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Guest Post: Buying Your First Car by Laura Edgar of NerdWallet

Buying Your First Car: 5 Tips for Success Laura Edgar is a senior writer for NerdWallet.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping you make smart financial decisions. Shopping for your first car is definitely exciting, but it can also be stressful. Ease the burden on yourself by planning ahead. You’ll save yourself time and money, and possibly avert disaster. These five tips will help make your car buying experience a positive one. 1. Know your budget Cars are expensive, so if you’re like most people, you’ll probably need an auto loan. This is especially true if you’re buying a new car. You’ll need at least a few thousand dollars in your savings account for the down payment, and then another several hundred each month for your loan payments. If you’ve got a few thousand dollars saved up, you may be able to buy a used car without borrowing money. Even if you can afford a new car, don’t write-off the possibility of a used car just yet. According to Kelley Blue Book,

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Money Smart Kid 2013 Essay Contest

In support of Money Smart Week® 2013, Rock County sponsors are presenting a Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. The winners will receive one of four scholarships. For all of the details, go to www.MoneySmartWeek.org or download the application here.

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SCAM Alert

It has come to our attention that some members received a scam phone call this past Saturday afternoon and evening (3/16/13) reporting that their debit and credit cards were deactivated or suspended. Members were then prompted to enter their card number in an automated system. Please remember that Blackhawk will never ask you for this kind of information over the phone or online. If you received this call and entered your card information, please contact us immediately at 608.755.6065 and we will stop your card and order you a new one. If you received the call and hung up without entering any information, your card is safe.

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Federal Government Benefits Going Electronic

If you apply for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you must receive your payments electronically. If you did not sign up for electronic payments when you applied for benefits, we strongly urge you to do it now. If you are receiving payment by check, you have until March 1, 2013 to switch to a form of electronic payment. If you do not select a form of electronic payment by March 1, 2013, we will continue to pay you by check, but Treasury will contact you about complying with the requirement. For more information regarding switching to an electronic payment by March 1, 2013, refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Go Direct Website at http://godirect.org/ or call the helpline at 1-800-333-1795. It's safe, quick and convenient. If you are already receiving benefits, you can obtain a password and start or change Direct Deposit online. You can also sign up at your bank, credit union or savings and loan. Or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY

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SCAM Alert

Better Business Bureau Warns Wisconsin Businesses About Official Looking Letter from "Corporate Records Service" The Wisconsin BBB is warning businesses throughout the state about a letter being sent out, requesting information and payment from a company called "Corporate Records Service" asking business owners to fill out an "Annual Minutes Form" and submit a fee of $125 to a Madison mail box. Businesses are not required by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI) or any other state agency to complete the form. According to WDFI, the letter includes information about companies that is available on the DFI website, such as corporation number and incorporation date, that make it appear to be a legitimate request. WDFI says, "Business owners should not be hoodwinked into giving out potentially confidential information and paying an unnecessary fee." Corporate Records Service is not registered with WDFI. The form states that Corporate Records Service is offering to

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

Important Notice: Credit Card “Checkout Fee” by Retailers New fees may be coming to a cash register near you. You could start seeing a new retailer surcharge or “checkout fee” when you use your credit card to make purchases. In July 2012, a settlement was reached between retailers, nine major banks, and Visa and MasterCard over electronic payment costs. Starting January 27, 2013, as part of the settlement, retailers now have the option to charge a “checkout fee” when you use your credit card. This is not a charge from Blackhawk Community Credit Union and does not apply to using your debit card to make purchases (even when you select "credit" at checkout). To learn more, visit www.knowyourcard.org call us at 608-755-6065.

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Calling for Board of Director Nominees

There are two openings on Blackhawk's Board of Directors and one nominee with incumbent, Tom Brien. To petition to become a nominee, please email our Executive Assistant, Kim Jordan at kjordan@bhccu.org. All petitions must be submitted by March 1, 2013.

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Best Teen Account

NerdWallet is an unbiased consumer finance website committed to sharing the best banking deals with consumers. They regularly select their top picks for the best teen savings accounts in the country. Blackhawk’s Teen Money Maker Account made the list! Check out the story here. Stop in to open a Money Maker Account and our friendly Member Advisors will help your teen start regularly saving today.

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