5 Unknown Ways to Improve Your Finances
February 8, 2017
When it comes to your finances, you want to make sure your money works for you. Do you ever wonder if you’re making the most of your finances? If you’ve been with a traditional bank for years, you may not be aware of the perks that come with joining a credit union. Discover the hidden ways you can improve your finances and save more money with products and services from Affinity Credit Union.
Credit Unions vs. Banks
To start improving your finances, it’s important to understand which financial institution fits your needs the best. Unlike banks, which are for-profit organizations, credit unions are not-for-profit. Instead of focusing on increasing profits, the goal of a credit union is to pass savings on to its members. While you may be more familiar with the large bank names, the advantages of partnering with a local credit union outnumber the advantages of opening an account at traditional banks.
1. Superior Member Service
The mission of credit unions is to provide members with affordable financial services, not to make a profit. At Affinity, we get to know our members personally, and we take the time to understand their whole story. We understand that a one-size-fits-all product won’t solve your financial issues, so we provide advice and products/services to meet your specific needs.
2. Lower Interest Rates
Because Affinity is a credit union, our earnings are returned to our credit union members in the form of higher returns on savings accounts and lower rates on loans. Everything from mortgages to auto loans all enjoy lower interest rates than what banks typically offer.
3. Lower Fees
At Affinity, we offer free savings and checking accounts with no maintenance fees. We are committed to keeping costs low for our members, including reimbursement for ATM surcharges.
Hidden Ways You Can Benefit from Affinity Products
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to products and services from Affinity Credit Union.
Plan for College Education
When you become an Affinity Credit Union member, you become eligible for a variety of additional products that stretch your money. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably put some thought into saving for your child’s college education. Credit unions typically provide savings options specifically for those saving for college. Affinity’s college savings plan, the Invest in Me college savings account, is ideal for those saving for college as it provides higher dividends than an average savings account.
Our Invest in Me account is a certificate that matures when the member turns 18 or is no longer enrolled in college. Money can also be withdrawn for qualified purchases, including tuition, fees, books, supplies and certain room and board expenses. With a low minimum opening deposit requirement, this free account is an excellent way to kick-start college saving.
Build a Successful Credit Score
Your credit score is an important number that tells lenders how likely you are to repay debts in a timely manner. It plays a crucial role in your finances, as it determines what loans you qualify for and how much you’ll pay in interest.
Boosting your credit score should be a goal of yours, and banking with a credit union can help you do just that. Did you know that it’s best to keep your credit balance at 30% or less of your credit limit? When you bank with Affinity Credit Union, you have a financial expert by your side to help you make the right choices to improve your credit. Our free credit analysis will help ensure everything in your credit report is in place, putting you in the best position to increase your score.
Every member deals with their own unique financial situation, which is why we offer personalized products. Our Credit Builder Loan is a low-dollar loan specifically designed for members with a low credit score. Members can use this loan to increase their credit scores as they make loan payments.
Credit unions pride themselves on offering higher rewards from both savings and checking accounts with lower fees. At Affinity, we pass our earnings down to members, which means you’ll typically receive more than you would from a bank.
You’ll find extra rewards along the way when you partner with Affinity. If a member uses certain Affinity products and services, we offer up to a 1 percent discount on their loan rate. Are you a veteran? Are you over the age of 60? We’ll provide free checks. We’re always looking for ways to help you make the most of your finances.
We hold member relationship in the highest regard, and that’s why we paid a loyalty dividend. We reward our members for supporting their credit union. For two consecutive years, Affinity has paid out 10 percent of its net income to the membership in the form of a loyalty dividend. The money was added directly into their savings account as a thank you for using our products and services. The dividend is based on the member’s relationship, so the more products they have with Affinity, the greater the deposit.
Online Banking Can Actually Save You Money
There are many reasons to love online banking. First, it’s safe and secure. You can trust that your information is protected. Second, it’s convenient. With Affinity’s mobile app, members can manage their accounts anytime, anywhere. With online banking and the mobile app, members can:
View account balances
Make check deposits
Make loan payments
Locate an ATM or branch
One thing you may not know about online banking is that it can also save you money! Affinity offers eGreen Rewards, a checking account that lets you earn even more interest just for going green and using electronic services such as e-statements.
Extra Financial Protection with Auto Loans
With an auto loan from a credit union, you get much more than the funds for your vehicle at a great rate. When you partner with Affinity for an auto loan, you’ll also get a full line of protection for your new vehicle.
Affinity offers debt protection, an optional product that will protect you and your family in case a life event such as a disability, loss of life or involuntary unemployment occurs. With your auto loan, you’re also eligible for Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage. GAP insurance protects you if your new vehicle is stolen, damaged beyond repair or declared a total loss.
Your primary insurance will only cover the actual cash value of the vehicle, which may not be equal to the amount owed on the loan. GAP helps pay the difference between a vehicle's actual cash value and the member's loan balance, which could add up to thousands of dollars. While GAP insurance is often available through your car dealer, purchasing through Affinity Credit Union can typically save you money.
Car repairs can easily add up and eat away at your budget. With Mechanical Repair Coverage from Affinity, you won’t be responsible for breakdowns even after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Mechanical Repair Coverage is accepted at thousands of repair centers nationwide, so you’ll always be protected.
Find a Financial Partner at Affinity
We have one goal at Affinity, and that’s to make sure you are in a better financial position when you walk out of our doors. Find out how much money you could save when you choose to partner with the financial experts at Affinity Credit Union.