Many homeowners are surprised when they suddenly realize that the “perfect” home of just a few years ago no longer suits their needs. And since we were stuck at home for year, it’s hard to not notice!
If you’re unsure if you’ve reached the point where a move is warranted, here are a few signs you’ve outgrown your home:
- More Kids than Rooms or More Rooms than Kids – Life changes and our homes must change also.
- Home Office – Since COVID, more and more companies are opting for telecommuting or home office workers, if your kitchen is your office, it might be time to look for a new home with extra room for a home office.
- Lifestyle – The square footage might be fine, but you would prefer a different floor plan; more open, single story, more windows, etc.
Your reasons for moving will be as unique as you are, but these are just a few considerations which indicate you may have outgrown your current home. If you checked any of these boxes, stop by IECU to talk with our mortgage expert, Gaspare Gallina. We provide solutions for all of your mortgage needs with a complete suite of loan options. Contact us today to get pre-approved!
Do you feel that you’re ready to move into a larger home? Tired of paying your landlord’s mortgage? There are many reasons why people decide it could be time to buy a home.
Illinois Educators Credit Union’s top 3 reasons to buy a home include:
1. Financial Advantages – A home is an asset that should appreciate over time, providing wealth-building opportunities.
2. Pride of Ownership – As a homeowner, you control the environment in which you live.
3. Roots –There is a natural desire to be part of a community: to have a local coffee shop, dry cleaners, bar, park.
When buying a new home, coming up with cash for the down payment and closing costs is one of the biggest hurdles. Luckily, there are grants and loans available to help home shoppers become homeowners.
Through the Downpayment Plus® Program*, up to $6,000 may be available to eligible home buyers to use toward down payment and closing costs. Ask one of our loan officers today
about the Downpayment Plus Program to see if you are eligible.
Home buyers must meet income eligibility requirements and:
- Contribute at least $1,000 to the purchase of the home
- Complete pre-purchase home buyer education and counseling
- Live in the home as your primary residence
IECU is committed to helping our neighbors. We can help lower your borrowing costs if you qualify for the Downpayment Plus Program.
* Downpayment Plus is a program from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Restrictions apply. Please see the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s website at www.fhlbc.com for complete requirements. “Downpayment Plus” is a registered trademark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
Banking on the go is easier than ever with updated mobile options from IECU! You can access your accounts through our updated mobile banking app to stay on top of your finances.
With our new mobile banking experience, there are some changes that will affect the products and services we provide to you. We want you to be aware of these changes and ask that you to carefully read this blog to help ensure the transition to the new mobile experience, causing you as little disruption as possible.
If you do not currently use the mobile app and only use online banking through our website, this will not interrupt online banking services.
How do you download the app?
If you have our current app, you will need to delete it and download the new one from the app store to your phone. You can find it in Apple App Store and Google Play, by searching "Illinois Educators Credit Union" or clicking the appropriate button below.
How do you log in?
You will use your same login as your online banking credentials, but if you currently use your account number as your online banking login, you will need to change it by clicking the lock in the upper right corner when inside online banking. For security reasons, the app will not allow you to use your account number as your log in.
If you are currently not an online banking user, click here to enroll on our website or give us a call!
Why Are We Changing?
This new platform will feature a wide range of new and upgraded tools and services such as Bill Pay and CardValet right inside the app. These new features are designed to make it easier for you to manage your money—anytime, anywhere. And with every upgrade, we added stronger security. This provides you with more peace of mind knowing that your money and personal information is safe
Be sure to download the new mobile app today before the old one is disabled on April 30, 2021
Have you received your COVID-19 stimulus payment or are you expecting it soon? Have you started thinking about how you would spend it?
It’s tempting to think about all of the ways you could spend an extra $1,200 or $2,400 – depending your filing status and the number of dependents you claim. Before you get that list finalized, we want to give you some tips to help your money stretch as far as possible.
Look at your bills. What are essential – rent or mortgage, car payment, utilities – and what bills are non-essential – entertainment, streaming services, unusable memberships? Make a list of what you need and what you can live without. Focus on paying the essential bills first.
Save. Save. Save.
Don’t miss an opportunity to pad your savings account with some of your stimulus money. It’s a one-time payment so think of your stimulus as a mini emergency fund. You may want to set aside some of the payment as “in case” money.
Divide and conquer.
You only get one stimulus payment, but your bills will still come monthly. If you’re currently unemployed, it’s especially important to be strategic in how you spend your stimulus payment. Take this opportunity to divide it up into smaller chunks to help cover some of the essential bills you pay each month. Also, talk to your landlord or mortgage lender, your utility company and internet service provider if you’re having trouble meeting your monthly obligations. A lot of companies are finding ways to help their customers during this unprecedented situation.
Don’t hoard cash.
Hoarding cash is a bad idea in general. Your money is much safer at your credit union than it is in your home. The National Credit Union Administration insures amounts up to $250,000. So, bring it to us and let us keep an eye on it. Plus, if you have a checking account that has a cashback option, you could make money on it while it sits in your account.
Pay down debt.
Paying off debt is almost never a bad financial move but think about it and prioritize carefully. Even in these uncertain times, paying off your highest-interest debt isn’t a bad idea. But, don’t feel like you need to be in a hurry to spend all your stimulus money on paying off debt. Look at your options for forbearance, payment deferrals or even the option to skip a monthly payment. If you can get some relief on your debts in the coming months, let that stimulus payment sit in your savings account.
We’re all feeling the weight of stress, grief and uncertainty as we wonder when this pandemic will end, and life will return to normal. No matter how you decide to spend your stimulus check, set aside a little bit to spend on something fun for yourself. Maybe even shop at some of your local businesses to offer support. Remember: the government is hoping these stimulus payments will put some cashflow back into the economy to stimulate it.
Over the past couple of months, we’ve faced a situation no one could’ve possibly prepared for. We know that our members have been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the stimulus payments will certainly help and offer some relief to most, please know that Illinois Educators Credit Union is here for you. We want to help you stretch your stimulus payment as far as it will possibly go. Maybe you need to skip a monthly payment or you’re looking for a relief loan. Regardless of your needs, give us a call and let us figure out how to help.
Economic Impact payments are on their way, and most Americans have already received their money. But, what does it mean for you if you haven’t?
Where is my stimulus check?
The IRS began sending out stimulus payments in April. But if you haven’t received yours yet, there’s no reason to panic. Retirees, senior citizens, and taxpayers who filed income taxes in 2018 and 2019 and included direct deposit information were the first groups to receive their payments.
If you’re not in one of those categories, you’ll still receive a payment, but it’ll arrive by mail instead of being directly deposited into your checking or savings account. Taxpayers who didn’t include direct deposit information will receive a paper check sometime in May.
The IRS does a feature on its website that will allow taxpayers to provide direct deposit information if their check hasn’t yet been mailed. However, the feature isn’t slated to be up and running until mid-April.
What you need to know about payments
Most taxpayers are eligible to receive a stimulus payment. The payments are automatic, and no further action is needed to receive the payment.
The amount, however, will vary based on filing status, the number of dependents and adjusted gross income (AGI). Individuals or head of household filers will receive $1,200, while married taxpayers filing jointly (if they aren’t a dependent of another taxpayer) will receive $2,400. Taxpayers will receive up to $500 per dependent claimed on their federal tax returns in 2018 and 2019.
Stimulus payments are based on the AGI claimed by the filer. Taxpayers will receive the amounts listed above if they have a work-eligible Social Security number and adjusted gross income up to:
- $75,000 for individuals
- $112,500 for head of household filers
- $150,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is:
- $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
- $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
- $150 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly
Can I track my payment?
Right now, no. However, the IRS has developed a website that will allow filers to check the payment status, confirm payment type and enter direct deposit information if the check hasn’t been mailed yet. The IRS website indicates that the “Get My Payment” option will be available mid-April.
The website is open to non-filers. If you didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax or you weren’t required to, you can enter your information on the IRS website and select the preferred method of payment.
We’re facing an unprecedented situation that seems to be changing daily. Please know, Illinois Educators Credit Union is here for you during this time. If you’re facing an uncertain financial situation, talk to us. Let us help you find a solution that works for you while you’re waiting for your stimulus payment. We have several options available to our members because we want to help them come through this stronger. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can be there for you.
Along with the mad dash to buy all the toilet paper stores can stock, some members have asked about the need to withdraw cash from the credit union.
The fact is, the need for cash withdrawals during this crisis has no basis in fact. Unlike overextended banks that caused the Great Recession, the current financial crisis was caused by the reaction to the Coronavirus outbreak, not a systemic banking problem.
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