Truliant rebrands, relocates Greenville Member Financial Center

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Written by Super User
Truliant rebrands, relocates Greenville Member Financial Center

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (February 10, 2016) Truliant Federal Credit Union held a ribbon cutting today to celebrate the opening of the credit union's newest full-service branch location in South Carolina's Greenville community.

The 2,500-square-foot Greenville, SC location is just off I-85 Exit 54 at 3621 Pelham Road, next to the Super BI-LO. It replaces the credit union's previous location at 925 Old Airport Road. The 64-year-old credit union has had a presence in Greenville for over two decades and has now moved to a more prominent location for enhanced member convenience and greater visibility.

The Member Financial Center reflects Truliant's new Life Improved brand with increased amenities, an open design, Wi-Fi access and teller pods that remove barriers to improve member interactions with the branch staff. The Greenville, SC branch also includes a walk-up Smart ATM that distributes multi-denominational amounts and accepts deposits without envelopes.

In addition, the Greenville, SC location is Truliant's first in a series of branch relocations for greater access. Truliant will relocate another Member Financial Center in summer 2016 and recently finished renovating another Truliant location. Truliant has a total of 30 branches.

"Our new location is more convenient and is designed with special features that allow our carefully selected and trained staff to interact with our members," said Marc Schaefer, president and CEO of Truliant.

"The Member Financial Center is attractive and exciting, but the most important feature is the guidance we will provide that will allow our members to make better financial decisions to improve their lives"

The location is being managed by Neil Garrett. He will lead efforts to grow membership, help member-owners accomplish financial goals and cultivate strong relationships with existing and future business partners, with a goal of providing greater access to a better banking alternative in Greenville.

Truliant currently has over 3,500 member-owners in Greenville and offers several ways to become a member. Residents may join who live, work, worship or attend school in a defined nearby community area or through partner associations. Many Greenville residents are eligible to join Truliant through their employer. Among Truliant's largest employer partners are: Infor, Dennys, Coca-Cola, Smith Moore, ITG, JPS Industries - in Anderson and Slater - and Mount Vernon Mills.

In the last two years, Truliant has opened nine new Member Financial Centers in North Carolina. In 2015, Truliant launched a new website to enhance its members' experience that features intuitive functionality; a design that adjusts to smart TVs, personal computers, tablets and mobile devices; and interactive online calculators and decision tools that provide guidance to improve members' lives.

Truliant offers free interest checking, a variety of low-rate options on auto loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, mortgages and other loans. It also provides No-Cost Credit Reviews for new and existing members to provide guidance on how they can save money and reach their goals.

"At Truliant, you're not a number. We know that you have dreams and goals and we want to help you achieve them. We're excited about growing our membership in Greenville. I'm proud to be a part of that," Garrett said.

About Truliant Federal Credit Union

Truliant Federal Credit Union is a mission-driven, not-for-profit financial institution that promises to always have its member-owners' best interest at heart by improving their lives through financial guidance and affordable financial services. Truliant was chartered in 1952 and now serves more than 190,000 members. It currently has 30 Member Financial Centers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. For more information on Truliant Federal Credit Union, visit www.truliant.org.

Contacts

Heath Combs
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(o) 336.293.2054
(c) 336.442.5736



3 Tax Breaks Homeowners Won't Want to Miss

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Written by Super User


Photo: StockMonkeys.com

Congratulations -- you bought a home! You may not be looking forward to having to pay property taxes and home insurance, among other things, but being a homeowner offers plenty of financial upside, too, such as through some tax benefits. Here are several key deductions -- and tax credits -- that may save you a bundle come tax time.

Selena Maranjian: The homeowner-related tax deduction thats perhaps most familiar to all is the deduction of home mortgage interest. If you have taken out a loan to buy a house, condo, mobile home, or even a boat or recreational vehicle, you may be able to deduct the interest you pay. It can even work for home equity loans or lines of credit -- as long as the debt is secured by your primary or secondary home (and not a third or other home).

There are rules related to this, of course. For starters, you can only access the deduction if you forego taking the standard deduction (which is $6,300 for single filers in 2015 and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly) and instead itemize your deductions. (That can actually make it not worth your while if you dont have sufficient deductions to outweigh the standard one.) The mortgaged property must be one in which you have an ownership interest. You cant help a child with their mortgage payments and then deduct the interest you pay. Youll need to have records documenting the mortgage interest you paid during the tax year -- youll likely get such documentation from your lender.

Know that the days of deductibility for home mortgage interest may be numbered, though. Some in Washington want to get rid of it in order to boost tax revenue. Others simply decry it as unfair, giving a clear benefit to mortgage-holding Americans and not to renters -- and benefiting high-earners and buyers of pricey property more than low-income Americans and those buying modest homes. Indeed, law professor A. Mechele Dickerson at the University of Texas has noted, The mortgage interest deduction is not used by most taxpayers. Nearly two-thirds of all US households take the standard deduction instead of itemizing their deductions and only a quarter of all taxpayers deduct mortgage interest.

Still, you may be among those who can profit from the deduction. If you think you are, read up on its other rules. As an example, being in the 25% tax bracket and able to deduct $10,000 of interest can save you a sizable $2,500!



LendingTree Inc (New) (TREE) Jumps 6.67% on February 10

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Monday, 22 February 2016
Written by Super User

LendingTree Inc (New) (TREE) was among the biggest gainers on the Russell 2000 for Wednesday February 10 as the stock popped 6.67% to $58.65, representing a gain of $3.6695 per share. Some 457,334 shares traded hands on 4,297 trades, compared with an average daily volume of 592,574 shares out of a total float of 11.54 million. The stock opened at $55.83 and traded with an intraday range of $60.06 to $55.09.

After todays gains, LendingTree Inc (New) reached a market cap of $676.83 million. LendingTree Inc (New) has had a trading range between $139.59 and $39.98 over the last year, and it had a 50-day SMA of $83.53 and a 200-day SMA of $89.12.

The stock has a P/E Ratio of 21.1.

LendingTree Inc is an online lender exchange that connects consumers with lenders, and provides online tools to aid consumers in their financial divisions. It provides services such as mortgages, refinance loans, home equity loans, and among others.

LendingTree Inc (New) is based out of Charlotte, NC and has some 218 employees. Its CEO is Douglas R. Lebda.

For a complete fundamental analysis analysis of LendingTree Inc (New), check out Equities.com's Stock Valuation Analysis report for TREE. To see the latest independent stock recommendations from Equities.com's analysts, visit our Research section.

The Russell 2000 is one of the leading indices tracking small-cap companies in the United States. Its maintained by Russell Investments, an industry leader in creating and maintaining indices, and consists of the smallest 2000 stocks from the broader Russell 3000 index.

Russells indices differ from traditional indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) or SP 500, whose members are selected by committee, because they base membership entirely on an objective, rules based methodology. The 3,000 largest companies by market cap make up the Russell 3000, with the 2,000 smaller companies making up the Russell 2000. Its a simple approach that gives a broad, unbiased look at the small-cap market as a whole.

For more news on the financial markets, go to Equities.com. Also, learn more about our independent proprietary equity research reports and our robust do-it-yourself Stock Valuation Analysis reports in our Research section.

All data provided by QuoteMedia and was accurate as of 4:30PM ET.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer



5 Ways the Rich Pay Less in Taxes (And How You Can, Too)

Category: Home Equity Loans
Published: Thursday, 11 February 2016
Written by Super User

Source: seniorliving.org

Looking for ways to cut your tax bill at tax time? It might pay to think like the rich. While you may not be able to take advantage of every tax deduction they do, you can still follow along in their footsteps when it comes to these tax saving moves. 

Mortgage interest deduction
One of the best deductions available to income earners is the mortgage interest deduction, yet many moderate- to middle-income families fail to make the most of it.

Mortgage interest on a first and a second home is usually tax deductible, as is interest on home equity lines of credit and home equity loans, up to certain limits. Because of this, maximizing the amount of money owed on these forms of debt and minimizing how much is owed on non-deductible debt, such as credit cards, can mean more money in your pocket at tax time.

Retirement plans
Pretax retirement accounts are available to many working Americans, yet many people fail to take advantage of them. Some people avoid contributing to these plans altogether, while others fail to sock-away the maximum amount allowed every year.

Dont make that mistake.

In 2016, up to $18,000 can be contributed to a 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan, and another $6,000 catch-up contribution can also be made if a plan participant is over 50 years old.

People with a retirement plan at work can also make a tax-deductible $5,500 contribution to a traditional IRA (plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution if theyre over 50), up to certain income limits. For a couple filing jointly, a traditional IRA is fully deductible up to $98,000 in income.

Make more than that? Maybe its time to consider a Roth IRA. Roth IRAs dont give you a tax break up front, but withdrawals in retirement can be tax free, and that could save money on your future tax bills.

Finally, if youre self-employed, take the time to consider the pros and cons of an SEP-IRA plan. In 2016, business owners can contribute the lesser of 25% of their compensation or $53,000 to an SEP-IRA --  thats a big tax break.

Use health savings or flex spending accounts
Another great way to save money at tax time is to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs, such as co-pays, with pre-tax money set aside in a health savings account or a flex spending account.

Health savings accounts can be used with high-deductible health insurance plans, and in 2016, a family can contribute up to $6,750 in one. However, because health savings accounts dont work with every health insurance plan, make sure you have a qualifying plan before setting one of these plans up.

Employer-offered flex spending accounts can be another good option for people who want to pay for healthcare costs with pre-tax money. In 2016, up to $2,550 can be contributed to an FSA that can be used to cover healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. However, FSAs do have one important catch. They are use-it-or-lose-it plans, so carefully calculate potential expenses beforehand so that you dont end up over-contributing to them.

Plan ahead for college
Although money contributed to 529 plans, or qualified tuition plans, isnt tax deductible, that money can grow tax free if its used to pay for future college expenses.

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans that allow people to buy credits for future tuition, and college savings plans that allow people to invest money that can be used to pay future college expenses.

The amount of money that can be contributed to a 529 plan varies, but limits can be as high as $200,000. Contributions above annual gifting limits can trigger a gift tax, so consult your accountant and plan accordingly. 

Interested in sending your child to a private elementary or secondary school? A Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) may also be a good option if your income is below limits. Like 529 plans, contributions to ESAs arent deductible, but accounts can grow tax free and up to $2,000 can be aside annually per beneficiary. Generally, individuals can contribute to ESAs if their income is below $110,000, and couples filing jointly can contribute if their income is below $220,000. 

Coverdell ESAs can also be used to pay for college, but they arent transferable and they must be used by the time the beneficiary turns 30.