Banking, Credit and Debt Savings Tips
Use these financial savings tips to help you save money and achieve your short- and long-term goals.
- Pay off credit cards in full each month. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you're not falling into debt or paying interest. If you can’t pay off your card each month, chip away at the debt, starting with the credit cards with the highest interest. Then move on to the next card and then the next. Impulse purchases are emotional decisions. Think twice before you incur any additional debt.
- Start with a goal of reducing your credit card debt by just $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150-200 a year in interest, and much more if you're paying penalty rates of 20-30 percent.
- Use only the ATMs of your financial institution or their ATM Networks. Using the ATM of another financial institution where you’re not a member once a week might seem like no big deal, but if it's costing you $3 for each withdrawal, that's more than $150 over the course of a year. APCI FCU participates in multiple surcharge free ATM Networks to help you locate ATMs that are easily accessible when you need them.
- Check your credit report for free once a year. Access your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price. For example, a low credit score can increase the cost of a 60-month, $20,000 auto loan by more than $5,000. Visit annualcreditreport.com to access your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- Pay your bills on auto-pay. This ensures they are paid on time, in full to avoid late charges. Consider using APCI ePay, our free online bill paying service available through APCI eBanking. This safe and secure service allows you to initiate one-time or recurring payments, setup email reminders for bills due and is easily accessed on our APCI eBanking mobile app.
- Get free debt counseling. The most widely available help managing your debt is with a Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) counselor. CCCS’ network of non-profit counselors can work with you confidentially and judgement-free to help you develop a budget, figure out your options, and negotiate with creditors to repay your debts. Best of all, the 45-90 minute counseling sessions are free of charge and come with no obligations.
View all of our 2023 - A Year of Financial Wellbeing Blog Posts.
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