2020 has wrapped up and there’s no doubt it was a difficult year for a lot of us. COVID-19 brought us unstable markets, layoffs, and loads of uncertainty.
Financial literacy is vital for keeping your finances healthy during this tough time.
Being financially literate can help you stay close to your life goals and mitigate the impact on your family during volatility. It can feel intimidating, so know that you’re not alone and White River Credit Union is here to help. At WRCU we care deeply about educating our members and giving you the tools you need– especially during times like these– and we have plenty of resources to bolster your financial literacy and help your family make the best financial choices possible for your situation.
Gather Information and Keep Learning
We’re all learning and adapting as we navigate COVID-19, and White River Credit Union is proud to partner with BALANCE to provide free financial literacy webinars! Check our events calendar or click the link to BALANCE found in our Learning Area to hear about upcoming free credit union webinars.
Check on Your Retirement Accounts
Stay financially literate and protect your finances during the pandemic by checking on your savings and investments. Ask questions, like:
- Does it make the most sense to put or keep my savings in an IRA or ROTH IRA, or should I look at other options? (IRAs restrict when you can withdraw your funds, so consider when you may need access to your money)
- Do I have emergency savings or a contingency plan if my job is susceptible to layoffs or my family faces an unexpected financial hit?
- Does my employer have a 401K match, stock options, or financial resources I can use?
Having a solid financial plan will likely mean staying dynamic and being able to adjust during times of uncertainty. If you have questions about the best course of action, contact one of our knowledgeable staff to discuss and gain clarity on what’s best for you and your family.
Assess Your Savings
Consider whether you have emergency savings or a contingency plan if your job is susceptible to layoffs or your family faces an unexpected financial hit. Discuss emergency funds and have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses saved for your family to live on in the event of a financial hit.
Review Your Mortgage and Home loans
Review your mortgage and talk to a credit union specialist about whether refinancing your home applying for a credit union home loan makes sense for you. A high number of people are refinancing at the moment, and interest rates are incredibly low.
A couple of options are:
- Refinancing at a lower interest rate or for a longer repayment term. This can help lower payments to free up funds to cover living expenses or save.
- Home Equity Line of Credit. If you lack emergency savings, consider talking to your credit union about getting approval for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which would be there in case of an emergency.
Consider Working with a Credit Union
There are a few things to think about when looking at the benefits of using a credit union over a bank. One of the biggest factors is personal care.
Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations focused on giving you the best experience possible. While we have a mobile app and online tools for your convenience, we are always here to talk with you and make sure that you are taken care of and have your questions answered. We know that things have become impersonal and automated with big banks, but credit unions treat you like an actual human, not a number. Our team is here to work with you on your personal financial journey, rather than pushing products on you. This article can help figure out whether working with a credit union is right for you.
This is a difficult period for all of us. White River Credit Union is committed to helping mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your family’s financial health. Visit our Learning Area for more information and tools for financial literacy.
Reach out to us if you need help with financial planning, we’re always here to help.