IMPORTANT: Advancial will never call or text you and ask for your login credentials or other personal information. If you receive a suspicious call or text, call the MSC directly at 800.322.2709. When in doubt, call us!

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Advancial will never text or call and ask for your username, password, security questions, or any other personal information. Stay alert!
Beware of Spoofed Texts and Calls

Fraudsters are more active than ever and targeting credit union members and bank customers. Their new method is very clever and very deceiving.

The member receives a call or text with the number spoofed to look like it's from Advancial. It claims to be alerting the member to a fraudulent transaction. When the member responds that the transaction isn't legitimate, the fraudster then claims to be able to help and asks for the member's cuAnywhere® Online Banking username and password so they can fix the fraud for the member. Don't be fooled! These texts and calls are not legitimate. Here's an example:

Breach-Purchase-Confirmation.png

Once the member provides login information, the fraudster accesses their account and transfers money using Zelle. Once the fraudster succeeds with that transfer, those funds are not retrievable.
 
No one is safe, including you! You must protect yourself and your personal information.

Here are some friendly reminders to help you avoid being scammed:

  • Don’t respond: If you aren’t familiar with the source of call, email, or text, hang up. Don’t click on any unknown links and don’t reply to unknown texts.
  • Don’t always trust your caller ID: Numbers can easily be spoofed and may appear legitimate – even Advancial or another financial institution. If a call or text seems suspicious, hang up and call using a number you know is legitimate to verify the information. 
  • Check for yourself: If a text or call alleges a transaction has been made on your account, log in to cuAnywhere Online Banking or the Advancial app and check your accounts.
  • Don’t give out your information: Never provide your username, password, security questions or any personal identifying information.
When you receive a call about fraud, remain calm and consider the situation and what the caller is asking you. Is it really about fraud that has happened or is the caller attempting to commit fraud, right now?
College can be one of the most exciting times of your life — a place to grow, learn, meet lifelong friends and jumpstart your career. Learn how to get prepared for college expenses.
article preview image Thinking of college? Start saving now.

College is the most exciting times of your life — a place to grow, learn, meet lifelong friends and jumpstart your career. There’s no question, however, that college is expensive. If you’re a current high school junior or senior in the process of applying to colleges, here’s how to get prepared.

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of grants, federal loans, tax credits and deductions can help pay for college. You can fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to find out if you qualify for financial aid.

According to data from the College Board, undergraduate students received an average of $14,940 in financial aid in 2019-20. However, the cost of going to college keeps rising. The average budget for the 2020-21 school year was estimated at $26,820 for a public four-year in-state college or university and $54,880 for a private nonprofit four-year college. This includes tuition, fees, room and board.

Here are some tips to help you plan for and manage college costs:

  • Talk with your parents. Find out how much they are able to contribute.
  • Meet with school counselors. They may be able to help you search for scholarships and grants. They can also steer you toward schools that offer the best financial aid packages.
  • Consider community college. If you complete required courses at a community college, you may be able to transfer to a four-year school later. Be sure to find out whether your targeted school will accept the credits. You can also take introductory courses at a community college and transfer over the credit to the university you’re attending.
  • Get a job. Many schools offer work-study programs. You could find a job on your own, but be realistic about balancing work while keeping up with your studies.

Save, save, save

A college education is an investment in your future. Save as much as you can, from the money you receive for your birthday, graduation or part-time jobs, in your Dinero savings account at Advancial. Small changes you make now can pay off in greater job satisfaction and higher earnings later.

Source: The College Board

While you may know a lot about test scores, how much do you know about credit scores? One day, these scores will have an important influence over financial matters in your life, so it pays…

article preview image What’s a credit score?

While you may know a lot about test scores, how much do you know about credit scores? One day, these scores will have an important influence over financial matters in your life, so it pays to learn about them sooner rather than later.

Credit Score History

Credit scores are like the grades on your report card. They’re a way to quickly summarize how well you’re doing financially. Credit scores help lenders gauge how good you are at making timely payments. This helps lenders understand if you’re a trustworthy borrower. Before credit scoring existed, determining creditworthiness was difficult and relied a lot on reputation and word of mouth.

How Credit Scores Work

Today, credit scores are calculated based on your credit history, which is tracked by credit reporting agencies. Your credit history includes your payment track record, public records information and personal data, such as where you’ve lived and worked. Companies take this information and use a mathematical formula to figure out your credit score. In general, the better you are at paying back loans on time, the more your credit score improves.

The Importance of Credit Scores

Having a good credit history and credit score is the key to qualifying for loans and credit cards with low interest rates and flexible terms. You can start building good financial habits today by managing your money wisely and paying bills on time.

A credit card can help you establish credit and build your credit history. It’s a good tool for learning to handle credit responsibly. Learn more about credit cards at Advancial by visiting Dinero Visa®.

You may be able to snag a smartphone for around $200 (or free!) with a one-year service contract, but the cost to operate a smartphone is not free or cheap.

article preview image How much does a smartphone really cost?

You may be able to snag a smartphone for around $200 (or free!) with a one-year service contract, but the cost to operate a smartphone is not free or cheap. Whether you or your parents cover the cost, the monthly cellphone bill can take a bite out of the family budget. However, if you’re a savvy shopper, you can score a great deal.

Check all of the major mobile carriers, smaller carriers and brands, then weigh your options. You can usually find two common smartphone deals. One type offers a discount on the upfront price of a phone. Another comes as a bundle deal when you buy a new plan or trade in a used device.

Plans with talk, text and data can be pricey! A basic smartphone plan with one line might set you back around $75 a month. Plans with multiple lines cost more, but the cost per line is usually less. The price depends on which carrier you use and what’s included in the plan.

Unlimited plans are the most expensive with unlimited talk, text and data.

Shared plans may have a monthly limit on the data that can be used by everyone on the plan.

Plans with limits on talk, text and data are generally the cheapest, but be aware of plan caps to avoid burning through your data each month. Overage fees can add up fast.

Prepaid plans have no annual service contracts. With this type of plan, you prepay for service.

When you’re ready to manage your own mobile device, be smart about the costs. Start saving money now in your Dinero Teens savings account at Advancial.

One-year cost of a smartphone

If you buy a smartphone with a 12-month service agreement, you’ll pay about $60 a month for a basic plan with 4GB of data. If you use more data for streaming music and videos, the costs may be higher!

Cost to buy a smartphone [2 $100 bills stacked] $200

Yearly cost to operate [7 $100 bills & $20, stacked] $720

Source: Consumer Reports. Hypothetical example based on average monthly cost for a basic smartphone plan with one phone line with 4GB of data per month.

Teens have a lot on their plates these days. Effective time management is key. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait.
Teen with a clock Time Management for Teens

Teens have a lot on their plates these days – just look at what Erin juggles in her schedule every week:

  • Going to school and studying
  • Soccer practice, workouts and games
  • Playing flute in band
  • Working part-time at a pizzeria
  • Volunteering at a pet shelter
  • Helping with chores at home

On top of this, she also wants to make time for family and friends – and social media only adds to the expectations of staying connected. If your plate is full like Erin’s, effective time management is key. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Here are four ideas on how to get started: 

1.     Put Your Schedule in Writing

 Create an online calendar to sync to your smartphone, or buy a planner and keep it handy. Fill in all your scheduled activities first (school, work, studying, etc.), then add the other things you need to work in (social engagements, chores, family time, etc.). Use calendar updates to add new events as they come up. Tip: color code each activity to stay more organized.

2.     Review Your Time Commitments

Do you feel like you don't have time to breathe? Take a hard look at your schedule to see if you can cut back on things such as work hours or volunteering. If your schedule is super packed, consider eliminating one or more of your activities, at least in the short term. Don’t forget to schedule time for yourself.

3.     Control Procrastination

Putting off things until the last minute or missing deadlines because you waited too long to start something is procrastination. It’s also stressful. Start projects or homework early and break tasks into smaller ones to help keep you on track.   

4.     Evaluate Your Happiness

Everyone needs balance in their life. Extracurricular activities like sports or band can help enhance your learning and help you with social interactions and leadership opportunities. Spending time with friends is also important for your happiness. If your schedule weighs too heavily one way or the other, consider making adjustments.

Need help managing your finances?

While you’re working and juggling the stresses that come with being a teenager, don’t forget that your money needs managing, too! Schedule some time to learn about financial responsibility, saving and still having some extra spending money on the side. Advancial offers great saving and spending tools to help you learn how to manage money wisely. Visit Dinero Teens Savings to learn more.

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Make a Plan to Reach Your Financial Goals
Think about your financial goals for a moment. Do you picture yourself buying a home or taking a much-needed vacation? Are you focused on building a financial safety net or saving for retirement? Although challenges and setbacks may throw yo…
Shop safe, save and reap the rewards
Tips for online shopping This year, skip the malls and enjoy the benefits of holiday shopping from home. Shopping online for holiday gifts can save you time and money – and help you earn rewards. Here are some tips to shopping safely, sav…

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Get Fit, Financially

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