Personal FInance Archives - Common Trust FCU

Your Guide to Managing Finances During COVID-19

Special COVID-19 Message: a COVID-19 relief loan is just one of many ways we can help reorganize your finances during these difficult times. If you’re experiencing financial hardship and are looking for some guidance and support, don’t hesitate: give us a call or send us a message. Together, we’ll make a plan to get you through this.

 

Getting your financial house in order is something that every person should strive for. From credit scores, savings accounts, and open lines of credit, it’s a full-time job to keep track of all accounts and payments. Especially during this tumultuous time of uncertainty, finding your financial groove is more important than ever before. Thankfully, there are a few huge steps you can take to minimize the impact that COVID-19 has on your financial situation, even if you’ve found yourself experiencing a loss of income.



Avoid Unnecessary Debt

While social distancing prevents you from going to your favorite mall or outlet, avoiding debt is still an everyday struggle. During this time, always ask yourself: is this something I really need? Filling up your cart on Amazon is a great way to pass the time, but may leave you up to your chin in unnecessary debt (and purchases). Unless absolutely necessary, limit random splurges and frivolous spending to avoid racking up debt that will negatively impact you post-COVID-19.

 

Build a Budget

To really take a step in the right direction, generate some sort of weekly and monthly budget to follow. This should include necessities like bills, groceries, gas, and other important payments. Balance your spending with your total income and adjust spending habits accordingly. Try to limit dangerous spending habits and keep random splurging to a minimum. If you’re currently experiencing a loss of work or income, you may need to adjust your spending even further in order to accommodate for a reduced paycheck. 

 

Start Saving More

With limited access to shopping centers, it’s a great time to start saving all the money you would have normally spent on fun gadgets and clothes. If you don’t currently have a savings account, open one today. When creating your weekly and monthly budget, include a certain percentage of your income to be automatically placed into your savings account. Over time, the account will grow into a fairly large safety net that you can use however you please.

 

Consider a CD

If you have a decent savings already, consider opening a Share Certificate Account (CD). They are deposited for a fixed period of time and yield higher interest rates. You can open a Share Certificate with as little as $500. Investment terms range from 6 months to 3 years. 

 

Transfer Your Credit Balance

If you have a few lines of credit open at this time, a credit balance transfer can help consolidate multiple accounts into one. This makes managing payments easier and diminishes the risk of unwanted interest accumulation. Especially if you’re cutting down on costs, you’ll want to start reducing any unnecessary interest payments tacked onto your principal balance. 

You’ll start by filling out a card application. Simply call your local credit union, fill out an application, and start reaping the benefits of a lower-interest credit card and comparably lower card payments. It’s that easy!

Apply for a payment extension

If your household income has taken a hit, applying for a payment extension gives you a little bit more time to get back on your feet. Especially with multiple loan accounts or lines of credit, missing payments and accumulating fines is the worst thing to do. Give your local bank or credit union a call to see what they can offer in terms of payment extensions or deferments based on your financial situation.

 

Use a Debt Relief Loan

If you’ve recently found yourself out of work, waiting for your unemployment compensation check to arrive in the mail may not be in your best financial interest. With a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan, you can get the funds you need for necessities way ahead of schedule. Better yet, emergency relief loans will often allow you a few weeks or even months to get back on your feet before payments start coming in. Overall, they’re a low-interest and high-yield option for those in need of a little extra funding.

In need of some extra cash while getting your finances in order? With rates as low as 6.99%* and no payments for the first 90 days, financial relief has never been more accessible than with our COVID-19 emergency relief loan. To learn more about your options or ask any questions, give us a ring or reach out via email today!

 

Experiencing financial hardship? Let’s talk.

Right now is a tremendously tricky time. Above all else, we want to help you and your family stay financially stable. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, don’t hesitate: give us a call or send us a message. Together, we’ll make a plan to get you through this difficult time. 

 

Your Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loans

Special COVID-19 Message: a COVID-19 relief loan is just one of many ways we can help reorganize your finances during these difficult times. If you’re experiencing financial hardship and are looking for some guidance and support, don’t hesitate: give us a call or send us a message. Together, we’ll make a plan to get you through this.

 

As we continue to practice social distancing in the wake of COVID-19, many businesses are finding it hard to keep employees paid and well-compensated. Many individuals are even finding themselves out of work and unemployed. If you’ve recently found yourself experiencing a loss of work, you may be racking your brain for financial solutions that won’t break the bank and help you stay afloat while you file for unemployment and get your budgeting in check. If you need expedited financial assistance during this time, a COVID-19 emergency relief loan is a low-interest solution that won’t put your future finances in jeopardy.

 

What’s a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan?

Just like your typical home equity or auto loan, a COVID-19 emergency relief loan is designed to give you the funds you need as soon as possible. Depending on creditworthiness, you can take out a loan of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This money can be used to buy necessities like groceries and pay off bills or other costs. If your lender offers delayed payments, you may be set for a few months without having to start paying the loan back. Then, when those few months are up, you will be responsible for making monthly fixed payments with added interest until the loan term is up or until you pay off the loan. 

 

What would I use it for?

If you’ve found yourself experiencing a loss of work during this increasingly uncertain time, a COVID-19 emergency relief loan is the perfect solution for you. After you’ve filed for unemployment, the long wait until your first compensation check arrives in the mail can be exhausting. 

Don’t let such a common occurrence keep your family from living a full and happy life. A COVID-19 relief loan is designed to give you the money you need for essentials like groceries, bills, and other expenses while your unemployment check is in transit. Plus, with a low-interest rate, delayed payments, and an ample repayment period, you can rest easy knowing that this loan won’t break the bank.

 

How do I get the best rate?

As with any loan, finding the best rate for a COVID-19 emergency relief loan is an easy task if you know what you’re looking for. Depending on your needs, finding a decent loan term is your best bet to reduce your monthly payment while ensuring enough time to get your finances together to fund future payments. Your top priority should be finding a loan option that delays payments. Some lenders may offer no payments for the first few months while you get back on your feet. Ultimately, to limit the amount of interest you pay on your principal loan amount, look for a low-interest rate that won’t break the bank. 

While all these pointers are a great way to make sure you’re in good hands, always remember to ask questions before signing any paperwork with your lender of choice. This is a big decision—no question is too small. Whether about repayment options, loan flexibility, or creditworthiness, ask as many questions as you need to verify that this is the right loan choice for you. 

 

How can I get started?

Tired of late nights tracking your unemployment check? With rates as low as 6.99%* and no payments for the first 90 days, paying for necessities has never been easier than with our COVID-19 emergency relief loan. To learn a little more about repayment options and interest rates, give us a ring or reach out via email today!

 

Experiencing financial hardship? Let’s talk.

Right now is a tremendously tricky time. Above all else, we want to help you and your family stay financially stable. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, don’t hesitate: give us a call or send us a message. Together, we’ll make a plan to get you through this difficult time. 

 

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How Tax Loans Work—And How They Can Work For You

If you’re like most people, taxes are the last thing on your mind when you start off the new year. Everything is running smoothly until you start getting rampant emails from Turbotax asking if you’re ready to file. A sizable refund can be a great way to save up for future purchases—but what if you find out you owe more than you get back? You may be racking your brain trying to determine where you could have gone wrong. Not to worry—a tax loan is the perfect way to pay off what you owe without breaking the bank. To make things a little easier, we’re going to review the ins and outs of tax loans, and how they can help you jump-start your debt payoff.

What are tax loans?

A tax loan is similar to any other loan you’d sign up for. They’re offered from various online lenders, credit unions, and banks. Repayment terms are often ideal for paying off unexpected taxes without accumulating too much interest along the way. In fact, competitive interest rates make them a lower-cost alternative to IRS payment plans.

When and why would I need a tax loan?

Though most Americans do get a refund each year, there are a few circumstances that would make you owe more money in taxes. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, self-employment, changes in deductions, and extra income. In some instances, the taxes you owe may even exceed the return you were expecting back and you’ll end up owing money to the IRS rather than getting a refund.

Whether you knew it before tax day or not, you still have to pay these dues or face penalties and fees as months pass by. This is where a tax loan comes in—to help you pay off your dues on-time even when crisis strikes.

Are they a good idea?

Yes! Tax loans are the perfect solution when your tax refund doesn’t live up to expectations. Whether from self-employment or unintentionally altering your W-4 with an employer, certain circumstances may leave you with a large sum of money to pay back. Without the help of a loan, you may find yourself drowning in interest for missing payments. Ultimately, paying the low-interest rate associated with your loan will likely end up costing far less in the long-run than penalties inflicted by the IRS. Need another reason? Failing to pay your taxes, commonly known as tax evasion, is a serious criminal offense and could land you in jail for 3-5 years if you get caught.

How do I find the best deal?

Each filer’s needs are unique, so finding the perfect tax loan isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your annual income and how much you owe, you may need a longer term to pay off the loan. Conversely, you may want a lower-interest rate and shorter repayment term.

Depending on your specific wants and needs, your search could be a click away or may require a little more investigation. Just like any other loan, be sure to research thoroughly and ask plenty of questions. Some lenders will offer a special promotional discount around tax season, so it’s important to plan accordingly and get those taxes filed as soon as possible.

Tax return not exactly what you’d anticipated? With rates as low as 9.99%, paying your taxes has never been easier than with our ongoing tax loan promotion. To learn a little more about repayment options and interest rates, give us a ring or reach out via email today!

Haven’t started your tax return yet? Now’s a better time than ever! Common Trust Federal Credit Union has teamed up with TurboTax to help you save up to $15 on federal tax products. Moreover, our team is highly knowledgeable and here to help you with every step of your application.

What’s the Difference Between a Tax Credit and a Tax Deduction?

“Just write it off.”

“Go ahead and deduct it.”

“I think there’s a tax credit for that.”

Although you might have heard or even uttered one of the sentences above, have you ever wondered what it actually means? While both tax deductions and tax credits can save you a significant amount of money on your taxes, they work in significantly different ways.

What is a Tax Deduction?

A tax deduction is a result of a tax-deductible expense or exemption which reduces your taxable income. A common tax deduction on your federal income tax return is the standard deduction. An example of how this works: If your income was $50,000, your standard deduction (if single or married filing separately) would reduce your taxable income by the 2018 standard deduction of $12,000, so your taxable income would now be $38,000.

What is a Tax Credit?

Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are subtracted from your tax liability (not taxable income). A common tax credit is the Child Tax Credit. If you have a qualifying child, you can take a credit of up to $2,000 per child against the taxes you owe in 2018. If you have a total federal income tax liability of $3,500, the Child Tax Credit for one child would reduce that tax liability to $1,500.

Is a Tax Deduction Better Than a Tax Credit?  Is a Tax Credit Better Thank a Tax Deduction?

If you were ever faced with a hypothetical choice between a $100 tax deduction and a $100 tax credit, you would most likely prefer to receive the credit. Unlike a tax deduction, a $100 tax credit reduces your tax dollar-for-dollar ($100). On the other hand, a tax deduction reduces your taxable income by $100. The resulting amount of tax you save depends on your marginal tax bracket (in everyday language: your tax bracket). If you are in the 24% tax bracket in 2018, a $100 tax deduction reduces your taxes by $24. On the other hand, a $100 credit would reduce your taxes by $100.

TurboTax Has You Covered

Don’t worry about trying to figure out which tax credits or deductions you should take, or if you should itemize or take the standard deduction. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers to get you the biggest tax refund.  As a credit union member, you can save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products. Click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner, newly self-employed or testing out a side-gig, TurboTax has you covered on tax tips, deductions, and tax forms for your business income. Common Trust Federal Credit Union breaks down a few ins and outs.

Common Write-Offs

  • Rideshare Driver – Car repairs, insurance, mobile phone, even bottled water you provide for your fares.
  • Freelance Designer – Studio rental, tools & supplies, design association fees, home office space.
  • Real-Estate Agent – Marketing materials, mileage, home office space, even portions of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
  • Consultant – Training courses, computer and software, business travel, mileage driving to see a client, heading to a meeting, or going to work from another location.

TurboTax Self-Employed Has You Covered

TurboTax helps you get every self-employed tax deduction and dollar you deserve.  Get expert help on-demand, find industry-specific tax deductions – and get your biggest possible refund, guaranteed. As a credit union member, you can save $15 on the TurboTax Self-Employed product, PLUS you get a one-year complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed* to effortlessly track expenses, jobs, and mileage throughout the year. Click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

When you are ready to start working on your taxes, click here to access TurboTax and your savings!

Get Your Financial House in Order This New Year

As the New Year begins, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. This spirit of Resolutions’ applies to more than just going to the gym!  The new year is an ideal time to dust off your finances and set up your budget. Maybe your upcoming tax returns have motivated you to increase your emergency savings for the year ahead, or perhaps one of the New Year’s resolutions you made was to improve your credit score? Whatever your situation, now is the perfect time to get your financial house in order. These four strategies can help you get your personal finances in check and maintain a strong foundation for the rest of the year.

1) Clean Up Your Credit

Your credit score can have one of the biggest impacts on your financial life – so don’t let it collect dust! Did you know you can check your credit score for free with each of the three credit bureaus? Staggering your requests every four months allows you to keep a regular eye on your credit report. Once you know your score, you can set goals to continue to improve your responsible credit habits. 

2) Pay Your Bills On-Time

In today’s digital age, there are various mobile payment options available to help you to get ahead of your bills. Set up online banking and use automatic bill pay to save yourself the hassle of mailing checks and protect against the costs of missing a deadline. Additionally, many retailers, banks, and credit unions allow you to pay your bills in real-time via mobile payment technology.

3) Protect Your Accounts

With the prevalence of digital transactions, it’s important to protect yourself from consumer fraud and identity theft. In fact, nearly 3 million consumers reported fraud in 2018 alone. Regularly checking your credit score (see #1) for errors and unauthorized transactions is one simple strategy to protect your identity. Make it a priority to refresh the tactics you use to keep your identity safe this spring:

4) Save for a Rainy Day

Rainy day funds protect against more than the weather. Did you know that 78% of Americans do not have enough savings to cover unforeseen expenses? Saving doesn’t have to be hard, although it does take discipline. Small adjustments in your daily routine can make a big difference in your ability to cover emergency costs or meet a payment due date. In addition, many savings vehicles will pay you interest on the money you have deposited, which will help your money grow over time. Commit to creating new savings habits to help yourself be better prepared.

No matter where you start your financial Spring cleaning, incorporating these tips and tactics into your routine will give your personal finances a fresh start.

Check out our full suite of online personal finance education resources in our Common Trust Federal Credit Union Financial Education Center, which can be found at www.commontrustfcu.org .

5 Steps to a Debt-Free 2020

The holiday season is a great time to buy sentimental gifts for all of your family and friends. Unfortunately, this also means spending much more than you typically do during the rest of the year. After the holidays are over, you can be left with a lot of debt. With 2020 in full stride, has your debt got you down? Here are 5 steps to a debt-free future.

1. Minimize Your Spending

When debt is growing each day from high-interest rates leading to even higher balances, it can become a serious hindrance to your mental health. Try to minimize spending during this time of repayment. The more you add on to your principal balance, the more money you’ll end up having to pay in the long run. Only buy the things you need, like groceries, gas, utilities, and bills of course. If needed, try to stay away from any stores or places that may lead you to splurge. Don’t highly restrict yourself, but don’t spend frivolously either.

2. Take Advantage of a Low-Interest Loan

If your debt is getting out of hand, it may be time to consider paying it off with a lower-interest loan in order to prevent tacked-on interest payments. Since most credit cards usually rest around a 20% APR interest rate, that’s a lot to save over time. Act quickly when you realize the interest rate on your credit card is starting to rack up, and start searching for a debt payoff loan that works best for your needs. Either way, you’ll likely be paying around 10% less on a loan than in credit card fees.

3. Credit Balance Transfers Are Your Best Friend

Another quick alternative to lessen the blow of built-up debt is a Credit Card Balance Transfer. Similar in savings to a loan, this is when you transfer your higher-interest balances onto a lower-interest credit card and pay a lower rate until your balances are paid off. Over time, this solution will save you loads of money and help you make more payments on your principal balance rather than mountains of accumulating interest.

4. Save, Save, Save!

In this instance, you may not have been prepared for the oncoming holiday debt. Make it a New Year’s resolution to start saving more in preparation for big spending. It’s nice to not think about your funds when continuously swiping your credit card, but it’s even nicer to have a large nest-egg to fall back on when you’re in need. 

Open multiple savings accounts to track these goals and save up enough to shower your friends and family with the gifts they deserve. The incentive for planning ahead is a higher interest rate, meaning you’ll have even more money when the terms are up. Select the type of account that works best for you, and start stockpiling those pennies! With this easy step, you’ll be ready for any financial hardships or random splurging. 

5. Steer Clear of Future Debt

We understand how hard it is to stay out of future debt. It’s easy to grab a whole new wardrobe while scouring the racks of Nordstrom, or a funky piece of furniture at that cute antique shop on the corner. Try to build the habit of saying “no” as you move into the new year. 

If you absolutely must buy that thing, make sure you have a reputable and low-interest credit card at your side. And if you find yourself in another financial sinkhole, don’t hesitate to pay off debt with lower-interest loans before the interest starts accumulating. If you have a hard time staying true to your spending limits, try constructing a budget and sticking to it. Staying out of debt will have a long-term benefit on both your credit report and score.

Holiday debt lingering a little longer than intended? It’s time to find a solution. Our team is highly knowledgeable in financial planning and can help you get back on track. With low-interest rates and a wide variety of flexible products, a better financial future is right around the corner. Don’t let the pressure of debt bring you down – give us a ring or reach out via email today!

Risk or Responsible: Your Quick Guide to Credit Reports & Scores

 In the tumultuous world of finances, different numbers and scores can start to blend together into one confusing blob. Thankfully, there is a bounty of helpful guides and articles to help you differentiate between contrasting numbers and their meanings. In this week’s blog, we’ll discuss the main differences between Credit Reports and Credit Scores—and how to maintain them. 

While the words “Credit Report” and “Credit Score” are sometimes used interchangeably, there is one main difference between the two.

Your Credit Score illustrates how much of a credit risk you are to lenders. It is a numerical value most commonly scored between the ranges of 300 and 850 (we’ll delve deeper into what constitutes a “great” score a little later).

Your Credit Report is a record of your credit and lending history. This includes payments, debts, number and types of accounts you’ve had, and so much more.

Why Should I Maintain Them?

If the chance to be labeled “excellent” on your credit score isn’t incentive enough, it’s important to note that having a score above 700 usually leads to lower interest rates and more member perks. Having a good credit score isn’t just a financial title. It can help save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. You won’t be hit with high-interest rates and can negotiate loan terms more freely. Plus, having a great credit score can instantly make you eligible for bigger loans and higher credit limits, ensuring that you never have to cough up the full payment amount for any big purchases. You’ll automatically get better rates when signing up for things like insurance, and approval for apartments or leases will be a breeze.

Do I Need to Look at Both?

The short answer—yes! It’s important to stay up-to-date on both your credit report and credit score. Doing so will allow you to know how lenders will assess your financial responsibility before approving or denying things like loan requests or opening a new credit card. Sites and apps like Credit Karma provide free access to your credit score and will send you copies of your credit report upon request. You can check as often as you need, or want, and it won’t negatively impact your score. Conversely, if you are trying to raise your credit score, monitoring your credit report will allow you to see what may be impacting it and how to take preventative measures in the future. 

It is important to note that checking both your credit score and credit report regularly can help prevent fraud. Always be sure to analyze for anything that looks faulty or incorrect, and if anything seems out of place always reach out for further information. Your credit score is one of the most important things you have in your possession and can make or break anything from purchasing a pair of boots to purchasing your first home. 

What Is Used to Calculate Your Credit Score?

This aspect of credit is where both credit scores and credit reports cross paths. There are a few main aspects of your credit report that impact how your numerical credit score is calculated. Although it is important to note that each credit-reporting system utilizes their own unique formula to calculate your score, generally it is made up of the following:

  1. Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. If you have not historically made your credit card or loan payments on time, your score will naturally go down.

    Tip: To keep your score in tip-top shape, you should make a point to schedule all payments before the due date. Doing so will also save you money – say good-bye to accumulating more and more debt via hefty interest rates!
  2. How much you owe on your accounts makes up 30% of your credit score. Especially if you don’t make payments on time, you may see a dip if you continuously rack up debt on your open accounts. Do you really need those sparkly heels?

    Tip: Try to avoid accumulating too much debt on credit cards or loans at any time.
  3. Length of credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score. The longer, the better. This portion illustrates that you have been financially responsible for longer, and are more-likely-than-not going to continue making payments on time and are thus less of a risk.

    Tip: Even if you haven’t used your high school credit card in years, keeping it open can help lengthen your credit history. 
  4. Opening new cards is a significant factor in the equation. In fact, 10% of your score is based on new credit, and how many accounts you have opened recently.

    Tip: even if a $100 best buy gift card or low APR is at stake, don’t open too many new credit cards at once. Not only are they hard inquiries, but doing so categorizes you as a credit risk and can quickly lower your score. 
  5. Multiple lines of credit and being able to maintain them can positively impact your score by illustrating that you are financially responsible. 10% of your credit score is based on existing lines of credit. Do you have a variety of accounts? Do you have multiple accounts?

    Tip: explore ways to maintain multiple lines of credit (without opening a bunch of credit cards at once). Successfully managing multiple accountscar loans, credit cards, school loans—can yield major positive dividends for your score.

Keeping the above factors in good standing is crucial to maintaining your credit score. Don’t fret if you have an off-month, though. One missed payment won’t completely diminish your score. And if you happen to have a few mishaps, you’ll be relieved to know that they do eventually fall off your report. Just keep making on-time payments and maintaining your credit lines—eventually, your score will fully recuperate!

What’s a “Good” Score?

Your FICO® credit score falls into five general categories:

  • BAD: 300 – 560
  • POOR: 560 – 650
  • FAIR: 650 – 700
  • GOOD: 700 – 750
  • EXCELLENT: 750 – 850

Not instantly listed as “Excellent” or even “Good”? Not to worry.  Over time, as long as you keep up with your payments, your score is sure to pick up.

Got Credit Q’s? Looking to open a new line of credit? Have questions about your credit score, report, or just need some quick credit advice?  We’re here to help. At Common Trust, we thrive on helping our members successfully manage their credit in every way, from HELOCs to car loans to credit cards and everything in between. Give us a call today or shoot us a message and we’d be happy to chat. We look forward to hearing from you!

Digital Vs. Paper: Understanding Online Payment Services

Ever get stuck behind a customer paying by check at the grocery store? Or get forced to make change when someone owes you their half of the dinner bill? It’s getting less frequent by the day as the digital age expands and money becomes more about 1s and 0s than paper currency. 

As these online methods of payment spring up and gain popularity among the tech-savvy younger generations, older generations are increasingly wary of their reliability, deciding instead to cling to more traditional payment methods. It’s time to debunk the myths of online payments. The reality is that, since their induction into our lexicon in the late 2000s with e-tail and mobile banking, online transactions can be safer, more reliable, and less of a hassle than whipping out a wallet full of cash. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular online payment services:

  • PayPal — Since its 2002 IPO, PayPal has stood strong as the de facto method of online payment. It’s linked directly to your debit card or bank account, is as simple as a normal banking transfer, uses email addresses for payments, and is free for personal use.
  • Venmo — When you have to make a personal transaction — pay back a friend or send money to one of your kids — this free service is simple to use. There is a 3% fee if you use a credit card, so avoid that, if possible.
  • Payza — Link your credit card and bank accounts easily to securely transfer and receive money from personal acquaintances. You can even exchange currencies within the app for a fee. 
  • Dwolla — This app has stringent account verification practices that could include photo IDs — which might make you feel a bit safer. It’s free for transactions under $10 and only $0.25 for anything above that. 

With each option, your bank, debit, and (in some cases) credit cards are linked to your account, which is typically an email address. Sending and receiving money is as simple as accessing the app, typing in an email address and amount, and hitting send. Aside from the occasional fee, depending on the service and transfer amount, the only catch is that the person you’re sending money to or receiving money from has to have their account on the same service. Meaning, you can’t send someone money on Vemno using a PayPal account. 

Okay, But Are They Safe? 

The simple answer is YES, they are safe to use — the more complicated answer is that, with all methods of payment, there are risks. You could always drop your wallet full of cash. Someone could steal your purse with all your credit cards in it. You could misplace your checkbook, giving any signature forger open account access.

However, there are digital methods in place for each of the above sites to help protect your identity. Most sites/apps use two-factor authentication — which means you have to provide a password and a one-time code sent to your phone or email — or fingerprint scans to ensure you have full access to your account. 

In some cases, online transactions are even more secure than physical ones based on the digital trail you’re leaving as evidence that you paid or were paid. This gives you peace of mind, which is what we are all really looking for with any type of transaction. 

If you are still uneasy with the idea of online banking, it’s simple to allay your fears with online account tools offered at Common Trust Federal Credit Union. We offer mobile and online banking, remote check deposits, even online security best practices to keep your accounts secure. Questions? Contact us today! 

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