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Money-Saving Tips My Dogs Taught Me


Dogs are wise beyond their years. Here are some of the things I have learned from the dogs in the world of finances.

#1: Eat the trash. Saves on the dog food bill!

#2 Pee in the bathtub. I’m not sure how this one saves money, but I’m sure he had something in mind. Water bill?

#3 When you’re done wearing your sweater, unravel the whole thing and use it as a toy. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?

#4 Sleep on somebody else’s bed. You don’t need a fancy bed of your own if you just use your charm to snuggle your way onto somebody else’s. Friend’s share.

#5 Ok, ok a real one…

Free fun is the best fun! Get just as excited about splashing in the hose as you would for the water park. Fetch sticks instead of shopping for expensive knick-knacks. Going to the park, hiking, or sledding with the whole family costs much less than pricey visits to theme parks or resorts where you’ll have to leave the furry kids behind. Skip the movie theater, and snuggle on the couch with a classic. In my opinion (and my dogs’), free fun is way better than some of the more expensive hobbies or entertainment. It does not cost a thing to smile and play. (Except don’t forget those really yummy bones… totally worth it.)

Hey, I just said tips… I didn’t say they were all good tips. I don’t know about you, but I love my dogs. :) Have you learned any “money-saving tips” from the dog?

How to Get Personal Loans

personal loans

Some expenses in life are unexpected. There may simply be a time in your life when you need a surge of cash to consolidate your debt or pay for a new expense in your life. You may want to look into applying for a personal loan.

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a sum of money that is lent out to one person for personal expenses. Personal loans are typically not secured by any type of collateral for the lender. Unlike student loans or business loans, a personal loan can be used for a wide variety of expenses, including medical expenses and paying for home improvements.

How to Get a Personal Loan

personal loans

When you apply for personal loans, you will need to have at least one form of identification. You may need a few other documents like a recent utility bill or a copy of your lease for verification of your address for example. Lenders may also ask for proof of income, an estimate of your monthly financial obligations, an estimate of your gross income, and your social security number.

One of the most important aspects of your personal loan application is your credit score. Since personal loans rarely require you to put up collateral (like a mortgage on your home), banks and credit unions want to make sure you have exhibited behavior that proves you will pay back your loan in full in a timely manner.

Personal Loans with Poor Credit

It is possible to get a loan if you have poor credit, but keep in mind that you will most likely have a higher interest rate or a smaller lending amount due to your credit history. You may want to adopt some good credit behaviors before you apply, including paying off your credit card balance. If your credit score is in need of some serious help, you may consider programs like Great Basin FCU’s ReBuild Together Loan.

Our ReBuild Together Loan is ideal for those who have no credit or poor credit, and we use these loans to help you build up your credit score. We lend you a sum of money that is locked in a special savings account, and you make timely payments for a year towards that loan. After a year, the funds are released to you. This loan program gives you a chance to establish good financial behaviors over the course of a year, which makes a big difference in your credit score.

Personal Loans with Great Basin FCU

personal loans

At Great Basin Federal Credit Union, you have many options to find the right loan for you. Our typical personal loan, called the Lifestyle Loan, is used by our credit union members for financing a wedding, debt consolidation, adoption costs, and more. Our Energy Saver Loan is a perfect option for families who are looking to make home improvements to lower their carbon footprint. We are ready to help you go green!

If you have an established Great Basin FCU savings account or certificate of deposit, you can borrow against that account with a Share Secured Loan. This installment loan is another great option if you are looking to establish credit.

At Great Basin FCU, we want all of our credit union members to be empowered financially to take the next big step in their lives. Let us help you find the right fit for your financial needs and credit history. Stop by a Great Basin Federal Credit Union branch today to discuss your personal loan options!

We Love Sherri, Yes We Do!


Meet Sherri. This April, she has worked at Great Basin Federal Credit Union for 15 years! We asked her to take a minute out of her busy day in the Loan Department to tell us all a little about herself.

  • Favorite movie:  A Christmas Story, I can watch that anytime of the year and love it.
  • What superhero would you be and why: I would be Elastigirl!  She has the ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract her body into any form imaginable and that’s just cool.  She is also still just a mom and looks after her family with fierce passion (the way I feel about both my family and my GB family).
  • Funniest thing that ever happened at work: Too many to name, at least once a day I am brought to tears from laughing.
  • Little known fact/fun fact about me: I’m in love with Grumpy Cat, she’s so funny with all of her grouchiness

Sherri’s boss, Jennifer, had this to say about her:

Aren’t we lucky to have a gal like Sherri.

Congratulations to her on this huge accomplishment! Thank you for 15 great years. Here’s to 15 more!

How to Open a Business Checking Account

business checking account

Owning and running and business involves a lot of moving parts and responsibilities. One way you can put your mind at ease is opening a business checking account with an institution you trust.

What to Look For in a Business Checking Account

business checking account

As you look into finding the perfect business account, you want to make sure that you are getting the services you need. Not every business needs the same services from a business checking account. Does the bank or credit union offer different services or add-ons, depending on if you are a non-profit or a small business run by just you? These are things to think about before you open up a business checking account. You will also want to look at a business checking account’s fee structure. Are the fees high compared to other institutions? Is there a monthly fee for a service that you don’t even use?

When you open a business checking account with a credit union or bank, you may also want to keep the future of your business in mind. Establishing an account can help you with keeping your personal funds and business funds separate, which helps for tax purposes and minimizes liability. Establishing an account can also set you up for taking out a small business loan in the future when you want to expand or upgrade a part of your business!

How to Open a Business Checking Account

Before you open a business checking account, you will need to have your ducks in a row. What does this mean for you? You will want to bring in proper paperwork that establishes you as the business owner and your business as legitimate. These required documents could include your business license, your DBA “doing business as” fictitious name, your business’s Tax Identification Number, and a business address for the business checking account.

Additional required documents will depend on what type of business you own. If you are the sole owner of your business, there is less paperwork to bring when you open your business checking account. If you are part of an LLC in Nevada, you want to make sure you bring an Operating Agreement to show manager’s authority and a recent annual list of members and managers that was filed with the Nevada Secretary of State.

Types of Business Checking Accounts at Great Basin FCU

business checking account

At Great Basin Federal Credit Union, we have different business checking accounts tailored to various businesses and their needs. If you have a not-for-profit business, our Non Profit Business Account works for your business. There is no minimum balance required. Great Basin also offers a Sole Proprietor Account as well as a Business Account for Corporations, Partnerships, or Limited Liability Companies.

The best business checking account option with Great Basin FCU is our Core Business Account. Your business can qualify for the Core Business Account if you use at least three of Great Basin FCU’s services:

  • Personal Core Account
  • Business Visa Credit Card
  • Business Loan
  • Average Daily Share Balance of $2,500+

When you open a Core Business Account with Great Basin FCU, your business enjoys perks like no monthly service fees, free cashier’s checks, and a $50 credit towards check orders each year.

Learn more about business accounts at Great Basin Federal Credit Union to find that our business accounts offer for your business banking needs. Call or stop by to start the process of opening up a business checking account at Great Basin Federal Credit Union today!

Happy National Credit Education Month!

credit score

March is officially National Credit Education Month! Our team at Great Basin FCU decided there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to talk about credit. Learn how to build and repair your credit with some credit education tips from yours truly!

Credit Score Education

Your credit score can seem like an arbitrary number, but that pesky three-digit number can have real consequences for your financial future. There are a few different agencies that calculate your credit score, so it will depend on which agency is used. So what does your credit score mean? Your credit score is a number associated with the borrower’s (your) risk. If a financial institution like a bank or credit union were to lend to you, how likely is it that you will pay a loan back in full and in a timely manner?

credit score education

Your credit score is a three-digit number that ties to your financial responsibility and credit history.

How do you know if your credit score is good or bad? Credit scores can technically range from 0 to 850, though credit scores will most commonly land between around 400 and 800. A good credit score is on the higher end of the spectrum, and a poor credit score will be lower. A credit score of 720-850 is considered excellent, and a credit score above 690 is good. If your credit score is below 690, this may indicate some credit problems such as late payments on a credit card or loan in the past or maxed out credit limits. A score of 350-650 indicates a damaged credit history, perhaps from a bankruptcy, collections, or a combo of many things.

Whether you have no credit history or a poor credit score, you can work to build up your credit score. It is possible to improve your credit score — it just takes some time and effort!

Building Your Credit

credit education

There are a few different tactics you can use to approach building or improving your credit. At Great Basin FCU, a great option for improving your credit is our ReBuild Together Loan, tailored specifically for young adults with no credit or adults with a damaged credit history.

This type of personal loan at Great Basin FCU is tailored specifically for credit union members with poor credit or no credit history at all. We lend you an amount between $1,000 and $3,000 for a term between a year and three years. The money we lend goes into a special savings account until you have made your payments to fulfill the loan. At the end of the loan term, you’ll have the money you paid in plus a good payment history on your credit.

Consider a ReBuild Together Loan for your 18-year-old to help him establish a good credit history before he even starts paying off student loans or getting high interest rate credit card offers.

Credit Education for Young Adults

It is much easier to learn about credit slowly but surely than to learn the hard way and hurt your credit score. At Great Basin FCU, education is one of our Core Values. Credit education for young adults matters to us at Great Basin FCU, so we spend a considerable amount of time on this topic. Our Youth Focus Committee travels out to schools to start the credit conversation in the classroom! Our team teaches kids about money, including topics like credit.

Happy National Credit Education Month from our Great Basin FCU family to yours. We are here to help you learn how to improve your credit and learn more about credit with these credit education tips!