Your credit score is part of the seemingly magical recipe that determines your interest rates on loans, your insurance premium, and sometimes your hiring decision. Once a guarded secret, your credit score is now available for FREE through many sources. Sites like quizzle.com, mint.com, and creditkarma.com provide your score for FREE in exchange for your acceptance of receiving promotional materials. Their hope is that when you check your score, you’ll consider purchasing another of their offered products.
Transfer your credit card balance. If you’re paying a high interest rate or fees for your credit cards, check out MCCU’s many credit card options – you may be able to consolidate and pay less each month!
Use an HSA. If you’re in a high-deductible health plan, you may be able to save money by opening a Health Savings Account!
Whether you’ll be pursuing a master’s degree in English literature or a Ph.D. in chemical engineering this fall, life as a graduate student likely will require a good deal of thriftiness. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to a steady diet of instant noodles and cereal for the foreseeable future.
Here’s a look at several sustainable ways that grad students can maximize their stipends or other income and cut costs in the process.
Find a roommate
Sharing a house or an apartment with others may have taken some getting used to as an undergraduate. By now, though, you’re probably a seasoned veteran. And that’s a good thing, since finding a roommate is still one of the best ways to save money.
A home is probably the largest purchase you will make in your financial life. Review these tips to make sure you are making the best decision.
Get prequalified. Take the time to meet with a lender before you start looking to ensure you are searching in the price range you can afford. They can also offer you several mortgage options that best fit your financial situation.
DIY House Hunting. A licensed Realtor will have the most current and accurate information when you start looking. Don’t try and do it yourself or risk missing out on the home of your dreams. Realtors are professionals and experts at what they do – take advantage of their knowledge and resources to get the best deal possible. They will help you negotiate price, and ensure the home you want is the perfect home for you and your family.
Don’t limit your choices. Be open to all sorts of listings and opportunities. Look at and eliminate listings based on thorough investigation and not pre-determination. Sometimes what we want is not exactly what we need.
Get adequate insurance. Always purchase adequate insurance from a professional to cover you, your family, and your belongings. You never know when you’ll need that insurance. Plus, if you’re getting a mortgage loan, you’ll need proper coverage on your home.
Do your due diligence. Look at crime rates. School districts. Talk to friends and neighbors. Drive by at different times of the day and week. Once you’ve purchased, you don’t want any surprises.
For a limited time, you can buy a new or pre-owned car, without the hassle of visiting a Dealership, and you can enjoy a special low rate! Now through October 31, when you buy a car through Autoland, and finance with MCCU, we’ll lower your rate by .25% APR!²
Autoland works for you, saving you both time and hassle to get your perfect vehicle at a fair price. There’s no obligation and your personal Autoland Consultant is available to help you regardless of where you buy your next car.
No matter how enthusiastic you are, trying to formally teach finance to kids is a tall order that is likely to make their eyes glaze over. Hold their attention by keeping money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.
Preschoolers can grasp that money is exchanged for stuff. Teach them the names of coins, and as their counting ability develops, explain their values. Playing “store” lets them gain skills as they “buy,” “sell” and even “price” household items.
Begin giving your children a small allowance so they can experience money in the real world, and appoint them as valuable “assistants” on your shopping trips. They’ll feel important while clipping coupons and helping you find items on the shelves.
College is in your rearview mirror, and you’re about to enter the working world. Although snagging a job certainly calls for a celebration or two, it is also time to start tackling the various financial responsibilities that await you, like saving for retirement and improving your credit score.
Here’s an overview of where to get started, including several best practices to help you along the way.
Keep credit card debt to a minimum
In 2014, households with unpaid credit card balances owed an average of about $15,000 on those cards, which can damage credit scores and make it difficult to qualify for low interest rates on auto loans and mortgages.
It’s back to school season and that means car shopping for a lot of people looking for that perfect car, truck or SUV. If you’re among this group, Matadors Community Credit Union has you covered with great auto loan rates and a better car buying experience with Autoland! Autoland works for you, saving you both time and hassle to get a fair price on a new or pre-owned vehicle you’ll love.
Handle everything to get your perfect new or pre-owned vehicle.
Coordinate your Matadors auto loan.
Get a great value for your trade-in.
Deliver your new vehicle to the credit union!
Plus, when you get your loan at MCCU, you’ll enjoy a low-rate plus no payment due for 90 days (interest will accrue)! And, you can still take advantage of Manufacturer rebates. When you take the rebate with our low-rate loan, you’ll save more money than you would with a 0% loan!
Make car buying easy! Start your vehicle search online at Autoland.com or call 800.234.6999 today to work with a personal Consultant.
Homeowners might wonder whether it’s a good idea to tap their home equity, or the market value of the property minus what is still owed on it, to pay down other types of debt, especially high-interest credit card balances.
A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, is a bit like a second mortgage since your home serves as the collateral for the loan. However, a HELOC is a form of revolving debt, like a charge account, in that you’re able to withdraw money up to an approved limit, using a card or check, repay it and draw it down again. Since it’s secured, a HELOC usually has a much lower interest rate than the average credit card or a personal loan. You pay interest only on the amount you take out, and what you pay is often tax-deductible. Always check with your tax advisor regarding deductibility.
A credit union can be a more rewarding option when you’re saving for a rainy day and looking for a safe place to keep your cash, or a more frugal choice when you’re planning for major life events and want lower interest rates on loans.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that offer banking and related services to their members. You effectively become part owner of a credit union when you join, receiving shares when you open an account.
To become a credit union member, you must meet its eligibility requirements. Every credit union has different rules on who can join. Those rules are usually based on where you work, live, worship or go to school. You may also qualify if you belong to a specific group, such as a labor union, service organization or special interest association, or if someone in your family meets one of these tests. Once you’re in, you can be a member for life.