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FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE

How Credit Unions Differ from Banks

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Credit Union or Bank. What's the difference.

In the United States, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans, and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned institutions, credit unions focus on providing a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates. Unlike banks, credit unions return surplus income to their members in the form of dividends.

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Credit Card Payoff

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When your monthly statement comes, there’s a great temptation to pay only the minimum. Don’t do it. Read your statement carefully for information about how long it would take to pay off your account balance if you only pay the minimum payment. It can take years, even decades, to pay it off. If possible always pay the balance in full every month or pay more than the minimum amount. Doing so will help you to establish an excellent credit rating, a score used by lenders to determine the rate you will pay on your loan.

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Credit Reports

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Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting agencies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting agencies.

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Online Financial Safety Tips

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The internet makes many everyday tasks faster and more convenient, like shopping, researching products, banking, searching for health information, and communicating on the go. Get tips for being safe and making the most of your time online.

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Personal Budgeting

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The best way to take control of your finances is to do a budget. This is a simple method that helps you understand your finances.

A budget shows you if you are spending more or less than you can afford. It enables you to direct your money to where it matters most, so you can stay on top of bills and start putting money towards your future goals.

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Dealing with Debt

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Having trouble paying your bills? Receiving notices from creditors? Are your accounts being turned over to debt collectors? Are you worried about losing your home or your car? You’re not alone.

Many people face a financial crisis at some point in their lives. Whether the crisis is caused by personal or family illness, the loss of a job, or overspending, it can seem overwhelming. But often, it can be overcome. Your financial situation doesn’t have to go from bad to worse.

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