A Personal Debt Assessment: Your Financial Life Preserver

Do you feel like you're drowning in debt? Trust your instincts.

The national average credit card debt per household is $7,180. About 46% of households carry a balance on credit cards from month to month. Our reliance on plastic and other forms of credit makes life difficult for families struggling to make ends meet. Even if you're still in shallow water, a personal debt assessment may be just the financial life preserver you need to keep your debt from spiraling out of control. How do you know if you need a debt assessment? Ask yourself whether you're experiencing these warning signs: * Do you frequently pay bills late? * Do you pay only the minimum due on your credit cards? * Do you use credit for necessities like groceries? * Have you ever used one credit card to pay off another? * Do you find yourself paying off holiday debt for...
Four Money Mistakes Every Couple Should Avoid
Money can wreck a relationship. In fact, how they spend, save, and account for money is one of the leading sources of friction between couples. In virtually every study, money ranks as the first or second most argued-about topic for twosomes of all types. Try to avoid these four common mistakes:
  • Extremism. Work on changing your ways if you're on either end of the spectrum from shopaholic to cheapskate. It's a lot easier to have a meeting of the minds when both partners practice moderation.
  • Secrecy. Don't hide your spending from your partner. Once you lose your partner's trust, it'll be an uphill battle to win it back.
  • Assigning blame. If both partners stay involved, one can't blame the other for the household's money troubles.
  • Using money as a weapon. Spending to get back at your partner won't solve your relationship issues, it will just make you unhappy and broke.
Visit Us When Life Changes
Life changes require more than an emotional adjustment--they require a visit to your Priority First Federal Credit Union branch. Marriage * Decide if you're going to pool your assets or maintain separate share draft/checking or savings accounts. See your credit union representative for help once you've made that decision and to open these accounts. * If you have a credit card issued by Priority First, notify us of your name change. * Update beneficiaries on your IRAs (individual retirement accounts) and other investments. Divorce * Priority First can help you examine financial accounts and determine where you stand financially. * Visit the credit union to open and fund a share draft/checking and savings account in your own name. Get a credit card in your own name and manage it carefully. Death of a spouse or parent * Inform all creditors, including Priority First, of the death. * Cancel any automatic or online bill paying services...
NEW -Kmart announces breach possibly affecting credit and debit cards (Reuters).