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    How You Can Break Free from Banks that Are "Too Big to Fail"

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If the financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that you can never be too careful about where you invest your money. When you place your money in a local credit union, you’re making a secure and wise decision that benefits your future and that of your community. Here is how you can finally break free from banks that are “too big to fail” and make the switch to a smarter alternative:

    Find a Credit Union with Competitive Rates

    The reduction in fees is one of the biggest draws to switching from a major banking institution to a local credit union. Most banks these days charge a number of hidden fees for simple services like opening a new account, ordering new checks, or simply using a debit card. It’s estimated that credit unions can help members save $6 billion each year thanks to lower fees and rates.

    Discover the Locations of Your Future Credit Union

    In order to make a smart switch from your major bank to a Lowell credit union, shop around for a financial institution with plenty of experience, a great reputation, and plenty of convenient locations. Many credit unions offer numerous locations, making them just as handy as banks without the hassle.

    Consider Obtaining a “Switch Kit”

    A reliable and friendly Lowell credit union can assist new members to the fullest extent. After opening your new account, ask a credit union representative how you can transfer all of your funds and prior banking information. Many institutions offer “switch kits” to make the move easier.

    You can learn more about breaking free from your bank by visiting Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. We’ve helped thousands of Lowell residents make the switch by offering assistance through every step of the transferring process. Call us at (978) 452-5001 to learn more about our financial services.

    Expand Your Banking and Personal Finance Knowledge

    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.    

    Basic Tips for Establishing Long-Term Savings

    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.

    3 Reasons to Start Banking with a Credit Union

    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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    Mortgage 101

    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.

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