Unity One informs: Paying off student loans while saving for retirement

shutterstock_524164801.jpgPaying student loans and saving for retirement

How you can tackle both

Student loan debt is the oft-touted enemy of millennials, but it's becoming a problem for a growing number of older Americans, too. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly 17 percent of student loan debt is currently held by borrowers age 50 and older. For many of these borrowers, this student loan debt is money borrowed for their children's or grandchildren's educations.

Whether you've just left school or are getting ready to retire, it can be hard to know which to prioritize — paying off student debt or saving for retirement. Although it's tempting to simply throw all of your money at debt first and worry about saving later, saving for retirement early can help you earn more with years of compound interest — making the need to save now important.

If you need to pay off student loans as well as save for retirement, there are a few ways you can do so:

Rein in spending — Evaluate your current spending and identify areas where you can cut back. This may mean buying less expensive food items, cutting the cable or even turning to public transportation for your work commute. Funnel your monthly savings toward retirement and loans.

Automate it — You can make saving for retirement and paying student loans easier by making use of "auto-pilot." Employer-sponsored retirement plans automatically deduct money for your retirement savings, making it easier for you to save without having to think about it. If your employer provides matching contributions, make sure you're contributing enough through payroll deduction to earn the full match. You can also automate payments for student loan debt with many lenders — many will even offer a lower interest rate when you do so!

Take advantage of tax breaks — Tax advantages are available both for your retirement savings and paying down your student loans. When you make contributions to tax-deferred retirement savings accounts, such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA, you can lower your taxable income.* With a lower taxable income, you'll have less money going to taxes and more that you can put toward paying off student debt. Plus, your retirement savings can grow faster with tax-deferred compounding. You'll enjoy additional tax benefits when you claim a student loan interest deduction of up to $2,500 on your tax return, if you're eligible.

Allocate extra funds — When you receive extra money such as a tax refund, bonus and other cash windfall, consider putting it directly to paying down student loans and saving for retirement so you can get an extra boost.

If you're looking for a great way to earn a little extra income on your savings, Unity One is currently offering an 18-month Certificate of Deposit special for a limited time only. 

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* Taxes will be due at ordinary income tax rates upon withdrawal from a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan. Premature withdrawals (generally, those made before age 59½) may be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty, too (does not apply to 457 plans).

Unity One informs: Washington Heights student artwork on display

Branch Artwork.jpgEarlier this month, Unity One's Stockyard branch partnered with Washington Heights Elementary to display their students' artwork. Each student who has artwork on display in the branch was selected based on creativity and merit by their art teacher. We invite the surrounding community to come out and view the artwork.

In its 10th year of operation the student-run Washington Heights Elementary branch has more than 400 student accounts, and at one time reached over $21,000 in student savings. 

About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is one of the oldest in the U.S. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in St. Paul, Minnesota, Kansas City, Kansas and Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills and Southlake may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve nearly 29,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

 

Unity One informs: Not all deals are good deals

shutterstock_524408065-web.jpgIf you haven't hit the online deals, it might be too late. But incase you were still thinking about browsing, here are a few words to the wise. Treat All Deals With Caution. 

Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are famous for dodgy deals and recycled old deals. Unless you desperately want one of these products, I’d suggest you tread carefully: 

  • Amazon – 50-inch 1080p LED TV for $145 (no retail price listed) – the lack of a brand means this remarkable price needs to be treated with caution until the model is revealed
  • Amazon – 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $249.99 (no retail price listed) – as above
  • Best Buy – Lenovo 110-15ISK 15.6-inch Laptop, Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $299.99 (save $30) – was $249.99 on eBay’s Black Friday sales and has mixed reviews
  • Best Buy – Save $100 with iPhone and Select Beats Wireless Headphones – pushing customers onto specific brand combinations. Was a $250 gift card on Black Friday with no headphone obligation
  • Best Buy – Apple TV – 64GB – Black for $169.99 (save $30 / 17%) – as above
  • Best Buy –  Microsoft Surface Pro 4 12.3-inch, Intel Core i5, 128GB for $799.99 (save $200) – a good discount but was $400 on Black Friday
  • Target – Apple TV (4th Generation) 32GB for $149.99 (no discount) + Extra 15% Off at Checkout ($127.49 total) – was $25 off on Black Friday
  • Walmart – Quadrone Hybrid Drone for $99 (save $30) – currently listed as $109 on Walmart’s website so wait for the confusion to clear so you know what you’re paying

Source: http://www.forbes.com/

Unity One Informs: Budgeting Tips for Holiday-Giving

The best ways to keep your personal finances in check this season

It’s no secret that the holiday season costs people a large chunk of money, what with all the spending on decorating, traveling, meal planning and more. One of the biggest sources of spending is gift-giving. The following are five tips for staying in budget:

1. Make a detailed list.

Write down the names of everyone you’d like to get gifts for and what you have in mind for them. According to Kerry Sherin, a savings expert for Offers.com and contributor to U.S. News & World Report, it also helps to include an estimated dollar amount you’d like to spend for each person, as a reminder not to overspend and send your whole budget off track.

2. Pre-shop online.

“Do some research before you hit the stores. Call around and go online to find better deals. You should also try to consolidate to a few stores to cut down on transportation costs,” said Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management and personal finance expert at Good Morning America.

3. Look for additional discounts.

Comparison shopping for traditional sales isn’t the only way to get the best deals. Browser extensions such as Ebates and mobile applications like RetailMeNot compile available coupon and discount codes for you based on your location or the product for which you are looking.

You can also create your own discount by simply being aware of various stores’ price-matching policies. Many people don’t know that stores like Target and Toys “R” Us will match Amazon’s and other online retailers’ prices online and in store.

4. Start early.

This tip applies to both saving and shopping. Set money aside early so that holiday expenses don’t blindside you and your bank account.

“Want to make it almost painless? Set up an automatic deposit to a savings account or Christmas club fund,” advised Dana Dratch of Bankrate.com.

By shopping ahead, you can make the most of sales and seasonal pricing trends, picking up certain gifts at bargain prices.

“For people you know you’ll be buying gifts for, like parents, siblings or children, keep a running list of things they express interest in. Then, acquire them whenever you can find a good deal or have some extra room in your budget,” said personal finance expert Amy Fontinelle on Investopedia.com.

5. Don’t use credit cards.

Take advantage of that saved-up money and make your purchases in cash or debit rather than on a credit card. You will spend only what you have available and avoid interest charges.

“When you pay with cash, you have a finite amount of it in hand at any one time. A cash transaction can feel more real, making us spend less freely,” The Motley Fool’s Selena Maranjian told USA Today.

In fact, Maranjian quoted a Dun & Bradstreet study that found that people spend 12-18 percent more when using charge cards than when paying in cash.

The holidays are about spending time with and celebrating loved ones, not about spending your life savings on presents for them. With a little planning and patience, you can have a happy and memorable season without breaking the bank.

6. Make shopping easy with gift cards.

Don't forget that Unity One Credit Union sells gift cards at an affordable price. Click here to learn more.

Source: IMN

Unity One CU informs: Food and Clothing Drive at the Inver Grove Heights branch

Join Unity One as we help collect food and clothing items for Neighbors Inc. this holiday season. 

If you would like to make a donation, please drop your items off at our Inver Grove Heights branch location. Deadline for drop off is December 17, 2016.

Inver Grove Heights branch
5300 S. Robert Trail, Ste. 100
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077

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Unity One CU Scheduled Maintenance (November 2016)

System Maintenance will be conducted on the following days. This may affect online, mobile and telephone banking performance temporarily. Thanks for your patience.

  • Tuesday, November 15, 7-12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 30, 7-12 p.m.

 


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Unity One informs: Toys 4 Tots

Unity One Credit Union's Minnesota branch locations have partnered with Toys for Tots to collect new, unwrapped toys for local less fortunate children. Toys for Tots, started in the 1980's by the United States Marine Corps, has distributed over 469 million toys to more than 216 million less fortunate children.  

If you would like to make a donation, please drop your items off at our Maplewood branch location. Deadline for drop off is December 12, 2016. 

Toys for Tots

Maplewood Branch
1535 Beam Ave.
Maplewood, MN 55109

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All items collected are distributed free of charge to recipients by the United States Marine Corps. 

Unity One informs: Inver Grove Heights Ribbon Cutting

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Unity One Credit Union celebrated the opening of its newest Inver Grove Heights branch on Tuesday, October 4. Local business leaders, residents, members from Unity One’s Board of Directors and representatives from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce showed their support for the credit union by attending the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration led by president Gary Williams.   

“We are thrilled to be able to better serve our members by opening our new Inver Grove Heights branch. Our members are now able to enjoy easier branch access, more free parking and more room for our continued growth,” said Williams. 

The Inver Grove Heights branch is conveniently located at 5300 S. Roberts Trail, Ste. 100. It features an innovative lobby space, loan officers on-site and the same friendly employees. 

Vern Harmon is the branch manager of the new Inver Grove Heights branch, which welcomes members Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The branch also serves as a CO-OP Shared Branching site, allowing members of other credit unions to utilize the location as well. 

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About Unity One Credit Union
Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

About Shared Branching
Through the cooperative power of CO-OP Shared Branching, credit union members can leverage the strength of the fourth largest branch network in the country. More than 1,800 institutions participate in CO-OP Shared Branching, representing thousands of locations in 50 states. CO-OP Shared Branching was created by credit unions, for credit unions.

 

Unity One informs: Magic and Mischief at the North Tarrant Branch

Kidtoberfest 1.jpgUnity One Credit Union hosted Kidtoberfest, a day of magic and mischief, on Saturday, October 22, at its North Tarrant branch. The highlight of the event, a magic show by Landon Stark who was featured on PBS and NBC, drew over 500 guests to the branch. 

Stark brought all the spectacle and excitement of the big top with a twist of humor all his own. He utilized illusions, circus arts and sideshow performances to bring the stage to life. 

Kidtoberfest 2.jpg“This event was a great way to bring the community together to teach them that banking can be fun, even magical at times. We take great pride in serving the communities in which we live and work. This was another great opportunity for us to provide a free family-oriented event for the community,” said Kathy Jones, branch manager at Unity One’s North Tarrant branch. 

Attendees were also treated to free grilled cheese from Lee’s Grilled Cheese food truck, a pumpkin patch and decorating station, face painting and balloon animals.

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About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals. 

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

Unity One Informs: International Credit Union Day History

For more than 160 years, credit unions have put people before profit.

In the 1850s, hard times hit Germany, and people turned to each other for help. They removed small savings from under mattresses and started making reasonably priced loans to one another. These early credit unions were the model for all the credit unions that followed: not-for-profit, democratically-controlled and community-oriented. The principles that guided them then, guide credit unions today.2016-ICU-Day-Principles.jpg

In the 1920s, Edward Filene took cooperative finance to the next level in Boston, as a means of lifting working people out of debt and creating a better life. On January 17, 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts celebrated the first official credit union holiday. January 17 is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, America’s “Apostle of Thrift,” who credit union founders believed to symbolize the purpose and spirit of credit unions.

During this time, the U.S. credit union movement was new and spreading. In response to the Great Depression, new credit unions were being formed to fill the void left by shuttered banks.

The U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and CUNA Mutual Insurance Society initiated a new national Credit Union Day celebration in 1948. The third Thursday of October was set aside as the national day of observance. This occasion brought members together to promote the credit union philosophy nationally and reflect upon credit union achievements and history. Members raised funds for the movement and paid homage to loyal supporters and pioneers. 

The World Council of Credit Unions, established in 1971, assists credit union movements and supports their development around the world. World Council observed the first International Credit Union (ICU) Day more than 30 years ago, and continues to endorse global celebrations. The credit union movement has grown to more than 217 million members in 101 countries. Celebrate the credit union difference during this year’s ICU Day – October 20, 2016. 

Copyright 2016 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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