Credit union group to spend $7 million on Senate, House races

A major trade group representing credit unions launched a multimillion-dollar spending campaign on Thursday in support of congressional candidates on both sides of the aisle.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and its PAC, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, said they plan to spend $7 million this cycle, with PAC donations supporting over 350 House and Senate candidates who have been credit union supporters.

In the 2018 midterms, CUNA and its PAC spent $6.8 million and in 2016 the groups spent $5.8 million.

CUNA has endorsed and launched ads for Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsClub for Growth to spend million in ads for Trump Supreme Court nominee Maryland’s GOP governor says Republicans shouldn’t rush SCOTUS vote before election The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November MORE (R-Maine), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesTrump seeks to turn around campaign with Supreme Court fight McConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Will Republicans’ rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? MORE (R-Mont.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersRead Democrats’ report countering Republicans’ Biden investigation Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden’s work ‘cast a shadow’ over Obama Ukraine policy Biden’s six best bets in 2016 Trump states MORE (D-Mich.) and Tina SmithTina Flint SmithHealth officials tell public to trust in science The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump and Biden vie for Minnesota | Early voting begins in four states | Blue state GOP governors back Susan Collins GOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.), with all of its ads focusing on positive messaging.

“All of our messaging for these candidates is entirely positive in nature,” Trey Hawkins, CUNA’s deputy chief advocacy officer for political action, told The Hill. “A lot of these close races for the House and Senate are turning really nasty and negative. Credit unions are typically held in really high regard by their members, and they have a high degree of credibility with their members and with the public as well.”

Hawkins noted that CUNA and its PAC are leaning into emerging technology platforms to run ads, including digital advertising on Hulu and Facebook. They also launched their ads to be ahead of early voting in most states.

“The other component of this is the timing of all of this and the fact that we’re highly cognizant that more people are voting earlier and in different ways than they have, because of the pandemic,” he said. “We’re really conscience of making sure that our communications in various races are timed to be ahead of early voting starting, or to coincide.” 

While CUNA has endorsed and spent on Senate and House candidates, the trade group’s policy is to not endorse or spend in presidential elections and it does not plan to get involved in this year’s race.

CUNA also launched Credit Unions Vote this cycle, which is an initiative focused on getting credit union members to vote. One in three

Read more

Best Credit Cards for Home Improvements in 2020

The Discover offers on this page are no longer available via CNBC. As a result, Discover offers described on this page may be out of date.

Americans pay a pretty penny to upgrade their homes every year.

In 2019 alone, homeowners spent an average of $7,560 per year on home improvement renovations, according to a HomeAdvisor report.

It’s inevitable — no matter how careful you are with your budget, unexpected costs will always arise with renovation projects large and small. But, if you use the right credit card, you can save on these expenses and even benefit from added perks like cash back, promotional financing and more.

Below, CNBC Select rounds up the best credit cards for home improvements so you can earn rewards while remodeling your home (and potentially raising the resale value) — no matter what kind of project you have planned.

Best credit cards for home renovations

Best home improvement store card

Lowe’s Advantage Card

Lowe's Advantage Card

Information about the Lowe’s Advantage Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5% off eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Save 10% on a qualifying purchase, up to $100. Valid though 7/31/20

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? Though store cards can have their drawbacks, such as low credit limits and high interest rates, homeowners who find themselves visiting home improvement stores often may want to take advantage of the benefits offered the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card.

The Lowe’s credit card offers an everyday 5% discount on eligible in-store and online purchases. It can’t be combined with other promotions and discounts, nor can it be used to pay for service charges like delivery and installation fees. Yet, this 5% can go a long way when you’re racking up a large bill on expensive items like light fixtures, tiling and cabinets.

If you have a larger project to finance, the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card can also provide a decent 84-month fixed payment plan that acts similar to what you may get with a personal loan. If your project is not large enough for such a long financing period, you can opt for a more basic option of no interest on purchases of $299 or more when paid in full within six months.

Like every promotional financing period, in order to reap the full benefits of this card you must be diligent with your repayment plan. Make sure you pay the balance in full before the six-month offer ends to avoid interest charges. Continuing to carry a balance after six months will cause you to incur deferred interest, which is a charge for all the interest you accrued since the date you made your purchase.

Though this card has no annual fee, it has a high 26.99% variable APR, making it crucial that you pay your balance on time and in full each month.

Check out how the

Read more

Best Bad Credit Home Improvement Loans | Find the Best Loan for You

If you think you’re ready to tackle a major home improvement project, your first question may be how to pay for it. Whether you need to get a new roof or renovate your whole house, a home improvement loan can help you access the money to make it happen.

But qualifying for home improvement loans with bad credit can be a challenge. That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck, though. Here’s what you need to know.

The Best Bad Credit Home Improvement Loans of 2020

Bad Credit Home Equity Loans for Home Improvement

  • Bank of America: Best lender with no minimum loan amount.

  • loanDepot: Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500.

  • Guild Mortgage: Best lender for financing up to 97% of your home’s appraised value.

  • SunTrust Bank: Best lender for online loan comparison, application and documentation.

Methodology: The best bad credit home improvement lenders are selected based on consumer ratings, minimum FICO credit scores and product availability.

Best lender with no minimum loan amount.

A major financial institution serving homeowners nationwide, Bank of America has good customer satisfaction ratings. The bank has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a J.D. Power rating of four, which is better than most.


  • Mortgage types offered: Conventional, VA, FHA, refinance, home equity
  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 100%
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%
  • Loan amounts: Up to $5,000,000
  • Total closing costs: Varies
  • J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: Four out of five

Best Features

  • Bank of America has a wide variety of mortgage products.

  • The lender offers annual percentage rate or closing cost discounts for qualifying Bank of America and Merrill Lynch clients.

  • Home equity lines of credit have no annual, balance transfer or cash advance fees or closing costs.

See full profile

Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500.

LoanDepot was established in 2010 and since then has financed more than $70 billion in mortgages. It offers FHA, conventional and other mortgage options. Borrowers may qualify for a loan with a FICO credit score as low as 580.


  • Mortgage types offered: Conventional, FHA, VA, ARM, Refinancing (conventional), Refinancing (FHA), Refinancing (VA), Home equity loans
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 500 with conditions
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 43% for FHA
  • Maximum combined loan-to-value ratio: 90%
  • J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Four out of five

Best Features

  • LoanDepot mortgages have a lifetime guarantee, which means if you ever decide to refinance an existing loanDepot loan, the company will waive the lender fees and reimburse appraisal fees.

See full profile

Best lender for financing up to 97% of your home’s appraised value.

Guild Mortgage, founded in 1960, specializes in home loans and serves borrowers nationwide. The lender’s full suite of products includes conventional and government-backed mortgages and home equity loans.

Before You Apply

  • Mortgage types: ARMs, conventional, FHA, jumbo, manufactured home, refinance, reverse, USDA and VA
  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Maximum loan amount: varies
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Receives

Read more