Adulting

Scheduling your own doctor’s appointment, getting the oil changed and paying your bills on time. This is adulting. And, it can be a drag sometimes. Don’t worry, though, we have your back. Along with our friends from Power 106.9 FM, follow us as we find out what sort of money moves young adults are making and how we are helping them step up their financial game.

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Loans

If you want to make a big purchase, you will probably need to borrow money in the form of a loan. There are many different types. Check out if these students plan on getting a loan in the near future. For more information about loans, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Auto Loan Facts

Benefits of an Auto Loan

  • Dishing out a large sum of money to purchase a car can leave a dent in your checking or savings account.
  • Financing a car gives you the advantage of buying a vehicle with monthly payments you can afford.
  • Auto loans build credit (if you make payments on time).
  • Auto loans also allow you to purchase a better vehicle that may have been too expensive if you were to pay cash.

Financing Details

  • Car dealerships have connections with various banks and credit unions to get you into an auto loan. But, interest rates may be better if you go to your credit union first and get pre-approved.
  • Pre-approval means the credit union will look at your credit and determine how much you can borrow, the interest rate and the term of the loan.

Multiple Credit Cards

Credit cards aren’t all bad if you use them responsibly. They can even help improve your credit score. See if these students know about the benefits. For more information about credit cards, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Credit Card Facts

Credit Card Pros

  • In order to make large purchases such as a car or home, you must have a credit history. Using a credit card can help build that history.
  • A credit score isn’t calculated until you have one active account (such as a credit card) on your credit report for six months.
  • Credit cards offer flexible payment options. While it’s best to pay off your credit card balance each month, you do have the option to pay the balance over time provided you at least pay the minimum amount, determined by the creditor, each month.

Student Loan Debt

Debt is inevitable for most college students. And, the total amount students owe is shocking. Let’s see if these students know how much they will likely have to pay back after college. For more information about student loan debt, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Student Loan Facts

Student Loan Debt Statistics

  • More than half (69%) of young adults who went to college in 2018 took on debt.
  • The average American has $29,800 in student loan debt.
  • Americans owe more than $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among 45 million borrowers. That’s about $521 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.

How to Pay Down Student Loan Debt

  • Pay more than the minimum each month or make an extra payment at any point during the month.
  • Enroll in auto pay. Federal student loan servicers offer a quarter-point interest rate discount if you let them automatically deduct payments from your bank account. Many private lenders offer an auto pay deduction as well.
  • Depending on the type of loans you have and if you have a steady job and good credit, refinancing is a good option. Doing so replaces multiple student loans with a single private loan at a lower interest rate.

Writing a Check

Writing a check is a thing of the past or is it? While many of us use debit cards, it’s probably still good to know how to write a check. Let’s see if these students know the proper way. For more information about budgeting, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Budgeting Facts

Budgeting Tips

  • Keep your receipts and track all of your spending in an excel file or an app.
  • Categorize your purchases to see how you spend (food, clothing, entertainment, bills etc.).
  • Figure out where you can cut back so you can save more.

Manage Spending

  • Plan for splurges by setting aside money each month for indulgences.
  • Keep pace with savings. As your income increases so should the amount you put in savings.
  • Treat saving like a bill that you pay each month.

Find Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a major factor in determining the interest rate you will receive on a loan. But, do you know where to find your credit score for free? Watch these students take their best guesses. For more information about credit score, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Credit Score Facts

Credit Score Facts

  • A credit score is a three-digit number that determines how likely you are to repay debt on time.
  • Banks, credit unions and lenders use it to decide whether they’ll approve you for a credit card or loan.
  • The higher the credit score the better interest rate you’ll receive.
  • A credit score of 700 or higher is considered a good credit score. Some reporting agencies define good as 670 or higher.

Jail or No Phone?

Debt is a scary four-letter word and most of us can’t escape it. But, if you had the option to give up your phone or go to jail to get rid of it, would you? Watch and see what these students would do. For more information about debt, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Debt Facts

Debt Facts

  • Half of Americans (56%) spend equal to or more than their income.
  • The average student loan debt is $33,654.
  • Total student loan debt in the United States is $1.5 trillion.
  • The average credit card balance/debt per household is $8,398.

Tips on Paying Off Debt

  • Make an extra loan payment. Be sure to tell your lender that the extra payments should go toward the principal.
  • Use the money received from a tax return or bonus at work to pay down your loan with a lump sum payment.
  • Refinance the loan. If your current interest rate is on the high side, refinance the loan to lower your interest rate and monthly payment.
  • Pay more than the minimum payment amount each month.
  • Pay more than once per month. If possible, set up the repayment terms to pay multiple times per month as doing so decreases the interest.

Savings

It’s never too early or too late to save money. The hard question is how much? Check out what these students think. For more information about saving, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Savings Facts

Savings Tips

  • Keep track of your expenses and figure out what you could cut back on.
  • Create a budget.
  • Treat saving like a bill that you pay each month.

Emergency Fund

  • It is recommended to save between 5 and 10% of your yearly income.
  • The average American spends $1,100 on coffee. Have you spent more on coffee this year than you’ve put in savings?
  • It’s important to put money into an emergency fund for unexpected expenses like a car repair or medical bill.
  • You can save by having money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck each month.

 Money Market Account

  • A money market account is a savings account that may come with higher interest rates than other savings accounts.
  • This type of account often includes checks or a debit card.
  • It offers federal insurance protection.

Retirement

Retirement is so far away, right? You don’t need to think about it now. Or do you? Find out what these students know about 401(k)s and CDs. For more information about retirement, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Retirement Facts

401(k)

  • A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer.
  • It lets employees save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes are taken out.
  • Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn from the account.
  • Many employers often contribute a certain amount to the employees’ retirement savings plan based on the amount of their annual contribution.

Traditional IRA

  • A traditional IRA is an individual retirement account.
  • It is tax-deferred meaning all dividends, interest payments and capital gains compound each year without being hindered by taxes.
  • Taxes are paid only when withdrawals are made in retirement.

Roth IRA

  • A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account.
  • It is funded with after-tax dollars (money taxes have already been paid on).
  • Money grows tax free.
  • Taxes don’t have to be paid when the money is withdrawn at retirement.

CD

  • A CD, certificate of deposit, is a type of federally insured savings account.
  • It has a fixed interest rate and fixed date of withdrawal, known as the maturity date.
  • CDs also typically don’t have monthly fees.

Did High School Prepare You?

Adulting is hard and sometimes classes just can’t prepare you for the real world. Check out these students’ takes on money and fraud. For more information, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Protection Facts

Identity Theft, Identity Fraud and Cybersecurity

  • Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information (name, address, Social Security number, bank account numbers or medical insurance account numbers) without your permission.
  • Identity fraud is the act of someone using your identity in a fraudulent way or to deceive a third party.
  • Cybersecurity is the protection of information systems from theft or damage to the hardware, software and to the information on them. Simply stated, cybersecurity is protecting personal information stored electronically.

Ways to Protect Yourself from Fraud

  • Do not share personal identifying information including usernames and passwords, account numbers or your Social Security number with anyone in person, online or over the phone.
  • Do not trust caller I.D. as phone numbers can be spoofed making the call look as if it is from a legitimate company when it is actually from a scammer.
  • Scrutinize checks and do not cash immediately as some may appear to be from a valid company but in fact are fraudulent.

Good Credit Score

Credit and credit score are very important aspects of your financial well-being but what do they mean? Watch as these students try to figure it all out. For more information about credit, click the dropdown box below and go to Centris Federal Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Center to test your money IQ and take our free online courses.»

Credit Score Facts

Credit Score

  • A credit score is a three-digit number that determines how likely you are to repay debt on time.
  • Banks, credit unions and lenders use it to decide whether they’ll approve you for a credit card or loan.
  • The higher the credit score the better interest rate you’ll receive.
  • A credit score of 700 or higher is considered a good credit score. Some reporting agencies define good as 670 or higher.

Credit Report

  • A credit report is a statement that has information about your credit activity and current credit situation such as loan paying history and the status of your credit accounts.
  • Credit bureaus collect and store financial data about you that is submitted to them by creditors, such as lenders, credit card companies and other financial companies.
  • You can check your credit report for free once a year from each of the three main credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.