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  • Learn About Credit Unions
    • Historical Timeline of Credit Unions

      As not-for-profit depository institutions, credit unions were created to serve members as credit cooperatives.

    • How is a Credit Union Different than a Bank?

      In the United States, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits.

    • How to Find a Credit Union in Your Area

      Once you select a specific credit union, you can view more details about that credit union, including contact information, branch locations, services offered, and recent financial statements.

    • How to Join a Credit Union

      Anybody can join a credit union. Each credit union serves what’s called their “field of membership” – that’s the commonality between the members.

    • How to Start a Credit Union

      If your group is eligible, NCUA's staff will assist you with preparing an application for a charter and see that your group receives guidance in getting your federal credit union started.

    • Is a Credit Union Right for Me?

      Because credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, their focus is serving the financial needs of their members and not making a profit.

    • Credit Union and Bank Interest Rate Comparison

      In general, credit unions offer higher savings rates, meaning that your money grows faster, and lower rates on loans, meaning that you will owe less over the lifetime of the loan.

    • Learn More About Your Credit Union

      NCUA makes financial information about credit unions available to the public through Financial Performance Reports (FPRs).

    • Low Income Credit Unions

      Credit unions provide valuable access to financial services for people underserved and unserved by traditional financial institutions.

    • Understanding Differences in Federal vs. Privately Insured Credit Unions

      Federally-chartered credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration and insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

    • What is a Credit Union?

      A federal credit union is a cooperative financial institution chartered by the federal government and owned by individual members.

  • Protect Your Finances
    • Consumer Protection Update

      Watch the latest NCUA Consumer Protection Update video to learn about important updates and changes that may affect you as a consumer."

    • Credit Reports and Credit Scores

      It’s a good idea to monitor your credit report on a regular basis to make sure that the information is accurate. You can also verify that no one has stolen your identity to make fraudulent charges.

    • Share Insurance Coverage

      Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to $250,000, per individual depositor.

    • Online Financial Safety Tips

      When performing transactions on your credit union's website, it's wise to make sure that the website is legitimate and that your deposits are federally insured.

    • Prevent Identity Theft

      If you believe that someone has stolen your identity, you should contact any credit union, bank or creditor where you have an account that you think may be the subject of identity theft.

    • Frauds and Scams

      NCUA reports on frauds and scams aimed at credit union members. In this section, we provide an overview of recent activity.

    • Scams Targeting Seniors

      America's growing senior population is vulnerable to a broad range of financial crimes. In this section, NCUA provides tips on how seniors can protect themselves from fraud.

    • Tips for Young Adults

      Credit unions offer young adults desirable, affordable financial services, as well as the advantage of personal service developed to help them grow their savings. Many credit unions offer services within schools or have student-run branches.

    • Pocket Cents

      Learn about the history of money, different currencies used around the world, the power of dividends and how to be smart about preparing for your financial future with Pocket Cents from NCUA.

    • Understand Your Privacy Rights

      Federal privacy laws give you the right to stop (opt out of) some sharing of your personal financial information. The law permits your financial companies to share certain information about you without giving you the right to opt out.

  • Financial Tools and Resources
    • Brochures and Graphics

      These brochures and graphics may be linked, downloaded, or printed.

    • Calendar of Events

      View a listing of upcoming events, designations, and opportunities for each month.

    • College Scorecard

      Plan your entire financial aid packages online for all of the schools that you are considering.

    • Consumer Loan Calculator

      Explore your consumer loan, including the effect of adjusting number of payments, principal and interest rate on your monthly payment.

    • Consumer Resources

      Use these references and tools to make better informed financial decisions.

    • FAQs

      Locate answers in the Knowledge Base to a wide variety of frequently asked questions.

    • Games and Activities

      Test your financial knowledge with these games and activities for all ages.

    • Glossary

      Become an educated consumer by taking the mystery out of commonly used financial terms.

    • Lesson Plans and Resources

      Educators and parents can use these plans and resources to teach youth, tweens, and teens about saving, spending, budgeting, and the value of money.

    • Mortgage Loan Calculators

      Compare monthly payments and the amount of equity you would build with several kinds of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

    • Personal Budgeting Worksheet

      Take a close look at your income and expenses with this helpful worksheet that can identify where you might have room to save.

    • Savings & Retirement Calculator

      Get estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record with this calculator.

    • Share Insurance Estimator

      Are your deposits insured? Find out with NCUA’s electronic Share Insurance Estimator.

    • Videos

      View NCUA's Consumer Report and Consumer Protection Update videos on current financial hot topics.

  • Credit Unions and You
    • Dealing with Debt

      Bill payer services, or debt consolidation services, can help consumers preserve their credit scores by merging debts and establishing a workable schedule to pay down money owed to creditors through a single monthly payment.

    • Buying A Car

      It's important to know how to make a smart deal. Your credit union can discuss car loan options with you.

    • Paying off Credit Cards

      Read your statement carefully for information about how long it would take to pay off your account balance if you only pay the minimum payment. It can take years, even decades, to pay it off.

    • Home Ownership and Mortgage Options

      Once you are ready to buy a home, consult your credit union about competitive interest rates and to find out about your mortgage options, including the term of the loan and the conditions.

    • Mortgage Modifications

      NCUA encourages credit unions to work constructively with residential mortgage borrowers who may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations.

    • Preparing for Retirement

      Between longer life expectancies and fewer employers offering traditional pension plans, it’s a good idea to take an active role in planning for retirement.

    • Saving for College

      Whether you are saving for your own education or for your children’s, it’s wise to start planning for college as soon as possible.

    • Short Term Loans

      Payday loans (a.k.a. deferred advance loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans, or deferred deposit check loans) are loans borrowers promise to repay from their next paycheck or salary deposit.

Pocket Cents
  • Youth

    Have you ever thought about why money is worth anything? It's just paper and ink, or a small piece of stamped metal. To do a lot of things we need to use money. Money can give you choices and independence. Have you ever thought about how you could earn your own money? Or, how much money you should you save? The way you manage your money could determine if are able to buy food, a movie ticket, a pair of jeans, just about everything. Learn about the history of money, why we use it, how to save it, and how to protect it.

  • Teens and Tweens

    You may be thinking about your first checking or savings account, your first job, or even your first car. Soon, you will have the opportunity to pursue your dreams. You could go to college, launch your career, or start a business. No matter what you decide, you will need money to make it happen. It's never too early to learn smart financial habits. Whether saving a portion of a weekly allowance or understanding the deductions on the pay stub from a first job, good money management skills can last a lifetime. In this section, you will not only learn how to prepare financially for life after high school, but also how to avoid scams and common money mistakes.

  • Young Adults

    Are you prepared to make wise and informed financial decisions? Do you know how to recognize predatory credit offers? Can you balance a checkbook? Do you have a savings plan? Smart financial choices you make today could help you can achieve that new car purchase, or sail through an apartment lease or mortgage application. However, money mistakes when you're just starting out can leave you in debt and ruin your credit score. Learn how to live within a budget, handle credit and debt, and build a solid financial foundation for your future.

  • Parents And Educators

    How do you teach kids about money? It may be as simple as talking about your job, taking a trip to the grocery store, or opening a savings account at a credit union to deposit allowance and birthday money. The bottom line is that it’s never too early to start teaching children smart financial habits and the value of money. Educating, motivating, and empowering kids to become regular savers will enable them to keep more of the money they earn. Whether at home or in the classroom, this section will provide you with the tools and resources to teach kids how to grow into financially responsible adults. The reward could mean a life free from the anxieties of debt.

  • Seniors

    Did you know that seniors account for almost 30% of all fraud victims? Whether you are looking for information for yourself or for a loved one, in this section you will learn how to defend against these scams, as well as, find information on reverse mortgages, prepaid funerals, emergency savings, and long-term care. Additionally, you will find articles that will help with money management, post-retirement planning, and maximizing government benefits.

  • Marriage and Family

    You may have a retirement account. But, do you really know how much you should be saving? Do you budget to save, and not just when you have extra money left over in your paycheck? Have you thought about saving for college? Does your family have an emergency fund? Anyone can learn how to save money and invest in their future. In this section, you will learn how to take control of your financial future, including how to defend against fraud and scams, tips on buying a car or home, how to handle credit and debt, and information about credit reports.

  • Servicemembers

    Are you financially ready? Servicemembers and military families face unique financial challenges, whether on active duty, returning to civilian life, or living as a veteran. In recent years, servicemembers have joined the ranks of those who are considered most vulnerable to predatory lenders and identity theft. Most military families today are not saving adequately for retirement, and many do not have an emergency fund. In this section, you will learn how to protect yourself from financial vulnerabilities, as well as, how to budget, save, and handle debt and credit. Additionally, learn about free financial resources, benefits, and special protections offered by the U.S. government for servicemembers and their families.


Understand Your Credit Card Statement

A credit card statement is a summary of how you've used your credit card for a billing period. If you’ve ever looked at credit card statements, you know how difficult they can be to read. Credit card statements are filled with terms, numbers, and percentages that play a role in the calculation of your total credit card balance.

To be a responsible credit card user, it’s important to read all the fine print and understand the numbers and terms on the statement. If you don’t, you may end up with more credit card debt than you can handle.

It’s also important to read your credit card statement carefully to spot any unauthorized charges or billing errors. Your liability for those charged may be limited if you report them in a timely manner.

Below are examples of information that generally appears on a credit card statement.

Credit Card Statement

Use this interactive credit card statement to familiarize yourself with the terms commonly included on a real statement. Move your cursor over the statement to view an explanation of each term.

1. Summary of account activity

A summary of the transactions on your account—your payments, credits, purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, fees, interest charges, and amounts past due. It will also show your new balance, available credit (your credit limit minus the amount you owe), and the last day of the billing period (payments or charges after this day will show up on your next bill).

2. Payment information

Your total new balance, the minimum payment amount (the least amount you should pay), and the date your payment is due. A payment generally is considered on time if received by 5 p.m. on the day it is due. If mailed payments are not accepted on a due date (for example, if the due date is on a weekend or holiday), the payment is considered on time if it arrives by 5. p.m. on the next business day.

Example: if your bill is due on July 4th and the credit card company does not receive mail that day, your payment will be on time if it arrives by mail by 5 p.m. on July 5th.

3. Late payment warning

This section states any additional fees and the higher interest rate that may be charged if your payment is late.

4. Minimum payment warning

An estimate of how long it can take to pay off your credit card balance if you make only the minimum payment each month, and an estimate of how much you likely will pay, including interest, in order to pay off your bill in three years (assuming you have no additional charges). For other estimates of payments and timeframes, see the Credit Card Repayment Calculator.

5. Notice of changes to your interest rates

If you trigger the penalty rate (for example, by going over your credit limit or paying your bill late), your credit card company may notify you that your rates will be increasing. The credit card company must tell you at least 45 days before your rates change.

6. Other changes to your account terms

If your credit card company is going to raise interest rates or fees or make other significant changes to your account, it must notify you at least 45 days before the changes take effect.

7. Transactions

A list of all the transactions that have occurred since your last statement (purchases, payments, credits, cash advances, and balance transfers). Some credit card companies group them by type of transactions. Others list them by date of transaction or by user, if there are different users on the account. Review the list carefully to make sure that you recognize all of the transactions. This is the section of your statement where you can check for unauthorized transactions or other problems.

8. Fees and interest charges

Credit card companies must list the fees and interest charges separately on your monthly bill. Interest charges must be listed by type of transaction (for example, you may be charged a different interest rate for purchases than for cash advances).

9. Year-to-date totals

The total that you have paid in fees and interest charges for the current year. You can avoid some fees, such as over-the-limit fees, by managing how much you charge, and by paying on time to avoid late payment fees.

10. Interest charge calculation

A summary of the interest rates on the different types of transactions, account balances, the amount of each, and the interest charged for each type of transaction.

The Schumer Box

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How to Read the Schumer Box  

 

How to Read the Schumer Box

What is a Schumer Box? It's a cheat sheet for your credit card, an at-a-glance reference for fees, interest rates and other key points. But when it comes to personal finance, you sometimes need a cheat sheet on reading cheat sheets. NerdWallet did the homework for you: here's our guide to reading and understanding the inscrutable Schumer Box.

(Chart of Interest Rates and Interest Charges) This is the Schumer Box.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases (percentage) - The interest you'll pay on your debt. The better your credit, the lower your APR. (Reference to "This APR will vary with the market") This is a Variable APR. Your interest rate may change based on a national standard.

APR for Cash Advances (percentage) - Getting cash from a bank or ATM costs a lot. You usually pay a highter interset rate for cash advances.

Penalty APR and When it Applies (percentage) - Miss a payment, pay higher interest. Your interest rate could be more than double for 6+ months.

Paying Interest - Purchases get a grace period. You have at least 25 days to pay off your debt. (Reference to "We will begin chargin interest cash advances on the transaction date") ... But cash advances don't. You start accruing interest the day you get the advance.

Annual Fee (dollar amount) - You can't get out of the annual fee. But most student cards don't have one.

Transaction Feeds (percentage) - If you move your old credit cards' debt... you usually pay 3-5% of the transfer. Another reason to avoid debt in the first place. (Reference to "Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advances, whichever is greater") Cash advances cost more than interest. You pay a fee, usually 4% of the advance, in addition to the higher APR.

Penalty Fees (dolar amount) - Don't miss payments! The late fee is separate from the penalty APR; you'll pay both if you miss a payment. (Reference to "Over-the-credit-limit": None) Your credit limit isn't set in stone. The issuer may decide to let you go over, but you'll pay for the privilege. (Reference to "Returned Payment": Up to $35) If you write a bad check... You'll pay this fee, plus your checking account's bounced check fees.

Via: NerdWallet

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