Good Debt, Bad Debt – Knowing the Difference 

You might be under the impression that all debt is bad, but that isn’t true. While no one likes to owe money, some loans can help you become more financially secure.   There are good debts, and there are bad debts. Good debts are not as risky to lenders and may lead to better loan terms. Bad debts raise red flags to lenders and make them more cautious about lending you money, leading to higher interest rates. To help you better understand the differences, let’s review some examples of good and bad debts.  Unsecured Debt vs. Secured Debt  Most debt falls into two categories: secured debt and unsecured debt.   Secured debt that is “secured” by collateral, like mortgages and car loans. If you do not repay the secured debt as promised, your lender can repossess the security (your house or car) to satisfy…

November 16, 2020Wallet Wins No Comments

You might be under the impression that all debt is bad, but that isn’t true. While no one likes to owe money, some loans can help you become more financially secure.   There are good debts, and there are bad debts. Good debts are not as risky to lenders and may lead to better loan terms. Bad debts raise red flags to lenders and make them more cautious about lending you money, leading to higher interest rates. To help you better understand the differences, let’s review some examples of good and bad debts.  Unsecured Debt vs. Secured Debt  Most debt falls into two categories: secured debt and unsecured debt.   Secured debt that is “secured” by collateral, like mortgages and car loans. If you do not repay the secured debt as promised, your lender can repossess the security (your house or car) to satisfy…

4 Must-Try Personal Finance Apps

Getting your finances in check can be hard. Fortunately, technology makes it easier to manage your personal finances. There are many applications to help with your budget goals. Each provides a unique approach to help you manage your money. We’ve done a little digging for you. Check out these budgeting apps to find out what works best for you!   You Need a Budget (YNAB) How it helps: YNAB is all about budgeting. Period. This app provides both the mechanics to monitor your income and expenses and help you find the root causes of financial distress. It follows the model “give every dollar a job.” YNAB encourages users to think about money differently and this philosophy can be difficult for some users to catch on to. When using this tool, you only budget the dollars you already have.…

October 12, 2020Wallet Wins 2 Comments

Getting your finances in check can be hard. Fortunately, technology makes it easier to manage your personal finances. There are many applications to help with your budget goals. Each provides a unique approach to help you manage your money. We’ve done a little digging for you. Check out these budgeting apps to find out what works best for you!   You Need a Budget (YNAB) How it helps: YNAB is all about budgeting. Period. This app provides both the mechanics to monitor your income and expenses and help you find the root causes of financial distress. It follows the model “give every dollar a job.” YNAB encourages users to think about money differently and this philosophy can be difficult for some users to catch on to. When using this tool, you only budget the dollars you already have.…

PEFCU Credit Card Rewards: Charity

You have a big heart, don’t you? You are always looking for opportunities to give to those in need. With the PEFCU Visa® Credit Card, you can give your ScoreCard® reward points to charitable organizations. It is one more reason that you’ll want to hold on to your PEFCU Visa® card.   Local Charities  Scorecard® allows you to search for local charities, allowing you to see your community change up close. Choose from a list of charities that are close to your neighborhood… and close to your heart.  Giving Pools  Sometimes paying it forward is a small piece of a bigger puzzle. You can join other like-minded members and pool your points together with them for a large donation to…

October 5, 2020PEFCU Perks, Wallet Wins No Comments

You have a big heart, don’t you? You are always looking for opportunities to give to those in need. With the PEFCU Visa® Credit Card, you can give your ScoreCard® reward points to charitable organizations. It is one more reason that you’ll want to hold on to your PEFCU Visa® card.   Local Charities  Scorecard® allows you to search for local charities, allowing you to see your community change up close. Choose from a list of charities that are close to your neighborhood… and close to your heart.  Giving Pools  Sometimes paying it forward is a small piece of a bigger puzzle. You can join other like-minded members and pool your points together with them for a large donation to…

4 Smart Ways to Use Your Stimulus Check 

If you are fortunate enough to have a secure job during this COVID-19-related economic downturn, you might not need the stimulus money offered to struggling American families. While everyone could use the extra money, here are four wise tips for using your stimulus checks:    1. Pay Your Most Important Bills First.  Some families are hurting right now. If your family is among them, prioritize and pay the most important bills first. If feeding your family is most crucial, then use the money to buy groceries. Otherwise, prioritize your bills according to need. Just be aware that deferments and forbearances must eventually be repaid.    2. Build Up Your Savings.  There’s nothing wrong with putting your money aside for a rainy day. Today is a rainy day for millions of Americans. If you’ve kept your head…

September 21, 2020Future Planning, Wallet Wins No Comments

If you are fortunate enough to have a secure job during this COVID-19-related economic downturn, you might not need the stimulus money offered to struggling American families. While everyone could use the extra money, here are four wise tips for using your stimulus checks:    1. Pay Your Most Important Bills First.  Some families are hurting right now. If your family is among them, prioritize and pay the most important bills first. If feeding your family is most crucial, then use the money to buy groceries. Otherwise, prioritize your bills according to need. Just be aware that deferments and forbearances must eventually be repaid.    2. Build Up Your Savings.  There’s nothing wrong with putting your money aside for a rainy day. Today is a rainy day for millions of Americans. If you’ve kept your head…

Financially Preparing for the Unknown 

Predicting the future down to every detail is impossible. Now more than ever, people are questioning the future of their health, finances, and careers. We understand this is troubling.  One lesson you can learn as you look ahead is how prepared you are for financial uncertainties. Many events in life are unpredictable, but you can plan financial stability through sudden setbacks.   Here are a few tips to help you plan for the unknown and improve your current financial life:  Stick with Your Savings Plan.  If possible, keep working as much as you can. If there are other opportunities to earn extra money during this time, go for it. Then, save all you can and limit unnecessary spending. This will help you build an emergency fund.   While it may be tempting to spend your stimulus check, put it into savings instead. Since the future is unknown, it’s better to have emergency funds to fall back on if…

September 14, 2020Future Planning, Wallet Wins No Comments

Predicting the future down to every detail is impossible. Now more than ever, people are questioning the future of their health, finances, and careers. We understand this is troubling.  One lesson you can learn as you look ahead is how prepared you are for financial uncertainties. Many events in life are unpredictable, but you can plan financial stability through sudden setbacks.   Here are a few tips to help you plan for the unknown and improve your current financial life:  Stick with Your Savings Plan.  If possible, keep working as much as you can. If there are other opportunities to earn extra money during this time, go for it. Then, save all you can and limit unnecessary spending. This will help you build an emergency fund.   While it may be tempting to spend your stimulus check, put it into savings instead. Since the future is unknown, it’s better to have emergency funds to fall back on if…

Why a Good Credit Score Matters

You’ve heard by now, more than once, that it is important to have a good credit score. While this sounds good and wise, the importance of a high credit score often doesn’t sink in until you see it in black and white.  We want you to understand that a good credit score matters in very real ways. The following example will help illustrate the difference your credit score makes for how much you pay for loans, such as financing a vehicle.  The Effect of a Good Credit Score   Before we begin, it is important to note that each lender will have their own tiers for deciding what constitutes a…

September 1, 2020Wallet Wins No Comments

You’ve heard by now, more than once, that it is important to have a good credit score. While this sounds good and wise, the importance of a high credit score often doesn’t sink in until you see it in black and white.  We want you to understand that a good credit score matters in very real ways. The following example will help illustrate the difference your credit score makes for how much you pay for loans, such as financing a vehicle.  The Effect of a Good Credit Score   Before we begin, it is important to note that each lender will have their own tiers for deciding what constitutes a…

5 Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund 

Car repairs. Medical bills. Sudden job loss. These unexpected expenses unfortunately pop up from time to time. Putting aside three to six months of living expenses into an Emergency Fund should be at the top of everyone’s financial to-do list.   However, that isn’t the easiest thing to do. Could you use some guidance? If so, here are five tips to help you boost your emergency fund without drastically changing your lifestyle or finances.  #1: Payroll Deduction  The best way to jumpstart your emergency savings is with payroll deduction. This service allows you to designate a certain dollar amount to be transferred to a separate savings account every time your paycheck is…

July 5, 2020Wallet Wins 2 Comments

Car repairs. Medical bills. Sudden job loss. These unexpected expenses unfortunately pop up from time to time. Putting aside three to six months of living expenses into an Emergency Fund should be at the top of everyone’s financial to-do list.   However, that isn’t the easiest thing to do. Could you use some guidance? If so, here are five tips to help you boost your emergency fund without drastically changing your lifestyle or finances.  #1: Payroll Deduction  The best way to jumpstart your emergency savings is with payroll deduction. This service allows you to designate a certain dollar amount to be transferred to a separate savings account every time your paycheck is…

What Is Gap and Why Do You Need It?

What is GAP?  You found the perfect car – sunroof, leather seats, navigation system – the works. You couldn’t be happier. Then…you sit down with the finance person at the dealership. Loan terms get tossed around and before you know it, you’re completely lost and unsure what you’re agreeing to.  That’s Why We’re Here   Our goal is to help make your car-buying experience as fun and exciting as possible. And one way we can help is by explaining upfront, the car-buying process. But right now, let’s focus on a common protection plan called GAP.  What is GAP?  GAP or Guaranteed Asset Protection is an important…

June 25, 2020Borrowing Basics, Wallet Wins 1 Comment

What is GAP?  You found the perfect car – sunroof, leather seats, navigation system – the works. You couldn’t be happier. Then…you sit down with the finance person at the dealership. Loan terms get tossed around and before you know it, you’re completely lost and unsure what you’re agreeing to.  That’s Why We’re Here   Our goal is to help make your car-buying experience as fun and exciting as possible. And one way we can help is by explaining upfront, the car-buying process. But right now, let’s focus on a common protection plan called GAP.  What is GAP?  GAP or Guaranteed Asset Protection is an important…

Saving for Your Child’s College Education

The minute you bring your little bundle of joy home, thoughts of their college education begin looming in the back of your head. You only want the best for them – good school, great education, a rewarding career. But between skyrocketing college prices and your need to prepare for retirement, how can you save enough for your child’s education? After all, you still have everyday expenses, too.  Keep reading to learn four baby steps to save for your child’s college education.   Start small, start early. For example, when your child is born, if you put aside $150 each month until they are ready for college, the balance would be over $32,000 by the time they reach 18. And that doesn’t even include all the compound interest you’ll be earning over 18 years.…

June 5, 2020Wallet Wins No Comments

The minute you bring your little bundle of joy home, thoughts of their college education begin looming in the back of your head. You only want the best for them – good school, great education, a rewarding career. But between skyrocketing college prices and your need to prepare for retirement, how can you save enough for your child’s education? After all, you still have everyday expenses, too.  Keep reading to learn four baby steps to save for your child’s college education.   Start small, start early. For example, when your child is born, if you put aside $150 each month until they are ready for college, the balance would be over $32,000 by the time they reach 18. And that doesn’t even include all the compound interest you’ll be earning over 18 years.…

Grow Your Savings or Eliminate Debt? 

Which would you rather do in the next few months? Pay off your credit cards, or build interest on the money in your savings? Most people would choose the latter option. Making more money on your savings appears to be the most stable financial option.   The problem with this scenario is that you may end up paying more interest on your credit cards than what you will make in interest on your savings. This can result in you losing more money overall by postponing paying off your credit card bill.  Understand Your Credit & Savings Interest  Most financial planners will tell you upfront to get rid of…

May 14, 2020Wallet Wins 1 Comment

Which would you rather do in the next few months? Pay off your credit cards, or build interest on the money in your savings? Most people would choose the latter option. Making more money on your savings appears to be the most stable financial option.   The problem with this scenario is that you may end up paying more interest on your credit cards than what you will make in interest on your savings. This can result in you losing more money overall by postponing paying off your credit card bill.  Understand Your Credit & Savings Interest  Most financial planners will tell you upfront to get rid of…