How to Boost Your Credit Score for Better Rates

It’s usually not until you apply for a loan that you realize just how valuable an excellent credit score can be. Lenders typically price loans based on your creditworthiness. Lower credit scores lead to higher interest rates. The difference between a C and B credit score, or B and A, could mean saving hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars in interest, depending on the size and length of the loan.  You may feel that lenders are punishing you, but the reality is that financial institutions are trying to protect themselves from potential losses. Your credit score gives them a bird’s-eye view of your money management abilities. Lenders will perceive you as a higher risk if you struggle…

September 20, 2021Borrowing Basics, Wallet Wins No Comments

It’s usually not until you apply for a loan that you realize just how valuable an excellent credit score can be. Lenders typically price loans based on your creditworthiness. Lower credit scores lead to higher interest rates. The difference between a C and B credit score, or B and A, could mean saving hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars in interest, depending on the size and length of the loan.  You may feel that lenders are punishing you, but the reality is that financial institutions are trying to protect themselves from potential losses. Your credit score gives them a bird’s-eye view of your money management abilities. Lenders will perceive you as a higher risk if you struggle…

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers 

Buying your first home can seem like a daunting task. Between figuring out your budget, considering various neighborhoods, and being shown multiple properties, finding the perfect home can be time-consuming and exhausting. But the truth is, if you know what to expect from the first-time home-buying process, you’ll have a much easier time!  Since buying your first home is one of the most important decisions of your life, we’ve decided to put together a handy guide for you. In this guide, we’ll help you better understand what to expect, what costs are involved and offer some useful tips. Here’s everything you need to know about buying your first home: …

September 20, 2021Borrowing Basics No Comments

Buying your first home can seem like a daunting task. Between figuring out your budget, considering various neighborhoods, and being shown multiple properties, finding the perfect home can be time-consuming and exhausting. But the truth is, if you know what to expect from the first-time home-buying process, you’ll have a much easier time!  Since buying your first home is one of the most important decisions of your life, we’ve decided to put together a handy guide for you. In this guide, we’ll help you better understand what to expect, what costs are involved and offer some useful tips. Here’s everything you need to know about buying your first home: …

10 Ways to Make Your Accounts More Secure 

With online transactions increasing each year, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant in protecting your identity. Identity theft and fraud are on the rise, and scammers are becoming smarter and more creative with targeting you and your accounts. However, figuring out how to best protect yourself can be overwhelming. Below are ten things you can start doing right now to secure your accounts better.  1. Change Your Online Banking Password Regularly Remember to change and update your online banking passwords regularly. You should try to change them every three to six months to help lower the chances of your password being decoded or stolen by hackers.   2. Close Old Accounts If you have old financial accounts from years past that you no longer use, they…

September 6, 2021Security Center No Comments

With online transactions increasing each year, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant in protecting your identity. Identity theft and fraud are on the rise, and scammers are becoming smarter and more creative with targeting you and your accounts. However, figuring out how to best protect yourself can be overwhelming. Below are ten things you can start doing right now to secure your accounts better.  1. Change Your Online Banking Password Regularly Remember to change and update your online banking passwords regularly. You should try to change them every three to six months to help lower the chances of your password being decoded or stolen by hackers.   2. Close Old Accounts If you have old financial accounts from years past that you no longer use, they…

Understanding 401(k) Plans

While retirement may seem like a lifetime away for many, making smart investing decisions early is the best move to ensure you can retire comfortably down the road. There are several retirement accounts to consider, such as Roth IRAs and 403(b) accounts, but one of the most popular options for many is a 401(k) plan. Since most employers offer an easy-to-set-up, low-risk employee 401(k) plan with matching contributions, taking advantage of this option is a no-brainer.  Your company’s HR specialist can help you understand the specifics of your company’s 401(k) offerings, but it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how 401(k) plans work and how they can benefit you. After you…

August 30, 2021Future Planning No Comments

While retirement may seem like a lifetime away for many, making smart investing decisions early is the best move to ensure you can retire comfortably down the road. There are several retirement accounts to consider, such as Roth IRAs and 403(b) accounts, but one of the most popular options for many is a 401(k) plan. Since most employers offer an easy-to-set-up, low-risk employee 401(k) plan with matching contributions, taking advantage of this option is a no-brainer.  Your company’s HR specialist can help you understand the specifics of your company’s 401(k) offerings, but it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how 401(k) plans work and how they can benefit you. After you…

Raising Financially Savvy Kids: The Ins and Outs of Loans

When teaching your children about money, we know that actions speak louder than words. So how about an activity to show them the way?  The Chief Revenue Officer of a software company was shopping with his six-year-old daughter when they came across a popular doll with a $20 price tag. The girl, a bit dismayed, only had $15.  Typical responses you might have given your children at any given time include:  Give her the $5  Lend her the $5  Buy the toy yourself  Tell your child she’s out of luck  The girl’s father, being a savvy money manager himself, decided to teach a different lesson. He presented her with three different options:  Buy something cheaper. She would receive instant gratification but likely wouldn’t love what she got.  Continue to save. After all, she was only $5 away.  Invest…

August 16, 2021Borrowing Basics No Comments

When teaching your children about money, we know that actions speak louder than words. So how about an activity to show them the way?  The Chief Revenue Officer of a software company was shopping with his six-year-old daughter when they came across a popular doll with a $20 price tag. The girl, a bit dismayed, only had $15.  Typical responses you might have given your children at any given time include:  Give her the $5  Lend her the $5  Buy the toy yourself  Tell your child she’s out of luck  The girl’s father, being a savvy money manager himself, decided to teach a different lesson. He presented her with three different options:  Buy something cheaper. She would receive instant gratification but likely wouldn’t love what she got.  Continue to save. After all, she was only $5 away.  Invest…

Retirement Strategies That Work 

Whether you are close to retirement age, or just kicking off your dream job, having a solid retirement plan is essential to a financially secure retirement. Let’s check out a few key strategies to get you started.  Invest a Consistent Amount Each Month. With this strategy, you can automatically contribute to your IRA or other retirement accounts with every paycheck (up to the maximum annual contribution).  Plan for Retirement Adjustments. It is important that you plan to adjust your income after retirement. While some of your retirement income will probably be a fixed amount each month, you will also have some retirement accounts that will pay different amounts based on market performance. If possible,…

August 9, 2021Future Planning No Comments

Whether you are close to retirement age, or just kicking off your dream job, having a solid retirement plan is essential to a financially secure retirement. Let’s check out a few key strategies to get you started.  Invest a Consistent Amount Each Month. With this strategy, you can automatically contribute to your IRA or other retirement accounts with every paycheck (up to the maximum annual contribution).  Plan for Retirement Adjustments. It is important that you plan to adjust your income after retirement. While some of your retirement income will probably be a fixed amount each month, you will also have some retirement accounts that will pay different amounts based on market performance. If possible,…

National Financial Awareness Day 

At PEFCU, we aim to provide our members with financial education so you can live your best financial life. August 14 is National Financial Awareness (NFA) Day. It’s a great day to consciously think about your finances and make sure you’re on the right track. The origins of NFA Day are unknown, but the goal of it is to help people develop and instill good financial practices that will solidify their current financial status and serve them through retirement.  Taking control of your finances can seem overwhelming, but everyone has the capacity to learn sound financial principles and save up. Just making small changes to our daily habits can…

August 9, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

At PEFCU, we aim to provide our members with financial education so you can live your best financial life. August 14 is National Financial Awareness (NFA) Day. It’s a great day to consciously think about your finances and make sure you’re on the right track. The origins of NFA Day are unknown, but the goal of it is to help people develop and instill good financial practices that will solidify their current financial status and serve them through retirement.  Taking control of your finances can seem overwhelming, but everyone has the capacity to learn sound financial principles and save up. Just making small changes to our daily habits can…

10 Things to Do If You Lose Your Wallet

You don’t think it will ever happen to you — and then it does. You lost your wallet. And you didn’t even realize it was missing until you needed it the most.  You may naturally want to panic, but simply stay calm and take these ten steps:  Call Your Debit Card Issuer If your wallet is lost or stolen, this should be your first step: Call the financial institution that issued your debit card so that you can stop anyone who may have it from doing a lot of damage. If your PEFCU Visa® Debit Card is missing, you can call our Member Contact Center at (800) 226-6673…

August 8, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

You don’t think it will ever happen to you — and then it does. You lost your wallet. And you didn’t even realize it was missing until you needed it the most.  You may naturally want to panic, but simply stay calm and take these ten steps:  Call Your Debit Card Issuer If your wallet is lost or stolen, this should be your first step: Call the financial institution that issued your debit card so that you can stop anyone who may have it from doing a lot of damage. If your PEFCU Visa® Debit Card is missing, you can call our Member Contact Center at (800) 226-6673…

How Your First Job Can Impact Your Retirement 

The moment you walk through the front door, hear the ring. You fumble the smartphone out of your pocket and answer it eagerly, talking to the job interviewer that you just saw an hour ago. They happily give you the good news as you barely hold back the scream of joy. You landed your first job and will start work on Monday. When you go to bed, you start thinking about all the things you want to do with your new salary.  Time to Think About Retirement  Initially, you might spend most of your time imagining the luxurious lifestyle your new income will bring, but you should eventually push those fantasies aside to consider a retirement fund. It doesn’t sound that exciting, especially if you are…

August 2, 2021Future Planning No Comments

The moment you walk through the front door, hear the ring. You fumble the smartphone out of your pocket and answer it eagerly, talking to the job interviewer that you just saw an hour ago. They happily give you the good news as you barely hold back the scream of joy. You landed your first job and will start work on Monday. When you go to bed, you start thinking about all the things you want to do with your new salary.  Time to Think About Retirement  Initially, you might spend most of your time imagining the luxurious lifestyle your new income will bring, but you should eventually push those fantasies aside to consider a retirement fund. It doesn’t sound that exciting, especially if you are…

Earn MORE on Back 2 School Purchases

From July 30, 2021, through August 31, 2021, you will earn double ScoreCard® rewards points on all back-to-school purchases with your PEFCU Visa® credit card! That’s double points on clothes, shoes, books, crayons, pencils, snacks, and lunches! To save even more, shop during your tax-free days: Florida: 7/31/2021 – 8/9/2021 Georgia: 7/31/2021 – 8/1/2021 South Carolina:8/6/2021 – 8/8/2021 Tennessee: 7/30/2021 – 8/1/2021 Virginia: 8/6/2021 – 8/8/2021 The ScoreCard® rewards points you earn can be redeemed for a variety of exciting rewards, including: Experiences Local Offers Gift Cards Merchandise Travel Fuel Redemption Charitable Giving Tickets To learn more about our ScoreCard®…

July 22, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

From July 30, 2021, through August 31, 2021, you will earn double ScoreCard® rewards points on all back-to-school purchases with your PEFCU Visa® credit card! That’s double points on clothes, shoes, books, crayons, pencils, snacks, and lunches! To save even more, shop during your tax-free days: Florida: 7/31/2021 – 8/9/2021 Georgia: 7/31/2021 – 8/1/2021 South Carolina:8/6/2021 – 8/8/2021 Tennessee: 7/30/2021 – 8/1/2021 Virginia: 8/6/2021 – 8/8/2021 The ScoreCard® rewards points you earn can be redeemed for a variety of exciting rewards, including: Experiences Local Offers Gift Cards Merchandise Travel Fuel Redemption Charitable Giving Tickets To learn more about our ScoreCard®…