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If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, there is good reason to hold out for the end of the year. Car dealers are highly motivated to sell the current model year cars before the…
article preview image 5 Tips For Buying a Car at Year-End

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, there is good reason to hold out for the end of the year. Car dealers are highly motivated to sell the current model year cars before the coming year models take their place on the showroom floor. And they may also be keen to make year-end sales goals. Armed with this knowledge, here are some tips to buying a car in December and getting the best deal possible.

1. Look for year-end incentives. Historically, December is one of the biggest months for dealer incentives. Typical incentives include low- or no-interest offers as well as cash back “rebates” on certain makes and models, but be sure to look at the fine print. Interest rate offers are usually still dependent on credit rating, and if you qualify for the lowest rate, you’re unlikely to negotiate other savings. Cash back is usually applied to your down payment – so don’t expect to walk away with a new car and a wallet full of cash. However, if the incentive applies to the car you want, and the financing works for you – these year-end deals can save you thousands on a new car.

2. Shop the last week in December. If you’ve already waited until the end of the year, saving your shopping until the last week could be another money-saving tactic. One reason is low competition with other buyers – many folks will have spent heavily on holiday shopping and be reluctant to make a large purchase. The pressure on the dealer, to meet sales goals and move cars off the lot, will be at its highest.

3. Make sure the dealer has your car. If you’re planning to swoop in and negotiate a killer deal, make sure the dealer has the car you want on their lot. Start by checking online, then follow up with a call to the dealer to verify their online inventory. You don’t want to waste time visiting a dealer unless the car you want is ready to drive home in. Year-end shopping is all about timing, so make sure time is one your side.

4. Do your homework. It’s always a good idea to research before heading to the dealer, but even more so if you’re hoping to get the best deal possible. Check websites like Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to find out the sticker price, what equipment comes as a standard package and what’s included at each trim level, what financing and rebate offers are available and more. Based on all the information you gather, decide on the amount you are willing to pay before you head to the dealer.

5. Get pre-approved for an auto loan. Once you’ve found the car you want, secure a great rate and financing through Advancial Credit Union before you head to the dealer. Pre-approved financing allows you to shop as if you have cash in hand, and you can let the dealer know you’ve been pre-approved for the amount you want to pay.

Use these tips to capitalize on a prime buying time and find a great deal on the wheels of your dreams. Remember, good things come to those who wait … until December to buy a new car!

Get pre-approved, shop, finance and buy – all online!

Pre-approval is fast and easy and can be done online. Advancial has partnered with AutoSMART to give members a head start when car shopping online. Both sites have incredible inventories of cars listed – and both have special partnerships with Advancial that makes shopping, financing and purchasing a seamless experience.

Visit www.advancial.org/loans/auto-loans/ and start the process now.

In order to take control of your finances, you need easy account access to monitor and manage your money. Get to know what Advancial offers and how you can use these options to improve your finances.
article preview image Take Advantage of Account Access Options
In order to take control of your finances, you need easy account access to monitor and manage your money. Now more than ever, it’s important to know your options and leverage them to meet your unique financial goals. Get to know what Advancial offers and how you can use these options to improve your finances.
 
Online banking
This robust set of banking tools provides you with a wide range of account operations anywhere you have an internet connection.





Advantages:
  • Available anywhere you have internet, no need for special software or download
  • Use on any device, but ideal for desktop or laptop use
  • Utilize your existing accounts or open new accounts with a few clicks
  • Broad toolset for all of your remote banking needs
Get started: Enroll in online banking at our website.
 
Advancial app
Banking on the go has never been easier. The Advancial mobile banking app is an easy and fast way to perform many critical banking functions from your smartphone or other mobile device.

Advantages
  • Robust SSL security to protect your data
  • Quick and easy remote check deposit
  • View accounts, manage and pay bills and transfer money between Advancial accounts with ease
  • Locate branches and ATMs near you
Get started: Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
 
Telephone banking
Easily access your account from your home, office or cellphone any time, day or night. Check account balances and perform simple banking transactions with ease.

Advantages
  • Remote account access only requires a phone connection
  • Check status of deposits, transfers and checks in real time
  • Connect with our Member Service department during business hours for questions and other account services
Get started: Call 800.322.2709, option 3 or 214.880.9585.
 
Shared branches
Advancial belongs to the CO-OP Shared Branch network, which means you can perform the same transactions you would at one of our Advancial locations. Check individual locations for drive-thru and lobby hours as they may change.

Advantages
  • Dependable access to funds and account services  
  • Over 5,000 locations mean you are never far from a convenient branch
  • It’s super easy to find a shared branch while you’re on the go with the CO-OP ATM Shared Branch Locator app
Get started: Visit the CO-OP website to see the shared branches near you.
 
Allpoint ATM network
Look for the Allpoint logo on ATMs to access enhanced account functions and withdraw your funds for free. Plus with Ultimate Checking, Advancial automatically reimburses any ATM fees charged by any ATM nationwide.

Advantages
  • Over 55,000 locations offering free access to accounts
  • Easily get the cash you need at locations nationwide.  
Text concierge service
Got a question? Get an answer. Just text us at any branch number and a Member Services Representative will text you back as soon as possible. You can inquire about the current rates on auto loans, updated branch hours or the status of a loan application. We can’t share sensitive information over text — for your safety — but there’s a lot we CAN tell you to help make banking at Advancial even better.  
 
 
 
 
  Text concierge Online banking Advancial app Telephone banking Shared branches ATMs
Get answers to common questions x          
Check account balances x x x x x x
Transfer money between accounts   x x x x x
Print account information for your records   x        
Withdraw funds         x x
Pay your friends, family or colleagues   x        
Set up custom alerts   x x      
Check status of deposits, transfers and checks       x    
Send or receive wire transfers   x        
Make payments   X
(Bill pay & Advancial loans)
X
(Bill pay & Advancial loans)
X
(On Advancial loans)
X
(On Advancial loans)
 
Access your eStatement (electronic monthly statement)   X        
Enroll in electronic notices   x        
Deposit checks remotely   x x      
Export account information to your money management software   x        
Check rates       X    
Reorder checks   x   x    

The average adult has used the same checking account for over 14 years. That’s good news if people are happy with their accounts. But the fact is that many people are losing money…

article preview image More Than Your Average Checking Account

The average adult has used the same checking account for over 14 years. That’s good news if people are happy with their accounts. But the fact is that many people are losing money thanks to fees and other charges. In fact, the average checking account holder pays $7.69 in fees per month.1 If you’re also paying fees on your checking account, know that there are other options out there, including at Advancial.

Fewer Fees

Virtually all of the fees you’ll find at big banks are nowhere to be found with Advancial’s Ultimate Checking account. At Advancial, we don’t believe in charging members for the services they use every day. That’s why Ultimate Checking accounts have no monthly service fees, no fees for using a non-Advancial ATM and no foreign transaction fee. Even if a bank or credit union charges you for using their ATM, we’ll reimburse you automatically. We also don’t charge any fees for instant-issued debit cards, overdraft transfers from your savings account or for using our Bill Payer service.

Even More Features to Appreciate

Finding a checking account that earns dividends and rewards can be difficult if you don’t want to pay any fees. But that’s another way our Ultimate Checking account is made to satisfy the needs of our members. Ultimate Checking  earns dividends with any balance. Plus, for every $5 spent with a debit card, you’ll earn one point to use for a variety of exciting rewards. These points can even be combined with any points earned from Advancial’s Visa® Rewards Plus credit card.

Advancial checking account holders also have access to the CO-OP Shared Branching Network. That means if you’re traveling to a location with no Advancial locations, you can visit one of the 5,000+ branches in the network. These network branches let you make deposits, withdrawals, payments and transfers with your Advancial accounts with no fees.

Start Enjoying a Different Approach to Checking

Don’t lose a single dollar more to checking accounts loaded with fees. Become a member of Advancial and you can sign up for an Ultimate Checking account. All it takes to join is a $5 deposit in an Advancial savings account. To learn more about eligibility or to apply for membership, visit joinadvancial.org.

1 Source: Bankrate

Millions of Americans are taking a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you count yourself among them, you might be looking for some stability and ways you can save some money…

article preview image What Does It Mean to Be a Member?
Millions of Americans are taking a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you count yourself among them, you might be looking for some stability and ways you can save some money. Fortunately, one of the simplest ways to get more out of your financial accounts is to become a member of a credit union. But how different is it really to be a credit union member versus a bank customer?
 
You’re a Co-Owner
Credit unions are owned by their members. It’s why every credit union requires a small deposit in a share account — this contribution represents your stake in the credit union. As a member-owner, you’re entitled to vote for the board of directors, giving you direct say in the leadership of your financial institution. At Advancial Federal Credit Union, you can cast your vote during our Annual Meeting held in the first quarter of each year. In contrast, bank customers rarely have any say in how business is run. Instead, the board of directors is elected by shareholders who may or may not have customer interests at heart.

You’re Part of a Community
Many credit unions, including Advancial, limit their membership to people who share the same community or workplace. This means your fellow members likely live or work in the same space as you. By focusing on a limited member-base, you’ll find that credit unions do a better job of meeting your unique needs compared to the big banks you see everywhere.

You Get Better Rates and Fewer Fees
Because credit unions are non-profit and member-owned, all earnings are used to benefit the members. This means members can expect to pay less in fees and interest. Plus, they can enjoy higher rates on savings accounts. Meanwhile, customers at banks are frequently taken advantage of to boost profits. Checking account maintenance fees and paltry interest rates on savings accounts are the norm and show little sign of changing.

You’re Treated Better
Credit unions have historically maintained higher customer satisfaction ratings, thanks to their strong emphasis on member service. Plus, members will discover services that simply don’t exist with the big banks. Have you ever wanted to manage your accounts in-person, but you’re traveling with no familiar branches anywhere? Credit unions, like Advancial, are part of shared branch networks, meaning you can use the services of any credit union in the network. There are over 5,000 shared branches available to Advancial members. Plus, Advancial reimburses fees from all non-Advancial ATMs, meaning our members don’t lose a cent to ATM fees when they aren’t near one of our branches.

You Get the Financial Features You Want
No need to worry about missing any features offered by banks! Checking accounts, savings accounts, youth accounts, credit cards, loans, online banking, a mobile app, mobile wallet compatibility, phone support, chat support, email support and financial education resources are all available at your local credit union.

Are You Happy with Your Financial Institution?
If you’re still a customer at a for-profit bank, now’s a great time to make the switch to a not-for-profit credit union. At Advancial, we offer checking accounts with no monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees, no ATM fees and no minimum account balance requirement. Plus, you can enjoy the benefits of monthly dividends and debit card rewards. Start enjoying our higher deposit rates, lower loan rates and great services by becoming a member at joinadvancial.org.
 

Love your car, but not your loan? Many Americans are paying way too much on their auto loan each month, averaging about $550 per month on new car payments.* If your loan payments…

article preview image Your Guide to Auto Refinancing

Love your car, but not your loan? Many Americans are paying way too much on their auto loan each month, averaging about $550 per month on new car payments.* If your loan payments are too high for your budget or you’re overpaying on interest, then refinancing might be right for you.

What Is Refinancing?

Refinancing is when you replace your current loan with a new one from a different lender. For example, you might have applied for your original loan with a bank that partnered with the car dealership. You decide to refinance through your local credit union, which buys out your original loan. From there, you make your new auto loan payment to your credit union.

A refinanced loan can have an entirely different term length and interest rate than your original loan. So if you’re unhappy with any of your current loan’s terms, it might be time to refinance.

When to Consider Refinancing

You should consider refinancing your auto loan in the following situations:

• The original interest rate was high. A lot can change in the months after buying a car. For example, the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates, lowering rates for many types of new loans. If you’re looking to lower your interest payments, refinancing after rates have dropped is an easy way to save.

• Your credit has improved. If you’ve been making timely payments on your auto loan, there’s a good chance your credit has improved. The better your credit history and the higher your credit score, the more you’re seen as a responsible borrower by lenders. This means you’re more likely to be approved for a loan with a great rate.

• You want to lower your monthly payments. Are car payments taking a big bite out of your paycheck? Refinancing your loan could reduce your monthly payment. This can be accomplished by extending the loan, such as from 36 months to 48 months. For example, maybe you originally borrowed $30,000 with a 36 month term and 3.8% interest rate. Your loan would be $883 per month. After six months, you have $25,234 left and decide to refinance. Even if the interest rate stayed the same, if the new loan had a 48 month term, you would pay only $568 per month.

Another factor to keep in mind: how long you’ve been paying your current loan. It’s more financially savvy to refinance when you’ve not been making payments for too long. That’s because you pay more interest in the beginning and less toward the end of your payment plan.

How to Refinance Your Auto Loan

It doesn’t take long to apply for a refinance, and many applicants can receive a decision in just a few minutes. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way toward a refinanced auto loan:

1. Check your credit. Before submitting an application, you should be reasonably confident that you’ll qualify for the loan you want. Pull a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com to see if your credit history is in your favor and has no mistakes. You can also check your credit score to get an idea of the interest rate you’ll qualify for.

2. Gather information. You may need to provide the following:

• 10-day payoff amount

• Account number, monthly payment amount, months remaining and interest rate of your current loan

• Current lender’s address

• Driver’s license

• Pay stubs from work

• Social Security number

• Vehicle identification number, mileage, proof of insurance and registration

3. Submit the application. It costs nothing to submit an application and you can expect an answer quickly.

4. Verify the switch is worth it. Use an auto refinance calculator to help you decide if it’s worth refinancing your loan. You should carefully consider whether it’s more important to pay off your loan quickly or lower your monthly payments.

5. Complete the loan forms. Confirm the interest rate and term length and sign the final documents. Your new lender will then pay off the old loan and you’ll start making payments on your new loan.

Switch to a Loan You Like

Learn more about Advancial’s auto loan options, including rates and current offers. You can also apply online today.





 

* Source: LendingTree.

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How to incorporate financial education into your wellness program

When it comes to Workplace Financial Wellness, one of the first questions asked by Benefits Administrators is, “How do I incorporate this type of benefit into my overall wellness plan?”
Many HR and benefits practitioners struggle with this dilemma and rightfully so. If you ask even the most seasoned financial experts, they’ll agree - there isn’t just one strategy for incorporating financial education. However, there are best practices and crucial steps for setting yourself up for success.
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Take Advantage of Account Access Options

In order to take control of your finances, you need easy account access to monitor and manage your money. Get to know what Advancial offers and how you can use these options to improve your finances.
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A Checklist for an Organized Estate

Estate planning is a must these days – and it’s the smart thing to do to protect your assets and ease an already difficult time for your loved ones. But starting the process and executing it effectively can be a challenge. Making plans for distributing your money, home and other assets after you’re gone may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to address the topic so you and your loved ones are prepared.
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Equal Housing
We do business in accordance with the Federal Housing Law and the Equal Opportunity Act.

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NCUA
Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

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