During the month of April 2018, members who switch from paper statements to e-statements will receive $5 in their account!
What is an e-statement? Instead of receiving a paper statement by mail, you will receive an email notifying you that your statement is available for viewing online.
How do I sign up to receive e-statements? It's easy! Go to your Online Banking and click the option to receive e-statements.
Saturday, April 14 from 9 am - 12 pm
LG&W Federal Credit Union
1616 Whitten Road
Our free Shred-It Day allows members to securely dispose of old financial and confidential documents. We will have a Shred-It truck on site for you to bring your documents to shred.
On January 27, 2018, staff members of LG&W Federal Credit Union taught a course on financial literacy to dozens of elementary school kids through MLGW Weekend Academy. The course discussed the value of savings, budgeting, and being smart about money decisions.
If you're expecting a refund from the IRS this year, resist the temptation to splurge on luxuries and instead invest that money in ways that will pay off in the long run. Here are five smart ideas to put that tax refund to good use:
Open an account for emergencies. Any financial advisor will tell you that an Emergency Fund is one of the most important steps in building financial security. Get peace of mind knowing you have cash for emergencies or unexpected situations by opening a special account with your tax refund. Advisors typically recommend to build a fund that covers three months of your salary.
Pay off those credit cards! If you have credit card debt, paying it off is a smart way to use your tax refund. If your refund doesn’t cover the entire outstanding balance, roll your remaining debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate or look for a lower-interest debt consolidation loan.
Invest in yourself. Your skill set is your greatest commodity in revenue generation, so use your refund for training, education, conferences and other programs to help build your talents and sharpen your strengths.
Get energy efficient. Use that extra cash to make your home energy efficient to save money over time on electrical, heating and water bills. For example, by adding fiberglass attic insulation, you’ll recoup 107% of the $1,343 average cost for installation. Plus, energy efficient homes help with a home’s resale value.
Invest in your community. Giving to charitable causes in your community that you care about not only helps those in need, but makes you feel good about yourself and helps improve your community. Think about using a portion of your refund to make a difference in someone’s life for the ultimate gift to yourself.
If you're married and have felt the stress of dealing with financial matters with your spouse, then you're pretty normal! Money is a leading cause of stress in marriages because money is often used to express love and security. So how can you deal with money matters while maintaining a strong relationship with your spouse?
GET IN SYNC: Create a budget TOGETHER so that you both can agree on and understand how your family dollars are being spent. Building a budget helps prioritize your life goals as a family. Perhaps education is something that you both value, or maybe it's world travel, or maybe it's a bigger house. By working through the budget process, spending and savings priorities for both spouses will be revealed and will create better understanding of the financial goals each of you are working towards.
SPEAK UP: Perhaps you have an outstanding loan or debt and to avoid conflict, you haven't quite mentioned it to your spouse. Being dishonest about your financial situation is a sure-fire way to lead to hurt feelings and suspicion in your relationship. Your financial situation affects your spouse so you owe it to them to share you situation no matter how uncomfortable it may be. On the flip side, if your spouse is overspending and being careless with finances, it may be time to have a talk to reel in their spending habits.
REMEMBER WHAT HAS TRUE VALUE: Don't let money be the driver of your relationship. Take time to be grateful for the things that bring you joy in your relationship - laughter, walks, talks, watching your children grow. Show your spouse that you love them by showering them with things that don't cost money like running an errand for them, cooking their favorite dinner, and just being kind. It's true, the best things in life are free!
When it comes to getting a credit card, qualifying is actually one of the easiest parts of the process. Establishing a positive credit record, however, requires dedication and patience.
Whether you are new to credit or are trying to “clean up” past mistakes to reestablish a favorable record, you may encounter a frustrating paradox: you must have and use credit to create a credit history, yet many financial institutions are reluctant to extend credit to someone without an established record. But don’t despair – there are several good remedies for both situations.
A Secured Card
An excellent start is a secured credit card. You are granted a credit line based on a percentage of a cash deposit you make to your financial institution. Because deposits are usually low, so too will be your credit limit. Application and annual fees for secured cards are often higher then those associated with unsecured credit cards.
The Retailer’s Card
Consider a local retailer’s credit card. Their criteria is often less rigorous than larger credit issuers. Be sure they subscribe to the major credit reporting agencies though – if not, you won’t be establishing a credit history.
Another option is having someone with a positive credit record co-sign an account for you. This requires a great deal of trust on the part of the co-signer – if you fail to pay, he or she is responsible. You could end up jeopardizing a relationship as well as a credit record.
Review Your Credit Report
Finally, if you have damaged credit, you might need to rectify the past as you’re building your future. Paying old debts and correcting errors on your credit report as soon as possible might be the way to go.
Pay off Your Debts
Once you have a credit line, establish a good history by using it responsibly. Keep balances low, always pay on time, don’t pursue unnecessary credit, and stick with a few good credit instruments of various types.
This article and others can be found in our BALANCE Financial Guide.
The holidays are the time of giving and when many people choose to help those in need by making donations to favorite charities. Did you know that these contributions can actually reap benefits for you?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “write off” or “deductible expense” but many people don’t fully understand what that means. Simply put, the purpose of tax deductions is to decrease your taxable income, thus decreasing the amount of tax you owe to the federal government.
Any charitable contribution is tax deductible up to 50 percent of your income. And you can get tax savings with non-cash donations as well. Eligible deductions include the purchase of a new coat for a coat drive or food for a food drive, or making a donation to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charities that accept gently used items. Follow these tips to make the most of your charitable deductions:
Source: Forbes.com and CNBC.com
To enhance the calculation of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) and to streamline our internal process to serve you better, the date of your RMD disbursement will change beginning in January, 2018.
Beginning in January 2018, you will notice these changes:
This change will allow us to use newly available software to calculate your RMD even more accurately and efficiently than in the past, so we can provide the best possible service to you!
Since new cars depreciate when you drive them off of the lot, many people find purchasing used cars to be an attractive option. However, finding a dependable used car can sometimes be a challenge. Follow these steps to find a used car that’s right for you and your budget.
Step 1: How Much Car Can You Afford?
A general guideline is that your monthly car payment should not be more than 20% of your take-home pay. Visit the LGWFCU.com resource page for an auto loan calculator to determine what you can afford.
Step 2: Check Prices and Reviews
Once you’ve determined your dream car, get online and learn about the car’s reliablity, gas mileage, features and more. User reviews can offer insight into unexpected expenses of which you might not be aware.
Step 3: Locate Used Cars in Your Area
Online classified ads such as Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com, eBay Motors.com, CarGurus.com and Craigslist allow for photo tours and detailed information about the car. There are, of course, many places to shop for a used car, such as independent used car lots, the used car section of a new car dealership and, more recently, used car superstores like CarMax.
Step 4: Check the Vehicle History Report
You should get a vehicle history report for the car you’re interested in buying. This is an essential step. If the report is negative, you should not go any further with this car. You can access vehicle history reports by the vehicle identification number (VIN) and even by license plate. AutoCheck and Carfax are the two best-known sources for vehicle history reports.
Step 5: Test Drive
Test driving a used car not only tells you if this is the right car for you but also if this particular car is in good condition. On the test drive, simulate the conditions of your normal driving patterns. If you do a lot of highway driving, be sure to take the car up to at least 65 mph. If you regularly go into the mountains, test the car on a steep slope.
Step 6: Inspect the Vehicle
If you like the way the car drives, you should have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before you negotiate to buy it. A pre-purchase inspection can save you thousands of dollars.
Step 7: Negotiate Your Best Deal
Negotiating with a private-party seller can be a quick and fairly relaxed process. Negotiating with a used-car salesman will take longer and can be stressful. Keep these tips in mind.
- Make sure your opening offer that is low, but in the ballpark.
- Decide ahead of time how high you will go and leave when you reach your limit.
- Always be prepared to walk out: This is your strongest negotiating tool.
- Don’t be distracted by dealer pitches for items like extended warranties or anti-theft devices.
Step 8: Contact Your Credit Union for Financing
One of the benefits of your LG&W Federal Credit Union membership is the advantage of low interest car rates. Throughout the month of October 2017, we offer some of the lowest rates you can find at 1.99% APR for models from 2008 and up. Make sure you’re not overpaying every month by simply contact LG&W Federal Credit Union to learn which rate your qualify for.
If you’re planning to sell your home, you’ll want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. But you don’t have to spend a bundle to make a great first impression on potential buyers. Consider these inexpensive tips from Home and Family Finance for putting your home’s best face forward.
"Wow" buyers immediately
Buyers make a judgment about your property the minute they pull into the driveway. To entice them to look inside make sure the exterior of your home is clean and attractive. Cut the lawn, trim the shrubs, and plant some colorful flowers. Wash down the siding and brick, and make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris. Refresh the look of old shutters and doors with a coat of paint. Hide garbage cans, yard rubbish, and old garden hoses. Removing detractors like these from your home will help pave the way to quick sale.
Make the place sparkle
A few hours spent cleaning and organizing will go a long way with potential buyers. Scrub the floors, wash the baseboards and clean the windows so they sparkle. Shampoo any dirty carpets, clean the bathtubs, replace unsightly caulking, and make sure to fix dripping faucets and oil squeaky doors. Is your oven clean? Some prospective buyers may judge the overall cleanliness of your home by how clean you keep your oven. Consider applying a fresh, neutral coat of paint to tired walls.
Create the illusion of space
If prospective buyers have to perform gymnastic moves to avoid running into extra furniture and boxes, you may have to wait a while before you sell your house. Consider storing items temporarily at a friend’s house, or rent a storage unit. Organize junk depositories like closets, basements, and attics. To create the illusion of space, don’t cram a lot of furniture into a small room, and de-clutter as much as possible.
Bric-a-brac and too many personal items are also detractors. From the minute prospective buyers walk into your home, you want them to be able to imagine themselves living comfortably in the house surrounded by their belongings and keepsakes.
Consider a pro
If you want top dollar for your dwelling you might consider hiring a redesign specialist, also known as a home stager, to maximize your property’s appeal. Home stagers’ services include everything from coming in and making over a home—putting in new countertops, applying fresh paint, replacing older furniture with modern new pieces—to walking through the home and making suggestions for improvements. Their costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the level of change you’re looking to effect.
Our BALANCE Financial Guide is dedicated to helping you balance life’s important decisions.