SIU Credit Union Blog

Category: Financial Resources (page 1 of 9)

Best Ways to Save at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones for a satisfying meal and kick off the holiday season. If you pay current prices for your menu items, though, you could blow a chunk of your holiday budget before you even get to the pumpkin pie.

Use these tips to keep your Thanksgiving festive and thrifty.

Get a Free Turkey

Thanksgiving spreadThe turkey, which cost an average of about $23 in 2015, is easily the most expensive item on a traditional Thanksgiving table — but you can often get one for free. Many supermarkets offer them as loyalty rewards, and even allow shoppers to select the turkey.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Holiday Gifts Online

Want to avoid long lines and large crowds this holiday season? Shopping online lets you zip through your list with just a few clicks.

Before whipping out your plastic, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re shopping on a secure site. Use these tips to keep your data safe.

1. Look for the padlock symbolLook for the padlock symbol

Don’t check out at a website unless you see a padlock symbol on the browser bar of whatever device you’re using. This symbol means that the page has extra security to prevent others from viewing your sensitive information.

Another way to tell a website is secure is that it starts with “https” instead of just “http.” The “s” means the site is secure.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

5 Smart Money Moves to Make This Fall

It’s time to start thinking about your year-end money strategy. Christmas and New Year’s are closer than you think. Use the following strategies to make the rest of the year count.

  1. Clean out your closet. Ever feel tempted to head to the mall and buy new clothes because you just have *nothing* to wear? Clean our your closet and bring the cold weather clothes to the front before swiping your card. Remember to try old clothes on to make sure everything still fits, and donate appropriately.

    Fall Closet Cleaning

    Nothing to wear? Clean out your closet.

  2. Add holidays into your budget. Say you’ve followed your winter, spring and summer budget perfectly, then don’t forget that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. It’s easy to blow your budget on these holidays, so if you haven’t already, plan for them now.

    Presents, parties & more! Add holidays into your budget.

    Presents, parties & more! Add holidays into your budget.

  3. Up your 401K. If you can afford another percent off your paycheck, why not up your retirement deductions? The more you save now, the more tax benefits AND the less you have to worry about the future. Throw another percent at it and watch it grow.

    Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

5 Reasons Credit Unions Offer the Best Auto Loans

The average cost of a new vehicle today is around $30,000.

The purchase of a car likely will be the second largest expenditure you have, second only to the purchase of a home. Whether you desire the shiny, brand new one, or if you are content with finding a reliable used one, we want to help you to get the most for your money.

Here are five reasons it makes more sense to get your loan through us.

  1. With us, you have a better chance of getting your loan approved. Even though the loan application process is the same and the underwriting process is similar, the credit union may make some adjustments that a commercial bank would not. Many credit unions are also more inclined to listen to its members’ needs and unique situations—sometimes adjusting terms of a loan accordingly.Man holding car keys
  2. We have lower rates. A five-year term is the most common loan term for a new or used car, and rates at a credit union are typically much lower than the average rate at a competitor bank. The savings in interest alone is a major reason to consider this financing. Just think of what you can do with that money.
  3. We provide personalized service. Because we are a non-for-profit organization and work to provide members with high-quality customer service, operational decisions are made by a group of volunteer board members rather than a corporate office. You can openly discuss your concerns about your loan, talk about flexible repayment options and review your financial situation with a dedicated professional. This can alleviate some of the pressure of applying and securing financing for your new or used vehicle and you can be more confident that the credit union is working with your best interests in mind.Businesswomen shaking hands
  4. We offer educational resources. Many credit unions will provide information such as financing options and how to make the best decisions when assessing the value of your car purchase. If you’re a first-time car buyer and apprehensive about the loan process, you can turn to a credit union for unbiased answers.
  5. We offer a non-sales approach. Unlike commercial banks, which often grant their lenders bonuses or some type of compensation for the loans they get approved, credit unions, as not-for-profit financial institutions, work for their members and aren’t driven to sell you anything that equates to extra money in their pocket.

All profits from members end up going back to them in the form of lower rates on financial products and more flexible loan options. If you don’t like the pressure of working with lenders from a commercial bank, a credit union is the answer.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

7 Tips to Avoid Identity Theft

Every two seconds an American becomes a victim of identity theft. If the thought of having to clean up your credit report because someone stole your identity frightens you, and you don’t want to become another statistic; here are some tips to stack the odds in your favor.

  1.  A winning night, can turn into a nightmare really fast if your wallet is lost, or stolen, especially if personal information like your social security card is in there. Do not carry your social security card. And, just as importantly, make copies of all your cards. That way, if they’re stolen you can report it fast, and accurately.Wallet on concrete in parking garage (focus on wallet)
  2. You can bet that if you use easy to guess passwords and PINS—like your house number, or birth date—some hacker will figure it out. Use a mix of symbols and numbers, and upper and lower case letters.
  3. Use your instinct. If an overly generic e-mail address doesn’t look legit, don’t reply, and don’t click on any links. Go to your account log-ins manually using a bookmark, or typing the URL.
  4. Know that your credit union will never call, or e-mail asking for your social security number, or birth date. If a business, or individual asks for personal information, passwords, or credit card numbers–do not give them. Instead, call any financial institution requesting information directly at a number you know is legitimate.  You can now sign up for Visa Purchase Alerts to receive a text or email whenever you pay with your Visa card.Visa Purchase Alerts
  5. Make sure all your electronic devices are as secure as possible by up-dating your operating systems, software and browsers; being up-to-date will minimize chances of being hacked. And, password-protect all of your devices, so that if stolen, logging in will be more difficult.
  6. Shred, Yes, some of the easiest targets for identity thieves are home trash bins. Shred invoices, financial statements, or any other personal type documents. Don’t just toss them; shred them.  Our next Super Shredder event is coming to Carbondale on Thursday, October 20th.metropolis-shred-2014
  7. Check your online banking accounts and credit reports regularly. There are three credit-reporting bureaus…a trifecta-for analyzing your activity. Check a different bureau every four months at annualcreditreports.com. If you see anything suspicious, report it.

Follow all these steps, and your odds of being a victim of identity theft will drop dramatically.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Best Ways to Finance a New Car

So you’ve found your dream car, and now comes the hard part: paying for it. Most people don’t have the means to pay cash for a new car.

That’s why there are alternatives for financing. Here’s a primer.

To buy or lease?

Leasing allows you to drive a nicer car without the hefty costs. You’ll usually have lower monthly and down payments than with purchasing, as well as reduced repair costs since the average three-year lease expires before the vehicle’s warranty does. You pay sales tax only on the portion of the car that you finance.

Here’s the catch: You never really own the car. It’s similar to renting a car for several years. At the end of the lease, you’ll pay for wear and tear, as well as any miles that you drove over the limit, which is typically 12,000 to 15,000 a year. It can also be costly to terminate the lease early.

Finance - Woman Sits in the Front Seat of a New Car Holding the Keys and Smiling With Satisfaction

Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page
Olderposts

Copyright © 2016 SIU Credit Union Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline