MyCreditUnion.gov Consumer Tips Page ContentWelcome! Here you will find tips designed to help you make smarter financial decisions for a stronger, brighter future. The tips are provided by members of the NCUA staff, partner government agencies, and other trusted sources. Bookmark this page and follow us on Twitter @MyCUgov for the latest on what is happening at MyCreditUnion.gov. Financial Spring Cleaning Tips Spring is an excellent time to rid your financial house of debt and old paperwork. Here are six areas where a little time and effort can help reduce the financial clutter and get you organized. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Consider These Options When Filing Your Taxes Tax Day is April 15th! Your credit union may be able to assist you with free or discounted tax preparation services. Also, low-incomeworking families may take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (or EITC) which could mean paying less federal tax, paying no tax, or even getting a tax refund. Additional helpful information on tax preparation is available here. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Retirement Advantages For Those Under 50 This year, higher workplace retirement plan and IRA contribution limits went into effect for those under 50 years of age. This may be a perfect time to consider increasing your contributions for more savings once you reach retirement. Visit IRS.gov for more information on the contribution increases. Do you understand how much savings you need for retirement? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they actually need to save for retirement. Click here to learn more about how you can start preparing for retirement, and then contact your local credit union to see how they may be able to help you with retirement planning. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Understanding Laws That Protect You: Fair Housing Act This month we celebrate the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a part of civil rights legislation signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on April 11, 1968. The FHA makes it unlawful for any lender to discriminate in its housing-related lending activities against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status. Read More at HUD.gov (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). _________________________________________________________________________________________________ NCUA’s #1 Priority: Keeping Your Deposits Safe and Secure Credit unions are one of the safest places to put your money. In fact, insured deposits in federally insured credit unions are 100% safe. Not one member of a federally insured credit union has ever lost one penny of insured savings. Look for the sign to the right at your credit union. It’s a reminder of the protection NCUA provides for your deposits. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Paying For College With Student Loans By the end of last year, outstanding student loan debt was more than $1 trillion. Be sure you have a plan in place to pay for college and know before you owe. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put together a guide to help get you started. Also, visit our Student Loans page for more information on student debt and managing your finances. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fraud Alert – Phone Call (Vishing) Scam Detected The scam: You receive a call from an unknown number with an automated message identifying itself as the National Credit UnionAdministration (or maybe your credit union). Once you answer, a message informs you that your debit card has been deactivated, and then instructs you to reactive the card by inserting your 16-digit account number. What should you do? If you receive this call, do not provide any personal information. This is a “vishing” scam designed by criminals to entice or persuade you into giving up your account information. The criminals will then use your personal information to access and steal your money or commit other fraudulent activities against you. For more information on what to do if you are a victim of a “vishing scam,” please visit FBI.gov or NCUA’s Fraud Information Center.