Signs Of Identity Theft
Stay on guard! Everyone is a potential victim of identity theft. Millions of Americans a year have their personal information compromised, but you can lower your chances of being easy prey if you know what indicators signal danger. Look out for these red flags:
- * You find errors on your credit union or credit card statements that you can't explain. Or, receiving statements for unknown credit card accounts.
- * Errors or misinformation on your credit report (unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report).
- * Your financial institution notifies you about irregularity on your account. Or, your account has been flagged.
- * You have debt collectors call about debts that aren't yours.
- * Missing mail. You aren't receiving your bills or other mail. Also, if you don't receive your email statements, someone may have conquered your online account.
- * You receive unexpected bills in the mail for goods or services you didn't purchase.
- * If you have good credit but are denied an application based on your credit.
- * The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to report and recover from identity theft.
IRAs: Sooner Is Better
Have you made your 2015 contribution to your Individual Retirement Account? You have until April 15, 2016 to do so, but there are good reasons not to procrastinate. The sooner you contribute (or open) your IRA the more interest you can earn over time. The interest you are earning on your pre-tax contributions to a Traditional IRA are tax-deferred until you begin making withdrawals. You've already paid taxes on your contributions to a Roth IRA; the interest you earn on it accumulates tax-free. In either case, the longer the better.
For the 2015 tax year, your total contributions to all of your Traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you're 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year, if your compensation was less than this dollar limit. Wondering how much you will need to retire comfortably? Visit the website of the American Savings Education Council, choosetosave.org, for a "Ballpark Estimate."
For details on the IRAs available at sfcu visit our website sfcuonline.org or stop by today.
Holiday Help Is Here
You've made your list. Checked it twice. Maybe even three times. But your list of holiday expenses is still too long. Here's help - a Holiday Loan from sfcu. A Holiday Loan may actually save you money. Instead of paying the high interest rates on your department store charge cards or other credit cards, you can shop with the cash from your low-rate sfcu loan. Money management experts agree that people who pay with cash spend less than those who pay with a credit card.
So let's review that list again. Consider giving gifts to children, but have the grown-ups draw names or exchange "white elephant" gifts instead. Host a brunch instead of dinner to save on entertainment expenses. Check out the "do-it-yourself" boards on Pinterest for decorating ideas that cost less. Then go to sfcu to apply for a Holiday Loan. With our low interest rates, you're likely to spend less - making it one of the best holiday seasons ever.