Last updated 1 year ago
Understanding the basics of banking and personal finance can provide an added level of control to your financial situation. Regardless of your financial needs, being well-informed is an important aspect of managing your money. Check out these resources to learn more about banking and personal finance.
SmartAboutMoney.org has some helpful information on how to establish long-term savings and financing your retirement.
The National Credit Union Administration provides a clear look at the differences between a credit union and a bank, and why a credit union may be the right banking option for you.
If you are looking for information about personal finance and managing a budget, read this information page from AmericaSaves.org.
HowStuffWorks.com has an easy-to-understand explanation of financing a mortgage.
If you are interested in learning more about the banking system as a whole, this guide from The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has a basic explanation of America’s financial system.
To learn more about banking and personal finance, call Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union at (978) 452-5001.
Last updated 1 year ago
Whether you are saving for a future home, automobile, retirement, or a financial emergency, establishing long-term savings in an essential part of your financial security. Regardless of your situation, building your savings is always a good idea. Even with student loans or a mortgage to pay for, growing your savings is still possible. Here are some basic tips to establish long-term savings.
Pay Into Your Savings First
Whether banking through a credit union or larger banking entity, establishing a savings account separate from a checking account is a great idea. Paying into your savings with every paycheck is a simple and easy way to build your savings. Most credit unions can allow you to set up a direct deposit system that can filter money directly into your savings, sparing you the hassle of managing transfers from your checking to savings account yourself. It is difficult, but extremely helpful to make sure that you pay at least some money from your paycheck into your savings every pay period.
Start Saving Early
The sooner you start saving your money, the greater the return you stand to gain. Basic savings accounts might leave your money somewhat static, but Individual Retirement Accounts, or company-matched 401Ks can provide a tremendous return on your initial investment. Investing in these types of accounts early on allows your principal to develop sooner, earning greater compound interest. Simply put, the longer you save, the more your savings grow.
Establish a Budget
Budgeting your money seems simple enough, but is trickier than most people realize. Understanding how much of your earnings go to overhead expenses and necessary spending like transportation costs is important. As a general rule, you should develop a level of savings large enough to cover your mandatory expense for three to six months prior to exploring other investment options or saving for approaching major purchases such as a car.
For sound financial advice, savings, and investment options in the Lowell area, call Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union at (978) 452-5001. Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union offers services including student loans, mortgage loans, auto loans, personal loans, IRAs and a variety of savings options.
Last updated 1 year ago
Whether you have money saved or invested with a major bank, you have probably heard of credit unions as an alternative to conventional banking options. Understanding the strengths of your banking institution is important in determining where and how to save your money. If you are considering banking with a credit union, take a look at these three reasons why banking with a credit union is the way to go.
Services are Cheaper: Credit Unions offer most of the same banking options and services that major banks do, but do so at a lower cost. Credit Unions are community owned and not-for-profit; they are effectively controlled by people who use their services. Banks, on the other hand, are for-profit institutions that are governed by relatively small groups of shareholders. This means that banks orchestrate their interest rates, service fees, and investment requirements to maximize the amount of money they can make. Credit unions aim to provide the most balanced and affordable rates and conditions to their members. Generally speaking, the service costs for credit union members are lower than those for bank customers.
More Local Financing: Credit unions and their members help to grow local economies. Credit unions have more freedom to finance local small businesses than do larger banks. Credit unions benefit from a robust local economy, which means that community investments are important to credit unions and vice versa. Banking with a credit union is a great way to put your money to work in your community.
Greater Control of Your Money: While big banks use their clients’ money to invest in whatever ventures their shareholders see fit, credit unions make investment decisions with people who live in the community. Customers of credit unions are, in fact, members of the credit union itself. This relationship allows the community itself to control the credit union’s investment, rather than a group of disconnected shareholders.
To learn more about the benefits of banking with a credit union, call Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union at (978) 452-5001. Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union offers community-based financial services including savings and checking, personal loans, mortgages, and student loans.
Last updated 1 year ago
A mortgage loan is a common aspect of home ownership. Mortgage loans are typically issued with a 15- or 30-year repayment plan. How a homeowner chooses to finance their mortgage can have a huge impact on the amount of money they spend.
A mortgage loan can be a helpful investment tool, but only if you know what to look for. Watch this video from Finding Cheap Homes to see how the mortgage process works, and how you can save money financing your home.
Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union offers mortgage loan services that you can trust in the Lowell area. We offer financing options for student loans, auto loans, personal loans, as well as standard checking and savings options for both individuals and businesses. To see what Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union can do for your financial situation, call (978) 452-5001 today.
Last updated 1 year ago
Laura Edgar is a senior writer for NerdWallet.com, an unbiased personal finance website dedicated to promoting smart credit card habits.
If you’re considering a credit card, it’s important to review the pros and cons. On the one hand, credit cards give you an easy and secure way to make payments, plus, they’ll help build your credit score. However, if you aren’t careful, credit cards can also get you into a ton of financial trouble. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know before you choose a credit card.
Credit cards: the basics
A credit card gives you the power to buy things without paying any money up front. Instead, you pay back what you borrow over time. If you pay your bill in full each month, you won’t be charged any interest. If you only pay a portion of your bill, you will be charged interest. The longer you take to pay, the more you’ll have to pay. To avoid credit card debt, only charge what you can pay back quickly.
Types of credit cards
All credit cards work the same way, but they have different features. They tend to fall within four different categories:
Low APR credit cards
These cards have a lower Annual Percent Rate, which is similar to the interest rate on a loan. Long story short, if you do overspend (which you should try to avoid!), you will pay less in interest if you have a lower interest rate on your card.
Balance transfer credit cards
These cards often have a 0% introductory APR rate. If you’re already carrying a balance, you can use a balance transfer credit card to pay off your balance without worrying about additional interest for a limited period of time, usually 6 – 18 months.
Rewards credit cards
These give you cash back or points on your purchases. They’re great if you pay off your balance in full each month.
Secured credit cards
You may want to apply for a secured credit card if you’re looking to build or repair your credit. These require a security deposit up front. If you’re a student, you may be able to build credit with a student credit card instead, which doesn’t require a security deposit.
Credit union versus bank credit cards
Credit cards are usually issued by a bank or a credit union. On average, credit union credit cards tend to have lower APRs and lower fees. You can read more about Jeanne D’Arc’s credit cards here. A Jeanne D’Arc representative can explain how their card can help you build your credit score and, if your credit score has been damaged in the past, they can help you to rebuild it.
Tips for success
Keep your credit card for a long time. This will improve your credit score.
Pay off your balance in full each month. All credit cards give you the option of making a minimum payment each month. This is one of the fastest ways to rack up interest.
Don’t apply for a bunch of credit cards at once. Regardless of your intentions, it looks sketchy to credit bureaus, and it will lower your credit score.
Protect your credit card number! Don’t give it out to just anyone. This will help prevent identity theft. You can probably get your money back if someone commits fraud with your credit card, but it’s a huge hassle, and it can wreck your credit score.