The First Financial Credit Union Blog

How Changing Interest Rates Affect You

Posted by Jen Laud on May 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

It's not uncommon for members to have questions about interest rates and how they are impacted by changes in the national or global economy. When there's a news story about economists speculating that rates will go up again, it can be hard to understand exactly what that means on a personal level.


Interest rates had been near zero for almost ten years - since the financial crisis of 2008. Now that there's been steady and consistent signs that the economy has turned around, the board of the Federal Reserve has been raising rates again. But what does that mean for you?

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

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

FAQ: What is GAP insurance and do I need it?

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Jun 8, 2016 1:34:14 PM

If you have ever leased a vehicle or taken out an auto loan, chances are you have been offered Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP). 

If you have an accident while you are still paying off your auto loan, the primary insurance for your vehicle will pay you the current market value of your vehicle, but not the total amount you may still owe to the credit union, bank, or dealership that financed your loan. All vehicles depreciate over time, especially if you put a lot of miles on the car.

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Topics: Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

Financial Tips for Recent Grads Entering the Workforce

Posted by Gabby Boyce on May 3, 2016 10:29:27 AM

College is in your rearview mirror, and you're about to enter the working world. Although snagging a job certainly calls for a celebration or two, it is also time to start tackling the various financial responsibilities that await you, like saving for retirement and improving your credit score.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit, Youth Services

The Free Credit Score You Have is Probably Wrong

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Apr 20, 2016 1:42:49 PM

There are hundreds of different credit scoring models circulating in the marketplace today. In an effort to make credit scores more accessible to the public, some credit card companies and other financial platforms offer “free” credit reports. However, many consumers have recently been caught off guard when lenders pull scores that are much different than the scores they received on free reports.

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Topics: Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

Best Ways to Fund Spring Home Repairs

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Mar 17, 2016 4:24:00 PM

Now that spring has blossomed into full-on allergy mode, the time we spend outside is even more appreciated — especially with the help of a good antihistamine. The next time you venture out, take a moment to do a walk-around inspection of the old homestead. See some room for improvements? Maintaining, repairing and upgrading a home can range in cost from a minor trickle to a major cash drain.

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Topics: Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit, Home Financing

Understanding Your Credit Score

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Feb 17, 2016 2:50:05 PM

What is Credit?

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

Best Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Feb 1, 2016 3:39:52 PM

Over the past few years, the average federal tax refund has come to about $3,000. That's not exactly chump change. With the filing deadline approaching, it's not too early to begin thinking about how you'll use a refund this year. Here are five pointers to keep in mind.

1. Pay down debt

It's not as much fun as booking a trip to the Caribbean, but cutting down the amount of debt you owe is one of the best money moves you can make. Outstanding loan and credit card balances can hurt your credit score, making it more difficult to get the best rates on new borrowing. If you're saddled with credit card debt, consider paying off the balance with the highest interest rate first. 

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

The Best Way to Buy a Car - What to Know Before Going to the Dealer

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Jan 27, 2016 12:13:03 PM

Before going to the dealership, arm yourself with the knowledge and resources that will help you make the most out of your investment. Save on auto financing by getting pre-approved and putting money down.

1. Get Pre-Approved

There are many benefits to getting pre-approved for an auto loan. Not only will you know your credit score, but you can also discuss with your lender what you are comfortable paying monthly for a new car, and receive advising on what your best financing options look like.

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Topics: Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

How to Look at Paying Off Credit Card Debt

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Jan 19, 2016 3:41:56 PM

The holidays have passed, the New Year is well underway, and you're looking for new ways to budget better and consolidate debt. If you’re like most people, your credit card balance is probably a lot higher than you would like it to be right about now. Coming out of the highest spending season can leave you panicked about how to pay down credit card debt or wondering how to even begin paying off all of those bills. While there is no perfect solution, there are several ways to help accelerate paying down balances and set priorities that give you real beneifts.

Focus on the card with the highest interest rate

The national average interest rate on a credit card is 15.2 percent1. If you currently have a card with a higher rate, a great strategy is to focus on paying down that balance first. Even if this card is not carrying the largest balance of all your cards, it can cost you the most in interest payments because of its higher rate. By only making the minimum payment for this card every month, the interest can add up a lot quicker than you would think.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

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