Unity One Credit Union

When are credit card balance transfers helpful?

Fri, Oct 18, 2019 @ 04:33 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in credit card, Unity One Credit Union, balance transfer

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Originally posted on the CUNA Financial Resource CenterWritten by Jenna Taubel.

If you find yourself buried in credit card debt you’re not alone. At the end of 2018, Americans carried nearly $420 billion dollars in credit card debt. However, simply having the debt itself is not necessarily an issue; it’s how you manage it that makes a difference. If you feel like you’re struggling to manage your credit card debt, you may want to consider a balance transfer.

A balance transfer of your credit card balances is an option for debt management that allows you consolidate high interest rate credit cards into one lower rate credit card, thus saving you money on your monthly payment and simplifying your finances.

Balance transfers may be helpful if you:

  • are making payments on multiple high interest rate credit cards
  • can qualify for a card with a lower interest rate than your current one
  • are not going to continue using the high interest card after the transfer
  • want only one credit card payment to make every month

There are many balance transfer credit card options out there, so make sure you do your research before jumping on the first offer to come along. Many credit cards will offer a 0% interest rate for a short time upfront to entice you to transfer your balance, but when the introductory period is over and the regular interest rate kicks in, you may not be saving as much as you thought. Ideally, after transferring your balance, it’s best to pay off the total amount during the low or 0% interest rate introductory period. That way, you accrue as little in interest charges as possible.

Additionally, to successfully get control over your credit card debt, you must stop using your high interest rate credit cards. If you continue to use these cards after your balance transfer, you will be back in the place you’re in now, struggling to pay down your debt.

Balance transfers may not be helpful if:

  • the regular interest rate after the introductory period is higher than what you’re currently paying
  • you continue using your high interest rate credit cards to make purchases
  • you still cannot afford to make your monthly payment after transferring balances

Using a balance transfer to manage your credit card debt is an excellent option for many people. But do your homework and choose the transfer offer carefully to avoid hurting your credit score. For instance, you don’t want to max out the new card with your transfer. Instead, choose one with a higher credit limit than the amount you want to transfer. To improve or maintain a good credit score, keep your credit utilization ratio under 30%.

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Unity One CU Informs: Enhanced fraud protection for members

Fri, Jul 01, 2016 @ 09:48 AM / by Erayne Hill posted in credit card, fraud

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You will begin receiving texts and/or e-mails this summer from Unity One Credit UnioCreditCard7-resized-187.jpgn, asking you to confirm if suspicious purchases are valid or not. We will only ask you to verify if you did make the purchase(s) or not. We will not ask for account or personal information. Keeping you protected is important to us, and we are excited to offer these new enhanced fraud services to you.

IMPORTANT: The credit union can only do this effectively, if it has your correct contact information. It is critical that you provide accurate mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to Unity One Credit Union. Here are a a couple of ways to do so:
  • Online banking
  • Contacting the credit union online or via e-mail or phone.

If you have any questions about this new fraud communication, please don't hesitate to contact Unity One Credit Union at 1.800.628.5517 or mbrservice@unityone.org.

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Credit union informs: Building credit for #FirstTimers

Mon, Mar 09, 2015 @ 04:39 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in financial education for teens, credit card, financial education, #FirstTimers, Unity One Credit Union

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Youth with credit cardHow do you get a loan or a credit card? By showing prospective lenders that you're responsible enough to pay your loans and credit cards on time. 

Therein lies the catch-22 of credit. How are you supposed to get approved if you've never had a credit card or loan before?

Here are a few simple steps to begin building credit:

1. Sign up for a loan with a co-signer who already has good credit. A co-signer is simply someone who agrees to be responsible for the loan if you are unable to pay for any reason. Financial institutions are more likely to approve a loan for somebody with no credit history if there is a responsible co-signer. 

2. Get your own starter credit card. Many financial institutions offer secured credit cards. These cards allow you to put money in your account on hold to be used as collateral. So if you want a card with a $500 limit, you would need $500 in your bank account to cover that. Keep in mind while secured cards sound similar to debit cards, they are different. Secured credit cards report to the credit bureaus; debit cards do not. 

3. Only charge what you can afford to pay off. Building good credit means demonstrating the ability to pay back the money you owe. By charging small amounts and paying them back in full and on time, you're proving that you can manage credit responsibly. 

4. Stay well under your credit limit. You’ll be scored favorably if you keep below 30% of your total credit limit.

For more tips on establishing credit, check out our Twitter page. 

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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 seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

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Credit union informs: Prevent holiday-related identity theft

Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 04:40 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in credit card, safe online shopping, debit card fraud, cybersecurity, Unity One Credit Union, Holiday Shopping

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Holiday fraud preventionUnity One Credit Union informs its members and friends of simple steps for holiday-related identity theft prevention. According to CNBC, here are four tips for more safe holiday shopping:

1. Bogus websites with screaming deals: It's a holiday tradition—identity thieves create bogus sites with beautiful graphics and amazingly low prices on popular, but nonexistent digital devices. Take the bait and you won't get your merchandise and the crooks will have your credit card number and other personal information.

Protect yourself: Do your homework. If this is your first interaction with a new merchant, check them out before you provide any personal information. How long have they been around? Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau? Beware of prices that are significantly cheaper than everywhere else. It could be a trap.

2. Digital greeting cards loaded with merry malware: You expect to get holiday e-cards from friends and family. Identity thieves send out seasonal greetings, too. But theirs are loaded with viruses and other malware. Their spambots use social media sites to send booby-trapped greeting cards that look like they're from someone you know.

Protect yourself: Don't click the links in the body of an email alerting you to an e-card and don't open any attachment. You can always check to see if that person really did send you a card. The safest way to get an e-card is to go to the greeting card company's site and put in the card number listed in the email.

3. Bogus shipping notices: If you shop online and are expecting a package, a shipping notice doesn't seem that unusual. That's why the bad guys send out bogus shipping alerts designed to look like they're from FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. They're hoping you'll click on the link which loads malware on to your machine or takes you to a phishing website they've created.

Protect yourself: Only use tracking numbers provided to you in the initial email you get right after you make the purchase. Go to the store's website to track any packages you're expecting.

4. Fake Black Friday or Cyber Monday ads: It's always fun to see the leaked ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That's why scammers create fake leaked ads. They contain links that direct you to a fraudulent website that installs malware.

Protect yourself: Stick with reputable sites that specialize in Black Friday ads.

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Credit union informs: Target Credit Card Hack

Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 10:28 AM / by Erayne Hill posted in credit card, target credit card hack, Unity One Credit Union

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If you shopped at a Target Store between November 27 and December 15, you could be at risk for credit/debit card fraud. As many as 40 million credit and debit card numbers were hacked.unity one credit union

Authorities are still trying to figure out how it happened but suspect that the criminals were sophisticated and may have planted a virus in the Target system. Another theory is that it could have been an inside job. According to the Today Show, Target has hired a third party forensic firm to prevent it from happening again.

The thieves stole all the information on the cards' magnetic strips, including full names, card numbers, expiration dates and even security codes. According to Target, the issue has been resolved.

What should you do if you shopped at Target these past few weeks?

  • Keep an eye on your card activity.
  • Call to dispute fraudulent charges.
  • To be extra safe, cancel your card and get a new number.
  • Ask a credit reporting agency to place a fraud alert on your file.

Fortunately, the magnetic strip on the back of your card does not have your social security number or your address. Experts says that information thieves would need to actually open accounts in your name and impersonate you; therefore, the risk of total identity theft is fairly slim.

Other ways to protect yourself include:

  • Use cash.
  • Use a credit card vs. a debit card; that way charges can be disputed and the money isn't coming directly out of your bank account.
  • Monitor your credit report regularly. A free copy can be a obtained once a year.

Source: NBC Today Show

For questions regarding a credit union account, feel free to contact Unity One Credit Union.

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