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a woman holds her wallet and a stack of credit cards wondering how many credit cards she should have

How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

access_time Posted on: May 3rd, 2022

As you work to build up your credit score, you may be wondering if you have enough credit cards or perhaps too many. While the number of credit cards is important, what’s essential is understanding credit utilization. In other words, how much of your available credit is in use. You have to use credit to have a strong credit score, but overusing it could hurt you, too. Confused? Here’s a closer look at how to determine how many credit cards you should have. What Is Credit Utilization? Often expressed as a ratio, credit utilization is the amount of revolving credit you’re using right now compared to the amount of credit… read more »

A couple is handed keys to their new home after learning how much mortgage they could afford.

How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?

access_time Posted on: April 20th, 2022

Buying a home may be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make so it’s important to consider your budget carefully before setting out on the search for your dream home. And this starts with one question: “How much mortgage can I afford?” When answering this question, you need to set realistic expectations by considering your finances, borrowing options, and the total costs of buying. Read on below as we further discuss the best tips for determining how much mortgage you can afford. Know Your Credit History When you apply for a mortgage, your credit reports from the three main bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — will be obtained… read more »

a woman ensures she is shopping on a secure website to prevent credit card fraud

Strategies for Preventing Credit Card Fraud

access_time Posted on: March 16th, 2022

Since credit card fraud can be a costly and inconvenient mishap, the best thing consumers can do is take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. When you know the right strategies for fraud prevention, your financial data will remain safe and secure. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to prevent credit card fraud.  What Is Credit Card Fraud? Credit card fraud involves the fraudulent use of a credit card to obtain cash or complete transactions. This usually occurs in one of two ways – through the physical use of a lost or stolen credit card or the compromise of your digital financial data through… read more »

a young woman makes an online purchase with her Belco credit card

How to Choose the Best Credit Card

access_time Posted on: March 16th, 2022

If you’re shopping around for a new card, you may be wondering how to choose the best credit card. With so many options out there, how can you start to work through all the considerations? We’ll help you make sense of how to compare and select a credit card, from the beginning of the process to your first swipe. Check Your Credit First things first. You want to know what kind of deals and rates you’re eligible for. Financial institutions look at your credit history and credit report to determine whether you get a higher or lower interest rate on your card. That means you need to check your credit… read more »

A family enters their new home after securing a new mortgage loan.

Mortgage Loan Frequently Asked Questions

access_time Posted on: March 16th, 2022

It’s important, whether buying or selling a home, to understand the ins and the outs of mortgages. Since the majority of people who buy a home need a mortgage, having an understanding of the most frequently asked questions can reduce confusion when taking one out.  Bookmark these mortgage FAQs, divided by section, to help you in the process! Types of Mortgages What Type of Mortgage Is Best for Me? Here at Belco Community Credit Union, we offer three types of mortgage loans: Conventional, FHA, and VA loans. These loans each have qualities that make them better suited for certain individuals. Conventional loans are your match if you have a strong… read more »

A mortgage lender works with a couple in her office to choose a mortgage

How to Choose a Mortgage Lender

access_time Posted on: February 7th, 2022

Selecting a lender for your home mortgage is something you should carefully consider. Not all lenders offer the same level of service and some charge higher interest rates and fees than others. Your mortgage lender is a long-term partner. Your home loan could be for up to 30 years, and it’s something you want to make sure you get right. If you are a first-time buyer, you may be wondering how to choose a mortgage lender when there are so many options. The following overview will help you understand the different types of lenders and loans, and how to find a lender that will give you the best rates and… read more »

A couple reviews their monthly loan payment after learning about the benefits of debt consolidation.

Benefits of Debt Consolidation

access_time Posted on: January 19th, 2022

If you have several credit cards and other forms of debt, you may be struggling to stay on top of all your monthly payments. Consolidating your debt into one convenient place is a great way to save money and reduce stress.  Another benefit of debt consolidation is that it can help you get your finances in shape so your credit score gets a boost. Read on for more details about how debt consolidation can work in your favor. Lower Monthly Payments If you use a financial tool like a personal loan to consolidate your debts, the monthly payment might be less than all your other payments combined.  Here’s what to… read more »

a woman holds three of her credit cards and wonders if a credit card balance transfer could help her consolidate debt

Guide to Credit Card Balance Transfers

access_time Posted on: January 4th, 2022

It can be stressful juggling multiple credit cards and trying to stay on top of your payments, especially when each card has a different interest rate. Luckily, a credit card balance transfer can simplify your finances and save you money. All you have to do is apply for a low-interest credit card and then follow a few simple steps. Read on for more helpful tips about balance transfers. What Is a Credit Card Balance Transfer? A balance transfer is when you take the balance of one or more of your credit cards and move the money you owe to a different card. It’s a form of debt consolidation that lets… read more »

a first-time car buyer smiles from the driver's seat of her new vehicle

Planning Guide for a First-Time Car Buyer

access_time Posted on: September 11th, 2020

Buying a car for the first-time is a journey, and it can be a bit daunting. To make the process as easy to navigate as possible, consider following the pointers listed below. Before Car Shopping Before you begin shopping for a car, it’s worth taking the time to do some preparation. In particular, you’ll want to make sure you’re in a good financial situation to handle the cost. Determine your budget Your budget is the first item you should look at, particularly concerning how your monthly income compares with your existing financial obligations. Typically, it’s best to see that your car loan payments are no higher than 10% of your… read more »

keys to a new home on a calculator

How To Know It’s Worth It To Refinance Your Mortgage

access_time Posted on: July 9th, 2020

If you’ve been paying off your current mortgage for a while, it may be a good idea to refinance. By refinancing, you pay off your current loan and replace it with one that (ideally) has more favorable terms. However, it’s important to know whether it’s worth it to refinance your mortgage. During refinancing, you’ll go through the entire application and approval process over again, so it should at least balance out the costs in the end. The Best Times To Refinance A Mortgage Typically, the best times to refinance a mortgage are those that will net you large savings over the life of the loan. These circumstances include: Market rates… read more »