Buy a Car Without Going to a Dealership? Yes, You Can!

Date September 13, 2017

With Autoladata breachnd, you don’t have to waste hours of your precious time at the Dealer! And, you won’t have to haggle with those finance reps!

Autoland can help you find the new or certified pre-owned car you’re looking for, even if you don’t know where to start. You can start your car search online, and then our helpful Autoland rep will contact you to continue the process. They can even help you get set up with financing – one-stop shopping!

Even better – you can still take advantage of any manufacturer rebates or incentives when you buy with Autoland. And once you find the car of your dreams, Autoland will deliver it to your home, office, or the credit union – whatever is most convenient for you! They’ll even take your trade-in!

Our Autoland reps will be at our Chatsworth branch on Friday, September 22nd from 10-2 to assist you with your car-buying needs. While you’re here, enter to win a $25 Visa® gift card (no purchase necessary).

If you can’t make it that day, start your search online or call us at 818-993-6328 and we’ll help get you started!

Everything You Need To Know About The Equifax Breach

Date September 11, 2017

data breachIn a recently revealed breach, 143 million Americans may have had their personal information exposed.

Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, reported a massive data breach lasting several months. Hackers were able to access people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers of 209,000 people and dispute documents containing personally identifying information of 182,000 people.

If you have any type of credit product such as a credit card or mortgage, there’s a good chance your information is compromised. It’s best to learn all you can about this data breach and take the proper steps toward protecting yourself against future damage.

Here at Matadors Community Credit Union we’re ready to help by providing you with clear instructions on some steps you can be taking now.

1.) Find out if your information was exposed

Visit and click on the “Potential Impact” tab. Enter your last name along with the last six digits of your Social Security number to find out if you’ve been affected.
Since your SSN is sensitive information, complete this step only on a secure computer that uses an encrypted network connection. You’ll also find easy access to frequently asked questions about the breach on the Equifax site.

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What Would You Give Up to Be Debt-Free?

Date September 7, 2017

plastic man holding DEBT signLooking to get out from under a mountain of credit card debt? You’ve likely come across an aspirational story or 12 while clicking around.

They usually go like this: Penny-pinching Peter rid himself of an enormous amount of debt by cutting out small treats and giving up Netflix. But will abstaining from $12 avocado toast and missing out on the latest season of “Orange Is the New Black” do the trick for you?

Or you read about those who sleep in their cars for a year, shower at the gym and consume only discarded ketchup packets. That might not work for you, either.

Defeating debt is a delicate balance: You need to figure out where you can cut — and how long you can live that way.

We crunched the numbers for some common budget cuts, and some extreme ones, and then tested how long they’d take to offset $15,000, a nice round number close to the average credit card debt in the U.S., according to a NerdWallet study.

Cuts that really make a difference

Starting small can ease you into the habit of budget cuts. But forgoing little luxuries alone often won’t be enough to make a meaningful difference in debt. For instance, brown-bagging your lunch cuts out the average $5 fast food tab every workday. Great start, you’re saving $105 a month — but at that rate it would take you nearly 12 years to save enough to pay off $15,000.

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Helping Harvey Victims Without Getting Scammed

Date September 5, 2017

The news reports about the Hurricane Harvey victims can really tug at your heart. You may even be moved to donate whatever you can to assist in the relief efforts. Unfortunately, though, that’s exactly what many scammers are counting on.

Here’s how you can help out without falling prey to scams.

1.) Avoid Harvey scams

First, make sure your computer’s security systems are updated to the most recent versions. Next, never share personal information with unverified sources. This includes your email username and password that many “must-watch” hurricane Harvey videos demand you provide before watching. Similarly, do not click on any links or download anything from suspicious sources. Finally, it’s best not to donate over the phone because it’s difficult to verify a charity’s authenticity that way.

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7 Common Life Insurance Myths Debunked

Date August 30, 2017

Many of us let popular misconceptions about life insurance convince us that we don’t need it. Read on to see how seven of the most widespread life insurance myths are easily debunked.

Myth #1: I’m single and I have no dependents. I don’t need life insurance.

Actually, you do. Every person should have funds to cover their funeral costs and end-of-life medical bills. Also, you can leave a legacy by choosing a cause to be the beneficiary of your death payout.

Myth #2: I’m a stay-at-home parent who doesn’t earn an income. My partner needs life insurance; I don’t.

The tasks that currently fill your time will need to be outsourced to hired help should you suddenly pass on. Nannies, cleaning help and cooks cost money. That money can come from the insurance payout of your homemaker’s policy.

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Video: Save Money on Back to School Shopping!

Date August 28, 2017


College Students: 3 Ways To Build Your Credit History Before You Graduate

Date August 23, 2017

magnifying glass showing excellent credit scoreIf you keep up with financial news, you know your credit score is one of the most important and widely circulated bits of information about you. It determines the outcome of many of your adult life decisions. The kind of car and house you can afford, the rates you’ll pay for insurance and credit cards, and even the kinds of jobs you can get all hinge on your credit score. While much of credit-building will have to wait until after graduation, there are ways you can control your credit score now: Pay your bills (and pay them on time) and keep your debts low.

1) Get (and keep) a clean payment record

Pay your bills on time. It’s good advice anyway, but if you’re trying to build a credit history, making on-time monthly payments is a critical first step. This includes both credit cards and other monthly bills (electricity, Netflix, gym memberships). Don’t have a credit card? Consider “piggybacking.” Your parents can make you an authorized user of their credit card, which will show as an account in your name and one that is being paid on time.

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Dealing With A Financial Setback

Date August 21, 2017

Financial setbacks come in all shapes and sizes. It can be an expensive household repair, a medical emergency, getting laid off or the birth of a baby. Whatever the situation, it’s impossible to plan for every financial hit you will take in your lifetime.

But don’t fret. If you’re hit with hard times, here’s some tips to keep in mind.

1.) Don’t panic

Keeping calm will allow you to think more clearly and resolve your deficit quicker. As difficult as things seem now, they’ll always look a little better after some levelheaded planning.

2.) Crunch the numbers

Sit down and work out exactly how much more money you’ll need to cover your new expense or to fill the gap of income loss.

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The Dow Jones Reached 22,000. What Does That Mean?

Date August 16, 2017

Q: Everyone is talking about the stock market hitting an all-time high of 22,000. What does this mean?

A: The stock market can be confusing. Before answering the 22,000 question, let’s start with a brief explanation on how it works.

1.) What is the stock market?

The stock market is where stocks and bonds are bought and sold. When you purchase stock, you become a shareholder and now own a “share” of the company. If the company’s profits go up or down, the value of your shares follows suit. When a company needs to raise money, it issues shares and keeps all of the money raised in the initial sale of shares. 

2.) Why are stocks traded after they’re purchased?

Traders and investors continue to trade their purchased company stocks because the perceived value of the company changes over time. The investors may make or lose money depending on whether or not their predictions on the value of the stock are correct. The ultimate goal is to make money by buying stock in companies you expect to increase in value.

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Financial Tips For Single Parents

Date August 14, 2017

Single parenting brings unique budgeting challenges.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it costs an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child to age 18 – and many single parents shoulder that responsibility alone. Even with adequate child support, it’s smart to be proactive about financial matters as a single mom or dad.

Estate planning should be your first priority. It’s essential to make arrangements for your children should you become incapacitated. Draw up a will, designating a guardian for your children, and a “power of attorney,” giving someone the legal right to make decisions on your behalf.

Consider setting up a trust – a legal structure that is overseen by a trustee, in which your assets can be held for your children. Also, ask your employer about disability benefits. Generally, you will receive a smaller income when you claim disability, however, ensuring even partial income is crucial for single parents who don’t have another source of income to cover a gap.Taking out a life insurance policy is equally important. The policy you purchase will depend on your finances; a term policy is most economical because it offers a straightforward death benefit.

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