Is it Time to Switch Banks?

If you’re at a bank or credit union right now, you probably have a lot of things that you’re thinking about in that context. How can you make sure that you’re actually going to be able to get everything that you need without missing out on anything at the same time? Are you unhappy with their customer service? Are you worried that you are not going to actually be able to get ahead or are you just stuck with your bank until you can take the time to go ahead and find another one?

When you’re looking at banks in Hoboken NJ, there are a lot of questions that you need to ask, and you may be thinking that it’s definitely time for you to go ahead and try a new bank that is out there. This may seem like it’s not worth your time, but if you find a better bank, it can actually make a huge difference. You’ll want to check out what is going on and you will want to see just what is out there and how you’re going to want to move ahead in order to achieve your money goals.

Your bank is supposed to partner with you to achieve your goals, so make sure that you take a little time to really see what you can get and how you’re going to take care of it. Find a bank that works with you instead of against you, and you will soon discover that there is a lot more out there than you may have expected. Take some time, do some research, and see just what you can get in order to achieve your goals and feel comfortable with the results that you have from all of your hard work.

What About Savings Accounts at Credit Unions?

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Most credit unions are best known for having free checking, but did you know that there are many excellent savings account options as well? Savings accounts at credit unions are often better deals than at banks because they have low minimum deposit requirements, lower fees and many great financial education tools. Also consider:

  • Goal setting savings accounts: Some credit unions offer tailored savings accounts that make it easier to save money each month. These accounts also may have slightly higher rates so you can save faster.
  • Savings rewards programs. Some credit unions offer a savings account that have links to rewards checking. Some organizations allow you to accrue points towards various travel rebates and gift cards.
  • Great college savings. Credit unions almost always offer college students various perks for their banking needs. Some of these may include personal financial tools, branches that are an easy walk from campus and free checking accounts. Some of them offer interest on savings account deposits as low as $25 or $50. Monthly fees may be waived for anyone under the age of 24.

As you can see, a credit union savings offers many benefits…just as many as a credit union checking account.

What to Do If You Can’t Afford Home Renovations

Improving your home is a great investment. Not only does it give you a much more comfortable living space right now, but it also increases the value of your home for the future. With that being said, home renovations are expensive and, therefore, many people can’t afford to pay for them out of pocket. If you find yourself in this situation, consider the following options.

Home Equity Loan

In basic terms, home equity loans NJ allow you to borrow money based on the amount that you have already paid on your home. You are using your home as collateral for the loan in this scenario, which means that lenders are very likely to approve it. Keep in mind that you might have to make regular monthly payments after taking out this type of loan.

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Line of Credit

Sometimes, banks might offer you a line of credit. These loans can work much like a home equity loan, where you secure the loan using the value of your home, or in an unsecured fashion, much like a credit card.

Credit Cards

Unless you are able to secure an extremely low interest rate on a credit card, it is not recommended that you use it for major purchases. Credit card interest rates are generally very high and, therefore, you could find yourself losing money on interest, rather than making money based on the increased value of your home.

How to Convince a Reluctant Senior to Use Online Banking

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Of the bank patrons least likely to enroll in online banking, seniors outnumber the rest. It makes sense. The people who’ve become accustomed to banking the traditional way the longest are the least likely to want to change. However, it’s actually easier and even more secure for them to give it a try.

It’s Safe

Banks offer secure online banking and guarantee the safety of their customers’ accounts. It’s safer to transfer funds and monitor transactions online than to trust cashed checks and statements to the mail, especially since you want to catch any fraudulent activity as soon as possible, not a month after the fact. If patrons only access the account from their own devices, they can store the passwords on them, so long as the devices are locked with a password, too, in case they’re lost or stolen.

It’s More Affordable

Seniors are often on a strict budget. With online banking, they won’t waste any more money on stamps and checks, especially if they start paying their bills online as well.

Encourage your senior loved one to meet with a personal banker to discuss setting up an online banking account, if it makes it easier for her to transition from banking in person to banking online. They’re happy to answer any of her questions, as is a support center over the phone.

Understanding a Certificate of Deposit

Trying to save money can be tough for anyone – whether you’re a college student or a 40-year-old parent with a career. Although you can open a checking or savings account, you’re going to have a difficult time saving money properly without fixed rate CD’s.

What is a CD?

A savings certificate or CD is another way to save money, but it offers its users an opportunity to earn higher rates of return, but they can vary depending on the terms of the deposit. One of the more important qualities of a fixed rate CD is that you can be penalized for withdrawing money before the term is over, thus helping people save rather than spend.

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Why it Helps to Save

A fixed rate CD is a great way to begin a savings plan because with the penalties in place for early withdrawal, the chances of you withdrawing from that account are much slimmer than if it was just a regular savings account. The plans available can range from six months to six years, so you will allow yourself the appropriate amount of time for whatever you plan on saving money towards.

Speaking with a financial professional can help you get a better grasp on what these certificates can truly do for you and help you decide whether or not a CD is going to benefit you. In the long run, saving money is always the best route to take.

The Advantages of a Credit Union

Your money is important to you. You work hard for it and you want to make the most of it. Though it may be tempting to keep it tucked under your bed or stored in a jar in the backyard, those options for storing your money aren’t exactly feasible. There are two options when it comes to placing your money some place securely: A bank and a credit union. Which one is for you? If you live in the state of Florida, here’s a look at the benefits of Florida credit unions:

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  • At a credit union, you are a member, or a stakeholder. This means that you are an important part of the facility. A credit union is a non-profit facility and their goal is to pass profits onto you, their member. As such, you’ll receive added member benefits, like low fees and low rates.
  • You’ll be able to receive credit cards and loans from a credit union, just like you would from a bank; however, the big difference here is that at a credit union, you’ll receive much lower fixed rates on a credit card or a loan than you would from a bank, which means more savings for you.

The Importance of Always Practising Safe Online Banking

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Financial institutions have been able to bring new ways of banking to its clients through the use of the internet. By being able to deliver products, enhance financial services, and improve communications with their consumers, you can now successfully bank on-line through your web browser, or on your mobile device. Although this is a convenient way to pay bills, transfer money from account to account, and even wire money to loved ones, it can become a whole host of problems if you do not do it securely. The internet has the potential to provide consumers with safe and secure financial options, but it relies on the consumer to make critical decisions, such as avoiding phishing e-mails, or keeping their password and account number safe by not sharing them with anyone. When it comes to online banking best practices, you are your ultimate protection, so it’s important that you learn of safe computing practices.

For those who are banking on-line at home, or through a public computer, you are going to want to do the following:

  • Always log out or sign out of your on-line banking website and clear the cache. Although most bank websites will sign you out after a certain period of time has elapsed, it’s safer to sign out yourself.
  • When you are signed into your on-line banking, never leave the computer unattended.
  • Never share your password with anyone, and keep your card number safe.
  • Do not share your password or bank card number with anyone website other than your bank. If you do, say to order a product or service on-line, never allow the website to remember your information or track you with cookies.
  • If you can, avoid using a public computer. If you must, change your on-line banking password via telephone after you have made your transactions.

If you follow the above practices, you will be able to protect your information from being stolen. Remember that the bank will never ask for your information, so do not share it with anyone who asks.

Preparations to Make Before Purchasing Your Next Vehicle

A brand new vehicle represents a substantial investment. When purchasing a car that’s fresh off the assembly line, most buyers can expect to spend a minimum of $15,000. This is why haggling is such a common practice at auto dealerships across the globe. If you want to put yourself in a good position to get a fantastic deal on your next car, heed the following tips.

Get Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan

Pre-approval for personal auto loans can go a long way in getting dealerships to administer discounts. Many dealers show more willingness to negotiate with customers who have a proven track record of financial responsibility, and auto loan pre-approval is a great way to demonstrate how responsible you are when it comes to fiduciary matters.

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Know What the Vehicle is Worth

If you’re dead-set on a certain vehicle, do your homework before going to the dealership. Knowing what other dealers are charging for the car and reading consumer reviews for the vehicle will put you in a good position to haggle.

A little bit of effort can net you a sizable discount on your next vehicle. When looking for effective ways to save money on auto purchases, you can’t go wrong with loan pre-approval and good old-fashioned research.

Types of Savings

Checking accounts are the most common example of accounts that people set up at banks. After that, the next most common is a savings accounts. These are accounts where people put the extra cash they hold over, typically prepare for emergencies or vacations. Setting aside money is an easy way to prepare for vacations or preparing for a downturn in your health or economy.

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Although high CD rates can sometimes lure people into getting a certificate of deposit, most people choose a regular savings account. These accounts can be signed up by phone or online, and can be managed in person, through the phone, or through a bank’s website. A traditional savings account can have its drawbacks, though. Savings accounts sometimes have a daily minimum balance requirement. Another drawback to a savings account is the low interest rate that they possess.

This means your money compounds at a low rate and the money you accumulate is negligible. This is a major reason that people start looking to alternatives. Money market accounts are riskier places to store money but have a higher return. Certificates of Deposit are savings certificates that have a high rate of interest return, meaning your money accumulates much faster.

Why You Need a Home Inspection Before You Buy

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Home inspections cover the major parts of the home, including the electrical and plumbing systems, the foundation, the structure of the home and the roof. Mortgage companies that are offering home loans want to make sure the home you are buying is in good condition. Here are reasons why you need a home inspection.

Red Flags

A home inspector can find major defects, look for code violations and can also identify possible problems. Sometimes there are small clues that signify a larger issue.

Knowledge is Power

If the buyer knows about problems in the house, he can negotiate for a lower price. An inspection can be part of the purchase contract and can allow the buyer to get out of the contract if the inspection is not good.

Seller Options for Repairs

With an inspection, the seller can be given the opportunity to make the needed repairs. If the seller does not want to make the repairs, then the buyer can ask for a lower price.

Save Money

An inspection will cost several hundred dollars. This may sound like a lot, but even with a new construction, there may be something not up to code which may cost a lot to repair. So, an inspection can save money in the long run.

Peace of Mind

With an inspection, the homebuyer knows what he is getting. That gives him confidence that he will not be faced with major repairs in the near future.