How the Big 3 Credit Reporting Agency Changes Will Affect Consumers

Date March 11, 2015

The 3 credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – have made some recent changes that are actually in favor of the consumer.

Under the recent agreement, all 3 agencies will improve their dispute resolution process, which is largely automated, and instead use specially trained employees. The three companies will also establish a six-month waiting period before reporting medical debts on consumers’ credit reports, providing more time for consumers to resolve issues that might amount only to a delayed insurance payment or other disputes. The credit agencies will also remove medical debts from an individual’s report after the debt is paid by insurance.

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Keys to Making Home Renovations Pay Off

Date March 9, 2015

After months of hibernating, many people gain a burst of energy in the spring, manifesting in major cleaning and the occasional renovation. The tendency toward the latter has continued to grow in the past year and is projected to expand by up to 5% this year. With more people investing in remodeling, keeping up with the Joneses may bring more value to your home and neighborhood. If sprucing up the house is on your radar, here are a few things to consider.

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6 Tax Deductions You Shouldn’t Miss

Date February 27, 2015

You may owe less to the Internal Revenue Service than you think. Before sending in your tax returns, make sure you haven’t missed any of these potential deductions. Some of them might surprise you, especially if you’re not used to looking beyond the standard deduction box. Always check with a tax advisor regarding any deductions.

1. Gambling losses

Doing poorly at gaming tables or horse races may not be so bad after all. Because winnings count as “other income,” it makes sense for losses to be considered offsets. If you itemize deductions, the part of your losses that match your winnings can be taken as a deduction. So if you win $2,000 but lose $3,000, you can deduct just $2,000 from your taxable income.

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Going Mobile: Using Banking Apps on Your Smartphone

Date January 14, 2015

Dealing with your banking needs these days can be as easy as turning on your smartphone and logging into your account right in the kitchen. From checking your balance to transferring money to your college-aged child, many of the most frequently performed financial tasks can be done in the palm of your hand.

Despite this ease of use, 49% of smartphone owners haven’t used mobile banking in the last year, according to a Federal Reserve study. A common sticking point? Most non-users—69%—are concerned about security risks. But there are several ways to protect yourself from online threats. Here’s a look at how to get started, along with a few tips on smartphone banking without putting your financial information at risk.

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5 Steps to Take Now to Keep Your Retirement Plans on Course Next Year

Date December 19, 2014

As you prepare for the holidays, take a moment to get your financial house in order before year’s end. Whether you’re facing a heap of debt or just trying to put a budget together for the first time, this will help you make the most of your money in 2015 and beyond. Here’s a to-do list to get started, but remember to always speak to a tax advisor and investment specialist to help you with your retirement needs:

 

  1. IRA issues

If you haven’t maxed out your individual retirement arrangement (IRA) contributions for the year, you have until April 15 to add to it.  For 2014 tax purposes, you can put in up to $5,500 if you’re under age 50, and another $1,000 for those 50 to 70½, after which restrictions tighten considerably. You may also want to consider converting a traditional IRA, which can provide a tax benefit now, into a Roth IRA, which doesn’t reduce your taxes for this year. You’ll have to pay taxes on the converted assets, so think carefully about whether this is a good time to take the tax hit. If you expect your income to be higher next year, now might be a good time to do this, while your tax burden is lower.

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Checking Accounts That Fit YOUR Needs

Date December 5, 2014

Tired of “one-size-fits-all” checking accounts? At MCCU we understand that everyone has unique financial needs. That’s why we offer four distinct checking account programs. Choose one that meets the demands of your financial life:

  • Free Checking. A basic checking account with no monthly service charges and no minimum balance requirements.
  • Premium Checking. Earn interest with a $1,000 minimum daily balance and get free non-MCCU ATM transactions.
  • Teen Savers Checking. Help a teen (age 17+) take a step toward financial independence with their first checking account.
  • Fresh Start Checking. Perfect for starting over after a negative ChexSystems report due to past bounced checks, or poor money management.

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Using Holiday Gift Shopping to Teach Kids Financial Lessons

Date November 21, 2014

The holiday season is a time of giving—and spending. That makes it a perfect time to teach your kids a lesson or two in smart finances.

Shoppers this year intend to spend an average of $804, up almost 5% from last year, the National Retail Federation says. As you begin to check names off your list, give kids a gift that’ll keep on giving with smart shopping lessons.

Holiday spending for kids

Here are four simple tips to help youngsters prepare to buy presents for family and friends and learn good holiday spending habits: 

1. Make a budget.

Help the kids decide how much money is available. For the younger ones, this might be an allowance or an allocation from mom and dad. Older kids might consider using their own earnings or savings. Once the amount available is determined, help your youngsters create a budget. Tech-savvy kids might employ the aid of a smartphone budgeting app or a computer program. And there’s always the pen and paper method.

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Bump Up Your Rate and Bump Up Your Savings!

Date November 6, 2014

Are you looking for a safe place to put your hard-earned money? Safety is important, but you also want to earn decent interest as well, right?

MCCU can offer you both with our 36-month Bump Certificate (CD)! Our current rate is 1.45% APY¹ with Platinum Membership. If you’re not a Platinum member but want to become one, it’s easy! If you are not a Platinum member, your rate is 1.30% APY¹, which is still an amazing rate! And, your account is federally insured by the NCUA.

What is a Bump CD?
If our 36-month CD stated rate increases any time during your term, you can “bump up” your rate one time prior to maturity of your CD. That’s right! If rates go up, your CD rate will go up!

This CD is perfect for IRA accounts as well!

Find out more and compare our rate to other local financial institutions!

Visit a branch today to open your account!

¹ APY=Annual Percentage Yield. Rates and offer are as of 10/20/14 and are subject to change at any time. Platinum membership required for 1.45% rate, otherwise the stated rate is 1.30%. Bum Rate Certificate allows you to increase your rate/yield one time during your term if MCCU’s current stated 36-month Certificate rate is greater than the rate you are earning on your account. Rate Bump applies to remaining term. Membership required to open Certificate account. Penalty for early withdrawal.

30,000 NO-FEE ATMs at MCCU!

Date October 20, 2014

MCCU members enjoy over 30,000 no-fee CO-OP Network ATMs, along with 5,000 Shared Branches where they can do their everyday banking. And we still have Free Checking too!

When Debt Consolidation Could Be a Good Move

Date October 17, 2014

Credit card balances, personal loans, school loans and more – anyone with debt knows it can get overwhelming.

With rates still near historic lows, now is a good time to consider consolidating what you owe into a fixed-rate loan or at least one with a lower cost. But make sure you understand at the outset that your overall costs may increase even if your monthly payments are lower. Rolling short-term and credit card debt into a longer-term loan can mean your final costs to pay off those balances will be higher.

Tools for consolidating

As the economy strengthens, demand for credit is likely to increase, pushing interest rates higher on debt with rates that can vary depending on market conditions as opposed to fixed-rate loans. So it’s a good idea to prepare for this situation now by reducing or eliminating as much of your rate-sensitive debt as possible, using a new, lower-cost loan to wipe out those with higher costs. Here are a few ways to start this process:

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