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FINANCIAL WELLNESS CENTER

Your financial well-being is important to us and we're committed to providing you with the resources to manage your money.

Our financial wellness center is designed to provide visitors with an engaging learning experience around critical personal financial topics, such as building emergency savings, mortgage education and retirement planning.

Checking Accounts

A checking account is a financial tool that offers everyday access to your funds and provides an effective way to track your budget. You will explore how to choose, open, and use your checking account.

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Car Loans

Buying a car is a big decision that may feel intimidating or confusing. Let’s take a look at some resources, options, and steps to help guide you through the process of selecting and buying a car.

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Preventing Overdraft Fees

What happens when you look at your account and you see a negative balance? Don’t worry—over 39 million American adults reported paying at least one overdraft fee within a 12-month period. Let’s learn more about why these fees occur and how to prevent them.

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Credit Cards

According to the Federal Reserve, approximately 83% of adults in the United States currently have at least one credit card. Although they may be costly if mismanaged, credit cards are also a valuable financial tool that may build or improve your credit when used responsibly. The key is understanding whether a credit card is the right decision for you.

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Mobile and Online Banking

Using your phone or your computer is probably part of your daily life, but are you using these devices to manage money? People are increasingly using online and mobile banking for monitoring account activity, paying bills, or even for making purchases like a morning coffee or daily lunch. Explore how to use online and mobile banking securely to improve your financial habits and simplify daily financial tasks.

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Prepaid Cards

Many purchases require a credit or debit card. Unfortunately, not all of us have one. Prepaid cards may be a convenient alternative to these forms of payment and to cash. Learn more about prepaid cards to see if they’re right for you.

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Why You Should Pay More Than the Minimum Balance on Your Credit Card

Credit cards offer convenience and flexibility, and some even offer rewards like cash back. They make it possible to afford large purchases when you don’t necessarily have the cash on hand. 

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Healthy Financial Habits

If you ever feel overwhelmed by your financial situation, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck—struggling to pay their bills or save for the future. But by adopting some important financial habits, you can feel more confident about your financial well-being.

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Budgeting During a Crisis (Financial or Otherwise)

Getting through a crisis takes strength. Whether it’s losing a job or coping with the loss of a loved one, you’re dealing with emotional upheaval and a change in your finances. The best way to cope with financial changes is to face them by developing and sticking to a budget. With a budget, you may find steps to take to lower your expenses and prioritize your spending.

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How to Save for an Emergency, During an Emergency

Sticking to a routine savings plan has never been easy. It’s even more difficult when something unexpected happens, like an accident or a natural disaster. Many consumers use credit cards or loans as a quick solution during emergency situations. Unfortunately, high-interest debts can be hard to pay off. If you don’t pay off those balances regularly, you can pay more in the long run through accrued interest. If you fall behind on your payments, expect to cover late fees as well. Financial emergencies happen, but starting or continuing to set aside money for an emergency, even during an emergency, is still the safer and more affordable option.

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Debt Management

One survey shows that approximately 80% of Americans are currently in debt. Whether it be from a credit card, student loan, or mortgage, understanding how debt works, knowing where to go for help, and making a plan are the keys to help you better manage your debt.

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Manage Your Loans During Difficult Times

If you are having difficulty keeping up with your monthly loan payments, you are not alone. Millions of Americans just like you are struggling to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy. Choosing to not make a loan payment due to hardship should not be an option.

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The CARES Act Helps Free up Funds in 2020

The goal of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is to help people deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In the U.S., unemployment rates during the pandemic have exceeded the rates we saw during the recession of 2008–2010. In February, 6.2 million Americans were unemployed, while in May, 20.5 million people were out of work.

 

The CARES Act is an economic relief package from the federal government that delivers over $2 trillion to workers, families, and businesses. It puts cash in the hands of Americans primarily through stimulus payments, delays on student loan debt, and easier access to retirement funds.

 

This aid can help pay for day-to-day needs, but it’s also an opportunity to save some money.

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Paying for College

College costs are rising, but with strategic planning and saving, paying for education can be within your reach. Regardless of your financial situation, there are smart ways to plan and pay for college. Let’s explore the many options that may be available to you and your family.

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Building Emergency Savings

No one wants to think about car breakdowns or job loss. But as much as we’d like to avoid thinking about them, emergencies do happen. Building an emergency savings account that is dedicated to handling the unexpected is important. 

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Shopping for Insurance

Some insurance is required and some is for your own peace of mind. Explore what things to consider when shopping for insurance and how to avoid bad deals.

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Health Savings Account

Since Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created in 2003, they have become a popular way of saving for healthcare costs. They may even be used as another way to save for your retirement. Explore whether you are eligible to enroll in an HSA and how they may work for you.

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Savings Account

Savings is money that you put aside for safekeeping. You may be saving for a specific purpose, or you could be building up an emergency fund. Understanding the various types of accounts available to you and the way these accounts earn interest is one great way to increase savings even further. Let’s explore how you can make savings work for you.

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529 Plans

Did you know that having a plan to save for your child’s college education actually increases the chances that they will attend? Whether you are just starting to save for college for yourself or you’re thinking about saving for someone else, 529 plans are an option that is worth considering. Although more than 75% of undergraduate students use financial aid such as scholarships, grants, or loans to pay for college, more than half of students surveyed have never even heard of 529 plans.

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Certificate of Deposit

Certificates of Deposit, or CDs, are a type of financial account that is designed to hold a fixed amount of money for a fixed amount of time. In return, the financial institution that issues your CD will pay you interest.

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Sustainable Investing

The myth that investing is only for the privileged or wealthy is just that—a myth. Not only is investing becoming more common, investors are increasingly choosing to put their money toward causes that are aligned with their personal values. Sustainable investing is a great way for new or experienced investors to gain a voice and get involved in issues that are important to them, all while building a portfolio that may help them reach their financial goals.

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Mindful Living

Feeling stressed out? You’re not alone. In our daily lives, we experience many ups and downs. We may welcome a new family member, lose out on a dream job, travel to an exciting new location, or receive bad news about our health, all in one year. The roller coaster of emotions we experience has a real effect on our bodies and on our minds. Don’t let stress get the best of you.

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Managing Volatile Income

In the 20th century, many people could count on a stable job—one that came with a steady paycheck, health benefits, a pension, and maybe even a yearly bonus. The 21st-century employment landscape looks a lot different. There’s the growing “gig economy,” where workers are paid for doing certain projects or tasks (known as “gigs”). Since they aren’t employees, these workers lose out on benefits and a stable paycheck.

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Identity Protection

Your identity is a valuable piece of information and identity theft and identity fraud are fast-growing crimes. They can involve someone impersonating you, using your personal information to open bank accounts, withdrawing money from your accounts, or even taking out loans in your name. Let’s explore how you can protect your identity and how to spot signs of fraud.

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Creating a Budget

Have you ever run out of money before the end of the month? Determine your monthly income and expenses to create a budget so you know where your money is going instead of wondering where it went.

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Credit Scores and Reports

Your credit can have a big impact on your financial life. Credit scores and reports provide a snapshot of the financial habits that financial institutions, cell phone companies, credit card companies, and others use to get a sense of your creditworthiness. Understanding how credit scores and reports work can help you achieve financial goals such as buying a home, leasing a car, or paying off debt.

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Debt Management

One survey shows that approximately 80% of Americans are currently in debt. Whether it be from a credit card, student loan, or mortgage, understanding how debt works, knowing where to go for help, and making a plan are the keys to help you better manage your debt.

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Family Conversations about Money

According to a recent study people are more comfortable talking with friends and family about marital discord, mental health, addiction, race, sex, and politics than money. Although money concerns may put a strain on relationships and conversations about money can be stressful, having family conversations proactively may help.

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Taxes: The Basics

Every year, Americans prepare for Tax Day — the day when all U.S. workers are expected to have submitted their annual income tax forms. Despite all of the clichés about how the period of time leading up to Tax Day is stressful, this process does not have to be complicated or make you nervous. By understanding why taxes are important, how to stay on top of your taxes, and the steps for filing, you can avoid the stress of tax season.

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Healthy Financial Habits

If you ever feel overwhelmed by your financial situation, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck—struggling to pay their bills or save for the future. But by adopting some important financial habits, you can feel more confident about your financial well-being.

LEARN MORE Learn More about Healthy Financial Habits

Budgeting for Families

Does the idea of setting a household budget sound intimidating? You’re not alone—in fact, one report shows that only 2 out of every 5 families use a household budget to take control of their finances. Budgeting and planning family finances are key to controlling spending and planning for a healthy financial future. If you know where your money is going each month, you can start achieving your financial goals and put your whole family on the path to financial success.

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Considering Homeownership

More than 70% of Americans consider homeownership to be an important part of the American Dream but buying a home can be one of the most expensive, albeit rewarding, decisions you’ll ever make.

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Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages were created in the 1960s with the intent of helping older homeowners access all or some of a home’s equity while allowing them to keep living in the home. This type of mortgage has been a beneficial option for some seniors. However, there are some pitfalls to be aware of.

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Buying a Home

Congratulations! You’ve decided to purchase a home. Now it's time to prepare yourself to make the right decisions by learning about the process, the people who can assist you, and the associated costs.

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Mortgages

For a majority of people in the U.S., buying a home is a big part of the American Dream. But how many years would it take to save up the lump sum you’d need to pay for a house in full? That’s where a mortgage comes in. A mortgage is a loan that can allow you to buy a home, and you pay it back over many years with interest.

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Mortgage Relief

Seventy-eight percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, including 10% of people earning $100,000 or more per year. If you are having trouble making mortgage payments or are worried that your payment will be late in the future, you are not alone.

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Investment Property

Property investment, such as house flipping, is a hot topic right now among investors and especially on TV. Purchasing property with the intent of earning a return on the investment from the future resale or rental income has many pros and cons.

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Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

Your financial situation, and economic conditions, can change a lot in 15 or 30 years. Because of this, it’s highly likely that the mortgage you took out when you first bought your home won’t remain the best deal for you. Thankfully, you don’t have to stick to the same mortgage if better options come along. Refinancing allows you to make changes to your mortgage that will allow you to lower your monthly payment, pay down the loan more quickly, or switch to a different type of mortgage entirely.

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Planning for Retirement

Most people plan to save for—or want to save for—retirement. But research shows that many people, including those approaching retirement age, do not have enough savings set aside for retirement. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or what your options are. Let’s explore savings options, how to set goals, and other important considerations.

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401(k) Plans

Saving money for retirement is one of the major financial milestones that everyone should carefully plan for in their lifetime. 401(k) plans are one type of savings plan that may help you to achieve your goals through saving, investing, and earning interest.

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When to Collect Social Security

As you save for retirement over the course of your career, you will probably wonder how Social Security benefits will help to supplement your retirement income. Knowing the consequences of collecting Social Security at different moments throughout your life can help you plan your finances and ensure that you save enough for the retirement lifestyle you imagine.

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FIRE Lifestyle

Living a FIRE lifestyle means maximizing your savings and planning a lifestyle that allows you to use your income for early retirement instead of just paying bills. Let’s explore how you can spend mindfully, save regularly, protect your assets, and ask for help so that you may be able to be financially independent and ready for early retirement.

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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, and there are lots of great resources available to help you achieve your financial goals. One option to consider is an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.

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Estate Planning

Estate planning isn’t only for the extremely wealthy. Anyone who has assets, dependents, or an interest in how they are cared for when they age should consider a form of estate planning. More than half of the population leaves no formal plan in place for their loved ones when they pass. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of estate planning can save you and your loved ones unnecessary grief during an already difficult time.

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Wealth Transfer

The largest generational wealth transfer in U.S. history is expected to happen over the next 25 years. If you think you’ll be joining in what some are calling the “Great Wealth Transfer,” it’s important to be prepared. Take a moment to learn some of the strategies to possibly minimize fees and maximize earnings and the regulations involved in this key financial transaction.

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5 Things You Can Do When Your Retirement Savings Just Isn’t Enough

Experts tell us that our retirement goal should be a savings that totals 80% of our annual income for 30 years. For some of us, that’s over a million dollars! Many issues get in the way of our ability to save that much. Sometimes we’re paying back student loans well into middle age, or we have unforeseen emergencies, or our employment isn’t consistent.  

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Roadmap to Financial Strength

Be Confident. You make important financial decisions everyday. And, we are here to give you the know how and skills to become stronger everyday.

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Planning for Retirement

Most people plan to save for—or want to save for—retirement. But research shows that many people, including those approaching retirement age, do not have enough savings set aside for retirement. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start or what your options are. Let’s explore savings options, how to set goals, and other important considerations.

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Building Emergency Savings

No one wants to think about car breakdowns or job loss. But as much as we’d like to avoid thinking about them, emergencies do happen. Building an emergency savings account that is dedicated to handling the unexpected is important. 

LEARN MORE Learn More about Building Emergency Savings

Creating a Budget

Have you ever run out of money before the end of the month? Determine your monthly income and expenses to create a budget so you know where your money is going instead of wondering where it went.

LEARN MORE Learn More about Creating a Budget

When to Collect Social Security

As you save for retirement over the course of your career, you will probably wonder how Social Security benefits will help to supplement your retirement income. Knowing the consequences of collecting Social Security at different moments throughout your life can help you plan your finances and ensure that you save enough for the retirement lifestyle you imagine.

LEARN MORE Learn More about When to Collect Social Security

FIRE Lifestyle

Living a FIRE lifestyle means maximizing your savings and planning a lifestyle that allows you to use your income for early retirement instead of just paying bills. Let’s explore how you can spend mindfully, save regularly, protect your assets, and ask for help so that you may be able to be financially independent and ready for early retirement.

LEARN MORE Learn More about FIRE Lifestyle

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