SIU Credit Union Blog

Tag: credit cards (page 1 of 2)

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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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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Consolidating Debt: When Does It Make Sense?

Debt can be hard to crawl out of, especially when payments on credit cards, consumer loans and student loans continue to pile up on top of your living expenses. Overwhelmed with a blizzard of monthly bills, many people look at consolidation as an alternative. Streamlining debts can be a useful way of managing an unyielding financial burden and lowering costs, but it’s not for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before jumping into it.

There are two major reasons to consider consolidation: to save money by getting a more favorable interest rate and to facilitate making payments on time.

The case for consolidating: lower interest

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Have summer travel plans?

If you are planning to travel out of the  area, especially outside the United States, please contact our card services department to let them know before you leave.

They just need to know your travel dates and which SIU Credit Union card(s) you will be using. This helps to protect your account from fraud and theft. And you can avoid unnecessary account disruptions triggered by unusual transactions.

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Keep Passwords Strong, Secret, and Safe

Here are some helpful tips to create your new password – and to keep your account information safe:

Keep your computer and mobile devices’ content secure by maintaining strong passwords, making them secret, and keeping track of them. A compromised password could lead to identity theft or other dire consequences. A criminal could use your information to apply for credit cards or mortgages, or to make online purchases or other transactions.

The first rule of thumb for creating strong passwords is to use a different password for each of your accounts. It may be easier to keep track of just one password, but if a crook discovers that one password, he or she can access all of your accounts.

The second key to a robust password is to make it lengthy. At a minimum, your passwords should be eight digits long, and 14 digits or more is ideal. Using the greatest variety of characters possible in your passwords—letters, numbers, symbols—makes them harder to guess or uncover with malicious software.

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