Summer Fun Without Breaking the Bank

By Tracy Scott The year started strong. You not only paid off your car loan, you even set aside money for a cross-country summer vacation with the family. But unexpected expenses depleted your summer savings account and put a stop to your dreams of a family road trip. Don’t despair. Summer fun is still possible with limited cash. Being low on funds doesn’t mean you have to nix your summer [...]   Read More >

Home Improvement Ideas with the Best Returns

April 18, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott If you’re entertaining the idea of remodeling or updating your home, then you’re in good company. The 2018 Zillow Group Housing Trends Report found that 60 percent of homeowners felt their homes could use updating in a few areas. But, it’s not easy trying to figure out which projects will have a lasting value especially since you’ll want some assurance of the potential rate of return before [...]   Read More >

How to Avoid 5 Mistakes of First-Time Homebuyers

April 16, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott You can’t wait for the weekend. Not because it’s a time to wind down from the work week but because it’s another opportunity to visit more model homes and open houses. Yes, you’ve caught the first-time homebuyer’s shopping bug. The selection in your area is endless, and with each new home you visit, the list of “must-haves” grows. It’s easy to get excited and fall in love [...]   Read More >

4 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

March 28, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott Your tax refund check might be less than expected this year. As of early February 2019, the average federal tax refund is down 8.7% when compared to the prior tax year. Receiving less than expected might derail your plans for a vacation cruise, new television, or making another major purchase – at least for now. While these plans might need to take a backseat, that doesn’t mean [...]   Read More >

What to Do Before You Apply for a Home Mortgage

By Tracy Scott Homebuying season is fast approaching, and the idea of visiting model homes and open houses fills you with anticipation. But, before you step into your first design center or purchase your tour of homes ticket, learn how to shop smart for a new home. For some, saying goodbye to renting often begins with applying for a home mortgage – but should it? Despite its updated housing forecast, [...]   Read More >

Credit Score Basics

By Tracy Scott Understand The Credit Score Basics To Improve Your Financial Health. Can you explain the difference between a credit history report and a credit score in one sentence? When you’re new to credit, it's hard to keep credit terminology straight – let alone explain it to someone else. New credit users who understand the basics of credit scores can make smarter credit decisions which can positively affect their [...]   Read More >

How To Request and Read Your Credit Report

February 26, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott When was the last time you checked your credit? The information in your credit report has a significant influence on your financial health. Good credit matters and incorrect information can prevent you from obtaining auto or home loan approvals, gaining access to certain services at the best rates with minimal fees, and can even influence whether you’re hired for certain jobs. In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection [...]   Read More >

Paying Off Your Holiday Debt.

February 11, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By: April Lewis-Parks (In partnership with KOFE/Consolidate Credit) Have you Paid Off Your Holiday Debt Yet? Retail sales hit a 6-year high in 2018, meaning consumers have a lot of debt to pay off now in 2019. Take the right steps to pay off holiday debt quickly. You don’t want to let holiday debt linger for a few reasons: Interest charges can double the cost of purchases. If you earned [...]   Read More >

How to Repair Your Credit

January 23, 2019 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott Bad credit doesn’t always result in a credit denial. But, higher interest rates on home mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards can slow down your ability to save money towards retirement or other financial goals. An adverse credit history may even require you to pay security deposits for utilities or cellphone service and influence the cost of life insurance. To put it bluntly, bad credit can mess [...]   Read More >

What Bad Credit Really Means

December 20, 2018 BY AFFCU in
By Tracy Scott Financial goals of early retirement, extended cruise vacations, or simply paying for your child’s college education can be just out of reach when you have bad credit. Funds that would otherwise be used to pay for what matters most are eaten up by high-interest rates that feel like punishment for prior credit slip-ups. Worst case, credit denials prevent you from purchasing a home, driving a new car [...]   Read More >

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