We're Here to Help (315) 735-8571

How To Finance Your Tropical Vacation

January 17, 2018

Tropical beach scene, trip paid for with financing, flip flops stuck in sand say “Winter Smarter”With smart advice

When winter weather inspires you to make plans to travel someplace warm, some sound advice on planning and financing can make all the difference. Your plans will often include airfare, accommodations, meals, entertainment, activities, and other expenses. If your estimated total cost already has you searching for a travel loan, you could benefit from learning more about how best to finance your travel, and what kinds of credit or loans work better.

Travel to warmer destinations can get expensive. From airfare to accommodations, meals, activities, and entertainment, costs can add up without some smart money management. The following list is a great place to start, and can help us decide if a personal loan is right for you.


  • Plan Ahead
    Your biggest cost savings can often be found by booking far enough ahead of time, especially for airfare and accommodations. These types of expenses are tend to be higher when paying at the last minute. Many resorts and travel web sites offer discounts if you plan ahead. If your Passport isn’t up to date, now is the time to apply for your renewal; last-minute rushes can cost much more.

  • Avoiding Peak Dates
    If at all possible, plan your trip in the early or late season, during the week, and during windows of time that most people aren’t on vacation. The savings during these “off-peak” times can include almost every expense on your list, including meals, shopping, and activities, from scuba or deep-sea fishing rentals to daily excursions. If you’re considering a vacation home-sharing service or vacation property rental, you’ll find that your travel dates can make a big difference in the asking price.

  • Consider the Less Popular Destinations
    The most popular tropical destinations are in higher demand, and can demand higher prices for everything from airfares to hotels, restaurants, and shopping. Look for highly rated resorts that are just a bit less popular, but offer a great experience. Many travelers report even better experiences at these destinations, without the crowds and over-commercialized development. Also consider airports that are not as close by; often flying out of Rochester, Buffalo, New York, Boston, or even a Canadian city can save you hundreds of dollars, even if a hotel stay is required to catch your flight.

  • Shop for Discounts
    Look for promotions, package deals, and discounts online before you book. Are you a student, educator, or senior citizen? Many destinations offer discounts for you, if you know to ask and apply. You might be surprised at the sizable savings. Don’t forget to check travel sites, which can offer savings on airfare, lodging, and vehicle rentals. Consider booking your accommodations through one of the big home- and apartment-rental sites, or even a home swapping service, if you’re feeling adventurous.


If you need vacation financing, there are some decisions to make about how you finance.

Personal Loan

A personal loan may be a good option to cover reasonably large expenses.

  1. It’s often less costly than other forms of borrowing. Check online or ask us about current rates.

  2. Budgeting can be easier. You’ll know up front what your monthly payments will be, and how long they’ll last.

Meet with a First Source Representative first, and make sure all the terms, any fees, and the payments all work with your budget and financial standing.

Credit Cards

We generally recommend using your credit cards to pay for some of the day-to-day vacation costs, especially if you earn rewards, and can pay them back over the short term. One option: secure your personal loan, use your credit cards for expenses (to earn your rewards), and fully pay them down using your loan; then all you have is low-rate loan to pay back.

Plan Ahead

Your tropical destination will provide you with great memories for years to come. With our help, you can plan ahead and manage your vacation finances in a way that makes your vacation just a bit more enjoyable.
Live smarter by making an appointment today to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives about your tropical vacation financing.

Posted in: financing, loan, travel, trip, vacation

5 Steps to Getting a Car Loan

October 6, 2017

Young women look in the window of a new car after applying for an Auto Loan.
An Easy Approach to Financing  

Getting financing for a new vehicle can be fast and relatively easy…when you’re prepared. When you know you want a new (or used) car and need financing, taking a few basic steps can make the process smoother and help you avoid many common problems.

1. Research Your Credit
You may have heard that your credit score matters when applying for a loan. Not only does your credit score and credit standing affect whether you get a loan, it affects what rate your loan will be. The better your score, the lower your loan rate, the less money you spend on interest. There are 3 major credit reporting agencies, and each will let you get a free credit report once a year (each score may vary slightly). Review yours, make sure that all their information is right, and report any problems right away. Check your credit score as well, though this is one of many scores, and it may be slightly different from the one reported to the credit union.*

2. Decide How Much You Can Afford
This isn’t referring to the price of your vehicle per se, but how much you can afford to pay each month without breaking your budget. Make sure your budget includes costs for insurance and vehicle maintenance, which you’ll have to pay for separately. If you’ve never insured a vehicle before, call an insurance agent for estimates, and check online for typical maintenance costs for the vehicle you want. When you have a maximum amount, enter that into our Auto Loan Comparison Calculator on our Auto Loan page to see how your numbers work out. Don’t have a budget yet? It’s a great idea to put one together. If you’re not sure where to start, ask us for help!

The Loan Calculator will ask you to enter the loan term: how many years/months you have to pay the loan down. While a longer term may mean lower monthly payments, the total amount you pay will generally be more, so find terms that are a good balance of your monthly cost vs. total payments.

3. Apply For Your Car Loan
When you know how much you can afford, make an appointment to sit down with one of our Loan Representatives. They’ll work with you to determine what your credit and financial standing is, the type of loan you’ll need, and the terms that work with your lifestyle and budget. Let us know if you plan to buy new/used from a dealer, or in a private deal. If you qualify, our goal will be to get you pre-approved for your loan, giving you a certain amount of time to shop for a vehicle. Pre-approval gives you extra buying and negotiating power when you’re talking to a dealer. You’ll know the highest price you can go, and you won’t be dependent on the dealer for financing. If you buy an auto for less than your pre-approved loan amount, you’ll simply get a smaller loan (with smaller payments). If you have no credit history, let us know; we can discuss your options, such as asking someone to co-sign your loan.

4. Shop For Your Vehicle
Armed with your pre-approved loan amount, you’ll need to know how much you would consider putting down for a down payment, or any trade-in value on an existing vehicle, either of which will affect the vehicle you can afford.

Be cautious in your price negotiations; when dealers know you have financing already, they may offer you a longer-term loan with lower monthly payments, but that may cost you more over the term of the loan. If you’re looking at used vehicles and we’ve pre-approved you for a used car loan, you may need to limit your shopping to vehicles within a certain age or mileage limit.

5. Let Us Know
Once you’ve made the commitment to purchase your auto and negotiated the final price, the dealer’s financing department will contact us to finalize the sale paperwork. They will almost certainly try to convince you to purchase extras, such as extended warranties, rust-proofing, fabric protection, and more. Research all the options ahead of time so you know what’s recommended and what’s not. If you’re buying in a private deal, let us know so we can finalize the payment.

After the sale is complete, you will begin your payment schedule. We offer a number of options, such as online bill payments, automatic deductions, and ways for you to prepay if you ever decide to pay off the loan faster.

Learn More
Visit our Auto Loan page to learn more about how Auto Loans work, and to set up an appointment with one of our friendly representatives to discuss your needs.

*Free credit reports are available under Federal law at AnnualCreditReport.com






​charity “best “savings about account” advice American Cancer Society animals Auto auto loan back bad credit bank Berowski Blog Blog Posts Blogs Blue boat loans Branch breach budget business camper Car car loan Card Challenge Check checks children Christmas Chuck College Comets Community compounding conventional Corporate Credit Credit Card credit union Dance the Night Away deposit destinations dividend donation Dream earnings education Entrepreneurs Equifax equity FHA Fical Finance Financial financing First First Source Federal Credit Union for Games Genesis giving Go Good Good News Center Goodison-Bick Greiner Group HCCC Health healthy pet loan Heart herkimer holiday home home buying house Hug Indoor interest Investment JD Arrante Jessie Julie Keller KIDS kristy lien lienhouse Lilli living smarter LMV loan Loans Local Marketing Maxam medical Mel member members Michael Mike missing Money Market Mortgage Mortgages Motorcycle Financing Motorcycle Loan MVCC National Credit Union Youth Month Neumann New New Hartford nole North Utica of One Oneida online online safety Only order checks Orsomarso overdraft Pamela paperwork Paralympics Parsons pay bills payments personal loans pet care pet financing pet surgery Pete pets plan Posts Power Pre-approval presents President/CEO programs protection purchase QR Questions rates recreational loans Red Requirements Resolutions resort resorts ride Rome Run RV Ryan Misencik Safety savings savings” Schools Schumer security Sen. service Sherman Sinnott Education Center ski resort ski trips sled snowboard snowmobile snowmobile trails social media Source South South Utica spending spots SSHS Staff Stevens-Swan Humane Society students Sue Summer system Tammy Cieslak Tanya Taxes teachers Team testimonial the Tiny's Grill Tips Tom travel Tricia trip TV Union Unite United Up Utica Utica Zoo VA vacation vacation financing vacation loan Video Visa volunteer Waggle Walk Walk-A-Thon Way We Wear Wellness Wells Wendy Why wig Wiggle wild Winner winners Winter withdrawal women Women’s Employment & Resource Center Year's York You You’re Young Young Entrepreneurs Academy YWCA