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March 2020

Home Equity Loan vs. Line of Credit

March 2, 2020

Finding the solution that works for you

Both a Home Equity Loan and Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) involve borrowing money against the equity you’ve built up in your home. Each has its own benefits, depending on how, and when, you plan to spend the money, as well as how you’ll pay it down. While often this type of loan is used for major home improvements and renovations, you can actually use it for many different purposes: college expenses, traveling, paying for a wedding, paying down debt, and more.


What is Home Equity?

Home equity is the difference between your home’s fair market value and the outstanding (remaining) balance of all liens on your home. As you make payments on your mortgage, or if your home’s value increases, your equity grows. We can help you determine your home’s equity. Since these two home equity solutions mean borrowing against the value of your home, they’re considered secure loans, with your home as the collateral. Each option is essentially a second mortgage. 


What Are The Benefits of a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan has a fixed amount, with a specific payment schedule, so repayment is predictable. It can often be combined with your original mortgage to simplify monthly payments at a fixed interest rate. If you’re approved, you receive the entire amount up front. This can make a Home Equity Loan preferable for a large purchase like a new pool, or to pay off a one-time expense like a wedding. The interest can also offer potential tax benefits (consult your tax advisor).


What Is A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit, with a maximum amount from which you can pull from up to a certain number of years, with a variable interest rate, similar to how a credit card works. It also provides for draw period extensions, meaning you can continue to borrow from the line.


What Are The Benefits of a Home Equity Line of Credit?

If you receive approval for a HELOC, you can decide when to use the available funds. As you need money over a longer period of time, you can draw as you need it. After you withdraw funds, you’ll have a minimum repayment due, though you can usually pay off more. While a Home Equity Loan provides immediate funds for a one-time larger purchase, a HELOC is generally recommended for purchases made in smaller amounts, such as home renovations spread out over weeks or months. The interest on a HELOC may also offer you tax benefits (consult your tax advisor), depending on what you use it for.


Not Sure What’s Right For You?

A number of factors go into deciding which home equity solution will work for your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Make an appointment to see us, and we can help you Live Smarter by together deciding which is best for you.

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Digitally Educating Our Children

March 16, 2020

A mother teaching her son from home.

Resources to Aid in the Learning Process

The rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic is a source of uncertainty for us all. Our carefully structured lives are being thrown a curve ball. Events and gatherings are being canceled and schools are suddenly closed.

For the next month, like many other local families, you may find yourself taking on the role of teacher to your children. As an educationally based financial institution, we understand the importance of keeping up-to-date with your child’s academics and we're here to help.

Below we have compiled a list of some popular and FREE websites to keep your kids interested, entertained and learning. Additionally, many schools are also offering daily tips and resources directly from their teachers, so be sure to check and see what your district is providing.

20 Virtual Field Trips:

https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com


Financial Education Programs:

https://firstsource.learnbanzai.com/


Reading & Learning Resources:

www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home
www.pbskids.org/games/reading
www.readworks.org
www.starfall.com
www.squigglepark.com
www.wordworld.com/apps-and-games
www.storylineonline.net
www.newsela.com
www.natgeokids.com
https://www.sikids.com
www.scholastic.com/learnathome
https://www.khanacademy.org/signup
www.switcherroozoo.com
www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
www.reading.ecb.org
www.seussville.com
www.abcya.com
www.funbrain.com
www.pbs.org
www.highlightskids.com

 

Posted in: Banzai, Community, education

Peace of Mind

March 30, 2020

Man concerned about his finances.Security in Troubled Times

These uncertain times often have people questioning their choices, especially financial ones. How much to save? How much to spend? Am I investing enough? Too much? Is my money safe? 

We also believe strongly in your financial security. That’s why we’re here to help you navigate these questions. Although financial hardship may mean you need greater access to funds, one of the safest places to keep your money is generally in your account. Your funds are insured, still earning dividends, and we intend to remain open. You can also easily access your money by using your debit card, checks, or our Pay-a-Person service instead of using cash; and e-services to transfer money and pay bills.

One question we often hear is, “Are credit unions insured like other financial institutions?” Yes. 


The National Credit Union Association

There are two national government agencies that can insure deposits in the United States. While banks generally insure deposits through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), credit unions generally insure them through the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). The NCUA insures the total funds you have in non-investment accounts at the credit union up to $250,000, the same limit as the FDIC. This coverage is provided at no charge to you.

This “share insurance” provided through the NCUA is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, so no matter what happens, your money is safe within the coverage limit.


Stay the Course

Our most common advice to our Members during a crisis is to stay calm, not make impulsive money moves, and ask us if you’re unsure when considering big changes. We are with you in the good times, and tough times, too.

 

Posted in: FDIC, NCUA, security

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