• Refinancing Your Mortgage? What You Need to Know

    Deciding to refinance a home loan is a big decision influenced by your financial situation, available interest rates and your long-term plans for staying in the home. As a general rule, refinancing your mortgage may be worthwhile if you can drop your rate by at least half a percent. Once you've decided to start the mortgage refinance process, it's important to understand what is involved.

    Understand Your Mortgage Refinancing Options

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  • What is Bank Valuation vs. Market Valuation of a Home?

    You’ve found your dream home, but before you complete the purchase of your new home, your bank or lender will value the property to determine the market value, right? Wrong!

    When you’re buying a home or refinancing your loan, banks often need to get what is called a bank valuation. Banks need to know they’re lending you the money responsibly. While it’s true that when you apply for a mortgage, your lender will set a value for the property you’re buying, the figure they come up with is not necessarily an accurate representation of the property’s value.

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  • How Much Will My Property Tax and Insurance Payment Be?

    Monthly mortgage payments can and will change over the term of the loan. There are many reasons why your monthly payment can change. Your monthly payment includes your mortgage payment, consisting of principal and interest, as well as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Your mortgage payment is likely to stay the same, but your monthly payments can vary. Here’s a run-down on what influences taxes and insurance and an explanation of how these factors can change your monthly payment.

    Taxes, Insurance, and Maintenance

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  • How Credit Card Usage Affects Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is determined by a variety of factors, so it can be hard to know where to start if you need to build or rebuild your credit. Credit cards can be a great way to improve your credit score. However, you must be careful and manage your credit card use, so you don't get caught in an endless cycle of debt.

    The following tips will help you manage your credit card use and raise your credit score:

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  • The Advantages of Using a Rewards Credit Card

    More and more people are beginning to see the value of signing up for a rewards credit card. Credit cards that offer a rewards program can help you stretch your budget and when used properly, can actually pay you for spending money. Of course, the point of getting a rewards credit card is to treat yourself to the perks of the rewards program. The best way to make sure you get the most out of your rewards credit card is to pick the right one and make sure you pay it off each month. Then use it to your greatest advantage and avoid possible pitfalls such as leaving points unused.

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  • The Truth About Credit Cards

    Credit cards are convenient and common, but they can also be confusing. Have you ever sat down and tried to figure out the ins and outs of interest rates and the various fees that a credit card can charge you? Not to mention all the cards with rewards programs! You may even find yourself getting offers for a new card almost every day. So how do you figure out which one is the best option for you? All the various credit card offers you receive may look different, but they use similar disclosures for many aspects.

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  • How Budgeting and Credit Cards Can Go Hand in Hand

    Traditionally people think of credit cards as a spending tool. But, have you ever thought of using a credit card as a budgeting tool? No! Well, you should. Using credit cards are a great way to keep tabs on your money, earn rewards and if used wisely build your credit profile.

    Here are some helpful tips on how to credit cards help your budget:

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  • Saving for Their Future

    You want the best for your children. What good parent doesn’t? You want them to have great friends, a solid education, whatever perks and benefits they can have and, in general, the best life possible. One way you can help considerably is by starting a savings account for them and developing a plan to add to it on a regular basis.
    Saving for your child’s future should begin as soon as they are born. However, the extra expense of having a child may make saving difficult. But if you put a plan in place, even a small amount each month can add up over the years.

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  • Why Is It Called A Credit Union?

    While bank and banking are universally understood and accepted terms, the term credit union is still largely misunderstood and unknown to many. Credit union is an unusual term, isn’t it? Is it just another name for a bank? Is it a credit card company? Do I have to be in a union to join?

    But, just like Jackson or Smith, Credit Union is our last name and we’re proud of it. It does beg the question, though—where did the name come from? We need to go way back to find the answer to that question and to understand the origins of credit unions.

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