One of the most powerful ways your credit union can help you get your finances in order is by allowing you to direct deposit your paycheck into your account. Direct deposit is set up through your employer. Generally, you can direct them to deposit your pay right into your credit union checking and/or savings account every week, every other week, or however often you get paid.
So what’s the benefit of doing this? Well, for one it can mean that your checking account is completely free—which will save you money. Next, it means one less trip to the credit union every pay period, which saves both time and a little bit of gas money. Finally, it keeps the cash out of your hands, thus reducing your temptation to spend. If you combine the direct deposit with automated bill pay services offered by your credit union, you can focus even more on meeting your financial obligations as a top priority. You can also use these tools to get even more aggressive about debt repayment and savings.
If your employer allows you to split your direct deposit up between accounts, you can allocate a portion of your pay directly to your savings account. This will not only ensure that you make your savings deposits each pay period but will also help you get used to not having that money available—which puts you in a better frame of mind to focus on saving it and not spending it.
If your employer doesn’t allow multiple accounts for direct deposit, don’t worry. You can always transfer the money yourself between your checking account and your savings by logging in to your credit union’s self-service site, accessing an ATM or calling in. Some credit unions may even allow you to schedule a regular transfer so you don’t have to take any future action at all.
Your credit union is more than just a financial institution; it’s a tool for financial success. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the services it offers so your path to success can be clear of unnecessary obstacles.