Bellwether's Blog on life and money
Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval: What's the Difference and Why is it Important?
Buying a home, especially for the first time, is exciting, nerve-wracking, and sometimes a bit scary as well. There are a myriad of new terms to learn, and the process is rarely as straightforward as one might expect. One of the most confusing aspects is obtaining financing. Mortgage companies, banks, and other financial institutions offer a selection of mortgage products, and each has its own process. One thing that consumers often misunderstand are the terms mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval. They sound similar, and they are in some ways. However, there are also some distinct differences that new home buyers should understand.
Mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval both offer a home buyer some valuable information and benefits. In fact, the terms are often used interchangeably, despite the fact that they do not necessarily mean the same thing. First of all, let's take a look at the similarities between these two mortgage terms:
Your time, well spent
Whether you've received some cash from a relative or are saving any money you have leftover from your paycheck, at some point it is worthwhile to think about a Certificate . Regular savings accounts don't get extremely good interest rates, so starting to explore the other products that your credit union can provide is just good sense... and makes cents! You see what I did there, financial pun for the win!
What is a Certificate?
Simply, these products involve you committing a particular amount of money to a new account for a certain amount of time; often CDs run for as little as 12 months and as many as 72 or more months. For that whole time, you receive a much higher interest rate than a typical savings account, and the rate is often higher and higher depending on the amount of months you've selected for your CD. This means that the longer you are able to keep your money "locked up," the more returns you receive during that time. This does mean that there are penalties for removing money early; knowing that you won't withdraw the money is part of how banks and credit unions can get such a good rate of return on your money.Read More
The New Hampshire Credit Unions, including Bellwether, recently presented a $200,000 donation to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, an organization that grants the wishes of children facing critical illnesses. This marks a 22-year total of more than $2.7 million raised by the New Hampshire Credit Unions, members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA). The New Hampshire Credit Unions remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.Read More
6 reasons to get a personal loan
In a dream world, we'd never need to worry about expenses popping up and we'd be able to pay things off quickly and without worry. However, that isn't always possible for everyone. Sometimes it's necessary to borrow a little money to keep our lives going, and there's no shame in that! Personal loans exist just for this reason, and can really help you out when you're in a bind. Read on to learn more about personal loans, and the reasons to look into getting one for yourself.
Bellwether takes stand against elder financial abuse
Bellwether Community Credit Union is proud to announce that 100 percent of their frontline staff are now certified by the CU Senior Safeguard, an educational platform for credit union employees to learn more about elder financial abuse, how to detect it and how to prevent it. Certification provided by this program supports requirements outlined in the Senior Safe Act to allow a credit union safe harbor when possible elder financial abuse has been detected.
“Bellwether takes the financial security of our members extremely seriously,” said Michael L’Ecuyer, President and CEO of Bellwether. “The peace of mind and trust of our members is of the utmost importance to us, and that is why we are so proud to have the entirety of our member facing staff certified by this worthwhile program.”
Introduced by the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) and produced in collaboration with EverFi, a leading national technology company that provides education through innovative and scalable digital learning, the CU Senior Safeguard program equips credit unions with the information needed to defend elderly members as well as their caregivers and families.
In CCUA’s 2017 national survey, data showed over two-thirds of familial caretakers reported their elderly relatives had been the target of a fraud or scam, and that 28% of the elderly surveyed had actually been the victim of a scam. According to National Adult Protective Services, one out of nine seniors experiences financial exploitation but only one in 44 will ever report it.