What Do I Get?

Get smart about money today, and life will be good.  Simple as that—and Ignition is here to help.  Why?  Because money is a big world.  Really big.  Understanding everything from checking accounts to loans to credit reports and more is your key to getting where you want to go in life. 

We’ve teamed up with experts at the National Endowment for Financial Education to give you everything you need to know to get smart about money today.  Check it out—here are a few important topics to get you started:

Your Money
How does a savings account work? How do I use a checking account, debit card and credit card?  Learn More.

Why do I need a budget? How do I create one?  See for yourself.

Good Debt, Bad Debt
What is credit? How do I use credit wisely?  Find Out.

What is investing? What's the advantage of investing early?   Learn More.

Know the Language

The world of money has its own language. So get fluent—today. Here are some key terms to know.

Account   A fund established at your credit union in your name, with which you can withdraw or deposit money.  An account keeps a complete record of all your financial transactions.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)   The total yearly cost of a loan, expressed as a percentage.  APR calculates interest, fees and any other charges such as insurance.
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)   What you earn (total dividends, expressed as a percentage) on your deposits during one year.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)   A machine at a credit union branch or other location that lets you do basic banking transactions, such as get cash, check your balance, or even make a deposit.  Because the machine is automatic, it is often available even when the credit union is closed.
Balance   The amount of money in an account at a specific time.  Also often called an “account balance.”
Budget   A detailed plan of how much money you should save and spend each month, based on your income, in order to meet your needs and goals.
Certificate Accounts   A special type of savings account  (sometimes called Certificates of Deposit at other financial institutions) offering higher dividend rates, in exchange for depositing your money for a fixed amount of time.
Checking Account   An account that lets you write checks to make payments using the money deposited in the account.
Credit Card   A plastic card that lets you pay for items using a temporary loan.  The card is swiped through a special machine at a store, and the amount of the purchase is added to the loan balance.  At the end of each month, the user is expected to make a payment toward the balance of the loan.
Credit Score   A standardized measurement of your credit history, included in your credit report.  Your credit score analyzes your history making loan payments on time, responsibly using credit cards, renting a home, and more, and decides if you can be trusted to pay back a loan.
Debit Card   A plastic card that lets you make purchases electronically using your checking account.  Instead of writing a check, you swipe your debit card through a special machine, and the amount of the purchase comes out of your account right away.
Debt   The amount of money a person owes to other people or companies.  
Deposit   Money you put into your credit union account.
Direct Deposit   A service that lets your employer deposit your paycheck directly into your credit union account--without giving you a paper check.
Disclosure   The “fine print” details of an account or loan, outlining complete details, risks and more.
Dividends   The rate (as a percentage of your balance) a credit union pays you for depositing your money. Sometimes called interest at other financial institutions.
Down Payment   A small part of the purchase price (usually of a car or home), paid in cash up front.  A down payment lowers the amount of the loan or mortgage needed to make the purchase.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)   An account used to save money for retirement.  People with IRA’s set aside money each year, and cannot withdraw the money until they are age 59 1/2 or older.
Interest   The fee (as a percentage of your balance) charged by a credit union to borrow money. 
Loan   Money borrowed by a member from a credit union.  The borrower agrees to repay the money, plus interest, over the course of a specific timeframe.  
Mortgage   A loan used to purchase real estate (a home), with specific terms, payment periods and interest rates.
Online Banking   A web-based system that lets you perform certain transactions on your credit union accounts over the Internet. 
Overdraft   A negative account balance, caused by having withdrawals greater than your deposits.
Savings Account   An account at a credit union that pays dividends, but cannot be accessed by writing checks.
Terms   The specific conditions and details required to establish a credit union account or loan.
Withdrawal   Money you remove from your credit union account.