- Financial awareness is as important as saving for a rainy day fund
- Avoid losing hundreds of dollars to high banking fees
- Save thousands of dollars in credit card debt interest repayments using AI
For the past two years, finances have taken a front seat in many of our lives. Under-preparedness, a lackadaisical attitude towards managing money, and carelessly swiping credit cards all came down hard when over 40 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Many resorted to freelancing while others got deeper into debt or broke their retirement egg nest. Although many people were able to reflect on their years of financial and lifestyle choices and make improvements during this time, others still have a long way to go before they can save enough every month without worrying.
If you need some breathing space and want to rebuild your egg nest or save for a rainy day fund, here are 3 apps you might want to check out.
Oxygen: Save on High Banking Fees
In case you haven’t done the math, you could actually be losing hundreds of dollars in banking fees every year just by having a traditional bank account. Forbes said that it could cost $8.34 every month plus average out-of-network ATM fees of $2.35 and unbelievable overdraft fees of $29.50. Furthermore, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Regulation D states that banks can levy a $15 fee for savings withdrawals exceeding six times a month. When combined, these fees add up to a significant figure, especially if you are use these banking features frequently.
If you want to avoid these fees, a digital banking app called Oxygen is here to help. Facilitated by the Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC, Oxygen offers a wide array of banking services, including the option to get your monthly salary two days earlier than usual. Just open a checking account with them (without any paperwork whatsoever, by the way), fill in the direct deposit form on the app, submit it to your employer, and send the payment file to Oxygen.
If you opt for a checking account on Oxygen, you could also benefit from a savings account that offers to grow your idle money at a high-interest rate of 0.25 percent compared to the 0.06 percent offered by other banks.
To experience no-fee ATM withdrawals, you may also avail of the Oxygen Visa Debit Card, which can be used at 50,000 Allpoint ATMs, including those in retail stores like Circle, Kroger, and Walgreen.
Tally: Save Big on High-Interest Credit Card Payments
Credit card debt has been rising by billions of dollars every quarter, and high-interest rates north of 20 percent make it almost impossible for financially challenged people to make timely payments or pay more than the monthly minimums.
Thousands of dollars in credit card debt plus accruing interest could stretch this vicious cycle for years, and you could end up shelling out much more than you actually borrowed. In turn, this could lead to barely having any savings left for your retirement. You might not be able to fulfill any of your other financial goals, either.
Aside from reevaluating your budget and prioritizing high-interest credit cards with larger balances, a finance app called Tally could help soothe your debt repayment journey, as well.
For those with a credit score of 660 and above, Tally offers a low-interest line of credit starting at 7.9 percent (this will depend on your credit score). Upon acceptance, Tally will then transfer all of your credit card balances to your new line of credit and make monthly payments to your creditors on your behalf. All you have to do is pay Tally one consolidated bill each month. This will save you a lot of money on interest from your next billing cycle.
Tally’s Late Fees Protection program ensures that even if you are not able to repay by the payment deadline, Tally will automatically pay for you so that you don’t get charged by steep credit card late payment fees or open up scope for negative credit score impact.
Credit Karma: Keep Close Watch on Your Credit Score
A poor credit score could affect your chances of securing loans, mortgages, and credit cards. It could also make you look like a financially high-risk individual in the eyes of employers and landlords.
Credit scores usually dip when you max out your credit cards, apply for loans too often, or frequently miss payment deadlines. These instances pop up on your credit report and lenders may get the details from credit bureaus. What’s more, these entries could taint your credit report for years.
As if that wasn’t enough, cases of identity fraud have also increased a lot. People with ill intent are stealing confidential information such as Social Security numbers and bank account details to impersonate innocent people and open loan and credit card accounts in their names. In 2021, people lost an estimated $721 billion compared to $502.5 billion in 2019.
Because of this, you should check your credit report at least once a month. There, you can see the details of all of your active/closed loan accounts, late payment charges, credit limits, and credit utilization, as well as keep an eye out for unrecognizable new loan accounts or changes in your personal information.
The Credit Karma app offers credit monitoring services that will retrieve your credit report from Equifax and TransUnion for free every month and alert you of any new hard loan inquiries, loan accounts, changes in personal information, and credit limit changes to your credit report. If needed, the app will also help you dispute incorrect or erroneous credit entries with the concerned credit bureau directly through the app.