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4 Hacks to Raise Your Credit Score

4 Hacks to Raise Your Credit Score

4 Hacks to Raise Your Credit Score Your credit score. Chances are you either love it or hate it. It’s either the greatest thing in the world or a total hindrance. Or, maybe you don’t really know enough about your credit score for it to make an impact on your life. As a whole, Americans’ credit scores are beginning to increase but our knowledge of credit and how it works is declining. A recent survey from credit scoring company VantageScore and the Consumer Federation of America found that 32% of the people surveyed didn’t know they had more than one credit score. That percentage has risen by about 16% since 2012. Let’s forget about how many credit scores we have for a second and answer a very basic question: what is your credit score? Your credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 300 (the lowest possible score) to 850 (the highest score). Lenders use your credit score to make decisions about whether or not to offer you credit – such as a credit card, car loan or mortgage loan. Your credit score is also used to determine the terms of the offer – what your interest rate will be and whether or not you’ll have to make a down payment. Your credit score is calculated by looking at these categories: Payment history Your income-to-debt ratio Total debt Length of credit history Types of open credit Public records (such as bankruptcy) Number of inquiries for your credit report New credit So, what is considered a good credit score? The average credit score in the United States ranges between 670...
How to Prepare for the Unexpected Expense

How to Prepare for the Unexpected Expense

We can’t avoid unexpected expenses. Life happens. Question is, how prepared are you to deal with life’s unexpected curveballs? There’s no way to predict when life will happen. One minute you’re looking at a little extra money in the budget and feeling good about the small surplus. The next minute your new puppy swallows part of a chew toy, and you’re off to the vet. There goes your small surplus and budget. Life’s unexpected events can be overwhelming and figuring out how to handle the new debt plus the monthly recurring debt can be stressful. What happens if your car breaks down, you have to move, or your water heater has to be replaced? Illness and employment are equally as unpredictable. If you are laid off, how long could you pay your bills without living off credit cards or borrowing money? You’re not alone. Did you know that 40 percent of Americans can’t cover a $400 expense out of pocket? So, what happens if you find yourself in this position? Believe it or not, you have a few options – smart, safe and legal options – to help cover those unexpected expenses. Payment plans Maybe haggling over a bill doesn’t come naturally to you, but this is a great way to save a little money each month. Most doctor’s offices and hospitals will work with you on payment plans as long as you are paying something on it each month. It’ll help show that you’re good for some of the balance now and can pay some later. Avoid predatory lenders Don’t let your circumstances make you feel like payday...
A Look at Reverse Mortgages

A Look at Reverse Mortgages

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You? Reverse mortgages. Depending on your circumstances, choosing between a reverse mortgage or another option can be easy or difficult. Most of us have heard about reverse mortgages, but few know how they work. “If you haven’t saved as much as you thought by a certain time, or your expenses are more than you thought they’d be, a reverse mortgage could be an option. These types of loans are structured so that it’s basically like getting an equity loan or mortgage on your property,” said Loan Specialist, Clint Bramlett. “Instead of paying the loan back, you live in your house until you decide to move out, or death. After either of these events, the bank will then take the house and sell it. Hopefully for a profit.” If a homeowner opts for a reverse mortgage, they are no longer liable for the payments on the house. However, the taxes and insurance must be paid or the loan will be foreclosed. “Homeowners can elect to take the money in a lump sum or a line of credit similar to a home equity line of credit,” Bramlett explained. While you won’t have a monthly payment, the interest on the loan will increase. “Before a homeowner can begin the process of obtaining a reverse mortgage, they must go through financial counseling with a HUD-certified counselor,” Bramlett added. There are several qualifications a homeowner must meet for a reverse mortgage loan. Including: • At least 62 years of age • Live in the home as a primary residence • Sufficient equity in the home • Meet financial...

Start Saving With These Great CD Rates!

There’s no time like the present to start saving for your future. And what better way to start than opening a Certificate of Deposit now with Power Financial Credit Union? Take advantage of the two amazing rates we’re offering. Cultivate and start earning today 2.27% APY* on a 30-month CD with a minimum deposit of $2,500(1) or 2.00% APY* on a 22-month CD with a minimum deposit of $10,000(2). The choice is yours! Your saving potential is limitless, but don’t miss your chance to capitalize on these rates. Build your savings. Build your life. Let Power Financial Credit Union help. *APY = Annual Percentage Yield. (1) 2.27% APY Minimum deposit amount is $2,500. The 30-month term Promo certificate will automatically rollover to a 24-month term at the dividend rate and annual percentage yield offered at that time for a 24-month certificate. Penalties for early withdrawal may apply. Annual Percentage Yield assumes that interest and principal will remain on deposit until maturity. Fees may reduce earnings. Limited Time Offer. (2) 2.00% APY Minimum deposit amount is $10,000.00. Initial term of 22 months. At the end of 11 months, the Credit Union may call the certificate or extend the certificate for an additional 11-month term at the same APY set forth on the initial 11-month term. If the certificate is not extended the certificate will automatically rollover to a 24-month term at the dividend rate and annual percentage yield offered at that time for a 24-month certificate. Penalties for early withdrawal may apply. Annual Percentage Yield assumes that interest and principal will remain on deposit until maturity. Fees may reduce earnings....
Back-To-School Savings Tips

Back-To-School Savings Tips

It’s that time of year again! Summertime is winding down. Teachers are prepping to return to their classrooms and start decorating. School supply lists are starting to surface. A new school year is right around the corner. A new school year means only one thing – back-to-school shopping is almost here! Which means you’ll be sending your students back into the classroom before you know it. According to the Huntington Backpack Index, in the 2018-2019 school year, the amount parents paid in back-to-school supplies was estimated as follows: • $637 elementary school kids, • $941 for middle school children, and • $1,355 for high school students There’s no way around it – school shopping is expensive. But, it doesn’t have to be. Much like financial planning, saving on back-to-school shopping requires a plan as well. With the right planning and preparation, back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. Take inventory Before you go shopping and buy a bunch of supplies, take inventory of your house. Check drawers and cabinets to see what supplies you have that can be used again. Look at backpacks, lunchboxes and even school clothes from last year to see what can be kept and what needs to be replaced. From there, make a list and determine what your child needs and what you have. Get the school’s supply list Generally, retailers like Target and Walmart usually have copies of the supply lists divided by grade, school, and district, and those lists are usually available online before they’re in the store. Check the lists, do a little research regarding prices and make a budget accordingly....