New Year, New Career?


Is 2018 going to be the year of a new career for you? Often times a change in jobs or careers is accompanied by a change in salary but that isn’t the only form of compensation you should look at. What kind of health and retirement benefits does your potential new employer offer? Keeping in mind your long term goals should help keep you from making an impulsive move.

  • Health Coverage – Will there be any lapses in your health coverage if you decide to make a change? There are options if you do find yourself in a lapse. Depending on the health coverage your spouse receives, you may qualify to join their plan. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA is another option you can look into.
  • Retirement – Don’t be so focused on this moment to forget about maintaining your retirement plan! If your previous employer offers 401(K) plans you have several options; cash it out, roll it over into your new 401(K) plan (if offered), or roll it into an IRA.
  • Prepare for timing – Timing doesn’t always work the way we think it will. Make sure to have some cash (aka emergency fund) on hand to help out in case the transition takes longer than anticipated and your mortgage comes due.

university students on a work placement .

If you’re looking for a new career but aren’t sure where to start attend our Job Fair today, Tuesday, January 16 at our Linglestown location! If you’re unable to attend you can always visit www.members1st.org/about-us/careers to see what positions we have available! We want our associates to get up every morning and have something to look forward to other than a paycheck. In addition to excellent benefits, competitive salary, opportunities for professional development and career advancement, we offer a pleasant, fun, and family-friendly working environment.

 

How to Decide Whether to Buy or Lease a Car


Considering a new car? You’ll probably need some type of financing to make that happen. Find out whether it makes more sense to lease than to buy your next ride.

Leasing a car

Car on money road

The basics:

Leasing is basically a long-term rental. Lease payments only cover the difference between the car’s price (minus a down payment) and its estimated value when the lease ends. Upfront costs can include a refundable security deposit, first month’s payment, registration, taxes and fees. You also pay for a set number of miles to drive. Financing is generally done through a dealer.

Pros of leasing:

  • Because you’re not financing the full price, leasing a more expensive car might cost less per month than buying the vehicle.
  • Cars are usually under a manufacturer’s warranty through the entire lease.
  • Basic maintenance is often fully covered.
  • Sometimes no down payment is needed.
  • You don’t have to worry about selling the car.
  • A lease may lock in a purchase price if you prefer to keep the car when the term ends.
  • A lease can provide tax advantages.

Cons of leasing:

  • You must return the car at the end of the lease, unless you prefer to buy it outright.
  • Any major, irreversible car modifications usually aren’t permitted.
  • Miles driven are typically limited — often to no more than 12,000 a year — and costly fees usually apply to any excess.
  • Stained or torn seat coverings, paint scratches or dents could result in charges for excessive wear and tear.
  • Ending a lease early may cost almost as much in early-termination fees as finishing the term.
  • Insurance can be more expensive since coverage of the difference between the car’s value and the amount owed on it is required.

Buying a car

The basics:

If you finance a car purchase, you’ll start building equity in the vehicle as you make payments. Equity is the car’s market value minus the amount owed on it. Once the loan is paid off, your equity interest will equal its resale value. A lender may require a down payment, and other upfront costs may be steeper than for a leased car.

Pros of buying:

  • Once the loan is paid off, you can drive for years with no payments.
  • There’s no financial penalty for driving too many miles a year.
  • You can customize or modify the car as desired.
  • No concerns about charges for every spill or ding.
  • Insurance costs may be lower.
  • You can sell the car any time without a penalty.

Cons of buying:

  • You may not be able to afford as much car for your financing dollar.
  • A larger down payment may be required.
  • Long-term resale value is uncertain, and the amount you owe could at times be higher than the car’s value.
  • The eventual hassle of selling is your responsibility.
  • Maintenance expenses are all yours.
  • Any wear and tear or excessive use reduces the car’s resale value.

Dream Car Key1944861compressedThe bottom line

Those who don’t mind never-ending car payments and crave a new ride every few years might prefer leasing. On the other hand, buying suits those who don’t want to make payments forever, those who log more miles on their car than a lease would typically allow and those who don’t mind driving an older car after a few years. Ultimately, whether it’s best to buy or lease depends on your personal preferences and financial situation.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Job Fair & Open House


Tired of the same old, same old? Consider a new career with us!

 

We're Hiring!

Visit with our managers and other team members as we search for our new Halifax branch team and fill various Harrisburg area positions.

View our available positions here!

Build Your Future Here

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

New Year’s Resolutions


SocialMedia-Holidays-Facebook2

Now’s the time for #newyearsresolutions. You probably hear everyone around you saying “In 2018 I’m going to…” with goals ranging from health, to materials, to financial achievements. No matter what it is you want to achieve there are a few fundamentals to being successful.

  • Don’t stress yourself! Resolutions can be completely customized to fit your lifestyle and your goals. If something is too stressful you won’t want to do it, so think of a resolution that you will want to incorporate into your life. That’s not to say don’t push yourself, but it’s important to stay realistic.
  • Break your resolution down into short-term goals! Creating short-term goals, or check-in points, can help you stay on track to achieving your resolution. For example, if you want to have a $1,000 emergency fund by 2019 plan to have $250 saved by April 1. This is the end of the first quarter of the year and is the first quarter of your goal. By July 1, aim to have $500 saved and so on.
  • Don’t go it alone, join a team! Recruit friends and family members that have the same or similar goals. Having others to encourage and encourage you can make it fun instead of feeling like a chore. At the end of the year you can do something together to celebrate your success!
  • Reward yourself! Focusing on a goal too hard can deter you. Celebrate your small successes. Did you hit your first quarter goal for that emergency savings? Give yourself a pat on the back because you did it! Be your own cheerleader and be proud of each step you take in the right direction.

 

Before you know it you’ll be planning your 2019 New Year’s Resolution.

Organize Your Finances for the New Year


File-Folder-$$A new year brings a chance to start fresh with just about anything. If your midnight toast includes a resolution to improve your financial health, here’s how to make it happen.

Get on a budget

To get ahead, it’s important to know where you stand and to create a plan with realistic goals such as a comfortable retirement, education and home ownership. Budgeting may sound old-school, but it’s still one of the best ways to accomplish this. Start by totaling your income and subtracting your monthly expenses for a quick financial snapshot. Then set goals, reduce unnecessary spending and, if the situation calls for it, explore ways to increase your income.

Budgeting doesn’t have be time consuming or complicated. Downloading a budgeting app to your smartphone lets you track spending and financial progress effortlessly in real time. To take the work out of saving toward your goals, you may also want to sign up for an automatic plan that electronically deposits an amount you choose from your paycheck or checking account into your savings account at regular intervals.

Prepare for the unexpected

Life can throw you some scary curve balls. Challenges like job loss, medical issues or property damage can leave you drowning in debt for years if you’re not prepared. That’s why it’s essential to build an emergency fund that can cover at least three to six months of living expenses. Even if you can save only a little each month, with consistent deposits and compound interest you can eventually grow a sizable protective cushion.

Break free of debt

Making just the minimum payments on major debts means you’re paying mostly interest and barely even chipping away at balances. One effective approach for eliminating debt is to concentrate your efforts on your highest-interest balance first, while still making timely smaller payments on all other obligations. Once this first debt is paid off, focus on the most expensive remaining balance, and continue this way till you’re debt free.

When multiple debts are truly out of control, debt consolidation may provide some relief. This makes it easier to pay off debt faster and more affordably by streamlining multiple debts into one single lower monthly payment. Debt consolidation options include home equity financing, personal loans and low-interest credit card balance transfers.

Maximize tax deductions

Researching tax deductions and gathering appropriate documents can help you avoid paying more tax than absolutely necessary. You may qualify for tax breaks including:

  • Interest deductions for mortgages, home equity financing, business financing, student loans and loans for boats with living quarters.
  • Deductions for other taxes paid, including sales tax, foreign taxes and self-employment tax.
  • Home office and business insurance deductions.
  • Deductions for monetary and nonmonetary charitable gifts.
  • Pre-tax contributions to traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans.
  • Lifetime learning credit.

Re-evaluate your investments

Life conditions change over time, so it only makes sense that investment and retirement accounts should be adjusted periodically. In early years, it’s beneficial to favor an aggressive mix of securities, but as retirement approaches, gradually shift toward more conservative choices like bonds, CDs and mutual funds. It’s also smart to examine your estate plan and make sure your will, insurance policies and beneficiaries are up to date.

Financial housecleaning kicks off the new year just right. Over time, things that seemed out of reach become affordable, and every unexpected expense won’t seem like the end of the world. This change may be gradual, but by the next New Year’s Eve toast your improved financial wellness will be something to celebrate.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Members 1st logo

Financial Steps to Take Before Buying a Car


car-keys_9140296_xlBefore you begin your search for your next new car, be sure to take a few steps to make sure you are ready to take on the financial portion of the purchase.

Because loans typically come in 12-month increments, we’re talking about a decision that will affect your household budget a minimum of two years and probably more like five or six.

Here are a few things to consider while looking for the best financing option:

Assess your credit

Your credit score is most likely single biggest factor a lender will consider in determining what interest rate to offer you. Your score is based primarily on your credit reports. Remember that you can get a copy for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

Check the reports for errors and take action to dispute any that you find, because a higher credit score usually leads to a lower interest rate on a loan.

Decide what to do with your old car

If you are trading in a vehicle, that may be enough to cover the down payment or give you a credit toward you new purchase. Sites such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds can help you appraise the trade-in value.

Keep in mind that the the dealer may offer you less than you could get by selling your old car privately. It’s your choice if you would like to sell your car privately or trade it in.

Figure out how much you can afford

Take a look at your financial situation to determine how much vehicle you can afford. What other living expenses, such as mortgage or rent, utilities and other recurring payments already have a claim on your income?

Also remember that you will need to purchase insurance and have adequate coverage. Contact the Members 1st Insurance Services division to get your free quote.

Determine the best way to finance your new car

It’s easy to finance the car you want. You can apply for a pre-approval right online. That way you know what price-point you can purchase when you walk into the dealership. Plus, the transaction is smooth and quick.

Or, you may choose to finance with us right at the dealership. Be sure to check out our listing of participating dealers before you begin shopping. After you have chosen your car, simple tell them that you would like to finance with Members 1st.

Check our current vehicle rates here once you determine the year of the vehicle and the length of the loan. Remember that you will need to be able to afford the monthly payments. You may set up automatic payments to make your life easier. Plus, you could qualify for a rate discount with our Member Loyalty Rewards program!

Buying a new car is a major financial commitment, typically second only to purchasing a home. Taking time to figure out how much car you can afford and finding the smartest financing are well worth the effort.

Learn more about vehicle financing by clicking here.


Contact us if you need guidance or have questions.

Visit members1st.org or call TeleBranch (Customer Service) at (800) 237-7288.

You may also contact our Loan Center at (800) 283-2328, ext. 6040.


Members 1st logo

It’s Holiday Shopping Scams Season


santa hand-snowflakes-red box2

We’d like to share the following information as published in the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s daily newsletter, Life is a Highway, on 12/12/17.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning Pennsylvanians to beware of scams and deceptive advertising while shopping at stores or online this year. He suggests that everyone become familiar with the following:

  • The Bait and Switch: Take retailers’ advertisements to the store with you. Unscrupulous retailers may advertise goods at low prices, but when you get to the store the price may be higher than advertised or the product might not be there at all.
  • Skimming Devices: During the holidays last year, police were called to a retailer at the King of Prussia mall to remove a skimming device from one store’s register. Sometimes skimming devices are placed on gas pumps or ATMs to capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of credit and debit cards. If something looks out of place or easily wiggles, use a different ATM, gas pump, or register.
  • “Cybersquatting” Sites: Crooks try to impersonate well-known websites by inverting characters or slightly altering the name of a well-known website. The copycat sites may look similar to the real website – and they can steal your credit information. Carefully read website addresses to ensure you are shopping on a legitimate website.
  • Copycat and Fraudulent Websites: Fake websites set up by scammers target online shoppers during the holiday season. Sometimes appearing as an ad results in online searches, these sites may contain malware or steal inputted credit card data. Avoid making purchases from untrustworthy sites.
  • Security Certificates: To ensure you are shopping on a secure website, make sure the website begins with “https” and has a small padlock icon next to the webpage address. Keep your computer, tablet, or smartphone up-to-date and install security software.
  • Retailers Who Request Payment through Wire Transfer: Legitimate online businesses will not use wire transfer to collect payment for purchases. This is a sure sign of a scam.

Want more information about scams and consumer advisories? Here are some great resources for you:

 

Close up Coins in glass jar for giving and donation

Concerned about charitable organizations and giving? Want to know how your favorite charity uses the funds they receive? Click below: 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: