This page should be used to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our website and how to use some of the features of the site. If you have any suggestions for this page please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q.) What is First Service's Routing and Transit number?
Q.) I have already registered on my home computer, why am I asked my challenge questions when I connect from work?
A.) Each computer you connect to FirstCU Online will have to be registered for security purposes. The system will look at different characteristics of your computer to verify that it is registered; this is another form of authentication.
Q.) I am having trouble getting into my account using FirstCU Online. I receive a message that states I don't have 128-bit encryption. What do I need to do to regain my access to FirstCU Online?
A.) You are most likely using an older web browser (i.e., Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator) which does not employ the required 128-bit encryption. Just update to the most recent version of the browser software.
Q.) I am having trouble signing up for e-Statements. I get an error message when I try to register.
A.) When registering for e-Statements, the system requires your account number, social security number, birth date, and e-mail address in the following format:
Account Number: exactly as it appears on your member card (for example: 111111)
Social Security #: 111-11-1111
Birth date: 11/11/1911
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Q.) I'm trying to connect to the e-Statements service and when I click on the link nothing happens. Why is this doing this?
A.) The e-Statements service is a pop-up through FirstCU Online. In order for you see this window, you will have to disable your pop-up blocker for this site. You can also try holding down the CTRL key when you click on the e-Statement link which will temporarily disable most pop-up blockers.
Q.) I want to be able to transfer funds between two different accounts. Is this possible with FirstCU Online?
A.) Yes! Just ask a Member Service Representative to set-up a cross account relationship for you between the two accounts you want to have tied together. Remember that you must be an account owner or joint owner on both accounts to allow cross account transactions.
Q.) Why are links to other websites from www.firstcu.com sometimes unavailable?
A.) Links to other websites from Firstcu.com are sometimes unavailable for a variety of reasons. These other websites are hosted at locations other than the hosting for www.firstcu.com servers. These links are provided as a convenience, and may become unavailable from time to time. First Service FCU is not responsible for the content or availability of linked websites. We do review these websites and sometimes add or remove links as their applicability changes.
Q.) Can I use third party financial software to handle my finances?
A.) Yes! We are linked to Quicken / Intuit. You can pull data from FirstCU Online directly to your personal computer or set up a one step update to view history within Quicken.
Q.) What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
A.) A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account you can use to pay for qualified health expenses for you and your family if you are covered under a high-deductible health plan.
Q.) What is a high-deductible health plan?
A.) According to the IRS, for calendar year 2015, a “high deductible health plan” is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $6,450 for self-only coverage or $12,900 for family coverage. Check your employee benefit materials to see if your employer offers a qualifying plan.
Q.) How is the HSA tax-advantaged?
A.) In Three Ways:
- The money you contribute to your account may be pre-tax or tax-deductible. (Speak with your tax advisor or accountant.)
- The money in your account accrues tax-free earnings.
- When you use funds to pay for your deductible or qualified health care expenses, those withdrawals are tax-free as well.
Q.) How does the HSA work?
A.) Simple: You deposit funds in your account either through a payroll deduction (pre-tax), or by mailing in a check (post-tax). Then you may use that money to pay for health care expenses below your insurance deductible, as well as co-insurance requirements after your deductible is met, and expenses not covered by your health plan. Unused funds can be rolled over and saved for expenses in future years.
Q.) What happens if I don't use all the funds I've contributed to my HSA over the course of the year?
A.) Those funds simply roll over into the next year . . . and future years. You do not lose your HSA contributions; they just keep accumulating and earning interest. And your money is ready whenever you need it, today or in the future. You can even use your HSA to save for your retirement health care costs. That makes an HSA a tax-advantaged savings tool for your retirement years.
Q.) What happens to my HSA if I leave my job?
A.) Your HSA belongs to you. All funds contributed to your HSA, including employer contributions, are yours to keep. You can take your account with you, intact. When you change jobs, you will choose to:
- Keep your HSA;
- Transfer your funds to another provider's HSA; or
- Transfer your funds as a rollover to another qualifying account with 60 days.
Q.) Who can contribute to the HSA?
A.) Both you and your employer may contribute to the HSA. Other qualified family members may also contribute to the account for you, as long as they meet IRS guidelines. (Check your company health plan materials to see if your employer offers employee contributions, and for your plan's specific funding options.)
Q.) Am I eligible for an HSA?
A.) Yes, if you:
- Currently have (or switch to) a "high-deductible health plan” that meets IRS requirements;
- Are not covered by other health insurance (for example, you are not a dependent on anyone else's plan, except for vision or dental coverage);
- Are not entitled to Medicare benefits nor enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid; and
- Are not claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.
Q.) How do I make deposits to my HSA?
A.) There are multiple ways to contribute to your account:
- Payroll Deduction - If your employer offers this option, you can have a set amount deducted from your paycheck to your credit union each pay period.
- Contribution Form - When you open your HSA you will receive a contribution form, which you can use to make a check contribution or indicate a rollover from another qualified plan.
Q.) When can I start using the funds in my HSA?
A.) You can use the funds as soon as they are contributed and available. If your employer matches some or all of your contributions, they can determine their contribution schedule - annually, monthly, weekly, etc. Check with your employer.
Q.) How do I withdraw funds from my HSA?
A.) You can withdraw funds using your HSA debit card or by writing a check from your account. Please note: First Service will not automatically liquidate investments, make transfers or apply overdraft protection to pay for medical expenses if you have an insufficient balance in your HSA.
Q.) What expenses qualify for reimbursement from my HSA?
A.) You can receive tax-free reimbursements for qualified health expenses as defined by Section 213(d) of the Tax Code. A list of these expenses is available on the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov. HSA distributions used for any purpose other than the qualified medical expenses listed will be taxable, and appropriate tax rules will apply. You should check with your tax advisor to determine qualified reimbursements specific to your individual needs.
Q.) What if I need to use HSA funds for non-health related expenses?
A.) If you use your HSA funds for non-qualified expenses, the amount you withdrawal will be taxable, and you'll also be required to pay an additional 10 percent tax penalty on the withdrawal amount. (First Service is not responsible for determining qualified expenses. Please speak with your accountant before making a non-health related withdrawal.)
Q.) Will I receive HSA statements?
A.) Yes. You will receive a regular monthly statement tracking your account balances and activity. These statements are available online when you register for e-statements or mailed to your home.
Q.) What fees are associated with an HSA?
A.) There are no account set-up fees or monthly maintenance fees for your First Service HSA. Withdrawal fees for ATMs and Debit Cards apply, as well as standard checking fees. There is also a $2.00 per transaction for in-branch withdrawals. Please refer to your Truth In Savings disclosure and fee schedule. If you have questions, please contact a Member Service Representative at (614) 836-0100.
Q.) How does this work with my income taxes?
A.) At the end of the tax year, we will send you a Form 5498-SA summarizing all of your contributions, and a Form 1099-SA which reports the total distributions taken from your account for the year. We will send these forms to the IRS as well. You should attach these forms to your tax return and submit both when you file. (Please consult with your tax advisor and/or accountant before you file with the IRS.)
Q.) How long do I have to make IRA contributions for the current year?
A.) You can make deposits to a Traditional or Roth IRA for the previous tax year until the April tax-filing deadline, which is usually April 15th.
Q.) What's the difference in a Transfer IRA and a Rollover IRA?
A.) With a Transfer, the funds are sent directly from your IRA at one institution to your IRA at another. You do not personally take possession of the funds. Transfers are not reported to the IRS since funds are going directly from one IRA to another.
With a Rollover, the funds are given to you to deposit to an IRA, Rollover transactions are reported to the IRS, and you have 60 days to deposit the funds in an IRA and avoid an IRS penalty. You may roll over an IRA one time in 12 months. Rollovers are used for moving eligible funds from a qualified retirement plan (QRP) to a traditional IRA. If you plan to roll over funds from a qualified retirement program to an IRA, be sure you carefully review the tax consequences.
Q.) What penalties apply for early withdrawals from an IRA?
A.) If you're under 59 1/2, the IRS will charge a 10% early withdrawal penalty from a Roth or Traditional IRA. For a Traditional account, you will also need to include the withdrawal amount as income when you file your taxes. If you choose to close your IRA Certificate before its maturity date, the credit union will charge an early withdrawal penalty.
Q.) How can I make additional deposits to my IRA?
A.) It's easy to make deposits by payroll deductions or automatic transfers from you credit union checking or savings account. Any deposits you make through automated means are considered contributions for the tax year in which we receive them. You can also make deposits by mail and at branch locations.
Q.) Can I borrow against an IRA?
A.) The tax laws governing IRAs do not permit borrowing against an IRA, but ask us about other loan options that could help you.
Lost, Stolen, or Compromised Debit Cards
If you have received a call concerning a possible fraudulent transaction on your debit or ATM card, please see the information in the Card Fraud Alert Update section below.
Q.) Why did this happen to my card?
A.) All financial institutions are affected by fraud. First Service chooses to let you know as soon as we are advised that your card may have been compromised, even if no activity has occurred.
Q.) When did the compromise occur?
A.) We aren't given a specific time-frame from MasterCard about compromised events, however, after they do their initial investigation they notify us; and we immediately notify you.
Q.) Who was the merchant?
A.) First Service does not have access to this information. MasterCard will not divulge this due to contracts with the merchant.
Q.) What can I do to keep this from reoccurring?
A.) Unfortunately, we have no way of stopping criminals from "hacking" into databases of merchants. While the possibility of a card being used fraudulently is low, we recognize the aggravation our members face in acquiring a replacement card or to have fraudulent activity removed from their account. It is because of these concerns that First Service is dedicated to contacting each affected member-owner proactively, as soon as we are notified. While we realize the time involved in ordering cards or researching for fraud is inconvenient, we feel prompt notification demonstrates that First Service has your best interests in mind.
Q.) This seems to be happening a lot lately. Will it happen again?
A.) It is possible. First Service has no control over your merchant's database. Even though we cannot control their occurrences, we will continue to contact you each time we are notified by MasterCard that your card may have been compromised.
Q.) Is there anything that I can do to reduce the risk of fraud on my card?
A.) Yes, there are several precautions you can personally take:
- Keep track of the location of your card at all times.
- If you misplace your card, call First Service at (614) 836-0100 and select the Lost or Stolen Card (prompt 6) or call MasterCard direct at 1-800-528-2273.
- Never write your PIN on the card or carry the written PIN with you.
- Use FirstCU Online at www.firstcu.com or FirstConnect 24-hour telephone access at 614-920-6300 to monitor your account activity and call if anything seems suspicious. If we are not available, the MasterCard toll-free number for lost or stolen cards is 1-800-528-2273.
Q.) Can you leave my card active so that I can use it until I get my new card?
A.) We realize that this situation is an inconvenience to you. We can order a new card for you and leave your current card open. However, when you receive the new card, we need you to call to activate the new card; and block the old card. We will also need a valid daytime telephone number to contact you in case we see any problems, and to verify that you received your new card.
Q.) If fraud does occur on my account, what should I do?
A.) There are certain steps to follow to receive your charge-back rights?
- Contact the store or business that charged your account and let them know that the charge was fraudulent.
- CALL us at 614-836-0100 extension 2113 for Card Services or visit your local branch office to fill out a dispute form.
- If your charge is found to be fraudulent, the merchant has 30 days to return the funds to your account.
If you desire additional information, please call 614-836-0100 and ask for Card Services.
TIP: If you receive a new card, remember to verify it with your PIN at an ATM to activate before using it for a merchant purchase.
Protecting your debit or ATM card from fraud requires 24/7/365 days a year monitoring. Our fraud detection programs monitor your card transactions for any suspicious activity. If potentially fraudulent transactions are taking place, we'll contact you immediately so that future fraudulent transactions can be stopped.
What We Monitor. Your card transactions are monitored for purchases outside of your normal purchasing patterns, unusual timeframes or unusual locations from your typical purchases, and purchase patterns that are consistent with previously identified fraud trends.
How We Contact You. Getting in touch with you quickly is critical to stopping any potential card fraud. 86% of Americans have a mobile device and this offers a convenient method to contact you fast. With our Card Alert Notification service, you will receive a text message asking you to confirm if a suspicious transaction was authorized by you.
Receiving a Card Alert Notification:
- The text message will arrive with a 5 digit code (33748) and contain our financial institution name, dollar amount of the transaction, and merchant name.
- You will be asked to reply with "Yes" if you authorized the transaction. You will then receive a confirming text and can continue to use your card with confidence.
- A "No" reply means you have not authorized the transaction. You will receive a confirming text message; and you will be contacted immediately by a fraud specialist to protect your account. Please answer this call.
- Do NOT reply to the text message with any personal or confidential card information. You should only be asked about a specific transaction and reply to that transaction only. We already have your personal card information.
- If you would like to opt out of receiving these messages by text, you may reply with STOP to indicate this preference.
Help Us Protect You. Please keep us up-to-date with your current mobile and home phone numbers and contact information. This helps for quick notification. Let us know when you will be traveling in the U.S. or to a foreign country for an extended period of time. Contact us prior to your departure; and we will note your account to make our monitoring more flexible during your travel or vacation time.
Text messages to your mobile device are free, but all other fees on calls and texts are subject to the terms of your voice/data plan with your mobile carrier.