COVID 19 Info: Drive Thrus Open - All Lobbies Temporarily Closed for Walk-In Transactions - Branch Staff Available by Email & Phone.
The Katy branch is temporarily closed for both walk in and drive thru service.

Articles

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to…
a girl on her phone who is wearing a face mask. How Scammers are using COVID-19
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information.

The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information about cases in your neighborhood. They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result
Your first experience with saving money may have come from putting spare change in a piggy bank. Over time, the piggy likely got heavier and fuller until one day, you broke it open to buy that…
a girl and a piggy bank Savings Accounts: More Than a Piggy Bank


Your first experience with saving money may have come from putting spare change in a piggy bank. Over time, the piggy likely got heavier and fuller until one day, you broke it open to buy that toy you had been saving for. This is a good lesson in delaying gratification – putting money aside today to use later. But modern savings accounts offer more than a secure place to store money. Savings accounts allow you to earn interest on the money you save, and when combined with other features, can help you to save for future purchases, pay down debt or prepare for unforeseen expenses.


 

What is a savings account?

There are many types of savings accounts, but all savings accounts share common features:

● An account where you can securely deposit and store money

● FDIC or NCUA insured, meaning if anything happens to the bank or credit union, the government will insure your account up to $250,000

● You can earn interest/dividends on the money in your account

● Pre-authorized withdrawals from accounts are limited to 6 per month, as dictated by federal law — but this does not include in-person transactions made through tellers and ATMs

Where to start

Financial experts recommend building an emergency savings for unforeseen expenses; the frequently recommended amount is enough to cover three months of your living expenses, but even $500 can be a great help.

Types of savings accounts
Every financial institution offers savings accounts with unique features, but here are a few of the most common: 
  • Youth Savings Accounts — Youth savings accounts typically have a very low minimum deposit, no fees and may offer features that incentivize kids to learn the benefits of savings, such as Advancial’s Money Musketeers Kids Savings Club and Dinero Teens program.
  • Basic Savings Accounts — Basic savings accounts usually offer interest rates from 0.01% to 2.00%. The minimum to open a basic savings account is often very low, at Advancial just a $5 initial deposit is required, but required daily balances can vary widely and may correspond to the interest rate. For instance, maintaining a higher average monthly balance may be tied to a higher interest/dividend rate. While many savings accounts are free, some have fees — often tied to meeting certain conditions such as daily minimum balance, maintaining linked accounts or monthly transaction minimums.
  • Savings Certificates — Savings certificates, also called Certificates of Deposit (CDs), usually offer higher interest rates than basic savings accounts — in exchange for locking in your money for a specified length of time, or term. You can access your money before the term is up, but you will usually pay a penalty for doing so. Often, you can secure higher rates when you deposit larger sums of money. Advancial offers flexible savings certificates so you can set the term for any length of time from three to five years.
  • Money Market Accounts — Money market accounts offer higher dividends on larger initial deposits or tiered rates that change as your deposits grow, with the additional advantage that your money is easily accessible.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) — IRAs are retirement savings accounts with tax advantages. Earnings from the money you deposit in an IRA are tax-deferred until retirement. You can begin to draw money from your IRA without penalty at age 59 ½. There are some limitations on the amount you can deposit each year.
  • College Savings Accounts — 529 Savings Accounts and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are two accounts specifically intended for college tuition. Both accounts allow you to contribute after-tax dollars with tax-free earning.
Choosing the right account for you

Finding the right savings account depends on your financial goals. Look for the best annual percentage yield (APY) that meets your needs for minimum open, average daily balance and fee structure. Also make sure that your account is easy to use. Saving money isn’t always easy — so choose an account that makes deposits convenient, either online or close to home, or one that links to an existing checking account.

Whatever account you chose, make saving money a financial habit. Check out Advancial Federal Credit Union’s suite of savings accounts and other investment vehicles to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/types-of-savings-accounts-315775
https://www.valuepenguin.com/banking/average-bank-interest-rates
https://www.thebalance.com/savings-accounts-4073268
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/savings-accounts-basics/?trk=nw_gn1_4.0

Tax season is underway and while some of us may put off filing our returns, the procrastinators don’t include tax identity thieves. They’re geared up and ready to file…

article preview image Tax Season and Identity Theft
Tax season is underway and while some of us may put off filing our returns, the procrastinators don’t include tax identity thieves. They’re geared up and ready to file. Unfortunately, they may be ready to file to get your tax refund.

Tax identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number (SSN) to file a fraudulent tax return and claim your refund. You may not find out it has happened until you try to file your real return and the IRS rejects it as a duplicate. While the IRS investigates, your tax refund can be seriously delayed.

Government imposter scammers are close cousins of tax identity thieves. They pretend they’re calling from the IRS or another government agency, generally claiming you owe the government money. They threaten you with arrest or other bad consequences unless you pay them right away, usually with a gift card or prepaid debit card. If you do, the money will be gone. Sometimes they’ll ask you to “confirm” your identity by giving them your SSN. They’re looking for information they can use for identity theft.
How can you thwart tax identity theft?
 
One of the best ways is by filing as early as possible, beating a criminal to it. This may be especially important if your personal information has been exposed, possibly in a data breach or a past incident of identity theft.  Additional ways in which you can prevent identity theft:
  • Protect your personal information at home, at work and on your phone
  • Use secure passwords anywhere sensitive information is stored
  • Know your tax preparer - make sure you’re dealing with a reputable tax company
  • When using an open Wi-Fi connection, make sure it’s a legitimate connection
  • Don’t file on an open Wi-Fi connection, make sure it’s secure
  • If you file your taxes by paper, take it directly to the post office so it can’t be stolen
  • Store your returns securely and shred any drafts  
 
If you’re a victim of identity theft go to www.IdentityTheft.gov to find step by step information on how to report and recover from identity theft. 
 
 
 

If you’re overwhelmed with high-interest credit card debt, or if you want to simplify your finances, you may want to consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer occurs when you…

article preview image Credit Card Debt? Tip the Balance in Your Favor
If you’re overwhelmed with high-interest credit card debt, or if you want to simplify your finances, you may want to consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer occurs when you move the amount you owe from one or more credit card accounts to another credit card, preferably one with a lower interest rate.

Transferring balances to a lower-interest-rate credit card could mean saving hundreds of dollars in interest costs over time. Additionally, you may be able to lower your overall monthly payments. That could free up cash for more important things, like saving for a major purchase, a new home or retirement.
Read the fine print
Before you do a balance transfer, be sure to ask these questions:
  • Is there a catch? Many credit cards offer a temporary interest rate as low as 0% APR1 applied to transferred balances. Find out if there are triggers, such as a late payment or new purchases, that will cancel out the promotional rate and send your interest rate soaring.
  • Is there a balance transfer fee? Many banks charge a fee of 3% to 5% of the transferred balance. That could mean as much as $250 in fees on a $5,000 balance transfer.
  • What’s the regular interest rate? Check out the rate that goes into effect after the promotional period is over. According to creditcards.com, the average interest rate on credit cards is 17.30% APR.2  
Get the most from your balance transfer
If you do decide on a balance transfer, these tips can help you get the most bang for your buck.
  1. Categorize debt. Tally all your balances and decide how much you can transfer to the new card. If your available credit limit isn’t high enough to transfer all of your debt, transfer the debt with the higher balances and interest rates first.
  2. Keep old accounts open. Once you receive confirmation that the balance transfer to the new card is complete, hold off on closing old accounts until you pay down the balance. Closing old accounts right away could affect your credit score. That’s because your credit utilization — the amount of credit you are using compared with the amount of credit you have available — would increase.
  3. Make payments on time. On-time payments can help improve your credit rating and avoid any late payment fees.
  4. Leverage the 0% rate. If you can, pay down all or most of your balance during the 0% introductory period to enjoy the greatest savings.
  5. Control future spending. Set a budget for credit card spending and stick to it to avoid building up another big balance.
Why transfer to Advancial Federal Credit Union?
Now that you know the potential benefits of a balance transfer, consider transferring to an Advancial Visa® Rewards Plus card, offering these great advantages:
  • No balance transfer fee. With Advancial, you pay no balance transfer fee — zip, nothing, nada! So you start saving money right off the bat.
  • 0% promotional rate.*** Pay no interest on transferred balances for the first 12 months. (Take a look at the chart below for potential savings.)
  • Competitive ongoing rates. Once the 12-month promotional period is over, enjoy a rate as low as 8.90% APR on remaining and future balances, depending on your credit rating.3
 How much could you save?
According to NerdWallet, the average credit card debt for Americans who carry a balance is $6,849.4 Here’s an estimate of what you could save in interest by paying off that balance over a 12-month 0% interest rate introductory period compared with the average credit card rate.5
 
Beginning Balance Interest Rate Total Interest Paid over 12 months
$6,849 0% $0
$6,849 17.30%6 $624
Total Savings: $624 

Need more time to pay off the debt? Pay off the balance with 12 months at the 0% introductory rate and subsequent payments at 8.90% APR:6
 
Beginning Balance Interest Rate Total Interest Paid over 12 months
$6,849 0%/8.90% $151
$6,849 17.30%6 $1,320
Total savings: $1,151
Sound good? Take the next steps

If you already have a Visa Rewards Plus credit card from Advancial, you can transfer your balance through cuAnywhere Online Banking. Simply log in, click on your credit card, select Account Actions and click the Balance Transfer icon. You can also fill out a balance transfer form at your local branch or by calling 800.322.2709.

If you don’t have a Visa Rewards Plus card, apply online today!

Learn more about the Visa Rewards Plus card, including our generous and flexible rewards program.







Cardholder Agreement and Disclosure
Rates & Fees


1 APR = annual percentage rate.
2Source: creditcards.com, average credit card rates week of Jan. 15, 2020.
30% promotional rate on transferred balances subject to credit approval. At the end of the promotional period, annual percentage rate (APR) will be 8.90%-14.90% based on creditworthiness, effective January 2020 and subject to change
4Source: www.nerdwallet.com.
5Source: creditcard.com, balance payoff and transfer calculators.
6Comparing 17.30% average U.S. credit card rate to Advancial 0% promotional rate for 12 months, with rate reverting to Advancial’s lowest rate of 8.90% at end of promotional period.
Approximate average savings based on a $6,849 balance paid in 12 installments with Visa Rewards Plus, including a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, resulting in a total interest cost of $0. Compared to the same $6,849 balance paid in 12 installments at the national average APR of 17.30%, resulting in a total interest cost of $624.
Approximate average savings based on a $6,849 balance paid in 24 installments with Visa Rewards Plus, including a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months and 8.90% APR thereafter, resulting in a total interest cost of $151 over 24 months. Compared to the same $6,849 balance paid in 24 payment installments at the national average APR of 17.30%, resulting in a total interest cost of $1,302. Subtracting $151 from $1,302 yields a difference and total savings of $1,151.
Balances, interest rates and total interest paid are estimates for illustration only. Actual monthly payments will vary as balance is reduced and the rate shifts from the promotional rate to the regular rate. Your particular situation will depend on your account balance, creditworthiness and interest rate.
 

 

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest moments. For most people, it’s the biggest purchase they’ll ever make, and every penny is worth it when all goes well. But how can…

a couple hugging in their new home A First-Time Homebuyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest moments. For most people, it’s the biggest purchase they’ll ever make, and every penny is worth it when all goes well. But how can you increase your odds of landing the perfect, affordable home without too much stress along the way? Well, follow this guide and we’ll help you get there.
 

Determining what you can afford

Before you even start thinking about the home itself, it’s a good idea to figure out how much home you can afford in the first place. When lenders are considering what you can afford and what interest rate you’ll pay, most look at one of three factors:

 

  • Maximum mortgage payment. Your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income (your income before taxes).
  • Total housing payment. Your mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance, association fees and property taxes should not total more than 32% of your gross monthly income.
  • Total debt payments. Debt payments, including other loans and minimum credit card payments, shouldn’t be more than 40% of your gross monthly income.

Lenders will also consider your credit score when determining the interest rate on your mortgage, with scores of about 740 and higher qualifying for the lowest rates. If you’re applying as a couple, both of your scores will be evaluated. If one person’s score is low, that could be enough to disqualify both of you. That person will either need to improve their credit, or the person with good credit will need enough income that they can qualify for the loan themselves.

To get a rough idea of the mortgage amount you will be able to afford, try using our new house calculator. But while it’s a good estimate, you won’t have a better idea of what you actually qualify for until you speak with a mortgage specialist. They can help you determine which mortgages you qualify for and how much of a down payment you’ll need. You can start the process at Advancial by applying online.

Preparing for your home search

After meeting with a mortgage specialist, you’ll want to secure preapproval for a home loan. Preapproval lets sellers and your real estate agent know how much you’re qualified to borrow, the loan type you’ll have and the amount you plan to have as down payment. A preapproval letter in hand will also make you a more serious contender once you start placing offers for homes.

To help make the home search and purchase process go more smoothly, it’s wise to spend time looking for a quality real estate agent. You’ll want somebody with plenty of experience and who is familiar with the area. Read more about choosing a real estate agent.

Making an offer and down payment 101

After you’ve fallen in love with a home, it’s time to make an offer. Get help from your agent to determine what a competitive offer would be. You should include offer price, a deadline to respond and any contingencies (such as a passing home inspection and repairs if anything is found).

This is also the time when you’ll want to have your down payment readily available for your lender. Many people see the down payment as their biggest barrier to buying a home. But down payment requirements can vary widely depending on the loan type and price of the home — plus, some mortgages allow you to fund the down payment via a gift from a family member.

Traditionally, it was expected that 20% of the home’s cost be paid as a down payment. This was a way for the lender to offset their risk. Today, many mortgage types still require a 20% down payment, unless you pay for mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance increases your monthly mortgage payment and helps protect the lender in the event that you can no longer afford your mortgage.

Choosing whether to make a 20% down payment or a smaller down payment with mortgage insurance can be a tricky decision. A bigger down payment could mean a smaller monthly payment, a lower interest rate and less money spent over the life of the loan. But a small down payment would leave you with more money at the onset of the mortgage. Fortunately, at Advancial, you don’t need to worry about down payments or mortgage insurance as a first-time homebuyer. Our 100% Financing Program lets you skip the down payment and keep monthly payments low.

Keep in mind that regardless of your down payment amount, you’ll still need funds for closing costs (usually about 3% of the purchase price) and earnest money, which is a type of security deposit (usually between 1% and 3%).

Get an inspection and seal the deal

Once the seller accepts your offer, you’ll need to do a few final things before the home is yours. One of the most important is getting an inspection done on the house by a certified professional. The inspector will check the home’s structure, roof, heating, plumbing and electrical systems for any potential issues. If anything serious is found, you could ask for the issue to be fixed based on your offer’s contingency.

After the inspection process is finished and you review any repairs made, you’ll be able to close the deal. You’ll sign a stack of paperwork alongside your real estate agent and lender. And with that, you’ll be handed the keys and be the proud new owner of a home. Congratulations!

There’s no place like (a new) home

Learn more about our First Time Home Buyers Program and fill out our quick online application to get started. An Advancial Mortgage loan officer will follow up to learn more about your financing needs and discuss your options.

 

 

  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  > 
Displaying results 1-5 (of 98)
Five Tips for Raising a Financial Whiz Kid
Our friends at  WalletHub  have put together helpful information   on how to achieve success in teaching your kids about finance.   Odysseas Papadimitriou is CEO of the personal finance websites WalletHub and CardHub. Financial literacy i…
Three Reasons You Need an Automatic Savings Plan
“Save money” is a timeless bit of personal finance advice, but actually doing it can be another story. If you need a way to boost your savings and stay consistent with your goals, setting up an automatic funds transfer can help. There are t…
Short-Term Savings Tips for Summer Vacation
With summer drawing closer, your vacation may arrive before you’ve got the money to pay for it. But there are some quick changes you can make now to save or raise money for your trip. Consider these tips: OPEN A DESIGNATED SAVINGS ACCOUNT …
Six Banking Tips for Young Millennials
Once you start receiving your first paychecks after graduation, knowing how to spend or save your money wisely can be tough. While you may be able to do your banking with just a few taps on your phone, managing money well is much more compli…
Consolidating Debt: When does it make sense?
Debt can be hard to crawl out of, especially when payments on credit cards, consumer loans and student loans continue to pile up on top of your living expenses. Overwhelmed with a blizzard of monthly bills, many people look at consolidation …
How to Get Out From Under Student Loans
If you’re a recent college graduate who took out student loans, you likely owe around $28,400. As eye-popping as that average debt figure is, you’re certainly not the only one wondering how you’ll possibly get out from under your loans. As w…
Stay on the (Financial) Nice List this Season
It’s that time of year again. He’s making a list, and he’s checking it twice. Of course, we’re talking about the major credit bureaus! With holiday spending season upon us, it’s time to broach an uncomfortable subject: how to pay for all tha…
A Blow Out BBQ that won't Break the Bank
As the fall weather rolls in, cookouts are going to pop up left and right. Like any party, hosting a cookout can get expensive. Here are some handy tips to make your cookout the best it can be, on a budget. 1.) Bakery outlet shopping Th…
Gift Card Holiday Shopping Guide
It's that time of year--holiday shopping is on the minds of many. You might have gotten off to a solid start but have a few people left on your list that have you stumped when it comes to deciding what to get them. One of the simplest ways t…
Financial Tips for Recent Grads
College is in your rearview mirror, and you're about to enter the working world. Although snagging a job certainly calls for a celebration or two, it is also time to start tackling the various financial responsibilities that await you, like …
  < 1 2  > 
Displaying results 1-10 (of 14)

Get the Latest News

Family with their sold house

What Costs to Expect When Selling Your Home

Just as with buying a home, selling also comes with its share of dues. You need to prepare your home for prospective buyers as well as pay part of the closing costs, which average around 3% of the home price.
Continue to Article
Person signing a document

When to Get a Personal Loan

There are times in life when you want or need to spend more cash than you have on hand. You can borrow the money and pay it back a little at a time if you have reasonably good credit.
Continue to Article
a girl in a new car

Your Guide to Auto Loans

Buying a car requires a lot of time and research. And that’s just deciding on the model and features! So of course the financial aspect can seem overwhelming to add on top of everything else.
Continue to Article
Leaving Advancial.org
You are leaving www.advancial.org and entering a site that is not operated by Advancial Federal Credit Union. Advancial does not provide and is not responsible for the product, service, overall website content, security or privacy policies on any external third-party site.
Continue
Equal Housing
We do business in accordance with the Federal Housing Law and the Equal Opportunity Act.

Leaving Advancial.org. You are leaving www.advancial.org and entering a site that is not operated by Advancial Federal Credit Union. Advancial does not provide and is not responsible for the product, service, overall website content, security or privacy policies on any external third-party site.
Continue
NCUA
Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

Leaving Advancial.org. You are leaving www.advancial.org and entering a site that is not operated by Advancial Federal Credit Union. Advancial does not provide and is not responsible for the product, service, overall website content, security or privacy policies on any external third-party site.
Continue
My Loan Applications
You are leaving www.advancial.org and entering the Loan Applications site.
Continue