It’s been a busy holiday week for SIU Credit Union. Yesterday, I delivered a truck load of food collected by credit union employees to the final collection point of the SIU Credit Union, Withers Broadcasting Holiday Food Drive. I’m told that donation levels are greater than last year. All the food collected will fill food pantries throughout Southern Illinois.
Yesterday also started our sponsorship of Pat’s Kids. For many years, SIU Credit Union has been a major sponsor of this charity that gives abused and underprivileged children a chance to have a Christmas. The stories we hear from the kids are heartbreaking. We’re happy to be a part of this wonderful charity. If you are able, please consider dropping off a check, made payable to The Poshard Foundation, at any SIU Credit Union location or mail to River Radio, attention Pat Benton, 1431 Country Aire Drive, Carterville, IL 62918.
I also made my monthly visit to the Murphysboro Illinois Youth Camp. I spent the morning talking to the inmates about budgeting, credit scores and loan interest rates. This was a good group of kids who had many intelligent questions. We compared interest rates on a car loan for a person with good credit compared to someone with poor credit. The look on their faces told me they got my message.
Finally, we’ll be tailgating on Saturday from 11 to 1 as SIU battles EIU (my alma mater) in the first round of football playoffs. Pick up your tailgate tickets at these locations.
Every member has needs and they are unique in every circumstance. SIUCU is now offering loan protection to all of our members to give you the peace of mind you deserve. You will be offered the product of Credit Life and Disability when applying for a loan. Both members and their families will benefit through their loans being paid off in case of death or disability.
Members who are out of work because of disability may find themselves waiting even longer for the Social Security safety net to catch them.
In 2007, the Social Security Administration experienced a record breaking backlog of disability claims. The average waiting period to get a hearing has reached 17 months. Having the extra protection on your loan will ease the stress during this difficult time.
Many U.S. households say they need more life insurance. The average amount of life insurance you need is three to six times your annual income.
Your life insurance needs to:
Replace your income
Pay off your mortgage
Cover daily living expenses (food, utilities, transportation, child care)
Pay for college education for your children
Cover retirement for your spouse
Pay for funeral expenses
Pay off loans
By adding Credit Life and Disability insurance to your loan, you will have the piece of mind knowing that your obligations will be taken care of when you need it most. Stop by any branch location. We’ll be happy to discuss how Credit Life and Disability can benefit you. For more information on insurance products offered thought CUNA Mutual Group, visit http://www.siucu.org/resources/index.htm#insurance
–Kim Babington, Vice President of Operations
Do you know your credit score?
Your credit score matters whether you need a credit card, auto loan, mortgage or some other sort of credit. In general, higher scores mean you are more likely to be approved and you will be charged a lower interest rate on any new credit.
Most companies use a FICO credit score that is made up of five parts:
Your payment history – 35%
Have you paid your credit accounts on time? Late payments, no matter what amount, can hurt your score.
How much you owe – 30%
FICO scores look at the amounts you owe on all your credit accounts, the number of accounts with balances, and how much of your available credit you are using. The more you owe compared to your credit limit, the lower your score will be.
Length of credit history – 15%
A longer credit history will increase your score. However, you can get a high score with a short credit history if the rest of your credit report shows responsible credit management.
New credit – 10%
If you have recently applied for or opened new credit accounts, your credit score will weigh this fact against the rest of your credit history. FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and the search for many new credit lines, in part by the length of time over which inquires occur. If you need a loan, do your rate shopping within a focused period of time, such as 30 days, to avoid lowering your FICO score.
Other factors – 10%
Several minor factors can also influence your score. For example, having a mix of credit types on your credit report – credit cards, installment loans such as a mortgage or auto loan, and personal lines of credit – is normal for people with longer credit histories and can add slightly to their scores.
What’s a good score?
FICO scores range from 300 – 850. The higher the score the better. Most lenders prefer a score of 700+ as an indication of financial health.
What’s NOT in your score?
By law, credit scores may not consider your race, color, religion, national origin, sex and marital status, and whether you receive public assistance or exercise any consumer right under the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act or Fair Credit Reporting Act.