BlueOx Blog

budget-friendly summer activities

6/29/2022

Friends canoeing together on the river.

We’ve all been in a position where we need to make saving money our main priority. However, just because you can’t afford a lavish summer vacation this year doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun!

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how to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck

6/3/2022

Woman drinking coffee from a decorative coffee mug while looking out the window.

Did you know that 78% of American workers claim they live a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle? This means they are spending their entire paycheck before the next one is available. You'd be correct if you think this sounds like a stressful cycle! The good news is you don't have to stay in this situation! In fact, it only takes a few minor changes to your financial plan to get yourself out of the loop. 

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home loans 101

5/12/2022

Couple lying on the floor of their new home, with moving boxes stacked behind them.

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to move to another property, you will likely need to take out a home loan. Unfortunately, researching and comparing options can start to get overwhelming. However, homeownership doesn’t have to be complicated! With the help of a financial expert and some basic home loan knowledge - you can be prepared and relaxed throughout the process! 

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eco-friendly ways to save money

4/22/2022

Woman living eco-friendly by happily gardening in her backyard.

It is a common myth that becoming more eco-friendly is a costly process. In fact – most of the time, living green actually saves you money! In honor of Earth Day, check out a few ways you can protect the planet and your bank account.

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5 easy tips to help you meet your financial goals

4/20/2022

Couple meeting their financial goals by finalizing the purchase of their new home with a handshake from their mortgage broker.

We've all heard about the benefits of setting financial goals. What we don't hear as often is how many people never end up achieving their goals. Why is this? Especially considering how essential these goals are to our financial health. Well, the answer is simple – changing your financial habits is difficult! Luckily, there are some helpful and easy tips you can utilize to help you stick with your goals!

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how to help your children build their savings

4/13/2022

Save Small. Dream BIG! National Youth Month.

Saving money is difficult for all ages, that's why it is so essential to teach our children the importance of saving money while they’re young! Every parent desires to see their child succeed and live a healthy life – that includes healthy financial habits! Read on to see some easy, fun, and practical ways that you can help your child build their savings account.

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the 5 key components to financial literacy

4/4/2022

A couple becoming financially literate together by reading informative articles on their laptop and taking notes.

When was the last time you sat down to evaluate your overall financial plan? Or took the time to freshen up your financial literacy knowledge? If it has been a while, don’t worry! It’s never too late to start. In fact, the perfect time is right now as April kicks off National Financial Literacy Month!
 

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employee spotlight - youth banking

4/1/2022

Employee Spotlight: Youth Banking  - BlueOx Credit Union Blog

Today’s youth are never too young to start learning good financial habits! It’s crucial to educate our children on saving money and preparing them for their future finances. Read on to hear how one of our valued employees, Adele Garcia, has implemented good financial habits in her own children over the years!

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how do credit cards really work?

3/25/2022

Man using his credit card to make an online purchase.

It’s understandable why many people are hesitant to open a credit card. They are often associated with long-lasting debt, high fees, and a negative impact on credit scores. However, if used properly, credit cards can be very beneficial to a person’s financial wellness!

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introducing - Portage iBranch!

3/9/2022

Introducing Portage iBranch - BlueOx Credit Union Blog

BlueOx Credit Union is excited to announce the upcoming changes to our Portage Branch location! Effective April 4, 2022, the Portage Branch will be revamped into the new Portage iBranch with the addition of an iTeller Machine (ITM) in our lobby.

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creative ways to save money

2/25/2022

Woman drawing at a desk, surrounded by creative pictures and art supplies.

We can all agree; it's responsible and necessary to save money. Yet often, instead of being excited about a growing savings account, we focus on everything we'll have to give up to make it happen. Fortunately, there are ways you can save money or stay within your budget and still have fun doing it! Change your perspective on what it means to save by checking out the following money-saving activities.

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key benefits to digital banking

2/3/2022

Woman benefiting from digital banking by checking her bank account while she walks to school.

Digital banking is a fast, easy, and convenient alternative to the traditional style of banking. You can perform most financial transactions remotely from your computer or smartphone with this service. Learn more about digital banking and how you can benefit from it! 

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how to save money

1/19/2022

Parents teaching their kids how to save money with a piggy bank.

Whether you are hoping to pay off debt, looking to purchase a new home, or planning for retirement, we all have reasons to save money! Unfortunately, it can seem like an overwhelming task at times.

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don’t fall victim to this popular mortgage scam

1/14/2022

Don’t Fall Victim to This Popular Mortgage Scam - BlueOx Credit Union Blog

Did you recently purchase or refinance your current mortgage? If so, keep your guard up as you could be a target to this new popular mortgage scam!

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what you need to know about tax identity fraud

11/22/2021

Couple using the computer to research tax identity fraud.

Ready or not, tax season is coming up! Unfortunately, this also means it’s prime time for tax identity fraud. Nobody wants to become a victim of this heartless crime, so we’ve provided some helpful tips and information you should keep in mind as you file this year.

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top 10 cyber security tips

10/29/2021

Woman checking her cell phone.

October is Cyber Security Month, and with the ability to practically carry our lives around in our pocket, it’s obvious that we live our lives digitally. Regardless of if you use your digital devices for work or for play – protecting your data is crucial. As we bring Cyber Security Month to a close, please check out these 10 tips to keep you and your family safe from digital scams or breaches.

 

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everything you need to know about credit card balance transfers

10/14/2021

Friends shopping together with their credit cards.

When was the last time you checked your credit card’s interest rate? Odds are, depending on when you got the card, your interest rate could be drastically lower! This depends on the state of the economy, local rates, as well as your current credit score. It could be time for you to investigate a credit card balance transfer for a lower rate to save you money.

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when should you refinance your car?

9/16/2021

Happy couple driving together after they refinanced their car.

Are you looking at your monthly Auto Loan statements wondering how you could be saving more money? Refinancing your vehicle may be a great option for you, but there are a couple factors to keep in mind when making this decision.

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Budgeting 101

8/24/2021

Couple working on their effective budgeting plan.

Did you know that 60% of Americans spend with no budget? Maybe you think it’s too early to start budgeting or maybe you think it’s too late. We’re here to tell you there’s no such thing! A budget is the key to a financially healthy life and can help you plan for your goals as well as for the unexpected events life may throw at you.

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new BlueOx online banking experience!

8/11/2021

New Online Banking Experience - BlueOx Credit Union Blog

We are excited to announce our new and improved Online Banking, featuring a more user friendly navigation; new, fresh design; really cool new features and so much more!

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top five places to visit in michigan this summer

7/22/2021

Family on a road trip in Michigan with their RV.

Looking for a family getaway this summer? Have you been saving up for some relaxing time off? Michigan is full of beautiful spots to vacation and explore! From beaches to vineyards, the Great Lake State has a little something for everyone. Grab the family, pack up the RV, put on your favorite road trip playlist and hit the open road!

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everything you need to know about how auto loans work

7/1/2021

Happy couple driving in their new or used vehicle. Get your Auto Loan with BlueOx Credit Union.

Purchasing a car is a big decision. There are so many variables that you need to consider when deciding which vehicle will be the best fit for you or your family – not to mention, how you’re going to pay for it. What all goes into getting an auto loan? Let’s take a moment to break it all down for you!

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inexpensive ways to improve your home's curb appeal

6/16/2021

Couple gardening to improve their curb appeal.

Whether you are trying to spruce up your home to get ready to sell or just wanting to make your house a home that you can take pride in, some simple updates to improve your curb appeal can work wonders on a home.

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five things every first-time home buyer should know

5/25/2021

Young and happy couple moving into their new home as first-time homebuyers.

Buying a house is an exciting event, but if you are a first-time home buyer this is uncharted territory for you! Before you jump in headfirst, we recommend you develop a realistic budget that comfortably fits your lifestyle. What you can afford and what you may be approved for, could be two completely different numbers. Keep in mind that household expenses such as groceries, gas, utilities, cell phone, cable, vacations, higher education and other wants and needs, are not typically included by lenders when determining your debt-to-income ratio. Once you have developed your budget and are comfortable with the Mortgage payment you can afford, read on to learn about five other important things every first-time home buyer should know.

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10 steps to buying a new home

4/8/2021

Couple rolling out a carpet together at their new home.

Purchasing a new home is an exciting event, but it can also be a bit overwhelming! There is so much to do when buying a new house and you want to make sure you do not miss a single step. Fortunately for you there is always help along the way. Check out these important steps to keep in mind as you make your way to purchasing your dream home!

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how do home equity loans work?

3/31/2021

Couple planning out their home construction project.

what is a home equity loan?

A home equity loan — also known as a second mortgage, term loan or equity loan — is when a homeowner borrows money against the equity in their home. A home equity Loan is usually in a “second lien position” to your primary home mortgage loan, hence, the commonly referred to term of second mortgage. However, even if your primary home mortgage loan is paid-off you still may obtain a home equity loan.

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what is required when opening a checking account?

3/30/2021

Family signing up for a checking account.

Opening a checking account is a fairly simple process, but you will need to ensure you bring the right documentation with you. Keep in mind that the requirements may vary depending on the financial institution that you choose to bank with. Read on to learn about what a checking account is, the benefits of a checking account and what you’ll need to have with you in order to get your account up and running right away.

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everything you need to know about construction loans

3/16/2021

Family standing together in a construction site.

With a shortage of homes for sale on the market, you may be looking to build your new dream home. Building your own home can be a tremendously rewarding experience. You get to make choices about everything from location and floor plan to colors and landscaping. At the end of the process, you have a truly special place to live, something uniquely yours. But how do you pay for it? And how do new construction loans work?

While a project like building your home can be both exciting and fun, there are many things to consider before you begin building. Probably the most important consideration is how this type of project gets paid for.

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advantages of using a credit card for everyday payments

3/5/2021

Smart phone displaying BlueOx Credit Union Credit Card on mobile wallet.

If you’re not using your credit card for your everyday expenses, you may want to change your ways. There are benefits to using credit cards responsibly for regular purchases. Credit cards are powerful financial tools. They allow us to pay for expenses that we need without having to carry around cash. They also make it less stressful to pay for emergency expenses. But do you still find yourself reaching into your wallet to use cash or a debit card when you’re in the checkout line? If so, you may want to change your ways, because getting into the habit of using your credit card regularly can have its advantages. Here’s why you should use a credit card for almost every payment.

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iTeller – a new, enhanced service experience!

2/1/2021

Easy and persona.l iTeller Live Interactive ATM. The way banking should be.

getting to know the BlueOx iTellers

As part of our on-going commitment to enhancing the member experience, as well as providing additional choices that fit your lifestyle, BlueOx Credit Union is excited to announce a new, easy-to-use banking technology. iTellers are now available for your convenience at each of our branch locations! Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) or iTellers are innovative and interactive “I do my own banking” ATM machines with a personal touch. They provide face-to-face assistance from a knowledgeable iTeller specialist using live video chat technology – all the convenience of an ATM with the personal service of a live teller PLUS more convenience and functionality! Picture an ATM that comes to life, much like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.

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why it’s a good idea to check your credit

10/23/2020

Woman checking her credit on her laptop.

You may regularly check Online Banking to ensure you are sticking to your monthly budget, but what about doing the same for your credit? Because your credit is used to gauge your financial well-being, it is important to make sure it remains stable. The best way to do this is through credit monitoring. If you have ever questioned the importance of credit, these three reasons highlight exactly why you should keep an eye on your credit.

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know your mortgage forms: what you should understand about Good Faith and Loan Estimates

10/5/2020

Family moving boxes in kitchen.

Applying for a mortgage to find your dream home can be an exciting, yet long process. BlueOx Credit Union strives to simplify financing and servicing your home. However convenient our local, hometown superior service has made the mortgage process for you, it can still be challenging to understand some of the information in the standard documents.

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credit vs. debit

9/4/2020

Coffee shop employee handing a credit card back to the customer.

We’ve all done it. We’re out shopping, ready to use our Debit Cards, and the clerk asks “debit or credit?” We really don’t know what the difference is. It’s a Debit Card, so we say “debit,” right? Wrong.

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what to do if you can’t pay your bills

8/27/2020

Couple on computer creating a budget

Living paycheck to paycheck can get you caught in a situation where your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income, leaving you wondering how to make ends meet and worrying over how to pay your bills. Here are a few helpful tips and some of the best ways to pay bills each month to improve your financial wellness.

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preparing for future home ownership or refinancing your current mortgage

8/4/2020

Couple unpacking boxes

A good budget plan begins one or two years before a buyer makes an offer. Here are four tips for anyone who plans to become a homeowner:

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why obtaining a credit card from a credit union is a smart choice

7/31/2020

couple using a credit card

You have many options when it comes to finding the best place to apply for a credit card. Credit unions tend to have lower rates and fees and have great rewards as well. Read on to find out whether a credit union card is right for you.

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advantages of securing a home mortgage with a credit union

7/30/2020

Family walking into their new home together.

Buying a new home is an exciting event, and it's also a big expense for any budget. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the average mortgage balance is $244,000 for new homeowners. Though many people turn to banks out of habit, taking out a credit union mortgage may be the better choice for many homeowners. Wondering which financial institution should handle your home loan? Read on to explore five distinct advantages of choosing a credit union mortgage.

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advantages of opening a checking account with a credit union

7/30/2020

Couple looking at bank statement and using the phone.

Credit unions and banks offer many of the same products and services, such as checking and savings programs. However, credit unions are quite different in their approach to serving their member-owners. Their dedicated employees also make the difference. Civic-minded, they live in the same communities as you. They shop at the same stores and attend the same schools and churches. Like you, they have a stake in your communities and in your personal success.

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five tips to save money on back-to-school shopping

7/27/2020

Family shopping for back-to-school items online.

Back-to-school is the second-biggest shopping season for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $696.70 on school supplies. That's up from $684.79 last year! So parents: don’t break the bank this school year, and save with our five back-to-school savings tips!

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five ways to establish good credit

7/27/2020

Couple holding shopping bags and walking down the street.

Whether you are new to credit or are trying to “clean up” past issues to re-establish a favorable record, you may encounter a frustrating paradox: many financial institutions are reluctant to extend credit to someone without an established record. Yet the only way to build a credit record is to have and use credit. Here are some ideas on how to create and build your credit history.

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how to improve my credit score

7/27/2020

Couple making a purchase on their laptop with their credit card.

If you find that you aren’t getting approved for credit cards or loans, or aren’t getting favorable rates for financing, then you may need to make some improvements to your credit score. Building credit isn’t a particularly quick or simple process, but here are a few tips that can help.

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