Tigers Supports Mizzou Sustainability

Tigers Booth

One of the greatest perks of working at a credit union is having the opportunity to get out into the community we serve and becoming involved in the things our members care about. A perfect example of that is getting to work with Sustain Mizzou again to promote the second annual Sustainability Week.

Sustainability Reusable BagsSustainability Week includes a number of events that showcase sustainable resources at Mizzou. Each day of the week highlights a different aspect of sustainability which expands beyond environmentalism into campus life, culture, research, technology, business, even our daily lives.

Part of our involvement in Sustainability Week consisted of donating the reusable bags giveaway. But as a financial institution, our greatest contribution is informing the public on how to live financially sustainable. Check out our guide for 5 ways to cut back, save money and lighten your footprint.

1. Sign up for eStatements. Getting a paper statement in the mail is so 2000 and late. eStatements are faster, safer and it’s super easy to sign up. We also have eStatements for credit cards.

2. Eat clean and local. Contrary to convincing packaging, not all labels are created equal. Lisa Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart magazine, says that the “grass-fed” label on meat is meaningless, but you should buy USDA-certified organic meats, poultry and dairy products.

photo3-2Organic foods are usually more expensive, so we suggest splurging only on organics that don’t have a peel like berries. Non-organic foods like bananas and avocadoes are fine since they have protection. Farmer’s markets are the way to go for fresh produce. The Columbia Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon through November.

3. Utilize online bill pay.  The Environmental Protection Agency reports that paper bills use hundreds of gallons of fuel each year! With our new bill pay program, Bill PayXL, you’ll save on postage and can set up handy automatic payments and reminders.

4.Unplug! Turn off the lights, the computer, the T.V. and the phone. Enjoy the company of friends without these distractions. According to financial advisors, turning off electronics for 18 hours each day could save you $131 over the course of a year.

5. Make a green budget. If you want to clean up your lifestyle, there are immediate changes that will allow you to afford living in a way that promotes sustainability. We offer a free account aggregate called uni$ource that allows you to monitor all your finances in one place as well as create a budget and track your spending. Take a look at your current habits and pick out ones that are wasteful. Cut back your spending in those areas first — the money you save can be used to support habits that are healthier for you and for the earth.

Sustainability Week continues through Friday. For more information or for a complete schedule of events, check out the Sustain Mizzou website or get involved with the Sustainability Office on campus. We’re all in this together!

Transferring Your Mortgage

Couple-Moving_WEBTransferring your mortgage to a new lender can lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment or even let you to pay off your loan early. But, first you must determine if it makes sense.

First, look into loans with shorter terms. If you currently have a 30-year fixed-rate loan, refinancing to a 10-, 15- or 20-year term will lower the total amount of interest you will pay and let you to pay it off faster. Then look at rates. Generally speaking, if rates are lower by one percent or more, it may be a good time to transfer. But, when shopping for rates, be careful. Lenders offering no points and fees usually charge higher interest rates.

To figure out whether it pays to transfer, you must calculate refinancing costs and determine how many months will it take to break-even. You should consider transferring if you plan to stay in your home for more than the time it takes to break-even.

Remember, you can also transfer personal loans and credit card balances and save money. By transferring a loan to a new lender you can spend less money each month. So, no matter what kind of loan you currently have, you should check out your refinancing options with several different lenders. Check out our website for more information including our current rates and the various loans we offer. Remember, transferring a loan can help you squeeze more money out of your monthly budget and save more at the same time!

Transferring Your Car Loan

Transferring or refinancing a car loan with a different lender is one of the best kept secrets around for saving money, but most people never think of it.

78428822_Convertible_blogCar refinancing is like mortgage refinancing – only easier, quicker and without closing costs. When you transfer a car loan, you pay it off with a refinanced loan from a different lender that offers some benefit, such as a lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR), longer payment term or cash offer. A lower APR can reduce the amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan. A longer term could help lower your payments. And, a cash offer can simply put money in your pocket.

However, if your current interest rate can only be reduced by a few points, transferring your loan probably won’t save you enough money.

Begin by researching lenders. Credit unions, banks, finance companies and online lenders refinance car loans, so be sure to compare rates. And, be prepared to research new lenders because most will not refinance their own loans. Be sure to visit our website for additional helpful information including our current rates and the many benefits we offer.