Catholic Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Blog

5 Ways To Pay Off A Loan Early

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Mar 8, 2019 5:42:32 PM

If you’re like most Americans, you owe money on a large loan. Whether that’s credit card debt, a mortgage and/or a car loan, loan debt is part of your life. And that means you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. There’s also the mental load of knowing you’ll be paying on the debt for years to come.

Did you know there are simple tricks you can employ to lighten the load? With a carefully applied technique, you can pay off your mortgage, auto loan, credit card debt and any other debt you’re carrying sooner than you thought possible. These tricks are light on your finances, but they can make a big difference to the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan and get you debt-free faster.

A note of caution: Check with your lender before employing any approach, as some loans have penalties for making extra or early payments.

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7 Reasons Not to Skip a Home Inspection

Posted by Kelly Prast, Mortgage Officer on Feb 28, 2019 9:26:20 AM

Shopping for a new home can be an exciting blur of listings, neighborhood scouting and open houses. There’s so much to consider! You want a house in the perfect neighborhood with that gorgeous kitchen and great yard, all within your budget. 

And then, it all finally comes together and you think you’ve found your dream home. But don’t go “under contract” just yet! First, be sure to have an inspection contingency included in your contract. Doing so can save you a ton of aggravation and thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Once you’re under contract, you’ll need to have your future home professionally inspected by a certified engineer or a licensed inspector. The inspector will carefully examine the entire house from top to bottom, checking its systems, structure and equipment for functionality and potential problems. 

A home inspection will set you back several hundred dollars, but it can easily save you thousands down the line. Before you officially become the new owner of the house, learn all you can about its general condition. 

Here are 7 reasons you don’t want to skip a home inspection: 

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7 Ways to De-Stress for Less

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Feb 20, 2019 1:03:36 PM

Winter doldrums got you down? The empty calendar making you feel blue? Don’t pull out your wallet for some “retail therapy” just yet! 

Right now is the time of year when the blues hit the hardest, so many people turn to their favorite foods, a round of shopping or some other costly means of escape. However, you can get the same results without spending a penny. Let Catholic Federal show you how to de-stress for less and send that down mood packing! 

Read on for 7 pick-me-ups that are absolutely free. 

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8 Valentine’s Day Hacks

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Feb 8, 2019 10:24:49 AM

It’s time to celebrate the significant other in your life! If you’re thinking that means pricey gifts, expensive dates and blowing an entire day’s salary on a restaurant meal, think again. There’s no need to drain your wallet while trying to create the perfect Valentine’s Day. Instead, use these eight hacks for a dream Valentine’s Day that doesn’t break the budget.   

  1. Dine In

Restaurants typically up their prices when the whole world is going out to eat, so you’ll likely be paying extra just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Plus, trying to carry on a conversation in a noisy restaurant while keeping your elbow out of the soup on the next table is hardly a recipe for a romantic evening. 

Instead of shelling out big bucks for a sub-par experience, cook up a gourmet meal at home. You can easily spend less than half of what you’d pay for the same food in a steakhouse by opting to DIY. If you both like puttering around the kitchen, prep your delicious dinner together. Don’t forget to set the ambiance with scented candles and soft music! 

  1.  Explore the great outdoors
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Tax Scams 2019

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Feb 1, 2019 12:28:54 PM

Each year, the IRS publishes the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of 12 scams that are rampant during that year’s tax season. 

This year, the IRS is cautioning taxpayers to be extra vigilant because of a 60% increase in email phishing scams over the past year. This is particularly disheartening, since it comes on the heels of a steady decline in phishing scams over the previous three years. 

Typically, an email phishing scam will appear to be from the IRS. Once the victim has opened the email, the scammer will use one of several methods to get at the victim’s personal information, including their financial data, tax details, usernames and passwords. They will then use this information to steal the victim’s identity, empty their accounts or file taxes in the victim’s name and then make off with their refund. 

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6 Mistakes People Make In Their 20s And How To Fix Them

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jan 24, 2019 8:57:38 AM

Like many people, you may have blown through your 20s making financial decisions that served you well in the moment, but may not have been particularly responsible. Dinner out several times a week, credit card bills you barely looked at and luxury cars way beyond your budget—life was practically a party!   

But now, the party’s over. You’ve woken up in your 30s and realized that all that overspending is going to cost you big—and it’s going to cost for years to come. 

Luckily, there’s hope. It’s not too late to fix the financial mistakes we all make when we’re young and blissfully ignorant. 

Here are six of the most common mistakes people make in their 20s and how to fix them: 

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2019 Is Your Year to Get Out of Debt!

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Jan 14, 2019 3:53:52 PM

If credit card payments make up a big portion of your expenses, paying off debt might be one of the first ways you can save money. High-interest credit card debt is expensive to keep around. That’s probably why more than 30% of New Year’s resolutions are related to getting out of debt and saving money. Here are some tips on how you can make a successful resolution to get out of debt.

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Do I Need An Emergency Fund And A Rainy Day Fund?

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jan 4, 2019 10:06:11 AM

Q: Do I need to have a separate rainy day fund and emergency fund? 

A: In an effort to simplify their money, people sometimes consolidate accounts. This is OK in many instances, but it’s important to remember that rainy day funds and emergency funds serve different purposes. Additionally, it’s important to have not just one, but both funds available to tap into as needed. 

Read on for all your questions on rainy day and emergency funds, answered. 

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Protect Yourself from Scammers

Posted by Tiffany Watkins, VP Risk Management & Compliance on Dec 26, 2018 11:51:44 AM

Scammers are good – they’re smart, resourceful and unfortunately, all too often, successful.   It is very important that you recognize the signs of a financial scam and ask as many questions as possible to prevent becoming a victim – knowledge is power!

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Skimmers: What Are They and How Do You Protect Yourself

Posted by Tiffany Watkins, VP Risk Management & Compliance on Dec 12, 2018 2:44:14 PM

What is a skimming device?

When it comes to protecting your identity and personal information, you can never be too careful. Thieves are placing realistic looking overlays on top of actual card readers so that when you swipe your card, both the skimming device and merchant terminal are reading your card information. They often use hidden cameras, laptops, or cell phones to record the PIN. The criminals usually leave the devices on the machines for short periods of time and then pry the device off and use the recorded information to create fake debit or credit cards, withdrawing thousands of dollars from accounts. You are vulnerable wherever you use your plastic cards. Catholic Federal Credit Union members are not liable for fraudulent transactions on their accounts.

 How Do You Protect Yourself?

  • Inspect the card reader before inserting your card. Since skimmers are usually only on the machines for a matter of hours, they are often loosely attached. If there are loose parts, scratches, or something doesn’t seem right, DO NOT use the machine. Contact the financial institution right away, as well as law enforcement.
  • Cover the keypad as you enter your personal information number and complete your transaction.
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Topics: fraud protection, Security

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