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By: AgFed Credit Union

Welcome to AgFed Credit Union's MoneyDig blog! 

Get confident about your personal finances with a number of articles, tips, advice and more.


Retirement Savings for Every Life Stage

 May 24, 2024
Retirement planning can be a tricky subject. Everyone’s retirement goals and savings plans are unique. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use industry benchmarks to help guide you along the way. While your golden years will vary from others, it’s important to know where you’re going – and how to get there.

When is a Bargain Not a Bargain?

 May 21, 2024
Is that item on sale? Is it at a liquidation sale? Is there fat rebate offered by mail? These and more aren’t always reasons to buy. Get the info!

All You Need to Know About Pig-Butchering Scams

 May 17, 2024
Have you ever heard of a pig-butchering scam? It’s just as brutal as the name sounds, and you’ll find yourself out tremendous amounts of money. We’ve got all the details!

All You Need To Know About Spoofing Scams

 May 15, 2024
Spoofers, scammers and deepfakes, oh my! The online world has brought us many great things, but it’s also given scammers a huge playground. Find out the new ways they come after you!

Strengthening Financial Foundations as a Family

 May 13, 2024
In today’s ever-evolving economic landscape, financial education for families has become crucial. One way to instill valuable lessons from an early age is through the concept of banking together as a family. By leveraging the credit union’s resources, your family can embark on a journey toward financial empowerment.

Best Times to Buy - Mattresses

 May 07, 2024
Your aching back is telling you it’s time for a new mattress, but when should you buy? We’ve got a guide to help you know how to shop and when to hit the stores.

What Changes are Taking Place for Retirement Plans in 2024?

 May 01, 2024
With more people hitting retirement, the system is getting some big changes. We’ve got them all laid out for you as you get into the new tax year.

Does Marriage Make Me Responsible for My Partner's Debt?

 Apr 29, 2024
A marriage is a wonderful thing, but what if your partner is bringing a lot of debt into the union? Learn what you’ll be liable for, how to protect yourself and how to manage the issue.

Practical Budgeting Made Easier

 Apr 25, 2024
Nobody told you about fun things like budgeting when you were growing up, but it’s a vital part of adulthood. We’ve got a guide to help make it painless!

I'm Barely Making it Through the Month. Do I Still Need to Save?

 Apr 23, 2024
When your money isn’t making it through the month, or barely is, the idea of saving for the future might seem like pure fiction. But we can show you how to keep saving!

Creditworthiness: What it is & Why it Matter

 Apr 15, 2024
Navigating the world of finance can sometimes feel like deciphering a complex code, especially when faced with industry jargon. For example, creditworthiness. What exactly does it mean, and why is it such an important measure of your financial health?

The Retirement Primer: All You Need to Know About Traditional IRAs

 Apr 11, 2024
When you start planning for retirement, a traditional IRA is likely going to be one of the items at the top of your list. Find out the advantages and potential pitfalls of this route!

Your Balance Transfer Checklist: Before and After

 Apr 08, 2024
Finding the right tools to alleviate debt is an essential step on your path to financial freedom. One solution that can help you in your journey is called a balance transfer. Balance transfers enable you to streamline your financial obligations into one solution – providing immediate financial savings and stress relief.

Best Times to Buy: Homes

 Apr 05, 2024
If you’re looking to buy a new home, it helps to know the best time of the year to do so. Each season brings its own advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll lay them out for you!

6 Ways to Tell if a Website is Safe

 Apr 03, 2024
We all have a lot of fun on the internet, chatting with friends and doing our shopping, but there are scams around every corner. Use our guide to stay safe and keep your data secure.

All You Need to Know About Tech Support Scams

 Mar 29, 2024
Here you are needing tech support help, and a pop-up ad is offering it. Don’t click on it! This is just one way tech support scammers operate. Find out the facts!

Which Purchases Should I Charge to My Credit Card?

 Mar 26, 2024
You need to use your credit to keep your credit rating up and drive it higher, but what are the smartest ways to use it? We’ve got a great list of tips!

When Does a Home Equity Loan Make Financial Sense?

 Mar 21, 2024
As a homeowner, you possess a unique financial advantage – the ability to build and utilize the equity in your property. Home equity loans offer an affordable means to finance a wide range of expenses, including home renovations, weddings, and higher education. But how do you know if a home equity loan is your best option?

Don’t Get Scammed this Spring Break!

 Mar 18, 2024
Looking for a spring break getaway? Scammers are waiting, too, with offers of fake properties and calls to relatives trying to extort money. Get the details!

Don’t Get Caught in an Emergency Scam!

 Mar 18, 2024
Someone you know calls and says they’ve got an emergency and needs you to send money right away! Before you fall victim to this scam, check our guide to keep your money safe.

The Not-So-Scary Side of Debt Consolidation

 Mar 18, 2024
Most people are familiar with the term “debt consolidation,” but they might find it intimidating. Often, members feel the process is too involved, or they’re confused about the benefits. Not to worry. We’re here to unpack everything you need to know about debt consolidation.

How to Protect Yourself from Rising Check Fraud

 Mar 14, 2024
With the widespread transition to digital payments, the use of paper checks is on the decline. However, check writing remains a popular preference for many businesses and people. Consequently, it’s crucial to understand their susceptibility to fraud and how to protect your finances.

Best Times to Buy - Fitness Gear

 Mar 12, 2024
It’s that time of year when fitness looms large, and you’re realizing that equipment is expensive! We can save you big bucks, though, with the best times to buy. Read the guide!

Making Spring Break Memorable…Not Expensive

 Mar 06, 2024
Spring break is around the corner, and the kids will be home from school for the week. Plenty of families use that week off from school as an excuse to head off on a cruise or to visit a luxurious beachside resort. But what if an expensive cruise or pricey resort isn't in your family's budget this year?

Grow Your Tax Refund with a Certificate

 Mar 04, 2024
As tax season rolls in, many people are looking forward to receiving a refund check. You might already have an idea of how you plan to spend it. But, while it can be fun to treat yourself, you also don’t want to lose sight of the many ways these funds can benefit you.

Cultivating Money Skills for Kids of All Ages

 Feb 28, 2024
As a parent, you are the most significant influence on your children’s financial habits, now and later in life. Being open about topics like spending money, the importance of saving, and needs vs. wants will help cultivate savvy financial habits that will guide them into the future.

When Should I Give in to the Urge to Splurge?

 Feb 22, 2024
If you’ve been sticking to your budget faithfully for months, you’re probably feeling the urge to splurge. Guess what? It’s OK to do it! Just check out our tips.

Beware of Mortgage Closing Cost Scams

 Feb 20, 2024
Buying a new home puts you in the crosshairs of scammers looking for a big score. It’s easy to avoid them, though. Just follow our guide!

Preventing Lifestyle Creep from Overtaking Your Finances

 Feb 15, 2024
Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about how you will spend your next pay raise or bonus? However, before you know it, those funds are gone, and your goals remain incomplete. Where did all this new money go? It’s a phenomenon called lifestyle creep.

The Retirement Primer - 5 Tips for a Successful Single Retirement

 Feb 13, 2024
Going into retirement single gives you a few additional challenges, but we’ve got help! Use our handy guide to be sure you’re ready to hit the golden years in stride.

Answering Your First-Time Homebuyer Questions

 Feb 07, 2024
Buying a home is likely the most significant financial transaction you will make in your lifetime. While preparing to purchase a house is exciting, it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed (especially as a first-time buyer). Take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to help ease your mind as we address some of the most commonly asked questions for first-time homebuyers.

How to Spoil Your Sweetheart on a Budget

 Feb 05, 2024
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and everyone knows “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” While that tune might ring true, crafting a memorable moment for your sweetheart doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. All it must do is come from the heart. So, let’s take a dip in the romance pool and find out how you can create an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart – without breaking the bank.

Best Times to Buy - Furniture

 Feb 01, 2024
Does your furniture look like stuff you’ve seen piled on the side of the road? It’s time to replace it! But what’s the best time to shop? We’ve done the homework!

Affordable Sustainability - 8 Tips for Environmentally Friendly Consumer Choices

 Jan 29, 2024
You want to be a good steward of the environment, but you’ve got shopping to do! Actually, it’s possible to accomplish both goals at the same time. Let us show you how!

Travel Hacks: How to Staycation for Less

 Jan 25, 2024
You want to take a vacation, but you don’t want to come home to the big bills from travel. It’s simple: Plan a staycation! We’ve got tips to make your “trip” special and recharging.

Don’t Get Caught in a Credit Repair Scam!

 Jan 23, 2024
Are you in the market for credit repair? Well, friend, there are hundreds of scammers in the market for you! Let us help you dodge the fraudsters and fix your score.

What do I Need to Know Before Buying a Used Car?

 Jan 19, 2024
Have you decided a used car is the way to go to get yourself a new set of wheels? There are a lot of steps to complete, but our guide will keep you from getting lost along the way!

The U.S. Is the Most Scammed Country In the World

 Jan 16, 2024
The numbers are in, and victims in the U.S. are losing billions of dollars every year to online scams. Don’t join those statistics! We’ve got all the info on how to keep yourself safe.

Should You Buy a Home in the Winter?

 Jan 10, 2024
Did you know the time of year you buy a house can make a big difference in the price you pay? Just like buying a car or TV, certain times of the year are more favorable for home purchases – and shopping during the winter will often get you the best bang for your buck.

8 Ways to Boost Your Mood Without Spending a Penny

 Jan 08, 2024
Everybody loses their happy every now and again, and we’ve got ways to get yours back that don’t involve prescriptions or long hours of therapy. Check it out!

Bad Credit Habits to Kick in the New Year

 Jan 04, 2024
If you’re facing financial woes due to bad credit habits, it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf and commit to improving your credit behavior. The season of setting resolutions is the perfect time to break free from old habits and replace them with better ones!

Building a Budget that Works in the New Year

 Jan 02, 2024
Achieving financial well-being requires careful planning and discipline. Budgeting is a crucial tool in this endeavor, offering you the means to take charge of your finances. Various budgeting methods exist, each with its own strengths and flexibility, allowing you to align your financial habits with your goals.

Don't Get Caught in a Utility Scam

 Dec 29, 2023
The guy in coveralls at your door and the email with the big, threatening CUTOFF NOTICE subject line have one thing in common: They’re both trying to scam you. Get tips on staying safe!

Get on Financial Track in the New Year

 Dec 27, 2023
Do you feel like your financial situation has been going off the rails on a crazy train for years, or even decades at this point? That doesn’t mean you can’t act now to change your direction and get on financial track in the New Year and beyond.

Affordable Sustainability - Lower Your Carbon Footprint

 Dec 21, 2023
You’ve heard a lot of talk about carbon footprint and how you should shrink yours, but how exactly can you go about that? We’ve got some real-world ideas you can use today!

How to Check Your Financial Vital Signs

 Dec 19, 2023
Everyone wants to be financially secure. Regardless of your age or current goals, there are key financial figures that will impact your adult life. These numbers help you gauge where you stand and provide a roadmap to improving your overall financial well-being.

What to Do if You're Behind on Your Car Payments

 Dec 15, 2023
Life always has its ups and downs. When those downs include financial challenges, it can severely strain even the most well-crafted budget. If you fear falling behind on your car loan payments, don’t panic. You are not alone and there are many solutions to help get back on track.

How to Spot this Season's Holiday Scams - Part 2

 Dec 12, 2023
Every year, toymakers release their next big thing that drives kids crazy and sends parents into a frenzy. Just like toymakers, fraudsters are upping their game as the holidays approach. This article continues with even more popular scams that will surely make an appearance this holiday season.

How to Spot this Season's Holiday Scams - Part 1

 Dec 07, 2023
The holidays bring joy and celebration, but it’s also a season when fraudsters are up to their most deceiving tricks. We’re here to help you stay safe by shining a spotlight on some of this season’s most common scams and their warning signs, plus tips on how to protect yourself.

How Can I Beat Inflation and Save on Holiday Shopping?

 Dec 04, 2023
Don’t let Old Man Inflation suck all the joy out of the holidays for you this year when it comes to gift shopping time. We’ve got some ideas that will keep your friends, family and budget happy!

What Does it Mean to Be Financially Independent?

 Nov 30, 2023
In finance, the phrase “financial independence” is tossed around frequently. The challenge is that this concept isn’t one-size-fits-all; it means different things to different people. This article addresses working-class adults and helping them build confidence and peace of mind, knowing they’re financially equipped to handle whatever comes their way.

Unlocking Your Home's Equity: A Responsible Approach

 Nov 28, 2023
One of the most significant financial benefits of being a homeowner is the ability to tap into your home’s equity. As savings balances continue to shrink due to inflation, more people are exploring home equity loans to fill the financial gaps. However, is this a smart use of your home’s equity?

Should I Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle?

 Nov 22, 2023
Have you been thinking about the minimalist lifestyle? It’s not easy to follow, but the benefits can be big if you’re truly cut out for it. We’ve got the details!

What is my Credit Utilization Ratio?

 Nov 20, 2023
Everyone knows credit scores carry significant weight in today’s financial world. Another key figure is your credit utilization ratio., which plays two substantial roles – it impacts your overall credit score and helps lenders determine how responsibly you manage particular debts.

Beware of Third-Party App Scams

 Nov 16, 2023
Do you use Zelle, Venmo or another payment app? Some of the latest scams involve victims being tricked into revealing personal info or allowing access to their phones. We’ve got help!

Was There a Credit Union at the First Thanksgiving?

 Nov 14, 2023
The short answer is no, there was not. However, the Pilgrims did believe in many of the principles that would come to define the credit union movement that swept the globe in the 19th and 20th centuries.

7 Ways to Cut Back on Amazon Spending

 Nov 08, 2023
Is Amazon taking up a bigger portion of your budget than it ought to? Does the driver consider you one of his regulars? We can help you kick the habit … or at least make it cost less!

Ways to Save Money on Holiday Travel

 Nov 06, 2023
With the holiday season right around the corner, you may already be thinking about your travel plans. Whether you’re heading home to be with family, visiting friends, or going on a well-deserved vacation, travel costs can consume a significant portion of your holiday budget.

Affordable Sustainability - Green Cleaning Solutions For Your Home

 Nov 02, 2023
We’ve got DIY cleaning hacks that actually work, will save you big money and keep harmful chemicals out of your home environment. Check it out!

What Should I Do if My Credit Card's Been Frauded?

 Oct 25, 2023
Credit card fraud is a fact of life. It happens to many of us, and how you react is the key to dealing with it successfully. Don’t panic! Follow our handy steps.

Safeguarding Your Generosity: A Guide to Charitable Giving

 Oct 23, 2023
Donating to worthy causes is a wonderful way to make the world a better place. Whether it’s helping with the aftermath of a natural disaster, assisting the sick, or another cause close to your heart, you want to ensure your contributions are going where you intend. Unfortunately, scammers are always on the lookout to profit off other’s misfortune.

Renting a Car: What to Know and Consider

 Oct 19, 2023
Whether you’re heading off on vacation, a business trip, or another occasion, renting a car provides convenience and flexibility. It allows you to travel on your schedule and at your own pace. However, navigating the world of car rentals requires careful consideration to ensure you’re making savvy financial decisions.

4 Super Scary Scams to Watch Out for This Halloween

 Oct 16, 2023
Don’t let a Halloween scam spook you! Stay a step ahead of those crooks by looking out for these four scams this season.

How to Reduce Your Reliance on Credit Cards

 Oct 12, 2023
The economy is facing some tough times right now, and you’re probably feeling the pinch. So how do you build financial resilience? We’ve got some ideas that might help.

Building Financial Resilience: Strategies for Overcoming Financial Stress

 Oct 10, 2023
The economy is facing some tough times right now, and you’re probably feeling the pinch. So how do you build financial resilience? We’ve got some ideas that might help.

What is the 'Say Yes' Scam?

 Oct 06, 2023
It seems like every day a new scam emerges as fraudsters attempt to separate you from your hard-earned money. While many of these ploys are extravagant and convincing, that doesn’t stop fraudsters from returning to their old tricks. That’s what is happening now as the “Say Yes” scam regains popularity.

Affordable Sustainability - All You Need to Know About Electric Vehicles

 Oct 03, 2023
Will making the switch to an EV save you any money? There are a lot of factors to take into consideration on that one, and we’ve got them sorted out for you!

How to Maximize Your Returns Through Certificate Laddering

 Sep 27, 2023
Savers are rejoicing as rates continue their upward trend. However, many are reluctant to lock in their funds because they fear they will miss out on better rates down the road. So, how can you maximize your returns now without sacrificing higher rates in the future? It’s a unique strategy called certificate laddering.

How to Protect Yourself From Real Estate Wire Fraud

 Sep 25, 2023
Imagine saving money for years to buy your first home. Then, in the blink of an eye, your dream of owning a home, and your savings, are gone. It’s a nightmare scenario that’s becoming all too common. The best way to protect yourself from this type of scam is to familiarize yourself with how it works.

Affordable Sustainability - Tips for Building an Energy Efficient Home

 Sep 21, 2023
One of the best ways to practice affordable sustainability is energy efficiency in your new home. We’ve got some basic, easy steps you can use to get on the way!

Estate Planning: Peace of Mind for You & Your Family

 Sep 19, 2023
No one wants to picture a world without them; however, planning for this scenario is one of the most generous tasks you can undertake for those you love. It provides peace of mind, direction, and comfort, knowing your intentions will echo through the years - offering guidance when others need it most.

All You Need to Know About Pet Adoption Scams

 Sep 15, 2023
So, you’re ready to adopt a pet! Your life just won’t be complete without a fluffy little pal to share it with. Sadly, there are scammers looking to make your adoption a nightmare.

Short-Term Savings: Which Accounts Work Best?

 Sep 13, 2023
We all have financial goals we want to achieve one day. Different goals require different tools and tactics. For example, retirement planning relies heavily on tax-advantaged accounts and long-term investments. But what about short-term goals - those that you hope to achieve within two or three years?

I’ve Been Laid Off. Now What?

 Sep 07, 2023
Are you one the many who’s been hit with a layoff recently? It’s quite a shock to the system, but you’ll survive. We’ve got tips that will help get you back in the game!

Travel Hacks: 6 Ways to Save on Vacation Food Costs

 Sep 05, 2023
Eating while on vacation can blow the most carefully crafted budget. From finding street food to eating in, we’ve got some great ideas to help you save big money!

How to Avoid Common Budgeting Mistakes

 Aug 29, 2023
Building wealth and achieving financial freedom stem from your ability to save money. The best way to ensure you’re saving regularly is through budgeting. Put your budget to work for you by reviewing six common mistakes people make - and learn how to avoid them.

4 Popular Scams Coming Soon to Your Inbox

 Aug 24, 2023
Nowadays, it seems like a day doesn’t go by without someone trying to lure you into a scam. And just when you think you know all their moves, a new ploy lands on your lap. Today, we’re sharing four popular phishing scams guaranteed to land in your email inbox and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Affordable Sustainability - 5 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Water Bottle Use

 Aug 21, 2023
The world is slowly choking on water bottle waste, and it’s ridiculously easy to cut down or even eliminate. Read our tips for how to reduce your water bottle footprint!

Don't Get Caught in a Mortgage Scam

 Aug 18, 2023
If you hold a mortgage or you’re trying to get one, congratulations! You’ve got your own set of scammers dedicated to making your life more difficult. We can help you stay safe, though!

7 Common Money Myths You Should Ignore

 Aug 15, 2023
Everyone holds their own perspective when it comes to handling finances. While friends and family may offer well-intentioned guidance, not everything you hear is necessarily accurate or beneficial. Much of it can be misleading or misguided - causing you to overlook opportunities or make poor financial decisions.

Travel Hacks: Save on Transportation Costs on Vacation

 Aug 09, 2023
Getting around while on vacation doesn’t have to be a big drain on your travel budget if you do it smartly! We’ve got tips to help you save money for the really important stuff: food!

Can a Budget Wedding Be Beautiful?

 Aug 07, 2023
Are you getting married? First off, congratulations! Second, no matter what you’ve heard, you don’t have to spend a zillion dollars planning your big day. We can help!

Beware of Back to School Scams

 Aug 03, 2023
Scammers are back in full force looking to get their cut of back-to-school spending. We’ve got tips to help you steer clear!

Your Complete Guide to a Spend-Free Summer Weekend

 Aug 01, 2023
Do summer weekends seem to always blow a hole in your budget? They don’t have to! We’ve got a guide to a spend-free weekend that will make you a believer.

What Is a Credit Utilization Ratio and What Does it Matter?

 Jul 27, 2023
While many factors go into determining your credit score, a quick and simple way to gauge your creditworthiness is through your credit utilization ratio. Lenders use this figure to measure how much risk is involved when lending you money – ultimately, it plays a role in how much you’ll pay to borrow those funds.

5 Amazon Scams You Need to Know About

 Jul 24, 2023
As Amazon has gotten more and more popular, it’s attracted more and more scammers. Most are using versions of old scams, and we’ve got tips to help you avoid them!

What Are Some Red Flags to Know About When House-Hunting?

 Jul 20, 2023
Are you looking for a house? You know all the things on your dream home list, but we’ve got the list of the things that could turn the purchase into a nightmare.

Unsubscribe & Save - Breaking Up With Your Subscriptions

 Jul 18, 2023
We all have them. We know they cost a small fortune. Yet, instead of canceling subscriptions, we find ourselves subscribing to even more. The following guide will shed light on the financial toll these monthly fees take on your budget – and walk you through how to regain your hard-earned money.

Is It Ever the Right Time to Start a Family?

 Jul 14, 2023
Are you thinking of starting a family? Babies come with some pretty big expenses, so it’s best to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time. We can help!

How is Your Credit Card Limit Determined and Can it Change?

 Jul 11, 2023
Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment today. While you’re probably familiar with how credit cards work, many aspects often baffle people. For example, how do financial institutions determine what limit to set on your credit card? Why does your limit sometimes increase automatically? Can it go down?

What Happens When a Mortgage Lender Checks My Credit Score?

 Jul 06, 2023
If you need a mortgage but you’re worried about the negative effect on your credit from a credit check, remember the 45-day rule. Learn about that and more in our guide!

Affordable Sustainability- Grow Your Own Greens

 Jul 03, 2023
You don’t need a big plot of land or even a yard to start gardening and growing your own salad greens. We’ve got a quick and easy guide to get you going!

Money and Mental Health

 Jun 29, 2023
Are you dealing with financial stress? It’s one of the most prevalent stresses out there, and it can affect your physical, emotional and mental health. We’ve got tips to help you handle it!

Does Good Debt Exist?

 Jun 27, 2023
While most people have a healthy fear of going into debt, there are “good” types of debt that will increase your wealth in the long run. Confused? Let us sort it out for you!

7 Steps to Take if You're a Victim of Identity Theft

 Jun 22, 2023
Identity theft is a serious crime that can have detrimental consequences on your finances and credit score. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize their personal information was stolen until weeks or months later. So, whether you fell prey to a scam or were a victim of a data breach, it’s crucial you act swiftly. Use the following seven steps to get your finances back under your control and prevent further damage to your credit score.

Beware Check Washing Scams

 Jun 19, 2023
One of the most low-tech scams, check washing, is still alive and well. A check you mail can end up cashed by a crook for far more than you made it out for. Find out how to stay safe!

AI Fraud and How to Protect Yourself

 Jun 15, 2023
Is this how Skynet started? Scammers are using artificial intelligence to help them pull off their frauds. Learn how to spot them and how to keep yourself safe!

Financial Tips for your College-Bound Child

 Jun 12, 2023
Before your child leaves the nest, it’s vital they understand how to manage their money responsibly. That includes knowing basic money concepts, such as budgeting, and utilizing financial tools like debit cards and mobile banking. Use the summer as an opportunity to educate your child on the following financial topics.

Travel Hacks: Your Complete Guide to Vacation Budgets

 Jun 07, 2023
When it’s vacation time, the last thing you want to do is pinch pennies … but doing just that will make your vacation even more stress-free! We’ve got ideas to help.

Things to Consider as Home Values Rise

 Jun 05, 2023
Homeowners can’t help but do a little dance every time property values increase. Higher values create more equity for homeowners. Sellers can pocket even more cash. And investors enjoy a nice boost to their net worth. Among all these positives, one may wonder if there are any downsides to rising home values. While the financial benefits largely outshine any drawbacks, there are things homeowners need to consider.

Should I Get a Fixed-Rate or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?

 May 31, 2023
When it’s time to pick a mortgage, you’ve really got two to choose from: an adjustable-rate mortgage or a fixed-rate mortgage. Let us help you decide with our guide!

8 Wise Money Moves to Make in Your 30s

 May 25, 2023
Much of your twenties is spent figuring out who you are and where you’re going in life. As you progress into your thirties, more pieces of that puzzle begin to fall into place. Use the following eight tips to strengthen your financial position and lay the groundwork for the goals you hope to achieve.

Affordable Sustainability - Reduce Your Energy Usage

 May 23, 2023
One of the best ways to live a sustainable lifestyle is to reduce your energy usage. Practicing energy efficiency enables you to lower your carbon footprint and help combat climate change, all while saving money on your energy bills. It’s truly a win-win! Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce your energy usage and utilize the energy you do use more efficiently.

What to Buy and What to Skip on Memorial Day

 May 17, 2023
Ready for Memorial Day sales? You might be surprised at the things you should and shouldn’t buy this time of year. Check our guide for all the hottest deals!

Don't Fall For a Home Improvement Scam

 May 15, 2023
Springtime means home improvement time, but there are scammers out there looking to do a job … on your wallet! We’ll tell you what to look for.

Things to Consider When Gifting Money to Grandchildren

 May 11, 2023
Grandparents are famous for spoiling their grandchildren. And it’s so easy when they’re young. But what about larger gifts, such as contributing to their college fund or helping them buy their first car? While financial gifts can give your grandchild a head start in life, there are things to consider. Review the following tips to ensure you’re making wise decisions for everyone involved.

How to Make Your Dream Vacation a Reality

 May 08, 2023
For grand vacation, the key is preparation. From mapping out the entire trip to plotting the logistics and setting your budget, planning your perfect adventure will take time. Use the following guide to help you put your plans in motion for that once-in-a-lifetime excursion.

Looking for a Job? Scammers May Be Looking for you?

 May 05, 2023
Does that job offer sound too good to be true? It just might be …

Mothers Day on a Budget

 May 02, 2023
Mom taught you to be frugal. Here’s how to celebrate her teachings AND Mother’s Day!

Beware of Celebrity Scams

 Apr 27, 2023
Do you have a favorite celebrity? If they start hawking a product or plugging a charity, be sure you do your homework before you open your wallet!

Time to Move or Time to Improve? Moving Vs. Home Improvement

 Apr 25, 2023
Deciding whether to remodel or move can be a tough choice. We’ve got a breakdown of the options and whichever one you choose, AgFed can help with financing!

Affordable Sustainability - Tips for Upcycling at Home

 Apr 20, 2023
Have you ever heard of upcycling? Chances are, you have most of what you need to jump into this trend sitting around your house. Check out our tips and get crafty!

5 Things That Affect the Cost of a Used Car

 Apr 17, 2023
Choosing to purchase a used vehicle today is an excellent financial move. Not only will you benefit from the lower price tag, but most dealerships offer certified preowned vehicle programs. Buying a reliable car at an affordable price is a win-win for you and your wallet. But did you know other factors can affect the total cost of your used car?

Don't Fall for These Text Scams

 Apr 13, 2023
Millions of people fall victim to identity theft every year. A new trend emerging involves fraudsters piggybacking off legitimate text alerts from financial institutions. Identifying these fraudulent texts can be challenging at first, but there are tell-tale signs of a scam.

Getting the Most Out of Youth Accounts

 Apr 11, 2023
Getting your kid their first savings account is a big step. We’ve got tips to make the experience fun for both of you!

Don’t Panic: A Last-Minute Guide To Tax Preparation

 Apr 05, 2023
April showers can bring big bills if you forget to file your taxes on time. Get handy tips on how to handle last-minute filing, and find out how to buy yourself a little more time to file (if not to pay).

What to Buy and What to Skip in April

 Apr 03, 2023
The shopping holiday calendar may be empty in April, but there are still deals to be had for the smart shopper! We’ve got the lowdown on what to buy and what to avoid this month!

Traditional vs. Roth IRA - Which is Right for Me?

 Mar 30, 2023
Time is your best friend when it comes to saving for retirement. The longer your investments can grow and compound, the greater your nest egg will be once you retire. But people often overlook the benefits of specific tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as IRAs. The sooner you begin utilizing these accounts, the greater your tax savings will become.

Affordable Sustainability - Going Organic on a Budget

 Mar 28, 2023
Think going organic is going to blow a hole in your budget? Shop wisely and you’ll hardly miss a step! We’ve got tons of tips to help you eat healthy and pinch pennies.

Don't Get Caught in a P2P Scam

 Mar 22, 2023
You probably use a P2P service like Zelle or Venmo to send and receive money with friends or handle small business transactions, but watch out for scams! We’ve got the info.

Travel Hacks: 6 Ways to Save on Airfare

 Mar 20, 2023
If you’re traveling on vacation, airfare is going to take a big bite out of your budget. That’s even more true now thanks to inflation. We’ve got tips on saving money on your flight!

Device Advice: How to Keep your Phone Safe from Fraud

 Mar 14, 2023
Did you know hackers are after your cellphone just like they used to go after your computer? We’ve got tips to keep your data safe and keep your phone secure!

What to Do if You're Laid Off

 Mar 09, 2023
As you scroll through the news headlines, predictions of a looming recession are becoming more frequent. If you were in the workforce during the Great Recession of ’08, you know the one word that usually follows “recession” is “layoffs.” The following guide will walk you through steps you should take if you face an unexpected job loss.

6 Financial Lessons You Can Learn From Basketball

 Mar 06, 2023
You’ll score financial wellness points with our sports-inspired tips to take your personal wealth from the rec teams to the pros!

What to Buy and What to Skip in March

 Mar 01, 2023
March is here, which means spring is about to … well … spring! What retail deals should you look for this time of year, and what should you wait to shop for?

Affordable Sustainability - All You Need to Know About Going Solar

 Feb 27, 2023
Have you thought about installing solar panels on your home? You’ll have to figure out if your home is a good fit, and that’s just the beginning! Let us help!

Teaching Children Delayed Gratification

 Feb 23, 2023
The world today revolves around instant gratification - we want everything, and we want it now. But this “instant anything” mentality can have real-life consequences. For children that see and copy everything, this could cause a multitude of challenges down the road.

Don't Get Caught in a Free Vacation Scam

 Feb 21, 2023
Congratulations! You’ve won a free vacation! There’s just one tiny problem: You’re the target of a vacation scam. We’ll show you how to spot and avoid them!

Simple Steps to Start Saving

 Feb 16, 2023
You need to build up your savings, but it always seems to get bumped down your to-do list. We’ve got a handy guide to help you get started and make sure you’re putting money away!

Beware Romance Scams

 Feb 15, 2023
If you're looking for romance, you may be potential prey for a romance scammer! We’ve got all the info on what to look for and how to keep your heart (and money) safe!

Tax Scams You Need to Know About

 Feb 15, 2023
Each year the IRS releases a list of tax scams that are currently affecting many individuals. The number of different scams seems to steadily increase each year, with fraudsters becoming more proficient in their targeting methods. This year, there are more scams than ever to be aware of.

Is It Wise to Pay off Your Mortgage Early?

 Feb 13, 2023
Today, most mortgages have terms that extend up to 30 years or more. While this makes the monthly payments affordable, decades of interest payments can add up to a substantial sum. A common question among homeowners is whether they should pay off their mortgage early. It can be a tricky question to answer.

If You Hear This, You're Talking to a Tax Scammer

 Feb 09, 2023
Tax time is here, and tax scams have come right along with them. We’ve got a handy list of 12 lines to listen for that will tell you that the voice on the line is a scammer!

Valentine's Day Doesn't Have to Break the Bank

 Feb 06, 2023
With all the chocolates, hearts, and flowers floating around, Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year. It can also be one of the most expensive days, especially if you're committed to wining and dining your sweetheart.

How Can I Save on Super Bowl Sunday?

 Feb 03, 2023
Are you hosting the Super Bowl party this year? Between the decorations, the party trays, the other food and everything else, you can spend big bucks. Or, you can let us help!

What to Buy and What to Skip in February

 Feb 01, 2023
Where can you find great deals in February? What should wait until later in the year to buy? Some of the choices might surprise you!

10 Common Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

 Jan 30, 2023
The greatest challenge with retirement is that the road to get there is long. With a goal so far on the horizon and the multitude of obstacles life throws at you along the way, it’s easy to become distracted and stray from your retirement plan. Regardless of where you stand right now, it’s wise to review the mistakes others made before you – allowing you to avoid them yourself.

All you Need to Know About Check Washing

 Jan 25, 2023
Check washing is an old scam that’s alive and well today, and which now can add identity theft to the dangers. We’ll tell you how to keep your money and your information safe!

7 Reasons to File Your Taxes Early

 Jan 23, 2023
Filing your taxes can be a bit of a headache each year. While many people may have good intentions of filing as soon as they get their W-2s, the reality is people often procrastinate. Then, before they know it, the deadline sneaks up and forces them to reorganize their schedule to make time to file, causing a great deal of unnecessary stress.

How to Purchase Your First Car

 Jan 19, 2023
Buying your first car is both exciting and a bit overwhelming. It’s a big decision that will impact your finances for the next several years. As a first-time buyer, you want to know you’re making the right choice and not being taken advantage of by the dealership.

Tips for Empty Nesters - Downsizing

 Jan 17, 2023
The last kid has left the house, whether to college or life on their own, and you’re officially an empty nester. What will you do? We’ve got some ideas to help you get started!

How to Get Back on Track After Overspending

 Jan 11, 2023
Everyone has months where their budgets take a detour and get off track. Whether it’s because of an unexpected expense or a much-needed, unplanned vacation, a hit to your monthly budget can definitely cause stress.

Tips to Increase Your Credit Score in the New Year

 Jan 09, 2023
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, saving more money and improving one’s financial standing always come out near the top of the list. And having a great credit score can help you accomplish both.

What to Buy and What to Skip in January

 Jan 05, 2023
Are you all shopped out after the holiday sales? Well, grab your shopping bags one more time because we’ve got deals for you to find (and stuff you’ll want to skip).

Start the New Year Off Right: Debt Consolidation

 Jan 03, 2023
Ever feel like your debt is difficult to manage? You're definitely not alone. It's easy to turn to credit cards to make ends meet (or even to get a bit carried away buying holiday gifts). But debt grows quickly, and dealing with all those payments, high-interest rates, and monthly statements can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, debt consolidation may offer a solution.

Facing Financial Challenges Head-On

 Dec 22, 2022
It’s never fun when life throws you a sudden, unexpected financial curveball. And unfortunately, these challenges always seem to pop up when you least expect them. The good news is there are solutions available to help you get back on financial track. But they will require you to be proactive and address the challenges head-on. The following steps provide a roadmap for dealing with significant financial obstacles.

4 Scams to Watch Out for After the Holidays

 Dec 20, 2022
As if the post-holiday blues weren’t bad enough, here come the post-holiday scams. They’ll look like charities, gift sellers, well-wishers and more. Find out how to dodge them!

Financial Preparation for the New Year

 Dec 15, 2022
We’re staring the new year in the face, and you need to get your budget in order! We’ve got tips to help you get started!

Budgeting Tips as Student Loan Payments Resume

 Dec 12, 2022
On December 31, 2022, the administrative forbearance for federal student loans is set to end – meaning loan payments will resume in 2023. For many borrowers, this is causing panic and stress. Before your student loan payments resume, review the following tips to ensure you’re financially ready.

Don't Get Caught in an Inheritance Scam

 Dec 09, 2022
The inheritance scam is one of the oldest around, and online communication has only made it easier to pull off. We’ll let you know how to spot them and stay safe!

Protecting Your Accounts During the Holidays

 Dec 06, 2022
The holidays are a time of joy. Families gather to share laughter, food, gifts, and quality time with each other. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also one of the most joyous times of the year for fraudsters. We've got tips to help protect yourself from fraud this season.

What to Buy and What to Skip in December

 Dec 01, 2022
Sure, Black Friday is over, but there are still great deals in December! From champagne to toys, we’ve got all the info you need to shop smart!

How Can I Help My Elderly Parents Manage their Finances?

 Nov 30, 2022
As our parents get older, it’s inevitable that they’ll need help with managing their finances. But how do you know when they need help, and how do you give it? We’ve got tips.

7 Money Myths You Need to Stop Believing Now

 Nov 28, 2022
How many money myths have you fallen for? Read our article and see how many of these common misconceptions have made their way into your financial outlook!

6 Ways to Keep Your Finances Intact this Holiday Season

 Nov 22, 2022
It’s time for holiday shopping, and we can help you keep your budget out of the snowdrifts! We’ve got shopping tips, budget advice and other info to keep your holidays jolly!

Should You Purchase a Home Warranty?

 Nov 18, 2022
When thinking about home protection, most people turn to a homeowner’s insurance plan. However, what happens if major household items like your appliances or HVAC break down? That’s where a home warranty comes into play. Read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of a home warranty.

How Can I Save on Holiday Shopping?

 Nov 16, 2022
Does inflation have you feeling like a Scrooge this year? You don’t have to let your holidays be ruined by price spikes. We can help you get the best deals!

5 Holiday Meal Hacks for Your Budget (And Your Health!)

 Nov 10, 2022
Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to blow your budget! This handy article will give you tips on entertaining a crowd without big bills crashing the party.

Don't Get Caught in a Cryptocurrency Scam

 Nov 07, 2022
When it comes to cryptocurrency, scammers are pulling a lot of the same old scams to get your money, but adding new wrinkles. We’ve got a guide to keep you safe.

Popular Credit Score Myths Debunked

 Nov 04, 2022
Many misconceptions come with credit scores. These myths can lead you to second-guess your financial strategy and may even cause harm to your score. Before setting out to improve your credit score, take note of some of the more popular untruths told today.

Don't Get Spooked by One of These Halloween Scams

 Oct 26, 2022
It’s Halloween, and while the spooks and scares (and candy) are tons of fun, the real-life scams that will scare you out of your money aren’t. Let us help you stay safe!

3 Famous Scary Stories and What They Teach Us About Smart Money Management

 Oct 24, 2022
Are you afraid of the dark? Is the call coming from inside the house? Read some classic scary stories brought to you by AgFed that hide a lesson about good financial management behind the creaks, groans and moans.

All You Need to Know About SIM Swaps

 Oct 20, 2022
SIM swapping, also known as SIM swap scams, or SIM hijacking, can be a nightmare for an unwary victim. According to the FBI, this ruse is on the rise. Here’s what you need to know about this prevalent scam and how to protect yourself.

Don't Get Caught in an Election Scam

 Oct 19, 2022
Think you’ve heard it all? Well, do you know there are scams that surround even the process of voting in our nation’s elections? We’ve got a guide to steer you clear!

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

 Oct 18, 2022
Is your house ready for winter? Before the cold sets in, read our handy tips to get things ready inside and out!

Uncommon Uses for a Personal Loan

 Oct 14, 2022
Personal Loans are commonly overlooked as a financing option, especially for larger ticket items. Discover why personal loans are so beneficial and some of their lesser-known uses.

Beware of Digital Kidnapping

 Oct 11, 2022
Digital kidnapping sounds like a creepy TV plot, but it’s real. Imagine someone taking over your social media life and making it their own! We’ve got tips to help you stay safe.

6 Ways to Finance an Engagement Ring

 Oct 05, 2022
One of life’s major milestones is deciding to propose to your significant other. Before the sticker price of rings sends you into a full-blown panic attack, remember there are financing options available. The trick is to find the financing solution that will work best for you.

What to Buy and What to Skip in October

 Oct 01, 2022
When it comes to October shopping, a lot of it is about clothes! Jeans are a big “buy,” as of course are Halloween costumes. Grab autumn clothes for the in-between weather, but wait for deals on winter (and summer) clothes until later. Snap up outdoor supplies of every kind, but wait on new electronics and appliances for indoors until Black Friday deals roll out. See what you can find!

What is the Dark Web?

 Sep 28, 2022
The dark web is the seamy underbelly of the internet when personal info is bought and sold by hackers, identity thieves and fraudsters looking to rob you blind. We’ve got tips to keep you safe!

5 Reasons to Open a Money Market Account

 Sep 22, 2022
Check out Money Market accounts at AgFed today! You’ll get higher rates with the security you trust and easy access to funds!

Cash, Credit or Debit - How Should I Pay?

 Sep 19, 2022
Should you pay with cash, credit or debit? It’s a question you come across every day! They each have their strong points, and we’ve broken them down for you in a handy guide.

6-Month Financial Check-Up - Tips to Fight Inflation

 Sep 14, 2022
The six-month financial check-up is even more crucial today as inflation continues to decrease the value of your money. With less money to spend, it’s important to find ways to maximize your hard-earned dollars. Consider the following inflation-fighting strategies when performing your financial review.

5 Psychology Tricks Used by Dealerships

 Sep 12, 2022
Buying a new car is a significant financial move. While the process can be exciting, there’s also a level of intimidation. After all, you’re going up against some of the best salespeople when visiting a dealership. And while most dealers today aren’t shady, there are tactics they use to maximize the sale in their favor. Here are five less-known psychology tactics dealers use, along with tips on how to avoid falling victim to them.

4 Popular Scams and How to Protect Yourself

 Sep 08, 2022
While online scams have been around for ages, new technologies bring additional means for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. The best way to protect yourself from becoming a fraud or identity theft victim is to understand how these scams work. Here are four of the more common scams today and ways to protect yourself.

How to Fix Errors on Your Credit Report

 Sep 06, 2022
Your credit score will play a tremendous role throughout your adult life. One of the simplest ways to better your credit is by correcting any errors on your report. While the process will require a little work on your end, the damage could negatively affect your score long-term if left unchecked. Learn how to obtain a free copy of your credit report and the steps to correct any errors in the following guide.

What to Buy and What to Skip in September

 Aug 31, 2022
September means Labor Day, the last big summer holiday, and there are deals to be had this month, as well as stuff to skip buying. We’ve got all the info you’ll need to shop smart!

Don't Get Caught in a Shopping Scam

 Aug 29, 2022
Online shopping is quick, convenient, easy … and full of scams if you’re not careful. We’ve got tips to help you steer clear of the scammers!

Buy Now, Pay Later: Is There a Catch?

 Aug 25, 2022
Everywhere you look lately, from grocery stores to online retailers, there is a “new” way to pay: Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). What makes the Buy Now, Pay Later option any different from credit cards? Why is it spreading like a wildfire among consumers as a preferred payment option? And is there a catch?

Should I Keep Cash at Home?

 Aug 23, 2022
Think that mattress full of money will protect you from inflation? Not only will it not work, but if a fire, theft or bugs gets to your cash, you’ll really be out of luck. We’ve got advice!

6 Tips to Help with Rising Childcare Costs

 Aug 19, 2022
Most new parents are shocked when they discover the cost of childcare today. With prices per child often near $1,000 per month, the total can become extremely expensive for those with multiple small children. Here are some steps you can take to lower childcare costs and better plan for the ongoing expenses.

How do I Read the Fine Print on my Credit Card Paperwork?

 Aug 15, 2022
Who really reads all the fine print on a credit card offer? If you’re one of the many who don’t, you could be setting yourself up for a rude awakening. Read our guide to find out what to watch for!

8 Tips if You're Living Paycheck to Paycheck

 Aug 11, 2022
Living paycheck-to-paycheck can be very draining and inadvertently affect everyone in your household. Breaking free from this financial cycle can often feel impossible. But there are moves you can make to begin building your savings and eliminate the stress of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Here are eight tactics to explore that can help you get ahold of your finances.

8 Ways to Spot a Survey Scam

 Aug 09, 2022
Want to take surveys online to make some extra cash? It can be a great way to make pocket money, but watch out for scammers. We’ll help you stay safe!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Car this Year

 Aug 04, 2022
It’s not all gloom and doom if you need to shop for a new car right now. At least interest rates are still low, even if supply is, too. Talk to AgFed about financing your new ride!

What to Buy and What to Skip in August

 Aug 01, 2022
There aren’t any major holidays in August, but there are still plenty of deals to be had! The end of summer brings hot deals on AC units and summer clothes, and we’ll tell you what else!

Is Having No Debt a Smart Move?

 Jul 27, 2022
Debt often seems like a four-letter word - something everyone should do their best to avoid. But it may not be as simple as that.

Is the Zero-Based Budget Right for You?

 Jul 21, 2022
While there are many budgeting styles, the Zero-Based Budget is a method that’s gaining in popularity. Originally created for businesses, the zero-based budgeting process forces organizations to justify every expense – helping to trim the fat and prevent excess spending. When applied to individual or family budgets, it works in much of the same way. Keep reading to discover if this budgeting style is right for you.

Should I Buy out My Lease?

 Jul 19, 2022
If you’re getting close to the end of your lease term on your car, you might be getting offers to buy out your lease. This is when you pay the “buyout price” for the car and become the owner. With the new and used car markets so hot right now, it’s not a bad idea as long as you set up financing at the lowest rate you can get and be sure the car is actually worth what you’ll end up paying.

11 Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

 Jul 13, 2022
Did you just feel a cold breeze on your suntanned back? It’s back to school time sneaking up on you! Worry not, we’ve got hacks to save you big bucks!

How to Protect Family Members from Scams

 Jul 11, 2022
Nowadays, everyone in the family is using technology - from kids to grandparents. These convenient digital tools instantly connect everything, from friends and family to financial accounts and shopping. Unfortunately, they also open the door to fraudsters. It’s more important than ever to educate your family members about online safety and how to avoid becoming a victim of the latest scam.

Tips for Traveling Abroad

 Jul 07, 2022
No matter how much advance planning you do for a trip abroad, there are always some details that require last-minute handling. Some of them become routine, but they are important, nonetheless.

4 Ways to Stay Financially Fit this Summer

 Jul 05, 2022
Summertime, and the living is easy … or at least it will be if you have your budget ready! Summer doesn't have to break your bank!

Independence Day Celebrations, Yesterday and Today

 Jul 01, 2022
These days, the Fourth of July is a day for barbecues, parades, fireworks and all manner of patriotic displays … which is how at least one of the Founding Fathers envisioned it, even if he couldn’t imagine the options we have today. We’ve got some budget-friendly ways to really get in the spirit!

6 Tips for a Scam Free Summer

 Jun 30, 2022
Summer is time for fun, whether you’re on vacation or just hanging out at home, but scammers will come after you no matter where you are. We’ll help you steer clear!

How to Beat Car Dealers at Their Own Games

 Jun 27, 2022
Buying a new car is no doubt exciting. But there’s also that feeling of uneasiness knowing you’re about to run the gauntlet of dealer games. Despite all your research and preparation, you’re still at a disadvantage since you likely buy a car a few times a decade – whereas dealers sell them all day, every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drive away holding your head up high, knowing you got a great deal. You just need to be one step ahead of the dealers.

All You Need to Know About Home Equity Loans

 Jun 23, 2022
The hot real estate market has meant many homeowners have seen the values of their homes skyrocket. If that’s the case for you, or you’ve just been in your house long enough to build up equity the old-fashioned way, a Home Equity Loan can be a great way to handle anything from debt consolidation to wedding expenses. Check with AgFed to see if a Home Equity Loan is a good idea for you!

Kick off a Safe and Healthy Summer

 Jun 21, 2022
Traveling this summer? Staycation? Either way, keep loved ones safe and healthy with this quick checklist.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

 Jun 14, 2022
Sadly, elder abuse is all too common and can take many forms. If you are a caregiver or if you are responsible for an elder person in care, we have information you need!

How Long Do Negative Marks Stay on Your Credit Report?

 Jun 09, 2022
It’s no secret an excellent credit score comes with many financial perks. It can help you qualify for the loans you need and pay less interest on the funds you borrow. While building and maintaining a great credit score should always be a priority, mistakes happen. Some mishaps are more severe than others and can impact your credit rating for much longer. Understanding which items carry more weight on your score will help you avoid them in the future.

How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor for You

 Jun 06, 2022
Not everyone is a financial guru when it comes to investing or managing long-term retirement plans. Even if you have the knowledge and insight, keeping up with the latest rules and economic trends can become exhausting and time-consuming, ultimately causing you to miss out on opportunities. Partnering with a financial advisor is a wise move when it comes to managing your money. And contrary to popular belief, the role of a financial advisor extends far beyond retirement planning.

What to Grab and What to Skip in June

 Jun 01, 2022
Ah, June! Summertime, and the shopping is easy! We’ve got the insider info on what to buy and what to skip in summer’s first month.

8 Things You Thought You Knew About Memorial Day

 May 26, 2022
How well can you identify the facts and myths about Memorial Day? We have explained the true meaning behind the holiday and weeded out the myths.

Are You Ready for an Electric Vehicle?

 May 23, 2022
Electric cars are gaining popularity between their gas-saving abilities and environmentally friendly designs. However, these vehicles may not yet be suitable for everyone. By weighing the pros and cons of electric vehicles, you'll be better equipped to decide which option will better suit you and your family.

How to Make a Vacation Budget You Can Keep

 May 19, 2022
If you, like millions of Americans, are looking to head out on vacation this year, you’re probably trying to figure out how many trips you can afford. We’ve got tips to help you make plans!

What to Do If Your Loan is Denied

 May 16, 2022
Loan denials can happen for a variety of reasons – some of which may be quick fixes. So, instead of feeling all is lost, just think of your loan as not being approved yet.

The Importance of Keeping Your Beneficiaries Current

 May 11, 2022
Providing financial security for yourself and your family likely ranks at the top of your financial goals. While it isn’t something you prefer to think about, deciding what will happen to the money in your accounts should you unexpectedly pass away is vital to your financial plan. There is a very simple way to ensure your funds pass directly to your loved ones. It’s called a beneficiary.

Don't Get Caught in a QR Code Scam

 May 09, 2022
Thanks to COVID-19 and everyone’s reluctance to touch things, QR codes have become ubiquitous. You can scan them to pay for anything from a fast food meal to a bus ride to much more expensive things. However, they can be spoofed, and you’ll end up paying your money to a scammer (and probably giving them access to your phone in the process). QR codes are quick and easy … help keep them safe, too!

7 Reasons to Buy and RV or Campervan

 May 05, 2022
Has the thought of an RV or its smaller cousin, the campervan, crossed your mind as a vacation alternative? It’s a great concept, and worth considering for your next trip. We’ve got details!

Saving on Mother's Day

 May 03, 2022
Did mom teach you to be thrifty? Show her you were paying attention with a thrifty Mothers Day celebration. Show your love AND your good sense!

Don't Get Caught in an Auto Warranty Scam

 Apr 28, 2022
Car warranty scam calls are everywhere, and the average person gets 28 scam calls a month! Don’t fall for robot voices, demands for payment or pressure tactics. And watch your regular mail for official-looking “notices” that are from scammers, too! Guard your personal info, don’t pay up front for anything and report scams to the FTC. Oh, and block the number the scammer is calling from. Eventually, you’ll quiet them down!

Small Steps for College Saving

 Apr 25, 2022
As a parent, one thing that is always looming in the background is your child’s college education. Yes, you want the best for your child – to send them to a good school; to make sure they get a great education. But, all you hear about in the news is skyrocketing college prices. Not to mention you’re trying to save for your own retirement and everyday expenses. So how do you make it all work?

All You Need to Know About HELOCs

 Apr 21, 2022
You’ve heard of a home equity loan, but have you ever heard of a home equity line of credit, or HELOC? It works much like an Home Equity Loan, but you have a specific amount you’re able to draw over a specific period. Read on to learn more about HELOCs.

Should You Pay Money for Good Grades?

 Apr 19, 2022
Every parent wants the best for their child, and schooling plays a significant role in determining what opportunities await them later in life. While there are many techniques to help children excel in school, a commonly debated topic is whether you should pay your child for good grades. Before you decide, it’s important to understand how paying for grades works and the potential benefits and drawbacks.

The Unobvious Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund

 Apr 13, 2022
You can probably guess that an emergency fund is for financial emergencies just by the name. Everyone can agree that most financial challenges tend to pop up when they’re least expected. While the uses for an emergency fund may be obvious, the costs of not having one are often overlooked.

7 Habits of People with High Credit Scores

 Apr 11, 2022
Upon reaching adulthood, one number that can dramatically impact your life, both financially and otherwise, is your credit score. While a good credit score is to be desired, it isn’t always easy to obtain. Life throws everyone curve balls that knock their financial plans and budgets off track. So how do you build and maintain the high credit score you desire? Below are seven habits commonly found among those with high credit scores.

How to Beat Spring Allergies Without Spending a Fortune

 Apr 07, 2022
Allergy season is here, and it can make you and your budget sick. We’ve got some ideas that can lessen the symptoms without emptying your wallet.

Teaching Your Child to Grow Their Savings

 Apr 04, 2022
Over the years, parents teach their children many things. One important lesson that parents need to teach that often gets overlooked is the importance of saving money. These tips will help parents teach children of all ages how to save more, manage their money, and grow their savings effectively.

Home Improvement Hacks

 Mar 31, 2022
Your home is in desperate need of remodeling, but your budget won’t allow for major construction. Lucky for you, we have hacks to make your home just like new! Cover old couches with slipcovers to make them look like new, and put new fronts on old cabinets for a fresh look, and while you’re in the kitchen, use granite-look contact paper to refresh your countertops, and mirrored tiles to create a new backsplash! New light fixtures are an inexpensive way to change your look.

5 Ways to Trim Your Fixed Expenses

 Mar 29, 2022
When most of us make our monthly budget, we list our fixed monthly expenses and move on from there; however, taking a close look at those can save you money! Consider refinancing your mortgage, and using a zero-interest balance transfer or personal loan from AgFed to consolidate credit card debt. Shop around for better auto insurance rates, and even challenge the assessment on your home to see if you can drop your property taxes. You can cut your monthly bills!

8 Ways to Curb Emotional Spending

 Mar 25, 2022
Everyone deals with stress and anxiety. Whether it’s work-related, issues at home, health problems, or something else, stress can weigh you down emotionally and physically. Some people tend to turn to indulgences, such as emotional spending, to relieve tension in their lives. While this may help make you feel better in the short term, the long-term effects could lead to situations that cause even more stress – such as excessive debt.

Don't Sleep on Your Savings - Avoid Dormant Accounts

 Mar 22, 2022
Quick! How many savings accounts do you have? When was the last time you made a deposit? Old accounts can be declared dormant, and getting your money back can be difficult. Keep track of your accounts, set up automatic deposits and do regular cleanups of special-purpose accounts to make sure you don’t fall into this trap!

7 Ways to Spring Clean for Extra Cash

 Mar 17, 2022
Would spring cleaning be easier if you made some extra cash doing it? It’s possible! Trade in old electronics and video games, and sell old smartphones for quick cash and gift cards. Used books won’t bring a ton, but something is better than nothing (and textbooks can bring a lot more). Even your old clothes can be worth something through consignment outlets! And if you can’t sell something in your area, there’s always eBay! Have you spring-cleaned your way toward extra cash?

Lawn-Care Scams Sprout Up in Spring

 Mar 14, 2022
Be wary of any lawn-care company that offers a price before actually looking at your yard, check the references of any business you allow on your property and, of course, get EVERYTHING in writing. Failing to be careful can leave you with bigger problems than brown spots or wilted shrubs! Treat lawn care like any other business deal and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Understanding Your Credit Card Rates

 Mar 09, 2022
Before you swipe your card, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of credit card rates, including what to consider before choosing which card to use.

6 Questions Your Auto Dealer Hopes You Can't Answer

 Mar 07, 2022
Learn six questions your car salesman hopes you can’t answer. Steer clear of financing traps and hidden costs, and get the best deal you can.

All You Need to Know About the Metaverse and NFTs

 Mar 02, 2022
Are you befuddled by the metaverse and the concept of NFTs? Well, think of an NFT as the virtual piece of art you hang on the wall of your virtual house in the metaverse. They’re both completely digital creations, but thanks to some serious technology, they’re becoming “real.” You’ll soon be able to bank, shop, host parties and market digital wares in the metaverse, and each of those wares will need an NFT to keep others from making unauthorized copies of it. It’s the brave new world.

Should You Lease a Car?

 Feb 24, 2022
If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be considering a lease as opposed to purchasing a vehicle outright. With shorter terms and typically lower monthly payments, leases offer many attractive benefits on the surface. However, understanding the ins and outs of a lease is essential before making your decision. Below we’ll explore the pros and cons of leasing so you can make the best decision for your financial situation.

All You Need to Know About Going Cashless

 Feb 22, 2022
Are you thinking of going cashless, or do you think society soon will? Cashless living makes it easier to track your spending (but you may spend more) and it would hamper illicit businesses. Currency exchange when traveling abroad would be a thing of the past, and governments wouldn’t spend money printing currency anymore. Cash is free to use and it always works (even if your phone battery dies). Cashless has some advantages, but it looks like cash will be around for a while yet!

Should You Use a Cash Advance?

 Feb 17, 2022
Most people will encounter a time where they will need instant access to cash. If you have a credit card, you may be considering a cash advance to help you out of a tight financial spot. However, cash advances should always be used with caution and only in emergencies.

Don’t Answer Calls from These Area Codes

 Feb 15, 2022
Did you know robocalls can cost you money without selling you a thing? If you call back on a one-ring call or call a chat line if you live in a rural area, you can find yourself on the hook for a big bill. Here’s a basic rule of thumb: NEVER answer a call from an unfamiliar number. They’re likely a scam. And before you call an unknown number back, check it out on Google to see if the area code or the number itself is connected to scams.

How to Maintain Your Savings in the Coming Years

 Feb 09, 2022
Consumer saving and spending have seen their ups and downs during the Covid-19 pandemic. When the pandemic started, in general, people were spending less of their money, preferring to hold onto their cash partly or fully due to the unknown. As the pandemic continues, the shift in consumer savings over spending is starting to reverse course, making it harder to maintain the savings you built.

How to Celebrate Valentines Day on a Budget

 Feb 07, 2022
It might seem unromantic to talk about saving money on Valentine’s Day, but what’s more romantic than a balanced budget and a full savings account? But seriously, there are great ways to still have a romantic time without spending a ton. Set a budget and stick to it, and use a sales app to find the best prices on what you’ll buy. Buy flowers at a warehouse or discount store rather than online. Cook in if you can, creating a romantic dinner space anywhere you’d like in your home.

Saving on Entertainment Costs

 Feb 03, 2022
Keeping yourself entertained can keep your wallet drained, but you don’t have to go broke! Cut the cord and discover streaming services that can save you a bundle, especially if you share the costs. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there for movies, music and TV! You might have a hobby that can make you money, or volunteer to get admission to places. Be smart about your picks and you can have plenty of fun and still have money left for boring things like bills!

Q&A - What are the Tax Benefits of Owning a Home?

 Feb 01, 2022
Why should you buy a house? Well, of course it beats living in a tent or in your parents’ basement, but it’s also great from a tax standpoint! You can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage and your property taxes, and you might even be able to deduct what you pay for private mortgage insurance. Home equity loan interest may be deductible, and if you work from home you can look into claiming a home office deduction.

All You Need to Know About Buying a Used Car

 Jan 28, 2022
If buying a used car conjures up visions of getting rooked by a guy in a bad suit with slick hair, think again! You can get a fantastic deal if you shop carefully. Figure out exactly what you want, get your financing set up, search multiple places, get a vehicle history report and get your mechanic to check it out. Check out EVERYTHING on your test drive, and negotiate for your best price. Stay focused and be careful, and you’ll come out ahead of the game!

10 Steps to Break the Renting Cycle

 Jan 26, 2022
Home values continue to rise across the country, which is excellent news for homeowners and real estate investors. However, an unfortunate by-product of increasing home values is a subsequent increase in rent. If you’re currently renting an apartment or home, now may be the ideal time to break free from the rent cycle and invest in a house. However, before you jump straight into looking at new homes, there are steps you can take to make the financial transition as easy as possible.

How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report

 Jan 20, 2022
Did you know that roughly a quarter of credit reports in a recent survey had errors in them? Is yours one? If you find a mistake on your report, we’ve got the steps you need to fix it!

The Comprehensive Guide to Insurance Coverage

 Jan 18, 2022
If your eyes glaze over when someone starts talking about insurance, you’re not alone, but you need to know the facts when it comes to the different kinds of insurance and what they cover (and how they cover it). From health to auto and homeowners to life, there’s a ton you need to know!

Why You Should Avoid Payday Loans

 Jan 13, 2022
Life can sometimes bring you unexpected challenges, and you might find yourself desperately in need of immediate cash. While using a payday loan may seem like a viable option, these loans can quickly spin out of control and put you into even greater debt.

Don't Get Caught in a Weight-Loss Scam

 Jan 11, 2022
With New Year’s weightloss resolutions and people trying to shed those quarantine pounds, weight-loss scammers are everywhere! Read our guide and don’t be their next victim!

Snowball Method vs Avalance Method - What's the Best Way to Tackle Debt

 Jan 07, 2022
Which hits harder, an avalanche or a snowball? Well, when we’re talking about paying off debt, it can be a tough choice! We’ll help you decide which method to use.

6 Steps to Crushing Debt

 Jan 05, 2022
Are you buried under a pile of debt and convinced you’ll never dig out? All it takes is time, budgeting and organization to get you there. We’ve got plenty of tips to help!

How Can I Make New Years Resolutions That Stick?

 Dec 29, 2021
Every December, I draw up a list of New Year’s resolutions that look depressingly similar to the ones I wrote last year. How can I make things different this year?

10 Ways to Save More in the New Year

 Dec 27, 2021
The New Year is a great time to set goals and start fresh. Even if you’re not the best at saving money or cash always seems to be tight, we have ten tips to help you quickly boost your savings this year.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Credit Card Churning

 Dec 20, 2021
The term “credit card churning” refers to the act of repeatedly opening credit card accounts to earn the cash rewards, points, and miles that are awarded as signup bonuses. Then, once you’ve met the minimum requirements to receive your rewards, you close the cards before annual fees come due. While the practice promises quick rewards for cardholders, it also poses significant risks. Here’s what you need to know about credit card churning.

Home Values are Up. So Is Your Equity.

 Dec 16, 2021
Tapping into your home’s equity is a great way to enhance your finances and build even more value in your home. Whether you’re interested in upgrading your house or consolidating debt, the longer loan terms and lower interest rates of home loans are sure to benefit you financially.

How to Spot a Credit Repair Scam

 Dec 13, 2021
Repairing your credit can be an uphill battle. You’re looking at months of hard work, negotiating with creditors, reworking your budget and identifying the factors that are making your credit score lag. In short, it’s a hassle and it takes lots of time. There are legitimate credit repair companies, but without educating yourself, finding them instead of the scammers who only want your money can be tricky.

Tips for Lowering Stress During the Holidays

 Dec 08, 2021
While the holidays are a time for cheer and spending time with family, many also experience heightened levels of stress. With all that has happened this year, you may find yourself more overwhelmed than usual as the holidays approach. However, there are things, even in these unsettling times, you can do to help reduce your stress during the holidays. Below are some tips to help you get through the holidays as stress-free as possible.

7 Naughty Holiday Scams to Watch Out for This Holiday Season

 Dec 06, 2021
‘Tis the season to be jolly! And unfortunately, ‘tis also the season for scammers to go after your hard-earned dollars. Keep your money safe by reading up on the most common scams taking place this time of year and practicing caution.

Waging War Against Porch Pirates

 Nov 30, 2021
Holiday shopping season is upon us and your (not-so) friendly neighborhood porch pirates are gearing up to pilfer the holiday treasures being delivered to your doorstep. Here are some ways you can conquer the porch pirates and lay claim to the best holiday ever.

5 Scams to Avoid this Black Friday

 Nov 22, 2021
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be great fun, but they can also put you at great risk. Scams abound on the weekend that heralds the holiday shopping season, and you don’t want a phishing scheme or a bogus bargain to turn you into a Grinch. Here are 5 scams to look out for as you brave the frenzied crowds while trying to snag the best deals after Thanksgiving.

The Promises and Perils of Buy Now, Pay Later

 Nov 16, 2021
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) programs almost seem too good to be true. You can actually walk away with that overpriced exercise bike, entertainment system, sectional sofa or anything else that caught your eye without having the money to pay for it now. And there are almost no eligibility requirements to qualify. However, upon closer inspection, BNPL isn’t really as great as it may appear. Let’s take a look at these programs, how they work and what to be aware of before you sign up.

Money Saving Tips for Turkey Day

 Nov 12, 2021
The holiday season is fast approaching and, much like last year, the holidays may be different. While you may still gather with family and friends, it’s likely those gatherings will be smaller in nature. And whether the holidays have affected you financially, chances are someone in your family or group of friends has been. Here are a few tips to keep the holidays joyful without extra cash — and to find moments of thankfulness with friends and family.

What Happens If You Max Out Your Credit Cards?

 Nov 09, 2021
Credit cards give you the convenience and freedom to shop practically anywhere, either online or offline, at any given time. However, this type of freedom can also create many financial hardships if not managed responsibly.

Pros & Cons of Buying a New vs. Used Vehicle

 Nov 04, 2021
Deciding between buying new or preowned is one choice that people tend to go back and forth with the most. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s important to consider all possibilities before heading to the dealership.

Consolidate Credit Card Debt Before the Holidays

 Nov 01, 2021
With the holiday season right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to get a handle on any outstanding credit card balances. The last thing you want to do is add costly holiday expenses onto existing balances – especially if that debt is already difficult to manage.

How to navigate charitable giving and avoid scams

 Oct 27, 2021
For AgFed and our members, charitable giving is a longstanding tradition, and many of us are really grateful for the opportunity to support those people who are making a difference out there. Unfortunately, there are quite a few dishonest charities and outright scams that well-intentioned people can mistakenly end up supporting, as well. So, how do we know if an organization is doing the right thing?

How to Transition from a Secured to Unsecured Credit Card

 Oct 25, 2021
A secured credit card is a great tool to either help you establish credit initially or assist in restoring your credit to boost your credit score. At some point, when your credit is fully established and in good standing, you’ll want to transition to a regular, unsecured credit card. Here are some tips to ensure that transition goes as smoothly as possible.

DIY Halloween décor

 Oct 22, 2021
Are you ready for Halloween? We’ve got some DIY decorating hacks that will make your home the spooky hit of the neighborhood without breaking the bank!

There's still time to take advantage of your home's equity!

 Oct 22, 2021
Fall is here, and a lot of the world is already preparing for cold winter nights and cozy sweaters. But don’t get ahead of yourself just because you’re already seeing holiday decorations in stores! There’s still plenty of decent weather left, and you have time to finish those home-improvement projects you had to delay this summer. Plus your contractors might appreciate the cooler temperatures! Here are 3 types of home improvement projects you still have time to tackle this Fall

A Savings Plan for Your Newborn

 Oct 19, 2021
Life can be pretty hectic as the parent of a newborn baby. Your mind is racing with thoughts of feedings, changing diapers, and sleep…much-needed sleep! Any financial thoughts are likely geared towards buying more diapers or formula. But this is also the best time to start saving for your child’s future.

What an IRA actually is and how to get started

 Oct 14, 2021
The key to being able to retire comfortably is to get things moving with a comprehensive plan. Starting an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one of the smartest and most secure ways to make sure you have what you need after your retirement.

Understanding the Home Inspection Process

 Oct 11, 2021
The home-buying process can be a little daunting – especially if it’s your first time. Lenders have many requirements that home-buyers must meet before they finance a home. One way that lenders protect themselves (and you!) is through a professional home inspection. This process identifies any potential problems that may affect the value of the home in the future.

10 Tips to Save Money at the Pump

 Oct 07, 2021
While fuel prices will always fluctuate with the economy, there are many things you can do now to help you save more at the pump. So whether you’re planning a road trip or want to lower your everyday expenses, follow these ten money-saving tips.

How to Refinance Loans with Bad Credit

 Oct 04, 2021
Just because you don’t have perfect credit now doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of prime loan rates. With a bit of planning and preparation, it’s possible to boost your score in a few months with these tips.

Where Will You Be [Financially] in 5 Years?

 Sep 30, 2021
Everyone sets goals. Typically, these goals fall into two categories - short-term and long-term. But what about mid-range goals, such as five years? A great deal can happen in five years, no matter your stage in life. So, ask yourself, where do you want to be [financially] in five years — and how will you get there?

Now might be a great time to refinance your auto loan

 Sep 28, 2021
Whether or not you’ve been car shopping recently, you’ve probably heard how expensive buying a car has become. With used cars nowadays going for nearly as much as new, even the current low interest rates might not make upgrading worth the hassle. However, refinancing your current car loan can be a smart, painless way to lower your monthly payments and free up some cash, or even pay off your car sooner.

What Documents Do I Need to Update When I Get Married?

 Sep 23, 2021
You've taken vows, heard toasts made towards your everlasting happiness, and even waltzed (or stumbled) onto the dance floor. Your big day has finally come and gone, and you're married. Now the real fun begins — updating all your important documents. While this may not sound that exciting, it’s a crucial step to getting married. Here’s a list of essential documents you’ll need to update after you get married.

Good Debt, Bad Debt – Knowing the Difference

 Sep 20, 2021
You might be under the impression that all debt is bad. That simply isn’t the case. While no one likes to owe money, some loans can help you become more financially secure and provide you with opportunities to improve your current financial situation further. To help you better understand the differences, let’s review the characteristics of both good and bad debts.

How AgFed Members Can Avoid Scams

 Sep 17, 2021
Internet-based criminals steal millions of dollars each year. The internet and cybersecurity continue to evolve and change, but scams will always be a problem. The best thing you can do is to take preventative measures before you do business over the Internet, and to stay informed on the most common scams.

Should You Buy a Car from a Private Seller?

 Sep 14, 2021
Buying a car is exciting. It’s also a significant financial commitment. When purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, in most states, there are certain protections in place to prevent you from buying the proverbial “lemon.” The same does not hold true, however, when you buy a car from a private seller. Here are some steps you should take to ensure a good experience when buying a vehicle from a private seller.

Does Closing a Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score?

 Sep 08, 2021
That moment, when you FINALLY pay off a credit card that has plagued your thoughts and haunted your monthly bottom line for years, or even decades, can be a moment when you want to tell the company good riddance and leave them behind forever. But, is that the right move to make for your credit score?

A 0% APR balance transfer gives you some much needed breathing room

 Sep 06, 2021
Debt can feel like a burden you have to carry all day, and then pick up again tomorrow. And if your debt comes with a high interest rate, it might feel like you’ll never pay it off. If you’re living with debt, the best thing to do is make a plan that lets you move forward. There are a number of ways to start managing your debt, but one of the most straightforward methods is to get a 0% APR balance transfer.

HELOC: Your Emergency Lifeline

 Sep 01, 2021
Unexpected expenses or emergencies can be devastating to your finances. One medical bill can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Even smaller financial problems, such as finding the money to perform repairs after a storm, can leave you without any way to make ends meet. However, if you own your house, you have an emergency lifeline surrounding you: the equity in your home. You can tap into this equity with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and use the money however you need.

Is it Better to Buy or Rent a Home?

 Aug 30, 2021
Owning a home is one of the biggest investments of most people’s lifetime, and for most prospective homeowners it just keeps getting harder. This means more and more people are asking themselves the question, “Should I just keep renting?” Buying a house is a sound investment for some people, while renting might be a better option for others. So how do you know which group you belong to? Here are a few things you should consider when deciding whether to buy, or just keep renting.

Achieving Your Goals [Financial or Not]

 Aug 26, 2021
Setting and achieving goals is important in all areas of your life, whether financial or not. The challenge is not so much in creating goals but actually fulfilling them. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or a random Tuesday, starting on the path of a new goal is much easier than making the trek to the end. Let’s review how you can increase your chances of success by tweaking your goal-setting process.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

 Aug 23, 2021
Buying your first home is one of the most important decisions of your life, we’ve decided to help you by putting together a handy guide. In this guide, we’ll help you better understand what to expect, what costs are involved, and some tips for first-time homebuyers. Here’s everything you need to know about buying your first home:

Why You Shouldn’t Cut Up Your Credit Cards

 Aug 19, 2021
One of the most persuasive pieces of advice we hear about credit card spending is to limit how much you use them in an effort to reduce debt. Yet it isn't vital to destroy all your credit cards or refuse to use them until absolutely necessary to take control of your spending habits. In fact, refusing to use credit can cause issues to your credit score. You may be scaring lenders away when the time comes to take out future loans.

4 Reasons Your Credit Score Changed

 Aug 17, 2021
Many people are surprised to learn that even small actions cause ripple effects that can decrease your credit score. If you monitor your credit score routinely, you may find these changes perplexing. These are four reasons your credit score may have changed and why they affect your score in the first place.

How to Take the Stress Out of Back to School

 Aug 11, 2021
Summer is winding down and schools are starting up again! Preparing to send your kids back to school can be stressful, particularly because of back-to-school shopping. You might feel like back-to-school time has snuck up on you this year, but don’t worry! There are still plenty of options to help you catch up and get things back on track.

How to Minimize the Financial Effect of Divorce

 Aug 09, 2021
A divorce can affect not just your emotional state, but it can also have a significant impact on your finances. If you're going through a divorce, you must develop a plan of attack for your finances. We want to be sure all our members have all the knowledge they need to minimize the financial effect of divorce. Here are some areas you can begin focusing your attention.

Buying a Car Online vs. a Dealership

 Aug 03, 2021
When looking to buy a new car, chances are you still consider local dealerships the place to go. However, as the world continues to turn more digital, innovative auto companies are changing the landscape and implementing online car buying.

Tips to Simplify Your Financial Life

 Jul 29, 2021
Everyone knows money stresses people out. In fact, 90% of Americans have reported that their finances are a primary source of stress, and the Coronavirus pandemic certainly hasn’t made things any easier on us. If you’d rather do anything other than balance your budget or do your taxes, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, money concerns have a tendency to catch up with you. The good news is we’re here to help. Here are three basic principles to help you simplify your financial life.

10 Ways to Make Your Accounts More Secure

 Jul 26, 2021
With online transactions increasing each year, it’s more important than ever for people to become vigilant in protecting their identity. Identity theft and fraud are on the rise, and scammers are becoming smarter and more creative with how they’re targeting people and their accounts. Figuring out where to begin to protect yourself can be overwhelming. Here are ten things you can start doing right now to help keep your accounts more secure.

Paying for Your Wedding: Personal Loans vs Credit Cards

 Jul 23, 2021
Paying for a wedding is no small order. There are many details involved — and the entire process can be quite expensive. Many couples rely heavily on credit cards or a personal loan to get them through their weddings. But there is one choice that is almost always the better option. Here’s what you need to know about using credit cards compared to a personal loan to pay for your wedding.

Auto Insurance Types Explained

 Jul 20, 2021
Auto insurance is not always as straightforward as people imagine. For one thing, there’s more than one or two types of car insurance, and the various types of coverage offer different levels of protection. We think it’s important for everyone to have at least some understanding of the coverage options most insurers have available, so we made this list to help you get up to speed.

Understanding the Risks of Online Gambling

 Jul 14, 2021
Throughout history, gambling has been a popular pastime. Today, it’s even more accessible than ever before due to online gambling websites. Unfortunately, what can begin as an enjoyable pastime and opportunity to relieve stress, can present quite a few challenges — especially with the ease of gambling with your credit or debit card.

Know Where Your Money Goes

 Jul 12, 2021
Saving money is hard, especially when the majority of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. The truth is that most Americans don’t have the money management skills necessary to budget effectively. But don’t worry, these are skills you can learn and master with some time and effort. Learning these skills will help you better understand where your money goes, which is the first step in having financial control.

How to Avoid Common Dealership Tricks

 Jul 08, 2021
When you’re buying a new or used vehicle, you have a sales professional by your side to help you make the best decision. But, are they always helping you to buy the car that’s right for you, or do they have a profit goal in mind instead? You can protect yourself and ensure you invest in a quality vehicle at the right price. To do so, it helps to know some of the tricks dealerships use as well as a few tips for ensuring you’re satisfied with your investment.

How to Buy in a Competitive Market

 Jul 05, 2021
In case you hadn’t noticed, the housing market has sort of exploded lately. For those looking to sell a home, this is excellent news. But if you're on the other end of the process, where you were looking to buy a home sometime soon, it might not have been what you were hoping to hear. Buying a house in a competitive market can get complicated, and the fierce competition for a good home can drastically change the buying process itself. Fortunately, we have some advice to help you get ready to pou

Steps to Take if You’re a Fraud Victim

 Jun 30, 2021
Unfortunately, identity theft impacts many people each day. Because of the potential resulting damage, if you become a fraud victim, it’s essential to take swift action to get the situation under control. While this may take a few steps, you must do what is necessary to minimize fraud’s harmful effects.

7 Tips to Move on a Budget

 Jun 28, 2021
We all know how stressful moving can be. Not only do you have to go through every item in your home, but the cost of moving can put a strain on your wallet. While many people know about the large costs — like paying movers or renting a moving van, there is also a range of smaller expenses — from gasoline to packing supplies — that can add up as well. Here are seven tips to help you move on a budget.

Just Got Married? Time to Set Some Financial Rules!

 Jun 18, 2021
Getting married can be exciting. Once the honeymoon is over, you’ll begin settling into the routine of married life. Your decisions from now on will no longer just affect one person; it will also affect your spouse. To avoid falling into financial issues, one of the first things you should do as a couple is to create a household budget.

Why a Good Credit Score Matters

 Jun 16, 2021
You’ve probably heard by now, more than once, that it is important to have a good credit score. While this sounds good and wise, the importance of a high credit score often doesn’t sink in until you see it in black and white. We want you to understand that a good credit score matters in very real ways. The following example will help illustrate the difference your credit score makes for how much you pay for loans, such as financing a vehicle.

How to Get the Most Money for Your Trade-In

 Jun 10, 2021
While many people may think they have some tricks up their sleeves to obtain the best deal on their next new vehicle, typically, it’s the car salesman that seems to always come out ahead. However, if you approach your new car shopping with a plan, you might be able to grab yourself a great deal, even when you’re trying to trade in your existing vehicle. Here you’ll learn some tips on how to get the most money for your trade-in.

Understanding Your Car Insurance (and Payout)

 Jun 02, 2021
How do you file a car insurance claim? What do you need to know? How will an accident affect your auto loan? For a lot of drivers, the inner machinations of car insurance are surrounded by mystery and confusion. We understand that insurance can get complicated. So we’ve put together a straightforward overview to to help you navigate the rocky waters of the claims process.

Quick Tips to Prevent Fraud

 May 27, 2021
Fraud prevention can take some effort, but it's definitely worth it. Protecting your "worth" is the best way to ensure a healthy future in financial terms. Common sense goes a long way towards keeping your accounts secure, but constant awareness of the risk is not considered paranoid today. It's all too easy to become a victim.

Why Personal Loans May Be the Best Choice

 May 25, 2021
Many people turn to credit cards when financial fires need to be put out quickly. While credit cards can serve an important purpose for helping out in financial jams, they aren’t always the best options for people to consider. In fact, there are other options that offer far more favorable experiences when you find yourself in need of fast cash to help resolve one of life’s little emergencies. One of these options is a personal loan.

2 Ratios That Affect Your Loan Approval

 May 20, 2021
We live in a world where loans can help us afford the items we need without having to make hefty initial payments for the items. People are getting mortgages to purchase their first home, car loans to have an extra vehicle for their spouse, personal loans to finance a home business, and credit cards to pay for incidentals. Providing a lender with the appropriate information will allow them to make the best decision so they can approve you for the loan that you want.

Three BIG Reasons to Join a Credit Union

 May 17, 2021
Right off the bat, we’ll admit it: We’re pretty darn biased in favor of credit unions. We can’t help it, being a credit union ourselves and all. We believe credit unions are the best possible financial institution for community empowerment, excellent service, and individual financial freedom.

The Pros and Cons of Building a New Home

 May 11, 2021
While there are a few important choices to make during the home-buying process, one of the very first decisions you'll need to make is whether you’ll buy an existing home or build a new one. Building a new home can be exciting and offers many advantages, but it also has drawbacks when compared to purchasing an existing home. To help you figure out if building a home is the right choice for you, consider the pros and cons of both options.

15 Financial Terms You Need to Know

 May 05, 2021
We know that not everyone is as fluent in credit union and financial lingo as we are. We’ve even seen our own members get a little lost in all the financial terms that come with being part of a credit union. If you’re used to just nodding your head when someone busts out the financial jargon, have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of 15 common and useful terms to help you navigate the Jargon Seas.

7 Ways to Save as a Family

 May 03, 2021
When looking for ways to save more money, it’s essential to include the whole family. When everyone within the household has a clear understanding of the family’s finances and monetary goals, you’re more likely to succeed.

Tips to Help Teens Succeed in Their First Job

 Apr 29, 2021
That first job as a teen is almost as exciting as passing the driver’s test and getting a license to drive. But, with this great independence comes even greater responsibility. These tips will help your teen make the most of their first job so that they can enjoy greater success. And, if you’re a parent of a teen, be sure to pass these along to your teenager as they prepare for their first job.

Is Downsizing Right for You?

 Apr 27, 2021
Downsizing your home is something you may eventually decide to do. While downsizing can help you save money on living expenses, there are specific lifestyle changes that may be required to make it work for you. These tips will help you make better-informed decision when you make the move to downsize your living space.

Quick Tips for Buying Pre-Owned Vehicles

 Apr 22, 2021
Buying a new vehicle isn’t the only option. Today, it’s possible to save money and even make a better investment by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. However, not every vehicle on the lot is a good buy. There are several steps vehicle shoppers need to take to ensure they are making the best financial decision possible for their needs. What should car buyers look for when buying pre-owned vehicles?

5 Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund

 Apr 15, 2021
Whether it is car repairs, medical bills, or a sudden job loss, unexpected expenses are sure to pop up from time to time. Putting aside three to six months of living expenses into an Emergency Fund should be at the top of everyone’s financial to-do list.

Understanding the True Costs of Owning Pets

 Apr 12, 2021
Are you thinking about expanding your family with a pet? Before you head to a local animal shelter, it's a good idea to consider the financial commitment adding a new member to your family brings. Pets can provide companionship and cuddles, but they also need to eat, go to the vet, and be cared for regularly. . To make sure having a dog, cat, or other furry friend works with your budget, add up the initial, ongoing, and surprise costs associated with pet parenthood.

How to Safely Use your Mobile Payment App

 Apr 07, 2021
With the convenience of Peer-to-peer or P2P mobile payment apps come some risks. Read on for tips on how to safely use your mobile payment app.

How to Teach Kids to Budget Money

 Apr 05, 2021
It’s never too early to begin teaching your children about the importance of budgeting. Children as young as toddlers can start to understand the concept of saving and spending. The key is to start early and expand on their knowledge and understanding as they age. Here is a list of ideas to keep your kids engaged in the budgeting process, no matter their age.

4 Ways to Stop Impulse Buying

 Mar 30, 2021
Right now, you can easily buy anything you want with a quick tap on your phone or a swipe of your card at the store. Beyond that, both brick-and-mortar stores and websites push impulse purchases on you constantly, making it even harder to say no. But you can take control over impulse purchases — you just need to set a few rules.

You Can't Get More Local than a Credit Union

 Mar 24, 2021
The Federal Credit Union Act was signed into law in 1934 and credit unions have been at the forefront of community involvement and financial empowerment ever since then. Read on to learn how credit unions impact the local community.

The Best Home Improvements for Resale Value

 Mar 22, 2021
If you're considering selling your house in the future, it’s essential to understand the best home improvements for resale value. In order to get the most money for your house, your home must be in top-notch shape to attract buyers and get the highest offer possible — perhaps even a bidding war! Don't underestimate the value that even minor improvements to your home could add to your bottom line.

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

 Mar 19, 2021
Spring cleaning your home is probably not new to you. You declutter the garage, clean windows, wipe down baseboards, clear out your basement, and more. But, what about your finances? It pays to spend some time spring cleaning your finances too.

Preparing for a Bundle of Joy Without Spending a Bundle of Cash

 Mar 17, 2021
New or expecting parents may wonder how they could possibly afford to have a baby. Here are some pointers on how you can financially prepare for your bundle of joy.

Personal Loans: When your Wish List is Bigger than your Budget

 Mar 15, 2021
Is your wish list bigger than your budget? Personal Loans are incredibly flexible and there are more uses for them than you might think. Here are some useful and inventive ways to turn your wish list into your done list.

When is it Time to Ditch My Old Car?

 Mar 11, 2021
It's easy to find advice on how to buy a car, where to buy a car and even what cars to buy. What doesn't seem as common is advice on when and why to buy a car. Read on for answers to common questions about buying a new car.

What Not to do With Your IRS Tax Refund

 Mar 09, 2021
When you receive your tax refund, learning how to spend it wisely is your best bet. But you should also learn some of the ways you shouldn't be using it. Read on for ideas on how to use your tax refund and what you should avoid.

Are Apps Killing Your Budget?

 Mar 04, 2021
While there is most likely an app for that, these apps could be killing your budget. "In-app" purchases can add up quickly. Read on for tips on how to reign in your in-app spending.

The Benefits of Using Your Tax Refund as a Car Down Payment

 Mar 01, 2021
It's always a good idea to set some money aside when financing a vehicle. Here are five reasons why using your tax refund as a car down payment will benefit you.

What's Your Money Personality Type?

 Feb 25, 2021
There are five main money personality types. What is yours and how can you improve your financial health?

How Can I Use the Equity in My Home to Do More?

 Feb 22, 2021
A lot of us have been spending more time at home than we’re used to, which means it’s harder to escape those little home-improvement projects we’ve been putting off. If you’ve got a “honey-do” list almost long enough to use as wallpaper for your bathroom, you’re not alone.

Securing Your Home Devices: How & Why

 Feb 18, 2021
With so many people using smart devices in their homes these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure they are secured. Since these devices connect directly to the Internet, you may not realize they collect and share your data. Therefore, it's essential to understand how they work — and, more importantly, how you can secure them.

Money Tips for Buying a New Car

 Feb 16, 2021
Buying a car can get complicated. Check out these tips to get the most out of your budget.

Navigating the Money Conversation with Your Significant Other

 Feb 08, 2021
Don't wait to have this important conversation with your significant other.