Identifying Phishers, Scammers and the “Alleged Debt Collectors”

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Hackers and scammers have honed their craft to the level that even the savviest become victims.  From spoofed email accounts from well-known banks and credit card institutions alerting individuals their account has been compromised to robo-phone dialers with local numbers who appear to know quite a bit about you – the situation with ID theft and social engineering is only going to get worse.

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4 things to check when hiring new employees

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With the unemployment rate at an all-time low and more jobs available than qualified people, hiring managers are having a hard time filling open positions with qualified candidates. With the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), employers can use technology to weed through hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications to try to find the best candidates in the quickest and easiest way. Continue reading “4 things to check when hiring new employees”

5 Home Repairs you should NEVER do yourself

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In the era of DIY home repair and upgrades, it’s not surprising that homeowners are tackling more and more projects outside of their comfort zone. Not only do they save money (hopefully) but they learn new skills along the way. While there is a long list of home repairs that can easily be tackled by your average homeowner, some complicated tasks should be left to the professionals. Faulty work could lead to bigger problems, safety issues, and your home not being up to the current building code – in addition to costing you more money in the long run. Continue reading “5 Home Repairs you should NEVER do yourself”

Fall maintenance tips to keep your home in tip top shape

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Fall is the perfect time to give your home and yard a little TLC before Old Man Winter moves back in! We’ve compiled a simple, and easy DIY checklist that will make your Winter more pleasant and hopefully prevent any surprises from popping up! Even if you choose to hire a repair person to tackle these To-Do’s it’s still a good investment and can save you from potential headaches down the road – and some big expenses. Continue reading “Fall maintenance tips to keep your home in tip top shape”

Card limits and why you can’t spend all your money whenever you want to

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Everyone knows that credit cards come with a credit limit, the maximum amount of money you can charge on the card. However, what’s not as widely known, is that credit card issuers don’t intend for you to max out your credit card by charging up to the credit limit. As you come closer to your credit limit, it can start to have negative effects on your credit score.  Love it or not, much depends on the almighty credit score – from buying a home to getting a good rate on insurance and even employment for some professions. Continue reading “Card limits and why you can’t spend all your money whenever you want to”

Your Credit Score – Why you should be checking it often before applying for credit

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If you are like most people, you typically don’t think about your credit score until you are getting ready to apply for credit. But more and more places are using your credit background to determine if you are an ideal and responsible candidate. Employers, landlords, and even insurance companies are now using your credit score to qualify you. On many levels, you are defined by your credit score – like it or not! Continue reading “Your Credit Score – Why you should be checking it often before applying for credit”

Emergency funds and how much is enough for your family

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Emergency fund, rainy day fund, whatever you call it, it’s important to know how much money you should have set aside in case something unexpected happens. While it may be somewhat of a moving target – the golden rule has always been to have at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses saved up – 6 months especially if you have a family. Continue reading “Emergency funds and how much is enough for your family”

How to Create a Personal Budget You Can Live With

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Learning how to make your finances work for you should be a priority for everyone. If you’re reading this you probably care about your finances. At Litchfield Bancorp, we feel so strongly about helping you make your money work for you, that we put together some key points to assist with creating your very own budget. Use your discretion and be honest with yourself about your spending habits as you read. Continue reading “How to Create a Personal Budget You Can Live With”

Mortgages 101 – Let’s get started!

If you are considering buying a house, especially if it is your first time, you will want to follow these basic guidelines to save yourself headaches, confusion, and perhaps a good deal of money:

  1. Know Your Credit Rating

How much money you can borrow and how much it will cost you will depend heavenly on your credit score.  Contact one of the three major credit agencies, Experian, TransUnion or Equifax to get a complete credit report.  A print out of this, especially if it is good, will be a useful document to have.  If there are mistakes in your credit record each of these agencies have ways for you to dispute or amend that info.  You may also use one of the many online services that provide your credit info to you, but often this is a simple score without much detail.

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