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3 Ways to Supercharge Your Car Buying Savings

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Car Buying Savings

Are you missing out on one of the best deals in car buying? With many people opting to stay safe at home to social distance, many rental company vehicles have been stationary. Why is this important? Many companies are looking to make fast cash deals with unused inventory. If you decide to buy a rental vehicle, there are a few things you should do to ensure you’re buying a good vehicle. RESEARCH Did you know that you could save up to 15% more when you purchase a rental vehicle?* While you will save a significant amount by buying a rental car, you should still look at price ranges to ensure you’re still getting a great deal. We also recommend researching and checking out the car as you would if you were buying it new. Be sure to consider which vehicle you believe to be the best fit for your lifestyle and determine your budget from there. Remember, you will need to take extra precautions when purchasing a car used from such a company — even if you’re considering a certified vehicle. We also recommend checking for any vehicle recalls. If there is, take the extra step to cross-reference the recall with a vehicle history report — rental car companies have been required to fix these issues for at least the past four years. CONDUCT A PRIVATE INSPECTION Many rental car companies have a lengthy trial period. Use this time to your benefit and conduct an independent vehicle inspection before you buy it. Even certified vehicles should be inspected to ensure that your vehicle is safe and that you make...
Congratulations, Alicia!

Congratulations, Alicia!

  We would like to congratulate Alicia Quevedo, our Senior Vice President and Chief Membership Officer, for being named the Professional of the Year by the...
Check Yourself Before You Rec (Loan) Yourself

Check Yourself Before You Rec (Loan) Yourself

It is fair to say that summer 2020 is shaping up to be…unconventional. We all want to have as much fun as possible, but we also want to stay as safe as possible. It may seem as though your summer fun is quickly becoming summer none, but a solution is in reach. Enter: a recreational vehicle. Whether it be a boat, an RV, or even an ATV, summer excitement is just on the horizon. With these extremely cool, yet different options, it may be hard to decide which one is right for you and your family. Do you want to take to the road, the water, or forested trails? You’ve come to the right place. We can help you prepare for this thrilling (but important) decision. RVs For many people, the thought of an RV vacation conjures images of your in-laws, asking if they can link up to your power supply. However, maybe your in-laws are on to something when it comes to money-saving, yet wholly enjoyable vacations. Picture this: you and your family are on the open road. Your destination is ahead of you. Your children laugh as they play a card game at the table behind you. Best of all, you don’t have to stop for bathroom breaks. A recent study found that RV vacations cost much less than other travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and RV ownership cost. According to the study, there are cost savings of 21-64 percent for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves 8-53 percent. That’s some serious cash. You can spend that money on food, experiences,...
Is Pet Adoption for You?

Is Pet Adoption for You?

You finally decided to bring home a furry friend. You’ve done your research, you’ve figured out what type of pet you want, and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line. But, have you thought about the ongoing cost(s) associated with getting a pet? There are two main areas regarding costs to consider when it comes to owning a pet. There are initial costs (adoption fees/breeder fees, first vaccinations, training, etc.) and the general costs over your pet’s lifetime (food, toys, routine vet visits, grooming, etc.). Of course, there are a dozen other ways pets can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to prepare for several different types of costs. Adoption fees vs. Breeder fees One of the first expenses pet owners experience is adoption fees or purchase price. Typically, adoption fees are going to be less expensive than breeder fees. Most shelters and rescue organizations will provide medical care, vaccinations, and maybe even spaying or neutering animals. If you decide to go the shelter route, it’s essential to ask the volunteers what services your adoption fees include. Did you know that according to the ASPCA, about 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters nationwide each year? Of those 6.5 million animals, only about 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. So, if you’re thinking about adoption, you could be saving a life! It’s also a good idea to find out what the adoption process looks like. It could be different depending on the shelter or rescue organization you choose, but usually, the basics are the same. Once you select your fur-ever friend, you’ll have to fill...
Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Car?

Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Car?

Have you been considering purchasing a vehicle? Now could be the right time for you to buy. According to US News, March car sales were off by almost 40 percent compared to the same month in 2019. What does this mean for you? Due to declining sales, dealerships are highly motivated to sell vehicles but you may not necessarily get the deal that is best for you. Our goal is to encourage you to do your due diligence and buy a vehicle that’s best for your lifestyle and budget. To help you make a smart decision, we’re providing a few tips to ensure you’re well-informed. Know you have choices Due to dealerships looking to make up for lost sales, they’re offering flashy, headline-making deals. However, once you take a look under the hood, the deals aren’t as great as they seem. For instance, a cash rebate will be a better deal than 0 percent interest when paired with a low-interest loan as it can lower your monthly payment. Therefore, you can take the rebate and finance with Power Financial Credit Union for your best deal. If the dealership requires you to use their financing, you can finance with the rebate and then refinance your auto loan with us. We will work with you to ensure you receive the best deal on your vehicle. TransUnion reports that car buyers who refinanced their auto loan, lowered their rate by over 2 percent!* Consider your warranty options When you’re buying a vehicle, whether new or used, dealers will try to sell you or automatically include add-ins like warranties to your loan. When buying...
6 Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Responsibly

6 Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Responsibly

Have you received your COVID-19 stimulus payment or are you expecting it soon? Have you started thinking about how you would spend it? It’s tempting to think about all of the ways you could spend an extra $1,200 or $2,400 – depending your filing status and the number of dependents you claim. Before you get that list finalized, we want to give you some tips to help your money stretch as far as possible. 1. Prioritize. Look at your bills. What are essential – rent or mortgage, car payment, utilities – and what bills are non-essential – entertainment, streaming services, unusable memberships? Make a list of what you need and what you can live without. Focus on paying the essential bills first. 2. Save. Save. Save. Don’t miss an opportunity to pad your savings account with some of your stimulus money. It’s a one-time payment so think of your stimulus as a mini emergency fund. You may want to set aside some of the payment as “in case” money. 3. Divide and conquer. You only get one stimulus payment, but your bills will still come monthly. If you’re currently unemployed, it’s especially important to be strategic in how you spend your stimulus payment. Take this opportunity to divide it up into smaller chunks to help cover some of the essential bills you pay each month. Also, talk to your landlord or mortgage lender, your utility company and internet service provider if you’re having trouble meeting your monthly obligations. A lot of companies are finding ways to help their customers during this unprecedented situation. 4. Don’t hoard cash. Hoarding cash...
Stimulus Payments Are On The Way

Stimulus Payments Are On The Way

Economic Impact payments are on their way, and most Americans have already received their money. But, what does it mean for you if you haven’t? Where is my stimulus check? The IRS began sending out stimulus payments in April. But if you haven’t received yours yet, there’s no reason to panic. Retirees, senior citizens, and taxpayers who filed income taxes in 2018 and 2019 and included direct deposit information were the first groups to receive their payments. If you’re not in one of those categories, you’ll still receive a payment, but it’ll arrive by mail instead of being directly deposited into your checking or savings account. Taxpayers who didn’t include direct deposit information will receive a paper check sometime in May. The IRS does a feature on its website that will allow taxpayers to provide direct deposit information if their check hasn’t yet been mailed. However, the feature isn’t slated to be up and running until mid-April. What you need to know about payments Most taxpayers are eligible to receive a stimulus payment. The payments are automatic, and no further action is needed to receive the payment. The amount, however, will vary based on filing status, the number of dependents and adjusted gross income (AGI). Individuals or head of household filers will receive $1,200, while married taxpayers filing jointly (if they aren’t a dependent of another taxpayer) will receive $2,400. Taxpayers will receive up to $500 per dependent claimed on their federal tax returns in 2018 and 2019. Stimulus payments are based on the AGI claimed by the filer. Taxpayers will receive the amounts listed above if they have a work-eligible...
What You Should Know About The Stimulus Checks

What You Should Know About The Stimulus Checks

President Donald Trump has signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan set to provide aid to millions of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The package includes stimulus payments for individuals, additional unemployment coverage, student loan relief, and more. But, what does that mean for you? Stimulus Payments Most adults will receive a check or direct deposit. The amount will vary based on adjusted gross income, filing status, and the number of dependents you claim. The amounts will break down as follows: Single adults who made $75,000 or less annually will receive $1,200. If you have qualifying children 16 or under, you will receive an additional $500 per child. Married couples with no children who made $150,000 or less will receive $2,400. Taxpayers who file as the head of household will get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less. For single adults who make more than $75,000, the payment gradually decreases until it stops all together at $99,000. For married people with no children who make more than $150,000, the stimulus payment gradually decreases until it stops all together at $198,000. If someone claims you as a dependent – even as an adult – you will not be eligible for a relief payment. To see your adjusted gross income, look at Line 8B on your 2019 1040 federal tax return. Most people will receive their payments within three weeks. However, according to the bill, you’ll receive a paper notice in the mail a few weeks after your payment has been distributed. That notice will also contain information about where the payment ended up and in what...
COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 Scams

No question – the past few weeks have been insane as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We’re seeing things unfold that most of us haven’t experienced before. Entire cities have shut down, people are being quarantined, and credit unions are being forced to find different ways to serve members. While we’ve seen the best in humanity from Publix setting aside the first hour they’re open to serve the elderly to multiple restaurants providing meals for kids who are out of school, we’ve also seen scammers who are exploiting people’s Coronavirus fears. Scams you should be aware of Android malware and ransomware Android devices in particular have been left vulnerable to malware attacks allowing scammers to spy on you through your smartphone camera, listen to you through the microphone and go through your text messages. The scammers, suspected of operating in Libya, send out text messages with a link promising an app that will allow you to track the Coronavirus. Once you click on the text message, the malware installs itself on your phone. DomainTools, a Seattle-based security research team, has discovered that Android users are also the target of ransomware that threatens to erase their phone. Much like malware, users are promised an app with a real-time COVID-19 tracker. The app is actually poisoned with ransomware called CovidLock that denies users access to their phone by changing the locked- screen password. It requests $100 in bitcoin within 48 hours or the phone’s contacts, pictures and videos will be erased. It also threatens to publicly leak social media accounts. Scammers impersonating organizations The FBI, Centers for Disease Control (CDC),...
Wedding Planning on a Budget

Wedding Planning on a Budget

So, you’re engaged! Congratulations! You’re probably over the moon and full of stars in your eyes and have visions of wedded bliss. You’ve been thinking about this day for as long as you can remember. You’ve got your Pinterest boards, a planning notebook, and you’re ready to hit the ground running. But, have you put a price tag on any of those ideas and visions? $35,329 That’s the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. And that doesn’t even include the honeymoon! After hearing this sky-high number, you’re probably ready to simplify the process, save money, and elope. However, It’s absolutely possible to have the wedding of your dreams without spending well over what you can afford. Simply prioritizing your must-haves, creating a budget, and allocating your money accordingly will go a long way in planning for the big day. What’s important to you? Before you can create a budget, there are a few things you need to decide. First, determine what kind of wedding you want. What do you see when you think of your big day? A country club wedding and reception? An elegant downtown loft? A backyard barbecue? Once you answer this question, have the budget talk with everyone contributing to the wedding. When you start talking money, make sure you talk about more than the total amount you’ll spend. For instance, break down the wedding budget into categories – ceremony, reception, decorations, etc. – and decide what you’ll spend in each category. Now that you’ve taken this step, you’ll need to determine the most important and the least important items on your checklist. Is there anything...