Why You Should Have Renters Insurance

You come home and discover that your apartment has been gutted by a fire. Your landlord’s insurance policy will cover your loss, right? Wrong. Unless the damage is the result of the landlord’s negligence, landlords’ insurance policies typically only cover the physical structure of the building, not tenants’ personal property. To protect yourself, you need renters insurance.

Renters insurance is like homeowners insurance for renters. If your property is destroyed, you get money to replace it. Even if the value of your personal property only totals a few hundred dollars, renters insurance could be beneficial. It may only cost you $200 to replace your futon, but your personal liability is virtually limitless. A friend could trip on your rug and sue you for $100,000. If you have renters insurance, your insurance company will cover at least some of your costs.

Another benefit of renters insurance is that you do not have to worry about collecting money from someone who causes damage to your property. Let’s say your apartment flooded after your upstairs neighbor left the shower on all day. Legally, he is responsible for your losses, but that does not mean he will be willing to pay you. If you have renters insurance, you can just file a claim with your insurance company. Perhaps the best part of renters insurance? It is dirt cheap, usually costing no more than a few hundred dollars a year.

Looking for financial advice? Apple FCU has partnered with BALANCE to provide you with FREE and CONFIDENTIAL financial education and counseling. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report and help you create a budget. Call 888-456-2227 or visit AppleFCU.org/BALANCE for more information.

Want a FREE Quote for Renters Insurance from Apple Financial Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple FCU? Click here and select ‘Homeowners’ from the drop-down.

Find the Vehicle That Fits You Today!

Your vehicle needs can change over the years. So whether it’s time to shop for your first car, a family van or a sporty red convertible, you can turn to Apple’s FREE AutoSMART Resource Center for the perfect match.

AutoSMART is an easy-to-use website with great information and resources designed to make your shopping experience simple, convenient and fast. With just a few click of your mouse, you can:

  • Research new and used vehicles
  • Estimate the value of your trade-in
  • Search the inventory at local dealerships
  • Order a vehicle history report
  • And much more!

Ready to get started? Make Apple’s FREE AutoSMART Resource Center your first move.

Your First Credit Card: A Q&A for the Real World

This is a guest post from Laura Edgar, a senior writer for NerdWallet, an unbiased personal finance website committed to improving your financial literacy.

 

It’s exciting to be a young adult! Chances are, your life is filled with many firsts, like living on your own, taking advanced biology classes, and managing your own finances. This is a great time to explore your world and try new things. It’s also the perfect time to get your first credit card. When used wisely, a credit card will help you build your credit history and credit score. At NerdWallet, we spend our days digging through credit card disclosures and answering the tough questions. Trust us: you’re not alone if you’re confused. You’ve already taken a great first step by coming to a not-for-profit credit union for your information. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about credit cards.

 Why get a credit card?

A credit card offers you a secure and convenient way to make purchases. It will also help you build a credit history, which you’ll need when it comes time to buy your first car or apply for your first loan. You may even need a good credit score to rent a room or land a job. An increasing number of employers and landlords are requiring credit checks. Your credit score is literally your permanent record, so take it seriously. Use your credit card to make small, affordable purchases, not to buy things you can’t afford. You can certainly use your credit card to pay bills in an emergency, but always use this as a last resort.

What kind of credit card should I get?

For your first card, you’ll probably want a “starter card” or, if you’re a college student (part time totally counts), a college student credit card. Apple Federal Credit Union offers both. Their Credit Builder card offers a higher credit limit, but also requires you to put down money to secure it. You’ll get this money back when you close the account and graduate to a regular credit card. Apple FCUs Student credit card has a lower credit limit, but doesn’t require any money up front. Both cards have a very low APR, which is typical of credit union credit cards. You can read about each card in more detail here.

Should I pay attention to the APR or annual fee?

The APR is a percentage of your total balance, which you’ll have to pay in addition to your total balance if you rack up debt. You’ll never have to worry about the APR if you don’t carry a balance. That said, the higher the APR, the more debt you’ll have if you can’t make your payments. An annual fee is exactly what it sounds like: a yearly fee for the privilege of using a card. Apple Federal’s credit cards don’t have an annual fee, however.

Should I get a rewards credit card?

Rewards credit cards give you 1-5% back on your purchases. These cards also tend to have the highest interest rates. Rewards aren’t worth anything if you rack up debt. However, once you’ve spent a few years building your credit history and making regular payments, a rewards credit card is a great way to earn points or cash back for the purchases you make every day.

I’ve been told I need a cosigner. What does that mean?

If you’re at least 18 years old and have a full-time job, you can apply for a credit card on your own. If you’re under 21 and don’t have your own steady source of income, you’ll need to have your parent or guardian co-sign your application to get a card. This might sound annoying, but it usually gives you an edge. You’ll get to piggyback on your cosigner’s credit score, which may give you better options for credit cards.

What’s wrong with making minimum payments?

Your credit card statement will include a minimum payment option. If you like, you can pay this smaller amount and still be “in the clear” with your credit card issuer. However, this is exactly how people get into trouble and rack up debt. Don’t fall into the “spend now, pay later” mindset. When you incur debt, you are paying for the privilege of spending money you don’t have. Debt damages your credit score, which makes people less likely to lend to you in the future, and gets very, very expensive.

What if I have more questions?

That’s great! We’re serious; you should know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign up for a credit card. Make sure you read all the disclosures before you apply for anything. You can also stop by your local Apple FCU branch and ask a representative to help you. They can help you pick the right card for your needs and increase your chances of being accepted.