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Category: Financial Literacy

Be a Wise Newbie Borrower

July 18th, 2022

When you’re in middle school, your earning potential is pretty low. You’re too young for a part-time job but too old for a lemonade stand. So, saving money for big-ticket purchases is going to take some time. This is why you should consider borrowing. Ask your parents to loan you the money for the item you want to buy. If they agree, draw up a detailed payment plan which states how much you will pay them week or month until the loan is paid off.

It’s important to build a good reputation for paying back money you borrow. You can do that by sticking to your payment plan and creating a backup plan just in case you fall behind on payments. This way your parents will be more likely to lend you money in the future. It’s also good practice for when you get older.

Borrowing doesn’t change too much when you’re an adult—there are just more elements involved. After you turn 18, you can borrow money from your credit union. Here’s how it works:

  • You can fill out a loan application on your own. You’ll provide your account and income information and the reason you are applying for a loan.
  • The credit union loan officer looks at your credit report, any debt you already have, your income, and your other expenses. This helps the credit union lender decide if you are a good candidate for a loan.
  • Based on what he or she finds, the credit union lender will tell you if they will give you a loan. If you do qualify, they will ask you to sign a payment agreement that states how much they will lend to you and how much you must pay back each month.

Borrowing and paying back according to plan is easier than you think. Once you’ve found someone to borrow from and you’ve created your payment plan, guess what? That gaming console you have been wanting forever is within your reach! You just have to make sure you pay each monthly or weekly payment on time until the loan is completely paid off.

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Personal Finance Hacks for Students

July 18th, 2022

College years are the time when many people establish financial habits that will carry them for the rest of their lives.

Pay attention to these items to get off on the right financial foot:

  • Spending plan: Know how much money you have available for college expenses. Create a workable monthly spending plan that balances income, loans, and gifts with anticipated expenses.
  • Records: Use an app to track expenses or monitor expenses online. Tracking expenses will help you see where your money is going and adjust your spending as needed. Also, remember to review your financial statements every month.
  • Credit cards: Commit to paying credit card bills in full and on time each month. Using credit wisely teaches you how to live within your means while creating a positive credit record that could help when buying a car, renting an apartment, obtaining insurance, and even landing a job.
  • Organization: Keep all financial records, bills, and account statements in one location. This will help you pay bills on time, avoid late fees, and keep an unblemished credit score.
  • Personal information: Learn about the different forms of identity theft, the kinds of personal information you need to protect, and how to protect information—even, and especially, from friends and roommates. Learn the pitfalls of careless use of social media.

Apps make personal finance easy

There are many apps to help you manage your money, including using your North East Welch FCU Mobile App to keep track of your spending.

Or, there are others that might help as well:

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Saving for Something Special

July 18th, 2022

Learning how to save money is important, whether you have a lot or a little. These tips will help you get started.

Step 1. Start at the finish line

To begin, start at the end. Yes, that sounds weird, but you need to know what you’re aiming for before you get started. Are you saving for college? Maybe you want to buy a car. Be clear in your mind about your goal. Post a picture of it where you’ll see it every day to remind yourself what you’re saving for.

Step 2. Keep track of your spending

A lot of adults panic at this step, but it’s not hard. Begin keeping track of everything you buy in a notebook, adding up the total at the end of the week. You can also use an online budget app, like Mint.com, to keep track of your expenses and totals.

Step 3. Make a plan

To save successfully, your expenses should not be greater than the total amount you want to save each week. Let’s say you want to save $35 every month for college and your allowance is $15 a week. That means you’ll want to save $8.75 each week. But if you spend $10 every week on fast food or snacks, that’ll leave you with only $5 to put into savings. If you spend less than $6.25 (15 – 8.75) per week on snacks and put the rest in savings, you’ll make your monthly goal.

North East Welch FCU has a youth savings program to help you save. Ask your parent to help you open a Grape $avers account and see how quickly your savings add up!

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Summer Sun, Fun … And Money!

July 18th, 2022

Summer is here and you have a lot of free time. It’s also a great time to earn some money. There is no better way to earn money than by doing things you love to do. Here are some ideas to get you started on your fun summer job!

What do you most enjoy doing? What are you good at? What special skills do you have?

Love animals? If you have experience caring for pets of your own, you could provide a dog-walking service, or a pet-bathing service. Or you could be a pet-sitter for people on vacation.

Enjoy kids? Babysitters are always in demand. Get special babysitter training at your local Red Cross or YMCA.

Are you a good learner? Maybe you’d be an excellent teacher, too. Start a tutoring service to help younger kids improve their reading, math, or science skills over the summer.

Do you love working outdoors? Mow lawns. Wash cars. Weed gardens. Or if you have a plot of ground big enough, grow vegetables, berries, or flowers to sell at an outdoor stand.

Are you good at arts and crafts? Maybe the beautiful things you like to make are things other people would like to buy, whether it’s jewelry, comics, or t-shirts.

Like to be on the move? Run errands for people who are too busy or physically unable to get to the pharmacy, the grocery store, the library, or the video store.

That’s just a starter list. You take it from here! The key to success is to get the word out about your services or products. Develop a good-looking flyer and post it–with permission–on bulletin boards in grocery stores and libraries, or post it on your social media pages.

Be sure to let your parents know what you’re doing and where you are at all times. Then have a fun, safe, money-making summerm and don’t forget to deposit your earnings in your Grape $avers account at North East Welch FCU!

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Teaching Teens Financial Responsibility

July 18th, 2022

When your kids were little, you frequently heard requests such as “Will you read me a story?” or “Can we go for a bike ride?” Now that your offspring have morphed into teenagers, their pleadings often involve asking for money—your money.

How can you tame their cash demands and avoid the money wrangles, while also instilling a sense of financial responsibility? Here are a few ideas:

• Make the most of “teachable moments”—Look for opportunities in your day-to-day interactions with your teen when you can slip in a money “lesson.” For instance, if you’re out shopping together, you can talk about your own shopping choices or why you’re delaying a purchase.

• Provide hands-on experience—These types of experiences have more impact for teens than just listening to you talk. For instance, have your teenager make the grocery list for the week. At the market, he’ll see for himself how big a chunk of the family budget goes toward groceries.

• Model money monitoring—Sit down with your teen to go over her list of expenditures for the week. Discuss the following: Were these wants (things that just made you feel good) or needs (things like a new jacket to replace the one that no longer fits)? How could you have spent your money differently?

• Introduce plastic, perhaps—You’ll need to decide if your teen is mature enough to manage a debit card. You could give your teen a [name of credit union] prepaid debit card with a spending limit. Again, go over transactions together.

• Talk about the future—What will come after high school? If it’s college, what portion of expenses will the teen have to cover? Older teens also begin to think about career choices. This is a good time to talk with them about saving for retirement. It’s never too early to have that conversation.

Let us help at North East Welch FCU. We can set your teenager up with his first debit card and checking account. Getting teens established with these tools can help them learn to manage money now—while the stakes are small—so they don’t get into financial trouble later. Call us today at (814) 725-8190 or stop by today.

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Watch Your Money Grow

July 18th, 2022

Do you know your regular allowance, gift money, or money you earn for jobs you do can make more money? When you put your money in a credit union savings account, it’s called investing. The credit union then pays you for letting it use your money to give loans to other people.

So, how does your money grow in a savings account?

The first time you invest, you will be paid a dividend on just the amount you put in your account. Dividend and Interest are the same thing — earnings you receive by allowing others to use your money. The next time your account pays a dividend, you’ll be paid on the money you put in your account, plus on the money you’ve already earned in interest. That’s called compound interest. The higher the dividend rate, the more money it earns.

Would you like to see how quickly your money grows? Say you decide to deposit $5.00 every week into your savings account. The interest rate for your credit union savings account is .50%. How much would you have after 12 months?

Here’s a calculator to help you figure this out: https://www.interest.com/calculator/savings-calculator/

If you deposit $5.00 every week (52 weeks), you will save $260. With compound interest, you’ll earn another 6 dollars ($266). If you continue depositing $5 each week, in 3 years you’ll have $791!

If you increase your weekly deposits to $7.00, you’ll earn even more money! $7.00 x 52 weeks = $364. But with interest, you’ll have $372!  

If you keep depositing $5 every week, in 3 years, you’ll have $1,107!

So, you see, if you promise yourself to put a bit of money into your savings account every week (and don’t take it out), you’ll watch it grow so fast, you’ll soon have enough to pay for something really special, like a bike or a tablet!

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Understand Your Summer Paycheck

July 18th, 2022

Ever wonder what happens to the money in your paychecks from your summer job? You’ll soon find out that you’re not the only one who has claims on what you earn!

Example: You work 25 hours over a two-week pay period. Your pay is $10.50 an hour. You figure you should see $525 on your paycheck, right?

Sort of. But not in your pocket. There’s a big difference between gross income—or your hourly rate times the hours you work—and net income, or your take home pay.

Your gross income is reduced by deductions. Look at your pay stub—the earnings statement—attached to your check. It includes:

• Your identification information

• The dates of the pay period

• Your gross income

• All your deductions, which include taxes and FICA

• Your net income

You can’t control the paycheck deductions, but you can do two things to raise your pay, one for now and one for later:

For now—Keep your eyes open for opportunities to take on more responsibility. If you’re enthusiastic about your job and do it well, your boss may promote you. Even if that doesn’t happen, you’re developing skills that could lead to better pay in your next job.

For later—Make smart decisions about your education. Staying in school increases your chance of earning more money in life.

As you look to future classes, look for ways to earn extra credit, take advanced placement courses, form good relationships with your teachers, and volunteer for school events. All of these can get you good grades, a possible career experience, and excellent letters of recommendation for college.

Want more money now? Save some. Come in to North East Welch FCU to set up a savings account and learn how to manage your money.

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Why Should I Get Preapproved for a Car Loan?

June 24th, 2022

Before you go car shopping, make time to get preapproved for an auto loan. When you know that you are already approved (and what you’re approved for), you’re transformed into a “cash buyer,” at the car lot, and that puts you in a much stronger negotiating position. You have already calculated what your interest rate and monthly payments will be, so you can walk into the dealership with confidence.

While dealer financing is convenient, a dealership finance manager may try to mark up the interest rate on the loan, so you may pay 1% or 2% more than you should. By getting preapproved, you’ll know you’ve gotten the best interest rate you can qualify for and be able to judge if the dealer is offering you a good deal.

Going in without an offer means you’ll have to play by their rules. You might believe that you qualify for 0% financing (or whatever their teaser rate is) when you actually don’t. You may spend hours looking at vehicles and negotiating with dealers, only to find out that you’re not getting the great deal you thought you were going to walk away with.

Another good thing about having financing in place is that the dealer will see you as a cash buyer, someone who has the money in hand and can walk away from negotiations at any time. Without preapproval, the salesman may ask you what monthly payment you are looking for. If you name an amount, he may negotiate on that number instead of the one that matters: the price of the car. If you’re negotiating the monthly payment rather than the car price, they may try to inflate the payment with charges or fees that often have little value to you as the buyer. As a preapproved buyer, you are able to just talk about the price of the car and avoid that trouble!

It is easy to get preapproved for a car loan with NEWFCU: Fill out the loan application in our office or online here, and turn in your two most recent pay stubs. Once you are preapproved and you find a car, tell the dealer that you are financing through North East Welch FCU, and they can fax the buyer’s order to us at 814-725-7301. The final step is simply coming in to the office to sign for your loan, and then you’re able to enjoy your new car!

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Saving Practices Made Easy

June 24th, 2022

It’s easy to postpone starting to save for a later day, but a solid plan is key to success. By following some basic guidelines, you’re more likely to achieve financial security.

Pay yourself first.

Use automated transfers to get in the habit of saving. Money will be transferred from your account without you seeing it, which makes you less likely to miss it.

Save 10% of your paycheck.

The general rule of thumb is to save about 10% of each paycheck. If that seems too high, try 5% and work your way up to saving 10% of your earnings. Add 1% every year you get a raise until you reach 10%.

Know yourself.

Examine your goals to determine which savings plan will work best for you. For example, don’t invest all your money in an aggressive stock or mutual fund if you’re conservative with your money. If you’re saving for retirement, select a plan that will fit your financial needs down the road.

Realize that age matters.

Always take into consideration how much time you have to save for your goal. If you are a recent college graduate, you have several decades to ride out the highs and lows of the market and can take advantage of more high-risk investments. If you’re only a few years from retirement, less risky investments are a better option.

See the benefit of compound interest.

The simplest way you can invest your money is to leave it alone and let it “compound” over time. You earn interest not only on what you save, but also on the dividends generated. The earlier and more you save, the more your money will grow.

Use dollar-cost averaging.

This is the process of routinely investing a set amount of money over time, rather than all in one lump sum. It’s a convenient savings method, particularly for beginning investors. For example, each month transfer $25 or $50 from your share draft account directly into an investment vehicle such as a traditional or Roth IRA. You reduce your overall risk from market fluctuations because your money buys more shares when the price of a share is down, and your money buys fewer shares when the price of a share is up. Bottom line: You’ve reduced your investment risk.

Use the Rule of 72.

To figure out how long it will take for your investment to double with compound interest, use this rule: Divide 72 by the interest rate you expect to receive on an investment. For example, if your investment earns 4% interest, your money will double in 18 years (72 divided by 4 is 18).

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June 17th, 2022


Adult Financial Literacy Program

North East Welch FCU helps give families and individuals the skills they need to get out of their financial difficulties through one-on-one counseling and workshops. Our Credit Union has been helping area residents since 1953, helping them learn to manage their debt and achieve financial stability.

With us, you’ll be able to answer these questions:

•             Where is my money going?

•             Why is it such a struggle to make ends meet?

•             Will I have to file for personal bankruptcy?

•             Is there a way to get my creditors to stop hassling me?

•             How can I prevent money problems from happening again?

•             How can I learn to budget properly?

How We Work with You

It’s easy to work with North East Welch FCU. Our counselors start by providing a complete, confidential, and professional assessment of your financial situation. Once we both understand the facts at hand (your monthly income. expenses, debts, and lifestyle needs), we start to work with you to form a plan that gives you a fresh start.

  • We give you the tools, budgeting skills, strategies, resources, and ongoing support to take control of your current and future finances.
  • We can help you draft letters to creditors explaining the situation to possibly reduce interest and fees.
  • We also help you understand how to protect your identity to make sure your information stays yours.
  • We become your partner for as long as you need us!

Everyone learns differently.

Do you learn better in a group or in a quieter setting?

Situation 1:


Workshops are currently offered on a regular basis at the 4 N.I.N.E. Center at 105 Clay Street in North East, with plans to expand to other areas.

Are you an employer who would like us to speak to your employees? We can come to you! Our workshops enable you to gain a better understanding of how to better use your money and relieve stress.

Situation 2: 

One-on-One Counseling

One-on-one counseling is offered at both of our Credit Union locations. This choice works great for members who have their bank statements and bills ready for review. These sessions generally start with budget counseling to determine how to meet living expenses, repay debt, and meet other short- and long-term goals.

We also provide credit- and debt-counseling to help you achieve your financial goals.

Contact Us

If your or your organization is interested in North East Welch FCU’s financial education seminars or activities, please contact our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors at cuoffice@newelchfcu.com

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