Financial Resources

Education

EDUCATION

It's always good to be smart about your finances. But it's hard to be mindful of your money when finances are so...well...boring. So we've put together a little primer to help you get on top of the financial ball. These are the basics you need to know to keep your books in the black.

THE BASICS

Credit Unions: Why they're better than Banking

What makes a credit union different than a bank? It's simple. Credit unions are nonprofit, member-owned organizations. That means that you are a part owner of any credit union that you're a member of. Unlike banks, who are for-profit entities, credit unions "pay" their member owners in the form of low interest rates and fees. It's simple...and it's gooooood.

Phishing: Don't get caught!

Have you ever gotten an unsolicited email that looked an awful lot like it came from a company that you do business with, asking you to "click here and update your account information"? A word of advice...DON'T!! It's called phishing, and it's the latest e-scam. Some unsavory folks have figured out how to bamboozle unsuspecting web users into revealing their personal information - credit card numbers, checking account info, social security number - so that they can steal their identities (and their money). So if an email is unsolicited and looks suspicious, delete it. And if you're not sure, call the company and ask if they sent it. It'll only take a minute and it could save you a lot of heartache (and cash).

Car Loans: The Truth About 0% Down

We hate math. As far as we're concerned, it's nothing but a dirty, four-letter word. On the other hand, we like money (which is a clean, five-letter word). But we are resigned to the fact that there are times in life when math and money go together. Financing your car is one of those times. Observe the following points:

  1. 0% Dealer Financing
    It sounds like a great deal. What could be better than 0%? They'd have to give you money to beat that. Which brings us to our next order of business...
  2. The Manufacturer's Rebate
    This is when the manufacturer of the car (not the dealer) gives you cold, hard cash. But take the 0% financing, and you can kiss the cash goodbye.
  3. You Get What You Want
    0% dealer financing isn't an automotive free-for-all. Most of the time, the 0% deals apply to certain models, styles, colors, etc. (in this context, "certain" means "barfy"). So even though you want the candy-apple-smokin'-hot-fire-engine-red, you may get the we-call-this-champagne-but-it-looks-like-an-unmarked-cop-car-beige. With NFCU financing plus manufacturer's rebate, you can actually get the car you want.
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