Latest Blog Posts

Get Smart About Debt: 7 Tips to Help You Get Out of Debt NOW

Posted by Lone Star CU on 09/20/2021

If you are dealing with debt, you aren’t alone. The average American household has an average balance of about $6,600 in credit card debt, and that’s not taking into account home, auto, and student loans. Paying off your debt isn’t always easy, but having a plan can go a long way in achieving your financial goals.

Check out these seven tips from our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness that can help you to get out of debt more quickly, so you can save more, plan for the future, and live life financially well.

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Topics: advice for members

Your Three Biggest Digital Banking Questions ... Answered!

Posted by Lone Star CU on 05/24/2021

Last week, Lone Star Credit Union launched our new digital banking platform and we had a hectic few days helping Members re-enroll, get set up, and learn how to use the new system. While it's a big change, the final result is a more flexible and functional way to bank on your phone, desktop, or tablet. 

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Topics: advice for members

I Was Temporarily Furloughed, What Does That Mean for My Taxes?

Posted by Lone Star CU on 03/15/2021

Whether you are furloughed, laid off or fired, it hurts. It’s a blow to your ego, and losing a regular paycheck is a blow to your finances. Fortunately, for many it was temporary, and after the initial weeks and months of the pandemic they were able to go back to work.

If you were furloughed and your paycheck continued during your furlough (lucky you!) then your finances and taxes didn’t change much. But if you had a gap in pay, with a corresponding gap in taxes withheld, what does that mean for your overall tax picture for 2020? 

If you received unemployment benefits during the period you weren’t working, those benefits are taxable, but income taxes weren’t withheld unless you made a special request. As a result, the taxes on those benefits are due when you file your tax return in the spring or will reduce the amount of your tax refund.

Speaking of refunds, the amount of your refund depends on how much was taken out of your paycheck for income taxes compared to the actual taxes on your tax return. If you had more taken out than the actual taxes, you are due a refund of the difference. But during the weeks or months you weren’t receiving a paycheck, nothing was taken out. That will result in a lower refund at 2020 year end.

There is one ray of sunshine in all of this. Our system of income taxes is graduated, with higher rates applying to higher income. If your income dropped for 2020, your tax bracket may have dropped as well, and that could increase your refund a bit. And now that your income is lower, that could make you eligible for tax credits that didn’t apply to you before, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

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Topics: advice for members