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Every August, new and returning students and parents embark on an age-old, sometimes daunting task: Back-to-school shopping. Parents often spend precious time – and money – gathering classroom essentials for their children to thrive in the new school year.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is a term that you will likely hear salespeople throw around often when shopping for a new car. And lacking a firm understanding of what MSRP is and how you can use it to your advantage could cause you to miss out on the best deal. Be prepared before walking into a showroom by brushing up on the language of pricing.
Consumers face a host of choices and decisions when shopping for a vehicle, and perhaps the largest one is if you want to buy it new or used. Each option has significant advantages and drawbacks.
Shopping for a new car can be stressful and often forces consumers to question, “Should I be buying or leasing my next car?” To make that decision, you need to weigh your financial options with your preferences. Both leasing and buying have significant advantages and disadvantages, and it’s vital to understand what you’re getting into before you sign.
Purchasing the shiny, brand new car on the lot may be tempting, but may not always be the best option.
Let’s face it: Haggling with car salespeople can be intimidating. But unfortunately, it is one of the key methods for driving away with the best deal on the car of your dreams. Dealers are negotiating pros with an immense amount of experience under their belts, so it is important to prepare yourself for an effective negotiation.
Buying your first car is an exciting right of passage that can be quite daunting if you’re not prepared. And even worse, lacking a complete and firm understanding of what you’re signing up for can leave you with an enormous amount of debt and monthly payments you can’t afford.
Lenders are gatekeepers to the capital you need to get your business off of the ground. Upon applying for a business loan, a lender will create a profile of you based on your credit score, credit report, repayment history, employment and more to determine your creditworthiness. But for those whose credit report does not accurately reflect their responsibility to repay a loan, it is important to start developing a relationship with a business lender long before applying for a loan.
Wrapping up the year does not only give business owners peace of mind that their records are closed out properly, but it also enables you to plan for a successful year ahead. Failing to plan means planning to fail, so it is essential to evaluate your company’s information and leverage your findings to improve operations next year.
Use this checklist of seven steps to efficiently analyze your business at the end of the fiscal year and set goals to prosper in the year to come.
Almost every successful business starts at the same point: developing a business plan. Business plans help you create concrete goals, plans and milestones by putting pen to paper and laying out exactly where your business is going and how it is going to succeed. This step is often a sticking point for entrepreneurs seeking a business loan, as many lenders require a solid business plan to move forward in the loan process; however, it can be challenging and time-consuming to compile.
The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mortgage rates hovering over record lows, which means it’s a great time to save by refinancing.
So you’ve started the process of buying a home and the seller has finally accepted your offer. Hooray, the end is in sight! However, there is still one thing left: closing.
Refinancing your existing mortgage can have a significant impact on your financial health, for better or for worse. Be sure to consider all options before deciding if a pre-retirement refinance is right for you.
Fraud and Security
Seniors have increasingly become targets for elder financial abuse scams in recent years.
It seems simple enough: Someone sends you a check, you deposit it into your account, and the funds are determined to be valid upon crediting your account. Right? Wrong.
At 9:30 one evening, you receive an email from your bank urging you to click on a link to verify your personal information or your account will be frozen. Frantic, you click on the link, which sends you to a page asking for your Social Security and account numbers. After filling out and submitting the information page, you notice large sums of money are being taken out of your account and your identity has been stolen.
Keeping your finances safe and secure is of optimal concern in today’s environment, which is why cashier’s checks are often trusted over personal checks or electronic payments to transport large amounts of money.
Online stores and services have made impressive bounds in recent years to compete with the Amazon Effect — offering same- and next-day shipping, instant streaming, and even grocery delivery. Just as we have embraced the opportunity to streamline our lives through the capabilities of technology, so have scammers and hackers to take advantage of our online presence.
In today’s world where online dating is increasingly common, not everything — or everyone — is what it seems. Cybercriminals have seized this opportunity to target the vulnerable and unsuspecting for financial gain in sweetheart or romance scams.
Online and mobile banking is becoming the new normal for consumers on-the-go. Managing accounts virtually empowers individuals to gain better visibility into their finances anywhere, anytime, with just a few clicks. However, linking your financial account to the correct and legitimate website can sometimes be tricky. Cybercriminals frequently replicate valid websites to con unsuspecting consumers into either opening malicious links on their page that flood their device with malware, or divulging personal information, which they can use to wipe out your account or steal your identity. While these sites may appear similar to legitimate sites, there are a few red flags you can identify to determine the validity of your financial institution’s website.
As our modern world leans more and more into streamlining efficiency and speed via technological advances, we need to be vigilant in protecting our personal information – especially when it comes to finances. With every passing day, scammers and hackers are coming up with new methods to gain access to our sensitive information without us even knowing.
However, there are a few common ways personal information can be stolen that are preventable if you are aware of and understand the consequences. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common scams, which could put your financial health at risk.
Advancing technology continues to provide efficiencies and convenience to our daily lives, especially in the forms of online shopping and banking. Where you once needed to physically travel into a store or financial institution to make a purchase or transfer funds, you now have the power and capability to perform many transactions anywhere, anytime from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. And while e-commerce has significantly improved the ease at which we manage our purchases and accounts, it can also put your money and identity in jeopardy.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their methods to gain access to your personal information and hack into your accounts with ease – and they’re having enormous success. It is essential to remain vigilant when shopping or banking online to avoid falling victim to a cyber attack. To help, we’ve compiled a list of tips to keep your finances, personal information, and identity secure during online transactions.
Passwords are the lock and key to your most sensitive information: finances, account data, Social Security numbers (SSN), and more. But many are easy to figure out, including a birthday, pet’s name, “123456,” or simply “password.” An estimated 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error, and cybercriminals are waiting to take advantage of your mistake and wipe out your accounts.1 Plus, 73% of Microsoft users recycle passwords for both their personal and work accounts, making them all too easy for cybercriminals to figure out.2
Money Mule Awareness
Your Security is Our Priority
How Scammers Tell You to Pay
Tax Scam Alert
Tech Support Scam
Tech Support Scam - YouTube Video
Security Tips for Safe Online Banking
ATM & Debit Card Safety
Credit Card Safety
Mobile Banking Security
What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen
Replacing Your Important Papers
Read more articles located in our Article and Resource Library.
5 Tips to Recover From Holiday Debt
Debunking Homebuying Myths
What does your credit score say about you?
Cyber Security Tips
5 Things Your Realtor Wished You Knew
Simplifying the Mortgage Process