Bill Payment & E-bills

May 16, 2008

Time and money.  These are two things we don’t have enough of!  Online bill payment and E-bills can help with both.

First New York FCU has begun offering a new online bill payment and E-bill service, which can help save time by allowing members the ability to pay bills without writing a check, and also by receiving bills online, through our First OnLine service.

You can save money… because it’s FREE!  So, you don’t need to worry about not having stamps or checks to pay your bills.

Online bill payment and E-bill is secure, and by receiving your bills online, you are helping to save the environment by reducing paper statements.

To sign up, visit, logon to First OnLine and click on the bill payment button. 

The Benefits of Starting a Roth IRA Early

May 8, 2008

According to a Callahan and Associates Web-based survey, individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 are most likely to open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). These individuals recognize the importance of starting early to save for retirement.

IRA rules don’t have a minimum age requirement, so any young person who has earned income is eligible to open an IRA. Because earned income is the key to qualifying for a Roth, generally, a young adult or even a child would have to be working part time for an employer who collected taxes and reported the earnings to the IRS.

How big are the benefits of starting early? If a 19-year-old began contributing $1,500 each year to a Roth IRA, by age 68 he or she would have about $608,000, assuming an average annual return of 7%.

Money is taxed going into a Roth IRA and accrues interest until it can be withdrawn, completely tax-free, beginning at age 59 ½.  While that may be a long way off for young investors, certain withdrawals can be made earlier, including a $10,000 for a down payment on a first home.

For more information on a Roth IRA, contact First New York Federal Credit Union!

Going Greener With Your Next Car

April 4, 2008

This post isn’t talking about what color car you want – it’s about cars and the environment!

If you’re as worried about climate change on the planet as you are about climate control inside your car, it’s now easier to pick out the greenest vehicle that meets your needs and budget.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—which regulates tailpipe pollutants as well as measures gas mileage—has combined data from both roles into a new Green Vehicle Guide.  Consulting this and other Internet green car ratings will help you make a more informed decision.

If you look at EPA ratings, you can see which of the cars, vans, pickups, or SUVs you’re considering add least to your hometown air pollution as well as have the least impact on global warming.  And there’s a bonus: Cars with lower carbon dioxide emissions generally have higher gas mileage and so will cost you less to drive.

In trying to think green for your next car, here are some issues to consider:

• Look hard at how you use your vehicle.  Consider your actual automotive needs rather than just your wants.

• Choose the greenest in your category.  Even if the vehicles you’re interested in don’t show up in the EPA or other top ratings, remember that better gas mileage translates to lower emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

• Don’t assume a hybrid is the only answer.  Though gas-electric hybrids top the mileage and green rating lists in most categories, you can find other green choices as well.

• Be alert for quirks in the EPA Rating.  Some vehicles flagged by the EPA as green standouts run most efficiently on E85 ethanol. Check here for E85 availability where you live; you’ll have to put in your zip code.

Greener choices–from small vehicles to large–are becoming available.  For the latest on hybrids and other green cars, visit and click on Tips and Advice.

New Home-buyers Podcast

February 29, 2008

You’re thinking about buying a home, but you’re not sure what to do?  Check out our new podcast!

 We’ve put together a few tips that are perfect for the first time home-buyer!

Here is the MP3 version.  You can click to open and listen to the podcast using your computers audio software, or you can right click the link and save it to your hard drive to listen at a later date on your MP3 player.

Be sure to visit the Podcast section of this blog for all of our previous podcasts.

Homebuying Podcast

Car-Buying Basics Help You Save on Financing

February 20, 2008

car buying

The first time you shop for an auto loan can be time-consuming and a little confusing.  But, once you know these car-buying basics, you’ll save money on financing your first car or your 10th:

1. Evaluate your financial situation.  If your credit history is spotty, clean it up for at least six months before applying for a loan.  It will improve your credit score, and lower your payment.

2. Compare annual percentage rates (APRs).  Some lenders, such as First New York FCU, will give you a rate break if you have automatic payments from your checking account.

3. Consider buying used.  The average cost of a used car is less than half of a new one.

4. Get insurance quotes.  Most lenders require collision and comprehensive insurance on new and used vehicles.

5. Realize the less you borrow, the more you save in loan interest.

6. Pay off the loan as quickly as possible and you could save hundreds of dollars in interest charges.

7. Ask a First New York FCU loan officer to preapprove your loan so you can bargain for a dealer discount based on a cash sale.

8. Understand the loan contract.  A loan officer can help you evaluate a loan agreement.

9. Make purchasing the vehicle, financing the vehicle, and trading the vehicle three separate transactions.

 Use these car-buying tips – and save money!

Credit Unions Provide Best Deal!

November 13, 2007

Those of us who have either been a member, employee or volunteer at a credit union, knew this all along!

 Credit unions provide the best deal when it comes to banking, according to an article that appeared in the December issue of Money Magazine.

The article, titled “The Best Little Deal in Banking,” cited five reasons “why you should join a credit union”–including five basic products that credit unions offer to their members at competitive prices (Money Magazine December 2007).

For example, an auto loan at a credit union is like “french fries at McDonalds–classic and reliable,” according to the article. According to the Government Accountability Office, credit union auto loans carry two percentage points less than auto loans at big banks.

The other reasons cited include higher savings rates, lower credit card rates, great deals on morgages and the credit union perks that banks don’t offer!

Thanks, Money!  We’ve known this all along!!!

Auto Buying Tips Podcast

October 11, 2007

The Newest First New York FCU podcast is now available to download.  This month the topic is Shopping for an Auto.  In this podcast we talk about the steps to take to make buying a car as painless as possible. 

Here is the MP3 version.  You can click to open and listen to the podcast using your computers audio software, or you can right click the link and save it to your hard drive to listen at a later date on your MP3 player.

Auto Buying Podcast

High ATM fees? Try a credit union!

September 14, 2007

ATM usage

As reported in the media, a spokesman for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group issued some advice Thursday for those frustrated about Bank of America’s new $3 automated teller machine fee for non-customers:  Go to a credit union.  BofA began implementing the higher fee in July.  Reports called this the highest ATM fee ever imposed by a major bank and a move that may cause other banks to follow suit.

This is gouging, according to an online posting by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Ed Mierzwinski.  He suggested that consumers take their business to a credit union in response. 

Tun Wai, NAFCU (National Association of Federal Credit Union)’s chief economist, said credit unions remain a strong alternative to rising bank fees. “The very fact that credit unions are owned and controlled by members is what helps them keep fees generally below what is being charge by other institutions,” Wai noted. “With this recent action by BofA, credit unions’ lower-cost services are looking better than ever.”

In a USA Today story Thursday, Greg McBride, a senior analyst at, says banks often “move like a school of fish on punitive charges such as ATM surcharges and credit card late fees,” so it’s a matter of time before other banks raise their ATM fees as well.

To read USPIRG’s comments, check out USPIRG’s Consumer Blog.

Off to college? Here are a few tips!

August 15, 2007

college student

As summer starts to wind down, parents start packing the kids up and sending them off to college.  If you are heading to school this fall, we have a few tips to avoid some common traps.

 One of the most important things to keep in mind is budgeting your money.  Maybe you’ve bankrolled a few bucks from a summer job, or you are picking up a job at school.  Keep in mind that budgeting your money is very important!  So have trouble sticking to a budget?  Don’t get discouraged.  Follow these simple tips to save some extra cash: 

–  Go easy with the credit cards.  Once you get in the habit of reaching for your credit card, it’s hard to stop.  If you don’t have the funds, don’t make the purchase!

–  Buy used.  There’s no need to buy all new textbooks.  New textbooks cost on average 25% more than used.  Unless it’s a book you know you’ll keep or it’s only available new, stick with used.

–  Spread out your expenses.  Most expenses come at the beginning of the semester–for example, instead of buying all your textbooks at once, buy them as you need them.

–  Brown bag your lunch.  Although it may not be as cool or exciting as eating at your favorite deli or pizza joint, packing your lunch can save on average $3 a day–or $60 a month.

  Be smart about choosing a financial institution.  Using First New York FCU will save you money on fees, lower loan rates, and higher savings rates.

Are You Not-Yet-Rich?

July 13, 2007

You can be!  If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, now is the time to start saving for your future.

How? Jumpstart your retirement fund. Getting an early start is one of the easiest ways to build your nest egg, because you’ve got time and compound growth on your side. Even small amounts saved now on a regular basis can really add up down the road.

For example, if you invest $150 a month (only about $5 per day) starting at age 25 in a tax-free Roth IRA that earns an 8% average annual return, at age 65 you’ll have accumulated a total of $503,605. Compare this to if you had waited to begin saving until age 35 – your nest egg would total $220,222. If you waited to begin saving until 45, it would total only $88,961.

“Thinking about retirement is probably not high on your list if you are in your 20’s or 30’s. However, by starting early, you will be in a better financial position down the road to retirement,” says Don Dorr, the Members Financial Services Representative serving First New York Federal Credit Union. Dorr added, “Saving $5 a day can also be done easily. If you skip your coffee beverage, or eliminate going out to eat, once a week, you’ll have a good start to your retirement savings plan. Plus, by setting up automatic deductions from your checking or savings account, we can make the savings process easy!”

For more information on retirement savings, contact Don Dorr, the Members Financial Services Representative serving First New York FCU at (518) 393-1326 – press ‘4’.