SIU Credit Union Blog

Category: Financial Resources (page 1 of 11)

The New Apple Pay Cash: How It Works, How It Stacks Up

Apple has soft-launched Apple Pay Cash, a new peer-to-peer payment service similar to Venmo and Square Cash, by making it available for testers on the new iOS 11.2 public beta. The move suggests the upcoming launch of iOS 11.2 will include the new service.

Apple Pay Cash is integrated into the Messages app, meaning you can send and receive money as you would a text message.

Unlike other P2P payment services, no additional downloads are necessary once you’ve updated to the new iOS 11.2 public beta operating system. Apple Pay Cash is available only in the United States.

How does Apple Pay Cash work?

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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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Skip-a-Pay: Free Cash Flow With A Summertime Break From Your Loan Payment

Q: Summer always puts a big strain on my budget. There are so many extra expenses! I’ve been looking for a way to get through these months without racking up a huge credit card bill, and one option I’m considering is skip-a-pay. What do I need to know about this program?

A: Summertime brings loads of expenses that can bust any budget. There are family vacations that put a serious strain on your wallet, costly camp fees for the kids and dozens of other expenses that may not always be part of your usual financial planning.

Many people wonder how they’ll get through these months. Fortunately, SIU Credit Union offers an exclusive break from your loan payments during this costly time of year. Now that sounds like a dream vacation!

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How to Buy a Used Car

Shopping for a used car is a great way to get the most vehicle possible for your money, and there are lots of preowned gems out there just waiting to be found. These simple steps can help you choose one you can drive happily for years to come.

Calculate your budget and explore financing

Keeping your total ongoing car costs (including loan payments, insurance, maintenance and gas) within 20% of your net income should leave you enough cash for other expenses and a little fun as well. An online loan calculator can help you figure out what you can truly afford to borrow. Then compare financing options to get your lowest possible rate and, if you can, lock in a preapproved loan and rate.

Your individual style is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing a used car.

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How To Get By In An Emergency: Personal Loan Or Credit Card?

Unexpected expenses, by nature, can come out of nowhere. Your check engine light comes on, and your car demands you put another thousand dollars into keeping it on the road. That cough that just won’t go away turns out to be more serious than you thought. Your air conditioner gives up during the longest heat wave you can remember. No matter what causes these personal catastrophes, they all have one thing in common: They’re expensive.

The best financial advice suggests a rainy day fund for situations like these. However, for many people, that’s just not practical. Just getting to the end of the month can sometimes feel like an emergency. An emergency fund is one of those things it’d be nice to have, but there’s just no room for it after the bills have been paid.

If you feel the pressure of not knowing where your emergency spending could come from, you’re not alone. A Federal Reserve survey found that 47% of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 in an emergency. The way they’d cope with that emergency? They’d borrow.

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Stage Your Home For a Fast Sale

Today’s real estate market is crowded with inventory, so if you want to sell your home, it has to stand out. Staging, or making it appeal to the broadest possible group of people, is one way to do just that.

That means depersonalizing your home so buyers can visualize themselves living in it.

Depersonalizing your home so buyers can visualize themselves living in it.

Depersonalize your home so buyers can visualize themselves living in it

Basic staging steps include:

  • Neutralize—Put away family photos, religious items, collections.
  • De-clutter—Pack up knick-knacks, clear off countertops, remove up to half your furniture. Consider renting a storage locker until your home sells.
  • Rearrange—Arrange furniture so buyers can move smoothly through the home. Highlight rooms’ focal points, such as fireplaces, with furniture groupings.
  • Let it shine—Clean or replace carpets, wash or paint walls, pressure-wash siding and decks, and scrub, scrub, scrub—especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Turn on all lights and open drapes for showings.
  • Landscape—Mow and edge the lawn, trim the hedges, plant flowers. If your yard doesn’t look well-maintained, buyers will assume your home isn’t and drive on by.

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