Thursday, May 9, 2019

Financial Tips For College Grads






This time of year, college graduates are quickly discovering what it’s like to be out in the “real world”. It’s a significant transition for these young adults, trying to find a job, a place to live, and adjusting to being responsible for daily living expenses like rent, groceries, cell phone bills and so much more. 

With more than 70 percent of college graduates beginning their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans, it’s important for these individuals to focus on their financial future right now, and Magyar Bank has highlighted a few smart financial decisions college graduates should consider to position themselves for financial success as they embark on their next phase of life.  Be sure to share these with college grads you know and help them set up a bright financial future.
 


  • Live within your means. Supporting yourself can be expensive, and you can quickly find yourself struggling financially if you don’t take time to create a budget. Calculate the amount of money you’re taking home after taxes, then figure out how much money you can afford to spend each month while contributing to your savings. Be sure to factor in recurring expenses such as student loans, monthly rent, utilities, groceries, transportation expenses and car loans.



  • Pay bills on time. Missed payments can hurt your credit history for up to seven years and can affect your ability to get loans, the interest rates you pay and your ability to get a job or rent an apartment. Consider setting up automatic payments for regular expenses like student loans, car payments and phone bills. Take advantage of any reminders or notification features. You can also contact creditors and lenders to request a different monthly due date from the one provided by default (e.g., switching from the 1st of the month to the 15th).



  • Avoid racking up too much debt. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs, and spend only what you can afford to pay back. Credit is a great tool, but only if you use it responsibly.



  • Plan for retirement.  It may seem odd since you’re just beginning your career, but now is the best time to start planning for your retirement. Contribute to retirement accounts like a Roth IRA or your employer’s 401(k), especially if there is a company match. Invest enough to qualify for your company’s full match – it’s free money that adds up to a significant chunk of change over the years. Automatic retirement contributions quickly become part of your financial lifestyle without having to think about it.



  • Prepare for emergencies. Hardships can happen in a split second. Start an emergency fund and do your best to set aside the equivalent of three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Start saving immediately, no matter how small the amount. Make saving a part of your lifestyle with automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfers from checking to savings. Put your tax refund toward saving instead of an impulse buy.



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Include Financial Documents in Your Spring Cleaning



You've cleaned out your garage, cleared out the brush in the yard, and maybe even washed your windows. It's the annual spring cleaning ritual, but there is one more thing you should add to your spring cleaning list--shred your old, personal documents and protect yourself from fraud.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In the U.S., 12.6 million people – or 1 out of every 20 consumers – were victims of identity fraud last year. Keeping your information safe is vital in our techno-society, and there are some steps that you can take to help keep your identity, and your money, safe.

Don’t share your secrets.
Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.

Shred sensitive papers.
Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

Monitor your credit report.
Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.

Protect your computer.
Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.

Protect your mobile device.
Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

Shred your old documents for FREE at Magyar Bank
Take the extra step and shred your old documents during one of our FREE shred days at Magyar Bank locations. The complete list of dates and times is available here.



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Spring Cleaning for your Finances


Spring time is here, and, as we emerge from our winter hibernation and start the annual ritual of spring cleaning around the house, it’s the perfect time to do the same with your finances. Warmer weather motivates people to get things done, and Magyar Bank wants to help encourage you to add financial organization to your spring cleaning list. Take this opportunity to look closely at your savings and spending habits. By putting just a little work into it now, it will make the rest of the year easier for you to plan. Here are six tips to get you started: 



  • Review your budget. A lot can change in a year. If you’ve been promoted, had a child, or became a new homeowner or renter, be sure to update your budget. Determine what expenses demand the most money and identify areas where you can realistically cut back. Develop a strategy for spending and saving – and stick to it.



  • Evaluate and pay down debt. Take a look at how much you owe and what you are paying in interest. Begin paying off existing debt, whether that’s by chipping away at loans with the highest interest rates or eliminating smaller debt first.



  • Set up automatic bill pay. By signing up for automatic bill pay, you’ll never have to worry about a missed payment impacting your credit score. You can set it so that money is withdrawn from your checking account on the same day each month.



  • Sign up for e-statements, paperless billing and text alerts. Converting to paperless billing will help keep your house—physical and financial—more clean and organized, and will help protect you from fraud.



  • Check your credit report. Every year, you are guaranteed one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Take advantage of these free reports and check them for any possible errors. Mistakes can drag down your score and prevent you from getting a loan, or cause you to pay a higher than necessary interest rate. 



  • Manage your money on the go. Utilize the Magyar Bank mobile app to check your balance, pay your bills, transfer funds, deposit a check and send money to friends from wherever you are.


And, while you're at it. start cleaning up old documents in your house and have them safely destroyed.  Magyar Bank is holding its annual Shred Days this spring, it’s a Free service for the entire community. Check out the dates when you can come by and shred your Stuff, visit our website.





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Friday, March 15, 2019

Lost your wallet?  Don’t worry, just don’t lose your phone.

If you’re old enough to remember what it was like before smartphones, you remember the panic losing your wallet could cause.  Everything was in it, not just cash.  Credit cards, drivers license, maybe even the gym membership card.  If you lost it, you had a ton of work in front of you to get everything replaced.

Today, your smartphone has replaced your wallet.  Sure, you may still carry one, but look and see how much is left inside.  You can pay with your phone at most merchants, cash is not used as much anymore to pay for things, it’s mostly credit cards, and apps have replaced gym memberships, rewards cards and so many other items that used to be in your wallet.

Losing your smartphone today is just as daunting as losing your wallet.  Its actually even worse as the phone is your connection to the world, if you lose it, no more text messages, notifications, and yes, phone calls. Your smartphone is also a lot more vulnerable than your wallet. Hackers will try and extract information off your phone and as is the case with any device connected to the internet, there is some risk.

To help protect your smartphone, and other devices, Magyar Bank has put together some tips to protect your mobile device.
  • Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  • Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  • Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  • Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
  • Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
  • Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
  • Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
  • Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  • Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  • Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
If you have not yet downloaded the Magar Bank mobile app, you can do so in Google Play or the App store. For more information on our app, visit https://www.magbank.com/Mobile-Banking.aspx.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Scammers will break more than your heart this Valentines Day






With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, social media networks and online dating sites are popular destinations for many singles looking to find that someone special.  Unfortunately, fraudsters are out there too, and they often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.


According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists. Older Americans in particular have been targeted by this type of scam.


Online dating can open doors to loving, happy relationships, but we have seen an increase in the number of reports of criminals using these platforms to take advantage of unsuspecting users. 


To help navigate the online dating world, here are a few tips so that you approach these relationships with caution.  We can’t help mend a broken heart, but we can help avoid an empty wallet.



  • Slow down, don’t rush into a relationship. Scammers often look for individuals that want to rush things, thinking they can get their money quickly. Take your time to get to know the person, and share your experiences with someone you trust. 

  • Never wire money to an online love interest, a scammer could take your money and never communicate with you again.

  • Never put money on a gift card or cash reload card. This is a popular method of scammers to get your money.


If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your bank right away. 



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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Five Steps To Saving For A Rainy Day




Putting money aside for emergencies, or, even saving money for large purchases like a new home, or retirement is a smart financial decision, and it won’t impact your daily lifestyle as much as you think.


Technology today makes it easy to put money aside on a regular basis. Products like savings and money market accounts allow you to schedule automatic transfers meaning you don’t have to remember to put money aside, it's already done for you.  Other products like certificates of deposits (CDs) or IRAs also serve as a great savings tool and can help your money grow towards your savings goal.


As with any new task, getting started is the hardest part.  To help get you on the path towards saving success, here are a few tips:



  1. Set a goal. And make sure the goal is realistic. Setting the bar too high could create a sense of frustration and cause you to stop saving if you think you can not achieve your goal. Consider your expenses, make a budget and determine how much you can put away each month. Magyar Bank offers free calculators that can help put together a budget and determine how long it would take to reach your goal, check them out at http://bit.ly/2TqGn4T .

  2. Track your spending. Hold yourself to the budget you’ve set by tracking your expenses. Consider using websites that segment your spending so you can easily see what areas, if any, you are going over budget then adjust accordingly.

  3. Pay yourself first. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred to your savings account every pay period.If you wait till the end of the month to see what's left over, you are less likely to save.

  4. Set up automatic bill pay.Although 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers find themselves paying late fees. Set up automatic bill pay so you’re never paying more than you have to.

  5. Half-hearted effort. How do we get 4 ½ steps? Simple, you can’t give a half-hearted effort, you need to stay focused on your goals, and keep the big picture in mind. Don’t get distracted from whatever your goal is, keep the big picture in mind, and you will see just how quickly you can reach your savings goal.


 Need some more tips?  Magyar Bank has a team of banking professionals ready to help, visit our website at www.magbank.com for more information, or contact one our Simply MAGnificent team members.





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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Know Your Credit Report

Not many days go by anymore without hearing about a data breach of some sort. Most recently, the IRS announced they were breached and over 100,000 taxpayers had their data exposed.  With technology becoming more ingrained into our daily lives, these data breaches are unfortunately something that we are going to have learn to live with in order to enjoy the conveniences we have today.

The best way to protect yourself and your identity is to monitor your account information and get a credit report annually.  First, make sure you review your bank and credit card information on a regular basis.  Each financial institution has a grace period for you to report any suspicious activity before you may become liable for it yourself.  By looking at your statements on a weekly or monthly basis, you'll be able to identify potentially fraudulent transactions, and eliminate the hassle of having to try and repair your credit history.

One additional step every consumer needs to take is to review their credit report.  The Federal Government mandates that each Credit Reporting Agency provide consumers with a Free report every 12 months.  One suggestion is to obtain a report every four months from one of the 3 credit reporting agencies.  Complete details on how to get your report is available on www.annualcreditreport.com.