Tis the season to be happy, giving, festive…and stressed! At this time of year, most shoppers are so worried about stretching their budgets to cover holiday expenses that they lose sight of, or are unable to enjoy, the true spirit of the season.
As a credit union member, you can rid yourself of yuletide shopping stresses with an affordable and convenient holiday loan or credit card. Many credit unions offer limited-time holiday financing options, which are a smart way to pay for gifts, entertainment, dining, and travel expenses during the holidays. By taking advantage of these special offers you can spend less time worrying about holiday obligations and more time enjoying family, friends, and festivities.
Not only will a holiday loan from your credit union provide the extra spending power you need right now for extra purchases and expenses, it will also offer low rates, flexible terms, and convenient access options. Plus, a holiday loan with a single, low monthly payment offers a simple, money-saving alternative to using those high interest credit and store cards, and will eliminate the need to keep track of multiple payments during the holiday hustle and bustle.
According to Kara Van Wert, Veridian Credit Union’s (Waterloo, IA) Manager of Consumer and Indirect Lending, her credit union is offering a holiday loan with a rate this year as low as 6.75% APR for a 12 month term. The rate starts at 7.5% and can drop to 7% for members who set up automatic payments for the loan. Veridian also offers a .25% Loyalty Discount for members with an account enrolled in direct deposit from net income and automatic payments from a Veridian account.
The credit union began offering Holiday Loans to their membership in 1991 and they have grown in popularity with approximately 750 of these loans booked each year. “The loan offers a low interest rate and is a fixed amount that’s paid in full within 12 months -- it offers our members an alternative to high rate credit cards,” explained Van Wert. Members are encouraged to use the funds for any holiday expense, which could also be travel expenses that are incurred during the holiday season.
“Veridian’s mission is to partner with our members to help create successful financial futures,” added Van Wert. “Holiday Loans are one tool that can help create and maintain financial security by offering a low-rate borrowing option for the holiday season.”
Likewise, Genisys Credit Union (Pontiac, MI) offers a Holiday Loan that allows members to borrow up to $5,000 for up to 48 months with rates as low as 7.75% APR through January 31, 2014. “It’s a great way to pay for holiday expenses, but can also be used to buy new furniture, take a trip, complete projects around the house, and much more,” said Nicole Bowen, Marketing Representative.
Offering this special loan for many years, Genisys has been providing members with the convenience of extra cash during the holidays, season after season. “Our Holiday Loan takes some of the stress out of holiday spending and can be directly deposited into your checking account for immediate on-the-go access,” added Bowen.
Not only is Genisys’ Holiday Loan quick and easy to apply for, but also members can determine how to spend it. Besides using a Holiday Loan to pay for holiday expenses, it’s also available during the month of January, which gives members an option to pay off credit card debt and start the New Year right. In addition to their Holiday Loan, the holidays are a great time to take advantage of the CU’s Visa Platinum Balance Transfer Special where members not only save money with a lower rate, but also earn 2% cash back just in time for holiday shopping.
“Credit unions were built on the philosophy of ‘people helping people,’ and the holidays are a time where extra expenses can add to our members’ financial stress,” explained Bowen. “We value our Genisys family and want to help make the season a little brighter by giving them an affordable option to make life easier.”
Rather than a traditional holiday loan, Redwood Credit Union (Santa Rosa, CA) is focusing on low-rate credit cards this holiday season with their Visa. Dubbed “Your Wallet’s Little Helper,” Redwood’s credit card is ideal for holiday shopping, travel, and into January for fee-free balance transfers. “With one of the lowest rates available, along with a unique rewards program that allows members to combine their credit and debit rewards points, RCU’s Visa is a great value,” said Robin McKenzie, Senior VP of Marketing & Communications.
According to Gallup.com, the average holiday shopper expects to spend approximately $786 on gifts this season. Factor in travel, entertaining, nonprofit giving and other expenses, and that spending total could easily top $1,000. With the average credit card APR estimated at 12.49% (Credit Card Rate Report), RCU’s Visa is a smart alternative. “With rates starting as low as 8.99% APR, we can help keep monthly payments down and improve cash flow, which is especially welcome during the holidays,” explained McKenzie.
“We know the holidays can be a stressful time,” added McKenzie. “RCU aims to provide products to give members the peace of mind of knowing that even while spending on holiday gifts, entertaining and travel, they’re getting great value from a local partner who cares about their financial well-being.”
Keep in mind, holiday loans and special credit card rates are offered on a seasonal, limited-time basis, typically up until just after the New Year. If you’d like to take advantage of holiday financing, keep an eye out for these special offers from your credit union in their newsletter, on the website, and in the mail.
If you’re in the market for some extra wintertime cash, look no further than your credit union. A holiday loan or credit card will put the JOY back in joyful and make for a worry-free holiday seasonBy Cyndi Cohen