Financial Guidance Articles

A collection of articles to guide your financial journey

Budgeting

Financial Guidance Article

5 Ways to Save This Season

Five money-saving ways to give gifts and have fun on a budget this season.

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Financial Guidance Article

How to Budget on a Fixed Income

Living on a fixed income? Check out our real-life practical advice to make a budget that works.

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Financial Guidance Article

How to Fund Your Vacation

Find strategies to budget for a vacation that won't break the bank.

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Financial Guidance Article

Experiencing the Financial Health Check Firsthand

Read this very honest retelling from a BECU member just like you.

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Financial Guidance Article

How Millennials are Making it on Their Own

With more college debt, a lower employment rate upon graduation and an economy that’s slowly recovering from the Great Recession, millennials (born after 1980) face a different set of financial realities than previous generations.

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Financial Guidance Article

Babies and Budgeting 1-2-3

Congratulations on your new little one, and welcome to parenthood! With a thousand new things to think about – and a lot less sleep than usual — planning for your financial future may seem daunting. But it doesn’t take much to get started down the right road.

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Financial Guidance Article

Reducing Debt

Experts say that financial management is 20% knowledge and skills and 80% behavior. If reducing debt is your goal, putting some healthy habits into practice can take you a long way toward success.

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Home Ownership

Financial Guidance Article

Win a Bid in a Seller's Market

Review six buying strategies to use when buying a house in a hot seller’s market.

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Financial Guidance Article

7 Expenses On Top of Your Mortgage Payment

There are more costs to owning a home than just the mortgage. We added them up and include them here, along with tips for planning around them.

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Financial Guidance Article

Can You Afford a Yard?

Considering the cost vs. enjoyment of owning property with a lawn, and deciding which outcome is the best fit for your situation.

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Financial Guidance Article

Is a HELOC Right for You?

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and how it can benefit homeowners looking to consolidate debt, or provide an additional source of funds.

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Financial Guidance Article

3 Things to Know Before Buying a Home

Don’t make an offer before you complete these three crucial steps

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Financial Guidance Article

Do More With Construction Loans

Can’t find your dream home? Use a construction loan and create it.

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Financial Guidance Article

Ready to Refinance?

Read some pros and cons to refinancing your home loan.

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Financial Guidance Article

Buying Your 1st Home

Buying a house is a huge milestone, and if you’re a first-time home buyer, it can be pretty intimidating. Getting clear on costs, credit and what you can afford at the outset can make things a lot simpler.

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Financial Guidance Article

11 Tips to Build Credit and Reduce Debt Before You Buy a Home

If you’re looking to buy a home, it’s important to get your credit and your debt under control first.

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Financial Guidance Article

The Top 7 Tax Breaks for Home Owners

If you're new to the home buying and lending process, check out BECU’s library of resources and information for first-time buyers.

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Financial Guidance Article

Smart Budgeting for Prospective Home Buyers

A breakdown of factors that go into your ability to buy a home, as well as explanations of said factors.

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Financial Guidance Article

What to Expect when Buying an Older Home

Older homes are a great option for buyers on a budget — but can come with trade-offs. Here’s what to look out for when buying an old house.

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Financial Guidance Article

Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

Buying a house is a big step, but it’s also a lot of fun. Before you start house hunting you need to consider these important questions.

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Financial Guidance Article

Rent vs. Own: Is it the Right Time to Buy a Home?

If you're new to the home buying and lending process, check out BECU’s library of resources and information for first-time buyers.

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Financial Guidance Article

Mortgage Glossary

No need for a separate dictionary when buying a home. Our glossary reviews the terms you need to know.

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Car and RV Buying

Financial Guidance Article

This One Trick Saves You Money on Your Car

Car shopping and want new-car rates with used-car pricing? Get both.

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Financial Guidance Article

See How Much Car You Can Afford

Use our car-buying calculator to determine the right car for your budget.

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Financial Guidance Article

Doing This Before Car Shopping Could Save Hundreds

Getting pre-approved at your financial institution could save you hundreds – if not thousands – on your next car purchase.

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Financial Guidance Article

We Help You Choose: Auto-Dealer vs. Private Party

Be prepared: Whether it’s a dealer or a private party, research both options so that you know which is right for you.

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Financial Guidance Article

5 RV Negotiating Tips

Don't settle for anything less. Use these top tips to negotiate the best price on an RV.

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Financial Guidance Article

Shopping for an RV

Everything you need to consider when shopping for an RV or trailer.

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Financial Guidance Article

Car Buying Basics

Nothing smells better than a new car, but the process of sorting through options, figuring out what you can afford, arranging financing, and then negotiating can be complicated and nerve-racking. To make the process easier it helps to have a plan for selecting and financing your new set of wheels.

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Building Credit and Credit Reports

Financial Guidance Article

Building Credit

Good credit is something that pays off every day. With a high credit score and good credit history you can qualify for all kinds of perks, including better terms on loans and increased borrowing power. But it all starts with building credit. Let’s look at the fundamentals.

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Financial Guidance Article

Understanding Your Credit Report

Your credit report is your financial report card. Since it can affect so many areas of your life, including whether you can qualify for a home or car loan, or get a job, it makes sense to understand how credit reports work.

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Trust Services and Estate Planning

Financial Guidance Article

What is Estate Planning?

How do you want your affairs to be handled if the unexpected (or unthinkable) occurs? Getting started on drafting your estate plan can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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Financial Guidance Article

Preparing for Incapacity

Plan ahead for incapacity. Here’s why you should do it, and what you’ll need during the process.

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Financial Guidance Article

Planning for Death

What happens to your assets when you die? Planning for this can answer a lot of those questions, help minimize estate taxes at the time of your death, and help reduce anxiety for your loved ones.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process of settling your estate when you pass away. Read about its pros and cons in this article.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is a Will?

A will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever possess. Read about the who, what, when, and how regarding a will in this article.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is a Trust?

A trust can help protect your assets and give you peace of mind.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A trust can take many forms, but they’re always divided into two categories: Revocable and Irrevocable. Read about revocable living trusts here.

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Financial Guidance Article

What's an Irrevocable Trust?

A trust can take many forms, but they’re always divided into two categories: Revocable and Irrevocable. Read about Irrevocable Trusts here.

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Financial Guidance Article

Revocable Living Trust vs. Will

A revocable living trust is similar to a will, but there are some key differences between the two.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is an Executor?

An executor is also known as a personal representative or administrator. You appoint this person to settle your estate after your death.

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Financial Guidance Article

What is a Trustee?

A trustee is responsible for managing assets in the name of your trust. Whom should you consider for this role?

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Financial Guidance Article

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving a person the power to act on another person’s behalf.

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Financial Guidance Article

Choosing BECU Trust Services as your Fiduciary

A fiduciary should be carefully considered. BECU Trust Services can take the load off a close friend or family member and act on your behalf in the event of the unexpected.

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Building Wealth and Retirement

Financial Guidance Article

8 Things Everyone Wants to Know About Social Security

Is Social Security bankrupt? Read about Social Security’s current state, how and when to redeem benefits, and their estimated impact on your retirement.

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Financial Guidance Article

How to Start Saving More Money

Putting money aside in a savings account can be challenging after paying all your bills, even after you’ve already created a budget. Here’s a strategy to help you save more, and tactics to help you execute your strategy.

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Financial Guidance Article

Is College in Reach for Your Child?

We break down the financial tools for college savings, including the pros and cons of each.

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Financial Guidance Article

Inheritance Tips

What would you do if you were lucky enough to suddenly come into a large sum of money, such as an inheritance?

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Financial Guidance Article

Choosing a Financial Advisor

Choosing a financial advisor is a big decision. After all, you will be entrusting that person with your financial future. Here are 10 questions to ask when considering an advisor.

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Financial Guidance Article

Long-Term Care Considerations

Planning for long-term care now sets your finances up for success later. Our financial advisor reviews steps you can take.

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Financial Guidance Article

Save More by CD Laddering

CD laddering is a great way to maximize your earning potential – check out the benefits and how to set one up.

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Financial Guidance Article

Retirement Planning Mistakes

Avoid these mistakes when planning for retirement, investing and saving for your 401(k).

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Financial Guidance Article

Tax Strategies for Investing

Grow your money tax-free with tips on investing using tax-deferral strategies.

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Financial Guidance Article

What Could You Do With Your Tax Refund?

A tax refund can be a great financial boost. But what should you do with the money? We’ve got some ideas you may want to consider.

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Financial Guidance Article

Boost Retirement Savings

Tips to help boost your retirement savings

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Financial Guidance Article

Saving for Retirement

How much should you save for retirement, and what’s a good strategy to help you reach that goal?

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Financial Guidance Article

A Little Time Goes a Long Way

Invest just 10 minutes a day for a thriving financial future

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Financial Guidance Article

Baby Boomers and Retirement

Is it too late for baby boomers to save for retirement? Let’s look at the options.

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Financial Guidance Article

The Three-Bucket Approach to Building Wealth

Taking a measured, methodical approach to financial health by dividing your money into three separate buckets.

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Kids and Money

Financial Guidance Article

Top Money Questions Asked by Teens

We’ve heard from teens and have answers to the most common money questions.

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Financial Guidance Article

The Next Big Talk

Talking with teens about money is as important as speaking to them about any other life challenges. BECU wants to make it easier for parents to have the next big talk about money management.

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Financial Guidance Article

How to Build Good Financial Habits for Your Teen

Is giving your teen more financial independence a scary thought? Here are a few indicators that may help identify if your teen is ready.

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Financial Guidance Article

Money Smart Teens

Your child’s teenage years are a great time to help them build strong money management skills. At BECU we’re here to help – with ideas about activities you can do together, tools to help them start building a banking and credit history and tips on helping direct them to make sound financial decisions.

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Financial Guidance Article

How to Open a Teen Checking Account

The BECU Early Saver savings account paired with a BECU checking account, is an ideal way to get your teen started on building good financial habits.

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Financial Guidance Article

5 Tips for Kids and Parents

A data-driven story revolving around developing good financial habits from a young age through adulthood

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Financial Guidance Article

3 Financial Concepts to Teach your Teen

Be sure your teen is ready for the unexpected by helping him or her to prepare for it.

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Financial Guidance Article

Security Tips for Teens

Security tips your teen should know while starting their journey to financial independence

Learn about how to keep your teen safe
Financial Guidance Article

Digital Allowance

Sunday has always been allowance day for Toby and Jen's daughters. Having the money on hand isn't always convenient so Toby and Jen decided manage their daughters allowance online.

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College Planning

Financial Guidance Article

Paying for College

It’s no secret that paying for college is expensive. But with some smart planning, you can make it happen.

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Owning a Business

Financial Guidance Article

Why You Should Make the Switch

Thinking of switching your business banking to a credit union? Here’s why it might be a great time to switch.

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Financial Guidance Article

What Your Business Can Save with a Credit Union

We break down the difference and compare commercial banking versus banking at a credit union.

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Financial Guidance Article

How the Credit Union Model Can Boost Your Business

Through digital banking, top-notch customer support, and less overhead, the credit union model can help your small business succeed.

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Financial Guidance Article

Business Banking Made Easy

How BECU beats the competition with great product offerings and low rates

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Financial Guidance Article

How BECU Helps Grow Your Business

With fewer fees and a growing number of resources dedicated to helping you meet your goals, BECU is an ideal place to take your business banking.

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Financial Guidance Article

Credit Union Growth Is on the Rise

The growth of credit unions is picking up steam on the west coast, and showing no signs of slowing down.

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Financial Guidance Article

Advantages of Online Banking and Remote Deposits for Business

Are you still writing paper checks and mailing invoices? If so, your business could save a lot of time and money by going digital.

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Financial Guidance Article

The Credit Union Difference

Why your business could benefit from switching to a credit union

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Financial Guidance Article

Stay Cash Positive with a Business Credit Card

Cash flow problems are one of the primary reasons businesses fail. Small but mighty, credit cards provide a much-needed lifeline for cash-strapped entrepreneurs.

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Financial Guidance Article

Why Your Business Needs A Credit Card

Often overlooked in favor of loans or lines of credit, business credit cards are becoming increasingly popular with Millennial entrepreneurs.

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Financial Guidance Article

The Cost of Unused Credit Card Rewards

Expired credit rewards could be costing your business thousands of dollars in savings a year. Switch to cash-back rewards and skip the hassle of redeeming miles.

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Financial Guidance Article

Choosing The Right Business Credit Card

Credit card rewards are a valuable source of purchasing power for your business. But which rewards program will earn your company the most value?

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Financial Guidance Article

3 Myths About Online Lenders Debunked

When deciding on a credit card provider, keep in mind these common myths about online lenders that should be laid to rest.

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Financial Guidance Article

Business 101

Starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding. But there are risks—like losing money, long hours and a lack of security. So what’s an idealistic entrepreneur to do?

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Banking 101

Financial Guidance Article

How to Avoid Overdraft Fees

No one likes to pay the non-sufficient fund (NSF) or overdraft fee. Below are four simple steps you can take to avoid NSF or overdraft charges.

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Financial Guidance Article

FDIC and NCUA Protect Your Deposits

You’ve probably heard the terms “NCUA insured” and “FDIC insured” in banking commercials. But what does each organization do, and how do they benefit account holders?

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Financial Guidance Article

Financial Tips for Couples

Talking To Your Partner About Money

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Financial Guidance Article

Set Up an Automatic Savings Plan

Grow your savings and accumulate wealth

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Financial Guidance Article

Banking 101

Establishing a relationship with a financial institution is a smart step toward financial security. Let’s review some basic information about the types of financial institutions out there – and what they can offer you.

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ID Theft

Financial Guidance Article

Secrets to a Great Password

We spoke with a security analyst for six guidelines to creating an uncrack-able password.

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Financial Guidance Article

Top Financial Scams

An updated description of today’s top financial scams and how to spot them before you become a victim.

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Financial Guidance Article

How Not to Get Hacked

BECU’s Chief Information Security Officer, Kyle Welsh, offers advice on how to stay safe online and avoid getting hacked.

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Financial Guidance Article

5 Immediate Steps to Take if Your Identity is Stolen

Do you suspect fraudulent activity on one of your accounts? Take action immediately by following these five steps.

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Self-Paced Financial Education Courses

Financial Guidance Article

Take a Self-Paced Course

A few minutes can turn into a lifetime of money management. BECU Financial Education brings you self-paced courses, allowing you the flexibility to learn on your time and at your convenience.

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Check Out Our Free Webinars and In-Person Seminars

In just 5 minutes, our webcasts give you information the home-buying process, car buying tips, budgeting and more. And check out our webinar and seminar schedule for online and in-person presentations.

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