SIU Credit Union Blog

Category: Financial Resources (page 1 of 8)

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 If you see anything suspicious, report it.

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

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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

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6 Questions First-Time Homebuyers Should Ask Themselves

There are certain milestones that mark important times in our lives. Sitting in car for the first time all alone with our new driver’s license, walking across the stage at graduation, completing college or beginning our first full-time job. These all make us take a pause and feel a huge sense of gratification.

Part of the American dream is to become a homeowner. We dream of a place that we can call our own. A place that is comfortable and safe. A place we are proud of. A place where we can plant the roots for our future. To some however, the process seems so overwhelming and the concern of whether or not you are “doing it right” deters some from achieving the goal.

So how do you know if you are ready to become a homeowner?

Here are six areas you will want to consider that will make your decision to buy a home the right one.

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Young Adults Use Digital Skills to Find Best Car Deals

According to the research firm J.D. Power and Associates, the average age of new car owners fell in 2015 from 49 to 48, spurred in part by a growing number of Gen Y buyers. The generation of young adults often thought of by analysts as Uber-obsessed and debt-averse, now comprise 28% of sales–up from 17% in 2010.

Bloomberg View argues that people across all age groups are spending less of their income on cars today than they did in the ‘80s and that the record number of sales is driven by a recovering economy and population growth–pointing out that the U.S. population increased 29% between 1989 and 2014–rather than a sustainable trend.

Regardless, it’s clear more young adults are buying cars today than in the recent past. If you’re a young adult shopping for your first car, you have some advantages.

Here are three things to consider: Continue reading

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When You Need an ATM, a Bigger Network is Better


When you need convenient ATM access without paying a surcharge, a bigger network is better.  SIU Credit Union is pleased to belong to the CO-OP ATM network, the largest credit union-owned ATM network in the United States. The CO-OP ATM network operates nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country for the benefit of credit union members.  How convenient is that?

Anyone who’s had to wander from place to place searching for an in-network ATM knows the value of more locations. CO-OP ATM network locations are found in credit union branches, supermarkets and 7-Eleven® stores, as well as a multitude of freestanding locations.  Simply put, they’re everywhere. And they are always surcharge-free for SIU Credit Union members.


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