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Personal Finance Uncategorized

Getting Your Tax Refund Faster

If you are like most people, tax refunds are already on your mind. After the financial hit we will take during the Holiday, extra money is always on point! While we have no idea if the IRS will be on time or delayed this year, it’s never too early to get yourself organized to get your money back quicker. Here are some tips to help you get your tax refund back as fast as possible.

Organization is your Friend!

Get your information organized! Did you get married? Change your name? Maybe you moved to another state or had a job change? These are all critical components where having the information updated and available will help you with a smooth and straightforward tax return.

Own a Business?

If you own a business, large or small, make sure you record all your business-related expenses. The more time you spend tracking down what you paid and where it was spent puts more time between you and that sweet tax refund. If you run your business from home, make sure you keep a record of all your utility expenses – they are generally deductible up to 50%, depending on current IRS tax laws.

Own a Home?

If you own a home, you are required to pay deductible property taxes. Whether you pay the taxes directly or a mortgage company pays on your behalf, be familiar with where to find your yearly tax bill so that you can deduct it from your taxes. If you have a mortgage on your home, know where to see how much interest you paid in the taxable year. This is also deductible, and having that information handy when you file your taxes makes the completion process much more effortless.

Direct Deposit is a MUST

Opt to get your tax refund by direct deposit.  This one effort dramatically speeds up getting your tax refund.  Otherwise, you will be waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail, with the hope it doesn’t get into the wrong hands before it gets into yours. Direct deposit not only helps you get your refund faster, but you don’t have to pay anyone to cash your refund check. Check cashing fees can be pricey, and they are easy to avoid.

Most people who have a checking account will opt to have their tax refund deposited into that account. 

But, for those who do not have a relationship with a traditional bank, solutions such as the ONE VIP Visa Debit card provide the same direct deposit benefit as a conventional checking account. ONE VIP is a digital banking solution that offers much of the same convenience as a regular bank checking account without hassle, overdraft fees, and other hidden fees.

Bottom Line

Tax refund time is almost here, and the extra money comes in handy after the Holidays. 

Get yourself organized and if you don’t have a direct deposit already, check out ONE VIP. They are black-owned, support Black-owned businesses in the black community.

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Uncategorized

How to Save Money on Check Cashing Fees

It’s PAYDAY!!! Everyone looks forward to payday, whether it’s from your job, unemployment, benefits or something else.  While getting money is a great feeling, having to pay to cash a check is not.  The truth is, there are several people who receive paper checks on a regular basis and still have to pay a company to cash that check. 

Why do people have to pay to cash a check?

Most people who pay to have a check cashed do so because they do not have an account with a financial institution that provides a check cashing service.  Additionally, some financial institutions may not cash a check if the customer’s account balance does not equal or exceed the amount of the check being cashed. 

How much do people spend to cash a check?

Having to cash any check at a physical location not only costs money, but it costs time.  The average fee to cash a check ranges from 1% to 5% of the check amount and can sometimes be as high as 10%.  That means it could likely cost $10 – $50 to cash a $1000 paycheck not mention the commute and wait time also.

How to avoid paying fees to cash a check

While having a traditional bank account is the easiest way to avoid check cashing fees, banks are not for everyone. In fact, the African American and Minority populations face more difficulties with Financial Institutions than their Caucasian counterparts.  Easy to get and use prepaid debit cards, like the ONE VIP Visa Debit card are great solutions for avoiding check cashing fees. 

For example, the ONE VIP card has a remote check deposit feature available through their mobile app.  You can simply snap a photo of the front and back (must be signed) of the check and use the mobile app to deposit the check onto a ONE VIP card for free! 

Another way to avoid check cashing fees is to sign up for direct deposit. Many people think that direct deposit only works with bank accounts.  Wrong.  The ONE VIP Visa Debit card, for example, is not a bank account but has the same direct deposit feature.  A member can sign up to have their source of income deposited directly to their ONE VIP card and never have to worry about waiting for a check or paying a fee to cash it.

Bottom Line

If you are paying to cash checks on a regular basis, there is a lot of money to be saved.  Consider a solution, like the ONE VIP Visa Debit card and put more money back in your pocket.  Click here to get your ONE VIP Visa Debit Card.

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Personal Finance

Everything You Need to Know: New ONE VIP Card

In the reoccurring awakening of the social justice movement and repercussions of COVID-19 hitting the U.S., Black Americans across the diaspora became more interested in financial literacy. Whether it was paying closer attention to their paystubs, stocks, and even the irregular financial aid distributed by the government, it was evident that Urban One launched their newest endeavor, a financial service, ONE VIP, at no better time.

ONE VIP is a prepaid Visa debit card accompanied by a loyalty program and mobile app with the Black and Brown consumer in mind. Cardholders can access their account information by desktop or ONE VIP’s mobile app. Both platforms allow the cardholder to view, manage, and track their everyday spending. Cardholders can also set up direct deposits for their jobs and pensions and transfer funds from other accounts to their ONE VIP account.

Here are the top five benefits when joining the ONE VIP Digital Banking family.

  1. NO HIDDEN FEES OR CREDIT CHECKS.  ONE VIP does not require a credit check for their applicants. Applicants 18 and older can easily apply for a debit card. Also, there are zero hidden fees when using the #ONEVIPBLACK card. However, there is a monthly fee of $4.95 and usual ATM fees.
  1. LOYALTY PROGRAM. Cardholders can take advantage of #ONEVIPBLACK card cashback rewards. For every $1 spent, cardholders can earn up to $2 cashback points back by purchasing with select retailers, entertainment subscriptions, and Black-owned businesses. 
  1. DIRECT DEPOSIT/TRANSFER FUNDS. Cardholders who have access to their account and routing number can easily set up their direct deposit for their job or pensions. With the same information, cardholders can transfer funds from their primary accounts onto their #ONEVIPBLACK card.
  1. SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES/DONATE TO BACK-FOCUSED ORGANIZATIONS. ONE VIP chose 25 Black-owned businesses where the cardholder can specifically earn their cashback rewards. Cardholders can either hold on to their points or donate to the Urban One Community Works. U1CW will use the donations to support selected charities supporting people of color, such as The Innocence Project for criminal justice reform, the National Black Justice Coalition serving LGBTQ/SGL communities, Howard University, and the Tom Joyner Foundation serving the HBCU students nationwide.
  1. MOBILE APP. #ONEVIPBLACK mobile app allows 24/7 access to your money! Cardholder can set up their direct deposit, transfer funds, and make online purchases.

As a part of the trusted Urban One legacy brand, ONE VIP aim to create a safe financial space for Black American. ONE VIP’s goal is to recirculate Black dollars within the Black community.

Apply today and download the mobile app.

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Personal Finance

Get Paid Early?

In an economic climate where cash is fading away, and digital banking is becoming more prevalent, knowing how to navigate your available funds is the key to your financial success. 

A part of URBAN ONE, arguably the most prominent black-owned media company, ONE VIP creates a financial equality tool to support Black Americans. Launching in October 2020, ONE VIP has pushed the economic playing field for Black Americans by simplifying everyday money matters and make life more rewarding.

ONE VIP is known for being a member-centric company, with their most recent product enhancement is the upgraded direct deposit feature giving customers early access to their paychecks and benefit checks.

Direct deposit is the easiest and fastest way to gain access to your paycheck or government benefits, and ONE VIP has made this process even faster with their early direct deposit feature.

ONE VIP members could effectively gain access to their pay or benefit checks up to two days early.** That means, if payday is Friday, members could get paid as early as Wednesday!

Plain and simple, who doesn’t want faster access to their money? Having your cash sooner is always convenient if you live paycheck to paycheck or have a big bill coming up.

Getting direct deposit also alleviates having to go to a retail location to cash a check. Not only is ONE VIP’s newest feature convenient, but it is also added layer of security to keep your money safe and secure.

Find out if the ONE VIP Visa Debit Card is the card for you at https://onevip.com/.

** Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available when the payment file is received, up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

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Big Life Moments Investing Personal Finance

Black Culture & Banks

‘Banking Black’ is gaining popularity after years of systematic issues directly related to ethnicity and traditional banking services. Several instances of systematic racism cited over the last few years have led companies like URBAN ONE to take action. 

URBAN ONE, the nation’s most prominent Black-owned Media Company, has been the voice of Black America for over the last 40 years, launched the ONE VIP Visa Debit Card to further the #BankBlack movement.

ONE VIP is a digital banking card focused on furthering Black America’s prosperity and communities of color. ONE VIP has made it very easy to get started with digital banking, requiring no deposits, up-front fees, or credit checks.

Members who choose to bank with Black-owned companies, like ONE VIP, do so because the social impact is essential. URBAN ONE and ONE VIP are well known for their corporate social responsibility through their Urban One Community Works program. ONE VIP partners with Visa to promote financial literacy content to help bring prosperity to Black families and communities.

Banking with Black-Owned Companies offers an alternative to discriminatory practices contributing to distrust of the financial services industry. There are plenty of statistics that support the notion of Black applicants being charged more with financial services products, so banks’ skepticism is not unwarranted. By turning to Black-Owned financial solutions, Black Americans are keeping Black Dollars in Black Communities. This can translate into increased employment and job creation opportunities.

Why are customers switching to Black-Owned Financial Service companies? Being treated with dignity and respect immediately comes to mind, but Black-Owned Financial Service companies, like ONE VIP, align with the core values of Black America. ONE VIP was created to positively impact black communities and black businesses.

Shutting Black Americans out of traditional banking has led to migration towards #BankBlack and the numerous benefits to black communities and businesses. To learn more about ONE VIP, visit https://onevip.com.

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