MoneyMatters... The AECU Blog
Posted on April 19, 2017 | 0 Comment
Everyone knows it’s important to have good credit to make large or occasional purchases: from vehicles to homes and property. It’s important for every day purchases, too. How can you make credit cards work in your favor?
Posted on April 05, 2017 | 0 Comment
Teaching your kids good financial habits doesn’t require sitting down with your tax return or paycheck. And, you definitely won’t rob them of their youthful innocence. Actually, you may make it better.
Posted on March 21, 2017 | 0 Comment
No shredder? No problem. American Eagle Credit Union offers a community shred day, so you don’t have to hold on to sensitive information long after its shelf life expires.
Posted on March 16, 2017 | 0 Comment
How does anyone keep track of the paper trail that follows? How should someone identify what is worthy of keeping for one month from what should be locked in a safe deposit or stored on a hard drive for an unlimited amount of time?
Posted on March 14, 2017 | 0 Comment
In 2016, American Eagle Credit Union began its partnership with the Saint Louis University Billiken Athletics group. In an effort to promote financial literacy to college undergraduates, AECU began their Free Throws for Tuition program and continue to donate funds as the Men’s Billikens Athletics team continues to score free throws during their conference games.
Posted on March 07, 2017 | 0 Comment
In our last Money Matter’s post, we explained the components of the FAFSA award letter, which may leave some undergraduates overwhelmed. What’s next? Take a few deep breaths and start with a defense plan that includes student loans. This post will cover the most common types of student loans and what the repayment expectancy is for each.
Posted on March 02, 2017 | 0 Comment
Financial aid is one of the most important pieces of your biggest post-high school decision. So why is it so hard to figure out?
Posted on February 28, 2017 | 0 Comment
Tax season is a stressful time for many. Leading up to April 15th — the traditional deadline for filing a tax return — millions of Americans wonder whether they’ll receive a refund or end up owing the IRS, and how much money they’ll receive or need to pay.
Posted on February 22, 2017 | 0 Comment
As online tax filing programs have become more user-friendly, filing tax returns online has increased in popularity. According to the IRS, 91% of tax returns were filed online for Tax Year 2015, up from 84% in 2013 and 86% in 2014.
Posted on February 09, 2017 | 0 Comment
You never know how much you need emergency savings until you’re hit with expenses that don’t fit your budget. Whether it be medical bills, car repairs, a new appliance, or legal fees, the list of unexpected costs is endless, but doesn’t have to be a financial burden.
Posted on February 08, 2017 | 0 Comment
Just when you think your financial challenges are in the past, you get hit with a big bill out of nowhere. What do you do? The optimal solution is paying the expense in full, or paying a significant part of it. The easiest way to be prepared to do so is with emergency savings.
Posted on February 02, 2017 | 0 Comment
College is more expensive than ever, and the cost continues to rise. According to the U.S. Department of Education (DoED) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the past five years, the average cost of attending four-year college institutions — including room and board — went from $20,409 to $23,600.
Posted on February 01, 2017 | 0 Comment
Most students procrastinate once in awhile. For some, it’s putting off studying for a tough test. For others, it’s pushing back the start date for a long paper. But there’s one thing students who need financial aid for college should never put on the back burner: Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Posted on January 10, 2017 | 0 Comment
Interest rate, credit limit, fees and penalties, finance charges, and spending incentives. These factors play a major role in choosing the right credit card. But there’s another important factor many don’t consider: credit card spending habits.
Posted on January 04, 2017 | 0 Comment
Saving more money is a popular New Year’s resolution. It’s also one that’s frequently abandoned before summer. If you’ve resolved to save more this year, what can you do to make the resolution more than just a good intention? We have four great tips that can help you save money in 2017.
Posted on December 28, 2016 | 0 Comment
The most common security concern for credit cards in their early days was having a card stolen. In those early days, a credit card thief was either an excellent pickpocket, a person who simply discovered a dropped card, or someone who cleverly plucked carbon receipt papers from merchants’ trash.
Posted on December 22, 2016 | 0 Comment
Identity theft can turn people’s lives upside down. Imagine applying for a loan and learning you don’t qualify because you have a $30,000 personal loan that’s delinquent — a loan you didn’t apply for. Or imagine trying to make an ATM withdrawal and finding your account has a zero balance, when just a few days ago there was $2,500 in the account, and you haven’t spent funds from your account in the meantime.
Posted on December 20, 2016 | 0 Comment
A 2015 Barclays bank study found that 47% of the world’s credit card fraud happens in the U.S., despite the fact that our nation accounts for only 24% of the global credit card volume. However, North America does have the most credit cards per capita, and each cardholder charges roughly $4,000 a year.
Posted on December 15, 2016 | 0 Comment
Collecting interest is an easy way to earn money. All you do is let a financial institution pay you for investing in an interest-bearing account. To get the best return, investors want accounts that have a high interest rate and yield, and accounts with rates and yields that increase as deposits and balances increase. But interest rate and account balance aren’t the only things affecting earnings.
Posted on December 13, 2016 | 0 Comment
Most Americans retire at 65, but the average lifespan for American men and women is 84.3 and 86.6, respectively. This means many will spend over 20 years in retirement — a time of life when income often drops. However, a dip in earnings doesn’t mean retirees are ready to pinch every penny.
Posted on November 15, 2016 | 0 Comment
Expensive medical treatments can be required at any stage of life, but aging seniors experience a preponderance of medical procedures needed to offset physical decline that naturally attends age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly 75% of deaths in people age 65 over who live in industrialized countries occur from: • heart disease • cancer • cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke) • Osteoporosis due to falls and broken bones
Posted on November 10, 2016 | 0 Comment
Which would you rather have: a four-year college degree or a new Rolls Royce? If you had to pay for your choice, there wouldn’t be much reason to select one over the other to save money, because both have roughly the same price tag. According to a 2015 report from Forbes, “College costs could total as much as $334,000 in four years.” In comparison, a nicely equipped Rolls usually runs $300,000-$400,000. Is college returning to what it was centuries ago: A privilege mostly for the independently wealthy?
Posted on November 03, 2016 | 0 Comment
People buy homes in all seasons, but most homebuyers view properties in spring and summer. Does that mean autumn and winter are bad times to purchase? Not necessarily. Like purchasing homes in the warm season, buying them in the cold season has some inherent pros and cons. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Posted on November 01, 2016 | 0 Comment
The purchase of a home is typically the biggest purchase most people will ever make. Consequently, buying a home is the expenditure that has the biggest impact on your finances. The last thing a homebuyer wants is to start dreaming about owning that special home, and then realize that they can’t afford to own it. To avoid this trap, consider the following cost factors in addition to the purchase price.
Posted on October 27, 2016 | 0 Comment
According to recent report from ABC News, “The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates.” The second statistic may sound exorbitant, but if there’s a spirit closely aligned with the holiday spirit, it’s the spirit of extravagant spending. The point is to have a celebratory good time — and millions do — but not everyone is fiscally responsible about how they do it.
Posted on October 25, 2016 | 0 Comment
According to collegedata.com — a free resource that helps students and parents financially prepare for college — a “moderate college budget for an in-state public college for the 2015–2016 academic year averaged $24,061. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $47,831.”
Posted on October 20, 2016 | 0 Comment
Typically, a home is the most significant investment for any family or individual. If you have a mortgage on your home, one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of home ownership is refinancing the loan to get a better interest rate. If you’re on the fence about whether you should refinance, below are four reasons to say “yes” to refinancing.
Posted on October 18, 2016 | 0 Comment
International Credit Union Day 2016 is this Thursday, October 20th. Across the globe, credit unions and their passionate members will celebrate in a variety of ways. Some credit unions might offer one-day financial incentives, or provide some lite, celebratory food and beverages at branch locations, as their members rally around to show appreciation.
Posted on October 11, 2016 | 0 Comment
Federal student loan reform has been a hot topic among educators and politicians over the past few years. In most cases, the call for reform involves the terms and conditions on which loans are awarded, but there also proponents of making college free to attend for everyone.
Posted on September 29, 2016 | 0 Comment
Whether you’re a recent college grad shopping online for a new vehicle to get you to your new job, or you’re a seasoned retiree searching the web for a nice ride to celebrate retirement in style, every car you see has three price points: sticker price, invoice price, and true market value price.
Posted on September 27, 2016 | 0 Comment
Congratulations! You’ve graduated high school, have sat through a few college classes, and you already have some ideas about how you’d like to change the world. But before you put on your Superman cape or Wonder Woman outfit, you need to answer a question that superheroes who can fly never consider.
Posted on September 22, 2016 | 0 Comment
Every city has them. Properties where people live under a lease agreement that pays the property owner a monthly sum. Ask some landlords whether owning a rental property is a good idea, and they’ll tell you horror stories that make you never look at an apartment building the same again, while others relate a happy tale of great income and good tenants.
Posted on September 20, 2016 | 0 Comment
Since the internet became a consumer spending outlet, payment card security has been a top concern among consumers. It’s easy to see why. Reports of hackers penetrating retailer databases and stealing card data are common, and so are personal stories of payment card theft leaving hours of frustration for owners verifying unauthorized purchases with their card company.
Posted on August 30, 2016 | 0 Comment
Learning by experience is a part of human existence. It’s an educational process that lets us understand things firsthand. It also allows us to learn from the mistakes of others. When it comes to purchasing your first home, hearing the experiences of others who were once in your shoes can help you avoid learning some tough lessons on your own.
Posted on August 25, 2016 | 0 Comment
Thanks to popular home restoration shows on TV, many people have a good idea of what buying a “fixer upper” home entails. However, in some of the shows, people get their languishing houses repaired and upgraded for free. They leave the property, and then return days later for the surprise revelation of the nice, new designs the residence offers.
Posted on August 23, 2016 | 0 Comment
Almost every type of mechanical product is considered best when purchased new. But buying things just off of the production line is about more than satisfying our desire for things that operate flawlessly. New products often have important benefits over old ones, such as better price points, increased efficiency, and even operating systems that can be fixed remotely.
Posted on August 18, 2016 | 0 Comment
According to a report in The Huffington Post, when it comes to selling a home, two of the most important rooms are “the kitchen and master bath”. It sounds a bit strange. Why would the appearance of two of the most utilitarian rooms in a home hold so much importance? Shouldn’t more attention be paid to the master bedroom, living room, and entertainment room, where people spend the most time “living life”?
Posted on August 16, 2016 | 0 Comment
As its name implies, a fixer upper home has problems that need to be fixed to make it an attractive piece of real estate that’s comfortable to inhabit. A home can become a fixer upper for several reasons, such as storm damage, fire damage, and vandalism. But most fixer upper homes are simply older homes that haven’t been well-maintained -- much less tastefully upgraded -- over the course of many years.