Money Money - Your Credit History

Mon, May 21st, 2018

Money Money - Your Credit History 

Center For Siouxland gets a lot of questions about credit reports and credit scores. Your credit score is a 3-digit number that affects many financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. It may determine your cost of borrowing through interest rates and fees, as well as whether you get approved or denied for a new credit card, car loan or mortgage. Employers and insurers are also checking your credit to establish how responsible you are in other aspects of your life, and to determine how much of a risk you may be.

 Checking your credit report regularly is an important step in maintaining healthy credit. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that consumers check their credit report at least once per year to verify the accuracy of the information contained in the report. Consumers are eligible to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus. The only authorized source under federal law that provides free credit reports is www.annualcreditreport.com or 1-877-322-8228. The free reports do not include a score but will provide you with all the information that is used to compile your credit score.

 Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors can pull your credit report along with your credit score and review it with you. With a better understanding of your credit history and score, we can help you develop a strong plan for your next steps to be credit ready and give you suggestions on improving your credit score, so you can achieve your financial goals. Call our office at 712-252-1861 ext. 47 to set up an appointment to review your credit report/score today.

  

Thank You VITA Volunteers!

Tue, May 15th, 2018

As we celebrate the end of another tax season, we congratulate our VITA Program Coordinator, Lori Scott and VITA volunteers for another amazing year!  A big thank you to our outstanding IRS VITA certified tax preparers and greeters who assisted in the FREE preparation and e-filing of income tax returns.  We couldn't have done it without you.

To become a Certified Volunteer Income Tax Preparer, or for other VITA job opportunities, contact Lori Scott by email lori.scott@centerforsiouxland.org or by telephone at 712-252-1861 ext. 29..

Money Monday - Using Public Wi-Fi

Mon, May 14th, 2018

Money Monday - Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi connections are convenient but not always secure. Using them for sensitive transactions can let thieves misuse your accounts. Many mobile apps don’t encrypt information, so you might be at even greater risk by using them on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. 

Tips

  • The key to security is encryption – software that scrambles information you send online. On a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected. Secure networks usually require you to enter a password. Most public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t secure. If you visit encrypted sites, only the information you send and receive from that site is protected.

  • If you need to enter financial or sensitive information, use only secure networks and websites that encrypt your financial information.

  • If you need to conduct a financial transaction using an app, use a secure wireless network, or your phone’s cellular network (often referred to as 3G or 4G).

  • If you must use an unsecured network, skip the app and check whether the company’s mobile website shows that it’s secure. Look for ‘https’ in the web address. Encrypt your personal information before sending.

Center For Siouxland shares weekly Money Monday tips to help protect you and promote personal financial stability. Our Consumer Credit Counselors are here to help.  Services provided by Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counseling include Credit Counseling, Education/Community Outreach, Budget Assessment, Credit Report Reviews, Debt Repayment Solutions, Pre-Purchase Housing Counseling/Education and Mortgage Delinquency/Default Counseling.  Contact our office with any questions you have about our services at 712-252-1861 ext. 47.  You can also find us on Facebook.

 

Center For Siouxland Community Garden

Sun, May 13th, 2018

Center For Siouxland volunteers and staff helped the children at Bridges West with planting at their Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. (MRHD) Community Garden for this year's crops. The kids have a great time planting and watering their

Money Monday - Payday Loans

Mon, May 7th, 2018

Money Monday - Payday Loans

Ads for payday loans are everywhere. On the radio, television, the Internet and even in the mail – enticing you with the promise of cash, fast! They go by many names - payday loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans, deferred deposit loans. According to the Federal Trade Commission, regardless of their name, these small, short-term, high-rate loans all come at a very high price.

Here’s how they work: You, the borrower, writes a personal check payable to the lender, for the amount you want to borrow PLUS the fee the lender is charging to borrow the money. The lender gives you the amount of the check less the fee and agrees to hold the check until the loan is due, usually your next payday. But it’s the exorbitant fees that give these loans a bad rap. The fees on these loans can be a percentage of the face value of the check, or they can be based on increments of money borrowed such as a fee for every $50 or $100 borrowed. And while the fees may seem like a small price to pay for instant cash, the fees can easily equal an interest rate of 400% or more. Additionally, the borrower is charged additional fees each time the same loan is extended or “rolled over.”

Before you decide to take out a payday loan, consider some alternatives:

  1. Consider a small loan from your credit union or a small loan company. Some banks may offer short-term loans for small amounts at competitive rates.
  2. Shop for the credit offer with the lowest cost. Compare the APR and the finance charge, which includes loan fees, interest and other credit costs. You are looking for the lowest APR.
  3. Contact your creditors or loan servicer as quickly as possible if you are having trouble with your payments and ask for more time.
  4. Contact your local consumer credit counseling service if you need help working out a debt repayment plan with creditors or developing a budget.
  5. Make a realistic budget, including your monthly and daily expenditures, and plan, plan, plan.

The bottom line on payday loans: Try to find an alternative. A payday loan will never be your best option.

For more information on payday loans or help with an alternative to payday loans, please contact Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors at 712-252-1861 ext. 47. You can also find us on Facebook.

 

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