(814) 725-8190 | Email Us | | Contact Us

When Times Are Tough, We Can Help

June 17th, 2022

In tough times, it’s more important than ever to develop and maintain good financial habits. Having a household budget and shedding high-rate credit card debt are two obvious things that could benefit most consumers. But figuring out where to start can be a daunting task—especially if you feel like you’re already in trouble. The thing to remember is that it’s never too late to ask for help from your credit union.

Manage Your Mortgage

If you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and are facing a rate adjustment, refinancing your home loan with your credit union might be the break you need. If you qualify, you could refinance into a fixed-rate 15-year (or shorter term) mortgage.

 Even if you have a fixed-rate home loan, refinancing may free up some money you could use to pay down more expensive debt like credit cards or you could build your emergency fund for unexpected expenses (such as car repairs or a new furnace).

Cut Credit Card Costs

Not all credit cards are created equal. Make sure to review your monthly statement and follow these tips:

Pay on time, no exceptions

Whenever possible, pay the balance each month. When you have to stretch payments, pay in as few months as you can manage.

Avoid cash advances—the interest rate on these is higher than on straight purchases.

Pass Up Payday Loans

Payday lenders promise to help when you’re short on cash. You’ll get the money you need, but with interest rates from 300% to 1,000%.

See what it really costs to borrow from a payday lender

Visit your credit union—North East Welch FCU offers payday loan alternatives with fairer terms and lower interest rates, such as short-term signature loans and Better Choice loans.

Use Direct Deposit

Direct deposit will help you to save automatically. You simply need to it set up to place a certain amount or a percentage into your checking account and another amount into your savings.

It gives you one less thing to worry about and it’s the safest way to receive your money.

Direct Deposit is an easier and more convenient way to contribute to IRAs (individual retirement accounts) and other savings vehicles, and you have more control over your money and your time—it’s predictable and dependable.

Steer Clear of Scams

Some scammers use negative economic news to scare investors into high-risk investments. They use investor fears to promote sketchy schemes with promises of high return and no risk that leave investors with nothing but empty wallets.

Hang up on aggressive cold callers!

And always remember to delete unsolicited e-mails promoting investment opportunities.

Check Your Credit Report

It’s important to check your credit report at least once annually to monitor for signs of identity theft or fraud, as well as check for any errors.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Go to annualcreditreport.com to request your credit report instead of going to each individual company’s website to make sure you’re getting your free copy.

As member-owned not-for-profit institutions, credit unions look out for their members’ best interests – our rates and fees can save members hundreds of dollars annually. Don’t wait until you’re in deep trouble to ask for a financial checkup at North East Welch FCU. In fact, the earlier you ask for a review, the better the outcome can be.