WCTFCU was founded by Teachers in 1934. We are rooted in education.
We continue to be committed to empower our members for financial success!
At WCTFCU, we're here for every financial step you take. We'll help you buy your first car, finance your home, prepare your children for their financial future and help improve your credit score all while giving you the tools to build financial wellness along the way.
The foundation to building a solid financial future. Start earning today while you save for tomorrow.
Learn how to manage your money right from the start.
Understand how to effectively use a checking account.
For the next phase of your financial life
Online Learning Module:
Understanding how Credit Cards work.
Give Every Dollar a Job
Save for Emergencies
Watch Out for Sneaky Expenses
Leave Some Room
Pay in Full On-Time
Review Your Statement
VIDEO SHORT - Avoiding Scams
Phishing: Scammers use email or text messages to send fraudulent requests to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers.
Vishing is the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages claiming to be from a reputable company to encourage individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.
Consumers may be sent a voice or text message with transaction details and requesting they confirm this information. When they respond, they may be questioned for account details, or they may be asked to call back a number to provide account information.
VIDEO SHORT: Protect Yourself Online
Choose a unique login
Avoid using your birthdate, address or Social Security number. Use different passwords for other sites.
Keep your login private
Do not share it.
Check your balance often
Check the balance of your online account on a regular basis.
Update your software
Make sure your computer or laptop is protected with a good security software program and antivirus software.
Secure your internet connection
If you have a wireless network at home, activate the security settings on your router to prevent outsiders from accessing your network.
Avoid public computers
Avoid accessing your online banking account from a public computer. If you need to, do not leave it unattended and always log out right after you've finished your banking session.
VIDEO: Avoid Identity Theft
Keep these tips in mind to keep your personal information safe.
You can find Wi-Fi almost anywhere these days. Identity thieves can steal your information whenever you have an internet-enabled device in public. Be alert.
WCTFCU has partnered with SavvyMoney to offer Credit Union Members free access to their credit score, credit report, personalized money saving offers, tips on how to improve your score and more!
This free credit reporting tool can be accessed through online and mobile banking.
Learn More about SavvyMoney
A credit score is a three-digit number calculated to indicate your credit worthiness.
The higher the score, the more credit worthy you are to a lender.
A credit score is calculated from information in your credit report and considers whether you have been making on-time payments, your revolving debt use, length of your payment history, as well as other factors.
It is important to know that your score does not take your age, income, employment, marital status, or your bank account balances into account.
VIDEO SHORT: What is a Credit Score?
VIDEO SHORT: Why Credit Scores Matter
Credit reports are composed of the credit-related data a credit reporting company has gathered about consumers from different sources. Credit reports include records of mortgage payments, credit card balances, credit card payments, auto loan payments and credit inquiries. It may also include accounts that have gone into collections, public records, and other information from government sources.
Credit reports include the following about your debt accounts:
Credit reports may also include:
VIDEO SHORT: Boost Your Credit Score
There are several ways to improve your credit score. Here is some general advice:
Here are a few tips to guide you on the road to success.
Trying to determine how much you can afford to spend on your vehicle purchase? When doing your calculations and reviewing your budget, keep in mind that the cost of car ownership goes far beyond a vehicle’s sticker price. Additional expenses include:
When you’re ready to move forward with your purchase, follow these steps to help create a positive and affordable outcome.
Becoming a homeowner is a major decision, whether it is your first or forever home. Understanding these key steps will prepare you for the home-buying journey and help provide you peace of mind during the process.
The first step is to check your credit report to see where your credit stands and if anything needs to be addressed to improve it.
You can get your free credit report through your credit union by enrolling in SavvyMoney within online banking.
Your credit score will largely determine the terms of your mortgage. If your credit score is lower than you’d like due to missed payments or maxed-out credit cards, it’s in your best interest to put off purchasing a home until your credit score rises.
Once you know your credit score, you need to take an honest look at your monthly income versus expenses and identify areas to save money, consolidate or do without.
Account for everything that your money goes to, including utilities, food, car payments and maintenance, student loan debt, clothing, childcare and kid’s activities, entertainment, retirement savings and any other areas.
After organizing your finances and determining how much of your income can reasonably go toward your monthly mortgage payment, it’s time to calculate how much of a home you can afford.
Realize that there will also be up-front costs such as money needed for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses and possibly new furnishings.
Buying a home usually requires saving money for a down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, new household utilities, new furnishings to name a few. Other things to consider are the costs for home inspections, upgrades to your new home, homeowner’s association costs (if any) and related costs.
Keep in mind it’s also good practice to have an emergency fund that can cover up to 6 months of living expenses, on top of all these other costs.
VIDEO SHORT: What is a Mortgage?
Before beginning your house hunt, it’s a good idea to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing so will give you an idea how much you can afford to spend so you won’t waste your time looking at houses that are out of your price range. Keep in mind, though, that pre-qualifications and pre-approvals are two very different things:
Numerous options and programs exist with different terms, features and benefits to suit various buyers. Be a well-informed consumer by familiarizing yourself with these common mortgage types:
A fixed-rate mortgage features an interest rate that remains constant throughout the term of the loan. Most fixed-rate mortgages come with a term of either 15 or 30 years.
Adjustable-rate mortgages typically start with a lower rate than fixed-rate mortgages, but after a few years the rate can begin to rise and will fluctuate periodically.
VA loans offer up to 100% financing for military members and their families.
FHA loans can help buyers receive financing even if they may not otherwise qualify for a mortgage. The FHA insures the lender for the mortgage amount – removing the risk associated with the borrower.
These loans are available to rural residents who meet certain requirements, including the inability to be approved for traditional financing.
A balloon loan is a mortgage in which a larger-than-normal outstanding balance must be paid at the end of the term.
These loans offer borrowers a period of time when they pay interest only on their mortgage. (During the interest-only term, the borrower does not build any equity.) Once the interest-only term ends, the borrower starts to pay off the principal as well.
VIDEO SHORT: Things to Consider when House Hunting
Select a Real Estate agent who thoroughly understands your housing needs such as type of home design, location, and price range. A good agent should be able to advocate hard for your offer during negotiations with the seller.
Learn more about the Credit Union’s Mortgage program and how we can help you reach your home buying goal!
Investing early and often is a key factor when it comes to retirement planning.
While it may be tempting to put off saving, research shows that beginning to invest in your twenties gives you the best retirement prospects later in life.
Start investing early. If you started investing $100 per month from age 25 to 35 and you earned an average of 5% per year. You’ll end up with way more at retirement age than if you started at age 35 and invested that same $100 a month all the way from age 35 to 60.
VIDEO SHORT: Dollar Cost Averaging
Dollar cost averaging is a strategy that can make it easier to deal with uncertain markets by making purchases automatic. It also supports an investor's effort to invest regularly.
Instead of investing a lump sum all at once, you can invest a smaller consistent amount at set intervals, like once a month, once a paycheck or every Tuesday.
This will average out your cost, so you can stop worrying about day-to-day fluctuations in your investment, and look at the big picture!
The more concentrated your investments are in a certain company, market segment or asset class, the higher your risk of steep losses.
Instead, you want to build a diversified investment portfolio that spans different companies and industries, and includes a variety of different assets like stocks, bonds, index funds, real estate and more.
VIDEO SHORT: Concentration Risk
The earlier you start planning for your retirement, the better.
Meet with a financial planner to map out your strategy for a successful financial future.
WCTFCU Members can make an appointment to meet with a financial advisor at Egidio Lennon Wealth Management LLC. Call today for a free, no obligation personal consultation.
VIDEO SHORT: Leave Some Room
VIDEO SHORT: Pay in Full On-Time
It’s important to check your credit card statement every month. A credit card statement is a summary of how you've used your card for a billing period. It's important to read your statement carefully to spot any unauthorized charges or billing errors.
VIDEO SHORT: Review Your Statement
We are offering our members a Home Buying Preparation Webinar in partnership with Mortgage Markets CUSO. The webinar will discuss a practical action plan and the steps needed to prepare to buy a home.
Date: Tuesday, December 5th
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom webinar
Click here to register for the webinar
With a little guidance and some elbow grease, your debt doesn’t have
to define you. A debt-free future is possible.
It helps to look at your monthly budget and make a debt repayment plan.
If you can, pay more than the monthly minimum to pay down your principal balance quicker, and if you receive any financial windfalls, use them to pay off debt rather than treating them as spending money.
Just don’t touch your emergency fund. Without it, one bad turn could make your debt problems even worse.
VIDEO SHORT: Don't Give Up on your Debt
There are two popular methods used to paying down debt.
The Snowball method pays off the lowest balance first, then moves on to the next lowest balance until you’re out of debt.
The Avalanche method starts with the balance that has the highest interest rate, then moves on to the next highest rate until you pay everything off.
The Avalanche method will save you more money in the long run, but it really comes down to which strategy will motivate you to reach the goal of being debt-free!
VIDEO SHORT: Snowball vs. Avalanche Method
If you are carrying expensive consumer debt including credit card balances and high-interest loans, you
may consider a consolidation loan.
This is a form of debt refinancing that entails taking out one loan to pay off other smaller loans.
By consolidating your debt, you pack a bunch of smaller debts into one loan with a lower interest rate and only one payment. This will save you money and help you get back on the path to being debt-free.
From financial literacy basics to how to invest in your future,
we have a range of topics to meet your needs.
We offer short, interactive courses tailored to fit your financial goals.
View the individual courses.