Don’t know where to begin to get your finances in order? Head over to your credit union and sit down with your financial advisor.
“Meeting on a regular basis with a credit union financial advisor is the best way to get up to date, honest advice from someone who works for you” says Andrea Fairgrieve, a Financial Service Representative with 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union. “They have the expertise to answer any question you might have and their prime objective is to help make your financial dreams a reality.”
Whether you visit a branch to meet in person or connect with them online, here are our top four questions to ask your advisor:
Question #1: What fees am I paying? Are there better options for me?
Many chequing and savings accounts offer tiers of fees. Only use your debit card now and again? You may be eligible for a low or no fee account! Or if you use debit sometimes but also send multiple e-transfers per month, you may need a flexible account where fees change depending on use. Work with your advisor to ensure your fees are the lowest they can be.
Question # 2: Am I currently borrowing effectively?
Most credit cards offer different types of benefits and rewards, ranging from low fees to cash back to travel points. Be sure to factor your interest rate and yearly fee into credit card evaluation process. If the travel dollars you earn don’t amount to much more than a yearly flight to a small town in the middle of nowhere, then you might be better off paying a lower interest rate and using the money you save for something you actually want. This is especially true if you’re carrying a balance on your card each month. Interest charges could be eating up most of your payments!
Question # 3: What strategies could I implement to help save me money or make me money?
This is a good question to get a sense of whether you’re being effective with your money. For example, if you’re carrying a large balance on your credit card, maybe a consolidation loan would make sense. If you’ve got a lot of cash just sitting in your savings account, it might be time to take advantage of a tax-free savings account. If you’ve got some big expenses coming up, maybe it’s time to apply for a line of credit.
Question # 4: Am I on track for retirement?
Get a sense of what investments you have in place for retirement and how much you will have to live on. (You may need to bring in information about workplace pension plans if applicable). Don’t have any retirement savings yet? Figure out what you can afford to contribute and set up automatic withdrawals. The sooner you do it the better! No matter your age, work with your credit union to develop a plan so you can retire stress-free.
The nice thing about banking with a credit union is we serve our members (aka you), not some Bay Street shareholders. So you can count on us for friendly and honest advice and competitive products and services to the big banks. We’re top-ranked for customer service by Ipsos for 18 years in a row, so you know we are there to help, not sell you products you don’t need. Don’t bank with a credit union yet? What are you waiting for? Try is today!