Think Twice Before You Meme

Earlier this year, a Facebook meme went around called “10 Bands I’ve Seen, And One Is a Lie.” Posters then listed the names of nine bands they’d seen and one that they hadn’t, and their friends had to guess which was the lie.

The person sharing the list often included a note about the first band he or she had seen play live. Sharing that information, security experts pointed out, is a risk, because the first-band question is a common one used to verify a person’s identity when he or she is accessing online accounts.

According to an April 2017 New York Times story about the 10 bands trend, security experts warned that memes which encourage you to share personal details can be used to unlock your accounts. Even if your Facebook account is set to private, it’s not impossible for bad actors to access it. Think about the number of times your friends have notified you their account was hacked and warned you not to accept a friend request.

So what can you do? It’s still possible to participate in fun trends on Facebook, just be cautious—especially when it comes to quizzes and other activities encouraging you to reveal information about yourself.

Here are some tips:
• Think twice about what you share. If you’re concerned about privacy, sharing any kind of personal information on Facebook—or in a public space online—means offering valuable data to marketers who can use it to advertise to you.

• Don’t share information that answers common security questions. Things like the name of your first pet, the street where you grew up, or your mother’s maiden name should never be shared online.

• Consider making up answers to your security question. Questions like “where you went to high school?” are too easy. Change your answer to something random (but memorable) for additional security.

Hopewell Federal Presents Donation to the Licking County Humane Society

Proceeds from Recent Car Show Given to LCHS  

Hopewell Federal Credit Union (HFCU) recently held its seventh annual Car Show in Newark, Ohio on Saturday, July 15th, 2017.  Today, August 3rd, 2017, proceeds from the event totaling $2,250.00 were presented to Lori Carlson, Executive Director of the Licking County Humane Society (LCHS).

The event was sponsored by Courtesy Ambulance, Webb Financial Group, Grayson Graphics, Kool 101.7, AT&T, Alphalink, National Safe & Security Systems, Inc., Cummins-Allison, Crif Lending Solutions, Sedona Grace Foundation, Cooperative Business Services, Home Instead Senior Care, Poppy’s Roadside Diner and Bob Romine Roofing.  Jim Matheny of Kar Shoz coordinated the show which brought in fifty-two cars featuring a variety of years, makes and models.

Attendees of the event enjoyed free admission, DJ music provided by Jim Matheny of Kar Shoz, food from Poppy’s Roadside Diner, 50/50 raffle, and door prize drawings.  The Licking County Humane Society was on hand with some of their adoptable pets.

Another Successful Car Show

Proceeds Benefit Licking County Humane Society 

Hopewell Federal Credit Union recently held its seventh annual Car Show in Newark, Ohio on Saturday, July 15th, 2017.  Proceeds from the event totalled $2250.00 and will be presented to Lori Carlson, Executive Director of the Licking County Humane Society (LCHS).

The event was sponsored by Courtesy Ambulance, Webb Financial Group, Grayson Graphics, Kool 101.7, AT&T, Alphalink, National Safe & Security Systems, Inc., Cummins-Allison, Crif Lending Solutions, Sedona Grace Foundation, Cooperative Business Services, Home Instead Senior Care, Poppy’s Roadside Diner and Bob Romine Roofing.  Jim Matheny of Kar Shoz coordinated the show which brought in fifty-two cars featuring a variety of years, makes and models.

Attendees of the event enjoyed free admission, DJ music, food from Poppy’s Roadside Diner, 50/50 raffle, and door prize drawings.  The Licking County Humane Society was on hand with some of their adoptable pets.

 

Need Extra Income? Use Your Phone to Score Side Gigs

Are you looking for extra money this summer? Technology has made it easier than ever to bring in extra income when it’s convenient for you—often doing something you love, or at least don’t mind.

The obvious
First, consider the assets you have on hand. For instance, have a car? Uber and Lyft are two of the most recognized ‘be-your-own-boss’ brands today. Many people use their cars to become for-hire taxi drivers on the weekends, while others do it full-time. Check out their apps—becoming a driver is surprisingly easy.

Similarly, if you have an unused room or finished basement, you can rent it out via apps like Airbnb.

The less obvious
There are many other ways out there to turn what you love doing into something that adds money to your saving account. Sites like Fiverr and Skillshare allow you to put your skills and passions to use and earn extra cash, either by freelancing your talents or giving you the opportunity to teach those skills to others.

The app Gigwalk gives you tasks that can be as simple as going into a store and taking a picture of a brand’s product on the shelf or reporting whether someone greeted you when you walked into the store. You choose from a list of available gigs in your area and are paid promptly via Paypal.

For animal lovers, sites like rover.com and dogvacay.com connect you with pet-parents who need a sitter.

Knit or craft? Open an Etsy store and sell your wares.

Web 1.0
One of the first Internet companies, eBay, is still a great place to sell nearly anything you own. You only need to sign up and link your seller account to a Paypal account.

You can also sell things locally using the popular classifieds site Craigslist. Simply find the version of the site that corresponds to where you live and post ads for what you’re selling. You can also post ads for your particular skillset in the “services” section, such as house painting, dog walking, or fixing old cars.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved

The Payday Lending Trap

You’re in a financial bind and need some quick cash. You’ve seen payday loan stores all over town and think “Maybe I should try that…”

Don’t fall into that trap! Getting a loan with a payday lender could send you down a deep hole that may take years to get out of.

Here’s how payday lenders catch and hold consumers:

To receive cash, you write a check to them for the amount plus the finance charge, which the lender will cash the next time you get a paycheck. They’ll tell you finance charges range from $15 to $50 per $100, but won’t tell you exactly what the interest rate (or APR) will be. Interest rates can run from 390 to 780%, and if your state does not cap the maximum cost, the rates can be even higher!

Here’s the math to figure out what you’d end up paying by borrowing $400 from a payday lending store. There’s a finance charge of $50 and a 14-day term:
• Divide the finance charge by the amount you’re borrowing. $50/$400 = .125.
• Multiply the answer by the number of days in a year. .125 x 365 = 45.625.
• Divide the answer by the number of days in the term. 45.625/ 14 = 3.2589.
• Move the decimal point to the right two places. This is your APR. 325.89%

At the end of your 14-day term, you have to pay them $450. But if you can’t pay it off entirely, you’ll have to roll the balance over, pay another $50 fee, as well as interest charges. At the end of your second term, your balance is almost $600, and if you can’t pay that off entirely, you roll it over again. See how quickly your $400 loan can cost you thousands of dollars?

So what are some alternatives?

* Ask your employer for an advance on your next paycheck.

* Consider asking family members or friends for a short-term loan.

* If you were a military servicemember, you may be eligible for short-term lending or emergency relief assistance. Contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647, or visit http://www.militaryonesource.mil for information.

* A personal loan through Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We offer loans with low, fixed interest rates.

* Open a low-cost, low-interest credit card through Hopewell Federal Credit Union and use it only for emergencies.

No one wants to find themselves in a financial emergency, but there are much better options than turning to a payday lender. To find out more about payday lending and learn about safer ways to get quick cash, visit the Consumer Federation of America webpage http://www.paydayloaninfo.org/consumer-help.

If you’d like help getting control of your spending, see us at Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We’re committed to helping our members gain financial well-being and offer one-on-one financial counseling as well as additional resources to help you get control of your finances.

Will Your Score Soar with Credit Report Changes?

Hundreds of thousands of consumers are about to catch a break on credit scores, possibly adding enough points to qualify for credit cards or loans that had been just out of reach.

That’s because what goes on credit reports is changing — and your credit scores are assembled from what’s on your credit reports.

Here’s what’s changing and how it might affect you.

What’s changing?

Credit bureaus are getting pickier about including two types of public records on credit reports:

  • Tax liens, which relate to unpaid state or federal taxes
  • Civil judgments, which can result from a lawsuit saying you owe money

Until now, the documentation required to put these score-damaging marks on credit reports has been minimal. But starting July 1, the bureaus will handle them differently.

More identifying information: New judgments and liens won’t go on credit reports unless they have a Social Security number or birthdate to go with the consumer’s name and address.

Frequent updates: The bureaus will check for updates or new records at least once every 90 days.

Scrubbing old data: The bureaus will begin to remove previous entries that don’t meet the new standards.

The changes could affect about half of tax liens and almost all civil judgments now on reports, according to the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group representing the three major U.S. credit bureaus.

Will it affect you?

Up to 14 million people — 6% to 7% of consumers with FICO scores — will be affected, but most won’t see big jumps.

That’s because public records of lawsuits and tax liens are rarely the only negative marks on an otherwise pristine credit report, says Ethan Dornhelm, vice president for scores and analytics at FICO. They tend to keep company with things like missed payments, accounts in collections and other score-lowering items that will remain on reports.

Dornhelm estimated 92% of people affected by the July changes will have other negatives holding their scores steady.

As for the other 8%? FICO and its competitor, VantageScore, did independent tests on the effect of removing the data and found an average bump of just 10 points.

How can you check your information?

Starting July 1, credit reporting agencies will begin removing previously collected public record data that does not meet the new standards, Consumer Data Industry Association spokesman Bill Mashek said.

With that in mind, August would be a good time to pull your credit reports. You get at least one free copy from each credit bureau every 12 months via AnnualCreditReport.com. If it’s been less than a year since you last requested them, try a source of free credit report information, such as NerdWallet.

Look for a label that says something like “public records” or “derogatory information.” If you find something listed that you think violates the new standards, use the credit bureaus’ dispute process to ask that it be removed. Contact information is on each bureau’s website.

What can you do with a bump in score?

A gift of credit score points can only help, especially if you’ve been on the border of the next score range. Even a small boost could widen your access to credit or improve the interest rates you get.

Have damaged credit? Use those “free” points to kickstart restoring your credit. Build on your momentum with these rock-solid steps:

  • Pay bills on time, every time. Timely payments are the biggest factor in scores. If you’ve had some slip-ups, rest assured that the further a delinquent payment recedes into the past, the less it will hurt your score.
  • Pay balances down. Balances above 30% of your limit can hurt your score. That’s why paying down debt not only eases your financial stress but also helps your score.
  • Keep old credit accounts open unless you have a good reason to close them, such as an annual fee. Closing an account can hurt your score.

Bev O’Shea is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: boshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.

The article Will Your Score Soar with Credit Report Changes? originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Need Help Paying for College?

College tuition and expenses continue to rise and many families are looking for funding solutions to finance higher education. Recognizing this need for its customers, Hopewell Federal Credit Union continues to offer a competitive private student loan designed to ease the burden of paying for college. The Hopewell Federal Credit Union Private Student Loan can help pay for all qualified education expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, computers, and even past due tuition bills.

Private student loans are supposed to be used to bridge the funding gap after federal funds have been exhausted. For families confronted with this funding gap, the Hopewell Federal Credit Union Private Student Loan provides an affordable option while promoting responsible repayment habits through a modest monthly in-school payment. To be eligible for the Hopewell Federal Credit Union Private Student Loan, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible school and meet the credit requirements.

Learn more at https://partner.lendkey.com/hopewellfcu/student