Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What’s the Difference?

Piggy Bank vs Bills
Checking and savings accounts, the most common financial products offered by banks and credit unions, have both similarities and differences. Each allows you to deposit funds and provides government-backed insurance that guarantees the safety of your balance (currently up to $250,000). But the two types of accounts also differ in terms of their intended use, with checking accounts being designed for everyday banking and regular access to cash, while savings accounts are meant primarily for long-term money storage.

Whether you need one or both types of accounts, understanding the features and functions of each will help you determine what best fits your needs.

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What Is Accident Forgiveness Car Insurance?

young-man-calling-for-car-assistance
Insurance companies offer a variety of accident forgiveness programs designed to reassure safe drivers that, on the rare occasion that they do cause an accident, they won’t be penalized for it with increased premiums. Accident forgiveness can benefit insurers and customers alike.

Insurance companies benefit by retaining loyal customers who are the least likely to cause an accident. Drivers benefit from the reassurance that, if you have that rare lapse in judgment, you might be able to avoid the curse of higher rates.

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Full Coverage Car Insurance: What It Is & What You Need

Car Calculator

What is “full coverage” auto insurance? Although the term is commonly used by consumers, it actually doesn’t have an official definition. That means you won’t see a “full coverage” option when shopping for a policy.

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2015’s Cities with the Most & Least Economic Class Diversity

Cities with Most & Least Economic Class Diversity BadgeNo demographic division of Americans is easier to calculate than economic class: Today, you’re either one of the wealthiest 1 percent or the bottom 99. That’s the Economic Policy Institute’s less-than-delicate way of announcing that the rich have gotten richer and the poor even poorer since the Great Recession. How much richer? Between 2009 and 2012, the top 1 percent captured 95 percent of all post-recession income growth.

And while the resulting wealth gap has regressed America to 1920s conditions, the fact that concentrations of affluence or poverty aren’t uniform across the U.S. can actually be a good thing. In an ideal America, no one in any city would live below the poverty line. But the closest we can get to a healthy city is one with a balanced diversity of residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds who can happily coexist.

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2015’s Cities with the Most and Least Ethno-Racial and Linguistic Diversity

Cities with the Most and Least Ethno Racial and Linguistic Diversity BadgeIn many American cities, the grass isn’t just greener — it’s more colorful, thanks to rapid ethnic and racial diversification within the past four decades. High immigration rates, a surge in native births and a rise in the number of interracial partnerships have significantly altered the social fabric — and economic landscape — of America.

Since 2011, more than half of all babies born in the U.S. have belonged to an ethnic or a racial minority. By 2019, the total minority population will have grown to 40.4 percent from 30.9 percent in 2000. But change isn’t confined to the next four years. By its estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that no single ethnic group will comprise the majority in the U.S. for the first time in 2043.

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How to Open a Checking Account: Step-by-Step Guide, Tips & More

how-to-open-a-checking-account

Opening a checking account – also called a “share draft” account at credit unions -- is easier than you might expect. Perhaps the hardest part of the process is determining which type of checking account is suitable for your needs, and we already have you covered there with our quick reference guide and online comparison tool. You can complete your account application online, or if you’d prefer, you can visit a local branch of the bank or credit union you have chosen.

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FDIC & NCUA: How Government Insurance Protects Your Money

NCUA FDIC Insurance

Stashing your money in a sock drawer or under your mattress is not just impractical -- it also isn’t really safe. The wiser choice is to open an account at a bank or credit union that displays the symbols of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). These agencies provide an extra layer of security with insurance backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government in the unlikely event your bank or credit union goes under.

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Rental Reimbursement Coverage: Do You Need It For Your Car?

Girl in the driver's seat

The bad news is you've been in an accident. The good news is that insurance will cover the costs of repairs. But what will you do for transportation while your car is in the shop? If you have rental reimbursement coverage, insurance will pay for the use of a rental car, too.

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Roadside Assistance and Towing Insurance: Tips & More

Cell phone and hood open

Does the thought of changing a flat tire along a busy road fill you with dread? Do you want to protect yourself and other drivers in your household from being stranded by a broken down car? Would you even know where to call to get towing?

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2015 Auto Financing Report

2015 Auto Financing Report BadgeIs it a good time to buy a car? Consumers across the country have no doubt been asking themselves that question in recent months, as an aging fleet of vehicles – the average car is 11.4 years old – drastically suppressed interest rates and improving economic conditions have set the stage for significant buying activity. And that is exactly what we’ve gotten, with 16.5 million cars being sold in 2014.

Whether or not the good times will keep on rolling in 2015 remains to be seen, however. Most forecasts indicate that sales will grow, ending the year with a record 17 million vehicles sold. But when you also consider expectations for rising interest rates as well as current global economic turmoil and depressed oil prices – which simultaneously make consumers feel flush yet unmotivated to buy fuel-efficient vehicles – it’s obvious why opinions are mixed as to the auto industry’s strength in 2015.

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2015’s Best and Worst Cities for Valentine’s Day

Best and Worst Cities for Valentine’s Day BadgeEveryone wants the kind of things that money just can’t buy — except on Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as “The Day Love Costs Money.” This year, Americans plan to spend $18.9 billion on Valentine’s Day-related expenses to show just how fat their hearts — and their wallets — are. That figure sets a new record for the National Retail Federation survey, suggesting that Americans’ love for spending continues to grow.

In 2015, the average lovebird will dish out $142.31 on gifts and merchandise, up from $133.91 in the previous year. Most celebrants will splurge on traditional Valentine’s Day consumables such as candy, flowers and a romantic evening on the town. Other popular V-Day staples include jewelry, apparel and gift cards.

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Rental Car Insurance: Do You Really Need It?

Car Rental

We all dread the counter at the car rental company. Confusion over coverage causes many travelers to either buy expensive, duplicate insurance or to drive away without adequate protection.Checking all the insurance boxes on a rental contractcan easily add $300.00 to the cost of a week’s car rental. But wrecking a rental after declining the insurance would trigger a much bigger bill. Faced with aggressive sales pitches, it pays to know your options before you rent.

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Comprehensive vs. Collision Coverage: What You Need To Know

Car Being Repaired

Comprehensive and collision insurance are complementary forms of coverage that together protect your car against most forms of damage, with each covering distinct types of losses. Here’s a quick description of each:

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2015’s Best & Worst States at Controlling Bullying

Best Worst States at Controlling Bullying BadgeIn the next 7 minutes, a child in the U.S. will be bullied. It may be the son or daughter of someone you know. Worse, it may be your own. Meanwhile, only four out of 100 adults will step in to stop it. And only 11 percent of the child’s peers might do the same. The rest — 85 percent — will do nothing.

Every day in America, more than 160,000 children miss school out of fear of being bullied, according to National Education Association estimates. Bullying takes many forms, ranging from the seemingly innocuous name-calling to the more harmful cyberbullying to severe physical violence. It happens everywhere, at all times to the most vulnerable of kids, especially those who are obese, gay or have a disability.

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2015’s States with the Highest and Lowest Financial Gaps by Race/Ethnicity

States with the Highest and Lowest Financial Gaps by Race Ethnicity BadgeIn America, race colors many things, including our money. Current trends show that a wide financial gulf continues to divide racial groups in the U.S., with Hispanic and black Americans still at the bottom of the economic ladder.

According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, the wealth gap between white and black households stands at its highest level since 1989, when whites were 17 times wealthier. Meanwhile, the gap between white and Hispanic wealth has also peaked since 2001. The net worth of Asians, however, surpasses those of all racial groups.

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Personal Umbrella Insurance: For Extra Liability Coverage

PUP

You already have auto and homeowner’s insurance, but do they protect you enough? A personal umbrella policy (PUP) supplements other forms of insurance with extended coverage limits that start at $1 million. In addition, personal umbrella insurance covers other forms of liability, such as libel and slander, that those policies don’t.

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Non-Owner Car Insurance: Liability Coverage for Car-Free Drivers

Non Owner Car Insurance

Nearly 10 percent of U.S. households do not own a car, according to a 2014 study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. In major cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, a third or more of households are car-free. Are you part of this trend?

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2015’s Best & Worst Cities for Football Fans

Best Worst Cities for Football Fans BadgeFor fans, football is more than just a game — it’s a sacred American tradition. From judging the best Super Bowl ads and perfecting their legendary game-day chili to tailgating with other fans and sporting their team’s colors, fanatics have a lot to be excited about.

Just how crazy are Americans about the game? Of the 168 million adults in the U.S. who follow sports, 49 percent are loyal to football. To put that in perspective, football fans outnumber baseball fans by a solid 30.24 million and basketball fans by 35.28 million.

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2015’s Cities with the Most & Least Efficient Spending on Education

Cities with the Most Least Efficient Spending on Education BadgeAlthough free for students, public education can cost cities big. In fact, education topped state and local government spending at $869.2 billion in 2012, according to the latest finance data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Even so, the quality of education students receive can vary drastically from city to city, but why?

Traditionally, public school budgets have relied on local taxes, disparities in which potentially spur income inequality among students upon reaching adulthood, a Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research study concluded. The authors suggest that school-district quality reflects the amount of tax dollars families can pump into their local economies.

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Types of Car Insurance: What’s Available & What Do I Need?

Types Of Car Insurance

Drivers in almost all states are required to maintain minimum levels of auto insurance coverage. But beyond the minimum, your insurer will offer you many car insurance types. What do they cover, and which ones are right for you?

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