SIU Credit Union Blog

Category: Financial Resources (page 1 of 12)

Best Ways to Fund Spring Home Repairs

Now that spring has blossomed into full-on allergy mode, the time we spend outside is even more appreciated — especially with the help of a good antihistamine. The next time you venture out, take a moment to do a walk-around inspection of the old homestead. See some room for improvements? Maintaining, repairing and upgrading a home can range in cost from a minor trickle to a major cash drain.

Paying for minor repairs

If you see the need for only modest repairs, you might be able to tackle them within the bounds of your cash flow. But remember, your emergency fund is best left intact for unexpected cash needs, not for replacing a gutter or downspout.

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Website Review:   

If you’re looking to learn about your credit score, is a great place to start. The site offers a free credit score, a helpful Credit Report Card and loads of articles featuring credit advice from many professionals.

Despite looking too good to be true, is a reputable site run by professionals. There’s absolutely no cost to use the site’s features, and the business earns its profit by revenue generated from its products as well as commission earned through visitors using advertised businesses.

It’s important to note, though, that the credit score the site will generate for you is not a FICO credit score. Since more than 90% of lenders consider your FICO score when determining whether to grant you a loan, this number won’t tell you if you’ll be eligible for a mortgage or a car loan. The score gives you is based on your Experian credit reports and is are liable indicator of your general credit standing. However, you can easily access this information yourself through

Aside from the credit score, you can also use the site to draw up a Credit Report Card, a unique product that tells you all you need to know about your credit status. The report will give you a snapshot of your payment history, including the timeliness of your payments and a score ranging from “very poor” to “excellent.”

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Equifax Extends Free Credit Freezes

UPDATED: This story was updated to reflect an announcement late Jan. 29 that Equifax would extend free freezes through June 30.

Equifax has extended its offer of free credit freezes through June 30. Equifax made freezes free late last year in the wake of a data breach that compromised personal data on about 145 million U.S. consumers.

The offer had been set to expire on Wednesday.

If you’re looking to keep your credit data from being accessed, the best way to protect it is a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze. Credit monitoring, another service the credit bureaus offer, can tell you when someone uses your data to apply for credit, but it won’t typically prevent it.

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Consumers Can Find Low-Cost Checking, Despite Bank of America Move

Bank of America has made headlines for dismantling eBanking, a checking account that made it easy for customers to avoid a monthly fee.

But consumers can still get low-cost checking accounts elsewhere, and these options are unlikely to disappear altogether.

What happened to eBanking

Bank of America introduced the eBanking option in 2010. The account came with a monthly fee of $8.95 that was waived for people who opted out of paper statements and did not use tellers for routine transactions, says Betty Riess, a Bank of America spokeswoman.

But the bank discontinued eBanking for new customers in 2013. It later began migrating existing eBanking customers to its Core Checking account, which carries a $12 monthly fee that is harder to avoid. Last week, Bank of America moved all remaining eBanking account holders to its Core Checking option.

Core Checking customers can avoid the monthly fee in a few ways, though some of them require account minimums that were not stipulated under eBanking. Options include receiving monthly direct deposits of at least $250 or having a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500.

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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:


1. Interest-free debt

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