WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As Americans prepare their New Year’s resolutions, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is offering five valuable tips to help get their finances in gear for 2016.
“The new year is the perfect time to get your finances in order,” said Patty Briotta, NAFCU’s director of public relations. “Joining a credit union — a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative — is one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting lower fees, more competitive rates and outstanding service.”
Financial Tips for the New Year:
1. Create and stick to a budget – Track expenses and strive to live within your means. If you’d like to create a budget but don’t know where to start, credit unions frequently offer free financial literacy classes that can provide assistance.
2. Make savings a priority and weigh financial decisions carefully – At most credit unions, you can open a savings account for as little as $5. You can visit CULookup.com to find a credit union to join. Credit unions offer a wide range of products, including savings/checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards and auto and mortgage loans, as well as online banking.
Cautiously consider your financial decisions. At CULookup.com, 30 financial calculators are available to help you determine everything from how much you can afford to spend on a car, to how much you need to save for retirement.
3. Avoid unnecessary fees – For example, use automatic bill payment options to prevent late fees. Most credit unions still offer no-fee checking and many credit union members also enjoy access to tens of thousands of free ATMs nationwide. A lot of credit unions also participate in a shared branching network that gives members access to locations in all 50 states.
4. Choose the right credit card for you – Credit union credit cards have been widely recognized for their low rates. They also offer a variety of benefits and rewards programs. Recent figures show that average rates for credit union rewards credit cards are 10.05 percent, as compared with 12.59 percent at banks. Compare bank rates and credit union rates at www.CULookup.com/CompareCURates.
5. Review your financial statements/credit report regularly – Scrutinize financial/credit card statements to manage your expenses and to monitor your accounts for any unauthorized charges in your name. You can also request a free copy of your credit report once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance. www.nafcu.org.