Student Loan Scams
College students, take note! If keeping up with your coursework, acing your exams and scrambling to hand in every term paper before the deadline weren’t enough, you now have something else to worry about: Student loan scams are on the rise. Scammers know you hate owing tens of thousands of dollars, so they’re quick to offer you an easy — but completely bogus — way to free yourself from that debt. Or, they might falsely claim you owe the feds taxes on your debt. If you’re already stressed about your student loans, that makes you an easy target.
Don’t get scammed! All it takes is a lack of knowledge and a small blunder to be out thousands of dollars.
Do You Need a Rainy Day Fund and Emergency Fund?
In an effort to simplify their money, people sometimes consolidate accounts. This is OK in many instances, but it’s important to remember that rainy day funds and emergency funds serve different purposes. Additionally, it’s important to have not just one, but both funds available to tap into as needed.
Read on for all your questions on rainy day and emergency funds, answered.
All You Need to Know About Facebook's Latest Bug
Last month, Facebook announced that its internal team found a photo API bug in the social media platform which may have exposed the unshared photos of 6.8 million users.
Read on for all you need to know about the recent Facebook bug.
Can You Put a Cap on Your Holiday Shopping?
Most of us will make multiple trips to the mall in preparation for the holidays. Don’t want to spend this coming January and February paying for your December shopping? Here’s how to watch the buck while cruising the aisles with thousands of fellow holiday shoppers:
Credit Card Fraud in Fives
No one wants to be the victim of credit fraud. Aside from the stolen money you may never recover, victims of fraud can be faced with an enormous hassle. That hassle involves the closing of accounts, putting a fraud alert on your credit and a huge ding on your credit history, which can be difficult to fix.
Beware the Blackmailing Scam
Blackmail and extortion are some of the oldest tricks in the book — because they work. That’s why a fresh wave of these scams hit the internet last month, ensnaring dozens of victims. Here’s what you need to know about these scams.
How it works
Why Does My Mortgage Lender Need So Much Information
Exhaustive research into the financial, personal and credit history of home loan applicants is not unique to credit unions. Every home lender will request similar information for processing the loan.
Why are lenders so nosy?
Do I Still Need a Landline?
Wondering if you should keep your landline? Landlines are quite outdated, but, before cutting the wire, read up on the main reasons people cling to their landlines, and why some of those reasons may not actually matter.
1. Communication during emergencies
5 Questions About Your Financial Future to Ask Yourself Today
It's important to stay on top of your finances. Here are 5 financial questions to ask yourself. Depending on your answers, they may help motivate you to to get on track!
7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Large Purchase
You’re convinced: You really want that Coach handbag. Or maybe you just know that gigantic entertainment center will transform your weekends. So you swipe your card and the dream item becomes yours. You’re thrilled!
That is, until a few weeks later when the credit card bill comes, and buyer’s remorse hits. You can’t help wondering: Was it really worth the price?
Book Review: Financially Ever After
It’s almost impossible to find two people who have identical approaches toward money management. We all have our own ideas about spending, budgeting and saving. What one person calls being cheap, another calls being frugal, and yet a third will call total deprivation.
Look Before You Pump! Don't Get Skimmed at the Gas Station
Gas-pump skimming is an old crime making a comeback, and your card may be at risk. Since skimmer devices are almost invisible, they can be difficult to spot. And Bluetooth technology lets the scammer remotely obtain the info it collects from as far as 100 yards away.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Tokenization: How to Stay Safe With the Wallet of the Future
Left your wallet at home? No worries; you can still pay for those purchases! Just use your phone.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and other mobile wallets are revolutionizing the checkout experience by blending two developments in payment infrastructure to save you time: near-field communication (NFC) and token encryption.
How Many Credit Cards Should I Own?
Hopefully, you’re working hard to keep a high credit score by using your cards and paying on time. You may be wondering, though, if more is better. Is several credit cards and more available credit a good idea? Or, are too many cards a liability to your score?
All You Need To Know About The Ticketmaster Breach
Hackers are at it again! This time, they're skimming information on third-party sites in what may be the largest credit breach ever.
9 Ways to Enjoy Summer on a Budget
Looking to have some fun this summer without breaking the bank? Here are some ideas!
1. Check out neighborhood business freebies. This includes shows, demonstrations and activities that local businesses host to generate summer traffic.
5 Ways to Budget For Your Wedding
Are you ready to tie the knot, but don’t know if you can afford a wedding? You don’t need to skimp on the wedding of your dreams or go deeply into debt to pay for it. By planning ahead, choosing wisely and prioritizing what’s truly important, you can say “I Do” without stressing over wedding costs.
If you’re a young parent trying to make sense of the stock market in between grocery shopping and PTA meetings, you likely don’t have the time or headspace for the in-depth articles on sites like Investopedia and Bankrate. And yet, mommy-brain notwithstanding, you don’t feel comfortable plunking down your money without first reading up on your investment of choice.
Beware of Social Media Scams
Over the last few years, social media scams have exploded, with fake Twitter and Facebook profiles increasing by 100% in just one year. That also means there are several types of social media scams, most which involve a phishing scheme component.
5 Things You Can Do Today To Help Your Future
Your primary reason for attending college is to jumpstart your career, of course. But, did you know there are many other things you can do now to help secure your future?
Here are just 5 things you can do today that will improve your after-college life:
Online Resources for College Students
Keeping up with all your classes, reports and exams is no simple feat. And while we can’t make your classes easier, we can help lighten your workload with this awesome list of online resources for college students. Take advantage of all the internet has to offer!
Rising Interest Rates
If you follow the national business news, you are likely getting mixed messages about the state of the economy. While never very reassuring, pundits’ opinions on the stock market and the country’s economic state are changing as frequently as the weather.
Energy Saving Tips - What To Look For When Buying New Appliances
Ecologists are always searching for ways to save our environment. Focusing on energy-efficient appliances is one aspect of this endeavor.
What Were the Actual 2018 Tax Changes?
What were the exact changes made to the U.S. tax code this year? There was so much talk about the proposed changes to the tax code, and many of the changes signed into law with the official Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts were quite different from those planned.
Working It Out
One of the most fundamental financial lessons your kids are going to have to learn is about how you work for your money. Do your kids understand that every time you pull out a wad of bills or swipe a card to pay for a purchase, that money is directly linked to time you put in at the office?
6 Common Tax Mistakes To Avoid
It’s that time of year again! Get ready to break out the calculator and pencils; dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms, and pay stubs, and get to work. Whether you choose to go it alone, use a tax-prep computer program or hand it all over to an accountant, start with checking out our handy list of common mistakes people make on their tax returns.
Will Amazon Go Destroy The Face Of American Retail?
You’ve picked up your last item, and you’re ready to check out. But if you thought choosing the right blend of K-cups was a tough decision, that’s nothing compared to the choice you’ll have to make now. Do you go to the aisle with the most carts that has the fastest cashier?
Financial Planning For College: How To Get The Most Out Of The FAFSA
If you’re the parent of a college-bound high school student, you’ve probably already started receiving junk mail with pictures of big, impressive stone facades on the outside and big, appalling price tags on the inside.
The Brain/Money Connection
We know that stress impacts our health in various ways, but did you know the brain is also physically affected by stress? Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that chronic stress triggers long-term changes in brain structure and function. And nothing spells stress like money dilemmas!
Phone Cloning and Digital Self Defense
Did you know it’s possible to clone a phone? It involves copying the identity of one phone to another. In fact, in today’s digital world, when we use them for everything from ordering an Uber to paying for purchases, mobile phones can be a major source of security breaches. And as frightening as it sounds, the only thing a hacker needs to launch a major attack is your phone number.
Ready, Set, Go...to College
It may seem like yesterday when you were sending your child off to preschool. And now you’re preparing him for college!
The process of a child leaving home is a major milestone that is made extra complex because of the emotions it generates.
Surviving the Holidays With Your Sanity Intact
With crowded stores and an ever-growing list of people to shop for, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and to overspend on your holiday shopping. No worries, though; we’ve got you covered! Read on for pre-and post-holiday tips and have yourself a jolly December without breaking the bank.
Everything You Want to Know about Bitcoin (…But Were Afraid to Google)
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a form of money that is entirely digital. The U.S. has dollars, Europe has Euros and the internet has bitcoins. The fact that bitcoin is digital isn’t all that interesting – because, in reality, an estimated 92% of all money is digital.
Beware of Banking Scams
There’s been a recent uptick in banking scams where criminals pose as representatives of the victim’s financial institution, thereby obtaining sensitive information. The scammers use the credit union’s social media account or likeness to appear authentic.
The Real deal on the 2018 Tax Changes
The current administration is implementing changes to the U.S. tax code. The administration believes these changes will strengthen the middle class, reinvigorate business and decrease unemployment. Unfortunately, though, most of them will do little, if anything, for the state of the economy.
The iPhone X and Decoy Pricing
Retailers often manipulate our spending habits. For instance, every time you shop, your choices are likely influenced by pricing tactics like BOGO, anchoring and high-end pricing.
And then there’s the tactic favored by Apple: decoy pricing.
7 Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Costs
Between your turkey, ingredients for the holiday meal and décor to set the ambiance, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is not cheap. If you’re looking for ways to cut back without compromising on quality, read on for seven easy ways to save on Thanksgiving costs this year.
Should I Make A Balance Transfer?
Are you considering a balance transfer to an interest-free card and wondering if it's a good idea? While transferring some or all of your credit card debt to one that includes an introductory interest-free period can help you move toward a debt-free life, there are some things to be aware of. Consider these pros and cons:
Dealing With A Financial Setback
If you’re hit with hard times, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Financial setbacks come in all shapes and sizes. It can be an expensive household repair, a medical emergency, getting laid off or the birth of a baby. Whatever the situation, it’s impossible to plan for every financial hit you will take in your lifetime.
Do Your Kids Have Virtual Shopping Smarts?
Did you know that 73% of millennials questioned in a Bazaar Voice survey do all their shopping on their smartphones? It’s not surprising. The world of commerce is constantly becoming more digitized as retailers focus on improving their online presence to cater to cyberspace shoppers.
Retirement Savings For Self-Employed People
Moonlighting is the new normal. It seems like everyone has a side hustle or a personal project they hope to someday turn into a business. While this money-making ambition is good for the pocketbook, it can be a little tricky come tax time.
Financial Tips For Single Parents
Single parenting brings unique budgeting challenges.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it costs an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child to age 18 – and many single parents shoulder that responsibility alone.
12 Back-To-School Savings Tips
Like most people, we’re sure you want to get through the back-to-school season without spending a small fortune. Back-to-school time is the second largest shopping season of the year. If all that spending makes your head pound, take heart. Sharon Credit Union has your back!
Save Money While Vacationing Abroad
Exploring foreign shores and dining on exotic fare are what make up many dream vacations. But when you suspect a money changer has taken you for a ride or you’ve busted your budget after only two days, it can quickly become a nightmare.
Newlyweds: Don’t Let Financial Stress Take The Cake
Of all the things to discuss before marriage, finances are the least exciting. Statistically, money is the top reason couples argue and financial arguments are among the top predictors of divorce.
So, how can you avoid becoming a statistic? Here are some ideas from the experts:
Beware of Scams! Give Your Kids Tools For Standing Up To Con Artists
The world is a big and beautiful place.
Unfortunately, it is also filled with unethical people who are trying to take advantage of the innocent and the naive at every turn.
Putting Your Affairs In Order: 7 Steps To Make Sure You’re Prepared
They say there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes.
Beware Of Fake Checks! 3 Tips To Protect Yourself From The Latest Scam
Personal checks look simple and innocent. Recently, though, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other agencies have warned about increases in fake check scams.
There are several variations of the scam, and they all end with you losing thousands of dollars.
Plan For The Payoff When You Plan Your Student Loans
When your student understands the long-term consequences of accumulating..
4 Ways To Repay Your Student Loans With Help From Sharon Credit Union
We can help you pay back your loan.
20 Ways To Celebrate Father's Day -- Without Breaking The Bank
We all want to show our dads that we care on Father’s Day. Many people panic and run straight for the ties. But unless your father is a necktie aficionado and you can land him the rarest of rare finds in men’s fashion, you may want to consider something else that shows how well you know and appreciate your dad.
3 Ways To Use Your Graduation Presents To Build Your Financial Future
Train Your Young Entrepreneurs
Your kids may be too young to know the first thing about running a business, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn! Teach them all about scouting a market, creating a great business model and earning money with this fun and educational activity.
Top 7 Home Improvements You Can Do Yourself With A Little Help From Sharon Credit Union
Consider these great home improvement ideas that you can do yourself!
4 Home Improvement Projects With High Long-Term Return
When you’re making improvements to your home, you’re not just making your life better in the short term.
How To Get A Summer Job: A Guide For Students Of All Ages
It’s wise to start thinking about summer work now.
Put Your Trust In A Trust: 4 Reasons Trust Accounts Make Sense For You
A trust is a private contract that is living.
3 Common Changes That Might Mean It's A Good Time To Refinance Your Vehicle
Traditional Electricity Production vs. Solar Electricity Production
It is important to know how your current electricity is being produced.
Safety First: 4 Ways To Prepare For Hurricane Season
Here are 4 ways to prepare for hurricane season.
4 Quick Tips When It Comes To Paying Your Wedding Bill
In a perfect world, you already have all the money you need saved in the bank.
4 Financial Questions To Ask Yourself Before Tying The Knot
America Saves Week - Saving For The Future Can Save The Day
The week of February 27 to March 4, 2017, is America Saves Week.
5 Tips To Keep Your Wallet Insulated From Winter Heating Costs
Unfortunately, keeping a home warm isn’t cheap; monthly heating costs can easily reach $300.
6 Questions Your Auto Dealer Hopes You Can't Answer
Let’s go through some of the more challenging parts of automotive financing.
Talking To Your Kids About Taxes: How Much Should You Share
Your taxes are a major family expense, and at some point, your children will come asking questions about them. What should and shouldn’t you share?
Two of the main factors to consider are age and maturity level.
Fitness For Your Body And Wallet: Shedding Pounds Without A Gym Membership
Financial Freedom: What It Takes To Free Yourself From Work
If it’s a goal, or if you’re just curious, consider the following.
How To Be The Host With The Most Without Draining Your Account
Try these 3 handy tips to save on expenses.
Going Away For The Holidays? Don’t Announce It Online Until You’re Back
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Going From New Homeowner To Happy Home: Tips For Recent Homebuyers
Check out these common homeowner situations.
Credit Cards Or Debit Cards - What's The Smartest Swipe?
Which one should you use? The answer depends largely upon your lifestyle.
College Credit: How To Survive Thanksgiving If You Can't Get Home
Bring Back The Brown Bag: Saving Money On Lunch The Old-Fashioned Way
Here are three tips to jump-start your new lunch habit!
Personal Loans: The Swiss Army Of National Finance
Sometimes life throws expensive surprises.
ATM Fraud On The Rise: Staying Safe While Getting Cash
Scammers are everywhere in web-based commerce
Beware The Boom: Diversify Your Portfolio To Protect From The Bust
There’s always a “next big thing” in investing
Saving Bucks On Books: How To Beat Your Campus Store
Turning Back to School Shopping into a Personal Finance Lesson For Your Kids
Most parents regard back to school time with a mix of emotions. On one hand, you’re sorry to see your kids go. Summer has been a great time to tackle projects together, build memories, and have fun. On the other hand, it’ll be nice to have the whole house awake and moving before noon again!