Advice & Resources
Following is a wealth of information to help you manage your money more effectively. With free access to budgeting software, financial counseling and other resources, Palmetto Citizens is dedicated to ensuring you have all the necessary tools to achieve your financial goals.
Use this Table of Contents to find your answers:
- Managing Your Checking Account
- Accel: No Cost Financial Counseling
- Budgeting: Free Online Tools
- Savings Calculators
- Debt Management
With a Palmetto Citizens Classic Checking Account, there are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees. PC NetExpress is an easy way to access and monitor your account online and verify debits and credits to your account.
CheckRight is a web-based checking account management education module. This is a great tool for those looking to open their first checking account or who have had difficulties with handling an account in the past. CheckRight will help you learn to manage a checking account, maintain a check register, create a spending plan and more. Once you have read through the chapters, you will be directed to a quiz that will test your knowledge on checking accounts. You will be able to view your results and send them to Palmetto Citizens via e-mail (optional). This program is offered through Accel®, our no-cost members financial counseling program.
Tips for wise checking account management:
- Balance your checkbook regularly.
- Review your checking account statement every month.
- Get current account information by using the telephone, internet or ATM.
- Know the fees associated with your accounts.
- Use direct deposit. Avoid mail delays or lost and stolen checks by having your paycheck or federal payments deposited electronically.
- Never write a check and count on the "float" time. In this electronic age, a check can clear the same day you write it.
For more information on managing your checking account, visit the Checking Account Coach.
Checking Account Reconciliation Form - use this form to assist you in balancing your checking account.
Financial Counseling Sessions: Financial counselors are available Monday – Thursday 8am - 10pm., Friday 8am - 7pm, & Saturday 9am - 1pm. Counseling appointments are focused entirely on your needs. All sessions include a detailed worksheet and action plan.
Credit Report Counseling: Accel also provides credit report counseling to assist you in understanding your credit report. You can get a free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every 12 months. The official web site, www.annualcreditreport.com, is the ONLY authorized online source for you to get a free credit report under federal law. Some other sites claim to offer "free" reports but may charge you for another product if you accept the "free" report. You may also receive your free credit report by calling 1-877-322-8228. Once you have your report, you can review it with an Accel counselor.
Creating a budget and sticking to it is the easiest way to ensure you're on track to reach your financial goals. Use the free tools available in our online banking to build a budget and track your spending. Transactions can be categorized to see where your money is being spent and to help you budget. To see a demonstration video of these free tools, visit our Account Access page.
Regularly check your budget to make sure you are on track and make adjustments as your financial situation changes. As a guide to help you get started, it is recommended that you allot the following percentages of your monthly take home pay to these categories:
|Category||% Of Monthly Take-Home Pay|
|Mortgage / Rent||25-35%|
(auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, etc.)
Aside from our online banking tools, you also can also download Budget$mart. This free, easy-to-use budgeting software can help you establish a budget, track spending and view tips to avoid overspending.
Throughout the year, we will offer our Budgeting & Saving to Achieve evening financial education seminar to our members. Check our Upcoming Events page to check for our next financial education seminar.
Use the calculators below to help better understand your savings and help plan for future financial goals.
- Savings Goal Calculator - Use this calculator to figure how much your current savings will grow and how much more you'll need to save each month in order to achieve a given savings goal within a given number of years.
- Certificate Maturity Calculator - Use this calculator to determine how much your term certificate will be worth at maturity.
- Certificate Laddering Calculator - Use this calculator to see the benefits of investing in a series of Term Certificates with different maturities, also called a Certificate Ladder.
- Net Worth Calculator - Use this calculator to evaluate your current financial situation.
- College Savings Calculator - Use this calculator to get an idea of how much you'll need to save each month for college tuition.
- Millionaire Time Calculator - This calculator will compute the number of years it will take for you to save up one million dollars.
Palmetto Citizens is here to help if you are in need of relief from your growing debt. We will work with you to find the solutions that are right for your financial situation. In addition to the no cost financial counseling service through Accel, we offer several products and services to help put you on the path to financial freedom.
|Category||% importance of your score|
|Length of Credit History||15%|
|Types of Credit Used||10%|
Use the calculators below to help analyze your current debt and learn how you can manage it more effectively. Use the Credit Management Coach to learn more about debt management.
- SavvyMoney Checkup - This free and completely anonymous tool will provide a detailed analysis of your debt to income ratio, proposed payment schedule, personal action plans and more.
- Debt Ratio Calculator - Use this calculator to determine your debt to income ratio.
- Debt Calculator - Calculate the amount of time it will take to pay off a given debt.
- Debt Payoff Goal Calculator - This calculator will compute how much you will need to pay each month in order to pay off a given debt by a selected payoff-goal date.
- Debt Consolidation Calculator (Home Equity Loan) - This calculator will show you how consolidating your high interest debt into one lower interest loan can reduce your monthly payments and provide you with income tax savings at the same time.
- Accelerated Payoff Calculator - This calculator will show you how much time and money you could save by paying off your debts using the "rollover" method.
- Fixed Vs. Minimum Payment Calculator - This calculator will show you how much interest you will end up saving if you start making fixed payments on your credit card rather than the prescribed minimum payments.