Remar's Report

Thinking About Home Improvement? What Do You Need to Know? Tips for Saving Money and Avoiding Rip-Offs

home_renovations.jpgMay 2010

In the spring, a homeowner’s thoughts turn naturally to home improvement. As sure as the flowers bloom, however, the thoughts of home improvement service providers—the good, the not-so-good, and the scamsters—turn to selling their services and wares to homeowners. How do you get the improvements you plan done right and at the right price? No matter the type and size of your project, from a “simple” paint job or roof repair to a home expansion, knowing how to define your project, find the appropriate financing if necessary, and locate and evaluate the appropriate products and contractors is a must. This report covers those basics step by step.

First, research your project and budget

What’s the scope of your project? The more you know about what your specific home improvement project entails, the more ably you can evaluate appropriate products and proposed services. This tip holds true for something as “simple” as interior painting or re-carpeting all the way to planning an extensive remodel or expansion to your home.


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Manage Your Finances Digitally – Online Services are Quick, Convenient, and Secure

couple_banking_online.jpgApril 2010

How busy are you? Very! Isn’t that right? Most of our “to do” lists are a mile long. How would you like to save time on some repetitive financial chores while increasing security and benefits? Most people have online access to their financial accounts, but many are not taking full advantage of some major benefits offered, such as direct deposit, electronic bill pay, and even “paperless” statements. Take a moment to see how these services might work for you.

Take advantage of direct deposit

If you’re not using direct deposit, then you’re missing out on some important benefits. With direct deposit, your paycheck, social security check, retirement check, or any other recurring check is electronically deposited into your account. You don’t have to wait for the check to come in the mail or go to the credit union to deposit it. There’s no worry that the check might get lost in the mail or stolen from your mailbox. You also get your money faster. With direct deposit, the funds are typically available the day the deposit is made.


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Check Out These Tax Tips Before Filing Your Federal Income Tax Return

income_tax_forms.jpgMarch 2010

Tax time has rolled around again. Wouldn’t you like to save all you can? Some of the many changes to the federal tax code in 2009 might help you save on your taxes. Various tax deductions and tax credits are new, extended, or expanded. This month’s report takes a brief look at some of those tax deductions and credits.

Tax Deductions/Credits Available if You File Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ

No matter which 1040 form you file, make sure you consider these deductions and credits.



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second_chance_loan.jpgFebruary 2010

As tight money times continue in 2010, how does getting some money back sound? Maybe a thousand dollars or two?

If you’re driving a vehicle financed at any place other than CCU, money back may be closer than you think. If you financed a new or used vehicle some other place, a lot of money back may be in your future.

Thousands of times in the past several years, CCU has refinanced members’ car loans from other financial institutions and has saved members an average of $1790 in interest payments.


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Check, Credit Card or Debit Card? Choosing a Payment Method for Security and Convenience

September 2007

How do you pay for everyday purchases or bills? Cash? Check? Credit Card? Debit Card? If you are like most people, you use a combination of these methods—and more. The advent and growth of electronic banking has encouraged many people to move more and more from paper (cash, checks) to plastic (credit cards, debit cards). All these payment methods have roles to play in personal financial management today.

All have their advantages and drawbacks. All can be used securely with proper precautions. All have consumer protections should fraud or theft occur, but those protections may vary depending on what the issuing institution offers you. This report offers a brief overview of the facts you need to make wise choices for your circumstances.

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What Is a “Credit Score” And How Can It Affect Your Credit?

April 2007


Credit Scoring is a system of statistically analyzing credit reports that provides a simple three-digit score comparing an individual’s past and current credit performance to that of similar consumers. Your credit score provides lenders, or other potential creditors such as insurance companies or landlords, a quick, fairly objective way to assess your creditworthiness—or likely ability to pay back a loan or mortgage or pay the rent. Knowing your credit score (along with regularly checking your credit report) is a smart thing to do.

What is a credit score?

A “credit score” is often called a “FICO score,” after the Fair Isaac Company, which developed the most widely used analytical system and software. It may also be called a “credit rating.” Although individual credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies (CRAs) adapt, add to or modify Fair Isaac models to suit their needs and provide their own credit score, most use the FICO score or system as a foundation.

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