Credit Cards

You Could Be Paying More at Checkout for Credit Card Purchases

You may see it referred to as a “checkout fee.” Whatever the name associated with it, it’s simply a new surcharge merchants will be allowed to attach to your credit card purchases beginning January 27, 2013. The average amount can vary from 1.5% to 3%, and merchants have the choice of whether or not to charge consumers this new fee. Some merchants may choose to not pass it along to their customers.

This new surcharge stems from a recent court settlement between the credit card industry and the merchants who accept their credit cards for payment. The new fee allows merchants to recoup at least part of the payment processing fees the credit card companies charge them for utilizing credit card transactions in their stores.

What Is NOT Reported on Your Credit Report?

Just what does your credit report include? All the things that help round out your title as a loan-seeking consumer. Your credit accounts. Credit inquiries you make when applying for a loan. Public record and collection items. It’s a simple snapshot of your credit history that lenders check before they decide whether or not they want to lend you money.

While it seems your credit report holds back no secrets, there are some things you won’t find on it. It may feel like you’re totally exposed by your credit report, but there are some things that do not make an appearance, according to our friends at Bankrate.com.

Feel Like A Number?

Do you ever have the feeling something is following you? Well, listen to that Little Voice, you have a number that follows you around no matter where you go. While you can’t shake it, you can change it. It can go up (a good thing), or it can go down (a not-so-good thing), depending on your financial behavior. It’s your credit score, and the role it plays in the quality of your life can be considerable.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing your credit score with your credit report; the two are entirely different things. Your credit score is born of your credit report. Let’s take a look at the two.

What NOT to Buy in October

Well here it is, October. Already. Fall is officially cooling down a long, hot summer, and the holidays are lining up to take us through the New Year. Some serious shopping will be here soon (if it hasn't already started for some), but don't jump the gun on select items you may have your eyes on. October is just not the month to get the best buys on many items. So in the spirit of saving you some money, let's take a look at stuff you'll want to hold off on buying until prices hit more budget-friendly levels.

Life Happens.

So you were hurrying to work, late for a meeting, and you backed out of the driveway a little too quickly...YIPE! YIPE! YIPE! It’s all right, Gizmo is going to be fine...after a hefty vet bill. And you were just getting ahead financially. Sheesh. File it under “Life Happens.”

Kids. Car trouble. Spending spree. Unexpected illness. Yes, life happens, with or without our consent. It’s filled with twists and turns, many times with expenses for which we haven’t planned.

And when life happens, everyone has a story to tell.

Wedded Bliss to Money Missed?

“If anyone feels this man and woman should not be united in holy matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

What if your financial advisor (you did invite him, right?) stood up at your marriage ceremony with an objection? He didn’t think you two were compatible based on your views on money, the top reason for many arguments between married couples. It seems you two didn’t sit down beforehand and have a frank discussion about finances.

Does This Wallet Make Me Look Fat?

A fat wallet is usually seen as a good thing. To many, it means you’re flush; you have plenty of cash. On the other, more literally hand, it simply means you’ve got too darn much stuff crammed in that cowhide safety deposit box. What good is that fishing license from 1986 anyway? Do you really need that movie rental card good only in Puerto Rico?

Walking The “People Helping People” Walk

Credit unions exist to help people, specifically, their members. Vantage is no exception. Our status as a not-for-profit business says it all…we aren’t out to make a profit for stockholders, our goal is to take care of our members. But this rallying cry of People Helping People extends beyond credit union membership and into the community at large. That’s why we offer free financial services to the local community through our Business Partner Services and Money Matters.

Avoiding Extended Vacation Brain!

Wow! What a vacation! You zip lined over a forest canopy, swam with some porpoises, ate anything that looked good, and slept until breakfast was no longer served. Yeah, great memories, but now it’s back to the rude reality of the alarm clock. Sigh.

It’s not always easy getting your groove back. No matter how much you love your job, it can be difficult to get back to a daily routine.  Here are a few tips you may consider to help ease the transition.

The Financial Side of Emergencies

Your boss called you into her office, and you immediately got that sinking feeling in your stomach. Sure enough, your position within the organization was eliminated. You were jobless. Or maybe the air conditioner went out at home, just in time for the sweltering summer months. Financial emergencies, most of us experience them at some point. Are you ready for one?

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 64% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to deal with a $1,000 emergency. That cost could easily equate to a financial emergency. Maybe your car’s transmission goes out or your furnace dies at home. What would you do if such a sudden financial cost arrived unexpectedly? Here are a few tips that might help out:

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