If you paid a casual visit to the NBC website on Feb. 21, you likely got a little something extra with your info or funny video—computer malware designed to steal Online Banking credentials (see here and here). Welcome to the new world of bank robbery. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself.

Sophisticated criminals no longer wear masks and pass menacing notes to tellers. No, today’s bank robber simply infects a website with malware, then waits for users to become infected and log in to Online Banking on their own. The hidden malware on the user’s infected computer quietly passes the Online Banking login information back to the criminal, or in more sophisticated attacks, allows the criminal to highjack your session while you are still logged in. Later you may notice that money was sent to an unknown person or business using person-to-person payments or even Bill Pay.

I suspect that most of you will have one of two responses:

“My computer can get infected just by visiting a website?”

or

“I have antivirus software on my computer so shouldn’t I be safe?”

Continue reading

Considering a new car? Buying a car, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be extremely stressful, just because there’s so much to think about. That being said, it’s well worth putting in the extra time to plan ahead. In doing so, you’ll save time and money. Plus, you won’t end up with a lemon! These five tips will help you get started.

1. Leave room in your budget

Buying a new car? You’ll probably need at least a few thousand dollars in your savings account for the down payment, plus some room in your budget for regular auto loan payments of several hundred dollars. Even used cars are expensive, but in many ways, they’re a lot more economical than a new car. According to Kelley Blue Book, most cars lose 20 percent of their value in the first year, and 60 percent of their value within five years. When you consider the fact that most five-year-old cars don’t have many problems, a used car is a great deal.

2. Do your homework

Make sure you learn as much as you can about your car before you buy it. Websites like ConsumerReports.org and kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book’s official website) can give you unbiased information about the value of your vehicle, its reliability and even the driving experience. If you’re buying a used car, make sure to get the repair records and, ideally, a CARFAX report. It’s also important to test drive a vehicle before you consider purchasing it. This is the only way to know if the vehicle is comfortable for you and handles the way you like it. Continue reading

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April is Financial Literacy Month, and we want to hear from you. What questions do you have about managing your money and finances? We’ll be accepting questions all month and giving you the answers to what matters most to you.

Submitting is easy! Just leave a comment below, tweet us at the @EECUdfw handle or post on our Facebook page at facebook.com/eecudfw. We’ll keep you updated with answers to the questions we receive here on our blog, on our Facebook page and through our Twitter account, so be sure to Like us, follow us and keep checking back for insight into the issues that matter most to our members. Continue reading

For our members who love to check in wherever they go, popular location-based app Foursquare has released some exciting news that may put more money in your pocket. Now, by connecting your EECU Visa® debit card and your EECU Platinum MasterCard®, you can unlock savings when you check in and use one of your cards at retailers who offer specials.

Connecting your cards is easy. Just visit your profile in the Foursquare mobile app and select “Settings.” Then, select “Connected Cards and Savings.” The app will lead you through the process.

Foursquare-credit-card-link Continue reading

Article written by Barry Paperno for Credit.com

Some things never change when it comes to what annoys people about credit scores. While consumers’ understanding of credit scores has evolved over the years, within that always-increasing level of understanding there remain some parts of credit scoring, such as inquiries, that people just don’t seem to get. They get the idea of late payments and maxed out credit cards predicting risk. But inquiries?

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A credit inquiry is a notation that goes on your credit report every time your credit report is accessed by anyone with a “permissible purpose,” as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Inquiries remain on a credit report for two years, and generally fall into two categories: hard and soft inquiries. Only hard inquiries from within the past year can impact credit scores. Older hard inquiries and soft inquiries are ignored by the scores entirely. Continue reading

Good credit: it’s difficult to get, and even more difficult to understand. You’ll have an easier time building credit if you know the building blocks of a good credit score. Turns out it’s a bit more complicated than saving money and staying debt free.

Your credit score (also called a FICO score) is a 3-digit number based on a formula issued by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). This formula uses 5 different factors to determine your overall credit worthiness. You don’t need to have each factor memorized, but you do need to make your payments on time, maintain accounts that build credit, and avoid a few common pitfalls. Here’s the breakdown:

1. Payment history – 35%

Making regular payments on your credit cards, student loans and other debts will boost your credit score. Any missed payment will lower it. Recent history counts more, so if you’re making a good effort to repay your debts now, fear not: credit bureaus will take notice.

2. Amounts you owe – 30%

Long story short, don’t max out your credit cards. Credit bureaus look at the difference between your spending limits and the total amount of debt you have, so if you carry a balance regularly, this will lower your score. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to installment loans (like student loans), which can actually improve your score if you keep up with the payments. Continue reading

Looking for a way to help your kids or grand kids begin learning about money and personal finances? What if they could get paid to learn? As part of our efforts to help educate our young members and local youth, EECU partners with Googolplex, an effort of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), to help students learn the fundamentals of money management through fun, interactive materials, and they’re looking to hire youth for the upcoming school year.

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Googolplex is seeking responsible young people with diverse backgrounds for 12 paid positions on its youth editorial board. No travel is necessary—applicants are welcome from all over the country. Continue reading

According to a study recently conducted by Ohio State University, consumers are not paying off debt as quickly as they once were. In fact, some younger Americans often pile on so much debt between credit cards, student loans and other financing that they won’t be able to pay it off until they’re 70 or older! That’s a long time!

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Of course, there’s nothing wrong with loans and credit cards. In fact, there are many benefits to using them when building a strong credit history. But it’s important that you pay them back in a timely manner in order to keep your credit in good standing and to save some money.

Your best investment is to pay off high-interest debt. Since the average loan has a higher interest rate than the average savings or investment account, this will allow you to save more money in the long run. By paying off your highest interest-rate debt first (usually credit cards), you’ll be able to take an entire bill off your monthly list and have more money to contribute to other loans or savings. Just think of how much better your paycheck will look with one less bill to take out of it!

Use EECU’s “Paying Off Loans” Worksheet to keep a list of your loans’ interest rates and begin working more aggressive debt repayment into your monthly budget. When you’re 70 and your loans are long gone, you’ll be glad you did!

Current apps will be deactivated January 15!

We’ve made some upgrades to our mobile offerings to bring you new applications for iPhone and Android devices, and a brand new app for iPad!

In order to take advantage of the new features and continue accessing your EECU accounts anywhere and everywhere, search for “EECU Mobile Banking” in Apple’s App Store or Google Play and download our new app today!

In addition to functionality for iPad users, all versions of EECU’s Mobile Banking app will work more smoothly with each device to make navigation simpler and account management easier.

EECU’s smartphone apps allow members to access and manage accounts anywhere, anytime.

  • Access Accounts
  • Transfer Funds Between Accounts
  • Pay Bills
  • Deposit Checks
  • Find Branches and ATMs

For smartphone users who don’t have an Apple or Android device, you can access many of the features you enjoy in Online Banking by visiting m.eecu.org on your mobile Web browser and logging in with your Online Banking credentials.

Be sure and download EECU’s new app in order to continue accessing your accounts!