Shred Day

It is long over due for cleaning out your paperwork! We will be holding a shred day on June 9th, 2022 at our Pasadena branch. You can find all of the details listed below.

  • 10lb limit per member
  • No paper clips
  • No hanging files

Drop off will be located on the left side of the building near the drive thru. We will have employees there ready to assist you with shredding your sensitive documents.


pasadenaThursday, June 9th, 2022
9:00am – 12:00pm
Pasadena Branch
5953 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena, TX 77505



2022 Appreciated Teacher Award Nominations


2022 Appreciated Teacher Awards

As a teacher’s credit union, one of the many ways we demonstrate our support and gratitude for educators is through our Appreciated Teacher Awards. This is a recognition program that commends outstanding teachers within our field of membership, which now includes all districts and accredited schools in Texas. For our 2022 Appreciated Teacher Awards, we received hundreds of nominations from over 31 different school districts across the state of Texas. A committee composed of credit union management team members selected five finalists from all the nominations received, who are listed below.

The finalist with the most votes will be awarded the title of Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union’s 2022 Appreciated Teacher of the Year and receive a $2,500 grand prize. The remaining finalists will receive a $500 honorarium. The 2022 Appreciated Teacher of the Year will be announced the week of May 16th, 2022.

2022 Appreciated Teacher Award Finalists

Click the names below to read a description for each of our Appreciated Teacher Award Finalists.



One vote per valid email address is allowed. Voting ends May 9, 2022 at 11:59 pm CST. The finalist with the most votes will be awarded the title of GCEFCU’s 2022 Appreciated Teacher of the Year and receive a $2,500 honorarium. Remaining finalists will each receive a $500 honorarium. Results will be announced the week of May 9, 2022.

Understanding Your Escrow Analysis Statement

Money Talks: Understanding Your Escrow Analysis Statement

Click here to watch video on YouTube.

Understanding Your Escrow Analysis Statement

Understanding your escrow analysis statement for your mortgage can be confusing. Luckily, your friends at Gulf Coast Educators FCU are here to help. Let’s break it down.

What is escrow and do I have it?

Escrow is an account balance tied to your mortgage loan to pay your escrowed entities whenever they become due. Escrowed entities can include property taxes, insurance, and/or private mortgage insurance (PMI) when applicable. You can tell if you have escrow by reading your disclosure, reviewing your loan payments, or contacting the credit union.

How is my escrow payment calculated?

Escrow payments are calculated by adding the annual amount of escrowed entity’s payments and dividing this amount by 12 (months). View the example below:

escrow example image


Your escrow analysis statement has three main sections.

Escrow analysis statement imageFirst – Your escrow account history. This is where you will see the payments you have made towards your escrow account. Here you will also see the payments that the credit union has made towards the entities in your escrow, such as your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Next, you’ll see the escrow projections from the previous year. This section shows the differences in your payments from this year compared to last year. This will help you visualize the increase or decrease in your monthly payments.

The last page of the statement is your escrow projections for the upcoming year. The credit union reviews your account history with your current monthly payment to determine if your new payment will need to increase or decrease.

Surplus, Shortage, Deficiency…What does it all mean?

Now to decipher what it all means. You may see the following words next to a dollar amount on your statement: Surplus, Shortage, and Deficiency.

Surplus means that you paid more than you needed to into your escrow account. Typically, this means that the annual payment for one or more of your escrow entities decreased or remained the same. For example, if your property taxes or homeowners insurance cost decreased from the previous year. That surplus amount goes back directly to you.

Shortage means that you did not pay enough into your escrow account. Typically, this means that one or more of your escrow entities annual payments increased. As your lender, we pay your escrow entities, regardless of your balance. The shortage amount is how much you owe to your escrow account.

Deficiency means that you have shortage, but you are also negative in your escrow account as well. An escrow account requires at least 2 months worth of payments as a cushion, or safety balance. If you have a deficiency, that means you do not have enough money in your escrow account to cover the 2 months of payments and the shortage amount.

Putting It All Together

If you have a shortage or deficiency, you can pay this amount up front in full. If you cannot afford to make the full payment for the shortage or deficiency, that amount will be split into 12 equal amounts and rolled into your escrow payment for the next year.

At the end of your escrow analysis statement there is a recalculation of your escrow payment. If you have a surplus, your monthly payment will decrease. If you have a shortage or deficiency, your monthly payment will increase.

We hope this has helped you understand more about understanding your escrow account. If you have any questions, we are here to help.

How to send money with Zelle® safely

How to send money with Zelle® safely

Zelle - cat sittingLocated conveniently in your GCEFCU app, Zelle® enables you to send and receive money with friends and family, no matter where they bank. Follow these easy tips to use Zelle® safely:

  1. Only send to those you know and trust
  2. Beware of payment scams
  3. Treat Zelle® like cash

Zelle® is a fast, safe and easy way to send and receive money with people you trust, like your babysitter, your fellow PTA mom, your son’s soccer coach, or your coworker. Whether you just enrolled with Zelle® or have been an active user for a while, there are a few tips you should always keep in mind to ensure you are being safe when sending money.

Only send money to people you know and trust

Money moves fast with Zelle®, directly from checking account to checking account within minutes*. So, it’s important you know and trust the people you’re sending money to.

Why? Because you can’t cancel a payment once it’s been sent, if the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. And if you send money to someone you don’t know for a product or service you might not receive (like paying for something in advance), you may not get your money back. Keep in mind that sending money with Zelle® is similar to handing someone cash.

Beware of payment scams

One example of a payment scam is buying event tickets at a price that seems too good to be true from a stranger and never receiving them. If the seller asks you to use Zelle® to purchase the tickets, you should refuse unless the seller is a person you personally know.

Also, keep in mind that no one from GCEFCU will ask you to send them money with Zelle® as a test or to send money to avoid a fraud event. Neither GCEFCU nor Zelle® offers a protection program for authorized payments made with Zelle®. So, if you aren’t sure you will get what you paid for, you should use another payment method with purchase protection, such as a credit card.

Treat Zelle® like cash

Did your friend change phone numbers recently? It’s easy for people to change their phone number or email address. When in doubt, contact your friend to verify the email or U.S. mobile number they used to enroll with Zelle® before you hit “Send.” Another good check point for ensuring you’re paying the right person is to confirm the first name that is displayed for enrolled emails and U.S. mobile numbers.

If a person has already enrolled a U.S. mobile number or email address with Zelle®, you can’t cancel the transaction, so it’s important you get it right the first time.

If you’d like more information on safely using peer-to-peer payments, check out these articles from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

*U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled users typically occur in minutes.
Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

GCEFCU’s 2022 Annual Meeting

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union’s 2022 Annual Meeting


Save the Date!

Gulf Coast Educators FCU will hold its 2022 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. All members are invited to join us as we review the credit union’s success over the last year and discuss what is in store for our future.

Meeting Details

Date & Time:
February 22, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Online on Zoom:

Nominating Committee

Andrea Wenke – Chairman
Jim Rubach
Lisa Nixon

Pictures with Santa

Santa Claus is coming to town! He will be visiting our Pasadena branch to take pictures and visit with our members on Friday, December 17, 2021. Remember to bring your own camera!


pasadenaFriday, December 17, 2021
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Pasadena Branch
5953 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena, TX 77505




Design A Christmas Card Contest

Design A Christmas Card Contest

design a christmas card contestSandy Saver members, now is your chance to win big! Enter your drawing to win GCEFCU’s Design A Christmas Card Contest. The grand prize winner will receive $50!

You may submit your artwork by dropping it off at any GCEFCU location, or by mailing it to the address listed below. Please include the child’s name, parent’s name, child’s member number, and a good phone number. You can download and print the form here.

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union
ATTN: Marketing Department
5953 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena, TX 77505

Credit union members age 12 and under are eligible. Must have a Sandy Savers account to enter. Please turn in by November 20, 2021.

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 Begins October 15

Open EnrollmentMedicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7 — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.

During this period, you can:
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
• Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
• Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that does offer prescription drug coverage
• Join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)
• Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
• Drop your Part D coverage altogether

Any changes made during Open Enrollment are effective as of January 1, 2022.


Review plan options

Now is a good time to review your current Medicare benefits to see if they’re still right for you. Are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you’re receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed? Do you anticipate needing medical care or treatment, or new or pricier prescription drugs?

If your current plan doesn’t meet your health-care needs or fit your budget, you can switch to a new plan. If you find that you’re satisfied with your current Medicare plan and it’s still being offered, you don’t have to do anything. The coverage you have will continue.


Information on costs and benefits

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be $19, and the average monthly premium for Part D prescription drug coverage will be $33. CMS will announce 2022 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs soon.

You can find more information on Medicare benefits in the Medicare & You 2022 Handbook on


Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“CFS”) a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS:are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal.Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS for investment services. Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”) is a modern wealth management solutions holding company. Atria is not a registered broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Advisor and does not provide investment advice. Investment advice is only provided through Atria’s subsidiaries. CUSO Financial Services, LP is a subsidiary of Atria.

Prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions Copyright 2021.

Rolling Over Your Old 403(b)

What do I do with my old 403(b) when I switch jobs?

If you are an educator, changing jobs means you must decide what to do with the money in your 403b retirement account. Leaving the money in an old 403b may not be the best option since it is not growing and there will be no new contributions. Withdrawing the money makes it taxable income and Uncle Sam wants his fair share.

The best thing to do may be to roll that money over into a retirement account that earns money and will help the balance grow. An old 403b plan can be rolled into a traditional or Roth IRA, tax-free, giving you access to limitless investment options. It can also be transferred to a current employer’s 401k or 403b retirement plan where contributions can continue to be made up to annual federal limits.

Traditional or Roth IRA

financesOne of the most popular options for rolling over an old 403b plan is to put the money into a Traditional or Roth IRA account. An IRA account is an independent account that is typically not offered by the employer. Basic IRAs typically have lower interest rates, but your money is completely safe and insured. If you opt to go with a financial advisor and open an IRA that is tied to stocks and bonds, you may earn more at a faster rate, but you also put your money at risk.

A good in-between option is a Premium Market IRA. With this type of IRA, your funds are completely secure, but you earn a higher rate that is tied to the market. It is tax-privileged, earns higher dividends, and your money is insured and safe, so you won’t have to worry about losing money because of the market.



Sometimes, rolling over an old 403b means putting the money into a new 403b plan. If a new employer offers a plan with investment options you are comfortable with, then this may be right for you. It is important that you first familiarize yourself with the investment options and potential constraints of the new plan. However, many people enjoy the benefit of growing their nest egg quickly by keeping the bulk of their retirement in a 403b plan. An employer-sponsored 403b plan typically offers low administrative costs, making it an affordable option. There are no tax penalties for rolling money over into a new 403b plan, and you can still make tax-free contributions.


If your new employer offers a 401k, then the IRS allows you to roll your old 403b retirement savings into that new account. This is known as a tax-free conversion. There are no tax penalties for this conversion, and you can still make tax-free contributions, subject to annual limits. Many employers also match contributions into a 401k plan, up to a certain percentage, allowing savings to grow quickly. As with the 403b option, the contribution limits are higher, and there is a catch-up provision for people over 50 years old. If you happen to max out your annual contributions, some employer-sponsored 401k plans have provisions that allow participants to make after-tax contributions as well.

Aside from growing your money quickly, a 401k plan offers a certain amount of asset protection, too. First, plan administrators must abide by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as ERISA. This means that they must comply with a set of fiduciary standards that put your best interest first, instead of pushing investments that may maximize profits. Plans are subject to full disclosure of historical performance and administrative fees. Assets are also protected from creditors and can’t be garnished, with a few minor exceptions. Many employer-sponsored 401k plans offer payroll deductions, making it easier to save for retirement.

The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.