Frequently Asked Questions
Financials can be confusing, but we’re here to help! Browse through our FAQs for information on topics like opening an account, credit cards, and loans; to name a few. Can’t find what you’re looking for here? We’re only a phone call away! Contact Us during regular business hours and we’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions.
Account Aggregation – See all your accounts in one place
Within online banking, look for FinanceWorks. This account aggregator can pull the information from all your accounts into one place.
How do I open an account?
We’d love to have you join our extended family and become a NorthCountry member. For your convenience, we have two different options for opening your account:
- Stop into any of our branches during regular business hours
- Apply for membership online
How do I add a sub-account to my existing account?
Stop by any of our branch locations for assistance, or log into online banking, hover over 'Additional Services', and choose 'Open New Account' or 'Apply for a Loan', depending on your needs. Need help? Please feel free to contact us at (800) 660-3258.
Who can open an account?
Our membership is available to anyone who lives, works, studies, or worships in the counties we serve in northern Vermont. These counties include:
- Grand Isle
What documents do I need to open an account?
If you stop into one of our branches to open an account, you will want to bring along a few items to expedite the process:
- A valid Vermont ID. This could be in the form of a Driver’s License, Passport, Military ID, etc.
- If you currently reside in VT but don’t have a valid ID, you’ll need something proving your VT residency. This could be in the form of a utility bill, property tax bill with physical location, lease or landlord statement, homeowners/renters insurance policy, etc.
- Your Social Security Number
Where are ATMs located?
ATMs are located at all branch locations. You can also use your NorthCountry card at machines on the Falcon and Co-Op network at no charge, or wherever you see the MasterCard logo. Take me to LocatorSearch for ATMs, branches, and service centers.
How do I get ATM fees refunded?
If you meet Kasasa® qualifications, up to $20 of your ATM fees will be refunded each month.
Are there holds placed on my deposits?
The first $200 of your ATM deposit is immediately available. A two business-day hold applies to the remaining balance.
Where can I find information on safe deposit boxes?
Do you have coin counting machines?
All of our branches are equipped with a coin machine for your convenience. If you like to save your pennies and have a large amount of spare change hanging around, head on in and cash it out. Members can use these machines fee-free!
Where can I find information on gift cards?
Not sure what to get your loved ones? Give them the gift of choice with a Visa gift card! These cards can be registered so if they get lost you aren’t out those funds. They require a minimum of $25.00 and you can load up to $750.00. Gift cards are available at all of our branches.
What are the branch phone numbers?
To provide our in-branch visitors with the best possible service, incoming calls are routed to our South Burlington Contact Center at (800)660-3258.
What are the holiday hours?
The credit union is closed on all Federal Holidays.
Canadian funds are available at all NorthCountry branches. If you need other foreign currency, please Click Here.
How do I re-order checks?
If your name and address haven't changed, you can order them within online banking. Look under the “Additional Services” tab of online banking. If you do not use online banking, please give us a call at (800) 660-3258 and we'd be happy to assist you!
How old does someone need to be to have a checking account?
There is no age limitation! For accounts where the primary owner is under the age of 18, a joint owner is required.
Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the current (or “actual” balance) and the available balance. The available balance is the one that determines whether a transaction will overdraw your account and whether overdraft fees will be assessed. Both balances can be reviewed online, at an ATM, by phone, or at a branch.
How do I find my available balance?
Current balance - pending withdrawals/debits + pending or held deposits/credits - any held deposits = available balance
(See “When will my deposit be available?” below for more information about holds.)
This money is available to cover purchases and withdrawals. It reflects any processed and pending debit transactions, and any holds. It does not include any written checks that have not posted. The available balance is updated throughout the day with posted or pending transactions such as ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases, phone and online transfers, cashed checks, and wire transfers. If a purchase or withdrawal exceeds the account’s available balance, an overdraft fee or returned item fee is assessed.
This is the actual amount in your account and does not reflect pending transactions. It does reflect holds.
For example, if you:
- Used your debit card to buy gas late last night, the charge would not actually affect your current balance until the gas station processes your transaction and it posts to your account
- Deposit a check and we place a hold on it, the full amount of the check will be reflected in your current balance, but not in the available balance
When deposited funds are available depends on the type of deposit (check, cash, Direct Deposit, etc.) and when it is made. The following chart will help you understand the daily cut-off times for each deposit type and when the funds will be available for withdrawal or to cover transactions presented for processing.
When will my deposit be available?
|Type of Deposit||Cut-off time for posting to the account||Available for purchases & checks||Available for withdrawal|
|Cash deposit processed by a teller||Posted same day within branch business hours (which vary)||Immediately||Immediately|
|Cash deposit through an ATM||$200.00 available immediately. Local hold (2 full business days from date of deposit) applied to all other funds||$200.00 available immediately. Local hold (2 full business days from date of deposit) applied to all other funds||$200.00 available immediately. Local hold (2 full business days from date of deposit) applied to all other funds|
|Cash deposit through the night depository||9am ET (M-F, excluding federal holidays)||Available once processed by the branch teller||Available once processed by the branch teller|
|Direct deposit||Post throughout the day||Immediately upon posting||Immediately upon posting|
|Check deposit (branch/ATM)||Posted same day within branch business hours (which vary)||Immediately upon posting, excluding holds|
|Mobile deposit||Immediately -
Exceptions processed M-F 8:00-5:00
Exceptions processed M-F 8:00-5:00
Exceptions processed M-F 8:00-5:00
Why is there a hold on the check I deposited?
We may place a hold on your account for the amount of a deposited check if:
- We have reason to believe a check you deposit will not be paid; or
- More than $5,000 in checks are deposited to your account in one day
- You redeposit a check that has been returned unpaid
- You have overdrawn your account repeatedly in the last six months
- There is an emergency, such as failure of communications or computer equipment
If we do place a hold on your deposit, you will be notified of the date the funds will be available for payment or withdrawal. Read more about funds availability Here.
When will my debit card purchase hit my account?
It depends on whether you select “debit” or “credit” at the point-of-sale terminal.
If you select “debit” at the point-of-sale terminal and enter your PIN, the transaction will post quickly or immediately.
If you choose “credit” when using your debit card, you might notice that the transaction shows as “pending”, then it may disappear from view, and then reappear a few days later. When the transaction is pending, NorthCountry is waiting for the merchant to submit the final transaction for payment. Most merchants submit items for processing within three days, but some may take up to five days. This delay may cause the pending hold to “fall off” your account prior to the actual transaction posting.
What is a check?
A check is a written request for us to pay a specific amount of money from your checking account to a person, merchant or organization. You can also write a check to yourself to withdraw cash from your account. The impact of a check on your balance is determined by how it is presented for payment. If a check you have written is:
- Brought to a branch and cashed, we will immediately lower both your current and available balance by the amount of the check
- Presented to a merchant, it will be reflected in your account balance when the merchant submits your check to us for processing. If your available balance is not sufficient to cover the transaction amount, we may choose to return it.
What is ACH?
You can allow a company to request electronic payments directly from your account. These transactions are called electronic debits or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions. You might use this kind of transaction to pay your car insurance, mortgage, gym membership or utility bills — any type of recurring payments. You can also pay your bills using Billpay. These transactions may also be processed using ACH. Electronic debits are not guaranteed — if you don't have a sufficient balance, your transaction may be denied.
Sometimes a merchant or company will convert a check you've written to them into an electronic debit or "electronic check." The information on your check is transferred electronically through the ACH. This eliminates the process of the physical check moving through the system, so it's a lot faster. (Your original check will be destroyed by the merchant or handed back to you for disposal.) For example, you write a check at a major retail store for your new bath towels. The cashier takes the check and processes it electronically right there and then hands the check back to you. The transaction shows up on your statement as an electronic debit (ACH) for the amount of your check.
When will my transaction post?
Transactions received throughout the day, such as debit card purchases, are reflected in your available balance as we receive them. Other transactions, like personal checks, are processed daily in a batch with other similar transactions.
Knowing when your transactions post can help you understand how your account works and help you potentially avoid overdraft fees. If you have adequate funds available in your account when a transaction posts, you will not be assessed overdraft or returned item fees.
How can I apply for a community grant?
Grant Applications are accepted anytime during the year for review by the NorthCountry Cares Committee.
How can I apply for scholarships?
NorthCountry scholarships are available through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). To apply, see the VSAC scholarship catalog available at www.vsac.org
Have you exhausted all your scholarship, grant, and VSAC funding options? Our student loans are designed to help you bridge the gap between the money you have and the money you need.
How can I apply for educator grants?
Applications for $500 Educator Grants are distributed to schools in northern Vermont in early spring. For more information, call (800) 660-3258.
If you have a question related to your credit card, Contact Us during regular business hours. Answers to some of the most common questions we get asked are listed here for your convenience.
How do I activate my credit card account?
Call* (888) 691-8661 from within the United States or 001-515-457-2095 for international callers. Once your card is activated, don’t forget you can access important information regarding your card from within online banking.
*You will need to call from the phone number listed on your NorthCountry account.
How do I report my card as lost/stolen?
If you don’t recognize a charge reported on your card, Contact Us immediately at one of the phone numbers below. If possible, let us know where your card was lost or stolen and the last authorized transaction on the card.
- During regular business hours: (800) 660-3258
- After hours: (800) 234-5354
- International callers: direct dial 001-515-457-2095
What is Verified by Visa and how do I register?
Verified by Visa is a free additional layer of security for online purchases. Some merchants require that you activate your card before they will complete a transaction.
How can I get my credit limit increased?
From time to time, the credit union may automatically increase your credit limit based on your use and credit score. To request a higher credit limit increase, please Contact Us.
Why was my credit card declined?
If your credit card transaction is declined, it could be for one of the following reasons:
- Your transaction fell outside of your normal spending habits and triggered our fraud detection software
- Your card information was input incorrectly
- Your card has expired
- You have exceeded your credit limit
Please Contact Us for further assistance.
How do I redeem my reward points?
Shop with your Platinum Rewards Visa and earn one reward point for every dollar of your purchase. When you're ready, redeem your points for rewards including account credits, travel, and gift cards to popular retailers and restaurants. Redeem your reward points by logging into your online banking account, click Platinum Rewards, and you will be directed to your Rewards information.
What is APR and how do I find my APR information?
APR is the abbreviation for “annual percentage rate”, the amount of interest that is billed to your account for the convenience of carrying a balance. Your APR information is on your card agreement rate disclosure and can also be located on your monthly statement. Or Contact Us and we’ll look it up for you!
What is my credit limit?
Your credit limit is the maximum balance you are authorized to carry on your account. You can find it on your Visa’s paper or e-statement, or Contact Us.
What is my minimum monthly payment?
This amount is the monthly minimum you must pay to keep your account in good standing. This minimum amount is included on your statement and is equal to 2% of your new balance, but at least $20.00. If the new balance is less than $20.00, then the minimum payment would be equal to the new balance.
Who can help me understand my credit card statement?
Please Contact Us with any questions regarding your statement.
I have a dispute on my credit card statement. What do I do?
If you do not recognize a charge or feel you were billed an incorrect amount, please:
- Double-check your receipts
- Check with other authorized users of your card
- If the amount is still unexplained, contact the merchant where the purchase originated
If your dispute remains unresolved, please Contact Us so we can assist you.
I’m traveling internationally. Will I be able to use my credit card?
Although your Visa will work in most countries, please be aware:
- Transactions in certain countries may be restricted due to fraud trends
- Our fraud detection system may temporarily block your card if it deems a purchase to be outside of your usual habits. Please notify us of your travel plans prior to your departure so we can make appropriate adjustments. You can also enter your travel plans by accessing your Visa account through NorthCountry’s online banking.
If you would like assistance with your card while traveling internationally, please Contact Us.
Can I add a user to my account?
Yes, please call us at (800) 660-3258 and we’ll be happy to help.
How do I gain account access?
To access your credit card information, log into NorthCountry’s online banking. Your Visa will be listed in your accounts. Click the account heading to be directed to your Visa information. For help, please Contact Us.
What is rental coverage?
Your Visa Platinum comes with Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver which can provide reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft of rental vehicles. For details, please see the brochure.
I've forgotten my account password or username, what do I do?
Look for the “I Forgot My Username" or "I Forgot My Password” options on the home page.
How do I request a cash advance or use my card at an ATM?
Cash advances from your credit card can be processed at any financial institution. If you would like to use your credit card at an ATM, call (888) 891-2435 to request a PIN.
How do I get a personal identification number (PIN)?
As a security measure, personal identification numbers (PINs) are available upon request only by calling (888) 891-2435.
Ready to tame your debt dragon?
Why was my debit card declined?
If you have enough funds in your checking account to cover your transaction, your card may have been declined for one of the following reasons:
- Our fraud prevention software has detected a purchase that is outside your normal spending habits and/or in a place where you don’t usually travel. If this is the case, you may receive a phone call verifying your authorization.
- If your information was typed into a system, the information may have been entered incorrectly.
- Your card has expired.
- You used the MobiMoney app to temporarily freeze your card and forgot to reactivate it.
- The funds from a deposit you made at an ATM or with the mobile app are not yet available.
How do I get a new or replacement debit card?
Stop by any branch and leave with an activated debit card within minutes, or Contact Us to order one through our Contact Center.
If you believe your debit card has been lost or stolen, or you notice suspicious activity on your account, please call the appropriate number listed below:
During business hours: (800) 660-3258
After business hours: (800) 528-2273
How do I activate my card?
Ready to activate your new debit card? Perform a PIN-based transaction at any merchant or ATM, or call (877) 296-2735.
Where can I find information on personal identification numbers (PINs)?
How do I change my PIN?
- Calling (888) 467-7001
- Stopping into any of our ATMs and using the ‘Change PIN option’
- Stopping into any of our branches
What if I don’t know my PIN or haven’t received it?
No problem! Just Contact Us and we can mail a PIN to you. Need it faster? Stop into any of our branches and make sure to have a valid ID on you – we can set a new PIN for you on the spot.
What is MasterCard SecureCode?
MasterCard SecureCode is a free additional layer of security for online purchases that the merchant is requiring you to participate in to complete the transaction. You should be able to sign up directly on the merchant’s website as you are in the checkout process. Or you can go directly to the MasterCard SecureCode Website.
If you have used MasterCard SecureCode before and don’t remember your password, you should be able to click the forgot password link on the merchants check out page or go to the MasterCard SecureCode page.
What is ApplePay?
Leave your plastic NorthCountry debit card in your wallet and use your mobile phone instead! It’s safe, easy, and available for Apple phones. Ready to get started? Go to your app store and look for ApplePay (on some devices Apple Wallet will already be installed). The next time you want to purchase something with your debit card, pull out your mobile phone, open the app, and wave it over (or tap it to) the point-of-sale terminal. Tokenization keeps the transaction secure, and your plastic card can stay tucked neatly in your wallet.
Here’s how it works: https://www.apple.com/apple-pay/
- Go to Apple Wallet and add your NorthCountry debit card
- Did you know you can also download other store loyalty cards, gift cards and even plane tickets too? You truly don’t need to carry your wallet!
- Apple Pay is accepted at these participating merchants https://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use-apple-pay/
What should I do when travelling?
Some may say we’re a little overprotective, but we take your account’s security very seriously. Before leaving home, please let us know you’ll be traveling. We’ll adjust the fraud detection settings on your card to avoid having it be unnecessarily declined while you’re away.
You can also use our free MobiMoney app, available on GooglePlay Store for Android users and iTunes for Apple devices, to turn your debit card on and off at will. It can also show you pending transactions, your current balance, and give you the power to:
- Set limits based on location, merchant type, and transaction type
- Set a balance threshold
- Transfer funds
What makes a chip card more secure?
A chip card encrypts your card number into a one-time use number keeping your card information secure. It also reduces the ability to duplicate your information and your chances at being a victim of fraud.
Sign up for direct deposit through your employer and your funds will be safely deposited into your account for you. Direct deposit is also available for government payments, including social security.
If you work for a small business that would like to offer its employees direct deposit, encourage them to ask us about our ACH origination services.
What can I expect during the mortgage process?
We are more than just a gateway to home-ownership. When people entrust us with their financing, we own their experience, from initial contact to closing. Our success is measured not by the size or number of the loans we close, but rather by our members’ satisfaction with how we handled the process and their willingness to recommend us to others.
Step 1: The Application
To start the process, ideally you’ll meet with one of our loan officers to pre-qualify for a loan. We’ll help you figure out a comfortable target amount and provide written verification that financially, you’re ready to start shopping. Once you find the home you want, we’ll verify the information on the application, lock your rate, issue disclosures, and collect supporting documentation.
Step 2: Processing
At this stage, the appraisal and title search are ordered, and the file is prepared and submitted for underwriting.
Step 3: Underwriting
More paperwork. Hang in there – the finish line is near!
Step 4: Closing
Your loan is approved, and your closing is scheduled. That’s when you’ll sign a few more forms and receive the keys to your new home.
Congratulations! You made it!
It isn’t unusual to encounter obstacles along the way. Here are three common ones:
If your loan request is denied, it may be due to any number of things including not enough income, too much debt, or a weak credit history. As important it is for you to own a home, it’s even more important to us that you can afford to keep it and maintain it. We avoid placing people into situations with a high probability of causing them financial stress. If your application is declined, your Loan Officer will discuss with you the reason and provide suggestions as to how to increase the likelihood your application can be approved in the future.
Property Appraisal Issues
A loan request cannot exceed the appraised value of the property being financed. In some cases where this occurs, it may warrant presenting a counteroffer to the seller. Your loan officer can provide you with suggestions on how to proceed.
After the Closing
Who services my loan?
Whether your loan is retained at the credit union or sold, if any issues arise or you have questions about your account, please Contact Us and we’d be happy to assist you.
If you will have less than 20% equity in your home, you may be required to set up an escrow account for payment of your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. When you make your monthly loan payment, the portion earmarked for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be diverted to your escrow account. From there, the money will be sent to your city or town and insurance agent when your payments are due.
Will my loan be held at the credit union or sold?
Most mortgages are sold to the secondary market. Even if your mortgage is sold, we are still here to answer your questions.
Where can I find my mortgage information?
Your mortgage information is available online for you to review. Your loan officer can provide you with the proper web address, so don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you need assistance.
What are the minimum down payment requirements for a purchase transaction?
Although down payment requirements vary based on the property and transaction type, in general our minimum down payment requirements for purchasing a home are:
- Conventional: 3% for first time homebuyers or 5% for all others
- FHA: 3.5%
- Manufactured homes: 20%
- Loans held at the credit union: varies
What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
PMI is required when borrowing more than 80% of a home’s value or purchase price, whichever is less. This protects the lender in a case where a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.
FHA mortgages require PMI for the life of the loan, regardless of down payment.
If I want to refinance an existing property how much can I borrow?
The maximum you may borrow is based on multiple factors including your credit score, property type, and transaction type.
How much are closing costs?
Your closing costs are determined by your loan amount, transaction type, and other factors.
Do I need an appraisal?
In most cases, an appraisal will be required. $500 is collected prior to ordering the appraisal.
What are the requirements for a mobile home on owned land?
Mobile home loans are held at the credit union, not sold. A 20% down payment is preferred, but requests for a smaller down payment may be considered if compensating factors are present.
What does my credit score have to be to qualify?
A minimum credit score of 620 is required for a conventional mortgage. For credit score information related to FHA and other home loans, please Contact Us.
What rate do I qualify for?
Your rate will be based on multiple factors including your credit score, the loan amount you’re requesting, and the type of property you’re purchasing.
What is a point? Do I have to pay it?
You can lower your interest rate by paying points. Typically, one point equals 1% of the loan amount. For example, for a loan amount of $100,000.00 one point would equal $1,000.00. You can choose to pay the point either out of pocket or by rolling it into the loan amount, if the appraised value allows for it.
What does my debt to income ratio need to be to qualify?
Ideally, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is 43% or below. In some cases, a higher DTI may be accepted.
How long will it take to get my loan?
If we encounter no surprises and you submit your documentation to us in a timely manner, we can typically complete the process for you within 60 days, which is when rate locks expire.
If you are having issues with the mobile app, please make sure you are on the most current version. Another common option to try to correct ongoing issues is to uninstall and reinstall the app. If you need assistance with any of this, please feel free to Contact Us.
Why do I have to verify my identity?
It is our main priority to keep your financials confidential. Our online banking has a built-in level of security to confirm your identity when accessing your account from a not-familiar-to-you computer. When you set up your online account, you were required to register a phone number, an email address, or both. This is so we can send you a text message, phone call, or email with a security code that you will plug in to confirm you really are who you say you are; providing peace of mind.
How do I use Quicken with Online Banking?
Using Quicken to keep your finances organized? You can export from online banking or import via certain Quicken products. We’re happy to try and assist you, so please Contact Us, but since this is an integrated third-party, we may refer you to their support for more complex issues. Their toll-free support phone number is (800) 410-2199 and their email is email@example.com.
How do I use FinanceWorks in Online Banking?
This powerful tool is accessible via your online banking account and aids you in managing your funds. You can set up a budget, see where your money is going with helpful visuals, set budget goals, and even import accounts from other financial institutions. If you are having troubles there is a ‘Help’ link to FAQs, or feel free to Contact Us for further assistance.
How do I use TurboTax in Online Banking?
Let’s be honest, taxes are tedious and such a drag! Well you can do a happy dance because we can help speed up the process. If you access ‘My TurboTax’ via your online banking account, some of the information such as your name, address, etc. from previous filings automatically populates. Skip the headache of entering the same information year after year and get those taxes filed faster!
NorthCountry’s routing number is 211691004. It can also be found at the bottom of your NorthCountry checks, if you have a NorthCountry checking account.
What is my maturity date?
You will receive a notice via physical mail or e-statement prior to the maturity of your share certificate. You have 10 days after the maturity date to contact us and choose to roll it over into a different term share certificate or withdraw the funds. If you do nothing, they will automatically roll over into the same term and type of share certificate it was previously set as.
What is the minimum balance?
A minimum balance of $500 is required for all share certificates, including IRAs. Youth share certificates have a $100 minimum balance.
How do I set up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?
You may set up your Share Certificate as an IRA, if you wish. Traditional, Roth, and Education IRAs are available.
What information is needed if I'm purchasing a vehicle?
If you are financing a vehicle at the credit union, we will need:
- A Purchase & Sales Agreement (or Bill of Sale)
- Your insurance agency’s name and your policy number (available on your insurance card)
In some situations, we may also require proof of income.
How do I refinance my vehicle?
To refinance your vehicle, we will need:
- Your insurance agency’s name and your policy number (available on your insurance card)
- Your vehicle registration card
In some situations, we may also require proof of income.
How much can I afford to spend?
Your buying power depends on your income, expenses, and credit qualifications. For an idea of how much you may be able to afford, try our Payment Calculator. For a more accurate estimate, contact one of our Loan Officers at (800) 660-3258, option 2.
What is my loan payoff amount?
For a loan payoff amount, please call the Contact Center at (800) 660-3258, option 3.
How do I get my vehicle title?
Once your vehicle loan is paid off your title will be mailed directly to you within 30 business days. Need it sooner? Feel free to give us a call at (800) 660-3258, option 3.
If you’re planning to pay off the vehicle and pick up the title same-day, you will need a guaranteed funds certified check (also known as a cashier’s check). Personal checks will often have holds placed on them to make sure the funds clear your account. We will not release a title if the funds are not verified. And feel free to give us a call so we can have your title ready at (800) 660-3258, option 3.
How do I receive an incoming wire?
To receive an incoming wire, provide the sender with our routing number (211691004) and your account number. An incoming wire fee applies.
How do I send an outgoing wire?
To send a wire, Contact Us or come into a branch with the routing number of the recipient’s financial institution, their account number, and their address. Foreign wires may also require a SWIFT code. Outgoing wire fees apply.