Beware Of Banking Scams

Date November 20, 2017

Please note that MCCU will never solicit you or ask you for your personal information. Please notify us immediately if you think you are a victim of phishing or any other kind of scam that mentions that credit union name.

There’s been a recent uptick in banking scams where criminals pose as representatives of the victim’s financial institution, thereby obtaining sensitive information. The scammers use the credit union’s social media account or likeness to appear authentic. They then empty the victim’s accounts and disappear.

Often, when the scammers receive a response from the victim on social media, they redirect the victim to what appears to be the credit union’s website. The victim will input a user ID and password, which the scammers use to empty their accounts or open credit cards in the victim’s name.

Sometimes, the scammers impersonate helpful member service representatives seemingly seeking to answer your questions. Other times, the scammers claim your account has been compromised and you need to immediately update your information. Still other times, scammers will pose as representatives of a sweepstakes or another contest you’ve “won.” Of course, these claims are false.

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All You Need To Know About Open Enrollment

Date November 15, 2017

Open enrollment is here again, and for many Americans this time period – and the entire health insurance market – spells confusion.

Read on for the complete rundown on open enrollment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and today’s health insurance options.

1.) The ACA – still in effect?

The ACA is still up and running. While an alternative health care plan has been proposed, there has been no change in the current system thus far.

What does this mean for the average American?

The ACA has made it mandatory for every American to have sufficient health care coverage or risk being fined. It also oversees the government-run marketplace in which insurance plans can only be purchased during open enrollment. In most states, open enrollment for 2017 will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

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Why Do I Need To Get Preapproved For A Loan?

Date November 13, 2017

mccu logoQ: Is there any reason to get preapproved for a loan?

A: For a large purchase, such as a home or car, having that preapproval in hand before you start shopping is crucial. A preapproval is a written letter from a lender specifying how large of a loan you will be eligible for. The letter will also detail your estimated interest rate on the loan.

Here are some other key advantages of getting a preapproval:

1.) You’ll know what you can afford

Having this information in hand will simplify your search. It will also help you avoid disappointment later. Be sure to calculate other monthly costs, such as property taxes, home insurance and increased auto insurance rates when determining the amount of money you’ll need to shell out each month.

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Shop Safely On Black Friday!

Date November 8, 2017

Q: I love Black Friday but I worry about the risks. With the possibility of being trampled or of my credit card being compromised, there’s so much that can go wrong! How can I protect myself without missing out on the biggest shopping day of the year?

A: Black Friday does pose some serious risks to shoppers, but with the proper safety measures, you can happily join the bargain-hungry crowds on Nov. 24.

Here’s how:

1.) Plan ahead

Planning ahead means you’ll spend less, be out of line faster and decrease your risks. Sites like BlackFriday.com can help you plan your day and find the best deals.

2.) Credit card only

Credit cards are the best way to shop when there are high risks to your safety. You can always dispute a charge; you can never reclaim stolen cash. Also, keep your card as close to you as possible. If using a debit card, cover the payment terminal with your other hand when inputting your PIN.

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FAQs About Share Secured Loans

Date November 6, 2017

Wondering about share secured loans? Here’s all you need to know about this unique product that can provide a low interest rate plus credit building and repair:

1.) What are share secured loans?

Share secured loans allow you to borrow against your own savings, using it as collateral. Instead of liquidating your account to make a purchase, thus losing out on all dividends and an emergency safety net, you borrow against that sum while your money stays in the account.

2.) How does it work?

Your credit union will place a hold on the amount you want to borrow against. When you apply for the loan, you’ll be granted the amount you requested in the form of a check or a deposit into your share account. You can make payments on the loan through an automatic withdrawal from your account, via direct deposit or by sending in a monthly check.strong

3.) Who would benefit from a share secured loan?

Borrowers with damaged or no credit, who may not otherwise qualify for a loan, stand to gain the most from these loans. Since there is no risk to the lender, most credit unions grant instant approval of a share secured loan without requesting a credit report.

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Sticky Passwords: Can They Make Your Life Easier?

Date November 1, 2017

Remember the good old days when the only passwords you had to remember were one for your debit card and another for a single email account? Those days are long gone! Today, when the average American has three email accounts, is active on social media and has dozens of other sites and gadgets requiring passwords, keeping track of every personal access code can be incredibly overwhelming.

This is where password managers come into play. Available for installation on both mobile devices and desktop platforms, the programs work to help you manage your passwords so you never need to click on the “Forgot Password” link again. They also keep you from getting lazy and making the not-so-safe choice of having a device remember your passwords for you.

Sticky Password is one such resource, and it works quite simply. You can download Sticky Password by clicking on the “Get Sticky Password” button/link on the website,  StickyPassword.com. Once installation is complete, the program will launch and walk you through the setup process.

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College Students: A Study Guide For Your Personal Finances

Date October 30, 2017

Some of the most important lessons you’ll learn in college won’t be taught in a classroom. They won’t have papers or quizzes attached to them, but the tests will come every day for the rest of your life. Your ability to master the pressures of the adult world will determine, in large part, how well you live.

With holidays and final exams on the way, it’s a great time to think about studying, reinforcing the lessons you’ve learned outside of the classroom. Take a break from your cram session to brush up on strategies like …

1.) Saving papers

Many young people graduate from college without knowing how much they owe. Of course, they get statements every semester to tell them the loan amount, the interest rate and other important information. It probably gets put where every other important college-related document gets stashed, which means it’s going to get lost in a dorm room or backpack.

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3 Reasons You Need an Automatic Savings Plan

Date October 26, 2017

“Save money” is a timeless bit of personal finance advice, but actually doing it can be another story. If you need a way to boost your savings and stay consistent with your goals, setting up an automatic funds transfer can help.

There are two ways you might do this. You can set up a transfer from your checking to a savings or investment account at your financial institution. Another method can be having a portion of your paycheck directed into a retirement or other account by your employer, if possible. Here’s a closer look into why saving this way might help you reach your goals.

1. No effort needed after setup

Once you start automatic transfers, which might be made every week or two, you don’t have to give it another thought. This can be helpful if you tend to second-guess your saving decisions, such as whether you actually need to save 5% or 10% of your income this month. This way you can avoid doubting yourself and keep the savings flowing.

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Beware Of Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

Date October 24, 2017

More than 42 million Americans have student loan debt, with their collective debt topping $1.4 trillion. Unfortunately, these big numbers make student loan debtors excellent targets for scams.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), partnering with 11 states and the District of Columbia, has recently announced “Operation Game of Loans,” the first law enforcement initiative pursuing student loan debt relief scams. This nationwide crackdown includes 36 government actions against scammers alleged to have conned more than $95 million from victims.

The FTC has already charged more than 30 organizations with falsely claiming to be affiliated with the Department of Education, misleading advertising and collecting upfront fees with deceptive intent.

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7 Ways To Save On Thanksgiving Costs This Month

Date October 18, 2017

It’s hard to believe that we’e already talking about the holidays, but they’ll be here before we know it!

Between your turkey, ingredients for the holiday meal and décor to set the ambiance, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is not cheap.

If you’re looking for ways to cut back without compromising on quality, read on for seven easy ways to save on Thanksgiving costs this year. 

1.) Verify your guests’ attendance

Get an accurate head count of your dinner guests. Verify that all who are invited are indeed planning on showing, and only then begin planning your menu.

2.) Find out what your guests like

While doing your inviting, find out your guests’ individual tastes and diets. Be sure to ask about particular foods your guests like to eat and those they won’t touch. If something on your menu isn’t very popular with your guests, skip it – even if you think it’s “obligatory” for a Thanksgiving table.

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