Blogging with Kerri
Thank you for checking out Kerri's blog. We hope you'll find this information both informative and educational
How to Get Started with Mobile Pay
What is a mobile wallet?
A mobile wallet is an app on your smartphone that stores your credit card and/or debit card information to make purchases instead of using your physical card. The three mobile wallets are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Click on the logo below to learn more information about each of the three mobile wallets.
How do I use a mobile wallet?
You can use your mobile wallet to make purchases anywhere you see the symbol below. Simply open your mobile wallet app, select the card you would like to pay with, and either click when prompted on your phone or tap your phone on the payment terminal. Leave your wallet at home and pay with your phone! It's easy, safe, and convenient.
How do I add my Connected Credit Union debit or credit card?
Open up the mobile wallet app of your choice. In Apple Pay, you will tap the + sign to add your card information. In Samsung Pay, you will tap Menu, then Cards, then Add card, and finally Add credit/debit card. In Google Pay, you will tap Payment, then Add +, then Credit or debit card. After you have added your card information to your mobile wallet, you will need to call 1-844-646-5465 to finalize the verification process.
Financial Tips for College Graduates
1. Make a plan for your student loans
Student loans can be one of the scariest parts of graduating from college. The first step is to plan how you will repay your loans. Start by looking at how much you owe, the interest rates on each loan, and the repayment terms. Make sure you chose a payment plan that you can manage and always make your payments on time. If you can afford to, paying a little extra on the principle of your loans can help you pay off your student debt faster.
2. Create a budget you can stick to
Creating a budget can be very beneficial for managing your finances, especially if you are becoming financially independent for the first time. Start making your budget by listing your income and expenses, determining your savings goals, and allocating your funds to balance your budget. See our blog 3 POPULAR BUDGETS YOU CAN STICK TO for more ideas on how to create a budget that will work for you.
3. Start saving for retirement
Even though retirement seems so far away, the sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in the long run. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you should take advantage of it and begin to save a percentage of your income for retirement. Some employers offer matching contributions to your 401(k), which you should max out if you are able. If your employer doesn't offer a 401(k), you should look into opening an IRA account to start your retirement savings instead. Learn more about IRA accounts at Connected Credit Union.
4. Build up your credit score
Building a strong credit score can also be very beneficial in the long run. To improve your credit score, focus on making on-time payments and paying down credit card balances. Avoid utilizing your credit cards at their capacity and opening too many new accounts within a short period of time. Remember that building a strong credit score can take time, but the sooner you start, the better off you will be. Having one major card is a better credit builder than having store cards. Again, keeping in mind credit cards should be used for emergency situations and paid in full every month if at all possible.
Maine Credit Unions Campaign for Ending Hunger $100,000 Challenge
Credit unions across Maine are dedicated to making a difference in their communities and collectively participate in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. The Campaign has raised over $10.4 million since 1990 – over $960,000 in cash and food contributions in 2020 alone – with 100% of all funds raised going to organizations in Maine fighting food insecurity.
June is National Hunger Awareness Month and our credit union wants to help feed people in need in our community. From June 1 – June 30, Connected Credit Union will be participating in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger $100,000 Challenge. As our state works to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, we want to make sure individuals and families have continued access to healthy, nutritious meals.
Last year, during the height of the pandemic, the Campaign launched a month-long $100,000 fundraising initiative to help Good Shepherd Food Bank, community food pantries, and schools meet the unprecedented demand for food. This effort was enormously successful and in 30 days, our credit union network raised $230,000. With your help, we believe we can do it again!
Any donation amount helps. Please consider making a tax-deductible online donation to the Campaign. Your support will help ensure Maine families get the food they need.
How to Safely Use Personal Finance Apps
If you use a personal finance app, such as RobinHood, CashApp, Venmo, Paypal, and more, there are some important steps you can take to protect your personal data.
1. Examine the terms of service for apps you are using.
- Before agreeing to download, review the app’s data retention policies.
- Determine whether the app resells your information.
2. Find out what security features the app offers.
- Take advantage of any features that ensure your personal information remains safe.
- If you can, opt in to two-factor authentication for an extra level of protection.
3. Always confirm the validity of the app.
- Make sure you are downloading the correct app from your app store.
- Don't provide any personal or financial information unless you trust the organization.
4. Change your passwords regularly and avoid repeating passwords.
- Highly secure passwords often contain letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Don’t store passwords on your phone or in a location where others might be able to access them.
Contact us right away if you feel your information has been compromised!
Popular Online Banking Scams
Popular Scam #1 - Requesting Access
The scammer will request access to your online banking account to deposit money. However, once you have granted the scammer access, they transfer money from another one of your accounts instead of depositing funds. The scammer will then claim they "deposited" too much money in your account and you need to send the money back.
Popular Scam #2 - Computer Virus
The scammer will contact you claiming your computer has a virus affecting your online banking account. In order to fix it, they need to gain remote access to your computer. However, once you grant the scammer remote access into your computer and online banking account, they are able to steal your personal information and funds.
Protect yourself from these online banking scams trying to access your account with these tips:
- Avoid using the same password for multiple sites.
- Change your password regularly.
- Use security questions that scammers can't easily find the answer to online.
- Don't provide personal information to someone you don't know or trust.
- Be cautious of the caller ID. Scammers can manipulate the caller ID through spoofing.
- Say no to scammers asking for remote access into your computer.
- Never log in to your online banking with someone else accessing your computer.
- It's always better to play it safe, which means if something doesn't feel right, hang up the phone or end the communication.
It's best not to engage if you are skeptical for any reason.
Contact us right away if you feel your information has been compromised!