What Features Should I Look for in a New Car

Keys to a new car

Q: How do I decide which features to look for in a new car, and which to skip? 

A: Shopping for a car doesn’t have to be complicated. To help you out, we’ve created a list of key features to consider in your new car, and a list of features you can skip. 

Must-have safety features 

  • 360-degree camera: This camera gives drivers a bird’s-eye view of the area around the car.
  • Evasive steering: This feature provides additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle, and your own steering efforts are insufficient.
  • Forward collision warning: Drivers get a visual and/or audible alert when their vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
  • Blind spot alert: This feature alerts the driver when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of their blind spot.
  • Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.

Convenient features 

  • Automatic key-less entry: This feature automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
  • Power tailgate: This feature for pickup trucks and SUVs lets you lower and raise your tailgate with the push of a button.
  • Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
  • Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up with this super-speedy USB port.  
  • Heated steering wheel and driver’s seat: This one is for those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm fast enough.
  • Wireless charging pad: Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up.

Fun-to-have features 

  • Home assist device connectivity: Some new cars allow you to use remote voice control with home assist technologies, like Alexa, for your car.
  • Rear entertainment systems: This feature gives the rear seat of your car a completely separate entertainment system.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: These features sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system for easier phone control.

Features you can skip 

  • Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The ride will be less comfortable and your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes.
  • Built-in navigation systems: You know you’re going to use Waze or another Maps app on your phone most of the time anyway. Also, most built-in navigation systems require constant updates.
  • Lane keeping assist: This feature automatically steers or brakes your car when you cross a lane marking without turning on a blinker. In real life, though, it can be annoying as you’ll often need to cross a lane marker for good reason, like moving over for an emergency vehicle.

Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by Mutual Credit Union to hear all about our new auto loans.

Mutual Auto Loans

Your Turn: Did you buy a new car recently? Tell us about the features you chose in the comments below.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.consumerreports.org/automotive-technology/must-have-features-to-get-in-next-new-car/

https://www.hotcars.com/must-have-car-features-for-2019/

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/cars-with-the-most-high-tech-features-for-the-money

Mutual Credit Union Director, Billy Bridges Inducted Into the 2019 MS Credit Union Hall of Fame

PRESS RELEASE

Friday, May 17, 2019

Billy Bridges Hall of Fame

Biloxi, Miss. (5/16/19) – – Mutual Credit Union Director, Billy Bridges has been inducted into the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame. Created in 1993, the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame is the state’s highest credit union honor, recognizing individuals that have devoted their life to the philosophy and success of credit unions at the local, state or national level.

Billy Bridges began his service on Mutual Credit Union’s Board of Directors in 1988, and he is still serving today. He held the position of vice-chairman for three years, and in 1993 was elected chairman, a position he held for almost 20 years.

At Mutual Credit Union, Billy was instrumental in his credit union’s expansion throughout Vicksburg and surrounding communities, including Raymond and Yazoo City. He is committed to improving all members’ financial quality of life and providing the quality services, facilities, and convenience that has resulted in Mutual Credit Union’s growth from $39 million to $215 million in assets.

Billy was elected to the Mississippi Credit Union Association Board of Directors in 1996 and is still serving today. He has served as chairman, and he is the longest serving vice-chairman in the board’s history. He is also the long-time chairman of the Personnel & Salary Committee.

An active supporter of the credit union movement, Billy has been a faithful participant in the annual Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference, and he played a significant role in rallying support in Congress for H.R.1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, which was signed into law in August 1998.

Billy’s 31 years of service to Mutual Credit Union and his more than 20 years of service to Mississippi’s credit unions on the MSCUA Board of Directors are characterized by his genuinely outstanding performance and countless hours of selfless service. He serves with honor and distinction and is an extraordinary ambassador for the credit union movement.

For more information about Mutual Credit Union please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or by calling (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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Press Release Billy Bridges Inducted into the MS Credit Union Hall of Fame

Steps 1 thru 12 to Living a Debt Free Life

working on her accounts

Step One: Take Stock of Your Debt

You’re determined that this will be the year you finally pay down (or pay off) that debt. Get ready, because every month, our Do It Today plan will have you taking another step on your journey toward living a debt-free life. 

First, sit down and take stock of all your debts. Don’t let the numbers scare you; you need to do this to move forward. Get out every single credit card bill, personal loan, student loan, and any other debt you’re carrying (except your car and mortgage payments). Tally up the numbers to give yourself an idea of what you’re dealing with. 

Next, organize your debt into different categories, such as credit card debt, student debt, personal loans etc. Use a spreadsheet to list your debt, the remaining term of each loan (if applicable), the minimum payment and the interest rate.   

Finally, designate one hour each week for working on your finances. 

Step Two: Don’t dig yourself deeper

When you’ve dug yourself deep into a pit, the only way to get out is to stop digging. This month, focus on not racking up more debt. Stop using your credit cards. Skip your weekly trips that usually have you buying too many non-essentials.

Instead, start brown-bagging your work lunch and brewing your own coffee. Get into the habit of spending only on essentials so you can make real progress toward paying down that debt.

Don’t forget to make the minimum payments on every line of credit and loan you have open. Neglecting your debt will only pull you deeper into the pit.

Step Three: Negotiate a lower APR

If the majority of your outstanding debit is credit card debt, you may be spending hundreds of dollars just on interest alone. Aside from wasting money, this keeps you from moving forward and paying down your debt.

Most people don’t know you can call up a credit card company and negotiate for a lower APR. Take the time this month to do that. Explain that you are working on paying down your debt and that the interest payments are impeding your progress. You can even research competing cards and cite their interest rates in a bid for a lower APR from your current credit card company.

Lowering your interest rates will allow you to make another real step toward getting rid of debt.

Step Four: Create an emergency fund

You may be feeling impatient to start more aggressively paying down debt, but it’s important important to first create an emergency fund. If you don’t have money socked away for unexpected expenses, you’ll be tempted to use the money that’s already earmarked for your debt payments to fund this expense.

Experts recommend keeping three months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, but you can start with a modest $1,000. Set up an automatic monthly or weekly transfer from your [credit union] Checking Account to your Savings Account until you have a fully padded emergency fund. This may take several months, but no worries, you can continue following the next few steps towards a debt-free life as your emergency fund grows.

Step Five: Create a budget

This month, you’re going to organize your finances. Hold onto every receipt, bill, paystub and invoice you produce throughout the month. Sometime during the last week of May, sit down with all of your paperwork and start crunching the numbers.

When you’re through, you should have all of these questions answered:

  • How much is my net monthly income?
  • How much are my monthly fixed expenses?
  • How much are my monthly non-fixed expenses?

Now that you have the numbers in front of you, work on creating a budget. Designate the necessary funds for your fixed expenses. Then, with the remaining money, determine how much you will spend in each non-fixed expense category; like groceries, clothing, entertainment, etc.

Put your minimum debt payments in the fixed-expenses category, with another category for extra debt payments in your column of non-fixed expenses.

Step Six: Trim Expenses

Now that we have a budget, let’s slim it down!

You’ve already practiced spending less thanks to Step#2 in this series. Now, it’s time to get serious about it. Take a long, hard look at the money you spend each month and find your weak spots. Where do you spend the most on unnecessary purchases? What’s your particular vice? You may even have several spending traps. How can you cut back on your daily expenses?

Any extra money you save goes toward your debt payments.

Step Seven: Create A Debt Snowball

You’ve organized your debt, you’ve set up an emergency fund and you’re working on spending less. You’re now ready to start getting rid of that debt…for good!

Choose the debt you’d like to pay down first. Financial expert Dave Ramsey suggests starting from the smallest debt and working your way up. You can also choose to start with the debt that carries the highest interest rate. Either way, once you’ve paid down the first loan or line of credit, you’ll move onto the next and continue to work your way through all remaining debt until you’re completely debt-free.

For now, paying off this debt will be your top priority. Be sure to pay the minimum payments on all other debts, but any extra money you have at the end of the month goes towards the first one. Start with the minimum payments you were making anyways, and add the money that was previously going towards setting up your savings account to create your debt snowball. Whenever possible, try to add money to your snowball to accelerate your progress.

Doesn’t this feel great? You’re on your way to a debt-free life!

Step Eight: Boost Your Income

Increase your income this month to help you pay down debt.

There are a handful of practical ways to accomplish this. For instance, consider asking for a raise or promotion at your current workplace or seeking employment elsewhere if you feel you’ve reached your maximum earning potential at the company. You can also freelance for hire, take on a side job on weekends or a seasonal job for just a few weeks a year. You might also consider offering consulting services in your particular field.

Remember: any extra money earned goes straight towards your debt snowball!

Your Turn: How did you boost your income this month? Share your success story with us in the comments!

Step Nine: Releasing in September ……………………………

6 Ways to Save On Summer Vacation

Family packing for vacation

 

  1. Time it right. Experts say the sweet spot for cheapest flight booking is 54 days before your travel date.
  2. Clear your cache before every new flight searchThis way, airlines can’t access your browser history and inflate the prices they offer you.
  3. Sweet-talk your way to savings. Ask for an upgrade at the check-in counter. About 78% of hotel guests who request an upgrade at the front desk actually get one.
  4. Never pay full priceCheck sites like coupondivas.com, entertainment.com and Groupon.com for deep discounts at local eateries and entertainment centers.
  5. Freebie fun. Search local sites and blogs for write-ups about free things to do near your destination.
  6. Save your mega event for the last day. Finish your vacation on a high note by saving your most exciting event for the last day of your trip.

Your Turn: How do you save big while getting the most out of your summer vacation? Share your best hacks with us in the comments!

2019 Mutual CU Scholarship Recipients Announced

Press Release

May 14, 2019

 

2019 Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Recipients Announced

(Vicksburg, MS): The Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the following High School Seniors as selected recipients in the 2019 Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Program.

Alyshia Moore – Vicksburg High School – $3,000

Alexis Lomax – Central Hinds Academy – $2,000

Jonathan Shelton – Mississippi School for Math & Science – $1,500

Emily Vandennieuwboer – Warren Central High School – $1,500

Abigail Wallace – Warren Central High School – $1,000

Reann Ponder – Warren Central High School – $1,000

2019 Mutual CU Scholarship winners collage

Each year, Mutual Credit Union offers graduating high school seniors the opportunity earn one of six scholarships to pursue higher education. Mutual has a firmly held belief that the education of our community’s youth is a solid investment in our community’s future. This year we were proud to award a total of $10,000 in scholarships to six selected recipients. We congratulate all 2019 graduating high school seniors and offer encouragement to you in all your future endeavors.

For information on the Mutual Credit Union Scholarship program, please follow this link to our web page. For questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or call (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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2019 Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Press Release

Paperless Statements – Pros and Cons

Paperless Statements – Pros and Cons

Woman organizing papers

Switching from paper bills to paperless billing might save time, but is it worth it?  Below we will review the Pros and Cons of signing up to receive paperless statements, bills and notices.

•••Tetra Images / Getty Images

How Paperless Billing Works

When you sign up for paperless billing statements, you won’t get a credit card statement in the mail anymore. Instead, your statement will be available online, often as a PDF file that you can download, save, and print. Your credit card issuer will send an email each month you when your statement is ready.

For your convenience, some credit card issuers also include your minimum payment due and the due date in the body of the email. If you’re thinking about ditching traditional paper statements, consider the pros and cons before you make the change.

Pro: Saving the Trees

Paperless statements are good for the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses about one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper each year. If credit card issuers send out fewer billing statements, there will be less demand for paper, which means less air pollution from paper production. Some credit card issuers have even promised to make their own contributions to environmental causes when you sign up for paperless billing.

Con: Easier to Miss Payments

One of the downsides to paperless statements is that it’s easier to forget to send your payment when you don’t have that physical bill as a reminder.

If you need a due date reminder, you can print the statement from the internet and post it where you normally put your bills. Paper is still being saved since you’re skipping the envelope and billing statement inserts.

You could also miss your due date if the credit card issuer’s emails are caught by your spam filter and never delivered in your inbox.

Make sure you add your credit card issuer’s email address to your “safe list” to prevent the emails from being automatically quarantined.

Pro: Less Mail and Paper in Your Home

The elimination of billing statements means there is less paper and clutter in your home. You’ll save time sorting through bills and figuring how what you should keep, what can be thrown in the trash, and what must be shredded.

If you download your billing statements, you can save them to your computer or external drive and access later when you need them. Most credit card issuers make several months of billing statements available online, so it’s may not be necessary to save your most recent statements.

Con: More Passwords to Remember

When you sign up for online billing, that means you’ll have yet another username and password to remember. Even if you try to use the same ones for all your sites – which generally isn’t a good idea – there are always a few sites with slightly different restrictions that will require you to come up with something different from what you normally use, something that you’re more likely to forget. And if you can’t remember your password, you’ll have to use the password recovery process to check your statement every time you forget your password.

Pro: Perks for Online Billing Statements

Some credit card issuers offer incentives to cardholders who sign up for paperless statements. For example, you may be entered into sweepstakes when you switch to paperless billing statements. Some card issuers charge a fee to send a paper statement and waive this fee when you sign up to receive your billing statement online.

Con: Less Access to Previous Statements

Credit card issuers typically only make a certain number of statements available online. If you need more than that, e.g., for tax purposes, you may have to go through a few extra steps (and could even have to pay a fee) to access older statements. You could get around this by printing your billing statement each month and filing it away so you can access it if you need to.

Pro: Identity Theft Prevention

Switching to paperless statements could help prevent identity theft resulting from stolen mail.

Since statements aren’t mailed to your home, mail thieves won’t get access to your credit card number if they intercept your mail. Even hacking your email account wouldn’t give a thief access to your credit card information since you have to log in to your credit card issuer’s website to view your statement. Emails from your credit card issuer should never contain your full account number.

Con: Delay in Catching Credit Card Fraud and Credit Card Changes

If you’ve set up an automatic payment for your account, you could easily forget to review your statements each month, a step that’s critical to catching credit card fraud. You have 60 days to report billing errors, beyond that the credit card issuer could make you pay for purchases you never made.

There’s another downside to paying without reading your statement – no alert to changes in your minimum payment. If your minimum payment increases beyond the payment you’ve set, you’ll be hit with a late fee even if the payment is made on time. After 60 days, your interest rate will increase, and the late payment status will hit your credit report.

Con: Email Address Change Notification

Just like you have to notify your credit card issuer when you change your mailing address, you should also update them with a new email address. Otherwise, you’ll miss the monthly notification that your billing statement is ready. You could also miss an email letting you know about suspected fraud on your account (but beware of phishing scams) or to alerting you to other changes to your account, e.g., a credit limit increase.

Pay Online Without Paperless Billing

Even if you choose not to sign up for paperless billing, you can pay your account online either through your bank if they offer online bill payment services or directly to the credit card issuer through their website.

 

Source Information:  https://www.thebalance.com/pros-and-cons-of-paperless-billing-statements-960230

Go paperless and save