How To Get a Great Price on Your Next Car

Are you thinking of buying a car, but want to make sure you get the best price? Here are a few tips to help you find the right car at the best price.

Buy “off-season.” Peak demand for cars is in the spring and fall, but if you want to find a bargain, shop for a car in December and January when the prices are lowered. That’s when dealerships are eager to move the inventory off their lots to make room for newer models.

Know the real price of the car. Use websites like Edmunds.com, Kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book), and carsdirect.com to find the actual value of particular make and model. If you’re looking at new cars, find the invoice price (what the dealer paid for the car) and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. If you’re looking at used cars, find the wholesale price and the dealer’s asking price. Also look for current rebates. Knowing this information will help you during your negotiations with dealers.

Comparison shop. Use online resources like TrueCar.com and Cars.com to compare the prices at dealerships in your area. This will save you time and gas money.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) states have the best prices for hybrids. If you live in a state with strict emissions regulations, like California, you can probably get a good deal on hybrids and battery-electric cars. Manufacturers must sell a certain number of zero-emission cars per year in order to continuing selling in those states, so invoice prices will be lower there.

Look for discounts. Check the automakers websites under their “current offers” webpages. Many offer discounts to students, military servicemembers, and members of credit unions. Deduct these discounts after you negotiate the price with the dealer.

Don’t settle for dealer financing. Since dealers get a commission or flat fee for every loan they coordinate, he or she will probably try to get you to finance through the dealership. There are better options. You’ll get a much better loan rate at a credit union — typically 1-2 percentage points lower than the average.

Cash Rebate vs. 0% Financing. Some dealerships lure customers by offering a cash rebate or zero percent financing. Typically, only 10% of car buyers qualify for these incentives, and you may find you don’t qualify. Even if you do qualify for their incentives, you’ll likely save more money per month by taking the cash rebate and getting your loan through your credit union. To see for yourself, use the calculator at http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/auto/car-finance-payment-calculator.aspx to compare the two options.

Before you head to the lots, do a little research, then talk to one of our loan officers to ensure you get a great auto loan.

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.

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HOPEWELL FEDERAL CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING IN JOHNSTOWN, OHIO

More than Fifty Individuals Shared in The Event

On November 17th, Hopewell Federal Credit Union (HFCU) celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest office in Johnstown, Ohio.  The 2,100 square-foot building, located at 635 W. Coshocton Street, is the third office in HFCU’s portfolio.  The building was constructed from April 2017 through October 2017 by the teams of Mark Caughenbaugh Construction, LLC and Phil Claggett, Ohio Architect with Northpoint Ohio Architecture.   The grand opening celebration included ceremonial ribbon cutting, WCLT-T100 Big Thunder live broadcast, lobby tours throughout the day, light refreshments, giveaways and a special grand opening CD special.

Attendees of the event included Johnstown council members and government officials, representatives from the many vendors who helped construct the building, members of the HFCU Board of Directors, new and existing members, as well as the Johnstown Cheerleading squad.

The community of Johnstown, Ohio, situated on the far western edge of Licking County, is home to residents who may benefit from credit union services.  Prior to Hopewell Federal’s arrival, members of this community needed to travel 11 miles to obtain credit union services.  Hopewell is thrilled to close that lengthy gap and provide a full-service facility right in the heart of Johnstown.  HFCU’s President and CEO said, “Today marks the culmination of an idea that began a few years ago as we considered bringing credit union services to members, and potential members in this area.  We look forward to serving and rolling up our sleeves and becoming part of this great community.”

About Hopewell Federal Credit Union (HFCU):

Hopewell Federal Credit Union, one of the leading credit unions serving Licking, Franklin and Delaware Counties, is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that is owned by its members. They provide a full range of financial services including savings and checking accounts, loan products and business accounts.  HFCU operates with the mission of helping its members get ahead financially and serves anyone who lives, works or worships in Licking, Franklin and Delaware Counties.

Five Steps to Organizing Your Finances

Do you know your net worth? Or how much you spend each month, and on what? Or how much you can expect from your pension plan or Social Security in retirement?

A majority of the population will answer “no,” saying they’ve been too busy with life to get a handle on their finances.

Fortunately, there’s a 5-step action plan to help you take control of your money.

1.Set up a financial filing system either manually or online. Keep separate folders for different expenses and records, for instance “Auto Expenses,” “Insurance,” “Mortgage,” “XYZ Credit Card,” etc.. There are also many online apps that will allow you to do this electronically.

2. Gather records. Look through your records to identify missing information. For example, you need an estimate of your Social Security retirement benefits. To request one, visit ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213. Gather copies of your health, disability, life, homeowners, and vehicle insurance policies, and get a copy of your credit report.

You can check your credit report—the summary of your credit activity that generates your credit score—from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year for free. Always make your requests from the annualcreditreport.com website, the only site sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission. Or, you can call 877-322-8228.

Make one request every four months in rotation among the three credit agencies so you can monitor your credit report year round.

3. Size up your situation. Add the estimated current value of all assets, including your home, car, personal property, savings, investments, and retirement accounts.

Next, add all liabilities, including mortgage, credit card balances, and any other outstanding debt. Then subtract liabilities from assets to figure net worth.

Then, make a list of income and expenses by reviewing paycheck stubs, online checking account information or your checkbook register, and credit card statements from the past year. Finally, track spending for a month by saving all receipts or recording cash purchases in a notebook. You also can find a spending plan or money management software program that can help organize spending by category.

4. Chart a course. Set financial goals–long term and short term–and figure how much money you’ll need for each. Create a target saving and spending plan that meets needs using your list of income expenses. For a month or more, track actual spending to see how you’re doing, making changes as necessary

5. Brush up on money management basics. Contact or visit Hopewell Federal Credit Union for more information about how to save and spend finances wisely.

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.

Smart Phone, Smart Saver

Phone apps have changed our lives. We now have, at our fingertips, the ability to access information 24/7, wherever we are. There are a number of useful apps that can even help you save money and track your spending.

Level Money — Are you often struggling at the end of the month to pay your bills, wondering where all your money went? This app helps you keep track of your spending by letting you set daily, weekly, or monthly limits on how much you can spend. You begin with your actual bank balance and subtract essentials like rent and utilities. The remaining balance is what you can spend on non-essentials. You can even set alerts to warn you when you only have a certain amount of money left.

Mint — This is a budgeting app that links to your banking and credit card accounts and keeps track all of your spending. It will analyze how and where you spend your money, suggest a budget, and even suggest how to reduce the money you spend on monthly bills and fees. It also alerts you when bills are due or your bank balance falls below a certain amount.

Flipp — Like a traditional Sunday newspaper, this app tells you all the sales and special offers currently available, at as well as help you find coupons. It covers weekly ads from 800+ retailers, including supermarkets, pharmacies, and big retailers, like Target or Walmart. If you’re a member of a store’s loyalty program, it can automatically apply discounts when you use your loyalty card at checkout.

Good Budget — This app uses the envelope system of budgeting. You begin by placing a certain amount of money for each expense (rent, groceries, gas, eating out, etc.) into its own category. This app keeps track of each amount, helping you to stay on budget. It also allows you and your spouse to sync your account, letting both of you know who’s spending, where it’s going, and how much is left in each “envelope.”

ShopSavvy — When you’re out shopping in a store, this app lets you scan the bar codes on merchandise and compare prices from other local and online competitors to see whose price is better. It offers special cash-back deals and you can set up notifications to alert you when a specific product goes on sale.

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.