Dec 17, 2020

new years saving goals

As we make our way to the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about your new year’s savings goals! We are all guilty of making resolutions that we don’t stick to, so let’s make this next year different. We encourage you to choose two things from our list below and focus on those two things for your 2021 resolutions.

Start Saving for Retirement

You may think you have plenty of time to start saving, but you need to start as soon as you can. You should actually aim to have about a year’s salary saved by the time you’re 30. If you start saving for retirement now, you’ll make money which saves you from making higher payments in the future.

Debt vs Credit Cards

Yes, if you aren’t responsible with your spending, credit cards can get you in a lot of trouble. However, there are many benefits to using them. Credit cards help you build credit, unlike debit cards. You still need to be cautious about the use of your credit card. It can be easy to go overboard, causing you loads of debt, so you need to set limits for yourself.

Start an Emergency Fund

This is a perfect New Year’s Resolution. Especially after the year we’ve all had. There were a lot of unknowns in 2020, which is what an emergency fund is for. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so having a money cushion to fall back on makes all the difference. Try to stash as much as you can in the emergency fund, so you’re covered in case of a job loss, unexpected medical bill, or anything that would put you in a financial burden.

Build a Budget

After all that holiday spending, it may be time for you to start a budget! All you need to do is create a list of expenses and incomes to get started. This can be a hard one to stick to because you have to evaluate your budget throughout the year. If you’re able to commit to that, you’ll be on track to achieving your financial goals.

Become Debt-Free

This is a huge one! If you have the ability to free yourself from debt, try to pay off as much as you can. This all depends on how heavy your debt is, what type of debt you hold, and your income level.

If you’ve gone through the list and don’t think you can manage to choose two of these, start with one. We know it’s easy to give up on resolutions but try your best to stick to at least one. If you can do that, you will be on your way to achieving your financial goals for the future.

Let us know if Eastex Credit Union can help. We have Visa Credit Cards with rates as low as 6.99% APR.* Consider consolidating your debt into one monthly payment or refinance your car and save money each month. Whatever your need, we’ve got you covered. Stop by and talk to a loan officer today!

Dec 10, 2020

couple planning a budget together

How To Make A Budget Plan as a Couple

Much like tango, it takes two to create a sensible budget. This notion rings especially true for couples. Though the topic of finances can be touchy in relationships, budget planning bodes well for a stable, prosperous future. If budgeting for couples is new to you, here are some tips on how you and your partner can establish and maintain a budget plan.

Communicate

Leaving one another in the dark about where your finances stand will prove disastrous for your budget planning attempts. Budgeting for couples requires open and honest communication, so don’t withhold any pertinent information from your partner. If you have a low credit score, a bad credit history, or compulsively overspend, let your significant other know. Your salary, debt, and assets are all worth mentioning while developing spending habits. With trust, you can ensure that you’ll reach your financial goals together.

Determine Your Needs

Determining your needs is the only surefire way to avoid overspending. If you’re in debt, it’s crucial to save, cut back, and stick to the necessities. Otherwise, you’ll fail to dig yourself out of your financial rut, which will inevitably result in relationship conflict. Some things to consider include rent, utilities, transportation, credit cards, and loans. When you have your priorities in order, you’ll find great comfort in knowing where your money is going.

Track Your Expenses

While your budget plan may appear sound, you won’t know until it’s in effect. With that said, make it a point to monitor your progress. Not only does this breathe simplicity into the process, but it also provides peace of mind. Fortunately, there are several online resources that can help you track your expenses. If you prefer to tackle this duty solo, creating a spreadsheet will do the trick. So long as you’re consistent and truthful, your results will reflect your success.

Discuss Long-Term Goals

When deciding on how much you and your partner can spend, don’t forget to account for the future. Perhaps you want to travel the world together someday. Maybe a family is in the foreseeable future. By having these conversations, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions on where your finances need to be in the coming years. These goals may seem unattainable at first, but the more you abide by your budget, the more achievable your aspirations will become.

Embrace Changes

Similar to Rome, your budget plan won’t be built in a day. This process requires time, patience, and adaptation. When revisiting your budget, don’t be alarmed if any adjustments need to be made. Try as you might, your lifestyle is bound to alter along the way. As a result, your spending habits also need to evolve. By embracing these changes, you’ll discover how financially savvy and resilient you are.

Normalize the Topic

Unfortunately, some people still find it taboo to talk about their personal finances. This may be true in some social settings, but it’s critical to be upfront with your partner. It might be awkward to broach the topic, but you’ll become more comfortable the more you talk about it. In other words, don’t shy away from the conversation for fear that it’ll make you uneasy. If you wish to set your relationship up for financial success, the good, the bad, and the ugly need to be addressed.

A Trusted East Texas Federal Credit Union

At Eastex Credit Union, you’ll find a team of financial and banking professionals that you can trust. As a sought-after East Texas federal credit union, we know what it takes to keep our members satisfied, financially secure, and at ease. Give us a call today at 409-276-2525 to learn more about our membership benefits, mobile banking options, insurance programs, and more.

Dec 3, 2020

shopping budget

The holiday shopping is in full swing, which means you’re probably spending more money than usual. That’s why we need to talk about your budget! Are you staying within your budget, or have you gone a little over? Either way, it’s important to look over your budget at the end of each month, so you can make changes for the next month. Since we are getting close to the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to think about this! When evaluating your budget, you need to go through a step-by-step process, which we’ll talk about below.

Compare Your Spending vs. Your Planned Spending

Once you’ve created a budget, you need to track your spending throughout the month. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of overspending, underspending, or staying within your budget for the month.

If you find that you spent more than planned, try to think of ways you can reduce your expenses for next month. If you stayed within your budget, you’re doing great, but you may still find changes you need to make for the next month.

Evaluate New Income and Expenses

Not every month will be exactly the same, that’s why a budget is specific to each given month. So, you want to think about the next month, and figure out if any incomes or expenses are changing. These changes can occur from a job loss, getting married, having children, and from the holidays.

Review Your Financial Goals

We know that income and expenses can change, but financial goals can change as well! If you pay off debt, you may have a significant amount of more money to spend each month. Your financial goals should always be included in your budget.

Make Changes to Your Budget

Once you’ve figured out your income, expenses, and financial goals for the next month you can modify your budget where changes are needed. Sometimes it may be a drastic change, and some months it may not change much at all.

Identify Spending Issues

After you’ve evaluated your budget for the next month, you may discover issues in your spending. Maybe you used your credit card too much or took too much out of savings, which means you need to put constraints on these things for following month. Before you make a purchase, think about how much you need the item. We are all guilty of buying things we don’t really need, especially when trying to save money.

Review Your Budget Monthly and Annually

As we said before, it’s important to review your budget at the end of each month, but also annually. An annual budget reveals a bigger spectrum of spending patterns and is a great way to see where your money is going over longer periods of time. That way, you’ll be able to achieve your long-term financial goals.

Sticking to your budget is so important, but it’s ok to treat yourself every once in a while! Being able to treat yourself makes it even more motivating to stay on track each month. And remember, Eastex CU is always here to help you with your finances.

Nov 26, 2020

checking credit score

Credit Score Overview From East Texas Federal Credit Union

Though some regard their credit score as unimportant financial information, we at Eastex Credit Union know how false this claim is. As a trusted credit union in East Texas, our members find great peace of mind in our extensive industry knowledge. Unfortunately, there are several myths surrounding credit scores, reports, and how spending habits impact this data. To debunk these falsehoods and shed some light on this matter, we’ve provided a wealth of helpful insight below.

How Often Should I Check My Credit Score?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, it’s important to note that you can check credit score reports as much as you’d like. In most cases, it’s sensible to monitor it regularly. For many, this means checking their credit score a few times a year. Bear in mind that your credit score is only updated about once a month, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t notice any changes for weeks at a time.

Depending on your circumstances, it might make sense to track your credit score more regularly. For instance, if you’re interested in applying for a loan, credit card, etc., knowing where you stand financially will prove enlightening. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, it’s especially critical to keep an eye on your credit score. Any significant and unusual changes should be reported immediately. The sooner you dispute fraudulent activity, the faster you can repair your credit score.

Most notably, don’t hesitate to check your credit score as you see fit. Contrary to popular belief, checking your score won’t lower it. In fact, it won’t have any effect on your credit report. Third parties can also gather this information without influencing your score. These are called hard credit inquiries, and they’re performed primarily by lenders. Checking your credit score yourself is referred to as a soft credit inquiry.

When Not To Check Credit Score

It’s prudent to have a rough idea of what your credit score is, but obsessively checking is ill-advised. People with lower scores tend to stress over daily fluctuations, but these minor adjustments aren’t worth worrying about. These shifts are normal, so there’s no need to preoccupy yourself with the day-to-day numbers. At the same time, it’s careless to ignore this information. Though having a low credit score can provoke anxiety, disregarding this data will prove detrimental in the long run.

How To Check Credit Score

At Eastex Credit Union, we’ve partnered with a convenient tool that allows members to check their credit score from the comfort of their own home. This complimentary program is called Credit Sense, and it offers 24/7 access to your credit score. When you opt for this resource, these are some other perks that you’re promised.

  • Advice on how to maintain a healthy credit score
  • Unlimited access to credit score
  • No credit card information required
  • Easy-to-use features
  • Daily credit alerts
  • Free monthly credit reports
  • Performance reviews

Your Go-To East Texas Federal Credit Union

Whether you have a healthy credit score, a bad credit report, or require sage financial counsel, we’re a credit union for all. We breathe understanding and convenience into these financial affairs, and we have an unwavering commitment to community involvement. Discover how easy it is to improve your credit score, analyze your credit report, and promote financial stability when you place your trust in us. Give us a call today at 409-276-2525 to learn more about our banking services.

Nov 19, 2020

holiday budget gifts

The holidays may look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean your traditions can’t stay the same! We know one of those traditions is Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. This year, Cyber Monday may be your best friend to stay away from large crowds and skip waiting in those long lines, but, whatever you decide to do, we want you to be prepared for your holiday shopping! Below are some tips to help you get ready for the shopping madness.

Take Advantage of Curbside Pickup

That’s right. Let someone do your shopping for you! Pick out your items online, choose in-store pickup, and your gifts will be brought out to your car. Sounds pretty good to us. Many retailers are offering this such as Best Buy, Kohls, Nordstrom, Old Navy, and Walmart.

Shop Online

Many retailers are starting deals well before Black Friday, so it’s smart to keep checking online so you can get a head start.

Keep Shipping Delays in Mind

The majority of people will be doing their shopping online this year. This may cause shipping delays, so make sure you order your gifts ahead of time.

Make a List, Check it Twice

Write down all the gifts you need to buy so you can stay organized. That way, you can check things off as you go.

Plan Your Shopping Trips

Plan out all the stores you need to go to, and what you need at each store. This will save you time and save you from buying more than you need.

Support Small Businesses

This is always important, but especially this year. Shop at your local shops to help them out and find unique gifts for your loved ones. It’s a win-win!

Use Coupons!

This is a big one! Using apps like RetailMeNot will help you save money and get amazing deals. If you have coupons, definitely make sure to use them.

Following these simple tips will create a stress-free holiday shopping experience this year. We encourage you to do most of your shopping online to stay safe and avoid the in-store hassles. We hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday season. Happy Shopping!

A Trusted East Texas Federal Credit Union

At Eastex Credit Union, you’ll find a team of financial and banking professionals that you can trust. As a sought-after East Texas Federal Credit Union, we know what it takes to keep our members satisfied, financially secure, and at ease. Give us a call today at 409-276-2525 to learn more about our membership benefits, mobile banking options, insurance programs, and more.

Nov 12, 2020

loan application

What Is a Line of Credit?

A line of credit is an amount of money that a credit union agrees to lend you. You are not required to take possession of the entire sum. Instead, you will be able to make withdrawals when you need to until the entire amount that you were approved to borrow is gone. You will only need to pay interest on the amount that you withdraw.

Line of credit loans provide you with an amount of money at the moment you need it. It is a great financial product for those unexpected expenses that come up when you are least prepared to address them. For example, your car breaks down and needs very expensive repairs. Rather than place this expense on your credit cards, you will be able to withdraw the money from your line of credit.

How Does the Interest Work?

You will only need to pay interest on the amount of money that you withdraw. You will be required to repay the principal and the interest, but after you have done this, the money will be available to you to borrow again. Every time you need a sum of money to pay an unexpected expense, you can withdraw it and pay it back, and you can do this several times. You only need to make sure that you adhere to the terms and conditions of your loan. This means that you must pay back what you borrow in full, and you must pay it back on or before the due date.

How Does a Line of Credit Work?

We can make this easier to explain by comparing a traditional loan to a line of credit. With a traditional loan, you will receive the entire amount in one lump sum, but you will be required to begin repaying this loan right away. Line of credit loans provide you with an amount of money that you can access when you need it, and you don’t have to begin paying interest until you do.

To qualify for a line of credit in Kirbyville, Silsbee, Buna, Kountze and Evadale Texas, you don’t need to offer anything to the credit union as collateral. If you were to apply for a traditional loan, you would be required to offer your home as collateral for the loan, and this puts your house at risk.

Your credit scores will be considered when your lender determines what your interest rate will be. For example, if you have good or great credit scores, your lender will be willing to offer you the lowest annual percentage rates.

The Draw Period

The draw period is the amount of time that you will have to withdraw money from your approved line of credit. This draw period can last for years. The credit union may give you a special checkbook for the purpose of using your funds, or your lender will offer you a credit card. Your credit union may also deposit the money into your checking account when you need it.

After you withdraw a sum of money, the interest begins to accrue. You are going to need to begin making the minimum payments, or you can pay more. If you only make the minimum payments, it will take you longer to repay this loan and cost you more in interest. These payments will be returned to your line of credit loans as you repay them. At the end of the draw period, you will be in your repayment period and need to repay the remaining balance.

When Is This Type of Loan a Good Choice?

If you would like to consolidate several debts, this is a good loan for this purpose. You will reduce the number of bills you are paying to one and make lower monthly payments because you will have a lower percentage rate. It doesn’t require you to offer anything as collateral. It is also good for large expenses that you must make, such as home repairs or college expenses. You may even be able to deduct your payments from your tax returns.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Eastex Credit Union in Evadale, Silsbee, Kountze, Buna and Kirbyville, contact us today!

Nov 5, 2020

credit union helping woman with online banking

At Eastex Credit Union, we know you’re busy and we want to remind you we’re always available. One of our main goals as your credit union is to make banking as convenient as possible. Make sure you are taking advantage of everything we have to offer!

Mobile Banking

You can knock out your financial tasks quickly and conveniently with the Eastex Mobile App.

  • Checking your account balance.
  • Reviewing your transaction history.
  • Receiving e-alerts as they arise.
  • Fund transfers between your accounts.
  • Check deposits.

Download the app here!

e-Statements

These allow you to get the necessary information for your monthly account statements direct to your email. It’s FREE to sign up!

  • Save on paper and ink
  • Faster service
  • Online statements for your reference
  • Can be easily viewed and printed if needed
  • Free service

If you’d like to set up account e-statements, contact us.

Online Banking

Our online banking allows you to check your account anywhere there is an internet connection. You have secure access to your account anytime, anywhere! To sign up, you can either contact us or stop by a branch location.

A Trusted East Texas Federal Credit Union

At Eastex Credit Union, you’ll find a team of financial and banking professionals that you can trust. As a sought-after East Texas Federal Credit Union, we know what it takes to keep our members satisfied, financially secure, and at ease. Give us a call today at 409-276-2525 to learn more about our membership benefits, mobile banking options, insurance programs, and more.

Oct 29, 2020

credit card tips

The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly developed with little advance notice, and it was quickly followed by a deep recession that has touched many of our members’ lives. At Eastex Credit Union, we have seen how detrimental the recession has been to peoples’ finances. Those who have not yet been touched by the recession often stress about future uncertainties.

Many are increasingly focused on improving their financial situation, such as by reducing spending and increasing savings. If you are struggling with high credit card debt, debt reduction may also be at the top of your to-do-list. However, one question remains: Should you pay off your credit card debt or increase your savings account balance first?

Review Your Finances

As is the case with many things in life, there is not a clear-cut answer to this question that applies to all situations. To find the answer that is right for you, you must first review your finances. Begin by reviewing your budget to look for opportunities to cut back on expenses. By doing so, you may see how tight your budget is on a monthly basis. On the other hand, you could free up extra money that could be used for debt reduction or savings.

Your budget will tell you a lot about your financial security, but you also must consider how secure your job and income are at the present time. Not all industries have been hit as hard during the pandemic. Some industries may be busier than others, and some may have been affected by mandatory shutdowns for months on end.

Decide Between Saving Money and Debt Reduction

The importance of having a comfortable nest egg may be more apparent now than ever before. In addition to the possibility of losing your source of income, you and your family members may become ill with COVID-19. Lost wages and high medical bills will follow. Take a hard look at your savings account balance and estimate how far it would realistically take you if you were forced to live without income for any reason.

If you have a comfortable emergency fund and do not feel the need to pad your fund given the current circumstances, paying off high-interest debts is a great idea. By reducing these debts, you are lowering your monthly expenses progressively. This means that you may be able to make ends meet with less money a few months from now. As a result, you will be able to stretch the benefits of your nest egg.

Know How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Have you decided that paying down your credit card balances is in your best interest? These steps will help you to make the most of your efforts.

1.Create a Debt Reduction Plan

Experts agree that it is best to focus on eliminating one debt at a time rather than all debts at the same time. There are two strategies to consider. You can choose the debt with the highest interest rate, or you can target the debt with the smallest balance. Once the debt that you are focusing on is eliminated, you can move on to the next one.

2. Set Up Recurring Payments

After deciding which credit card to target, determine how much money you can allocate toward debt reduction each month. Set up a recurring payment so that you make steady progress toward your goals. At the same time, stop using your credit cards for a while.

3. Review the Benefits of a Credit Card Balance Transfer

To maximize the benefits of every dollar, you could take advantage of a credit card balance transfer. Eastex credit cards have a low-interest rates on balance transfers; you can bypass interest charges and focus your full payment toward debt reduction.

4. Consider a Debt Consolidation Loan

An alternative is a debt consolidation loan. Unlike a credit card balance transfer, these loans have a fixed term. This means that you will have a specified loan debt payoff date. In some cases, a consolidation loan establishes more affordable monthly payments and facilitates faster debt reduction.

As your trusted credit union in Evadale, Buna, Kirbyville, Kountze and Silsbee and East Texas, we want to help you manage your finances during these difficult economic times. Our team is available to answer your questions about debt consolidation and to help you determine if this is a suitable solution for you at this time. Contact Eastex Credit Union today to learn more.

Oct 22, 2020

trick or treating safety girl

It’s officially that spooky time of year. Pumpkin carving, haunted hayrides, scary movies, Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating! We know your little ones are getting excited for all the candy they’re going to get this year, but safety comes first. Eastex CU cares about the safety of our members and their families. We want to see your little ones with lots of treats, just no tricks. With that said, we thought we’d share some trick-or-treating safety tips for Halloween night.

Wear your masks

Unfortunately, this has to be a safety tip this year. If your child’s costume involves a mask already, then they should be fine. If it doesn’t, make sure to provide them with one. You can even make it fun! Create a mask that goes with their costume.

 

Travel in groups

Older kids should travel together, and stick to routes that they discussed with their parents. If possible, try to travel in groups no larger than six people to promote social distancing. They should have a cell phone on them in case of emergency and return home by a set curfew.

Stay LIT

Make sure your kids have a flashlight. You can even dress them up in glowsticks, so they are visible to cars driving by.

Safely Cross Roads

It’s easy for the little ones to get excited and forget that cars are still on the road. Make sure to use cross walks, look both ways before crossing, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing. If you’re driving around on Halloween, make sure to be extra cautious and stay off your cell phone.

Inspect the Candy

Before letting the kids rip open the candy, dump the entire bag out and check all of it. If you find any open packages or anything homemade, throw it away.

Pick the right size

Make sure costumes fit right. Stay away from anything too long that could result in a bad fall. You definitely don’t want a child that is uncomfortable all night, so be aware of this.

Make sure to follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get all the treats out of Halloween! We hope you have a safe, spooky and fun-filled Halloween!

Oct 15, 2020
credit union benefits

credit union benefit

Do you ever find yourself confused about what a credit union actually is? You’re not the only one! Many people feel the same way. At Eastex CU, we think it’s important to educate as many people as we can. With that said, we are here to answer all those question marks in your head!

What is a credit union?

Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial institutions owned by their members. The services we provide are similar to banks, but our profits go to our members, not stockholders. You must meet certain requirements to join a credit union. It’s usually based on where you live, work or worship, or through associations you’re involved with.

How do credit unions work?

Credit unions are for members, by members who vote and elect a volunteer board of directors. Our focus is to help members reach their financial goals.

Because our profits come back to our members, we can offer better savings rates, lower loan rates and reduced fees. The unique thing about credit unions is that we are member-owned. When you deposit money in a credit union account, you become an owner-member of the credit union. You’re a customer and an owner. The money you and other members deposit is used to make loans to other credit union members.

What do credit unions offer?

Credit unions offer a more personalized service experience. The products and services that credit unions offer are very similar to what banks offer, with a little change in terminology. We aim to keep our fees low and may not have as many fees as banks. We also offer low interest rates on loans, so if you’re looking for a personal loan, car loan, or mortgage, make sure to compare the rates by Eastex Credit Union to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Choose Eastex Credit Union!

Now that we’ve answered the main questions you probably had; you should feel a lot more confident about credit unions. If you’ve been thinking about joining one, consider choosing Eastex Credit Union. We love supporting the financial needs of our members!

If you’re interested in becoming a member, check out how to join. It’s easy to apply!


AUTO LOANS

RATES AS LOW AS

2.20%

APY*

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6.99%

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MONEY MARKETS

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0.35%

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CERTIFICATES

RATES UP TO

0.70%

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0.75%

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