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What’s the Best Way to Finance Home Improvements?

If you’re thinking of major renovations or a home addition that will cost more than you can pay out of pocket, come talk to us. Depending on your circumstances and plans, we have several options for you to choose from:

  • A mortgage with money built in for improvements. If you haven’t bought the house yet, or are considering refinancing an existing home loan, this could be the way to go. Fees and closing costs will apply.
  • A fixed-rate home equity loan. Use the equity that you have built in your home! Borrow up to 80% or 90% of the equity available in your home. We offer 5, 10 and 15 year fixed rate home equity loans. The fees and cost of a fixed-rate home equity are significantly less than those of a mortgage.
  • A home equity line of credit (HELOC). This choice gives you more financial flexibility, since you can draw out as much as you need (up to your approved credit limit, of course) when you need it, and the money can be used for any purpose. There are fees associated with a HELOC, but, as with a Fixed Rate Home Equity they are significantly less than fees and closing costs of a mortgage.

In most cases the interest you pay on any of these loan options will be tax-deductible, since they all use your available home equity as collateral. Prefer not to tie up your equity? We may still be able to help. Ask us about a personal loan or a draft line of credit to finance the home improvements you have in mind.

Avoid Imposter Family Scams

If you get an unsuspected call from someone claiming to be a family member or friend asking you for money to help them out of an emergency, take pause before acting! This could be a scam. Imposters often use scare tactics like saying they have been in an accident or arrested to get people to act fast. Artificial Intelligence can even mimic a loved one’s voice.

Always call or text your friend or family member back directly to make sure they are okay, and never wire money, mail cash, or send cryptocurrency to a stranger!

Why You Should Monitor Your Automatic Payments

Setting up automatic payments for recurring bills is a modern convenience that saves a significant amount of time. As long as you have the funds in your account, you’ll simply be able to set it and forget it, right? Yes, you could— but here are a few reasons why you should monitor your automatic payments:

Overdraft Fees
When making manual bill payments, you can always check to ensure you have sufficient funds in your account before you pay. When you enroll in auto-pay, there’s a greater risk of overdrafting your account, as you probably won’t be logging into online or mobile banking to check your balance before each payment. While truly being able to set it and forget it would be great, it’s a good idea to continue checking in on your accounts before your automatic payments clear each month. This is especially crucial if you’ve automated any variable expenses, such as a heating or electric bill.

Unnoticed Errors
Service providers and lenders do occasionally make mistakes. While rare, these mistakes could be costly. Your phone company could accidentally withdraw your monthly payment twice or your internet provider could add an extra zero on your bill by mistake. If you aren’t monitoring your automatic payments, a costly mistake could go unnoticed. If it goes unnoticed for too long, you may not even be able to dispute the incorrect payment.

Cancelled Services
If you’ve enrolled in auto pay and had only positive experiences, you might simply let your automatic ACH or Bill Pay services take care of everything. However, your autopay service doesn’t know when you’ve stopped going to the gym or deleted the Hulu app from your smart TV. If you’re letting your autopay take care of everything, you may find yourself wasting money on subscriptions you’re not using. Instead, simply check in on your account statements each month to ensure that you aren’t throwing your hard-earned money away.

Autopay is incredibly convenient and is a payment process that is certainly worth looking into, but it’s important to have good financial habits rooted in an awareness of what you’re paying and when.

Don’t Fall for Spoofing Scams!

Receiving an unexpected call about fraud on your account from a number that appears to be originating from your credit union, or another institution, can be alarming. We will NEVER contact you by phone and ask you to share account information— we already have your information and do not need you to give that out through a phone call.

Don’t fall victim to a phone spoofing scam! Keep your personal information private. When in doubt, hang up! Hang up and call us directly at 207-487-5576.