Spectra Credit Union logo

Welcome to the Financial Wellness Center

New resources each week for the Spectra Credit Union community.

This Week

A Seven-Day Plan to Cut Spending

A full week’s worth of easy and actionable ways to keep more of your money in your wallet each month – some of these take only minutes, but result in significant savings over time.
Explore Articles

Featured Topics

Explore topics and videos from the Spectra Credit Union team.

Tools and Resources

Try our calculators, assessments and data tools.

Financial Wellness
Compare your financial health with a national sample.

College Explorer
Details on thousands of insitiutions across the country.

Mortgage Calculator
Quickly estimate monthly payments and total cost.

Identity Theft Prevention
How well do you protect your financial identity?

Financial Wellness Courses

Make real progress in less than an hour.

3D dollar signs filling the image.

Paying for College

40 minutes

Get Started

The basics of financial aid, including the types of aid, applying for aid, borrower responsibilities, and repayment strategies.

  • Financial Aid Introduction
    Whether you're considering higher education for yourself or starting to plan for the education of your kids, understanding the financial aid process is the first step to meeting your education goals.
  • Types of Financial Aid
    The main types of financial aid are education loans, grants and scholarships, work-study, and service programs.
  • Creating an Aid Strategy
    Considerations when planning to pay for school, including school choice, employment options, accounting strategies, and the importance of borrowing wisely.
  • Understanding Financial Need
    Some aid is based on financial need and some is not. What exactly is "financial need?"
  • Applying for Aid
    The aid application process, including descriptions of the FAFSA and Profile forms.
  • Education Loans
    A description of the main types of student loans, including government loans, consolidation loans, and private loans.
  • Choosing the Right Loan
    Questions every student should be able to answer before taking on a student loan.
  • Selecting a Private Loan Lender
    When federal loans are not enough, private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and non-profit lenders can help to fill the gap.
  • The Master Promissory Note
    An introduction to the agreement that specifies your rights and responsibilities when accepting a student loan.
  • Repaying College Debt
    A look at common repayment plans, including how different plans affect your monthly payment and overall cost.
  • Borrowing Wisely
    Making smart choices about student loans, including a description of the impact of loan capitalization.
  • Independent Student Status
    Understanding your financial aid dependency status, including a discussion of what to do if the parents of dependent students refuse to help them pay for college.
  • Dealing with Too Little Aid
    Why some students find themselves with too little aid and what can be done to make ends meet.
Kid on a bike heading down a long road. Word START is next to boy.

Financial Basics

26 minutes

Get Started

Learn the basics of managing money, including financial health, budgeting, managing credit, plus more.

  • Financial Health
    The concept of financial health is the foundation of any financial plan.
  • Introduction to Budgeting
    Why budgeting is important, no matter how much money you earn.
  • Choosing a Bank or Credit Union
    Key factors to consider when choosing a financial services provider.
  • Credit vs. Debit Cards
    Credit and debit cards each have pros and cons. When should you use each?
  • Credit Reports and Scores
    Credit reports and scores determine the rates you pay when borrowing and can affect your ability to get certain jobs.
  • Managing Accounts
    Account management strategies for checking and savings.
  • Building Credit
    Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.
  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Financial Goals Exercise
    A goal-setting exercise that includes weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goals.
Lower part of man's leg with one foot about to step on upwards facing tacks.

Financial Trouble

28 minutes

Get Started

What to do if you're in financial trouble, from creating a debt reduction plan to your rights when dealing with debt collectors.

  • Spotting the Signs of Financial Trouble
    Many Americans find themselves in debt, but for some, debt turns into a serious problem with lasting consequences.
  • Dealing with Financial Trouble
    If you ever find yourself experiencing financial trouble, there are steps you can take to get back on track and to minimize the damage to your credit.
  • Debt Reduction Plans
    Whether you do it yourself or work with a credit counselor, creating a debt reduction plan is an important first step for those with financial trouble.
  • Credit Counseling
    The role of credit counseling organizations and how a debt management plan works to restore credit over time.
  • Choosing a Credit Counselor
    The best way to find a good credit counselor is to know what questions to ask.
  • Credit Repair Scams
    There's a big difference between a non-profit credit counseling service and a credit repair scam. Learn how to tell the difference.
  • Debt Collection
    Your rights and responsibilities when dealing with debt collectors.
  • Debt Collection and Legal Actions
    What to expect if you are sued over debt.
  • Understanding Bankruptcy
    The types of bankruptcy and why bankruptcy should be used only as a last resort.
  • Alternative Financial Services
    Understanding why payday loans, check cashing services, and similar services may be bad deals for consumers.
Dad tossing baby in air.

Having a Baby

26 minutes

Get Started

A look at the financial challenges of raising a child.

  • Introduction
    Having a baby is not just a family decision, it's a financial decision too.
  • Babies and Budgets
    How to get your finances in shape before a baby arrives, including a budget review, paying down debt, making sure you're getting the best on any long-term debt, and creating an emergency fund.
  • Paying for the Baby Years
    The non-childcare costs you can expect when having a baby, from cribs to health insurance.
  • Managing Risks
    Life is filled with unexpected events. Learn how to ensure the financial security of your child in the worst case scenario.
  • Children and Taxes
    A review of the tax benefits that can help you manage the expenses incurred with children.
  • Childcare Choices
    An overview of different childcare choices and the financial implications of each.
  • Growing Up - Childhood and Beyond
    A look at the additional costs of raising a child beyond the first few years including the indirect costs.

About Spectra Credit Union

Spectra is the financial partner you can trust. Founded in 1946 to serve the Naval Research Lab, Spectra is now a strong $500 million financial institution serving a wide field of members. We focus on delivering innovative service-oriented solutions that enable our members to live financially strong lives.

 Visit Us Online