our passion, our reason why we do what we do. This is the impact of your membership with AGCU. Learn More About Banking with a Purpose