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7 Financial Benefits Tailored Just for Educators

Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time to take stock of your financial fitness, and NEA Member Benefits is ready to help. NEA Member Benefits has developed programs tailored to your unique needs that can help you build your savings, obtain competitive rates on loans, finance a home, plan for retirement, and more.

NEA Member Benefits invests a great deal of time in selecting and vetting products and services. This starts with getting to know you—surveying the NEA membership and identifying NEA members’ most pressing needs.

Then NEA Member Benefits conducts an in-depth evaluation of the marketplace, searching for products that would best serve you. In many cases, a formal bidding process is undertaken, which ensures that a wide breadth of companies and their products are considered.

In order to ensure the quality and value of NEA Member Benefits programs, products and services are evaluated using established, stringent criteria: company financial condition, product accessibility, customer service, features, and pricing.

Only after going through that lengthy process are programs then opened up to NEA members.

The following seven financial programs met that criteria and were built to help you meet your financial goals.

1. The NEA Online Savings Program

Want to build an emergency fund, save for a special trip, or add to your retirement savings? The NEA Online Savings Program, through Discover Bank, Member FDIC, offers four ways to save: an online savings account, a money market account, certificates of deposit, and IRA certificates of deposit.

NEA member perk: NEA members and their families receive $50 for each new account type you open and fund each year, excluding IRAs, through May 31, 2016.

2. The NEA Personal Loan

The NEA Personal Loan helps you pay for things that may seem a little out of reach. These include paying off credit cards and other loans, home remodeling projects, weddings, baby expenses—things that you may not be able to cover with your savings. With loan amounts up to $25,000, the program features low Fixed APRs, 36 to 72 month terms and no application fees, annual fees or prepayment penalties.

NEA member perk: As an NEA Member, you are also eligible to receive a 0.25% interest rate discount when you enroll in Auto Pay.

3. The NEA Smart Option Student Loan by Sallie Mae

The The NEA Smart Option Student Loan by Sallie Mae allows you to borrow up to 100 percent of your school-certified educational costs with low, variable rates starting at 2.50 percent and fixed rates starting at 5.74 percent. You can also reduce your interest rate by a quarter percentage point after making 12 consecutive on-time payments. Take off another quarter percentage by opting for Auto Pay.

You’ll receive the most flexible of terms: You can make payments, including “interest-only” payments, while in school. If you do, you’ll qualify for a 2 percent Smart Reward in your UPromise account. But, if you prefer, you can defer all payments until after graduation.

Educators, take note: You don’t have to pursue a degree to be eligible. You simply need to attend a degree-granting institution. This means you can take continuing education courses and still qualify for Sallie Mae financing.

4. The NEA Home Financing Program

Whether you’re looking to buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage, look to the The NEA Home Financing Program. Available through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the NEA Home Financing Program features access to competitive interest rates/fees, and a wide variety of loan programs, including low down payment options, renovation, new construction, vacation home, and investment property financing.

A mortgage with built-in renovation financing allows you to finance a home and obtain funds for upgrades or repairs—with a loan amount based on the home value after the work is completed. Consider renovation financing if you’re buying a fixer-upper or want to make updates to your current home.

And with Wells Fargo’s low down payment options, qualified homebuyers may not need a 20% down payment or perfect credit. Some of these options feature flexible income guidelines, as well as allowing monetary gifts and down payment assistance to help cover the down payment and/or closing costs.

NEA member perk: When you purchase or refinance your home through the NEA Home Financing Program you’ll earn a $500 Wells Fargo My Mortgage GiftSM award after closing.

5. The NEA Income Protection Plan

It’s expected that 30 percent of Americans will, at some point, be unable to work for 90 days or more due to illness or injury.  Since no work can mean no paycheck, it’s best to protect yourself, especially since disabilities are linked to more than one-half of all mortgage foreclosures and personal bankruptcies.

The The NEA Income Protection Plan, underwritten by American Fidelity Assurance Company, helps replace your paycheck by providing a monthly benefit—often tax free—when you’re disabled or partially disabled by covered accidents or illnesses. The program also pays benefits during pregnancy, when your doctor puts you on bed rest or medical leave.

NEA member perk: The program pays your NEA dues and waives your premiums when you’re disabled for six months or longer. Premiums are also waived during NEA-supported strikes.

6. The NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program

If you’re a veteran teacher, you probably think you’ve “seen it all” out in the school parking lot. If something happens to your car there, do you know if you’re covered?

Thanks to the The NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program partnership with California Casualty, educators receive $3,000 personal property coverage at school and, if a vehicle is vandalized on campus, the deductible will be waived. You’ll also get coverage that protects $500 in fundraising money.

NEA members save on average nearly $500 a year. And, with 24/365 emergency claims service, dedicated support is just a phone call away.

NEA member perks: This program offers a summer/holiday “skip payments” feature, plus free ID Defense.

7. The NEA Retirement Program

It’s never too early or too late to plan for retirement. Get support from start to finish with free educational resources, planning tools and savings solutions built with educators in mind.

Start with the Five-Minute Retirement Checkup. Answer just a few questions and receive a retirement savings snapshot that will lead you to the planning resources you need.

For a more in-depth assessment, gather basic financial information, sign in to neamb.com and visit the NEA Retirement Income Calculator in the Retirement Planning Center. Built for NEA members, this calculator includes state pension data so you can use it in your retirement projections. Experiment with different scenarios to see how changes can impact your plans. While you’re there, you’ll also find plenty of timely articles and other educational resources created just for you.

The NEA Retirement Program offers a suite of investment products to help you save. We understand that retirement preparation isn’t “one size fits all,” so we make available savings/investment solutions designed for those in the early, mid, or late phases of their career (or even already in retirement.)

Through the Representative Locator, you can find a local expert who can offer guidance about retirement savings opportunities and conduct an annual review to track your progress. At our free member education workshops, you’ll learn about your state pension plan, the benefits of contributing—and saving—with a 403(b) or 457 plan, and other key concepts that can help you better prepare for retirement.

NEA member perk: Each month, you can download your free issue of the Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. We cover the $40 annual subscription fee, at no cost to you.

SEE ALL YOUR BENEFITS

Go beyond these seven and explore all the financial solutions crafted just for you. Learn more.

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