Looking for help in managing your finances? Advance Financial offers financial education classes through the MoneySmart program from the FDIC. MoneySmart can give you the knowledge to improve your financial health and increase savings to achieve important goals, like buying a house.
Click here to contact us about future classes
Here are some basic money management tips from MoneySmart:
Managing Expenses and Credit
- Paying your necessary household expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utilities and food, should be your first priority.
- Many utilities, such as the telephone, electric and gas companies, have programs to lower your bill if you qualify.
- Talk to your creditor about your terms. Some creditors may offer extensions, accept smaller payments over a longer period of time or allow partial payments.
- Consider a debt consolidation loan, but be cautious about high loan fees and interest rates.
- Get professional advice. Reputable credit counselors can help you deal with your financial problems. Some organizations charge little or nothing for their services.
Building Your Credit
Remember, if you have bad credit, rebuilding credit can take some time. Here are some basic steps to improve your credit rating:
- Get a copy of your credit report and review it for errors. Take action to address any errors you find.
- Pay your bills on time. This will help establish a good credit history so you can get credit in the future. Click here for more information on paying your bills at Advance Financial.
- Apply for a small loan at the bank, thrift, or credit union where you have checking and savings accounts. Or apply for credit with a local store, such as a department store, which typically has a lower credit limit. These institutions may be more willing to lend you money, and repayment can help boost your credit rating.
- Make a large down payment on a purchase and negotiate credit payments for the balance. If you do not have a credit history but have a large down payment, there is less risk you will not make the payments.
- Ask a friend or relative with an established credit history to be a cosigner for you. A cosigner promises to repay the loan if you don’t.
- Ask the lender to review your history of making rent and utility payments to demonstrate your ability to pay.
Tips for Saving Money
- Consider your needs vs. your wants. Think about items you purchase on a regular basis, such as meals at a restaurant, candy, soda, cigarettes, cable television or cell phone usage. Where can you save?
- For your paycheck, set up a direct deposit and an automatic transfer to your savings account. Click here to learn more about the All Access® Visa® Prepaid Card from NetSpend, which has a built-in savings account.
- Pay your bills on time. This avoids late fees and other charges.
- If you have paid off a loan, keep making the monthly payments to yourself. You can save or invest the money for your future goals.
- Borrow money only for things that help build your long-term financial security, such as college tuition or buying a home. Avoid loans to pay for vacations, clothing and other short-term, non-emergency needs.
- If your work offers a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan that deducts money from your paycheck, join it! Most employers will match up to $.50 on each dollar you contribute. The matched amount is free money!
About Payday Advances
Advance Financial is a member of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), which has created self-imposed standards for payday advance services. The CFSA’s Best Practices address concerns voiced by community leaders, elected officials and consumer advocates and help consumers avoid the cycle-of-debt.
For more information the CFSA Best Practices, click here.