The Modern Wallet Blog
USF FCU Receives CDFI Designation
USF FCU is now certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI).
Clean Up Your Finances
It’s easy to see when your house needs cleaning, but it may be harder to know when to “tidy up” your finances.
New Year, New Website!
Welcome to the new usffcu.com.
Budgeting for Infrequent Expenses
Many people live in a state of denial about the cost of infrequent expenses.
Buying a Used Car
If you’re in the market for a deal on used wheels, follow these steps for a smoother ride!
Fix Bad Money Habits
The peace of mind a healthy financial status brings is priceless.
Ho Ho Hoaxes
The top 5 holiday scams to look out for this season.
How To Talk Money With Your Partner
What happens when you and your partner have different approaches toward money?
It's a common scenario.
Saving on Home Renovations
Is your home in desperate need of a facelift? With some careful planning, you can shave thousands of dollars off the price tag.
Saving Money When There's Not Much to Save
Life is easier if you have a cash cushion or an emergency fund, but how do you save when there is not much fat in your budget?
Don't Rely on Luck at Tax Time
At tax time, there’s no such thing as luck. Plan ahead, be proactive, and prevent surprises on your next tax return.
Financial Advice You Should Never Follow
Make sure your sources are trustworthy.
IRS Imposters Among the "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams
If you received unexpected good news in an e-mail from the IRS, it's probably bogus.
Payday Loans Aren't Worth the Cost
It’s a trap that will cost you many times more than you borrow.
COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccine scams and how to avoid them.
5 Reasons We Overspend
Let’s take a look at five common reasons and how we can overcome them.
8 Ways To Beat Holiday Stress
‘Tis the season to be merry-except sometimes, it’s not.
The Benefits of Using Mobile Payments
Why fumble for your wallet when checking out when you can pay using your phone?
Tracking Holiday Spending Keeps Stress Down
You don't have to dip into the kids' college savings to create a special time!
6 Times a Bargain is Not a Bargain
Here’s when that steal of a deal is not such a bargain after all.
What Are the Advantages of a HELOC?
Once approved for a HELOC, borrowers can spend the funds however they choose.
A caller claiming to represent a debt-collection agency demands immediate payment for an alleged outstanding debt.
Political Fundraising Scams
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning of an uptick in political fundraising scams seeking to collect donations allegedly going toward a candidate’s campaign or specific cause.
USF Federal Credit Union Named Credit Union of the Year
The honor recognizes the credit union for maintaining sound finances, caring for its members and giving back to the community.
The Pending Package Scam
Scammers are using bogus packages to trick victims into sharing personal information.
The Importance of Being Financially Fit
Being financially fit is crucial for a well-balanced, stress-free life.
Beware of Jury Duty Scams
Jury duty is a responsibility that enables courts to serve justice in a fair and efficient way. Unfortunately, it is often used as a cover for scams.
How To Pay Off A Loan Early
If you’re like most Americans, you owe money on a large loan.
What's the Best Way to Use a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan can be an ideal way to source extra funds during a falling-rates environment.
When Does it Make Sense to Pay a Bill with a Credit Card?
Credit cards and debit cards offer incredible convenience; but, is it a smart idea to pay monthly bills with them?
Selling Your Home During COVID-19
National home sales climbed a record 20.7 percent in June, compared with home sales from June 2019.
Using Your Credit Cards Responsibly
Boost your credit score and financial wellbeing.
Back-to-School Tuition Scams
Back-to-school season means a flurry of shopping — and scams.
How to Travel Safely this Summer
Summer is here, and many Americans are itching for a vacation.
How to Create and Keep Strong Passwords
When it feels like there’s another big security breach every week, you want to be sure your passwords are strong and safe.
New COVID-19 Scams
Watch out for these trending scams as the country reopens.
What's the Best Way to Tackle Debt?
Snowball Method vs. Avalanche Method
Preparing for an Interview
Here’s how to prepare for an interview that will have you presenting yourself as polished, professional and capable to any potential employer.
USF FCU Wins State’s Top Award for Performance
The credit union was honored this week with Florida’s top award for the way it conducts business.
Beware of Relay Theft
This user-friendly feature is also a favorite for car thieves.
Don’t Mistake Your Stimulus Payment for Junk Mail
Four million Americans are receiving their Economic Impact Payment in the form of a prepaid debit card — and many are mistaking it for junk mail.
Beware Unemployment Scams
As the economy reels from the impact of COVID-19, a record number of Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.
Getting Ahead on Your Student Loan Before You Graduate
Be sure to look at the larger picture before you accept a position.
USF FCU Processes $15 Million in Paycheck Protection Loans
Helping 2,400+ employees of small businesses in the Tampa Bay area.
How to Safely and Comfortably Wear a Face Covering
Here's how to comfortably wear your face coverings without compromising on safety.
How Should I Spend My Stimulus Check?
The $1,200 granted to most middle class adults is a welcome relief during these financially trying times.
Spring Cleaning Hacks
Use these cleaning hacks to help banish those dust bunnies without spending a fortune on cleaning solutions and organizers.
How to Care for Your Car During a Lockdown
While staying home is the best way to stay safe these days, it might not be the best thing for your car.
Beware COVID-19 Cure Scams
The FBI is warning of a surge in COVID-19 cure-related scams, in which criminals peddle an alleged coronavirus vaccine or treatment, or bogus claims to disinfect homes of the virus.
How to Work from Home
If you find yourself struggling to complete your workload from home during the outbreak, we can help!
Fun Activities to do with Your Kids at Home
It isn't easy to be holed up at home with only your family for company.
Beware of Coronavirus Scams
Scammers often capitalize on fear, and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception.
What Should Be on My Financial To-Do List This Spring?
Let's review some ways you can improve your money management this time of year.
Tips to Help You Protect Yourself from Fraud
Here at our credit union, we take the security of your account extremely seriously.
All You Need to Know About Going Cashless
As our world grows increasingly digitized, many consumers are banishing cash from their wallets and choosing other ways to pay.
How to Create a Budget in 6 Easy Steps
A budget will help you gain financial awareness, which will help facilitate more responsible decisions.
All You Need to Know About Data Breaches
What should you do if your info is taken?
How To Dispute An Error On Your Credit Report
As a financially responsible individual, you should be checking your credit on a regular basis.
Taking Steps Toward Financial Improvement For The New Year
Where should you start?
7 Naughty Scams To Watch Out For This Holiday Season
Keep your money safe by reading up on the most common scams taking place this time of year and practicing caution.
Take Caution Before You Borrow Someone’s Charging Cable
Cyber security experts are warning against using a stranger’s charging cable or even borrowing one from an airport official or front-desk concierge at a hotel.
All You Need To Know About Home Loans
If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll likely need to take out a home loan or mortgage.
USF FCU Donates $10,000 to Tampa General Hospital
The funding will go towards the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to provide families with front-facing baby carriers for newborns.
Thanksgiving Hacks To Save Time, Stress And Money
Whether you’re traveling home for the holiday or hosting a houseful of guests, we’ve got you covered.
5 Ways To Keep Your Finances Intact This Holiday Season
You don’t have to rack up a huge credit card bill or go into debt to cover your holiday expenses. Enjoy a financially stress-free season with these tips.
Can I Buy A House When I’m Paying Off A Student Loan?
There are several factors to consider before making this choice, as well as steps to take before you start house-hunting.
Understanding The Credit Card Trap
Why do most Americans carry so much credit card debt and find themselves stuck in the debt trap?
Do My Monthly Bill Payments Affect My Credit Score?
Read on for three steps that can help your on-time monthly payments boost your credit score.
How Much Money Should I Keep In My Checking Account?
How much money should we be keeping in these super-convenient accounts? Let's find out.
Your Complete Guide To Identity Theft Protection
When an individual's identity is stolen, the thief also impacts the victim's financial health, recovery from which can take years.
11 Ways To Save On Back To School Shopping
You don’t need to spend yourself into debt just because everyone else seems to be doing it.
The Ultimate Smart Shoppers Cheat Sheet
Did you know you should be timing your shopping throughout the week?
4 Vacation Scams To Watch For
Before heading on your dream vacation, read our list of four common vacation scams and learn how to avoid them.
7 Ways You Can Use a Personal Loan This Summer
We have outlined several ways to help you responsibly use a personal loan this summer.
12 Things To Do Before Your Summer Getaway
Heading out of town for vacation? Whatever your plans, here’s a list of things to take care of before you leave.
7 Money Myths You Need To Stop Believing Now
Spend less, save more and invest early. While most of these words ring true, there are lots of money management tips that are false.
6 Ways To Save on Summer Vacation
How do you save big while getting the most out of your summer vacation?
9 Steps To Buying Your First Car
The process can be daunting, but we'll walk you through it.
What To Buy And What To Skip On Memorial Day
You might be surprised at the things you should and shouldn’t buy this time of year.
Don't Get Caught in a Pyramid Scheme
Let’s look at what constitutes a pyramid scheme and how to avoid falling for one.
Mortgage Rates are Dropping; Should I Refinance?
Q: I’ve heard that mortgage rates have dropped dramatically since the start of 2019. Should I refinance my mortgage loan to take advantage of these lower rates?
Beware Tech Support Scams
The FTC is warning of a surge in tech support scams, many of which can be difficult to spot.
7 Signs You're Living Beyond Your Means And How To Fix Them
Let’s take a look at seven red flags that might mean you’re living beyond your means and the steps you can take to get back on track.
Fake Check Scams On The Rise
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a report warning about a spike in fake check scams across the country.
Student Loan Scams
Here’s what you need to know about three popular student loan scams.
8 Valentine's Day Hacks
Celebrate the significant other in your life without breaking the budget…by using these hacks!
Tax Code Changes 2019
The annual tax code changes can be confusing. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know for 2019.
USF FCU Offers $205,000 in Scholarships for USF Students
USF FCU is establishing new scholarships and expanding existing ones for a total of $205,000 that will support USF students studying many disciplines.
7 Reasons Not To Skip a Home Inspection
A professional home inspection can save you a ton of aggravation and thousands of dollars in the long run.
Do I Need an Emergency Fund and a Rainy Day Fund?
Rainy day funds and emergency funds serve different purposes, so it’s important to have both available to tap into as needed.
5 Scams To Watch For After The Holidays
The mad holiday rush may be over, but scammers aren’t slowing down.
10 Hacks You Need To Know Before Hitting The Mall
Is there a way to spend less at the mall this holiday season and to make the experience more pleasant?
10 Restaurant Hacks
Dining out with family and friends is a wonderful experience, but it can take a huge bite out of your budget.
5 Scams to Avoid This Black Friday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be fun – but they can also put you at risk.
USF Federal Credit Union Donates Additional $25,000 for Hurricane Relief
USF FCU is donating an additional $25,000 to the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation to assist credit unions in and around Panama City that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael. Earlier this month, USF FCU donated $10,000 to the relief effort.
7 Halloween Hacks You Don't Want To Miss
Halloween is coming – and so are the scary costs of joining the fun!
USF FCU Donates $10,000 for Hurricane Relief
USF FCU is donating $10,000 to the Southeast Credit Union Foundation to assist credit unions in and around Panama City that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael.
Beware of Blackmailing Scams!
Blackmail and extortion are some of the oldest tricks in the book — because they work.
How Many Credit Cards Should I Own?
Is several credit cards and more available credit a good idea? Or, are too many cards a liability to your score?
Should I Be Concerned About Rising Mortgage Rates?
On June 13, the Federal Funds Target rate was increased for the second time in 2018.
Don't Get Caught in a Free Trial Scam!
You know what they say: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” And yet, dozens of people fall for scams that promise them the moon — and they don’t realize they’ve been played until it’s too late.
What Can I Do About Robocalls?
Are you sick of grabbing your ringing phone only to find a robocaller on the other end? Those automatic calls are enough to make anyone go bonkers. Read on for the inside scoop on robocalls and what you can do about them.
Questions to ask Yourself Before Making a Large Purchase
Before you say “yes” to a large purchase, ask yourself these 7 questions.
Forbes Names USF FCU #1 CU in Florida
USF FCU took the top spot in the state of Florida.
Text messaging has come under attack as one of the most vulnerable mediums for identity theft and more. Here’s what you need to know about an SMS message-based scam called “smishing.”
Debit Card Safety
Your random card of choice might not be the safest way to pay.
Don't Drink Your Wallet Dry!
You probably already know water is the best beverage choice for your health and for your money. But did you know bottled water may be costing you a fortune?
6 Ways To Turn Your Dream Vacation Into a Reality
Everyone has their own version of a dream vacation. But, for most of us, it never becomes a reality. Read on for six ways to make that dream vacation come true.
Saving on Mother's Day
Here’s some low-cost ways to show Mom how much you care.
Beware of Social Media Scams!
Over the last few years, social media scams have exploded, with fake Twitter and Facebook profiles increasing by 100% in just one year. That also means there are several types of social media scams, most which involve a phishing scheme component.
How to Fund an Emergency
Q: I’ve had a financial emergency and I don’t know how to pay for it! What are my options?
A: Ideally, you’ll want to have an emergency fund in place. If you don’t, consider these options…
Spring Clean For Extra Cash
With just a few steps, you can put some extra cash in your wallet.
Rising Interest Rates
Should you wait to take out a loan?
How To Use The Money Envelope System
If you’re like many of us, you’ve been trying to stick to a budget for a while, but by the time each month is over, you’ve busted your budget – again.
6 Common Tax Mistakes To Avoid
Get ready to dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms and pay stubs, and get to work.
Phone Cloning and Digital Self Defense
As frightening as it sounds, the only thing a hacker needs to launch a major attack is your phone number.
The Dos And Don'ts Of Credit Repair
Looking for ways to improve an unfavorable credit score? Look no further! Our handy guide will help you get on the road to improving your score.
Updates On The Equifax Breach
While there are still more questions than answers, lots of factors have been clarified.
Beware Of Phishing Scams!
There has been a recent upsurge in phishing scams involving credit union brands.
Creative Ways To Save On Energy Costs
We’ve all heard it before: Close the vents in rooms you don’t use, regularly replace your AC filters and vacuum the coils on your fridge. But what if you’re following all the conventional energy-saving tips and your summertime electricity bill is still astronomical?