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September 9, 2021
Nine Tips to Be Smarter with Your Money
You’ve most likely noticed that we share financial advice about things like budgeting, retirement planning, building credit and lots more in the interest of helping you grow your financial knowledge. We’re firm believers in the concept that you don’t have to be rich to be smart with your money and advocate that building a foundation of financial literacy is important for everyone.
Today, we’re bringing you helpful financial advice from nine Grow team members about several important categories of financial wellness: savings, credit, auto loans, budgeting and protecting yourself from scams. Here are nine tips to be smart with your money:
“I live by the motto ‘pay yourself first.’ Basically, I do an automatic transfer of a set percentage to my savings each paycheck, so it’s out of sight and out of mind. That way, I’ll have things covered if a rainy day comes along.” – Angelica Nguyen, Finance Management Program Associate
“You never know when an unexpected expense may hit, so whenever I get cash or change, I like to save it. That way when something does come up, I have some money set aside so I can focus on resolving it.” – Hannah Pegues, Loan Resolution Specialist
“When it comes to saving, I like to set incremental goals each year. Something as simple as increasing my saving by 1% really makes a big difference toward long-term goals.” – Allyson Wicker, Mortgage Loan Consultant
“I like to make a couple payments on my credit card balance throughout the month, rather than one lump sum, to help keep my credit utilization ratio looking good.” – Tammy Bowman, Relationship Specialist
“I set up automatic payments for my credit card so the balance is paid every month directly from my bank account. This way, I avoid paying interest while still enjoying the benefits of my rewards credit card. Even if you can’t pay the balance in full, at least automate the minimum payment, that way you never pay late fees.” – Ryann Donahue, Content Specialist
Tammy and Ryann are right on with their advice. Looking to improve your credit score? Check out these good credit habits.
“I like to pay a little extra on my car loan each month, even if it’s only $50. That way, I’m setting myself up to save big on interest over the life of the loan and shaving several months off the payment timetable.” – Ja’Mia Canadiate, Relationship Specialist
Ja’Mia is on to something. Saving on interest? That’s a win in our book! In addition to paying extra when you can, there’s another simple change to the way you pay that can cut hundreds (or more) off your auto loan. Learn more.
“I stick to a budget. It allows me to jumpstart my savings, pay off debt quickly and make progress toward my financial goals. I use the Budget widget in Grow Online Banking because I can create personalized budgets for each of my accounts and watch where my money is going.” – Marquise Davis, Fraud Investigator
“In my household, my wife and I review our expenses monthly. Then, we determine our budget for different categories, such as groceries and entertainment, to keep us on track. Communicating about our financial plan helps both of us have a clear understanding of where we are, what we can do and where we’re headed.” – James Kapish, Senior Internal Communication Specialist
Both Marquise and James know that when it comes to finances, being freeform is not the best option to be smart with your money. Make sure you’re on track by using a budget and evaluating it frequently. New to budgeting? Get started today.
“You can’t be too careful with your finances, so I check my accounts daily for suspicious activity. Grow makes it easy to keep an eye on things, even on the go, with the mobile banking app.” – Chantel Negron, AVP Asset Protection
Following Chantel’s advice as well as monitoring your monthly statements are important steps in protecting yourself. Stay a step ahead of scammers by understanding how to avoid online banking scams and common holiday scams.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal and home equity loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card and personal loan payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for mortgage and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733