5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Initiating a 0% APR Balance Transfer



Are you feeling the burden of holiday debt after purchasing all of those gifts for family and friends? If so, you’re not alone. The average American consumer racked up more than $1,000 in debt this past holiday season! Now that the holiday shopping season is over, it is prime time to consider 0% APR balance transfer specials for those credit cards carrying high balances. Balance transfers can be a great idea to avoid paying interest for several months or not at all. However, it’s important to be mindful of how these specials work so you don’t end up digging yourself a deeper hole.

Find Financial Freedom This Fall



Happy first day of autumn! After summer vacations have ended, back-to-school shopping is done, and student loan payments begin to arrive, this season is a great time to start freeing yourself from the financial burden you may be feeling from large credit card or loan balances.
 
Paying off loans is not always easy, but there are little things you can do to pay off your debt without making huge financial sacrifices. Here are some tips to help you find financial freedom this fall.

5 Tips for Smart Back-to-School Shopping (Free Download)



When going back to school, there’s a lot of organizing that needs to happen to ensure the school year is off to a good start. Use these tips to show just how smart you are by not spending too much money on back-to-school supplies and clothes this year.

What is an EMV Card?



You may have received a new debit or credit card recently and noticed something different. Now debit and credit cards are becoming equipped with the latest fraud-preventing technology—an EMV chip. With large amounts of fraud occurring around the world, Europay, MasterCard, and Visa created EMV to better protect consumers and retailers.

Establishing Good Credit



Your credit score and credit report is your borrowing reputation. If you have a high score and positive credit report, lenders are more likely to lend you more money at lower rates. But how do you establish good credit?

Protect Yourself from Fraud This Season



Every year around the holidays it seems there is another big store that has a data breach. Usually, the data breach means your credit card data has been stolen. Any information you’ve ever given a company could be stolen in a data breach, and thieves can then create fake cards or make online purchases using your card information.

How do you keep your information out of the hands of thieves? And if your information is part of a data breach, how do you protect yourself?

What Do You Know About Card Cracking?



Card cracking is a scam that can hit you with thousands of dollars of debt, a ruined credit score, and even criminal charges. But what is card cracking?

Being Credit Smart: Store Credit Cards



I’m sure you’ve been asked to open a store credit card when shopping. It can seem like a good deal: you can often save 15% on your first purchase with the card. But how do store cards measure up? What happens to your credit when you open a store card?

When I first started researching store cards, there was a lot not to like. I looked at 22 stores in Lansing that offer a store credit card. Over 80% of the cards had an APR higher than 20%! I’m used to 8.9% APR with my MSUFCU Platinum Visa, so those numbers seem really high. Even with 15% off my first purchase, would a store card ever be worth it?

Pay for What You Need: Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards



When it’s time to pay for a trip or an appliance like your dryer breaks unexpectedly, you might want to finance instead of paying in cash. Maybe you don't have all the cash on hand or you don't want to deplete your savings. After you've decided to finance your purchase, how do you know if it’s better to use a personal loan or a credit card? Make your decision based on your financial habits and be sure to consider the interest rate!