In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
If you’ve ever bounced a check, you know that it’s an expensive mistake to make. Not only does your financial institution charge you a fee, you may also have to pay a fee to the person or company you bounced the check with. A bounced check could cost $30 or more, depending on your situation. And if your checking account is already low on funds, that can feel like a blow to the gut.
If you don’t have a credit union or bank account, you aren’t alone. According to the most recent FDIC survey, “an estimated 6.5% of U.S. households (8.4 million households) were ‘unbanked’ in 2017” and “an additional 18.7% of U.S. households (24.2 million) were ‘underbanked.’ In 2015, an estimated 1.5% of Vermonters (out of a population of 626,299, that’s 9,394 people) were unbanked. 11.6% were underbanked. This is a fairly low rate in comparison to other states, but it’s still a lot of people who live without any or adequate banking services.
If you’re a human being on planet earth today, you are probably feeling some level of stress or anxiety about COVID-19, which is likely made worse by social distancing. People are coming up with more positive spins on social distancing—distant socializing and physical distancing, for example—but the fact remains that we are all under increased stress and most of us are feeling distant from the social networks that would normally help us deal with the stress.
Credit unions tend to serve local populations, so finding a branch while you’re traveling afar can be a trick. The CO-OP Shared Branching Network has solved this problem by allowing credit unions across the country to band together and offer services to members of all networked credit unions.
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Now that the holidays are over, how is your credit card balance looking? This is often the time of year when people take stock of their debt and begin to despair. If that’s where you’re at, take a deep breath and keep reading for some simple tips that should help you get a good, quick start on getting rid of your balance(s).
If an image of your credit card immediately comes to mind when you hear the words “holiday shopping,” you aren’t alone. Some people do it the right way—saving throughout the year so they don’t need to buy on credit. The rest of us mere mortals start thinking about the holidays when they’re a couple months away and do the best we can to cover costs. If you’re a mere mortal, like myself, here are some holiday credit card habits that will help you make it through the season with your finances intact.
August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day—a good reminder to take personal stock of your financial awareness. What does it mean to be financially aware? Financial awareness is akin to financial literacy and both refer to the knowledge and skill sets that support solid financial decisions and overall financial health.
My daughter is in college, so for the past couple of years I’ve struggled to pull together the funds for a vacation. This year is even more of a struggle because I had to pay for some significant repairs to my home and my car. I know I’m not the only one in this situation, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned how to travel on a budget while still having a fantastic vacation.