In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
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.
COVID-19 has brought financial uncertainty to many, and even as we edge closer to recovery, the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt by many Vermonters for months to come. I sat down with Yvonne Garand, our senior vice president of marketing and business development, to talk about personal finance in the age of COVID-19.
Home ownership is incredibly rewarding, both financially and personally. Building equity in your home puts you on the path towards a sound financial future, while pride of ownership can be immensely gratifying. Now that spring is arriving, a lot of homeowners finally have a chance to begin planning a renovation or tackling a repair that was put on hold during winter’s harsh weather.
In the last month, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment due to the coronavirus. Here in Vermont, unemployment has jumped from 2.2 percent to an effective unemployment rate of over 20 percent, with more than 80,000 claims to date for unemployment insurance due to COVID-19. The economy is slowly restarting, as certain industries are reopening with social distancing parameters in place, but many Vermonters remain unemployed or worried about job security. If you or someone you know is out of work, here are eight things you can do to survive being laid off (or furloughed).
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If you have lost pay, been laid off from work, or are working reduced hours, you may be struggling to cover food costs. Whether this is a new situation for you or a situation you have been in before, know that you are not alone and there are a number of free food resources available close to home. These programs are for ALL Vermonters and can help you and your family stay healthy and well-nourished through this emergency.
Rule Number 1: Don’t panic and breathe deeply COVID-19 has caused a lot of people to feel panic and fear about their financial situation and future. This panic and fear can lead to “poverty consciousness,” which is a set of beliefs that cause us to fear that we won’t have enough to survive. This mindset of fear doesn’t lead to good decisions. “So, how can I get past this?” you ask. Thoughtful reflection on the past and maintaining a sense of perspective for the larger picture will lead us through this episode.
In January, the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 was enacted. The ACT, which is referred to as the SECURE Act, should help Americans take greater control over their retirement funds. The Act describes about 25 provisions, so we will focus on the key changes that will likely have the greatest impact.
After many years of renting small apartments, my wife and I decided to take the plunge and buy our first house. As any new homeowners would, we have been nervously, excitedly, painting walls and undertaking little projects to make our home perfect for us, but the first big project now looms on the horizon—the heating system.