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

Each year, EECU welcomes members to its Annual Shareholders Meeting to hear about milestones the credit union has reached in the past year, introduce new board members and have fun. And as a member, you’re invited:

What: 78th Annual Shareholders Meeting
When: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: The Round Up Inn, Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Come out to Will Rogers to meet our newest board member, try out our mobile apps and take home a surprise. Parking will be complimentary. Simply tell the attendant you are with EECU. We hope to see you there!

 

Fort Worth-based financial institution serves community lending needs

FORT WORTH, Texas—Fort Worth-based credit union EECU has surpassed $1 billion dollars in loans. The milestone came near the end of the 2012 calendar year and has been sustained since.

“We are excited about reaching the $1 billion mark,” said Lonnie Nicholson, president and CEO of EECU. “This milestone represents our commitment to developing the financial solutions that North Texans are looking for. We’re committed to the success of our members and to the growth of the communities we serve, and $1 billion in loans is a reflection of that mission.”

One of North Texas’ largest locally owned financial institutions, EECU offers new and used auto loans, recreational vehicle and boat loans, mortgages, home equity loans, personal loans and credit cards. 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

Merger will present wider product and service offerings to Telco members

FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 26, 2013)—Effective May 31, Fort Worth Telco Credit Union will merge with Fort Worth-based EECU in an effort to provide enhanced product and service offerings to the former’s 5,000 members.

“EECU has a long-standing relationship with Fort Worth Telco Credit Union and its leadership,” said Lonnie Nicholson, president and CEO of EECU. “The decision to merge seemed like a natural extension of the relationship between the two credit unions. We are excited to enhance the products, services and delivery options provided to Telco’s members.”

As one of North Texas’ largest locally owned financial institutions, EECU serves more than 167,000 people with products and services to meet their financial needs, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, insurance and investment services. In addition, the credit union offers the convenience of multiple branch locations and online and mobile banking products, not previously available to Fort Worth Telco members.

“We feel this merger will be extremely beneficial to our members as they will have access to resources not currently available to them,” said Ron Reed, Fort Worth Telco Credit Union president. “Having been our neighbor in Fort Worth for 33 years, we’re confident in EECU’s commitment to upholding the high standards of service our members are used to.”

The merger, which is already in progress and scheduled for completion on May 31, will transfer the approximately 5,000 Fort Worth Telco Credit Union member accounts, which include checking and savings deposits and loans, to EECU where they will continue to be serviced.

Fort Worth Telco Credit Union members will receive communications throughout the merger process to ensure the transition is completed smoothly and all questions are answered.

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

Each year, the Better Business Bureau compiles a list of the year’s biggest scams to help consumers avoid being taken advantage of. These are ten of 2012’s most prominent scams as described by the Better Business Bureau.

Original Article: “Better Business Bureau Names ‘Top Ten Scams’ of 2012,” The Torch Newsletter, Vol. 77, No.1, January 2013 Continue reading