Credit Union Is It Right For You

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Credit Unions and banks share many of the same services. You can open saving accounts, checking accounts, get loans and do pretty much all the same things with both of them. So if they both offer all the same things, why does it matter which one you choose? While both credit unions and banks offer the same services, that does not necessarily mean they are equal. One may be better for you then the other.

So how do you figure out whether or not a Credit Union is it right for you? Well look into the pros and cons of both credit unions and banks and see which fits your situation better.

Pros:
1: A credit union is typically a non profit organization, whereas banks are a business like any other. What this means is that credit unions do not worry as much about making a profit as banks do. This translates into lower fees for you and better savings. Because of this, the interest rates and fees will almost always be better with a credit union.

2: Since credit unions are non profit organizations, if they make more money then they need to operate they will often pass that back to their customers, giving you a greater benefit if your credit union is doing well.

3: The dreaded overdraft fee is something we all have dealt with at one point or another. But with credit unions, their overdraft fees are ten to fifteen dollars cheaper than a bank’s overdraft fee. This difference is also shared in other fees such as late credit card payments.

Cons:

1: Finding out if a Credit Union is it right for you also requires you to look into the cons as well as the pros, and one of the major cons is that using ATMs can cost a fair bit. Credit unions may have lower payments on other aspects, but they often charge high fees for using an ATM. If you are someone who uses an ATM regularly, then these fees may negate any benefit you get from using a credit union.

2: The requirements to open an account at a bank are typically quite low, in most cases they only require you to be above a certain age. And even then that is often bypassed by having a guardian co-sign with you. Credit unions are often far more strict, having a variety of requirements you must meet in order to join. If you do not meet these requirements, it does not matter if a Credit Union is it right for you, you wont be able to use it.

3: Credit unions are not insured by the FDIC, also known as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This means that if something happened to your money, you would be out of luck. However some credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. So if you plan on using a credit union make sure to look into it and check to see if it is insured or not. You do not want to trust your money to someone who does not have insurance.

Stretching Your Money-Take Time To Find Out How

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Most of us, myself included, never really took the time to worry too much about finances. That is of course until the financial walls started tumbling down. Now, many people find themselves in some sort of trouble financially whether they are unemployed and can’t make ends meet, they may be under employed or they may just spend more than they make. Whatever your situation is you can find a lot of help stretching your money.

There are many ways you can wok on the problem and in this article I’m going to give you several methods you can use to get more out of your budget no matter how limited that budget may be.

Stretching your money can be about a lot more than clipping coupons, though that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Here are some other ideas to make your money go further. Some may be obvious others may be more obscure and some will make a bigger impact on your bottom line than others, but no matter what it can all make a difference.

Of course the most obvious is to pay down debt. You are most likely paying through the nose on interest rates for your credit cards. Getting that debt paid off as soon as possible will not only free up more money every month, it will also mean that you don’t grossly overpay for the things you buy.

When you go out and buy a new product because you need it and it is a bargain, it ends up being a lot less of a bargain when you pay 18% or even higher interest on that product for a year or more. That one time “bargain” has now become something that you totally wasted money on.

Learn how to shop better. I have a friend who complains about money and I told her that one thing she could do when so goes grocery shopping is to stop buying the name brand goods. Depending on what store you shop at, most of the store brands are every bit as good as the national brands but they cost a lot less. On occasion you may find something that you simply don’t like so you don’t buy that one thing again, but the majority of items will be the same.

The only difference you will notice is the amount of money you start to save each week.

To save money on gas make sure your car is tuned up, keep your tire pressure at the right amount and try to cut back on driving. Simple things that anyone can do. Plan your trips ahead of time and consolidate all your errands into one trip when possible.

Doing all these things will allow you to save money every month. You can probably save a few hundred dollars a month if you start making these simple changes. Then you can add that extra money to your minimum payments on your credit cards. Doing this will enable you to get out of debt sooner.

Stretching your money is not that hard. It will require you to make some changes and maybe a few sacrifices here and there but the relief you get from being in control of your finances will far outweigh any of the changes you have had to make.

Idiots Guide To Fight Your Way Out Of Debt

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

If you are up to your eyeballs in debt, you are probably looking for some straight-forward useful information on how to fix it. We have put together a short list of tips that are basically the complete idiots guide to getting out of debt.

Educate Yourself

This may seem obvious, but a lot of people who find themselves in debt dont actively seek out information on the issue. Or they look on the internet for a minute and decide that is sufficient. If you are having debt problems, go youre the library or bookstore and find books on the subject. Look up budgets, debt, credit scores, and anything that relates to your situation. Arming yourself with a bunch of information is your best bet for getting out of debt and staying debt free.

Organize Your Bills

You need to know exactly how much debt you have gotten yourself into before you can make a plan on how you are going to fix it. Clearly lay out what your minimum payments are every month and who they are owed to. Figure out what your collective payments are each month along with how much debt you have total.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Once you have all of this figured out you can make a budget. Getting out of debt requires that you make a budget that covers all areas of your life. This way you dont overspend anywhere and cut yourself short on paying your bills. Make sure you stick to this budget to keep from getting into further financial trouble.

Get Rid of High Interest

If you discover that you have extra money at the end of the month, which you should, use some of that money to pay extra on your debt. Pay off the credit with the highest interest rates first so that you arent wasting money on interest. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Cut Back on Spending

This wont be fun, but any complete idiots guide to getting out of debt will tell you that cutting most of your spending is going to be required. You got yourself into a bad situation, and now you need to redirect your money to get yourself out of it.

Diversify Your Income

If you can start bringing some extra income into the house it will be easier to pay extra on your debt each month. Now this may not mean going and getting another job. This could be something small and easy such as babysitting on the weekends instead of going out with friends or diving into a hobby in your spare time, then selling what you make. It may not seem like much, but even a couple hundred dollars extra a month can take debt out quickly. If you look online and in the newspaper you can probably find a lot of people who just need odd jobs done for a little cash.

By laying out some plans for getting out of debt and sticking to them you will start seeing progress quickly. It wont be fun, but every time you pay off a credit line, you will be able to breathe easier.