Vacation

Planning a Vacation? Make Sure Your Expenses Are Covered

Summer vacation will be here before you know it. And if you’re planning a family trip, you might want to make sure all your financial ducks are in a row so you can relax about money and just enjoy your time away from home.

First, make sure you’re getting the most cost-effective deals. See if you can use credit card rewards to cover part of your family’s air fare or hotel stay – like with our VISA Platinum with ScoreCard® Rewards. And when you’re choosing a hotel, look for one that offers a variety of freebies, such as discounts on food or hotel amenities, so your hotel funds will go farther.

Also check your organization memberships to see if they offer discounts on the activities you want to do on your trip.

Next, if you plan to use a loan to help pay for the vacation, get that taken care of now. You can choose a personal loan with fixed payments or a home equity loan or line of credit. That way you’ll be set with the funds you need when you’re buying your tickets, plus you’ll have what you need when you start your travels. And you’ll have time to decide exactly how much you’ll need to borrow so you will have enough for all the things you want to do. Give us a call at 419.479.4040 to find out more about the options we’ve got to help you fund your vacation.

Finally, decide how you’re going to pay for things while you’re out of town. It can be a good idea to have a mix of cash and credit cards. Some establishments might take cash only, especially if you’re at an open air market or small mom and pop shop, so having a small amount of cash will help you make sure you’re able to pay no matter where you are. But credit cards offer fraud protection, and if they are lost or stolen on the trip, you can call and have them cancelled and replaced — if you lose cash, you’re usually out of luck. Having one or two credit cards also means you’ve got the means to pay if there is an unplanned expense — and you can earn more rewards to use on your next trip.

One important tip — give us a call and let us know what dates you’ll be travelling and where you’re going. That way, we can alert the fraud monitoring serve we use to keep your funds safe so they will allow the charges. (There are certain countries where U.S. credit cards cannot be used, and we can help guide you on payment methods if you plan to travel to one of these.)

Happy travels!

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Teen Driver

Breaking News: Parents and Teens Disagree on Auto Ownership

Here’s a finding that will surprise nobody: 76% of teens say they’re ready for a car, while 85% of parents disagree.

This comes from independent research conducted for Junior Achievement & American Honda Finance Corporation.

The discord may lie in the fact that 86 percent of teens feel that parents should help them with automobile expenses such as insurance, repairs and gas, while 91 percent of parents believe assistance is unreasonable.

According to the results, nearly one-fourth of teens expects a car with their cap and gown this graduation season.

At the same time, 61 percent of parents expect their teen to complain about the financial upkeep of a car within 30 days of getting their vehicle.

“When it comes to newly licensed drivers, in addition to important discussions about distractions and curfews, parents should rev up the car talk about the financial aspects of car ownership,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. “It’s a great way to prepare them for future financial security both on and off the road.”

Interestingly, 61 percent of parents say that a car is a more effective means of teaching kids financial responsibility than a credit card.

To that end, 96 percent of parents say they would only help their teen buy a car if they first demonstrated responsibility, such as by preparing a budget to pay for expected and unexpected expenses, having a certain amount of money saved or explaining what is required to buy a car.

A third JA-AHFC survey conducted among young adults ages 18-25 may reveal the truth about teens’ financial understanding.

According to this more mature cohort, looking in the rearview mirror, 73 percent admit they did not understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car when they were in high school.

And, with age, comes wisdom.

Ninety-three percent of these young adults are confident that they fully understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car, and they turn to a wide variety of sources for information when considering purchasing a vehicle, including financial institutions, car dealers, online forums, magazines and social media.

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Car Shopping

Five Ways to Turbo Charge Your Car Shopping Process

More than 23 percent of Ohio consumers are considering purchasing a vehicle this year, and 83 percent are more likely to finance the purchase than pay cash, according to a consumer survey conducted by the Ohio Credit Union League.
When asked what factors respondents considered when vehicle shopping, 67 percent said monthly payment is the biggest influence on their decision. For 61 percent of participants, gas mileage is the most important issue, while 47 percent said consumer reviews are important in their decision-making process. Other aspects considered when shopping for a vehicle included a safety rating, vehicle’s history report, and general aesthetics.

It’s no surprise gas mileage is at the top of consumers’ minds. According to Time Magazine’s Everyday Money, after a slight gas-tax increase (to 31.3 cents per gallon) took effect Jan. 1, the average cost of a gallon of gas in the Buckeye State is $2.03. Up from $1.49 a year ago. The national average for gas sits at $2.29 per gallon, according to AAA. That’s 29 cents more than the national average at this time last year.

In addition to the cost at the pump, here are a few tips when choosing a new vehicle that will have the least effect on your wallet.

• Use your tax refund. The more money you’re able to put down on a car, the smaller the loan and ultimately, the less you pay in interest over the life of the loan.

• Get pre-approved. Before car shopping, get pre-approved. It’s fast, free and online at ProMedica FCU. Pre-approval will give you more power to negotiate on the purchase price of the vehicle. Pre-approval also tells you how much you can afford and what type of monthly payment you will have.

• Budget ahead. As a rule-of-thumb, do not allow a monthly payment for a vehicle to exceed 12 to 16 percent of your gross monthly income.

• Consider the total cost of ownership. When car shopping, consider the cost of insurance and maintenance. Also, keep in mind that a high-end vehicle typically costs more to insure and maintain.

• Check with ProMedica FCU. Rather than purchasing items like a warranty and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage at the dealership, check with a credit union. PFCU offers these items at a lower cost than what you would find at a dealership. 


To learn more about how PFCU can help you afford life, stop into one of our four locations or call 419-479-4040.

*Pre-approval based on individual credit worthiness using ProMedica FCU risk based criteria. Pre-approvals are valid for 30 days. Not all applicants will be pre-approved.

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