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Families on the Go


Managing the financial responsibilities of family life

By the time you have a family of your own, there will be accompanying expenses such as fees for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home. Throughout this time, you should regularly evaluate your progress towards achieving the financial goals you set earlier in your life and adjust your spending, budgeting and saving to make sure you stay on track. With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments.

Planning and discipline that determines what and how you spend contributes to your future financial success. Here are some tips First Service recommends for sound financial management during this demanding time of your life.

  1. Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans – Seeking the best mortgage or consumer loan by shopping, comparing and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars. A mortgage—whether for a home purchase, refinancing or a home equity loan—is a product, just like a car, so terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements. Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.

    With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, you’ll be sure to find a loan at First Service Federal Credit Union that meets your needs. To apply for a mortgage or consumer loan now, click on the links below, or stop by and talk with one of our lending officers.

    Mortgage – Purchase
    Mortgage - Refinance
    Home Improvement Loans
    Home Equity
    Auto – Purchase
    Auto – Refinance
    Personal Loans
    Consolidation Loans
    VISA and VISA Rewards

  2. Understand your credit report - Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report. Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain these reports, and lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification. Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will you'll repay a loan. Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay. In many cases the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies:


  3. Start Saving for College — By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years. The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save per month.

    Through First Service Federal Credit Union, you can access products designed to help you fund your child’s higher education. To learn more, or set up an educational account, click on the links below.

    • Education Savings Account - Save up to $2,000 a year, per child in special education accounts. Earnings will accumulate tax-free and, if used for qualified education expenses,* withdrawals will also be tax-free.

      • Recipient must be under 18 years of age.
      • All funds must be distributed by age 30.

      Earnings on contributions may be subject to a 10% penalty if withdrawals are used for other than education purposes. *Ask your tax advisor for guidance on "qualified education expenses".

    • Share Certificate - Ask a Member Service Representative about how you can earn even more on your certificate rate with Relationship Rewards!

  4. Conserve time, money and paper with First Service Federal Credit Union’s convenient checking accounts with FirstCU Online and Mobile Account Access, BillPayer, e-Statements and network of free ATMs – You’ll reduce the time it takes to pay your bills and save on the expense of printed paper checks and postage while helping the environment as well.

    Checking Accounts – First Service offers a selection of easy-to-understand checking account options to meet your needs! Visit the checking account section on this website to choose the checking account that works best for you.
    Free e-Services – First Service offers free, convenient e-Services to simplify your life.
    Checking Rewards - Learn more about checking rewards programs such as Prewards and Cash Rewards.

  5. Improve Funds Availability and Save Time and Money with Direct Deposit – Take the worry and hassle out of payday! Have your paycheck deposited safely into your checking account. Simply print out our Direct Deposit Form, fill in your account information, and give it to your Pay Center. Our routing number is - 244077682.

  6. Save for Retirement — Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement. Be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement? If so, you may need less income than you do now. Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively? Will you have to pay for your own health insurance? These and other financial considerations all come into play.

    Now is a good time to up your contributions to your retirement savings accounts. Talk with a Member Service Representative at First Service Federal Credit Union to learn about the products we offer that can help you meet your retirement goals.

    First Service offers a variety of IRA programs including regular share and certificate share accounts. All of our IRA Accounts are fully insured by the National Credit Union Administration's Share Insurance Fund to $250,000 per account separate from your credit union accounts, and have no annual fees or maintenance charges.

    • Traditional IRA – You can choose a Share Account for your Traditional IRA that requires a low $50 minimum opening balance. This account is a quarterly share account that yields dividend earnings that are tax-deferred until withdrawn. It's a terrific way to save for retirement through convenient periodic deposits. As your account balance grows, you may want to switch your Traditional IRA to a term-certificate to maximize your earnings.
    • Roth IRA – Any individual or spouse who is employed, with no age restrictions, can contribute up to $5,000 per year from earned income in after-tax dollars in a Roth IRA. While the contribution is not tax-deductible, all earnings are tax-free when withdrawn according to government guidelines.
    • IRA Certificates – IRA Certificates offer members the opportunity to deposit their IRA money into a Certificate Account. IRA Certificates are available with terms from 6 to 60 months. You select the term that is right for you. The longer the term, the higher the dividend rate for added tax-deferred earnings.

Financial Calculators

 

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
  • Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
  • Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.

For help determining the best accounts and products for sound and productive money management during your Active Families LifeStage, please contact us at 614-836-0100 or email us at support@firstcu.com.