Neighborhood Credit Union

Category Archives: In the News

How to Make A Dent in Your Debt

Published February 8, 2019

Debt is not fun, it can be scary, but it DOESN’T have to be permanent.

With credit card debt, student loans, and other non-mortgage debt hitting all-time highs, many Americans are overwhelmed and choose not to face their debt. Spoiler alert: it never works out well.

First off, what counts as “debt”? Well, you have your mortgages, but there are others:

·      Car loans

·      Credit cards

·      Student loans

·      Unexpected medical debt

·      Payday loans

·      IRS and government debt

But as the first sentence states, debt doesn’t have to be permanent. With the right tools, the right mindset, and some patience, making a dent—and even eliminating—your debt can become a reality.

 Here are some tips to help get you on the path to becoming debt-free.

 Have your budget locked down

 You might think we always harp on how important budgeting is to your overall financial wellbeing, but it’s critical if you’re going to use it to help pay down debt. Knowing where every penny is going each month will help make the most of your payments and help you stay true to your other financial goals. Think of budgeting as your foundation.

If you feel like your current budget isn’t supporting your goal to pay down debt, consider revising it to meet your needs. This might actually be beneficial because you might find that you’re wasting money on subscriptions, memberships, or services that you don’t even use. 

There are awesome tools like Money Management where you can create your budget and have it display with colorful bubbles to let you know how you’re doing. Green means you’re staying within your budget, yellow means you’re getting close, and red means you’ve gone over and need to make some modifications.

Your budget can be your strongest ally.

Attack the smallest balance first 

You might have heard of this as the “snowball method.” Instead of focusing on interest rates to determine which account to pay off, you start with the smallest balance and work up from there. 

Starting with the smallest balance first means that you are likely to pay it off quicker than you would if you used the ladder method. This gives you results you can see and keeps you motivated to pay off the next balance. 

See the power of extra payments 

If you are able to make extra payments or pay more than the minimum payment, definitely do it. If you can’t, that’s totally fine. But being able to make an extra payment here and there can really help by cutting down your principal and interest amount quicker. 

Many people do this with their car loans and it helps shorten their loan by months or even years. It can even help give your credit score a boost. That’s a nice perk. 

Trim the fat

These are the expenses that are eating up the cash you could be putting towards debt or it could be the physical possessions you own but never use. Take some time to end those subscriptions, memberships, or services to free up extra funds that you can use to pay off debt. 

You can also look to sell stuff you don’t use. If you can, have a garage sale or take to Facebook marketplace. If you’re really dedicated to become debt-free, you might need to make a couple of sacrifices.

Celebrate the small victories 

The “small victories” don’t get that much love because there’s never a big payoff that makes you want to tell everybody and celebrate. That’s can’t be less true. If you think about it, there are more small victories than there are big ones, so if you take time to acknowledge the little wins, it will keep you motivated to get to the big wins. 

Another Money Management feature you can take advantage of is Goals. Not only will it keep you motivated by visually showing you how much farther you have to go, but it will also help you take time to celebrate all your victories both big and small.

It might seem like an impossible road, but you can get there and live that debt-free life.


How to Tell if a CD is Right for You

Published January 29, 2018

So, you’re thinking about investing in a CD to grow your bottom line and overall better your finances. That’s great because CDs have been a reliable, low-risk way for people to earn a better interest rate on money they have sitting in a standard savings account.

But before you go opening up a CD, take some time to see if you, and the account, are compatible and want the same out of your time together. As you research different CDs, keep the following questions in mind.

Do you have “spare” money? 

When we say “spare,” we’re talking about money that you have sitting in a savings account that you haven’t touched for a long period of time. This is key when investing in a CD because you will need to invest cash you don’t plan on using for some time.

If you’re constantly thinking about if you’ll need the money, then maybe it’s not the best time to invest in a CD. Take some time to first put a little more money back until you don’t have to think about withdrawing early because there will be a penalty to your interest if you do.

However, if you do have the money ready to go, let’s keep going down this list.

Do you have some time? 

You have the money to invest, but do you have the time? If you have money that you don’t plan on using for at least six months, then a CD is a good investment. The amount of time you have matters, because a CD earns more money the longer the term. Typically the longer the term, the higher the rate. However, if you don’t have as much time as you’d hoped for, there are CDs like our Online Savings CD and FlexPlus that have shorter terms or special rates.

Do you have the time? Great! Let’s see if you go 3-for-3.

Are you not earning enough on interest? 

We alluded to this in the intro, and it’s one of the features that draws many people to CDs because the interest rate on a standard savings account isn’t very high. And when you have a good sum of money earning next to nothing, it’s wise to start looking for other options.

Depending on your savings goals, you have plenty of options that probably have better interest rates than the savings account you currently have. Where the national average for savings account interest rate is 0.09%, our CD rates range from 1.00% to 3.25% APY*.

So, there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting a better return on what you have worked hard to save.

Conclusion

Overall, CDs are an excellent way to get a better rate of return on money that would otherwise sit in your bank account. Sure, you’re not going to get rich overnight. But with a good rate and some patience, a CD is an excellent way to contribute to your overall saving goals.

 

View our Certificate Rates and see which options is best for you.

*APY= Annual Percentage Yield. Rates as high as, depending on term. Rates subject to change. All rates effective as of January 9, 2019.


Neighborhood Credit Union to Help Those Affected by Government Shutdown

Published January 16, 2019

As the government shutdown goes through its third week, many Americans are finding themselves missing paychecks and possibly not being able to make financial obligations.

Originally a postal credit union with deep roots in the federal worker community, Neighborhood Credit Union is working to aid those affected by the government shutdown by offering to defer a loan payment or waive certain fees to help make this time easier for those who need it.

Neighborhood CU is also extending assistance to the members of Dallas Federal Credit Union, which just recently merged into the Neighborhood CU system. Dallas FCU began as the regional federal credit union for Social Security Administration and Health and Human Service employees and still counts federal employees as a majority of their membership.

“Our mission is to build financial relationships.” said Chet Kimmell, president of Neighborhood Credit Union. “And as a credit union, we have more flexibility to help out during the hard times of that relationship.”

Neighborhood CU has encouraged members to stop by their local branch or call to discuss the different resources available during this challenging time.

“We have already been able to help those members who needed assistance after their missed paycheck.” said Mike Roark, senior vice president of Lending.

About Neighborhood Credit Union: The oldest credit union in Dallas (chartered April 18, 1930), Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving Dallas, Denton and Ellis counties, as well as the city of Arlington. With branches in Oak Cliff, North Dallas, Richardson, Arlington, Mesquite, Duncanville, Waxahachie, Lancaster, Grand Prairie, Coppell, Downtown Dallas and Highland Village, and assets topping $720 million, Neighborhood Credit Union has a membership of 55,000 and continues to welcome new members daily. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit www.myncu.com.


2019 Annual Meeting

Save the Date

89th Annual Meeting!

Review of 2018 business and financial results, election of Board of Directors and door prizes.

March 28, 2019 at 3:00pm
North Dallas Branch

Members make the difference and we are looking forward to seeing you this year.

Annual Meeting Nominating Committee

Any Neighborhood Credit Union member interested in being nominated to serve on the Board of Directors must submit an application and statement of qualifications to a Nominating Committee member by Thursday, February 28, 2018 for certification. Only members that are certified are eligible for nomination from the floor at the Annual Meeting. Please contact a member of the Nominating Committee if you have any questions.

As outlined by the credit union’s bylaws, the nominating committee members for the Board of Directors election are Kaye Vinson: 972.790.5040, Terry Rockett: 972.415.8828, and Sandi Rybicki: 214.773.2924. Incumbents are Jimmy Slayton, Dwain Woodard, and Randy Till.


Dallas Navy Veteran and Postal Retiree Starts 2019 with a $49,999.99 Surprise in His Savings Account

man and woman standing together smiling

DALLAS, Texas – Saying he thought he might win “a coffee cup or something,” Dallas retiree and Navy veteran Ernesto Arce wiped away tears Friday morning as Neighborhood Credit Union leaders surprised him with hugs and an extra $49,999.99 in his savings account.

The longtime Neighborhood Credit Union member walked into his credit union’s Mesquite location, where he was shocked to see staff members holding a giant prize “check” made out in his name.

“This is a joke,” said Arce, shaking his head. After being assured the prize was real, Arce’s skepticism turned into a smile. The actual prize was deposited directly into his Prize Savings Account.

Arce’s name was drawn from the ranks of credit union members who have a Prize Savings Account, a special account created to encourage more people to save money. Neighborhood Credit Union members receive one drawing entry for every $25 monthly average balance in their Prize Savings Accounts. The greater their savings, the greater the chance a member has of winning one of the weekly $1,000 drawings or quarterly $10,000 drawings. At the conclusion of each year, a winner is drawn for the $49,999.99 grand prize, based on the average monthly balance in the savings account at the close of business December 31.

“Ernesto is a lifelong saver, dating all the way back to the start of his service in the Navy,” noted Neighborhood Credit Union Senior Vice President Carolyn Jordan. “His story is a terrific example of the benefits that can come from living modestly and saving for a rainy day.”

Arce became a member of Neighborhood Credit Union in 1984, when he began his career with the U.S. Postal Service. The 64-year-old veteran retired about two years ago.

“My philosophy has always been to buy what I need and save for what I want,” said Arce. “Saving money is the best thing in the world because you don’t know when the rain is going to come.”

When asked whether he had big plans to travel or spend the windfall, Arce said he already had seen the world when he was in the Navy and likely would just keep the money in his Prize Savings Account.

“This is the last thing I would have expected,” said Arce. “It’s definitely better than a coffee cup!”

See the Prize Savings presentation at https://youtu.be/MMkEI51aGW4. 

About Neighborhood Credit Union: The oldest credit union in Dallas (chartered April 18, 1930), Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving Dallas, Denton and Ellis counties, as well as the city of Arlington. With branches in Oak Cliff, North Dallas, Richardson, Arlington, Mesquite, Duncanville, Waxahachie, Lancaster, Grand Prairie, Coppell, Downtown Dallas and Highland Village, and assets topping $720 million, Neighborhood Credit Union has a membership of 55,000 and continues to welcome new members daily. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit www.myncu.com.