22 Sep

10 Money-Saving Travel Hacks

10 Money-Saving Travel Hacks

10 Money-Saving Travel Hacks

Navigator can help make the most of your travel budget. Open a special savings account to set aside money for your next trip. You can also use your Navigator Platinum Rewards card for every day purchases to earn unlimited uChoose® Rewards points. Redeem those points for flights, hotels, car rentals and much more. For a limited time, new cardholders could qualify for 4.99% APR on new purchases for six months. Learn more at navigatorcu.org/your-card.

New cardholders pay a 4.99% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles from account opening. After that, the APR will be 10.90% and 12.90% based on creditworthiness. Offer subject to change without notice. See Visa agreement for uChoose Rewards® terms and conditions. uChoose Rewards® is a registered trademark of Fiserv Solutions, Inc. Visa® is a registered trademark of VISA Inc. All offers are subject to credit approval and membership eligibility. Federally insured by NCUA.

22 Sep

Simplify and Amplify Your Savings

Simplify and Amplify Your Savings

Simplify and Amplify Your Savings

Sometimes life can be complicated. It can be tough deciding how to cover your monthly expenses and put money into savings. We get it, and we’re here to help you figure it out.

When you join Navigator Credit Union, all Members automatically sign up for a FREE savings account. The benefits include:

  • Zero minimum deposit;
  • Zero minimum balance requirements;
  • Zero monthly fees;
  • Higher than average rates on savings account balances; plus
  • Access to surcharge-free ATMs close to home and more than 80,000 free or reduced fee ATMs across the U.S. through the CO-OP and CULiance networks.

All this means we’re making it easy for you to save so your money will grow fast, helping you reach your financial goals sooner.

What’s more, your money is safe. Saving account deposits at Navigator are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration.

What Should You Save for?

You could focus on saving for one goal or multiple goals at the same time. The options are endless. Consider the following suggestions:

Emergency savings.

Be prepared for whatever life throws at you with an emergency savings account. Having emergency savings is one of the best ways to protect your financial health. With an emergency savings account, you won’t have to worry about using a credit card to charge unexpected expenses like major car repairs or large medical bills.

Vacation savings.

After being stuck at home, help your savings take off by putting money into a sub-savings account earmarked for trips. Then start planning, knowing you won’t have to go into debt to pay for your long-awaited adventures.

Big picture savings.

Thinking about buying a new car, becoming a first-time homebuyer or going to college? Putting money away in a savings account can help you stay on track. If you can let your money grow for at least three months or longer, a money market account or certificate account offer even higher rates on account balances.

Retirement savings.

While your retirement years may seem like they’re far away, start planning today by committing to save for your future. Consider setting up an individual retirement account.

Fund Your Savings Accounts

After you commit to open a savings account, figure out how much you want to save. Use an online savings calculator to try different amounts and timelines to get an idea of how much your savings might grow. When you decide how much you want to save, set up automatic transfers from your checking account into savings every month using online banking or the mobile banking app.

To learn more about the different types of savings accounts at Navigator, visit navigatorcu.org, call our Member Contact Center at 800-344-3281 or stop by your local Branch.

22 Sep

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

ENGLISH | EN ESPAÑOL

Back-to-School season is an exciting time! And if your family has school-age children or young adults heading off to college, it can also be a very expensive time of year.

Families are expected to spend an average of $612 per student in grades K-12, according to a recent Deloitte report. That’s the highest in recent years and greater than pre-pandemic levels. Parents will also be spending more on tech as all that gear which made remote learning possible follows students when they go back into the classroom.

Navigator Credit Union has these tips to help you save:

Take inventory of what you already have.

There are likely leftover or re-usable school supplies around the house from previous school years. Determine what is still usable for another school year versus what needs to be sold, donated or discarded.

Make a list of what you need and stick to it.

Not only should items for the school supply list be accounted for, but also items like seasonal clothing and shoes, backpacks and lunchboxes, electronics and special equipment for after-school activities such as sports and music. Impulse buying can quickly increase your spending.

Do your research and look for deals.

Determine which stores have the best sales then look for coupons and rebate programs to stack savings. Utilize student discounts whenever possible, particularly when purchasing expensive items such as laptops and tablets.

Shop and sell secondhand.

Take any outgrown or no longer needed, gently used items to a local consignment store to sell. Then use any money made toward this year's school purchases. While you’re selling your items, take a look around for affordable school supplies and clothing to add to this year’s wardrobe. For high school and college students, buy used textbooks whenever possible to save.

Shop in bulk.

Your child might run out of paper throughout the year or keep losing pencils. It’s good to have extra.

Understand return policies and save your receipts.

Keep in mind some items may be non-refundable or have restocking fees associated with them.

 

Need some help with back-to-school expenses this year? Exclusively for Members, Navigator’s Back-to-School Loan can be used for uniforms, computers, supplies, sports equipment, clothing, musical instruments – everything you need to help your family succeed in school this year!

Navigator’s Back-to-School Loan offers:

  • Loans amounts up to $2,000
  • A great fixed rate as low as 5.99% APR
  • Loan terms up to 12 months
  • Fast processing and quick response time
  • Available through September 30, 2021

Click here to apply online today!

Earn cashback with every purchase

The Navigator Platinum Rewards card is another great way to pay for school supplies. For a limited time, we’re offering a low 4.99% introductory APR on purchases for six months! There’s also no annual fee, no balance transfer fee and no cash advance fees. Cardholders also earn unlimited uChoose® rewards. You can redeem the points for thousands of options – including cashback. Learn more about this limited-time offer by visiting navigatorcu.org/your-card.

APR=Annual Percentage Rate. When submitting an application for a Back to School Loan, you are authorizing Navigator Credit Union to pull credit in order to make a determination on your request. Back to School Loan interest rates are set at 5.99% APR, 6.99% APR, 8.99% APR or 13.99% APR; there’s also a 6-month 16.99% rate. Rate may vary depending on individual’s credit history and other factors. $1,000.00 financed for 12 monthly payments at 5.99% APR equals a monthly payment of $86.08. Rates and product offerings are subject to change without notice. Interest accrues from loan funding. Offer expires September 30, 2021. New cardholders pay a 4.99% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles from account opening. After that, the APR will be 10.90% and 12.90% based on creditworthiness. Offer subject to change without notice. See Visa agreement for uChoose Rewards® terms and conditions. uChoose Rewards® is a registered trademark of Fiserv Solutions, Inc. Visa® is a registered trademark of VISA Inc. All offers are subject to credit approval and membership eligibility. Federally insured by NCUA.

22 Sep

Ahorre en sus compras de regreso a la escuela

Ahorre en sus compras de regreso a la escuela

Ahorre en sus compras de regreso a la escuela/strong>

ENGLISH | EN ESPAÑOL

¡La temporada de regreso a la escuela es un momento emocionante! Si su familia tiene niños en edad escolar o adultos jóvenes listos para ingresar a la universidad, esta también podría convertirse en una temporada del año muy costosa.

Se espera que las familias gasten un promedio de $612 por estudiante en los grados K-12, de acuerdo con un reciente informe de Deloitte. Este es el promedio más alto de los últimos años, incluso más alto que los niveles antes de la pandemia. Los padres también gastarán más en tecnología, ya que todos los equipos que hicieron posible el aprendizaje remoto seguirán vigentes cuando los estudiantes regresen a las aulas.

Navigator Credit Union tiene estos consejos para ayudarle a ahorrar:

Haga un inventario de lo que ya tiene.

Es probable que ya tenga en su casa útiles escolares sobrantes o reutilizables de años anteriores. Determine lo que todavía puede utilizarse en este año escolar versus lo que debe venderse, donarse o desecharse.

Haga una lista de lo que necesita y no se salga de esa lista.

No solo deben contabilizarse los útiles escolares de la lista, sino que también tiene que considerar artículos como ropa y zapatos de temporada, mochilas y loncheras, dispositivos electrónicos y equipos especiales para las actividades extracurriculares como deportes y música. Las compras impulsivas pueden aumentar rápidamente sus gastos.

Investigue y busque ofertas.

Determine qué tiendas tienen las mejores ofertas y luego busque cupones y programas de reembolso para acumular ahorros. Utilice los descuentos para estudiantes siempre que sea posible, especialmente cuando compre artículos costosos como computadoras portátiles y tabletas.

Compre y venda artículos en tiendas de segunda mano.

Lleve cualquier prenda que le quede chica o que ya no la necesite —y que todavía se encuentre en buen estado— a una tienda local de consignaciones para venderla. Luego, use el dinero que gane de esas ventas en las compras escolares de este año. Mientras vende sus artículos, recorra la tienda en busca de útiles escolares y ropa asequibles para agregar al ropero de este año. Para los estudiantes de secundaria y universitarios, compre libros de texto usados siempre que sea posible para ahorrar.

Compre al por mayor.

Es posible que su hijo/a se quede sin papel durante el año o que pierda sus lápices frecuentemente. Es una buena idea tener artículos extra.

Entienda las políticas de devolución y guarde sus recibos.

Tenga en cuenta que algunos artículos no son reembolsables o pueden tener tarifas de reposición de existencias asociadas.

¿Necesita ayuda con los gastos de regreso a la escuela de este año? Exclusivamente para miembros, el Préstamo de Regreso a la Escuela de Navigator se puede usar para uniformes, computadoras, útiles escolares, equipo deportivo, ropa, instrumentos musicales, ¡todo lo que necesita para ayudar a su familia a tener éxito en la escuela este año!

El Préstamo de Regreso a la Escuela de Navigator ofrece:

  • Préstamos hasta $2,000/li>
  • Una excelente tasa fija, tan baja como 5.99% APR
  • Plazos de préstamo hasta 12 meses
  • Procesamiento y tiempo de respuesta rápidos
  • Disponible hasta el 30 de septiembre de 2021

Haga clic aquí para solicitar en línea ¡hoy mismo!

Obtenga dinero de reembolso con cada compra

La tarjeta Navigator Platinum Rewards es otra excelente manera de pagar los útiles escolares. Por un tiempo limitado estamos ofreciendo una APR introductoria del 4.99 % en todas las compras ¡durante seis meses! Además, no tiene que pagar una tarifa anual ni de transferencia de saldo ni de adelanto de efectivo. Los titulares de tarjeta también ganan recompensas uChoose® ilimitadas. Puede canjear los puntos por miles de opciones, incluido el reembolso en efectivo. Para obtener más información sobre esta oferta por tiempo limitado, visite navigatorcu.org/your-card.

APR=Tasa de interés anual. Al enviar una solicitud para un Préstamo de Regreso a la Escuela, usted autoriza a Navigator Credit Union a revisar su historial crediticio para tomar una determinación sobre su solicitud. Las tasas de interés del Préstamo de Regreso a la Escuela son de 5.99% APR, 6.99% APR, 8.99% APR o 13.99% APR; también hay una tasa de 6 meses de 16.99%. La tasa puede variar según el historial crediticio de la persona y otros factores. $1,000.00 financiados en 12 pagos mensuales a 5.99% APR equivale a pagos mensuales de $86.08. Las tarifas y las ofertas de productos están sujetas a cambios sin aviso previo. El interés se acumula de la financiación del préstamo. La oferta termina el 30 de septiembre de 2021. Los nuevos titulares de tarjeta pagan una APR introductoria del 4.99 % durante los primeros 6 ciclos de facturación a partir de la apertura de la cuenta. Después de ese tiempo, la APR será del 10.90 % y del 12.90 % en función de la solvencia. Oferta sujeta a cambios sin aviso previo. Vea el acuerdo de Visa para revisar los términos y condiciones de uChoose Rewards®. uChoose Rewards® es una marca registrada de Fiserv Solutions, Inc. Visa® es una marca registrada de VISA Inc. Todas las ofertas están sujetas a aprobación de crédito y elegibilidad de membresía. Asegurado federalmente por la NCUA.

20 Apr

Common Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19

Common Fraud Schemes Related To COVID-19

Navigator Credit Union wants you to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes helping to keep you safe from fraudsters. We want to make you aware of some of the common fraud schemes now being reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Government Impersonators
According to the FBI, one of the most prevalent schemes is government impersonators. Criminals are reaching out to people through social media, emails or phone calls pretending to be representing government agencies. In some cases, they’re even going door-to-door to try to convince people to give them money for COVID-19 testing, financial relief or medical equipment. It’s important to know the government will not reach out to you in these ways. If someone reaches out to you directly and says they’re from the government helping you with virus-related issues, it’s likely a scam.

Fraudulent Cures or Medical Equipment
The FBI says it’s most concerned about fake cures or treatments for the virus. These cures can be dangerous to your health and could even be fatal. You should never accept a medical treatment or virus test from anyone other than your doctor, pharmacist or local health department.

Work-from-Home Fraud
People who are at home and out of work are vulnerable to work-from-home scams. If someone you don’t know contacts you and wants you to urgently pay them in return for a job, there’s a good chance it is a scam. Legitimate employers will not ask you to pay them in order to get work.

Investment Fraud

One of the most lucrative schemes being encountered by the agency involves criminals offering you an opportunity to invest in a cure or treatment for the virus. The purpose of these get-rich quick schemes is simply to defraud the investor. Any offer like this should be treated with extreme skepticism.

Ways to protect yourself
Use the utmost caution in online communication. When it comes to emails, always verify who the sender is – and look closely; criminals will sometimes change just one letter in an email address to make it look like it comes from someone you know. Be very wary of attachments or links; hover your mouse over a link before clicking to see where it’s sending you.

In general, the wisest and safest approach is to be suspicious of anyone offering you something that’s “too good to be true” or is a secret investment opportunity or medical advice. Seek out legitimate sources of information on your own without relying on the claims which come from unfamiliar sources.

16 Apr

Think twice before taking social media quizzes

While they’re practicing social distancing as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, many people are turning to social media to stay connected and pass the time. Navigator Credit Union wants to warn of an old trick identity thieves are deploying to get your information.

Navigator, along with the Better Business Bureau, warns you to think twice before taking part in social media challenges and quizzes. These are those posts which ask, “What was your favorite teacher’s name? Who was your first grade teacher? Who was your childhood best friend? What was your first car?” and similar questions.

If these questions sound familiar, they should! These are the many of the same questions you are asked as security questions when setting up bank and credit card accounts. When you answer these questions and post your responses online, you may not realize you are also giving the answers needed to get past the security questions set up to protect your private information and money.

Although many of these posts are simply meant for fun, hackers are also setting up these “get to know you” posts as a way to steal your information. They then can steal your online identity, build a profile of you and use the information you inadvertently handed them in order to hack your accounts or open lines of credit in your name.

Here are some tips to avoid social media scams:

  • Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, see if you can figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust? Just because something appears to be fun and innocent, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk.
  • Adjust privacy settings: Review your social media account’s privacy settings and be strict about what information you share - and be mindful of who you are sharing it with.
  • Remove personal details from your profile: Don’t share information like your phone number or home address on social media accounts.
  • Don’t share friends’ information: Many quizzes, games and apps ask for access to your friends list and information. Do not grant permissions without asking your friends first! While you are choosing to give access to your information, they aren’t – and you could be putting them at risk, too.
  • Monitor Friend Requests. Don't accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an imposter trying to access your data and your Friends list.

Of course, not all of the quizzes, posts and games are scams. However it is best to remain vigilant and refrain for such activities as there is no way to tell which ones may have been created by scammers. When it comes to this seemingly innocent “fun,” it is truly better to be safe than sorry.

03 Apr

IRS warns of economic impact payment scams

Navigator Credit Union is committed to helping you protect your privacy. As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a toll on people’s pocketbooks, your finances could face other threats as well.

Experts are warning of a rise in scams. You’re advised to be on the lookout for an increase in calls and email phishing attempts. That’s not all. Tech savvy fraudsters may also use text messages, websites and social media to request money or get your personal information.

The Internal Revenue Service says scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask you to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
  • Suggest they can work on your behalf to get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster. This scam may be conducted by social media but it could even be done in person.
  • Mail you a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, and then tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Navigator wants to remind Members it is extremely important you do not provide personal or financial information, including social security number or bank account information, to an unknown source. If you think you’ve been contacted by a scammer, you’re encouraged to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

31 Mar

Long-established retirement account rules change

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is now law. With it, comes some of the biggest changes to retirement savings law in recent years. While the new rules don’t appear to amount to a massive upheaval, the SECURE Act will require a change in strategy for many Americans. For others, it may reveal new opportunities.

Limits on Stretch IRAs.

The legislation “modifies” the required minimum distribution rules in regard to defined contribution plans and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) balances upon the death of the account owner. Under the new rules, distributions to non-spouse beneficiaries are generally required to be distributed by the end of the 10th calendar year following the year of the account owner’s death.1

It’s important to highlight that the new rule does not require the non-spouse beneficiary to take withdrawals during the 10-year period. But all the money must be withdrawn by the end of the 10th calendar year following the inheritance.

A surviving spouse of the IRA owner, disabled or chronically ill individuals, individuals who are not more than 10 years younger than the IRA owner and child of the IRA owner who has not reached the age of majority may have other minimum distribution requirements.

Let’s say that a person has a hypothetical $1 million IRA. Under the new law, your non-spouse beneficiary may want to consider taking at least $100,000 a year for 10 years regardless of their age. For example, say you are leaving your IRA to a 50-year-old child. They must take all the money from the IRA by the time they reach age 61. Prior to the rule change, a 50-year-old child could “stretch” the money over their expected lifetime, or roughly 30 more years.

IRA Contributions and Distributions.

Another major change is the removal of the age limit for traditional IRA contributions. Before the SECURE Act, you were required to stop making contributions at age 70½. Now, you can continue to make contributions as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.2

Also, as part of the Act, you are mandated to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from a traditional IRA at age 72, an increase from the prior 70½. Allowing money to remain in a tax-deferred account for an additional 18 months (before needing to take an RMD) may alter some previous projections of your retirement income.2

The SECURE Act’s rule change for RMDs only affects Americans turning 70½ in 2020. For these taxpayers, RMDs will become mandatory at age 72. If you meet this criterion, your first RMD won’t be necessary until April 1 of the year after you reach 72.2

Multiple Employer Retirement Plans for Small Business.

In terms of wide-ranging potential, the SECURE Act may offer its biggest change in the realm of multi-employer retirement plans. Previously, multiple employer plans were only open to employers within the same field or sharing some other “common characteristics.” Now, small businesses have the opportunity to buy into larger plans alongside other small businesses, without the prior limitations. This opens small businesses to a much wider field of options.1

Another big change for small business employer plans comes for part-time employees. Before the SECURE Act, these retirement plans were not offered to employees who worked fewer than 1,000 hours in a year. Now, the door is open for employees who have either worked 1,000 hours in the space of one full year or to those who have worked at least 500 hours per year for three consecutive years.2

While the SECURE Act represents some of the most significant changes we have seen to the laws governing financial saving for retirement, it’s important to remember that these changes have been anticipated for a while now. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to your trusted financial professional.

Jeff Hamm may be reached at 228-474-3427.

Learn more about NCU Wealth Management.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. 

Citations.

  1. waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/documents/SECURE%20Act%20section%20by%20section.pdf [12/25/19]
  2. marketwatch.com/story/with-president-trumps-signature-the-secure-act-is-passed-here-are-the-most-important-things-to-know-2019-12-21 [12/25/19]