It's Time Blog
Get Your Stuff, Keep Your Identity: A Guide to Safe Holiday Shopping
26 Nov, 2013
By Patty Chang
Greater Nevada Credit Union
‘Tis the season to be jolly! And a big part of the season is holiday shopping. If you're a crack-of-dawn-Black-Friday type, holiday shopping can be a lot of fun, buying gifts you know will know will bring joy to the ones you love. It can also be a hectic time, where you cut in line at black Friday, snatch the last Playstation 4 and try to make it out of Wal-Mart before an angry mob erupts. Either way the season won’t be as merry and bright if you are a victim of holiday fraud. So here are a few tips to keep your identity (and you!) safe and secure while holiday shopping.
When shopping online – know your retailer!
If you are purchasing from a new online store, do a little research. Don’t buy from someone who you have never heard of or cannot verify through other’s reviews, recommendations or referrals. If in doubt, try to find the same item at a retailer you know and trust.
Check site security
When using a debit or credit card online, make sure the site you are using has a “Secure Server” at the time of checkout. You can tell this by the URL: “https:www.yourfavoritestore.com.” The “s” in this website address indicates a secure connection that allows you to use your card with less worry about it being compromised.
Worrying About Retirement at 35? You’re Not Alone…
21 Nov, 2013
By Kyle Brice
Greater Nevada Credit Union
If someone asked you how prepared you are for retirement, what would you say? If your answer is, “What retirement?” don't worry, you’re in good company.
The good news is about half of your age group is in the same boat, so it’s nothing to be embarrassed of. The bad news is, this is the highest percent of any age group. Normally you would associate worrying about retirement with folks who are actually near retirement age, but the Great Recession has caused a shift in attitude, and in wealth.
I need a business loan: do I go to a bank or a credit union?
07 Nov, 2013
By Jeremy Gilpin
Vice President of Business Services
What’s the difference between getting a business loan with a credit union versus a community bank? The Business Services team at Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) gets that question often, and this is how I explain it.
After being a banker for more than 20 years, I joined the GNCU family in May 2013 to lead the Business Services department. Up until then, I had almost convinced myself that credit unions and community banks were the same. Now that I've had time to witness with my own eyes the differences, (some might say, seeing the light), I’m excited to help Northern Nevada businesses understand the advantages of turning to us for a business loan.
First, credit unions and community banks that offer business services do have similarities. Safety is neck and neck; both are federally insured (Banks by FDIC and Credit Unions by NCUSIF). Products and services are often pretty comparable, as are locations, though some credit unions, (including ours) belong to ATM and shared branching networks that provide literally thousands of access points around the country.
Holiday Saving Tips: Spend Less & Enjoy More
26 Sep, 2013
By Kate Robinson, Greater Nevada Team Member
It’s September 26 and you know what that means… 90 days til Christmas! In case that number isn’t scary enough , try this one: For many of us that means six paychecks til Christmas (Scarier? You’re welcome). But don’t panic. Even if you’re not one of those ultra-responsible people with Christmas Club accounts who started saving in January, you still don’t have to break the bank. There are tons of holiday money-saving tricks. Here are some ideas:
Shorten your gift list
Take a deep breath and hear me out. The holiday season is supposed to engender thankfulness and generosity – not soul-crushing pressure to buy things for everyone you’ve ever met and their brother. Just a small shift in mindset might save you time, money and stress, allowing you and your loved ones to actually enjoy each other… which is, after all the point.
Many times the pressure to get someone a gift results in purchasing things our friends don’t want or need, which they will re-gift at their office white elephant party. Instead, try a homemade card, a handwritten note of appreciation with a ribbon around it, or even a coffee date or long phone call. It will be much more meaningful and more true to the spirit of the season.
Steps to Buying a Home (It’s Not as Scary as You Think)
12 Sep, 2013
At Greater Nevada we help people buy homes every day. That’s how we know it can seem pretty intimidating. If you’ve never bought a home before, or you haven’t in a long time, or you don’t think you can because of X, Y, or Z, we’ve got good news. The journey from here to homeownership isn’t as dark and scary as it may seem on the surface.
That’s why we created this fun infographic to help prepare you for each step of the process. Just looking at it should make the whole idea of buying a home seem more attainable, plus it looks sort of like a board game.
We also interviewed one of our Mortgage Consultants, Christopher Cunningham, to help answer the most common questions from potential homeowners and clarify the process.
What do I qualify for?
This is one of the most common questions Christopher hears in his initial interactions with clients, and it has some surprising answers. He said that due to a wide variance in credit and income situations, the focus many advertisers place on mortgage rates can be misleading. Different loans have different terms, different insurance premiums, and different assistance programs, meaning rates are not always the sole means for determining payments. A better question might be what can I afford?
Surprising Tips About Saving for College
28 Aug, 2013
For you parents who may be panicking about the alarming rate at which your toddler is growing (he’ll be packing up for college before you know it) this blog’s for you.
Every parent wants to provide for his or her child’s education, a worthwhile goal though one that can seem overwhelming. We’re here to ease your mind. Put the baby down for a nap, take a deep breath, and consider these simple steps.
Step one: be realistic. This will help a lot. Settle in your mind that paying for your child’s entire education can be daunting, even unrealistic. If you saved $50/month with no interest (which may be a difficult amount for some parents) for the next 18 years, you would only have $10,800 by the time your child graduates high school. In 1993, the average cost of a 4-year college education was roughly $30,000*. Today it is roughly $88,000*. Imagine what it will be 18 years from now! But don’t panic. That just means your $10,000 is a supplemental savings plan to use in conjunction with other resources. The key to maximizing this is to be wise about how you save.
10 Ways to Stand Out in Your Job Search
14 Aug, 2013
Lately, I’ve seen quite a few Facebook posts that say things like “I’ve submitted literally hundreds of résumés! When will I find a job?” We all know that the job market is competitive here. Human Resources managers are slogging through piles of applications and résumés for every position, every day. So how do you make them take notice of yours?
We asked our own HR Manager, Teri, for advice on what makes her look twice at a résumé or a job applicant during an interview and gleaned the following helpful tips:
Be the person you claim to be. We mentioned in our last post, that the interview process really starts before your in-person interview is even scheduled. When the employer begins to look at you as a candidate, they may check out your social networks or look at other resources to find out if you’re reliable, and if you demonstrate good judgment in your decision-making process. Of course we can all fake it when we know someone important is watching. But one fairly fool-proof way to appear unimpeachable is to be unimpeachable. Live a life that you don’t mind people peeking into, and the integrity of your character will speak for itself.
10 Ways to Sabotage Your Job Interview
07 Aug, 2013
We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that Nevada unemployment rates have reached a 3-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, who made this cool graph to prove it.
Some of you are thinking, “Great! Unemployment is down! Who cares what that graph says, since I still can’t find a job?” Which brings us to the bad news. Even with unemployment at its lowest since 2009, we still have the highest rate in the nation, and many of you are still feeling the pain of tightened belts and worn out shoes as you hit the streets day after day looking for a new gig.
We’re here to help. In a job market this competitive, it’s more important than ever to make sure employers have a reason to hire you. Recently we sat down with Teri, our Human Resources Manager to get some insider information on the do’s and don’ts of making your first impression. Here’s part 1 of what we discovered:
New Year’s Eve 2013 – Greater Nevada Style
28 Dec, 2012
Well, we survived the apocalypse with not even so much as a zombie attack. That in itself is reason enough to celebrate. Saying goodbye to a year filled with its share of ups and downs—Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are officially on the off’s right? —it’s safe to say most of us are ready to put the past behind us and ring in the hope of a new year the right way. Leading to the question of where to fill up that champagne glass, or red solo cup, this New Year’s Eve.
Trimming More Than the Tree
05 Dec, 2012
You know when you have eaten one sugar cookie too many. Those jeans that fit a month ago now pinch your sides and middle enough to make you think, “Mmmmuffin.” The unfortunate side effect of this time of year is that the presents tend to come with a few extra pounds. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Whether you’re a self-motivated outdoor exercise enthusiast or need someone encouraging you to do five more push-ups, there are plenty of ways to avoid that muffin top this season. For instance, did you know that skiing the slopes burns 500 calories per hour? And when you take the kiddos out for a spin at the ice rink, you burn off that extra piece of pumpkin pie.