All Resources - Life Events and Major Purchases

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Buying vs. Leasing a Car

This age-old dilemma continues to find new life in today’s economy. Driving is so much a part of our daily lives, but not everyone can afford to buy their car outright. Leasing a car can be a great option to save money, or for those individuals who enjoy driving a different car every few years. Like renting an apartment, you spend money month after month without walking away at the end of the lease with anything of your own. Let’s compare the pros and cons of buying vs. leasing a car so you can make the right decision based on your lifestyle.

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Buying a House in a Hot Market

Buying a home in a seller’s market can be challenging. While housing market conditions may be less than ideal, there are still benefits to buying a property versus renting. Use these tips to stay ahead of the competition and land the house you’ve always wanted.

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Buying a Home for the First Time? How to Navigate Your Purchase

Nothing could be more exciting than buying your first home! After years of saving and renting, it’s finally time to be the master of your own domain. But buying a home can be much more complicated than you might realize. The asking price of the home is just one piece of the equation as you navigate this all-too-important purchase. From shopping for a mortgage to budgeting for unexpected costs, we’ll walk you through every step of the process.

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How to Refinance a Mortgage

Refinancing your mortgage is a great way to reduce debt and take control of your finances. There are many reasons to swap out your current home mortgage for a new repayment plan. It all depends on what you’re looking to achieve with your new home loan. Use this guide to learn more about the refinancing process to see if this is the right option for you.

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Paying Student Loans: How to Pay Back Your Student Loans

Paying off student loans is a top financial priority for many people, but it can be confusing and hard to navigate. Many people don’t understand how student loan debt works or what their options are to reduce their payments. Read this article to learn more about student loans and what options you have to pay them back.

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How Much Does a Wedding Cost? Ways to Prepare Financially

As exciting as this moment may seem, it’s best to plan your wedding around your finances and future lifestyle. Your wedding is just one piece of a much bigger financial puzzle. Use this guide to help plan your special day in an affordable way so you don’t end up putting a financial strain on your marriage before it starts!

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College Savings Plans: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re saving for your child to go to college or planning the next chapter of your career, you have several options to choose from when it comes to paying for school. The good news is that you’re thinking about your options ahead of time, which should help you make the most of your money as you prepare to further your education. 529 plans can be confusing but learning about these programs will help you save money over time as you finance your education, regardless of where you decide to go to school.

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How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Are you ready to house hunt, but are wondering "How much mortgage can I afford?" Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can show sellers that you are a serious prospect and give you a leg up on other buyers who jump the gun by visiting open houses without even knowing their budget. In this market, where sellers are getting many offers including cash offers, a pre-approval can help you stand out as a buyer. When you have a documented pre-approval, the seller knows you will be able to get the funding you are offering for the home and you’ll be able to close more quickly and reliably.

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Seven Major Steps in Buying a House

The decision to buy a home can be both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Homeownership is what many of us strive for—to be able to have a home that we can call our own, as well as a real estate asset we can use to build our personal wealth. It is a big step to take. At the same time, though, the process of buying a house can be overwhelming. Understanding the step-by-step process in purchasing a home can help make the home-buying experience a more positive one for you and your family and can help reduce the additional stress that comes with this life-changing decision.

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Debt to Income Ratio Demystified

If you’re hoping to get a home loan, auto loan or debt consolidation loan, there’s one important number lenders will want to take a close look at. That number is your debt-to-income ratio (DTI.) Even if your credit report is squeaky clean, your DTI is a good indicator of whether or not you’re overextended and might have trouble with additional monthly debt payments like house or car loans.

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What Is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and What Can You Use It For?

Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) have a wide variety of uses. Read this article to learn more about how they work and how they can help you tackle your next project.

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Vehicle Inspection Checklist

Use this checklist when buying a used vehicle to help make sure you're getting a good deal and a reliable car.

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Insurance Policy Review: When Should I Review My Insurance Coverage?

While a periodic review of your coverage is always a good idea, it’s also important to know what other things should prompt an insurance review.

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5 Tips to Help You Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage

Use these car insurance tips the next time you're reviewing your policy to help make sure you have enough coverage and potentially save some money.

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Four Important Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs

Estate planning allows you, not the courts, to make important decisions about your assets in the event you are incapacitated or deceased. Take a look at this lesson to learn about four documents that are essential to any estate plan.

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Do Youth Accounts Help Kids in College?

Read this article to learn how a youth account can help your kids succeed in college.

Family Savings. Cheerful Afro Mother Teaching Little Daughter How To Save Money Holding Piggybank Sitting On Sofa At Home
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A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids

As a parent, you might struggle with when and what to teach your children about money management. Is five too early to earn an allowance? Should you share the family budget with your children? When should teens learn about credit? These are all important questions, and it’s often not easy to know the answers. Kids have different levels of interest in financial education. But research tells us that by the age of five most children understand money and what it can do. The information below offers more specific guidelines for different age groups. Again, these are just guidelines. What decisions you make about when and what to teach at home depend on your family situation, household budget and how comfortable you are in the role of teacher.

Life insurance application.
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What is Life Insurance? The Basics of Life Insurance Explained

Let’s face it, life insurance is something that many people need, but don’t want to talk about. We’ve all seen those GoFundMe pages asking for donations for a person that passed away. It can feel strange planning for the worst-case scenario, especially if you’re young and healthy. Life insurance is a way to help prevent leaving your loved ones with the added stress of financial burdens. Whatever your reason is for thinking about life insurance, this guide will help you get familiarized with some life insurance basics to make your planning and research a little simpler and a little easier.

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Buyers Guide: Life Insurance Made Easy

This article will cover what to expect, give you some tips to help compare your options and make the life insurance buying experience more convenient and stress free.

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Selling Your Car to a Private Party? Tips for How to Sell a Car Privately

Selling your car to a private party can be stressful and intimidating. Use this checklist for information that can help you sell a vehicle with confidence.

Car Ownership, Used Car Selling, Car Rental, Signing Event, Contract
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Private Party Auto Purchase: Tips for Buyers

Private Party purchases can be stressful and intimidating if you’re not prepared. Review our checklists for information that can help you buy a vehicle with confidence.

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Video: Living on Your Own

Watch this video for some tips on how to be financially prepared to live on your own for the first time.

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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Car: Things to Know When Buying a Car

Ahh the rumble of the engine starting up, the sun glinting off the new paint and that sweet new car smell. There are few things that are more satisfying than the feeling of driving your brand-new car off the lot for the first time. But before you walk away with keys in hand, there are a few steps you must go through first. There can be a lot of anxiety around the car buying process, especially if you aren’t familiar with it and don’t know what to ask. This guide will give you a comprehensive primer of things to know and look out for to ensure that your experience at the dealership is a smooth ride.

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Alternative Payment Terms

The term of your vehicle loan can make a big difference in your monthly payment. It can also have a significant impact on the amount of interest you will pay over the course of the loan. You pay interest each month on the outstanding balance of the vehicle loan, so the longer the term of the loan the more interest that you will pay until the loan is paid off.

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Video: Six Important Used Car Buying Tips

To help you buy a used car with confidence, Ent has identified 6 important used car buying tips.
 
 
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Home Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Depending on how fast prices and rents rise and how long you stay in your home, you may be better off renting rather than buying. Factors that are part of the equation are the difference in monthly rent versus mortgage payment, home value appreciation, annual rent increases, the interest rate you will pay on your loan, your marginal tax rate and the yield you might receive on savings. When looking at these factors, consider the present value of each option. The one with the lower present value will be the better financial choice.

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Mortgage Loan Comparison Calculator

When purchasing a home the mortgage you choose and the options you want with it will have a significant impact on how much your home costs you in the long run. Interest charges, origination fees, fees paid for a particular interest rate (formerly referred to as 'points') and settlement costs will often have the most impact. Of these, the interest rate you pay will matter most.

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Video: How-to Buy a Used Car

Watch this video to learn tips and tricks to use the next time you're looking to purchase a used car.

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Video: Intro to Insurance

Watch this video to learn more about the different types of insurance and how they work.

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Mortgage Payment Calculator

With a variety of mortgage loan options available, a strong credit score and positive credit history can give you a lot of buying power. But, how much should you consider spending on a home? Financial planners recommend less than 2.5 times your gross annual salary or income OR less than 30% of your take-home pay.

A reasonably priced home should cost less than 2.5 times your annual gross income, the amount you earn from all sources before taxes. If you have significant debt, like student loans, you may need to adjust your price range to leave room in your budget for other loan payments. 

Another rule of thumb is to have your total monthly housing expense – including your new mortgage payment, property taxes, home insurance and mortgage insurance – make up no more than 30% of your take-home (after-tax) income. 

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Mortgage Proceeds: Home Sale Proceeds Calculator

One of the most important questions consumers will ask themselves is "how much money the sale of their home will yield?" That is largely dependent on two things: the amount you still owe on the home and what you will have to pay your realtor for selling the home. If you have a second mortgage, or home equity loan, on the property, you will have to pay that off when you sell the home. When you sell a home, you will also have to pay interest on your outstanding mortgage balance from the date of your last payment until the time of the sale. You are also liable for property taxes up until the day you sell the home. At times, sellers have additional expenses. Local governments will often require that you pay a transfer tax when the home is sold. Incidental closing costs may also nibble away at your proceeds.

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Video: Rebate vs. Financing

Learn whether a Dealer Rebate or 0% Financing is better for your car purchase.

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Auto Loan Calculator: Calculate a Vehicle Payment

Your monthly auto loan payment is based on the net purchase price of the vehicle, the loan term and the interest rate for the loan. The loan amount is based on the net purchase price of the vehicle (plus sales tax) or the vehicle price less any cash rebate, trade-in or down payment. If you have an outstanding balance on the vehicle you trade-in, that amount is added to the price of the vehicle you are purchasing.

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Calculate your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio is a metric that lenders consider when approving a loan such as a mortgage, car loans or personal loans. You may be wondering “what is a good debt-to-income ratio?” Typically, lenders want to see an overall ratio of 36% or less with no more than 28% going towards housing expenses.

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Loan Rebate Calculator: Auto Rebate vs. Low Interest Financing Calculator

Vehicle manufacturers or dealers will often offer incentives to purchase a particular vehicle in the form of a low rate loan or a cash back incentive. While a low rate loan sounds attractive, you might be better off taking the cash back, using it to add to your down payment and reducing the loan amount for the vehicle. Evaluate which option is best. A lower loan amount will mean a lower monthly payment, and you might find that the interest savings you will gain by the low rate loan is less than the cash back amount.

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Adjustable Rate Mortgage Calculator

Adjustable rate mortgages typically offer home buyers the advantage of having a lower mortgage payment during the initial period of the mortgage. Adjustable rate mortgages are generally offered on a 1, 3, 5 or 7-year basis. Once the initial period expires, the mortgage rate will reset at then current interest rate levels. Depending on the direction interest rates are taking, these resets can result in higher or lower monthly payments to the borrower. This adjustable rate mortgage analyzer will help you understand the implication of your adjustable rate terms by showing what your monthly payment will be under different scenarios.

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Home Value Estimator

Use this calculator and compare home values in your neighborhood and discover big savings with Ent Credit Union.

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Home Equity Line of Credit Calculator

The amount of equity available for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit is determined by the loan-to-value ratio of the home and the ratio requirements of the lender. A loan-to-value ratio is calculated by taking total mortgage debt (including any second mortgages or existing home equity loans) and dividing it by the current, appraised value of the home. The size of a home equity loan or line of credit will also depend on the loan-to-value requirements of the lender. Higher loan-to-value requirements can result in larger home equity loans or lines of credit.

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College Savings Calculator: 529 College Savings Plan Calculator

Saving for a college education requires advanced planning and knowledge of what the cost of a college education will be when your student begins their college experience. You will first need to know how long it will be before your student sets foot on campus, what the cost of that education is today and how much the cost will increase between now and then. You will need to know how many years of college you will be paying for, which is dependent on the degree program being pursued. Once you have that information, you will be able to know how much you will need to save. Putting together a plan will depend on what you currently have saved, how much you can save each month and the rate of return you will receive on those savings.

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Video: Why Pre-Approved is Better Than Pre-Qualified

Why you should get Pre-Approved, instead of just Pre-Qualified, for your mortgage loan when shopping for your next home.

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Video: Investment Planning for Life's Major Events

Watch this video to learn how proper investment planning with an investment representative can help you plan for major events in your life.

Video: Leasing vs. Buying a New Car

This video takes a practical look at the different ways to pay for a new vehicle.

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Video: Student Loans 101

Watch this video to learn more about the different types of student loans and what your options are when applying for student loans.

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Car Affordability Calculator with Trade-in

The purchase price of the vehicle you can afford is based on several factors, including the monthly auto loan payment you can afford to make, your down payment, the net value of any vehicle you will be trading in and any rebates or cash back offers available from the dealer or manufacturer.

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Home Equity Line of Credit: Monthly Payment Calculator

Repayment of a home equity line of credit requires that the borrower makes a monthly payment to the lender. For some home equity lines of credit, borrowers can make interest-only payments for a defined period, after which a repayment period begins. Interest-only payments are based on the outstanding loan balance and interest rate. During the repayment period, the payment includes both repayment of the loan principal, plus monthly interest on the outstanding balance. Loan payments for the repayment period are amortized so that the monthly payment remains the same throughout the repayment period, but during that time, the percentage of the amount that goes towards principal will increase as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases.

Video: Owning vs. Renting a Home

This video provides clarity on the pros and cons of home ownership.

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Video: Escrowing Taxes and Insurance

Learn the advantage of escrowing taxes and insurance on your mortgage.

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Video: Demystifying Mortgages

Watch this video to learn more about how a mortgage works to feel confident next time you're financing a home purchase.

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Should I Refinance? Try our mortgage refinance calculator.

The decision to refinance a home mortgage can involve many factors. You might want to take cash out of your home at when you refinance to use for other purposes. But the most common purpose is to obtain a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. In the latter case, the decision to refinance should be based on lowering the overall mortgage costs and breaking even on the refinance in a reasonable period of time.