January 2015

Introducing Our Rapid Cash Assistance Loan: the Only Alternative Payday Lending Solution You’ll Need!

Our new Rapid Cash Assistance loan is designed to help you when you need cash quickly in order to cover unexpected expenses. A Rapid Cash Loan provides you immediate cash while saving you money through lower fees and flexible terms versus a payday loan.  Rapid Cash Assistance Loan Features:

  • A quick and easy application
  • Fast Approval Loans from $250 – $750 with no credit report required
  • Terms from 3-9 months!

To receive a Rapid Cash loan you can apply online here or print and return a completed application.

Five Steps to Organizing Your Finances

Do you know your net worth? Or how much you spend each month, and on what? Or how much you can expect from your pension plan or Social Security in retirement? A no to most of these questions puts you with the majority of the population who have been too busy with life to get a handle on their finances. Fortunately, there’s a five-step action plan to help you take control of your money.

1. Set up a financial filing system either manually or online. Create a personalized filing system by labeling accordion file pockets with broad financial categories. Then label regular file folders with subcategories that fit your situation and file them into the accordion pockets. For example, create a Property & Casualty Insurance accordion file and fill it with a Vehicle Insurance regular file folder. There are also many online apps that will allow you to do all of this electronically.

2. Gather records. Look through your records to identify missing information. For example, you need an estimate of your Social Security retirement benefits. To request one, visit or call 800-772-1213. Gather copies of your health, disability, life, homeowners, and vehicle insurance policies, and get a copy of your credit report.

You can check your credit report – the summary of your credit activity that generates your credit score – from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year for free. Always make your requests from the website, the only site sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission. Or, you can call 877-322-8228.

3. Size up your situation. Add the estimated current value of all assets, including your home, car, personal property, savings, investments, and retirement accounts.

Next, add all liabilities, including mortgage, credit card balances, and any other outstanding debt. Then subtract liabilities from assets to figure net worth.

Then, make a list of income and expenses by reviewing paycheck stubs, online checking account information or your checkbook register, and credit card statements from the past year. Finally, track spending for a month by saving all receipts or recording cash purchases in a notebook. You also can find a spending plan or money management software program that can help organize spending by category.

4. Chart a course. Set financial goals–long term and short term–and figure how much money you’ll need for each. Create a target saving and spending plan that meets needs using your list of income expenses. For a month or more, track actual spending to see how you’re doing, making changes as necessary.

5. Brush up on money management basics. Contact or visit My Credit Union for more information about how to save and spend finances wisely.

A VISA Debit Card from MyCU means easy access to ATM’s, your accounts and much more!

For easy account access, a MyCU VISA Debit Card is an essential part of your daily recommended financial value! When you have a MyCU Checking Account, you can enjoy ATM access at more than 30,00 surcharge-free ATMs PLUS the extra features that come with a VISA Debit card.

Access more than 30,000 surcharge-free CO-OP ATMs.  Find an ATM now!

Download the CO-OP ATM Locator App for Apple and Android devices as well!

 Make the Tax Season Less “Taxing”

Are you benefiting from all the tax advantages available to you? Are you sure? Here are a few tax ABC’s that may help.

The Earned Income Credit: The EIC is designed to assist lower-income working people by reducing taxes paid, or giving a credit, even if no tax is owed. To qualify for the EIC, you (or your spouse) must have a job, have wages below a certain level, and file a federal tax return. If you’re not working now, but you earned income last year, you still may be able to claim the EIC on this year’s tax return. You can find specific guidelines and income thresholds on the IRS website at (search for earned income tax credit).

Voluntary Income Tax Assistance: Tax forms can be complicated, and you may want some help completing yours. The IRS’ VITA program offers free help for low- to moderate-income taxpayers, those earning $52,000 or below. VITA’s trained volunteers can determine whether you qualify for the EIC or other tax credits, prepare your forms, and file your tax return electronically. Most VITA sites are located in community centers, schools, shopping malls, and similar locations. To find the site nearest you, call 800-906-9887.

Refund Anticipation Loans: If the IRS owes you a refund, it may be tempting to accept a “rapid refund,” or “instant refund.” Several national tax-preparation firms offer this option, which many people don’t realize is actually a high-interest loan, or refund anticipation loan (RAL).

RALs are short-term cash advances through large banks secured by consumers’ expected tax refunds. The interest rates for these loans are astounding, averaging between 70% and 1,700% nationwide. They usually only speed up the refund process by a couple of weeks—then consumers’ tax refunds pay off the loans and fees.

It’s better to wait for your refund, but if you do need cash immediately, talk to a loan officer at My Credit Union about the possibility of a small loan. Contact us today at (888) USE-MYCU for more information.