Money Matters

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The 2×2 System: A Yearly Financial Wellness Calendar: May


The 2×2 System is where you set aside two hours on the calendar two times a month to complete a predetermined financial task. This modest but consistent effort can help you sustain financial health and build wealth in bite-sized chunks. Read April’s blog for tips on automating your savings plan and retirement planning. We hope you find this month’s information helpful.

May ideas to help move you forward financially.
Most of us know how much we’re paid and take home after taxes to the penny. Unfortunately, not everyone knows their credit score or how much debt they have. Yet these two numbers can have a profound impact on your life. This month, take a moment to get your credit report, learn your credit score, and know how much debt you have to the penny. Knowing these numbers and taking steps to improve them go a long way to improving your financial health.

Session 1: Check your credit reports.
You’re entitled by federal law to free copies of your credit reports from the three major bureaus every year, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of this service. Even if you think you’re aware of everything on your reports, it’s wise to check them because, according to the Federal Trade Commission, 79% of all credit reports contain errors. Many of these errors are harmless, but some could cost you a lot of money in the form of higher interest rates or even cause you to be denied credit. Once you’ve received your reports, check them meticulously for any mistakes and dispute any incorrect information.

Tip: A note about the dispute process: It can take several months to reach a conclusion, so if you’ve got a major financial transaction coming up—like buying a home or a car—plan to review your reports well in advance.

While getting your credit files annually is smart, we suggest you get your credit score monthly. It’s easy to do and free with our new Credit Score Tool in Tulee, our digital banking platform. Checking your score in Tulee has no impact on your credit report. If you haven’t signed up for Tulee, do so today.

Session 2: Plan to reduce your debts.
Don’t shred or delete those credit reports just yet. They’re an excellent resource for compiling all your outstanding debts as a step toward eliminating your financial liabilities. Freeing yourself from debt can be one of the greatest financial gifts you ever give yourself.

Tip: Be aware that not all debts show up on your credit reports. Some debts, such as past-due utility bills or certain medical obligations, may not appear. As part of eliminating your debts, note any collection letters, emails, or phone calls you receive for outstanding obligations. Engaging with this information can be painful or frustrating, but the relief you’ll feel when it’s all handled will be worth it.

Credit card interest rates are in the 20% range. If you have a high interest credit card debt, paying it down as quickly as possible reduces your debt and improves your financial situation. If you need to use a credit card, look for one with a low interest rate. Our Select Visa® offers a 0% Intro APR on purchases for the first six months. And rates start at just 8.99% APR* after that.

Final thoughts.
We hope this month’s 2×2 tips encourage you to check your credit score regularly. A high credit score can lead to lower interest rates on major purchases such as a home or auto. Keeping track of your score monthly helps you detect any inaccurate or incomplete information or fraud. Speaking of low rates, if you haven’t done a recent inventory of the interest rates on all your credit cards, take a moment to review your statements for each. Paying down high-rate cards could save you hundreds, if not thousands, in interest payments. If you need help signing up for our free Credit Score Tool in Tulee, or applying for a Select Visa®, visit us online or call 800.877.2345.

Thanks to our friends at Balance for these smart tips.

*$100 Bonus for New Credit Cards for: Crystal Visa, Select Visa & Visa Platinum: A $100 (one hundred dollars) bonus will be paid in the form of “Visa Statement Credit” when at least $5,000.00 (five thousand dollars) is spent in purchases within the first 3 months (qualifying period) of the “New” Visa card opening. Bonuses will be paid out within 90 days after the qualification period. Example: If a card is activated on January 1, 2021 and the total of qualifying purchases for the months of January, February and March is at least $5,000, the primary borrower will receive a Bonus of $100 (one hundred dollars) no later than July 1, 2021.  Limit of one reward/bonus per member number. Qualifying transactions must “post” to the designated account during the qualified period. All qualifying purchases will count towards the $5,000 in spent purchases unless return for credit of any of the qualifying transactions takes place within 90 days of the end of the qualifying period. Transactions may take two business days from the date of purchase to post. Member must be in good standing to be eligible for bonus. New accounts are subject to FIGFCU approval and all other terms and conditions apply. This offer is valid only for individual account /card holders, is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. The $100 Bonus is a product promotion sponsored by FIGFCU and may be discontinued at any time.  Visa is a registered trademark.

+APR = annual percentage rate. Rates are subject to change at anytime.

The balance transfer amount from other Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union credit cards will retain its current rate (i.e., Select Visa at 8.99% – 18.00%, Visa Platinum at 10.99% – 18.00%, until the transferred balance is paid off. APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Rate quoted is the lowest rate possible for qualified borrowers and is subject to change. Qualification is based on credit history, debt, and the ability to repay. Your rate may vary. All loans subject to credit approval. The newly opened Credit Union credit card’s rate will only apply to new transactions. Any balances on the previous Credit Union credit card must be paid off at the prior credit card’s rate.

Zero Percent (0%) Introductory Rate Promotion for purchases, is offered for new FIGFCU Select Visa® Credit Card account holders. This incentive offer, is not available to those members who are opening a new Select Visa and had an outstanding balance or a closed FIGFCU Zero Percent Loan account and/or had any FIGFCU Select Visa® Credit Card within the last year. If you are in an introductory rate promotion period, you are not eligible to transfer other loan balances, line of credit balances, credit card account balances or CASH Advance to take advantage of the introductory rate promotion.

The program promotion may be modified, suspended or cancelled or may be changed at any time without notice and without restriction or penalty. Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union reserves the right to change the promotion rates and program retention period from time to time. You will be notified of any expiration or program changes as required by law. Contact Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union for details on applicable conversion to current rate and payment options which are then in effect. At Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union’s sole discretion, the program offering of the program may be terminated, for any reason, including but not limited to a “Rules Violations”, your Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union account is not in good standing or is suspected of fraud, or if you move to another Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union credit card.

This program is void where prohibited or restricted by law. You are responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes.

Effective Offering Dates: Promotion period for Zero Percent (0%) introductory is effective for FIGFCU Select Visa® Credit Cards opened beginning July 20, 2020 through “until further notice”.

Loss of Introductory APR: We may end your introductory APR and/or apply the Penalty APR if you make a late payment or are Over limit.

Billing Rights: Information on your rights to dispute transactions and how to exercise those rights is provided in the Billing Rights section of the Visa® Credit Card Agreement.

Introductory rate and incentive offers for Select Visa®, are not available to those members who had an outstanding balance on a preexisting or closed FIGFCU Visa Credit Card account and/or had an FIGFCU Visa Credit Card within the last 12 (twelve)  months. If you are in an introductory rate promotion, you are not eligible to increase limits until the introductory rate promotion has expired.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS The introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Zero Percent (0%) will apply to purchases made during a promotional period of 6 (six) months from the date of opening of your Visa account. After this promotional period ends, 6 (six) months from the date of activation of your Visa account, your standard APR will apply to any remaining balance and to all new purchases and balance transfers. The terms of this introductory rate may not be applied to existing Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union Visa accounts.

This promotional introductory offer is based on meeting Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union’s criteria for creditworthiness. Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union will review your credit and employment history and any other information permitted by law to process your application. The credit line on this account will be determined after a credit review of your application by Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union and will be based on various factors, including income. FIGFCU maintains the right to not open this account if: a) the information provided is incomplete, inaccurate or cannot be verified, or if you do not meet Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union’s standards for creditworthiness; b) your name and/or mailing address on the credit application have been altered; c) the income you reported on the application is insufficient to support the opening of this account; or d) you do not meet Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union’s membership eligibility or “member in good standing” requirements. You have the right to review your credit history by contacting the appropriate credit reporting agencies.

Change in APRs, Fees and Other Terms: Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union may change the APRs, fees and other terms of your account at any time in accordance with applicable law and the Visa Credit Card Agreement. Factors we may consider in determining whether and how to change your terms include, but are not limited to, a late payment or an extension of credit that exceeds the credit limit, the frequency and severity of defaults and other indications of risk on accounts with Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union and other creditors. To the extent allowed by law, the change in terms will affect all outstanding balances. If we increase your APRs, the new APRs will apply only to new transactions you make after we notify you of the change in writing unless it is for default in terms as outlined above.  

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