USC Credit Union Blog

USC Credit Union Blog

Buy Your First Home With Confidence

Posted by Cal on Apr 1, 2015 10:16:18 AM

How Does A Lender Determine If You Qualify For A Home Loan?

While lenders look at a lot of different information to determine whether you’ll qualify for a home loan, ultimately, it comes down to four things: credit, down payment, income and assets. If any of these areas are not as strong as they should be, don’t be discouraged. Your USC Credit Union home loan expert will provide you with the guidance you need to move to the next level.

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Topics: Home Buyers Guide

5 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving More And Spending Less

Posted by Cal on Mar 25, 2015 9:38:14 AM

How much you spend or save is a result of habit. That’s good news, because it means you can trick yourself into saving more. Here’s how.

5 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving More And Spend Less
You know that if you do enough abdominal crunches and jumping jacks, your stomach will get stronger and you’ll lose some weight.

According to psychology experts, the mind is just another muscle that works the same way. If you exercise the brain, you can strengthen your financial health, and lose some of that money-related anxiety.

We asked Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D, an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at San Francisco State University and Co-founder of Beyond the Purchase, a think tank about how and why people spend money, to explain how you can use the power of the mind to trick yourself into buying less, paying down debt, and saving more.

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Topics: spending

Saving Money for Something Big

Posted by Cal on Mar 18, 2015 11:46:43 AM

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The process to amass a nice-sized savings account takes time dedication, patience and determination. When a member reaches a respectable savings amount, then comes the process of maintaining and growing it to an amount that didn’t seem possible at the start.

An April 2014 Gallup poll shows that 62% of Americans are enjoying saving more money than spending it. The current personal savings rate in the U.S. is 5.4% as of August 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Financial experts recommend saving 10 percent of your annual income for financial security.

While not everyone is able to maintain that level of savings, there are steps you can take to learn how to save money and to build a solid savings account.

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Topics: savings

Spring Break Budget Tips

Posted by Cal on Mar 10, 2015 10:22:00 AM

The coming of spring means different things to different people. But for many families and college students, spring break usually means one very important thing: Time to travel! The good news is you can find tons of ways to travel this coming spring without breaking the bank. 

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Topics: education

Rent This, Buy That

Posted by Cal on Feb 25, 2015 11:24:06 AM

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To rent or to buy? Doesn’t seem like a very complicated question, does it? Going to Vermont for the weekend? Rent skis. You got a new job? Buy a suit. The permanence of the purchase is the real and underlying variable. You will only need those skis for a few days, but that suit will be around for a long time.

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Topics: spending

Why 2015 Is the Year to Switch to a Credit Union

Posted by Cal on Feb 19, 2015 9:21:12 AM

Credit unions have become more competitive with the nation's banks. They can open accounts for almost anyone, even businesses, write mortgage loans, and generally provide any basic banking service that for-profit banks can.

And over time, credit unions have become fiercely competitive. Their not-for-profit status allows them to operate without a goal of profitability. Their tax-free status means they don't have a huge expense that taxed, for-profit banks have to pass on to their customers. Without the need to generate a profit, or pay taxes, credit unions have a massive advantage on the banks -- an advantage that can benefit the customer.

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Topics: join a credit union, financial education

A Guide To Breaking Up With Your Bank

Posted by Cal on Feb 13, 2015 11:50:26 AM

You’ve decided: It’s time to ditch your bank. But are you ready to make the switch?

There are plenty of reasons for wanting to change banks. Maybe you’re fed up with paying ATM fees, so you want a bank with branches closer to home or work. Or you found an account with a credit union or a smaller bank that promises better customer service or charges fewer fees.

Whatever the deciding factor, many people who think about changing banks end up staying put — often because of worries about the work involved. “It takes a little bit of time and effort,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “There’s a natural tendency to cringe at the thought of it.”

Indeed, people who aren’t careful when they make the change can face steep fees for missed payments, unnecessary money transfers and overdrafts. Here are some tips for breaking up with your bank.

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Topics: Credit Unions, financial future, financial education

15 Tips to Save on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Cal on Feb 4, 2015 9:28:57 AM

The sexiest way to save on Valentine’s Day? Do the seemingly impossible: spend less and get more.

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Topics: money tips, usc, holiday shopping

Enter the TurboTax $25K Giveaway!

Posted by Cal on Jan 28, 2015 9:05:00 AM

This year, make sure your taxes are done right and get a chance to win big. Try any TurboTax® Online product for free and you’ll be entered into the TurboTax $25K Giveway.1

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  • All you need to know is yourself. TurboTax translates taxes into simple questions about your life and puts everything in the right forms for you.
  • You won’t miss a thing. TurboTax searches over 350 deductions and credits, so you can be confident you’re getting the biggest refund you deserve.
  • Double checks as you go. TurboTax runs error checks and a final review of your return to help make sure your taxes are done right.
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Topics: Taxes

Running the LA Marathon? Keck Medicine of USC Want to Help!

Posted by Cal on Jan 23, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Keck Medicine of USC wants your marathon experience to be a healthy one. Check out these tips for running your best race!

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Topics: Planning Ahead

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