Guidelines for First Time Credit Card Users
A "first" credit card can be exciting, tempting and intimidating. If you are getting your first credit card (or your child is getting his/her first card), here are some ideas to keep in mind.
- A credit card is serious business. The issuing company is lending you money and you have responsibilities.
- One card is probably enough. Avoid the temptation to over spend by only having one card.
- Keep the credit limit low. Depending on how you are going to use it, $500 or $1,000 is high enough for most first-time credit card users.
- Pay off the entire balance each month. Avoid charges and build a good credit record.
- Make the payments on time. This helps build a good record and avoids late payment charges.
- Use the card for emergencies. Start off slowly with this new convenience. Keep using cash and checks for most purchases, especially until you get comfortable with the card.
- Never let others use your card. You are responsible for all charges on your card. Do not let others borrow it or give out the number.
- Keep track of your use of the card and compare your records to what shows up on the monthly statement.
- Keep the card active. Even if you are only using the card for emergencies, use it for small purchases every three or four months just to keep it active. Then be sure to pay off the balance before any interest is due.
- Avoid using the card for cash advances. The interest rate charged for advances is usually high and interest is charged immediately.
- Create a spending and budget plan. Do not let your credit card payments exceed 20% of your monthly income.
- If having a credit card turns out to be a problem, get rid of it or stop using it for a while.
Here are some other things to keep in mind about your credit card.
- The credit card companies make money by charging interest on long-term balances. Often the rates they charge are relatively high.
- Choose a card that fits how you are going to use it. Probably for a first-time user, find a card that has low (or no) annual fees and low interest rates. If you are not going to use it much, the benefits (airline miles or money back) will not compensate for the fees usually found with these types of cards.
- Having a good credit record is important. Those with good records usually find that getting credit is easier and they often qualify for lower rates on their borrowing.
- Investigate the details of the card thoroughly. Be sure to understand all the fees and how interest charges are calculated.
What is a Routing Number?
FAIRWINDS' routing number (263181368) is used to identify FAIRWINDS Credit Union from other financial institutions and in no way identifies you or your accounts to others.
A routing transit number (RTN) is a nine digit bank code, used in the United States, to facilitate the sorting, bundling, and shipment of paper checks back to the drawer's (check writer's) account.
The RTN is also used by Federal Reserve Banks to process Fedwire funds transfers, and by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to process direct deposits, bill payments, and other such automated transfers.
What can I do with my Relationship Rewards points?
Relationship Rewards provide you the opportunity to enjoy special member benefits including:
- Buying down the interest rate on a loan.
- Increasing your rate on a new CD.
- Reducing service charges on additional products and services.
How do I send or receive a wire?
To send a wire from FAIRWINDS, please provide the following:
- Name, address and routing number of financial institution receiving the wire
- Account number for the receiving account
- Name and address of receiving account holder
There is a $20.00 service charge for an outgoing domestic wire from a personal account and a $25.00 service charge for an outgoing wire from a business account.
To receive a wire at the credit union, you will need to provide the following:
- FAIRWINDS routing number (263-181-368)
- Name of account holder
- FAIRWINDS account number to receive the funds
There is a $10.00 service charge for an incoming domestic wire to a personal account and $15.00 service charge for an incoming wire to a business account.
*Please verify this information with the receiving financial institution as there may be an intermediary financial instititution involved.
When should I expect my 5498-ESA tax forms?
5498-ESA tax forms will be mailed by April 30th for all Coverdell Educational Savings Account owners who made contributions and/or rollovers into their ESA's in 2011.
5498 and 5498-SA tax forms will be mailed in mid-May for all Traditional, SEP, and Roth IRA owners and Health Savings Account owners who made contributions and/or rollovers into their IRA's and HSA's in 2011.
For questions regarding the 5498 forms please call Member Services at 407-277-5045 or visit your local branch.
When should I expect my tax forms?
FAIRWINDS mails 1099-INT and 1098 tax forms at the end of January. However, if you have e-Statements, these tax forms are available online right now!
Learn more here.
Members will only receive a 1099-INT form if the aggregate earnings amongst the accounts they are tax reported for (the primary owner) have earned at least $10 in interest.
These accounts include:
Savings, checking, money market, certificates of deposit, and US Bonds Redeemed, but do not include IRA accounts. If members have not earned at least $10 in interest, they will not receive a 1099-INT form.
Members will only receive a 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement if they paid $600 or more in interest on their mortgage.
FAIRWINDS mails 1099-R, 1099-Q, 1099-SA, and FMV/RMD statements to members by January 31st each year. We also mail 5498, 5498-SA, and 5498 ESA forms to members by the end of May.
Important information for all MasterCard® and VISA® credit and debit card holders.
You may have seen news stories recently about a potential data breach with MasterCard® and VISA® through a third-party payment processor. While there is no indication that any FAIRWINDS members have been impacted by this event, it is an opportunity to remind all consumers about the importance of being diligent, safeguarding your personal information and monitoring your accounts on a regular basis to minimize the effects of fraud.
Take the few extra steps to proactively protect your accounts. If you believe your credit or debit card information is at risk or unauthorized transactions have posted to your account, contact your financial institution immediately. In addition, you may want to consider looking into an identity theft alert program to keep you informed of activity on your accounts. There are many reputable programs available, including ID Secure. Click here to learn more.
There is an active texting scam occurring in the Central Florida area.
People are receiving a text at random stating their "card has been deactivated." This is a Scam!
Always remember, FAIRWINDS will never ask members to provide confidential information, such as debit or credit card numbers, PINs or Social Security numbers via email, text messages, direct mail or over the phone.
If you feel you are the victim of account fraud or identify theft, act immediately. This should help minimize the damage to your personal accounts and credit rating. Click here to learn more.
What are the 2013 IRA and HSA contribution limits?
Traditional and Roth IRA owners under age 50 may contribute up to $5,500 toward tax year 2013. A $1,000 catch up contribution may be added for Traditional and Roth IRA owners age 50 and over.
2013 SEP contribution limits have increased to a maximum of $51,000 or 25% of the employee's compensation, whichever is less.
HSA owners under age 55 with an individual HDHP (self coverage only) may contribute up to $3,250 toward tax year 2013. HSA owners under age 55 with a family HDHP may contribute up to $6,450 toward tax year 2013. A $1,000 catch up contribution may be added for HSA owners age 55 and over.
When will I receive my 2012 5498 form?
5498, 5498-SA, and 5498-ESA forms report IRA, HSA, and ESA contributions, rollovers, conversions, and fair market value (December 31st balance) information to the IRS and account owners. 5498 and 5498-SA forms are expected to be mailed by Saturday, May 18th.
Please contact Member Services at (407) 277-5045 or visit your local branch if you have questions about your form(s).
How can I make a prior year (2012) contribution to my IRA or HSA?
Eligible prior year (2012) IRA and HSA contributions may be made through the close of business on Monday, April 15th. The IRS requires signed documentation before contributions may be designated for a prior year.
Members can accomplish this by visiting a local branch during business hours or by submitting an e-Signed form through Retirement Central® and click Manage An Account on the left menu.