With interest rates falling and home prices rising, it's a great time to tap into your home’s equity using a home equity loan, but you may be wondering...what’s the best way to use these funds?
With age comes responsibility, so if you're a young adult in your 20s or 30s, chances are you've been introduced to the realities of adulthood. While you're excited by all the opportunities life has to offer, you're also aware of your emerging financial responsibility. In the financial realm, the millennial generation (young adults born between 1981 and 1997) faces a unique set of challenges, including a competitive job market and significant student loan debt that can make it difficult to obtain financial stability.
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At one time, the only way you could join your company's 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or 457(b) plan was to put pen to paper and sign yourself up by filling out the appropriate forms. Now, though, in an effort to help participants increase their retirement savings, more employers have begun enrolling their employees automatically.
Over the last few months, we've taken a deep dive into the dangers of the Dark Web. We continue our series this month by shedding light on how transactions happen in the Dark Web and the criminal enterprise that exists in this mysterious, hidden place. Why is this important? The more you understand about how criminal activity works, the better prepared you will be to protect yourself and your family from this growing threat.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a wave of scams, with no signs of slowing down. These scams are also producing a surge of counterfeit bills into circulation. Using cutting-edge technology, scammers create bills that look just like the real thing to the untrained eye. Unfortunately, once counterfeit bills are passed, their new owner can become liable for passing them on to someone else.
Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you're lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure.
Did you know there were 14.4 million victims of identity theft in 2019? According to Javelin Strategy, each case cost the victim an average of $1,050 – and that’s only the cost in dollars. When an individual’s identity is stolen, the thief wreaks major havoc on the victim’s financial health, which can take months, or even years, to recover from.
Have you been trying to improve your credit score, but can’t get ahead of your monthly payments or find that your spending gets out of control when you're paying with plastic and want to know how you can use your credit cards responsibly?
If you've lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It's important to understand your options.
Summer is a time for fun and excitement, but it can also be super expensive. Summertime can be a season of major life changes like household moves and weddings; purchasing that boat you’ve been eyeing and let’s not forget those dream vacations!
The last few months have been really tough on people's finances, and many have been forced to use their savings for getting by. If your emergency fund and savings account are basically zero, you may be wondering how can you replenish it.
From the outside, banks look sophisticated and glamorous. There’s all that hype, glossy advertising and flashy logos. But, when it comes down to it, those things don’t matter much. What counts is how each institution will look after your money and what kind of service you can expect from them. And, while banks and credit unions offer nearly identical services and account choices, there are some subtle differences.
You have probably heard people talk about the mysterious “Dark Web” where criminals gather to commit fraudulent acts that result in financial fraud, identity theft and more. But most people don’t really understand what the Dark Web is or how it works. Let’s start with a few facts about the Internet itself.
As the coronavirus continues spreading across the country in waves and peaks, every state is making bold moves toward reopening under a strange new set of circumstances dubbed the “New Normal.” Face coverings are de rigueur. Floor markings have been slapped down exactly 6 feet apart near checkout counters in retail stores. Shoppers are weary, cautious and careful. And, as the country moves forward and adapts to the new realities, scammers aren’t far behind.
Since the coronavirus has landed on American shores, each day seems to bring more devastating news about the state of our economy. What steps should you be taking to protect you personal finances during this time?
Debt is the ultimate killjoy. It can destroy a budget, make long-term financial planning impossible, and shadow every purchase you make with guilt. No one wants to live with that debt burden. But how do you kiss your debt goodbye?
Our hearts are broken for the black community. In the last few weeks we have been listening, learning and determining what role we can play in offering solutions.
Your credit score is made up of three numbers, serving as an indicator of your financial history, wellness and responsibility. These three little numbers can spell the difference between approval and rejection for a mortgage, a job, a rental unit and so much more.
Millions of Americans have received or are awaiting a gift from Uncle Sam to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed on March 27, the federal government is sending out $290 billion in stimulus checks over the next half a year.
Many Americans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)* as part of coronavirus tax relief efforts. Here are six tips to help you use your economic impact payment safely and in a way that benefits your financial health & well-being during this difficult time.
Some of the financial terms flying around in the wake of the recently approved Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act may be confusing. We have broken down some of the key components and how they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you've been watching the market lately, perhaps the first question on your mind is, "Should I make a big change in my investments?" In reality, a volatile market isn't the best time to do a complete makeover of your portfolio, especially if you have long-term financial goals you're trying to address. Even if you feel that your portfolio needs adjusting, maintaining a firm grasp on your fundamental investment strategy can help you be more thoughtful about making any changes.
If you've been planning to buy your first home this spring and spent years preparing for this purchase, you may be wondering if you should go through with your plans now that the coronavirus has had a negative impact on the economy.
Scammers are notorious for capitalizing on fear, and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception. Showing an appalling lack of the most basic morals, scammers have set up fake websites, bogus funding collections and more in an effort to trick the fearful and unsuspecting out of their money.
With college hoops March Madness coming up, let’s take a moment to review some surprising financial lessons we can learn from the iconic sport and its players.
Do your finances need a bit of sprucing up this spring? We’ve got a set of tips that will help you get your money matters in order and help you prepare for summer fun!
MSCU is proud to partner with the industry experts at BMW of Ridgefield and BMW of Bridgeport to offer financing to their customers. Regular maintenance on your vehicle is like going to the dentist for cleaning or your doctor for a physical. Having regular maintenance performed is necessary to keep your vehicle running correctly and safely, as well as extend the life of your vehicle and help it retain value.
Mutual Security Credit Union is pleased to announce that Member Service Representative Christopher Isaacs has been selected to attend Crash the GAC 2020 by The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association to represent the state of Connecticut and Mutual Security Credit Union!
When trying to trim a monthly budget, most people don’t consider their fixed expenses. These recurring costs, which include mortgage payments, insurance premiums and subscription payments, are easy to budget and plan for since they generally remain constant throughout the year. While people tend to think there’s no way to lower fixed expenses, with a bit of effort and research, most of these costs can be reduced.
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau makes an effort to count every person living in the U.S. Though the process won’t start until mid-March 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already warning of scammers exploiting the process to con you out of your sensitive information. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the census procedure; so you know what to expect and so you can easily spot a scam.
If you’re always wondering how you’re going to pay the next bill, feel guilty when you indulge in overpriced treats and you can’t seem to find money to put into savings, then you probably need a budget.
Presidents’ Day is right around the corner which brings the first auto sales weekend of the year as both automakers and dealers are anxious to kick off the year in good fashion. Typically, car dealers tend to see lower sales in January, and Presidents’ Day provides them with an opportunity to jump start the year. By adding excitement to a three-day weekend with auto promotions, they entice shoppers to their lots and are able to turn their sales around. And while this car-buying holiday season does provide some of the best annual auto deals, it’s still important to do your research ahead of time to ensure you aren’t blinded by flashy offers. You’ll also want to avoid these five common auto-buying mistakes to help maximize your savings.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) season is in full swing! Whether you’re a college student, a high school senior or you’re seeking financial aid for your college-age child, it’s time to fill out those forms. The rules and deadlines can be confusing, but we’re here to help. We have answered all your questions on applying for FAFSA.
I am thrilled and deeply honored to be writing to you as your new CEO. Having spent 20+ years in community banking, I came to Mutual Security over 5 years ago to be a champion of the “people helping people” credit union movement.
We all grow up hearing the same financial advice: Spend less, save more and invest early. While most of these words of wisdom ring true, there are lots of widespread money management tips that are actually false. Outlined here are 6 money myths that might be causing you more financial stress than benefit.
Every New Year, most people draw up a list of New Year’s resolutions that look depressingly similar to the ones they wrote last year. If this sounds like you, you may be thinking, how can I make things different this year?
As CEO for the last 41 years, I’m proud to say MSCU truly encompasses the fundamental aspects of what credit unions are all about; collaboration, passion, and community. To us, being a full-service financial institution means doing more than simply providing financial products and services.
The last thing you need during the busy holiday travel season is car trouble. That’s why the industry experts at BMW of Ridgefield and BMW of Bridgeport have put together these five easy-to-follow tips for preparing your car for travel duty:
The start of a new year is a wonderful time to make important changes in your financial life. Lucky for you, you don’t have to do it alone. Mutual Security Credit Union will walk you through some financial improvements you can make this year and continue to guide you every step of the way.
‘Tis the season to shop until you drop-or until you go broke. But you don’t have to overspend.
Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan. Whether you have just graduated and taken your first job, are starting a family, are enjoying your peak earning years, or are preparing to retire, your employer-sponsored retirement plan can play a key role in your financial strategies.
Thanksgiving prep stressing you out? Wondering how you’re going to get everything done in time for the big day and stick to your budget at the same time?
Veterans Day is a day of appreciation for all of the brave men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. Mutual Security Credit Union is proud of and grateful for our veterans all year long, but on this particular day, we're committed to making a special effort to thank them and let them know that their service to our country will never be forgotten.
Opening your first credit card is one of the rites of passage into genuine adulthood, but with so much conflicting information, it can all get confusing fast!
You may have lost your job already, or it's something you're concerned about. Either way, the keys to surviving a job loss financially are to plan ahead, take stock of your income, and cut your expenses.
Costumes are being crafted, scary movies are playing on TV, and the smell of sugar is in the air—Halloween is almost here! And Jimmy Kimmel’s YouTube Challenge, “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy,” isn’t far behind.
Norwalk, CT – Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) welcomed the public to the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of their new Norwalk branch location at 541 Westport Avenue on October 17, 2019 to coincide with International Credit Union Day, a day that encourages credit unions around the world to raise awareness about the credit union difference and the positive impact credit unions have in our communities.
When it comes to saving, most of us start out with good intentions. We set a goal, make a plan, and then forgo our rainy day fund to splurge on the latest version of our favorite cell phone.
Throughout the month of September, people all across America stand together to fight hunger in their community in honor of Hunger Action Month. From food drives to volunteering at local non-profits, individuals dedicate their time and efforts to help find a solution for the nationwide hunger crisis and to make a change in others’ lives.
The leaves aren’t the only thing changing this Fall. Mutual Security Credit Union is excited to announce we will be relocating our Norwalk branch. We’ve made many great memories at our current location and the decision to move was not an easy one to make, but ultimately, the choice to relocate was driven by our dedication to enhance our member service opportunities and convenience.
A study from Bankrate shows that the majority of Americans lack the funds to deal with an everyday life emergency.
2 in 3 Millennials Have Credit Card Debt, More Than Double the Number Who Have Student Loans Credit card debt weighs down more millennials' finances than student loans, according to a new report from financial services online marketplace CompareCards.com, which found only 13 percent of millennial credit cardholders are completely debt-free.
About 1 in 6 credit card holders in America's biggest cities carry a balance of $10,000 or more, according to a new report from CompareCards, and none of those cities has a higher percentage of these cardholders than Bridgeport, Connecticut. CompareCards analyzed a representative sample of Americans to see which of the 100 largest metros have cardholders with five-figure credit card balances.
Autotrader Names 10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates After years of late nights in the library and the local pizza shop, a new set of graduates is finally ready to enter the "real world." Now, they just need the right car to get them there. Against the backdrop of rising car prices and looming student loan debt, the editors at Autotrader have identified the 10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates in 2019 – options that are affordable and appealing.
2019 Community Service Scholarship Winners Announced
Younger homeowners more often say they rushed through the buying process and have regrets about their mortgage, likely resulting from the challenges young buyers face entering today's expensive housing market. Still, homeowners of all ages are, for the most part, happy with their home purchases, a recent Zillow survey shows.
It’s no secret that we have a crisis in the U.S. regarding retirement. The crisis is that so few older people have the funds to retire. A new study finds that this results from a basic lack of understanding (ie, a low “Retirement IQ”).
According to a new survey released by real estate site Zolo, North American home buyers view an average of 19 homes and spend an average of 124 hours to find a home.
Fifty-six percent of buyers nationwide who purchased a home in the first quarter closed on the very first home they made an offer on, according to a report from real estate brokerage Redfin. This is up from 52 percent a year earlier, and is the highest first-offer success rate in three years.
A home's listed features can have a significant impact on how much it sells for and how quickly it sells. Online real estate company Zillow's 2019 Home Features that Sell Analysis found that for-sale listings mentioning 'steam oven' or 'professional appliance' sold for up to 34 percent more than expected.
First-time home buyers can expect an easier home shopping experience this spring, as market conditions shift in their favor, welcome news for buyers who have struggled to break into the market, according to a new report from online real estate company Zillow. Entry-level home values are growing at their slowest pace since mid-2016, giving first-time home shoppers a little more breathing room during the home search process, according to RealEstate.com's Entry-Level Market Report.
Beyond the listed rent, U.S. renters can spend $3,420 a year on costs associated with moving into and living in a rental, according to a new analysis from rental search platform HotPads.
Spring Cleaning Time of Year As the timing for spring cleaning approaches, and the Marie Kondo movement continues to inspire people to clean out things they no longer use, a survey from OfferUp – a mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers -- found that half of Americans plan to resell their gently used goods to support their income this year.
At one point or another most of us have been told we need to have a 20-percent down payment when buying a home. But with high amounts of student debt and other financial responsibilities, I see a lot of first-time homebuyers struggling to save that much money. The good news is that if you find yourself in the position of wanting to buy a home and not being able to save 20-percent, there are other options to consider. To help you navigate to the mortgage type that best for you, I’ve pulled together the pros and cons of the most common alternative—an FHA loan—as well as two other solutions that don’t require a 20-percent down.
2018 Most Profitable Time to Sell a Home in 12 Years In 2018 home sellers realized an average home price gain since purchase of $61,000, up from $50,000 last year and up from $39,500 two years ago in 2016 to the highest level since 2006 — a 12-year high, according to a new report from property database curator ATTOM Data Solutions. That $61,000 average home seller profit represented an average 32.6 percent return on investment compared to the original purchase price, up from 27.0 percent last year and up from 21.9 percent in 2016 to the highest average home seller ROI since 2006.
Mutual Security Credit Union Press Release For Release January 14, 2019
Giving to a charity is a wonderful thing any time of the year, especially during the holidays. But as the holiday season approaches, and people increase their giving, scammers find more ways to take advantage of others’ goodwill.
When you’re trying to save and manage your money, it can be tough to decide the right account to use. Savings accounts are ideal for funds you want to put away for emergency or special purposes, while checking accounts are the way to go for money you’ll spend. But, what if you’re looking for something that will help you save with the flexibility to spend?
Our branches may have been closed on Monday, November 12 in recognition of Veterans Day, but our staff was out in full force.
Phishing—not to be confused with fishing—is an attempt, via fake emails, to fraudulently obtain sensitive information from a victim. Usually the message is disguised as a legitimate request for usernames, passwords, or banking information in order to deceive the recipient.
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog series on green-energy alternatives, you should have a good understanding of what solar is and an idea of whether or not it’s right for you. But once you’ve determined if it makes sense for you to convert to solar energy, you might feel overwhelmed with the initial costs of installing the technology. I’m here to help you figure out if the costs outweigh any potential future savings.
In today’s world, we’re connected to the internet all day long—at work, at home, and on-the-go via our mobile devices. And while this is convenient, it also provides hackers and other cyber-criminals with multiple channels to attempt to access our personal information. So in honor of National Cyber Security Month I’ll be sharing one tip per week to help ensure you have the knowledge and resources needed to stay safe online.
Homeowners all over the United States are opting to go solar. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that as of February 2016, the number of homes using solar energy hit one million. So if you’re thinking about going solar, you’re not alone.
Did you know that as of March 31, 2018, over 28,000 homes in Connecticut had gone solar? And installations are still on the rise, placing Connecticut among the top ten energy-efficient states.
For the fourth year in a row, our EVP, Hank Baum traveled to the Dominican Republic as part of a mission team that supports the Community in La Romana.
On Friday, June 29, a team of seven employees braved the warm weather to volunteer at Boothe Memorial Park.
Sometimes unexpected emergencies arise—like your car breaking down or your refrigerator calling it quits—and that normally means you're going to have to come up with some money. Many of us end up having to pull out a credit card, get a short-term loan, or borrow from a friend or family member. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you can avoid paying extra in interest and the stress of monthly payments by setting up an emergency fund. Check out these four tips to help you prepare for life’s unexpected moments.
Once you’ve established yourself as a homeowner, you might begin receiving information related to refinancing your home. And you may begin to wonder, what is refinancing and is it right for me? Simply stated, refinancing involves replacing your current mortgage with a new one that offers different rates and terms. The desired outcome is often to have more manageable monthly payments or to pay less interest over the lifetime of the loan. While reasons for refinancing vary, I typically find that homeowners only consider this when they see mortgage rates fall. And while lower rates are definitely something you want to look at, there are other times when refinancing can benefit you regardless of current rates.
The springtime home-buying season has arrived! And if you’re in the market for a home, there’s no better time to start looking. During this season we see more houses go up for sale, which provides you as the buyer with more options to choose from. But before you start browsing Realtor.com or attending open houses, it’s important to get pre-approved for your mortgage to ensure you’re prepared to make an offer when you find your dream home. Regardless of whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to move, or in the market for a second home, here’s a look at the top five things you need to do to get pre-approved.
You’ve got your W-2, or will soon, and you’re hard at work pulling together all your statements and receipts for tax season. But while you’re preparing to file your taxes, scammers are working on ways to cheat you out of your return. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already started receiving complaints. To kick-off tax identity theft awareness week, and help you defend against fraud, we’ve got some insight into the most common scams, as well as how to protect your personal information, and what to do if you become a victim.
From collecting receipts and determining your deductions to figuring out which form to fill out, tax season can be confusing. But you don’t have to go it alone! We’ve partnered with H&R Block to help take the anxiety out of doing your taxes.
Last year, we announced that we were working on updates to our look and feel, and we're excited to unveil these improvements!
Toys catalogs have come in the mail, in-store displays promote the season’s top sellers, and my kids’ wish lists are growing daily. They’ve waited all year to give me their list of most wanted items, and now they’re hoping that I deliver.
Holiday promotions and in-store displays may have been out since Halloween, but the shopping season doesn’t really kick-off until Black Friday. This is an exciting—and potentially overwhelming time—for shoppers, but the reality is that while we’re out looking for the best gifts and deals, scammers are looking for their next target. But that shouldn’t keep us from enjoying the gift-giving festivities.
Thanksgiving will be here next week! It’s the perfect time to reflect on what you’re thankful for and spend quality time with family and friends. While some may be wondering where this year has gone, most are dreaming about turkey, stuffing, and pie.
Our branches may have been closed on Friday, November 10 in recognition of Veterans Day, but our staff was still at work.
Halloween is over and the holidays will soon be here. And for many college students that means it’s time to start planning for the trip home.
In honor of Veterans Day, we’ve partnered with Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport, Connecticut to collect much needed items for homeless veterans and their loved ones.