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MoneyDig

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.

Loan-Denial

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.
Beneficiaries

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.
QR-Code-Scam

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!
RV-Campervan-1

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!
Mothers_Day

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!
Auto-Warranty-Scams

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!
College-Savings

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

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

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.
Emergency-Fund

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

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.
Spring-Allergies

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

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

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

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!
Emotional-Spending

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.
Dormant_Accounts

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

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

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

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_Cant_Answer

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.
Metaverse_and_NFTs

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

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

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

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.
Dont-Answer-Calls-from-these-Area-Codes

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.
Maintain-Savings-in-Coming-Years

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.
Valentines-on-a-Budget

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

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!
Taxes

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.
Buying-a-Used-Car

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!
Break-the-Renting-Cycle

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.
Dispute-Credit-Report-Error

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!
Guide-to-Insurance

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!
PayDay-Loans

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.
Weight-Loss-Scams

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-vs-Avalanche

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

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!
New-Year-New-Money-Habits

New Year New Money Habits - How to Stick With it in 2022

 Jan 03, 2022
Are you tired of making New Year’s resolutions only to see them all fall by the wayside by March? We’ve got some great ways to help you keep your financial resolutions this year!
Resolutions-that-Stick

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

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.
Credit-Card-Churning

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

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

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

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-Holiday-Scams

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-Pirtates

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.
Was-there-a-Credit-Union-at-the-First-Thanksgiving

Was There a Credit Union at the First Thanksgiving?

 Nov 24, 2021
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.
5-Scams-to-Avoid-this-Black-Friday

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.
Should-I-Buy-a-House-During-the-Holidays

Should I Buy a Home During the Holidays?

 Nov 18, 2021
"I’m in the market for a new home and wondering if I should push off my search until after the holidays. Is it a good idea to buy a new home during Christmas?" Let’s take a closer look at some of the myths and lesser-known facts about timing the purchase of a home and explore the pros and cons of buying during the holidays.
Buy-Now-Pay-Later

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-Savings-Tips-for-Turkey-Day

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

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.
The-Pros-and-Cons-of-Buying-a-New-vs-Used-Vehicle

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-CC-Debt-Before-the-Holidays

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.
Charitable-Giving

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?
Transition-from-a-Secured-Credit-Card

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.PX-1557769

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!
Home-Equity

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

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.
IRA

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.
Home-Inspection

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

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-a-Loan-with-Bad-Credit

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

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?
Refinance-Auto

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

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

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.
Scam-article

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

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-Score

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?
0_-BT

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-Emergency-Lifeline

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.
Buy-vs-Rent

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.
Financial-Goals

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.
First-Time-Homebuyers

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-shouldnt-cut-up-your-credit-cards

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.
3-Reasons-Your-Credit-Score-Changed

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.
Back-to-School

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.
Minimize-financial-effects-of-divorce

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.
Car-Buying-Online-vs-Dealership

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

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-Account-More-SEcure

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

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.
Understanding-your-car-insurance

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.
Risks-of-Online-Gambling

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

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.
Car-Dealership-Tricks

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-Competetive-Market

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-youre-a-fraud-victim

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

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.
What-on-your-list-this-summer

What's on Your List This Summer?

 Jun 21, 2021
After a pretty confined and sedentary 2020, a lot of folks just can’t wait to get out for some summer fun. With all the stress of this past year, don’t you think we deserve it? We’re all a bit tired of being cooped up, so most of us are going to be spending our time looking for something fun to do. We’ve heard about everything from vacations to stay-cations, and we want to share our list of summer ideas with you!
Just-got-married

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

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.
Renting-vs-Buying

Renting vs. Buying – Should I Purchase a Home or Continue Renting?

 Jun 14, 2021
Purchasing a home is an investment in your future. It’s a HUGE decision and should not be taken lightly. If you’ve been renting for a long time and feel like you’re ready to buy a home, or are a homeowner wondering if renting makes more sense, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of renting and buying. Hopefully, we will be able to give you better insight into your options, facilitating your decision-making process.
How-to-get-the-most-money-for-your-trade

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.
Refinance-Your-Home

Now Might Be a Good Time to Refinance Your Home Loan

 Jun 07, 2021
Depending on your situation, refinancing your home could be either an expert financial decision or a worrisome financial misstep. That can be a lot of pressure, but we’d be happy to help you out! To get you started, we’ve put together some refinancing advice for you to consider.
Understanding-Your-Car-Insurance

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

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.
Personal-Loans-Best-Choice

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-loan-approval

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.
AgFed-Member-Benefits

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.
Financial-Self-care

How to Up Your Financial Self-Care Game in 2021

 May 14, 2021
Lots of people practice self-care, and there are lots of ways to do it. But whatever way people choose to promote their physical, mental, and emotional health, they’re probably ignoring anything financial. It turns out, your wallet needs to de-stress sometimes and your budget might need to pick up Yoga to get more flexible.
Pros-and-Cons-of-Building-a-New-Home

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.
CU-Jargon

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

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.
How-to-Help-Teens-Succeed-at-their-First-Job

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

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-A-PreOwned-Car

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?

AgFed's Board of Directors and their Role in the Credit Union

 Apr 19, 2021
While most financial institutions are owned by stockholders, credit unions operate differently. Did you know that your credit union is run by members just like you?
Five-Ways-to-Build-Your-Emergency-Fund

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-a-Pet

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

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.
Teach-Kids-to-Budget-Money

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.
Youth-Savings-is-Youth-Success

Youth Savings is Youth Success

 Apr 01, 2021
Teaching financial literacy to children sets them up for a lifetime of success. Celebrate Youth Savings Month with us!
Impulse-buying

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.
cant-get-more-local-than-a-cu

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.
Best-home-improvements-for-resale-value

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-clean-your-finances

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

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-loan-wishlist-bigger-than-budget

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

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-tax-refund

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

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.
Benefits-of-Using-your-Tax-Refund-as-a-downpayment

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.
Whats-Your-Money-Personality-Type

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

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

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.
Tips-for-buying-a-car

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.
Medical-Bills

How to Dispute and Pay for Large Medical Bills

 Feb 11, 2021
Large medical bills can be a financial burden, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways you can negotiate these bills and create a payment plan to reduce your debt.
Navigating-the-Money-Conversation

Navigating the Money Conversation with Your Significant Other

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

A Love Letter to AgFed Members

 Feb 02, 2021
We love our members!
Tax-Tips-for-Unemployment-Income

Tax Tips for Unemployment Income If You’ve Been Laid Off or Furloughed

 Feb 01, 2021
Were you laid off or furloughed this past year? Read our post on tax tips for unemployment income.
Money_museum_online-green-backgr

7 Virtual Tours for the Money-Minded

 Jan 27, 2021
Rare coins, a million dollars, futuristic teller robots and much more await you with these virtual exhibits. See it all from the comfort and safety of your home.
1515-ARM

What exactly is a 15/15 ARM, and how do I know if I want one?

 Jan 18, 2021
A 15/15 Adjustable Rate Mortgage can greatly boost your homebuying power, but it is the right option for you?