Financial Guidance Articles

A collection of articles to guide your financial journey

Budgeting

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.

Learn more

How to Fund Your Vacation

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

Learn More

Experiencing the Financial Health Check Firsthand

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

Learn more

Better Budgeting

Maintaining financial strength isn’t easy. A focused budget can help you take control so you can reach your financial goals.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Learn more

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.

Read more

Home Ownership

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.

Learn more

3 Things to Know Before Buying a Home

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

Learn more

Do More With Construction Loans

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

Learn more

Ready to Refinance?

Read some pros and cons to refinancing your home loan.

Learn more

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.

Read more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Mortgage Glossary

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

Learn more

Car and RV Buying

5 RV Negotiating Tips

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

Learn more

Shopping for an RV

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

Learn more

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.

Read more

Building Credit and Credit Reports

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Trust Services and Estate Planning

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.

Learn more

Preparing for Incapacity

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

What is a Trust?

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

Read more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Revocable Living Trust vs. Will

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

What is a Trustee?

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Building Wealth and Retirement

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.

Read More

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.

Learn more

Is College in Reach for Your Child?

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

Find your solution

Inheritance Tips

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn how to ladder

Retirement Planning Mistakes

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

Learn more

Tax Strategies for Investing

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Boost Retirement Savings

Tips to help boost your retirement savings

Learn more

Saving for Retirement

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

Learn more

A Little Time Goes a Long Way

Invest just 10 minutes a day for a thriving financial future

Learn more

Baby Boomers and Retirement

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

Learn more

The Three-Bucket Approach to Building Wealth

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

Learn more

Kids and Money

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.

Read More

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.

Learn more

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.

Read more

Teens: What to Expect After Joining BECU

We’re glad you’re here! You’ve made a great decision in getting your teen’s financial future started with a credit union. Now that you’ve opened your teen’s account, here’s what you can expect in the short- and long-term.

Learn more

Getting Your Teen Started Early with BECU

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.

Learn more

5 Tips for Kids and Parents

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

Learn more

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.

Learn about these concepts today

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

A New Twist for Families

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.

Read more

College Planning

Paying for College

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

Read more

Owning a Business

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.

Read more

What Your Business Can Save with a Credit Union

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

Read More

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.

Read more

Business Banking Made Easy

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

Learn more

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.

Read more

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

The Credit Union Difference

Why your business could benefit from switching to a credit union

Read More

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.

Read more

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Commercial Credit Ratings Explained

Businesses, like people, are rated on how responsibly they use credit. If you’ve ever used a corporate credit card, taken out a business loan or paid a vendor on credit, your business may already have a credit rating.

Read more

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?

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

Banking 101

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.

Learn more

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?

Learn more

Financial Tips for Couples

Talking To Your Partner About Money

Learn more

Set Up an Automatic Savings Plan

Grow your savings and accumulate wealth

Learn more

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.

Read more

ID Theft

Secrets to a Great Password

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

Learn more

Top Financial Scams

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Read more

Self-Paced Financial Education Courses

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.

Learn more

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.

View Seminars and Webinars