Top 5 Reasons Why Credit Unions are better than Banks
Are you one of those people who walk past a credit union in your community without looking twice? Then you don’t know what you are missing out on when it comes to financial matters. One of the main reasons why some people are not in credit unions is because they don’t know how they operate and what they entail. Credit unions are non-profit organizations with an objective of serving their members rather than making profits from service provision. They offer similar financial services compared to banks such as loans, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and mortgages.
Here are five reasons why you should choose a credit union over a bank:
The main reason why credit unions exist is to serve their members rather than accomplishing the goals of the institution. Members come first in credit unions then the rest follows. On the other hand, banks are formed with the aim of making profits, and they’ll do whatever it takes to meet their profit margins.
- Better interest rates
Credit unions have lower interest rates on loans, credit cards, and even mortgages. Besides that, most credit unions are less strict when it comes to loan eligibility, and they are not selective of one’s source of income. Savings accounts, CDs, and bonds in credit unions also yield returns compared to having the same in banks.
For those who are not members of any credit union, you might not be aware that credit unions belong to members and they are responsible for their operations. Once you’ve made your first deposit, you are granted voting rights, and any surplus income will be reimbursed as dividends. Being a member means that you get financial services at lower rates and participate in decision making.
- Fee-free accounts
A majority of banks require account holders to maintain a minimum balance which is not the case with credit unions. One of the main reasons why most people are drawn to credit unions is because they offer free checking accounts and no minimum balance requirements to cut down any extra fees.
- Relationship building is valued
Let’s face it, credit unions value members who have been with long enough and they tend to be more lenient when such members want to borrow funds. Besides enjoying lower interest rates, when applying for loans, the terms and conditions are more flexible for such members provided their credit score is high. In case you haven’t joined a credit union, take the time to visit one in your local community; you’ll be surprised to see a big difference between them and banks.
Gearing Up For Halloween, DIY Costume Ideas
Every year, maniacs, wizards, fairy witches, superheroes, etc. come together to celebrate Halloween, a night to engage in all sorts of mischievous acts under the autumn moon. How prepared are you for this years’ Halloween? Halloween is just around the corner, so you know it’s time to start preparing your Halloween costume for the big day. Over the past years, you might have spotted people wearing amazing Halloween costumes and wondered what it took to create those extraordinary costumes. This year, you don’t have to buy expensive Halloween costumes. Instead, you can just create your own unique Halloween costumes.
Here are a few DIY costume ideas you should try out:
Ghost costume is one of the best DIY costumes for people who are fans of horror movies, plus it’s the easiest costume to make because all you need is an old bed sheet. Start by cutting two holes on the bed sheet for the eyes and come up with creative ways of bringing out a scary ghost image; you can even add some makeup to the sheet.
The White Rabbit
Are you a big fan of Mickey Mouse or mini mouse? If you are looking for a DIY costume idea, then you should consider this classic Disney character’s style. All you need to create this costume is a white dress, a red blazer, a clock bag, a blue bow tie and bunny ears made of any color your prefer.
When coming up with your ideas for creating a Halloween costume, you can also embrace the geek in you by creating a geeky homemade costume. All you need to create this kind of costume is a pair of glasses, a mustache for men, a bandage and a pair of baggy trousers or skirt held using a pair of suspenders.
The mime costume is the kind of costume you should create if you don’t want to express yourself through your actions and want to give your voice a break. Have someone paint your face with white face paint and then wear black clothes or a striped white top. To complete the look, don’t forget to wear a pair of white gloves.
Nowadays, there are plenty of plenty of vampire characters you can mimic from movies and T.V shows. Buy a pair of fake vampire fangs from a convenience store and wear clothes with lighter shades. Be creative enough and strive to resemble the vampire characters you know. Lastly, don’t forget to dribble red food coloring or some fake blood on your lips and the sides of your mouth.
Why We Love Savings Accounts (And You Should Too!)
Nowadays, savings accounts have become so popular, and it’s easy to open one at MACCU. They play a significant role in helping us achieve our financial goals without having to apply for loans. Some people think that investing their money is better than having the money lying in a savings account. However, depositing your money in a savings account is better than investing since there are no risks involved, so you are confident that your money is safe for future use.
Here are six reasons why we love Savings Accounts and you should too:
Contrary to what most people think, the funds in your savings accounts are readily accessible, and you can make withdrawals from your savings account at the respective bank during business hours. In addition to that, some financial institutions also offer access to savings accounts using ATM cards for withdrawal even after regular business hours.
- It’s a safe way to grow your money
Although savings accounts offer relatively low-interest rates, they provide sustained growth of your money. The other investment options might seem lucrative due to high returns, but the risks involved are also very high. That’s why you should also open a savings account.
- Funding future expenses
The best thing about having a savings account is that you don’t have to apply for loans anytime you want to cater for huge expenses such as school fees or projects. For instance, if you want to buy a house in future, you can start saving as early as now, and within a year or two you’ll have the money you need to buy it.
- Improves your financial health
Everyone should practice the habit of saving regularly by setting money aside for their savings accounts or having the transferred directly by their financial institutions. Once you get used to saving, it becomes a regular habit, and you can refrain from impulsive buying habits.
- It caters for emergencies
There’s nothing as bad as not having money to cater for emergencies such as losing your job or accidents. Consequently, it’s important to save money during your job tenure since it helps you cater for monthly expenses until you get a reliable source of income.
- It’s easy to open and maintain
Opening a savings account is relatively easy and you can start saving immediately after the financial institution verifies your details. Additionally, most savings accounts have no minimum balance, and they don’t need account maintenance to stay operational.
Best Volunteer Opportunities in Vermont
Without volunteers, a huge number of charity based organization would have their programs paralyzed. Even the well-established organizations that operate as nonprofits depend on volunteers to run most of their core functions. Without a doubt, volunteers are a tremendous force that cannot be underestimated. Did you know that a large number of the people who sit on the management boards of non-profits are actually there as volunteers? Here in Vermont, your volunteer spirit will not go to waste.
Here are some great opportunities to pursue;
The Ronald McDonald House Charities
Located in Burlington, Vermont this shelter is a home catering for the needs of families who are bearing the burden of serious illness in their children. They are housed at the shelter during the course of treatment for their children at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. As a volunteer at the home, you are either involved in taking care of the rooms or making food. Families with sick babies come back to the home to an environment that is just like home. Food is ready, toiletries available and rooms freshened up –all by volunteers.
United Way of Northwest Vermont
With collaboration from different players in the community, the United Way of Northwest Vermont mobilizes its partners to improve people’s lives. Attention is given to education, health and financial stability as the core human rights of every individual. As a volunteer, you are investing time and energy to better the lives of people living in Franklin, Chittenden, and Grand Isle counties. Lives are impacted through promotion of mental health, support for families, provision of basic needs, advocacy against substance abuse and employment advancement.
Spectrum Youth & Family Services
Having opened its doors to serving the public in 1970, the founding mission was empowering teenagers, young adults and those that live with them. This has mainly been achieved through teaching life skills, intervention and prevention. Operations are centered on St. Albans and Burlington. Since its inception, the organization provides housing to vulnerable youths, supports them with finding purpose in the community and builds their self-esteem. All this is done by volunteers.
The University of Vermont Medical Center
Volunteers at the University of Vermont Medical Center play the crucial role of providing their time, attention and personal touch to patients, their families, staff and visitors to the institution. The 750 volunteers, who support the center, provide a service that supplements professional medical attention. Enjoy performing music? This too, is one way to volunteer at The University of Vermont Medical Center.
Volunteers are the action heroes that grow an organization from a small noble intention to a movement that impacts lives and changes the community. Vermont is home to many such organizations, places where families can spend their free time putting a smile on the face of another human being.
3 Actions you can take today to improve your credit score
Your credit score matters a lot. Building a good credit history gives insurers, lenders, and employers a reason to do business with you. A good credit score is definitely the easiest and most convenient route to getting a better mortgage interest rate and saving thousands of dollars through insurance premiums among other benefits. The higher your credit scores, the easier life becomes. On the other hand, a negative credit report can hinder you from accessing life-changing loans since it’s a big turn-off for most lenders.
Here are 3 steps you can take to improve your credit score
- Make timely bills payments
Being punctual when paying bills is an excellent way of improving your credit score. Most of those grappling with negative credit reports are probably debt defaulters. Paying off your bills in time can make all the difference as far as your creditworthiness is concerned. Late payments, missed payments, and bankruptcy reports will undoubtedly impact on your credit score ratings negatively. Consider taking all the right precautions including paying all your utilities, rent, internet or phone bills on time to avoid negative credit reports. Don’t forget that past payments performances paint a clear picture of your future performances. Consider marking your calendars, set reminders and find other channels of generating income to ensure that you build a credible payment history.
- Time your credit applications prudently
Applying for numerous lines of credit recklessly is the fastest way of sabotaging your creditworthiness. Hard inquiries will be made on your credit report with each application. Every denied application will obviously lower your credit score significantly for a period of up to 24 months. Don’t be fond of applying for numerous credit cards within a short span of time, if you know what’s good for your credibility. While new credit cards can significantly improve your general credit limit, it can also trigger multiple hard inquiries that can hurt your creditworthiness even if it’s temporarily.
- Monitor your credit report regularly
Monitoring your credit report on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways of improving your credit score as a credit card holder. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information on your credit report is 100% accurate. The beauty of reviewing your credit report every now and then is that it helps in detecting identity fraud, skimming and unauthorized transactions that can have negative impacts on your credit scores. You can only attract better credit scores if you have total control of your credit. It’s also the only way of attaining peace of mind.
An incredible credit score can help you achieve all your dreams. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to make sure your credit scores are impressive 24/7.