Divorce can be difficult on many levels, and one of the most formidable challenges for most is the financial strain it causes. Making sense of your finances after a divorce takes work and time, but with proper planning and a responsible approach, it can be done.
Data breaches show up in the news almost as often as celebrity couple breakups. According to Risk Based Security’s Mid-Year Data BreachReport, there were 1,767 publicly reported breaches in the first half of 2021, exposing 18.8 billion records. One of the most far-reaching of these breaches was the T-Mobile data breach in August, which has impacted more than 50 million people. A data breach exposes confidential information of its victims, which can include Social Security numbers, account information, credit card numbers, passwords, and more. If your personal information has been compromised by the T-Mobile data breach or another exposure, take these five steps to mitigate the damage.
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Personal loans, sometimes called unsecured loans, are loans that allow flexible use, offer short- to moderate-term repayment options and quick funding. Their versatility and convenience make them a popular choice for borrowers of every financial standing. Let’s take a deeper look at personal loans, how they work, and their pros and cons.
Q: I’ve heard that used cars can currently fetch a pretty penny from dealers because of a nationwide vehicle shortage. Should I trade in my car? A: The auto market has been red-hot for months as manufacturers scramble to catch up on pandemic-induced supply shortages. While circumstances vary, this can be a great time to get top dollar on a used car. Here’s what you need to know about the current auto market for sellers.
You've probably heard about it on your local news over the last few years; criminals caught with equipment that allowed them to capture credit and debit card activity of unsuspecting consumers fueling up at the local gas station or using their cards at other outdoor accessible transaction terminals. These criminals are typically found with cash, devices, and hundreds of fake cards manufactured from the data they stole. Even more terrifying is that these seemingly local intrusions are almost always part of a larger international criminal enterprise.
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.
As one of the hottest investments on the market, cryptocurrency has been enjoying the spotlight for quite a while, and scammers are eager to cash in on the excitement. Cryptocurrency scams are particularly nefarious since the digital currency is not regulated by any government, and once it has transferred hands it usually cannot be reclaimed. Here’s what you need to know about cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them.
An excellent credit score is the ultimate goal of the financially responsible consumer. Those three magic digits tell a story of accountability, good financial sense, and the ability to spend mindfully. A great credit score also unlocks doors for large, affordable loans; employment opportunities, and more.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Since 1968, the month has offered Americans the opportunity to celebrate the unique histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
As you pay down your first mortgage or the value of your home increases, you develop equity. When you have equity built up in your home, borrowing against it with a home equity loan is a great way to tap into the money when you need it most. Many people take out a home equity loan to finance home improvements, pay for their child’s college education, cover unforeseen medical costs, and many other purposes. Here’s all you need to know about home equity loans.
Griffin Hospital's Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley Coalition educates children and adults on a variety of health, wellness and safety programs to reduce unintentional injuries and death among children under the age of 17. Safe Kids offer hands-on, interactive, and fun programs at the Griffin Hospital and throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
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?
Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) is proud to announce the winners of its first-ever Calendar Photo Contest!
Everyone loves a gift card for their favorite retailer or restaurant. It’s like getting money to spend in any way you please! Unfortunately, scammers also love gift cards, but for all the wrong reasons: They often use gift cards to pull off scams. Here’s what you need to know about gift card scams and how to avoid them.
The month of August typically marks the end of summer vacation and the start of school for many students of all ages. This means parents will be having to dish out some money on school supplies, but it’s an expense that some families truly can’t afford. Luckily, when there’s a need, the community never fails to step up to the plate and help.
You and debt are so over. You’ve just about had it with those endless piles of credit card bills and those hideous numbers that never seem to get any lower. It’s time to kiss that debt goodbye!
It’s time for back-to-school shopping! This year’s back-to-school season requires shoppers to try sticking to their budgets, and purchase everything on their lists, without exposing themselves or their kids to the coronavirus. Here’s how to shop for school safely and without breaking the budget.
After CUNA announced its ‘Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow’ theme for this year’s International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) on October 21st, Mutual Security Credit Union CEO Hank Baum used his connections to get in touch with COOPSME Cooperativa located in La Romana, Dominican Republic to see how Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) can expand its celebration internationally and help a fellow credit union through shared knowledge and resources.
During this season of financial uncertainty, it may be tempting to dip into your retirement accounts to get by. Or, maybe you’re an older worker who’s experienced job loss and are wondering if you should claim Social Security at age 62 rather than wait until full retirement age. Before making any major decisions that could have implications on your long-term retirement goals, access our helpful guide, 5 Tips to Reach Your Retirement Goals During Uncertain Times. If you have any questions or concerns about meeting your retirement goals, reach out to a financial professional located at our credit union.
Both literally and figuratively, planning ahead can pay off. It's important to think about your future now so you can enjoy it to the fullest down the road. A financial professional can evaluate your current financial situation and help you make the most out of your financial plan.
Your passwords are like the keys to your life. And when it seems like there’s another big security breach every week, you want to be absolutely sure your passwords are strong and safe. After all, with just a few keystrokes, a scammer can have full access to your personal information, financial accounts, social media pages and so much more.
Individual Americans spend hundreds of dollars a year and at least as many hours on keeping themselves physically fit — but too many people neglect their financial health. Just like physical health, being financially fit is crucial to your wellbeing, your future and your quality of life.
You want to retire comfortably when the time comes. You also want to help your child go to college. So how do you juggle the two? The truth is, saving for your retirement and your child's education at the same time can be a challenge. But take heart — you may be able to reach both goals if you make some smart choices now.
You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you'll need to fund your retirement. That's not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your goals and many other factors.
Recent market volatility and concerning global events are causing many investors to consider diversifying their portfolio even further by including annuities as part of their retirement strategy. Why? There are several reasons you might want to consider annuities, including their growth potential, ability to provide guaranteed income and limit losses.
Is 2021 a good time to sell your home? While it appears to be a seller’s market, and the perfect time to put your home up for sale, there are many variables to consider before going forward. Below, we’ve outlined important points to know about today’s market so you can make an informed decision about selling your home in 2021. Is it a seller’s market now? According to Realtor.com, the current supply of homes on the market is at an all-time low, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in more than two decades. This can be attributed to the federal moratorium on foreclosures, as well as the months-long halt on new construction. At the same time, demand for homes is up, as many millennials are entering their peak homebuying years, mortgage rates hit record lows and more people are working from home than ever before. In fact, in 2020, more homes were sold than in any year since 2006, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Naturally, when demand exceeds supply, prices will go up. Let’s take a look at some of the current trends driving this market, as shared by Realtor.com and Redfin.com:
Hello, summer! It’s the season of flip-flops and ice pops, of sun-drenched afternoons and lazy days at the beach. And, unfortunately, summertime is also prime time for scammers. People are more relaxed, schedules are looser and vacationers are traveling in unfamiliar locations. All of this can lead people to let their guard down during the summer, and the scammers know it.
If you’re in the market for a new car or truck, you’re likely also shopping for an auto loan. Your auto loan will affect your monthly budget for the full term of the loan, so it’s important to do your research and make an informed decision before finalizing it. Here’s all you need to know about auto loans and how to choose the one that’s best for you. How do auto loans work? Auto loans make it possible for consumers to purchase a new car without having all the cash on hand when buying. With a car loan from a financial institution or private lender, you’ll receive the funds you need to purchase the vehicle in one lump sum, which you’ll pay a portion of back each month, with interest, over the term of the loan, which generally lasts 5-7 years. Where do I apply for an auto loan? There are two primary sources for auto loans:
It happened in the midst of the lockdown. Dan and his family were unable to visit their aging mother due to COVID-19 concerns. While being isolated from her family and friends, Dan's mother received a phone call. An unknown person convinced her to go to the nearest Dollar General store and purchase $2,000 in gift cards, and provide the gift card numbers to him over the phone. Suffering from early-onset dementia, she didn't question the request but instead followed the instructions. It wasn't until much later that she admitted the mistake to her son. Had she checked with him first, she would have been told it was a scam, saving her the risk of getting out in public and getting sick, and also the heartache of realizing she'd fallen victim to a scam. Unfortunately, these stories are all too common, and they can happen to anyone - not just the elderly. In addition to the financial loss, many times these scams can also result in the loss of personal information and identity theft.
Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) is continuing a long-standing tradition of awarding scholarships to students in the community to help them reach their scholastic and professional goals.
One of the most important parts of setting up a monthly budget is separating needs from wants. Before assigning dollar amounts to any categories, it’s important to know which parts of your monthly expenditures are an absolute need, and which items would be nice to include, but are not a necessity. Many people find this particularly challenging, and many even give up on budgeting when they can’t move past this step.
You are standing in line at the pharmacy, ready to check out. While fumbling around in your purse for cash or a card, you notice the person in front of you has simply scanned their smartphone across the payment card reader. In a flash, they've paid for their merchandise and are out the door, leaving you feeling like you have been lost in a time warp. How did they do that? It's simple, really. A credit or debit card has been attached to a "digital wallet" which is then recognized by the merchant's payment terminal, authorizing the transaction.
If you've been thinking something along the lines of, "My current house just isn’t doing it for my family. We’re looking for a house to purchase that is near good schools and in a good neighborhood, but it’s taking longer than hoped. I’m a little worried that interest rates are going to go back up before I get a chance to buy. What should I do?" This article is for you!
Your phone pings with an incoming text. You swipe it open to find a message from the USPS. They’re texting to let you know that the scheduled delivery time for your package has been changed. Unfortunately, though, the message is not from the USPS and you’ve just been targeted by a scam.
If you’re a homeowner in need of a bundle of cash, look no further than your own home. By tapping into your home’s equity, you’re eligible for a loan with a, generally, lower interest rate and easier eligibility requirements. One way to do this is by opening up a home equity line of credit, or a HELOC. Let’s take a closer look at HELOCs and why they can be an excellent option for cash-strapped homeowners.
If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, get ready to experience sticker shock. Prices on new and used cars have soared since the beginning of 2020, and experts aren’t expecting them to fall anytime soon. Here’s what you need to know about the current auto loan market and how to navigate it successfully.
I’m doing some home renovations this spring, and I’m not sure how to finance it all. Do I take out a loan? Should I just charge all the expenses to my credit card? There are so many options! Which one makes the most sense for my finances?
It’s stimulus season and tax season at once, and scammers couldn’t be happier. They know that taxpayers are eager to get their hands on their stimulus payments and tax refunds. As consumers are working to file their taxes before the May 17 deadline, all that paperwork and payments mean people may be letting their guard down. For a scammer, nothing could be better!
It’s springtime! For many that means out with the old and in with the new. Whether it’s installing a swimming pool, giving your kitchen a complete makeover, or turning your garage into a guest suite this spring, a personal loan can make it possible. Personal loans may be a better option for homeowners who don’t have a great deal of equity in their homes and may not be a good candidate for a fixed Home Equity Loan, or a HELOC.
A home loan, otherwise known as a mortgage, enables you to purchase a house without paying the full price out of pocket at the time of the purchase.
The Criminal Investigation (CI) unit is a special criminal division of the IRS. The CI is tasked with investigating and uncovering tax-related crimes and prosecuting these cases. Each year the CI provides the IRS an annual report detailing their work and highlighting their successes and enforcements related to tax and financial crimes. Why is this important to you? The work of the CI is critical in protecting taxpayers as well as maintaining the integrity of our financial system. Even more importantly, the information uncovered by the CI paints a very clear picture of the criminal activities on the rise and provides each of us an understanding of what to watch out for and how to protect ourselves and our personal information in the future. You can view the CI's full report here for 2020.
If you’re receiving a stimulus check as part of the most recent COVID-19 Relief Package, it’s more important than ever to consider the coming months and make sure you’re using the money wisely. Let our insightful infographic help guide you through your choices as you prioritize how to spend your funds. Access, 5 Smart Ways to Use Your Stimulus Check, for a few strategic tips. If you have questions or would like more details, reach out to a financial professional located at our credit union.
Debt consolidation is the process of moving several (possibly) high-interest debts into a new loan or line of credit. Debt consolidation can help you pay off your debt quicker, with less money going toward overall interest payments.
Thinking about upgrading your current car? Or wondering if you’ll be able to afford the home-improvement project on your to-do list? It’s that time of year where you may be in the market for an upgrade. We want to help you to enhance your lifestyle and reach your financial goals!
From understanding current market conditions and interest rates, to deciding how much to put down and the right type of mortgage for you, there’s a lot to consider. And with all the information available online, and from family and friends, it’s hard to know where to start.
It’s Black History Month; so let’s celebrate! In honor of Black History Month, Mutual Security Credit Union is proud to share four little-known facts about African American history, along with a list of fun ways to commemorate black history and culture.
After months of confusion and fear, there is finally a light at the end of the socially distanced tunnel: the FDA has approved two coronavirus vaccines. Detailed plans to distribute from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna are already underway, with additional vaccines expected to gain FDA approval in 2021.
Since the 1970s, the month of February has been designated as the time to celebrate and commemorate Black history. Schools, television networks and private organizations use this month to increase awareness and to educate people about the rich history of Black Americans. There are so many ways to celebrate! We challenge you to do one thing for Black History Month on each of the 28 days of February. Here are 28 ideas to help get you started:
Financial professionals go by many names: personal financial advisor, investment consultant, financial planner, financial coach...you can probably come up with at least a few more. Their varying backgrounds and credentials come with different designations and titles. And there are at least as many reasons to work with a financial professional as there are ways to call them.
The news from the real estate market can be confusing. What do you need to know as a buyer, a seller, or just an American citizen, about today’s real estate market? Trends and stats in real estate are constantly changing, especially during the unstable economy of COVID-19. Here’s all you need to know about the real estate market today.
With the holiday shopping behind us take some time to reflect on your shopping habits! We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s that I-gotta-have-it urge that overtakes us when we see a pair of designer jeans. Maybe it’s that shrug as we reach for the $6 cup of overrated coffee that says “I deserve this.” Or maybe it’s that helpless feeling as the end of the month draws near and we realize we’ve outspent our budget — again. What makes us overspend? Let’s take a look at five common reasons and how we can overcome them.
When you stop by your credit union, you’ll be greeted with friendly, familiar faces and representatives who care. Our team is always ready and willing to help you with whatever you need – whether it’s a question about your checking account, some personal finance advice or direction in a major life purchase. Meet Lillie Davis, Branch Manager at the Stratford location.
To help you determine the most financially responsible course of action to take with your stimulus check, Mutual Security Credit Union has compiled a list of advice and tips from financial experts and advisers on how to use this money.
What a year it’s been. Looking back to my first message to you as CEO almost 12 months ago, I wrote about the mountains we each were preparing to conquer. No matter our background, beliefs, or positions on topics in our country – we can likely agree that this year has been harder to climb than we all expected. But despite all the challenges of 2020, one thing is for certain…MSCU never took our eye off you, our members.
Uh oh — you’ve been hacked! Finding out someone has cracked open your accounts and helped themselves to your information can be alarming, but there are ways to mitigate the damage while jump-starting your recovery process. Here are five steps to take after being hacked.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but many of us may be feeling grinchy this year. With the pandemic still a looming threat to our health and happiness, the economy still a hot mess and so many of our favorite seasonal activities canceled, getting into the holiday spirit can be challenging.
The rise of online shopping during the pandemic has led to a proportional increase in online fraud and scams. As the Holiday season approaches, we want to make sure you are armed with the knowledge and the skills to protect yourself. With a little awareness, you can avoid online shopping fraud as the busiest time of the year for retail shopping is shifting into high gear.
With the pandemic still wreaking havoc on the economy, many people are struggling to pay their monthly bills and meet their debt payments. Unfortunately, scammers are exploiting the financial downturn by tricking unsuspecting victims into paying for debts that don’t actually exist, or by using abusive tactics to collect legitimate debts.
Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) is proud to announce its facilitation in the distribution of $100,000 in grant funding to support 12 local nonprofit organizations as part of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s 2020 Jobs for New England Recovery Grant Program, a relief program designed to help FHLBank members provide financial support to Small Business Administration-defined small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have experienced hardships during COVID-19.
How you protect yourself from identity theft is important. But just as important is how you respond once you suspect your identity has been stolen. Recovering your identity and restoring your financial well-being is stressful and time consuming, and many people who try to do it on their own give up without ever achieving recovery.
Are you ready to stretch those financial fitness muscles? We hope so, because it’s time to get financially fit!
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.
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.
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.
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.