SIU Credit Union Blog

Tag: credit (page 1 of 3)

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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One for the Money: Financing Your First Car

Are you thinking about how you’re going to pay for your first car? You could get it:

  • As a gift or hand-me-down within your family
  • With cash you earned from your job
  • With an interest-free loan from your parents

But what if none of these options is open to you? You could get a loan. Here’s how:

Step 1: Save for a down payment

Save for a down payment

It’s sometimes possible to finance 100% of a vehicle purchase. But why not save money in the long run by making a down payment?

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First Job? Here’s How to Set Your Finances Up for Life

Landing that first job means having a regular influx of cash, but steady work alone doesn’t guarantee financial health. Here’s how to build the foundation for lifetime financial security.

Get on budget

It truly doesn’t pay to wing it. Budgeting is the most effective way to get and keep finances on track. Just add up your monthly income and subtract expenses such as student loans, rent, clothing, and entertainment. This gives you a basic financial snapshot. If the numbers look shaky, adjust by cutting unnecessary expenses or adding extra work hours. Using a mobile budget app such as Mint or Level Money can make this process almost effortless.

Establish goals

Financial goals act as a road map toward your dreams. Maybe you’d like your own home or apartment, an exciting vacation or a new car. Highly effective goals are often referred to as “S.M.A.R.T.”: They should be specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding and time-framed. Continue reading

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Find out your credit score – for free!

What’s your credit score? Find out for free

Your credit score shouldn’t be a mystery. That’s why SIU Credit Union has teamed up with NerdWallet to bring you a free weekly credit score, detailed credit report and credit monitoring.  Sign up, free here.

 

Why should you think about your credit score? More money in your pocket

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5 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

A brand new year provides the perfect opportunity to make meaningful life changes, including improved financial wellness. These five financial resolutions can help get your year off to a promising start.

1. Get on budget

Resolutions - Get on budget

Take charge of your finances by creating a budget. Start by calculating after-tax income and subtracting fixed monthly expenses. Then allocate portions of the remaining income for savings, important goals and a few things that just make you happy. If this sounds complicated, relax; today’s user-friendly budget apps can take a lot of the pain out of the process. To further simplify money matters, consider setting up automatic bill pay, an automatic savings plan and separate savings accounts for specific goals.

2. Build an emergency fund

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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.

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