We have found some other great websites to help you get ahead financially.
NOTE: KPCU offers these website links as a convenience to our members. KPCU does not endorse or warrant these sites or any mentioned products or services, and is in no way responsible for the privacy practices or the content of any of these sites. If you should come across any sort of deficiency, mistake or shortcoming connected with any of these sites, please let us know. If you know of additional online sources of a financially helpful nature, please send them our way.
NEW YORK TIMES/YOUR MONEY
We like this site! In fact, it is one of our favorite sites. This site draws focus to the personal side of business and finance…and it is very good. It’s always fresh— keeps you up-to-date and thinking about money matters that matter. Visit this one frequently.
MONEY MAGAZINE ONLINE
This one, too, is an extremely useful resource as to the many and varied things that might fall under the heading “Personal Finances”. This is Time Magazine’s magazine that is totally dedicated to to the subject. Check the menu in the upper-left corner. We particularly like the helpful advice I “Money 101”, but want you to ignore the section that identifies the “Best Banks” in the country. After all, you’re already here! (Ok, you might, after all, want to do a little reviewing and comparing, just to confirm that.)
These are some of the leading car-buying sites (there are undoubtedly many more!). Before you buy another car, visit any of them, or visit them all. You’ll find specifications (for every make and model), current prices (for new and used), car buying advice (usually pretty good!), interesting articles, model comparisons, consumer evaluations, photos, and “a whole lot more!”
Also, check the website of any maker of interest. Google to find blogs, both general and specific (make/model). There are many car maintenance sites— usually Q & A forums— that have pertinent information direct from owners.
If you are looking at a particular used car, write down the VIN # (it’s on a small plate somewhere under the windshield) and Google it to get some historical info about your prospect. There are also sites that provide this info for a fee.
As a member, you have access to Dale Gordon (503-380-8282) KaiPerm’s personal auto mentor at Auto Mentors. He will help you with your new or used vehicle search, trade-in evaluation, negotiate price, handle your trade-in, even coordinate your financing and vehicle delivery! Contact Dale at Auto Mentors and let him know that you are a KaiPerm member.
KELLY BLUE BOOK
Long the standard for checking prices.
This is the one most dealers subscribe to…new edition comes out every month.
If you are shopping for a used car, visit this site for sure, and home in on your particular area, then the make/model car you are looking for. You can decide if you want to buy from a dealer or a current owner (you’re likely to pay more at the dealer.) But check them all to get a sense of current market values. And remember, cash in your pocket will assure you of getting the best deal, price-wise…so come to the credit union before you shop!
Go here to see what the market looks like nationally…get an idea of what to expect on the used-car side… and a really good way to get an inside feel for the price.
NEW YORK TIMES AUTOS
Always full of current and interesting articles…much good reading here.
Looking for something a bit exotic…like a collector car, perhaps? Check in with Hemmings.
One of the popular auction sites. Fun to visit whether you’re car shopping or not.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AUTO SALES
Worth knowing about!
All of these (below) are good shopping sources:
Bankrate offers news, tips, and advice to compare mortgage rates, home equity loans, CDs, car loans, credit cards and money market accounts. We rely on this site to keep ourselves abreast of what is happening throughout the retail banking industry. Use this impressive resource at no cost.
If you’re planning to buy or sell a home anytime in the future, this is a site you want to know about. It’s owner, Jack M. Guttentag— the “Mortgage Professor”— has been a student of the home loan market for years. He is Professor of Finance Emeritus, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And he was Chief of the Domestic Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, on the senior staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and managing editor of both the Journal of Finance and the Housing Finance Review. He’s also consulted with government agencies and private financial institutions and has been a director of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, Guild Mortgage Investments, and First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Rochester. Obviously, he knows his stuff. The site is loaded with articles, information, and good advice, and is independent and objective.
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: BUYING AND FINANCING A HOME
The home buying process can seem complicated, but taking things step-by-step will assist you in holding the keys to your own home!
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: REVERSE MORTGAGES FOR SENIORS
What to know if you’re interested in a reverse mortgage.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO MORTGAGE LOCK-INS
Explains lock-in mortgages and their advantages to consumers.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1978 to provide credible, reliable, and objective research, data, and analysis. EBRI’s comprehensive program includes policy forums, roundtables, briefings, testimony, interviews, and speeches. Major studies in the process include Social Security reform, individual investment education and results, health insurance coverage, health policy reform, and pension design and investment trends. They also produce the annual Retirement Confidence Survey. The Institute’s mission is to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education. (Very Good Site!)
ONLINE LIFE EXPECTANCY CALCULATOR
So how long do you plan to live? While “just wait and see!” might be the sharp-tongued response to this otherwise impudent question, it does have particular relevance when planning one’s long-term financial future. And accordingly (you may be surprised to hear), it is our federal government that provides a tool to help people figure out their (statistically probable) longevity. As an example, a 65-year-old man can expect to live, on average, until 84.5 years old, and a woman of the same age until 86.8 years old, according to SSA’s actuarial calculator. Just remember, it does not factor in a person’s current health, family history, and other matters. An interesting source, nevertheless and worthy of a look. While you’re on the site, click on the Retirement Planner menu option to get into sensible thoughts about your financial future.
A website lets that you buy and redeem securities directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form. You’ll also find product information and research about the entire line of Treasury Securities, from Series EE Savings Bonds to Treasury Notes. New “TreasuryDirect” accounts offer Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), and Series I and EE Savings Bonds in electronic form in one convenient account. You can also purchase some of these items online.
A haven for armchair investors and money junkies, Yahoo! Finance has everything you need to keep up with business — news, stock-specific research, charts, even press releases. In late May, Yahoo! Finance resumed free real-time quotes instead of the standard 20-minute delays on rivals like Google Finance. (The service had been suspended a couple of years ago in a dispute with the major stock exchanges.) Power brokers can shell out $10.95 a month for real-time stock charting. For all the criticism about Yahoo!’s failure to innovate, its finance site showcases the best of what the company has to offer.
Yes, there is an agency within the U.S. Department of Education that provides help with college expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. It can also help pay for a computer, even dependent childcare expenses. Find out what specifically is available and if you qualify.
A website launched on March 21, 2006, by Google– features business and enterprise headlines for many corporations including their financial decisions and major news events. Stock information is available, as are Adobe Flash-based stock price charts. The site also aggregates Google News and Google Blog Search articles about each corporation, though links are not screened and often deemed untrustworthy. Google launched a revamped version of their finance site on December 12, 2006, featuring a new homepage design which lets users see currency information, sector performance for the U.S. market and a listing of top market movers along with the relevant and important news of the day. A top movers section was also added, based on popularity determined by Google Trends. The upgrade also featured charts containing up to 40 years of data for U.S. stocks, and richer portfolio options. Another update brought real-time ticker updates for stocks to the site, as both NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange partnered with Google in June 2008.
This useful site, presented by the U. S. Treasury Department, is loaded with helpful information. Here’s where you sign up for Direct Deposit of Government Paychecks, get info about paying your federal taxes online…and finding out more than you probably ever wanted to know about things like how much money is in circulation, how much we owe to other countries, and other such useful facts and figures.
INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
If there’s anything you ever wanted to know about IRAs, those tax-deferred, tax-deductible, and in some cases— tax-exempt savings plans, you’ll find it here. IRAs are (still!) one of the best savings tools available today. And more people than ever before are now eligible to take advantage of the incredible tax advantages available through IRAs. Here, too, is the Official IRS Site for IRAs.
A bit of everything…a trusted source for sound, sensible financial information. Use tools such as calculators, budgeting worksheets, and checklists to make more informed financial decisions. This site is good…really!
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION (NCUA)
The NCUA website is a wealth of information…including specific performance data of every credit union in the U.S. The hot topic for consumers is Identity Theft. The NCUA and other Agencies have published a brochure with an aid to help stop electronic identity theft. Check out this brochure.
Money is typically not the topic of discussion for a group of twenty-somethings wanting to have fun with their lives. But that’s only because today’s finance applications make it difficult and boring. That’s what we have set about to change! We want people to effortlessly understand their finances. And have fun while doing so. Keep all your accounts updated at one single place, securely. Get transactions automatically downloaded to your account without giving away your online banking credentials. Buxfer lets you store your private information on your local computer, and not on our server. Buxfer has added peer to peer payments to its money management system– supported through Amazon’s new Flexible Payments web service. Social payment sites like these aren’t meant to replace beefier accounting applications like Quicken or Wesabe, but rather easily track account balances with a heavy social networking component. You can add payments to Buxfer manually or import a payment statement from your bank, Quicken, or Microsoft Money. Having your payments on Buxfer lets you manage your balances with friends and analyze your expenses over time through pie charts and graphs. Buxfer has added a Facebook, mobile, and iPhone application.
Thrive’s “mission” is to “help families become properly protected, debt –free and financially independent. We focus on educating, NOT selling.” Sounds a lot like us! We recommend their “Financial Resource Center” and urge you to look through their “Safe Money Strategies.”
A very interesting website. Click on “How it works” to get an overview of the resources and services available. A lot of good advice (you’ve seen much of it before) but it is substantial and presented in a thoughtful manner.
Whether you know it or not, you have a “credit score.” And that score, and the report that goes with it tells employers, financial sources, auto dealers, mortgage companies, credit card companies, etc., etc. what they want to know about you and your financial situation. Most financial institutions use the FICO scoring model. The information that makes up these scores is obtained from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. FICO Scores run from 300-to-850…and are calculated by five factors:
• Your Payment history- 35%
• Amounts you currently owe- 30%
• Length of your credit history- 15%
• Types of credit you hold- 10%
• New credit obtained- 10%
YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Credit reports include the information that determines your credit score. They cover four critical things: Personal Information— your name, social security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, your spouse’s name, and your employment data. Public Record Information— any legal occurrences pertaining to your financial situation— bankruptcies, liens, wage garnishments or judgments. Credit History— lines of credit (mortgage, auto loans, credit cards, etc.), credit limits and account balances, monthly payment information, and status of the accounts (open, closed, paid, inactive, etc.). Adverse Accounts— any debts that were paid late, have an outstanding balance, or sent to a collection agency and reported to the credit bureau(s)…all of which stays on your credit report for seven years. Whatever is in your report, it should at least be accurate. And often, for a variety of reasons, it simply isn’t! Two things you should do: 1) find out what’s said about you in your credit reports and 2) fix anything that needs fixing! You are entitled, by law, to a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. Go to one key source—AnnualCreditReport.com—to order them.
Importance of Credit History An outside website with more good information!
How Your Credit Score Impacts Your Financial Future Another very good site!
Consumer Guide To Credit Reports Many websites claim to offer “free” credit reports, but try to sell their services and monthly subscriptions. This site shows who they all are, what they offer and what they charge.
National Do-Not-Call List Get relief from the nightly telemarketers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helped make this time-saving list a reality. You can register yourself online.
Provides adult education to encourage savings and advice to assist Americans to build wealth and plan for unexpected expenses.
AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION
Teaches consumers the benefits of responsible money management and middle and high school students basic money management skills.
AMERICAN SAVINGS EDUCATION COUNCIL
This program has been developed to raise public awareness about what is needed to ensure long-term personal financial independence.
Developed the MoneyMath program to educate middle school children about savings, investing, spending and credit.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY-OFFICE OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION
The Office of Financial Education focuses the Department of the Treasury’s financial education policymaking, raises awareness about the need for financial education and provides information about financial education resources throughout the federal government.
EMERGENCY FINANCIAL FIRST AID KIT (EFFAK)
The EFFAK is a simple tool that helps identify and organize key financial records and provides a quick reference file for your most important financial documents.
EXTENSION FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR ALL
The Financial Security for All eXtension website is a source of reliable, unbiased and up-to-date financial and consumer information. Resources consist of learning modules, factsheets, and commonly asked questions that have science-based, peer-reviewed answers.
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC)
Comprehensive financial education program suitable for adults and high schools students. Includes 10 separate modules ranging from money skills to credit issues.
Comprehensive education program teaching children Pre-K-12 life skills and money management techniques.
Program to educate children K-12 about basic life skills, critical thinking and solving complex problems.t
NATIONAL COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT COALITION (NCRC)
Works directly with non-profit organizations to help promote community and economic redevelopment in low- to moderate-income areas.
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC EDUCATION
The program works through a network of teachers to provide youngsters grades K-12 the principles of economics including savings, investing, use of money and credit.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR FINANCIAL EDUCATION
Offers a high school financial planning program that provides practical money-management skills and an introduction to financial planning, covering the fundamentals of insurance, investments, tax, retirement and estate planning.
NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CREDIT COUNSELING
Promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services.
NEIGHBORHOOD REINVESTMENT CORP
Works directly with non-profit organizations to provide consumer financial education through collaboration with National programs. The site provides general information and resources to other programs.
Help revitalize inner-city communities through adult education, community resource information and economic literacy for teens and young adults.
The IRS has developed an interactive, instructional tax program to provide high schools, community colleges, and the general public with a technology-based instructional tool.
We look forward to helping you bank like you won't believe!