Rebound West Michigan! And Get More with Arbor

Over the last few months, we have experienced disruption in our everyday lives to a degree that most of us have never experienced.

As a little normalcy is restored, know that there may well be challenges that continue to affect your personal finances but be reassured that the Arbor team will be there every step of the way to help. Begin with this list of ideas to get more from your money during these times.
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#1: BUDGET

No matter what the current economic situation is, having a budget is the best way to truly manage your money, especially now, when spending habits have changed because of the stay-at-home order. You’re probably spending less on entertainment, coffee and lunches, or travelling less. Are there things you’re doing now that you can keep doing to save more money?

A clear picture of what you make and what you spend every month will allow you to prioritize your needs and make smart financial decisions. To establish your budget, use our monthly budget calculator.
Establish Your Budget

#2: CONTINUE TO SAVE

If you tapped your emergency fund during the pandemic, establish a monthly savings plan to restore it. Having at least $1,000 on hand will help you cover unexpected expenses without having to resort to high-rate credit cards or payday loans. Check out our Volt Account that bundles a checking and savings account for teens and young adults, ages 13-24, and pays 4.00% APY on savings balances up to $1,0001.

As for longer-term savings goals, such as retirement, college, or a house down payment, get back to making scheduled monthly deposits, even if it’s less than you were able to before the pandemic.
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#3: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOW RATES

Currently, interest rates are back to historical lows and that means opportunities to save. If you have a mortgage, check into refinancing your loan to lower your monthly payment or to shorten your term. Either way, you save money. Use our refinance calculator to see what you might be able to save.*

It’s also a great time to look at your home's equity to finance home improvements or other major purchases. Our mortgage experts can help you come up with a solution to fit your needs.

As for car or RV loans, check the rate you’re currently being charged. If it’s over 2.5% APR on a vehicle or 4.5% APR on an RV, you may be able to lower your payments by refinancing.
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#4: LOOK FOR BETTER DEALS

If you took a few minutes to review all the accounts you have, you’d likely find you’re paying unnecessary fees or higher interest rates than you need to. These can add up quickly and cost a typical family hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars a year.

For example: Do you pay a fee for your checking or savings accounts? Or to use ATMs? Switch to a free account like Momentum Checking2. You’ll save on the fees and earn one of the best interest rates in the state.

What’s the interest rate on your credit card? Many offer low rates or even special terms when you transfer balances. Check out the special introductory 2.99% APR available with Arbor3.

While you’re at it, take a moment to “shop” your insurance policies. Insurance companies are hungry for business right now and you might be able to lower your premium payments significantly. Ask about discounted policies sold through our TruStage auto & home insurance program, especially for credit union members like you. Call 1-855-483-2149 for a quote today!
MOMENTUM CHECKING CREDIT CARDS

#5: STRUGGLING WITH BILLS?

If money is tight and you’re struggling to pay your bills, talk to your lender. Most credit unions, banks and finance companies have plans in place to help IF they know your situation.

For short-term relief, look into skip-a-payment programs. If the situation is more serious, you may be able to negotiate a revised payment plan that you can manage. The last thing you want to do is to ignore the situation and damage your credit score for the future. And avoid payday loans or high-rate credit cards. The high rates they charge will make it more difficult to get back on track.

If you have concerns about making your payments, contact one of our team members who may be able to help.
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#6: GET SMARTER ABOUT MONEY

Education is always a good thing – especially when it can help you make sound decisions about your finances. Arbor provides Level Up, a financial education program containing a series of quick modules allow you to be up to speed on all major aspects of personal finance. And it’s free to members.
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# 7: PUT YOUR MONEY ON AUTOPILOT

As branches were forced to close during the pandemic, many people either increased their use of online and mobile banking tools or came to use them for the first time. You can do pretty much everything you need to manage your day-to-day finances – making deposits, checking balances, making payments, and transferring funds. (With Arbor, all these tools are free to members.)

Think about using online and mobile banking tools for more, to actually automate all your money management so your budget stays on track and you don’t have to stress about it.
DIGITAL BANKING

#8: STAY ON TRACK FOR RETIREMENT

If you have a 401(k) or investments, you probably had a nasty sinking feeling over the past few months as balances have declined. But stay the course! Remember, these are long-term investments. The Stock Market has always recovered from large declines, in time, so stay focused on your long-term goal. If you would like reassurance that your retirement strategy is still on track, schedule an appointment with Arbor's on-site Financial Advisor, Cory DenUyl.
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#9: CONSOLIDATE DEBT

Lastly, if you have multiple loans, including balances on credit cards, find out if a consolidation loan might help. In many cases, rolling multiple loans into one with a lower rate will reduce your monthly payment and help you get out of debt faster. Check out the calculator to see how much you can save or schedule an appointment to get the ball rolling.
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Not Yet A Member?

If you live, work or worship in the state of Michigan, you can join Arbor Financial Credit Union.

Why choose us? We offer a high-return savings accounts and low-interest loans. Awesome membership discounts and expert financial advice. And checking accounts with loads of free features, including Online Banking, Mobile Banking and Web Bill Pay. No, we're not a bank. We're something better.
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1. Annual Percentage Yield (APY).  The rate of 4.00% APY applies to balances up to $1,000 on Volt Savings accounts. Balances above $1,000 will receive the regular savings rate. Terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Account approval may be based on factors such as a qualified parent, teen’s age, and verification of income.

2. Minimum number of debit card purchases required. Debit card purchases must post to your account during the calendar month. ATM transactions do not apply. Interest is not paid on balances over $15,000. One Momentum Checking account per member. Rate is variable and subject to change. If requirements are not met, you simply do not receive interest for the month. Additional requirements apply.

3. APR (Annual Percentage Rate). The balance transfer APR will be 2.99% for 6 monthly billing cycles after the date of the transfer(s), then the standard purchase price APR applies, which is currently 6.00% - 15.25% for the Advantage Card,  9.25% - 16.25% for the Rewards Card, 12.96% for the Classic Card and 9.9% for the Platinum Card. Complete details on the balance transfer form.

*Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Rates may vary depending on each individuals’ credit history and underwriting factors. Not all applicants will qualify. Other restrictions may apply

Auto and Home Insurance program is offered by TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issued by leading insurance companies. Discounts are not available in all states and discounts vary by state. The insurance offered is not a deposit and is not federally insured. This coverage is not sold or guaranteed by your credit union.