The First Financial Credit Union Blog

Edward Sablan

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Save Your Tax Return Check

Posted by Edward Sablan on Apr 17, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Your tax return is coming (or is here), do you know what to do with it?

As tax season comes to an end, people across the country are frantically working to meet the April 18th deadline.  While it's mostly viewed as an unavoidable part of life, it does provide a glimmer of joy in the form of a tax return check.  However the question arises, what do you do with your tax return?  One idea would be to place the funds into some type of savings. 

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

Level Up: Talking to Your Kids about Money, Part 2.

Posted by Edward Sablan on Apr 13, 2017 12:15:00 PM

Help Your Kids Develop their Money Skills with some Advanced Training.

Being able to manage personal finances is one of the best things we can teach our kids. Last week, we discussed some basics. This week, let's take our training up a notch with some additional lessons you can teach your kids who are older or who have already mastered the basics.


Using the Save, Spend, Give method, we'll offer some additional discussions, broken down into intermediate (Green Belt) and advanced (Black Belt) levels to help continue the training.

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Meet the Team - Irene Aguilar

Posted by Edward Sablan on Apr 11, 2017 1:15:00 PM

The Chicago Cubs built a World Series champion team by finding the right talent for every position. At First Financial Credit Union, we like to take the Theo Epstein approach of building a successful organization by finding people dedicated to delivering quality service for all of our members. While it's not pitching in Game 7 of the World Series, we pride ourselves on coming through in the clutch for all our members.

Each month we want to highlight the great people that work at FFCU. This month we highlight our 2016 Employee of the Year, Irene Aguilar. Irene is one of our Member Service Representative and has been with FFCU for over a year.  Her continuous hard work over the past year has been a great benefit to our members.  We took a moment to ask her some fun questions to get to know her better.

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5 Tips to Travel Safe & Travel Smart

Posted by Edward Sablan on Mar 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Time for that trip?  Plan ahead for safer travels.

Sunglasses? Check. Flip flops? Check. You can almost feel that sun or hear those waves as you're getting ready for your upcoming vacation. Before you take off, make sure you've given your financial safety and spending plan as much consideration as your destination. Whether it's the sandy beaches of the Bahamas or the Gold Coast of Australia, traveling can pose some challenges and you don't want to have your good time dampened by unnecessary money hassles.

1. Tell Your Credit Union and Credit Card companies that you are Traveling

Prior to heading to the airport, it's wise to give the credit union and other credit card companies a call to let them know where you're heading and how long you will be there. The safety measures that identify and stop potentially fraudulent activity on your account may accidentally cancel a real transaction if the location isn't recognized. Your accounts can be updated so you can confidentially use your card in a new location.

2. Use Credit Cards and Bring a Backup Card

It is a good point to leave most of your cards at home with the exception of a couple: one main and one backup. Carry one card with you to use on your travel expenses and keep one safely stored as a backup just in case. This strategy will also help you track your purchases while making sure no fraudulent charges are made. Cards for department stores, shops, and other non-essentials should be left behind at home as they just become a liability on a trip.

When you're deciding which cards to take, keep in mind that some may charge foreign transaction fees that can add up. Also, come banks or credit unions won't charge fees on their cards, but you may still get a fee from Visa or Mastercard for the currency conversion. For example, FFCU does not charge for foreign transactions, but you may see a surcharge up to 1% of your transaction from Visa.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Identity Protection

Lessons in Car Buying - Part 2

Posted by Edward Sablan on Mar 14, 2017 1:36:52 PM

You picked the right car, now it's time to make the right deals to drive it off the lot.

If buying a car was like playing football, choosing the right model would be like a long drive to the red zone. It is in this moment you can play like Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler depending on how prepared you are inside the business office. From my personal buying experience, the business manager threw things such as GAP Insurance and extended warranties at me with lightning speed. This made me scramble, trying to decide what was worth the price and what was not. In part 2, I will try to be your coach in successfully closing the deal.

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Topics: Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

Lessons in Car Buying - Part 1

Posted by Edward Sablan on Feb 21, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Recently my faithful old car started showing signs of its age by having multiple mechanical issues at the same time. With skyrocketing maintenance cost and the threat of more major repairs it was finally time to replace the old ride. Being a lifelong fan of automobiles, I had a good a starting point on my car buying journey. Even with my knowledge of cars there were still many lessons I picked up about the whole buying process.

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