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News Release
Maps Professional Center, Salem, OR
Maps Professional Center, Salem, OR
How consumers can maximize savings in today's financial environment (Photo) - 08/02/22

How consumers can maximize savings in today’s financial environment 
Maps Credit Union offers practical tips to save money 

SALEM, Ore. 2 August 2022 — Prudent consumers are wondering how rising interest rates will impact their ability to affordably get a loan and how to maximize their savings. There are several steps for consumers to help navigate today’s changing market. Although there are a lot of things people can do on their own to save money — like eating out less or cutting grocery budgets by shopping sales or switching to store brands — remember, your financial institution is also your partner.   

Work with your credit union or bank to help identify ways they can help you save. Peter Schaefer, Maps South Salem Branch Manager, says there are several steps individuals can take to help lessen the impact of rising interest rates in today’s economy. He said, “It’s important for individuals to understand what areas of the market are most affected by rising interest rates and steps they can take to manage debt and find extra ways to save.”   

Lessen Credit Card Debt 
The best advice is to pay credit balances quickly to avoid higher interest rates; however, if that’s not possible consumers can look for credit cards with low introductory offers on balance transfers. In many cases, the lower interest rate remains in effect for several months and in some cases up to a year. Maps never charges a balance transfer fee (many others do) and we have a cash back credit card with no annual fee. Paying off credit card balances with a lower fixed-rate personal loan may also be worth exploring.  

Explore Savings Options  
Shopping around for favorable savings account rates can be another good option. Maps offers a “round up” feature on any personal checking account to help people save. At the end of the day all debit card purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and transferred to the high interest Member Rewards savings account. 

Save automatically — preset your checking account to transfer money to your savings account automatically every month. Or set up your direct deposits to automatically transfer a set percentage of each paycheck into your savings account.  

Certificates of deposit (CDs) often yield higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. While CDs are not yet back to pre-pandemic rates, they can be useful for short term savings. CDs are secure and offer guaranteed returns.  

Fixed annuities can pay a higher interest rate than what you can typically earn through a savings account, a money market account, or even CDs. Fixed annuities are best used when you have money above and beyond an emergency fund that won’t be needed for a few years. They are tax-deferred and can be more flexible than a CD, because you have penalty-free withdrawal options. Fixed annuities may have fees or penalties, so visit a financial planner to find out if this is the right fit for you.  

Use Unexpected Income Wisely 
If you receive unexpected income such as an employment bonus, tax refund or inheritance, use it to reduce debt. Pay off high interest credit cards or make extra payments on auto or home loans. On a home mortgage loan, one extra payment per year will reduce your principal significantly over the life of the loan.  

Pay Attention to Subscriptions and Memberships  
Streaming services, subscription boxes and auto-renewals on products and services can quickly add up. Regularly review subscriptions and memberships and cancel any you don’t currently use. Carefully review your bank statement every month for subscriptions or memberships you’ve forgotten about and no longer use.  

Lock in Low Rates  
As much as possible, consumers should lock in low rates as quickly as possible. Consumers with a variable rate on a home equity line of credit can ask their lender for a fixed rate for any untapped portion of the line of credit. And those who are shopping for a new home should try to lock in their mortgage rate early in the event there are additional rate hikes by the Federal Reserve Board.   

These are a few simple ways consumers can help control the impact of higher interest rates on their personal finances. For more information on these and other programs visit your credit union or bank. Learn more about Maps Credit Union products and services at www.mapscu.com. 

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About Maps Credit Union 
Maps Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative with 72,000 members and 10 full-service branches serving Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley region. Maps Credit Union was founded in 1935 as an educators’ credit union and believes in lifelong learning. As a community-chartered credit union, residents in the Willamette Valley Basin are eligible for membership. Maps’ mission of “Every Member Benefits” drives the focus on giving back to members through affordable loan rates, competitive savings rates, and products and services designed to meet the needs of the membership. Maps is actively involved in Marion and Polk County communities through volunteerism, charitable giving, sponsorships and more. To learn more, visit www.mapscu.com. 

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