Category Archives: Your Family

Lifelong Money Management Tips

Financial Plan

The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. It’s never too late to get your financial records organized. Here are some tips to help you sort through all your documents. Keep a home file in a fire-safe box to maximize the efficiency of your financial records. Items should include: Information on credit cards, debit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, and copies of contracts Copies of insurance policies Information on home mortgages, land, and other property Information on motor vehicles and driver’s licenses Copies of birth, marriage, death, divorce, and citizenship papers Copy of will, last instructions, and safe deposit box keys Tax records for the last six years Records of pension plans, education, health records, and employment Current household inventory. List everything you own, how much it cost, and approximately how old … …continue

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Where to Find Back to School Deals

Apple and School Supplies

Labor Day weekend is nearly upon us, which means it’s back to school shopping season for local students and their parents. But don’t pack away your beach towels just yet! Our members have helped us tracked down some of the best back to school deals for you, so you don’t have to spend the last few days of summer vacation running from store to store. In a poll on our Facebook page yesterday, we asked our members where they’re finding the best savings. Here are their top 5 recommendations. Wal-Mart Wal-Mart was the number one pick due to their low prices, especially on supplies. Sarah S. says, “Wal-Mart has the cheapest stuff so far.” Kohl’s Many members recommended clothes shopping at Kohl’s. Visit their website for the Gold Clearance Event offering discounts of 60-80% off. Meijer This Michigan-based company is also a popular choice for our members. Julie P. even … …continue

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How Do I Order Savings Bonds?

Savings Bonds

Since ordering savings bonds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury went digital in 2012, we’ve received many questions from members on the new ordering process. Prior to this conversion process, members were able to order savings bonds at Consumers offices. Now, all purchases are now made online right from the Treasury through the TreasuryDirect portal. The first time you make a purchase, you’ll need to set up a TreasuryDirect account. This slideshow walks you through the process. Have the following information handy: Your Social Security Number or Tax ID Number Your address in the U.S. The routing number and account number for your checking or savings account. (The routing number for Consumers is 272481839.) Your email address Once you’ve set up an account, you can purchase bonds for yourself or to give as gifts. This video explains the process of purchasing gift bonds. In addition to selling savings bonds, … …continue

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I Got My First Car Loan—I’ve Been a Member Ever Since!

Jillian G., joined 1991

Member Jillian G. says she and her kids are “a Consumers family.” “My first account was when I was 7,” she explains. “Then right out of high school, I got my first car loan ever. I’ve been a member ever since.” While Jillian was initially drawn to Consumers for our auto loans, she stayed for the relationships she built with our staff. She says, “They’re looking out for me. It’s genuine, and it’s refreshing—like having a conversation with a friend.” “With the intimate feel of an established relationship, you also get all the benefits of a bigger bank,” she adds. Jillian relies on Online Banking and text alerts to keep up with her accounts and is teaching her children how to manage their money as well. At 19 and 10, her children have completely different financial needs at the moment, but Consumers offers options for each of them. “My son … …continue

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Balance Your Budget, Balance Your Life

Platinum Visa - 2012 07 23 edited

Are you still paying for that vacation? Or paying off store credit cards for your new camping gear or patio furniture? Now through October 31, take advantage of a special balance transfer rate of 0.99% APR* for the first 6 billing cycles. After that, your standard card rate of 8.99%-22.99%, depending on your credit history, will apply. And with no balance transfer fee, you’ll be rewarded with immediate savings when transferring your high rate balances. Don’t have a credit card at Consumers? Apply today, transfer your balances, and start saving. Call 800.991.2221 or stop in to get started. *0.99% APR is available for balance transfers made August 1, 2013, through October 31, 2013. Convenience checks and balance transfers will be processed as cash transactions and will incur finance charges immediately. The minimum payment will be applied to the lowest rate balances first, while all payments exceeding the minimum payment due … …continue

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Lead by Example to Teach Your Kids about Money: The Fifth Video in Consumers ConnectU’s July Family Budget Series

Consumers ConnectU - Tim

“Teaching your kids about money should be as easy as learning your ABCs,” says Tim Kosak, Consumer Lending Manager at Consumers Credit Union. “Kids learn by watching.” How do you set a good financial example for your children? Watch the video below, the fifth in the Consumers ConnectU July family budget series, for tips on handling learning moments with your kids. Did you miss earlier videos in the series? Catch up here: How to Teach Kids about Money How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Baby? Protect Your Family from Identity Theft How to Save for Your Children’s Education

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Eight Questions to Ask Yourself to Avoid Scams and Fraud

Puzzled Girl

While some attempts at fraud are blatantly obvious, others are sneakier—and can prove extremely devastating. When you’re searching online for a great deal or evaluating an offer you’ve received in the mail or electronically, here are eight questions to ask yourself when you’re unsure of its legitimacy. 1. Does the reward (or payment) make sense for the task involved? 2. Is this offer out of the ordinary? 3. Does this offer require sending money to someone (or a business) that I was previously unfamiliar with? 4. Is the ad soliciting for a “secret shopper” (a frequent scam tactic)? 5. Do the funds originate from an offer on Craigslist? 6. Am I being asked to return money via wire transfer, Western Union, or other methods? 7. Does the offer specify that I’m not to tell my credit union or bank about the origins of the money? 8. Does the offer sound … …continue

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Help Your College Student Build Credit Responsibly

Happy young woman holding wallet and credit card

If your high school grad is headed off to college in the fall, now is the perfect time to start teaching her about credit. Thanks to the CARD Act of 2009, students won’t be bombarded by credit card marketing efforts the moment they step onto campus. In fact, unless they can show proof of income, they’ll need an adult to co-sign for their credit cards until they turn 21. That’s why it’s crucial for you to help them learn responsible credit building now. Here are five hands on steps you can use to teach tangible lessons. 1. Review their credit with them. Unfortunately, teens can make an attractive target for identity thieves, since they have a clean slate where credit is concerned. To make sure that no fraudulent activity has taken place under your child’s name, request free copies of their credit reports from annualcreditreport.com. (Parents can do this for … …continue

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How to Save for Your Children’s Education: The Fourth Video in Consumers ConnectU’s July Family Budget Series

Consumers ConnectU - Tim

How do you afford college for your children? “It’s a question many people are asking,” shares Tim Kosak, Consumer Lending Manager at Consumers Credit Union. Watch the video below, the fourth in the Consumers ConnectU July family budget series, to learn about your savings options (including some that provide additional tax benefits) and student loans. Did you miss our previous family budgeting videos? Catch up here: How to Teach Kids about Money How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Baby? Protect Your Family from Identity Theft

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