A Simple Trick to Quickly Pay Off Your Mortgage

For most of us, our largest payment each month is our mortgage.  Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of that expense sooner rather than later?  Check out this tip from our partners at CUInsight.com. – Marty Bradley, Executive VP, TNConnect Credit Union

There’s a simple trick to quickly pay off your mortgage. Anyone can do it. It costs very little in the short term, will save you thousands in the long term and will shave years off your mortgage.

All you have to do is make one extra house payment a year, and even that may be easier than you think.

Making even just one extra payment a year can dramatically impact your finances when that extra payment is applied to the principal of your loan. When you pay down the principal, or the amount you originally borrowed, it saves you money in the long term because you’re no longer paying interest on that amount.

Even a good interest rate can add significantly to the cost of your home, so the more you can do to pay down principal, the more money you’ll save in the long run.

To make an extra payment a year with the least pinch to your wallet, simply divide your mortgage payment by 12 and add that amount to the total you pay each month.

For example, if your monthly payment is $1050, divide it by 12. You get $87.50. Add that amount to the $1050 for a total of $1137.50. Pay that amount (or more if you’re able) each month.

You can further speed up your pay off date (and overall savings) by applying bonuses, tax returns and other sources of income to your principal.

From Jennifer Reynolds at CUINSIGHT.COM

Your Financial Security

As you may have seen in the media there is currently a massive global ransomware attack upon the Microsoft Windows® operating system variously known as WannaCry, WannaCrypt, WannaCrypt0r and WannaDecryptor.

We take significant steps to protect your information and would like to ensure you your financial information is safe.

Although this attack was geared toward Microsoft operating systems all operating systems are vulnerable to attacks. Here are some proactive step you can take:

  • Ensure all your devices computers, laptops, phones, tablets are up to date with the latest patches
  • All software, APPs, plugins are up to date
  • Have a firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, malware protection and ensure it is up to date
  • Use strong passwords.  Password and 123456 are not strong passwords.

If you ever think your information has been compromised call us.

It has also been brought to our attention DocuSign, which is the company used to sign documents electronically, is being attacked by a phishing campaign.  Here is some information from DocuSign:

First and foremost, if you don’t recognize the sender of a DocuSign envelope and you are uncertain of the authenticity of an email, look for the unique security code at the bottom of the notification email. All DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code. If you do not see this code DO NOT click on links or open attachments within the email.

For more information on spotting and accessing fraudulent DocuSign emails, go to https://trust.docusign.com/en-us/personal-safeguards/fraudulent-email-websites/.

New! Express Loans

With our new Express Loan program, you are preapproved for your loan, and you can go shopping with a blank check for your new vehicle!

Members are pre-qualified for a maximum loan limit, and you leave the credit union with a check to be used for the purchase of your car, truck, or motorcycle that is no older than 5 years old with mileage less than 100,000 miles.  You can also use our express loans for a new boat or RV.

Express Loans simplify the buying process by saving time and reducing stress at the dealership!

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Members will receive $200 when using the Express Loan program! $200 will be posted to your account after the express loan check clears.

Speak to a Loan Representative today to learn more about Express Loans. (865) 688-2424



Traveling this Summer?

You don’t have to be disconnected from your finances!

When on the road, we have a variety of options for you to stay connected to your accounts.  Options such as our free mobile app (available in the app store), shared branching, and online banking – all give you access while you are on-the-go!

We also offer additional protection for traveling members. You can sign up for alerts to notify you of activity on your debit and credit cards. And for credit cards, we now offer CardLock, an app that lets you block or unblock authorizations to your TNConnect VISA credit card. We also offer VISA Travel Cards that provide further protection versus standard credit cards.

For more information on any of these options, please speak with a Member Services Representative today, or call (865)688-2424.


VISA Gift Cards

It’s that time of year again….Wedding, Graduation, and Mother’s Day season!  TNConnect offers VISA Gift Cards in any increment up to $1,000.  We can help with last minute gifts for Mom, graduates, weddings, or that person who already has everything.  Speak with a Member Service Representative today to learn more!

You planted the seed. Help it grow with Slice!

Put your financial plan in action. Stay on track.

It’s time to put your financial plan in action! Easily stay on top of your finances with Slice, TNConnect’s Personal Finance Manager within Online Banking. Slice offers the tools to control your money — you can use it to forecast what money is going in and coming out so you can make smart financial decisions. The Cashflow Calendar brings your income and expenses to life with a personal interactive calendar.

And during April and May, you are automatically entered to win 5 cash prizes, simply by adding a bill or income source to the Cashflow Calendar.  You can win $500, $250, or one of three $100 prizes!

Let us help you stay on track with your financial plan.  It pays to control your cash flow and watch your finances grow with Slice!


How to Add a Bill or Income & Win!

Step 1: Log-in to Online Banking.
Step 2: Select the “Slice” tab from the top top toolbar.
Step 3: Navigate to the “Cashflow” tab of Slice.
Step 4: Select “Add Income” or “Add Bill” from above the calendar view
Step 5: Complete the required fields including: Name your bill/income, how much and often you get paid or what amount is due.
Step 6: Click the green “Add Bill” or “Add Income” button on the bottom of the form.
Step 7: Your bill or income will now appear on the calendar for you, whether it’s a monthly, weekly or quarterly payment.


*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) and Puerto Rico, 18 years and older. Ends 5/31/2017. For Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize description, see rules below. Void where prohibited.

Spring Time to Grow 2017 Contest Rules

Tax Time Checklist: Do you have the right forms?

Having the right tax forms is critical when filing your taxes. The below article gives you great information on how to make your filing go as smooth as possible. And don’t forget – our members get up to a $15 discount when using our partner, TurboTax, to file your taxes. Click here to start saving today!  –  Marty Bradley, Executive Vice President, TNConnect Credit Union

Tax season is officially underway. While filing your taxes may not exactly be your definition of a fun time, the process is less painful if you’re prepared (and who knows, maybe you’ll be rewarded with a refund).

To make filing as smooth as possible, get your paperwork in order before you start. Here are three of the most common tax forms that people need (for the forms that fit your specific financial situation, be sure to contact your tax advisor):

W-2 (wages)
The W-2 shows the amount of money you earned, money withheld for taxes, and any contributions you made to a 401(k) or retirement plan, medical accounts and more. In other words, it’s your most important form. You’ll need one from each of your employers.

1095-A (healthcare)
This statement is for anyone who bought health insurance through a state or federal exchange. Using the information on the 1095-A, you can determine your tax credit amount for Form 8962.

If you receive health coverage through your employer, you’ll receive a different form (1095-B or 1095-C). However, you don’t need these to file your taxes.

1099-MISC (miscellaneous income)
If you’re part of the “gig economy” (i.e., folks who juggle multiple part-time jobs to get by), or if you work a side hustle to supplement your full-time income, you’ll need a 1099-MISC. This form documents income or payments that you received over $600. It’s a staple tax form for freelancers and anyone who worked as a consultant.

Finally, if you haven’t received any tax paperwork yet, or if you think that you’re missing something, contact your employer right away.

Credit Unions vs. Banks

Do you ever wonder about the differences between credit unions and banks? We love this infographic that breaks down just a few of the differences. By choosing smaller, member-owned organizations like Credit Unions, you receive greater member benefits such as lower interest rates and increased customer service. Thanks for choosing TNConnect! – Marty Bradley, Executive Vice President, TNConnect Credit Union

New! Credit and Debit Card Alerts

In the age of data breaches and consumer identity fraud, our members need a boost of confidence when making purchases with their TNConnect VISA debit and credit cards. More than ever, we want you to have more information about your finances, while also avoiding numerous card fraud scams and schemes.

With new Card Alerts for your TNConnect debit and credit cards, you can receive alerts about transactions on your account activity anytime, anywhere! You don’t have to wait until your statements are available to notice a fraudulent transaction. You can choose to receive text or email alerts.

Members can sign up for debit card alerts by clicking the here, the Debit Card Alerts link to the right or within TNConnect’s Home Banking. For credit card alerts, members can sign up by clicking the here, the Credit Card Alerts link to the right or within Access Point, where you view your credit card transactions. You can add, delete, or modify your alerts at anytime!

For debit cards, available alerts include:

  • International Transactions
  • Online Transactions
  • Decline Transaction
  • Transactions Greater Than

For credit cards, available alerts include:

  • Nearing Account Credit Line
  • Transactions Greater Than
  • International Transactions
  • Online Transactions
  • Declined Transactions
  • Gas Pump Transactions
  • Payment Due
  • Payment Past Due
  • New Card Requested
  • Account Over Limit
  • Decline Transaction Due To Controls (see below)

Credit cards also have available controls, such as:

  • Decline International Transactions
  • Decline Transactions Greater Than
  • Approved State Transactions
  • Decline Online Transactions
  • Lock Card

You can enjoy the flexibility of managing your alert preferences by modifying, adding, or deleting alerts anytime you want. Stay informed and detect possible fraud within minutes with our new Card Alerts today!

Tax Season Tips

It’s that time of year again – TAX SEASON! And we want our members to feel prepared. Check out the below tips on how to best prepare for filing your return and how to maximize your refund.  Also, we have teamed up with TurboTax to provide our members with a discount of up to $15 for every return. Click here to start saving today!  –  Marty Bradley, Executive Vice President, TNConnect Credit Union

Tax Season Tips

Tax season is once again upon us. It’s something a lot of people dread, but with the right practices, you could stand to get some serious cash back from Uncle Sam.

Below is a checklist of tips on how to get the most out of your taxes this year.

1. If You Get One Thing Right, Make It Your Filing Status

Filing status is important because it can determine how much you pay (or save) in taxes. Also, if you get it wrong, it will likely stick you with a dreaded audit.

Your filing status basically expresses how you wish to be treated by the IRS, and can determine which deductions and credits you are allowed to take, which forms you should fill out and more.

2. Exemptions Are a Quick Way to Lower Your Tax Bill

Did you know that you get a sort of tax discount just for the fact that you are a contributing member of society, that you’re married or that you have children? These discounts are called exemptions, and they reduce the income amount you will be taxed on.

3. A $1,000 Credit Equals $1,000 in Savings

Unlike exemptions in the example above, which lower the amount of income you are taxed on, credits directly reduce the amount of taxes you owe. So if you owe $3,000 in taxes, a credit will be subtracted from that. To put it another way, if you receive a $1,000 credit, that means you will pay $1,000 less in taxes. It’s sweet and simple–a rarity in the tax code.

4. Itemizing Your Deductions Could Save You Thousands

One big decision you’ll have to make is about itemizing, and you have two choices. You could either take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions.

The standard vs. itemized decision is really a question of money and time. For some people, taking the time to itemize could save them hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes. But if you don’t need to itemize, then doing so could take up your time without any financial benefit.

5. Sometimes You Just Need an Accountant

We all love DIY projects. And when it comes to taxes, some people absolutely can do their taxes themselves. But some people need the help of a professional to puzzle through the tax code. That’s OK!

From: LoveMyCreditUnion Rewards