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Shopping Online? Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Posted in Security/Scams
June 30th 2011 by
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Shopping online is a pleasure. No traffic, no crowds, no searching for a parking spot. In 2010, Internet commerce totaled $165.4 billion and continues to grow. At the same time, scams are growing, too. More than $246 million in losses were reported by Americans in 2010 and has steadily increased since then. You need to protect yourself. While shopping on legitimate, well-known sites belonging to your favorite department store or specialty shop is probably not going to be a problem, lesser-known sites that come up when you’re looking for a bargain and using a search engine for something specific could be places for concern. The same can be said for auction sites. Here’s what you can do to ensure that online shopping is as secure as a trip to the mall: 1. Call the retailer first. If you’re not sure about the website’s legitimacy, pick up the phone and try…

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Database of Credit Card Contracts

June 23rd 2011 by
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The Federal Reserve Board has an online database listing the terms and conditions of credit cards from more than 300 card issuers. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 requires the database. Issuers with more than 10,000 open credit card accounts (the majority of card issuers) must provide their credit card agreements. The Fed will update the list quarterly. It currently contains credit card contracts from a number of larger credit unions. The database helps consumers compare credit card terms. Access it at federalreserve.gov/creditcardagreements/.

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Take the Vacation You Deserve!

Posted in Borrowing Money
June 16th 2011 by
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Who said vacations require traveling far and paying an arm and a leg? Check out these fun (and virtually free!) ideas: 1. Consider yourself a tourist. Are there local attractions you don’t visit simply because they’re local? Be a tourist! 2. See what’s free. Google your local area and find out about any free concerts, classes or events. You’ll be surprised at what’s out there! 3. Enjoy the great outdoors. Playgrounds, parks and lakes can all be a lot of fun. Get up and go out in the early evening for some fun and relaxation. 4. Go to a local farm. You have to buy vegetables, so why not do the picking yourselves? Go with or without the kids! 5. Switch houses with a friend or relative in another town. Being in a different town, county or state for a week or two gives everyone a change of scenery and…

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CUNA’s Home and Family Finance Radio

June 8th 2011 by
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Tune in to CUNA’s (Credit Union National Association’s) Home & Family Finance Radio on Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on the Radio America Network. You’ll learn information on retirement, education, budgeting, buying a home and more! Hosted by Paul Berry, a 32-year media veteran and one of Washington’s most respected journalists, the Home and Family Finance Radio airs for one hour each week. Berry, along with money experts and journalists from around the nation, gives you information on current finance issues, what they mean and advice on how to manage them all. To listen to recent podcasts, click here: http://www.radioamerica.org/POD_hff.htm Have questions? CUNA wants to hear from you! Please do not hesitate to e-mail your questions or comments to HFFradio@creditunion.coop. Home & Family Finance is presented by America’s Credit Unions and CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network.

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Talking About Money with Those You Love… When It Really Isn’t Easy

June 2nd 2011 by
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Some conversations don’t “just happen”. While money is something you need to deal with every day, actually having a conversation about money (one that doesn’t involve raised voices or finger pointing) is as rare as it is important. When your spouse or significant other has different spending habits than you, if an elderly parent is moving in with you and finances have not yet been discussed, when a sibling seems to be taking advantage of Mom, or your adult child begins to see you as a cash dispenser… all these circumstances call for a conversation. And it won’t be easy. When this happens, see to it that the setting is neutral and friendly. You should both be feeling pretty good, not tired or stressed. It’s a good idea to take a walk at the lake, a park, or have lunch at a restaurant. Use “I” statements. For example, “I feel…

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