USC Credit Union Blog

USC Credit Union Blog

2014 Black Friday Shopping Tips

Posted by Cal on Nov 17, 2014 5:21:00 PM

We all know Black Friday offers the best holiday season shopping deals, but they only come to those who are prepared and in the right place at the right time. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the sales and discounts so you get the most bang for your buck.

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Topics: credit cards, credit, usc credit union, usc, shopping, black friday

Qualifying for a Home Loan

Posted by Cal on Nov 14, 2014 3:46:52 PM

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Topics: Home Buyers Guide, Home Loans, Mortgage, First Time Home Buyer, usc credit union, usc

The 4 Reasons Your Institution Should Offer Guaranteed Asset Protection

Posted by Cal on Nov 5, 2014 4:52:00 PM

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) is an important vehicle protection product because most primary auto insurers only cover the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of a vehicle—not the  outstanding loan balance. This means, if a member’s car is declared a total loss because of an accident or theft, their insurance settlement may not be enough to cover the amount they still owe their financial institution, potentially leaving thousands of dollars for them to pay out-of-pocket for a vehicle they can no longer drive.

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Topics: usc credit union, usc, GAP, GAP Insurance

How Much Should Be In Your 401(k) At 30?

Posted by Cal on Oct 30, 2014 3:34:00 PM

What should your contribute to your 401(k)? How much should you have invested for retirement at 30, 40, 50, etc? These are good questions. Here, I try to answer them, but I should warn you:

Personal finance is PERSONAL!

The more you can contribute to your 401(k) and the sooner you can start, the better. But everybody’s situation is different. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel “behind” in the retirement game…remember, you can’t change yesterday but you can TAKE ACTION today and change tomorrow.

So while we’ll get to how much you should have in your 401(k) at 30, 40, 50, etc…let’s start with the more important question:

How much should your contribute to your 401(k)?

The answer? As much as you comfortably (and legally) can!

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Topics: usc credit union, usc, financial planning, 401(K), investment services, personal finance

Beyond the Basics

Posted by Cal on Oct 27, 2014 5:11:00 PM

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As you know, managing your money is more than just opening an account. Keeping accurate track of deposits and withdrawals is essential, and perhaps you’d like to set up some recurring payments so you have a few less things to remember each month. That’s where our online banking services come in. We’ve got you covered at home and on the go! With USCCU’s Online Banking services, your accounts are always accessible. You can get cash, pay bills, and manage your money at your convenience using our 24-hour electronic services, such as:

Home Banking

Skip the branch visit and take care of your banking from the comfort of home! Right from your desktop, you can securely transfer funds between your USC Credit Union accounts and other financial institutions, as well as pay bills, access your accounts, and more.

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Topics: Students, usc credit union, usc, financial education, student ebooks

What Drives Consumers’ Checking Account Choices?

Posted by Cal on Oct 22, 2014 5:11:00 PM

Why do consumers choose one checking account instead of another? Data from thousands of checking account searches reveals the hot buttons behind consumers' decisions: locations, fees, advertising and word-of-mouth.

Using the online tool at FindABetterBank, active bank shoppers walk through a logical process to help them narrow down their checking account options. The system prompts them with questions about feature requirements and fee preferences. After they select an account as their “top choice,” they’re asked why they chose that particular account. Using the data generated from thousands of such searches, we can dissect and understand the various factors driving consumers’ decisions — features, fees, locations, promotions, etc.

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Topics: usc credit union, usc, join, new account

Mortgage Rates Drop to 16-Month Low

Posted by Cal on Oct 20, 2014 9:37:00 AM

The interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage continued its decline last week, falling further below 4% last week and also falling to a 16-month low, according to a new report from Zillow (Z). 

Current rate borrowers were quoted an average interest rate of 3.81% on Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace in the week that ended Tuesday, down from 3.96% in the previous week.

According to Zillow’s report, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell last Wednesday, and then hovered around 3.88% for most of the week before falling to the current rate.

“Rates dropped to the lowest level since June 2013 on news that the Federal Reserve has more reservations about the health of the U.S. and global economy than expected, which in turn, may delay rate hikes,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow.

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Topics: Home Loans, Home Loans, Mortgage, real estate, usc credit union, usc

Smart ways to save money at school without ruining your college fun — or going hungry

Posted by Cal on Oct 17, 2014 3:27:00 PM


Don’t worry – this isn’t going to be one of those posts that tell you you’re a big boy/girl now, and have to stop being irresponsible with money.

I won’t tell you to stop buying overpriced lattes, $11 nachos at midnight, or comfy college sweatshirts because those things are largely what college is all about.

What I will tell you is that the post-college years can really stink when you’re broke. Actually, worse than broke — so far in debt that you feel like you’re working for nothing but your bills.

So here’s how to give your future finances a fighting chance, and get through college without making those clichéd money mistakes of running up credit card debt and blowing through all the summer job money you earned folding shirts at The Gap…

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Topics: Students, college, usc credit union, usc, financial future, savings, living with debt, join a credit union, new account, student account package

Financial Capability and the Young: We Are Not Doing Enough

Posted by Cal on Oct 13, 2014 3:58:00 PM

1 in 5 American students do not exceed a baseline of proficiency in applying their financial knowledge to everyday situations. In other words, young Americans struggle to understand the most basic of financial concepts, documents, and transactions that are central to personal financial management. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently revealed findings from a financial literacy assessment of 15 year olds from around the world; 18 countries and economies participated in the assessment, which sought to establish a global baseline for financial literacy amongst the young.

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Topics: usc credit union, usc, financial education, education, seminars, financial education seminars, financial capability, events

ATM, Overdraft Fees Surge to Record Highs

Posted by Cal on Oct 9, 2014 3:50:00 PM

Fees for using out-of-network ATMs rose 5% over the past year and are up 23% over the past five years, according to Bankrate.com’s 17th annual checking survey. The average cost to consumers going outside their network is now $4.35 per transaction, a new high, and the eighth consecutive record-breaking year.

The average ATM surcharge jumped 7% to $2.77 per transaction, also a record high. The average surcharge has increased for 10 consecutive years. The most common fee is $3. Every institution Bankrate surveyed charges non-customers for usage.

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Topics: Credit Unions, credit, usc credit union, usc, overdraft fees, atm fee, join, surcharge, atm, join usc credit union, no withdrawal charges, no fees, fee

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