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5 Tips to Get Your Student Financially Smart for College and Beyond

College is a profound experience for students, one that teaches them more than just Bio 101 and English Lit. The lessons on independence, both socially and financially, will carry with them throughout their tenure and beyond. Is your student ready to tackle the challenges of making their own money, creating their own budget, and staying fiscally responsible? 

As your student ages toward this big milestone, it’s critical that you prepare them with a solid foundational knowledge of how money works and why it’s important to be smart with their money. Here are 5 lessons to instill on them to get them excited and invested in their financial future:

1. Make a Cost List

Sit down with your child and help them create a list of how much everything they use costs. Food, clothing, electricity, cell phones — itemize these consumables over the course of a month to give them a true idea of how much it costs to be financially independent. 

2. Create a Budget

Incoming money from paychecks and outgoing money to bills — this is the heartbeat of adulthood. Teach your student how to best manage this equation to understand how much they need to make, how much they can afford to spend, and how much they should save. 

3. Emphasize Savings

When teens get their first job, this sudden influx of cash is the time to institute a plan that will help them learn the importance of savings. Most experts recommend 30% be put into savings, but more can’t hurt, especially with the looming costs of books and supplies for college.

4. Keep Yourself Responsible

Ever had your toddler repeat a curse word that accidentally slipped out? Use this “Do as I do” mentality to show your child how important it is to be responsible. Get them involved in saving for a vacation, or have them sit with you while you pay bills. Be their financial role model.

5. Consider a Digital Aid

In this digital era, there are countless tools available to help parents and kids create budgets, track spending on late-night food runs to fuel study sessions, and stay on top of the student loan repayment schedule. 

A good step toward financial independence is understanding how savings and loan programs work. At Common Trust Federal Credit Union, our Financial Education Center offers tools and lessons on common banking needs. Also, our Back to School Loan promotion offers students a way to offset the costs associated with going to college with a low interest rate and 12-month payback period. Learn more today!

5 Reasons to Buy a Car this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is upon us which means it’s about to become one of the biggest weekends of the year for car sales. During Memorial Day weekend, auto manufacturers and dealerships kick off their summer selling season by showcasing their best deals and offering low prices. If your car is on its last leg or if you’re ready for an upgrade, this weekend is the perfect time to get a new ride. Keep reading for five reasons why this weekend is such a great opportunity to purchase a new car.

Dealers are clearing out inventory

Did you know that dealers start clearing out their car inventory for new models at the beginning of summer? That’s right, next year’s car models will begin to arrive at the end of the summer. This means that dealers are looking to clear out this year’s models quickly. You’ll be able to find great deals as well as have tons of inventory to choose from. Whether you want your car to have a red exterior or a tan interior, you’ll find what you’re looking for this weekend.

Great incentives

To get buyers into the store on Memorial Day, dealers provide tons of incentives. These incentives include lower-pricing, rebates, and low-cost financing. Some places even give impressive deals such as extended warranties, free oil changes, or a year’s worth of car washes. Make sure to do your research before heading into a dealership to find out what they are offering and what you can take advantage of.

End of the month deals

Every month, dealerships set goals for the target number of cars they aim to sell and offer sizable bonuses to the salespeople who can reach those objectives. When it’s the end of the month, dealers are more likely to negotiate a good price with you so they can reach their goals and receive their bonuses. Since Memorial Day falls at the end of the month, dealers are more incentivized to give you the price you want.

Upgrade your ride before summer

Summer is on the horizon, which means it’s almost the season of road trips. Memorial Day weekend makes for the perfect time to upgrade your ride so you’ll be ready for all of your summer travel plans. If your family is in need of some extra car space for your road trips, you can find a great deal on a bigger SUV this weekend. Purchasing a new car now will also give you the peace of mind that your car is safe and won’t break down in the 90-degree weather.

Buy before you need one

In general, it’s always best to be proactive and buy a new car before yours kicks the bucket. Even if you want to get every last mile out of your car, if you wait until it’s dead, you’ll be forced to get your next car quickly. When this happens, you run the risk of having to purchase a car for a much higher price. During Memorial Day weekend, you can take advantage of the low prices now instead of waiting until your car breaks down for good.
If you’re looking to take advantage of this weekend’s sales, make sure to secure your financing beforehand with an auto loan from Common Trust FCU. Our ongoing auto loan promotion is offering rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch to get started.

5 Reasons Why Financial Literacy Should be Taught from a Young Age

Despite improvements in banking technologies, many Americans are still unaware of how to manage their finances properly. In fact, only 48% of Americans were able to answer at least half of a set of financial literacy questions correctly. Even worse, less than 25% of millennials were able to answer basic financial wellness questions. So, how can adults best prepare younger generations to handle their personal finances properly and live successful lives? The answer begins with teaching financial education to young people both at home and in school. The following are just five of the reasons why teaching financial literacy is so important.

Learn how to save and budget

One of the biggest reasons why financial literacy should be taught is to best prepare them for saving and budgeting their money. Saving and budgeting are skills that are essential to being a financially successful adult and also require discipline that should be practiced from a young age.  A strong financial education allows kids and teens to know where to spend and where to save their money, as well as how to create and stick with a budget.

Avoid harmful financial mistakes

Because financial education is often unfortunately overlooked today, many early adults have to learn about their finances the hard way. When kids and teens are not taught the impact of their financial decisions, it becomes easy for them to make mistakes such as not paying credit card bills on time or overdrawing their accounts. These financial mistakes can lead to long-standing disadvantages, such as having poor credit and affects financial stability and success. Encouraging financial literacy throughout one’s young life helps to prepare them to make the right financial decisions.

Understand the implications of college loans

With the increasing cost of college, many students are relying on loans to cover the cost of tuition for their higher education. However, when high school seniors agree to loans for an expensive college, they may be unaware of what they are signing up for. Students who are not financially literate may not understand how student loans work or what their other options are. Financial education taught through classes in school and by parents helps students to fully understand how their loans work, including how interest accrues and the dangers or defaulting on loans. This education will help students to be better prepared for repaying their loans as adults.

Helps boost the economy

You don’t need to look much further than the United States’ financial crisis during the early 2000s to see how the economy was damaged by those who didn’t understand the full implications of their financial decisions. Having a solid understanding of the impact that individual financial decisions make on the economy is a critical reason why financial literacy is so important. Those who are taught about finances as they grow up will be better prepared to make decisions that will promote a healthy economy. Financial literacy also provides the knowledge that individuals need to navigate finances during times of emergency.

Encourages giving

Lastly, teaching young individuals about financial literacy goes hand in hand with teaching them about giving. By teaching the value of money, and how to spending wisely, it sets up more opportunities for young people to give back to those in need. After a strong financial education, they will be better suited to invest back into their communities.

As you can see, financial literacy is an essential skill that should be taught throughout one’s life, rather than only during adulthood. The month of April is both Credit Union Youth Month and Financial Literacy Month which seeks to promote the importance of financial literacy in young people. CTFCU is committed to building financial literacy in kids and teens, and that’s why we are offering a promotion on our youth accounts. From now until June 1st, open a youth account and you will be entered to win a bike or a $100 Amazon gift card! Visit our promotions page or stop by our office to learn more.

How to Travel While Staying on Budget

Summer is a great time to travel and explore, but all of the expenses that come with it can add up. Common Trust Credit Union wants you to enjoy your summer travels without breaking the bank. Here are a few of the best tips to stay within your budget:

  • Look for group or family discounts. Planning your trip with family and friends can help you get group discounts rates at theme parks, accommodations, and more.
  • Use your frequent flyer miles. If you fly often, consider signing up for an airline’s loyalty program. Some airlines offer free domestic flights after accruing a set amount of miles. Other airlines provide discounts or upgrades for flights based on the number of miles you have earned.
  • Compare accommodation options. Hotels are a great option when you want standard services and amenities, but many vacation rental sites can help you find a larger place for the same amount. Renting a home from a local resident can help you see the city from a local perspective. If you want to save even more, research budget accommodation options like hostels.
  • Reduce transportation costs. Many large cities have public transit systems that will take you to popular tourist spots. If you don’t want to worry about crowded trains or waiting on late buses, look for local bike, segway or even scooter rentals to explore your destination without having to worry about traffic or costly car rentals.
  • Plan your budget with the help of your local credit union. Whether you’re looking to save for a family vacation or plan for retirement,  CTFCU partners with financial advisors to help you develop a sound financial plan to meet your goals.

 

5 Money Saving Tips for College Students

Many college students struggle with managing their finances as they begin to explore the freedom of living away from home. While being financially independent is a great achievement, it takes time to figure out how to balance a budget.

To help you figure out the best ways to save money, we’ve put together a short list of the top money saving tips for college student.

  1. Choose e-books over paper textbooks. When you have to buy a paper copy, buy or rent used textbooks instead of purchasing them new. And don’t hang on to that Biology textbook from freshman year, sell it back as soon as the semester is over to get the biggest return.
  2. Instead of going out, look at your school’s event calendar for free entertainment. Many schools have events all year round including outdoor music, improv comedy groups, movie nights – and a lot of these events include free food! This will save you from spending money on food and drinks at the local off-campus hangouts.
  3. Take advantage of student discounts. Did you know that you can save 50% on Amazon Prime when you sign up with your school email address? Use your school ID to save on everything from clothes to travel to your cell phone plan.
  4. Trade your car in for a bike or the bus.  Owning a car comes with a lot of extra expenses like insurance, unexpected repairs and costly parking passes. But trading that car in for a bike or a student bus pass can help you save. Universities often offer free or reduced bike repair services as well so you can get your brakes or tires checked at little or no cost to you.
  5. Use your meal plan or make food at home.  Going to the coffee shop between classes adds up. If you have an unlimited meal plan, try to go to the dining hall for your meals and coffee breaks. If you can’t make it to the dining hall every time, invest in a small coffee maker and mini-fridge to store easy to make snacks and meals.

Bonus Tip! Open a student checking account with low or no fees. Credit Unions, like Common Trust Federal Credit Union, have lower fees and offer great packages for college (and high school) students. Visit our Student Package page to see the benefits of banking with your local credit union. Take your savings one step further by opening an interest bearing savings account and putting $10 or $20 into it at the beginning of every month.

CTFCU’s 52nd Annual Meeting

Common Trust Federal Credit Union 52nd Annual Meeting was held on June 19, 2018

The Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 beginning at 4:30 pm at the Credit Union 8 Cedar St., Woburn, MA 01801.

Members had the opportunity to listen to reports regarding the state of the credit union and learn about the new initiatives that the credit union will be presenting to the membership in the coming months.  The credit union also awarded two scholarships to graduating high school seniors and announced the bike winners of our youth club promotion.

Because there were only three (3) nominations for three (3) spots there was no need for an election. A motion was made and second by members in attendance to accept the three (3) nominees to serve on the board. We would like to welcome the following people who will serve a three (3) year term; Carolyn Flaherty, Vincent Rivela and Kathleen McSweeney!

Is It Time to Consolidate Your Debt?

Do you have multiple credit cards with varying interest rates? Many people find themselves in this situation, where they struggle to juggle multiple lines of credit while figuring out which one to pay off first.

Consolidating your debt into one loan can help make your payments and budgeting more manageable. The best time to do so is when interest rates are low. This allows you to save money by moving your debt to a lower interest loan.

For example, if you owe $5,000 in credit card debt at a 19% interest rate, and you qualify for a personal loan at 12%, you could save $350 per year on interest alone when you consolidate your debt.

Take advantage of our Debt Consolidation Loan Promotion, going on until May 31st, and take back control of your debt.  To find out more about this promotion, stop by Common Trust Federal Credit Union today or call us at 781-933-2600.

New Spring Promotions!

Common Trust Federal Credit Union is excited to announce three new promotions being offered from April 1st to May 31st.

The details and restrictions for each promotion are as follows:

 

Youth Account Promotion

April 1st – May 31st

Teach your children the value of saving at a young age. Open a youth account and be entered into a raffle to win a new bike!

Requirements:*

  • Must be ages 6 – 15.
  • Child must be a student at Woburn Public Schools OR has a relative that is a current CTFCU member.

 

Debt Consolidation Loan

April 1st – May 31st

  • Rate as low 10.49%*
  • Term is up to 48 months
  • Maximum loan amount is $7,500
  • Credit Union must pay off existing debt
  • Money can’t be used to pay-off existing debt at Common Trust Federal Credit Union
  • *Member must qualify for rate (counter offer can be made)

 

Credit Builder Loan

April 1st – May 31st

  • Rate as low 8%*
  • Term is up to 9 months
  • Maximum loan amount is $500
  • *Member can’t have past credit or credit score

Follow Us on Social Media

We are happy to announce that Woburn Federal Credit Union now has various accounts on social media!

Be sure to follow us in order to stay updated on news, event and other important information from CTFCU!

 

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CTFCU Funds Woburn Students to Attend DECA State Conference

Three local 10th grade students from the Woburn Memorial High School are heading to the statewide DECA competition thanks to two generous donations by CTFCU. There they will have the opportunity to develop business strategies and compete to win various awards.

DECA is an international organization that prepares students to become emerging leaders in various business careers through competitive events, professional development, and leadership conferences. These events empower students to exercise their soft skills as well as their critical thinking and creativity.

DECA’s High School Division includes 200,000 members in 3,500 schools. Jennifer Keenan, a teacher at Woburn Memorial High School, wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for her students to participate in this program. With the help of an initial donation from CTFCU, Keenan could begin the first DECA chapter in Woburn with six of her top 10th grade students.

The students seen (Anthony Colombo, John Kyle, Ashley Danizio, Sierra Bazzarella, Kelsey Doherty, Zachary Willis) attended their first DECA conference in December 2017. They competed against district 4 towns including Andover, Bedford, Burlington, Greater Lawrence Tech, Natick, Needham, Newton North, Newton South, Rivers School, Somerville, Weston, and Wilmington.

After their first-time success at the district conference, Woburn will move on to the state competition on March 8th to March 10th at the Copley Marriott in Boston. Teams were required to raise $2,500 to participate in the next round of events. On February 14th, James McCorkle, president of CTFCU, and Frank Harmon, VP of Finance, visited the high school and presented the students a check for the full amount.

“We are happy to support the inaugural DECA Program at Woburn Memorial High School. The success that these students achieved at the district competition is a testament to the hard work they and Mrs. Keenan have put in to starting this program,” Says McCorkle. “We look forward to continuing to support this and other programs that help high school students prepare as they move on and we wish the Woburn Memorial High School DECA team best of luck in the upcoming State Competition.”

The extraordinary support from Common Trust Federal Credit Union allows three Woburn students (Anthony Colombo, John Kyle, Zachary Willis) to attend the next event filled with leadership activities, competitions, and entertainment. With approximately 175 community and business volunteers judging the competitors, students will have the opportunity to win several accolades as well as further advance to the International Career Development Conference.

Article Featured on Woburn’s Wicked Local

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