SIU Credit Union Blog

Should I Make A Balance Transfer?

Q: I’m considering a balance transfer to an interest-free card. Is that a good idea?

A: Transferring some or all of your credit card debt to one that includes an introductory interest-free period can help you move toward a debt-free life. However, there are some things to be aware of. Consider these pros and cons:

Pros

1. Interest-free debt

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Thinking Like a Woman Could Pay Off With Credit Cards

Women shop a lot: We make 85% of all consumer purchases, according to data from the research firms Yankelovich Monitor and Greenfield Online. All that shopping means we’re pulling out our credit cards often — and it turns out, perhaps thanks to all that practice, we really know what we’re doing.

On average, women carry about $100 less credit card debt than men do ($5,536 versus $5,635), are less likely to be 60 or more days overdue on their credit card card payments, and have slightly higher credit scores (675 versus 670), according to the credit bureau Experian. “Women seem to be doing a better job at managing their credit,” says Kelley Motley, director of analytics at Experian.

Men might want to take a page from women’s credit card playbook by adopting these four credit card habits.

1. Don’t be scared to use credit cards responsibly

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International Credit Union Day: Dreams Thrive Here

Are you as excited as we are to celebrate International Credit Union Day on Oct. 19, 2017?

It’s a day to share your experiences as a member and to reflect upon all the benefits you enjoy by being a part of your credit union. It’s also a day to have fun! Credit unions vary in how they celebrate, but some of the typical celebrations include contests, fundraisers or free promotional materials at local branches. At SIU Credit Union, we are having another Super Shredder event at our Carbondale East location, and you’re welcome to come in to any of our branches and enjoy a cookie and some fellowship.

As it’s done in the past, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will team up with Credit Unions for Kids for Shop for Miracles 2017. All participating credit unions will make a donation to a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for each transaction that’s made by their members on ICU Day.

Each year, CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions chooses a theme for ICU Day. This year’s theme, which was selected via an online poll of credit union professionals, is “Dreams Thrive Here.” As a credit union member, you know this statement is true. Credit unions help your dreams thrive by helping to make them possible.

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The Dos And Don’ts Of Credit Repair

Looking for ways to improve an unfavorable credit score? Look no further! Our handy guide will help you get on the road to improving your score.

Do: Determine your actual credit score

If a recent credit application of yours has been denied, find out why. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies are required to provide you with a complimentary copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. To order yours, visit annualcreditreport.com. You are also entitled to a copy if an adverse action like this happens – as long as you request it within 60 days of the notice.

Do: Review your report and dispute errors

If you spot erroneous information on your credit report, dispute it in writing. Clearly identify every item you are disputing and the reasoning. Include copies of documents that support your stance and ask that the errors be corrected. Send it by certified mail and keep a personal copy of your entire letter for your own records.You’ll also want to dispute the charge with your actual creditor.

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Emergency Funds – Not Just For Adults!

Divvying up your kid’s allowance into different jars, each with a specific label and purpose, has become pretty standard. Your kids probably have one jar for savings, one for spending and maybe another for giving.

What most parents and kids omit, though, is one more jar for emergencies. Yes, emergencies, even for kids. Granted, they won’t be shelling out thousands of dollars for a roof repair or a medical crisis like their parents might, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and to all-sized people.

No one needs convincing that having funds for an unexpected expense is crucial to financial security. In fact, building an emergency fund is the first of Dave Ramsey’s famous seven baby steps for getting out of debt. It’s definitely something you want to build into your kids’ psyche. So why not start now?

  • Some examples of small and not-so-small emergencies for children are:
  • The pair of new sneakers left in the locker room after PE, now gone forever
  • The shattered car window from an overeager, but poorly aimed, baseball
  • The huge data plan overage charge
  • The misplaced spending money for an afternoon at the mall

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Learning To Balance Academics And A Social Life

If you fall somewhere between the two spectrums, you’re not alone. Most college students want to do well academically – but they also want to have fun!

Think you can’t have both? You can.

Here’s how:

Choose your friends wisely

The people you hang out with are going to influence your study habits. During the getting-to-know-you stage, try to find students who share goals that are similar to yours. This way, you won’t be swayed to skip a study session for an all-night bash. Also, when you’re friends with your study partners, schoolwork can become a social activity!

Eat well, sleep well and exercise

No, your mom isn’t here to remind you to eat breakfast and get to bed at a normal hour, but taking care of your physical needs is one of the best ways to facilitate academic success.

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