SIU Credit Union Blog

Tag: credit (page 1 of 4)

6 Ways to Build Your Credit in Less Than an Hour

It’s true — there’s no shortcut to achieving a good credit score. It takes years of paying your bills on time and in full, keeping balances low and managing different kinds of debt.

But there are small steps you can take to help your credit, in the same time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite Netflix drama. Options for building your credit differ if you have an established credit history or if you’re new to credit.

If you have established credit

1. Pay down debt

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Don’t Let Your Credit Die of Neglect

Certified financial planner David Rae says he used to think that “anyone who could draw breath” could get an auto loan. Then one of his millionaire clients tried to buy a car — and failed.

The 42-year-old client was turned down for a loan because he had no credit scores, says Rae, who is based in Los Angeles.

Nineteen million American adults are “unscoreable,” lacking enough recent credit history to generate credit scores, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They either have “thin” files, with too few accounts, or “stale” ones that haven’t been updated in a while.

Roughly 7 million of these people are what credit scoring company FICO calls “credit retired.” They no longer actively use credit, but their histories are free from charge offs, collections or other negative marks that might indicate that “their exit from the credit mainstream was involuntary,” says Ethan Dornhelm, FICO’s vice president for scores and predictive analytics. Continue reading

Help Your Partner’s Credit — Without Harming Your Own

When you get married, your credit files stay single.

And if one spouse has a good credit score and the other does not, it’s particularly important to maintain your credit histories’ separate status. There are ways to provide help if your credit-challenged mate wants it, but in a way that doesn’t risk harming your finances — or your relationship.

First, determine whether your partner even wants help, says Amanda Clayman, a financial wellness coach and therapist.

“One thing the more creditworthy person needs to find out is, how much is the other person bothered” by their low score, Clayman says. If they’re not too worried about it, she says, then they’re probably not motivated to change. Continue reading

What Doesn’t Affect Your Credit Score

A high credit score can be like a healthy weight. You know you want it, but are you doing the right things to achieve it?

Some information you thought might influence your credit score simply doesn’t. Let’s look at five things you don’t need to worry will hurt your score — and five things that do make a difference.

These factors don’t affect your credit score

Your job and how much money you make: Your credit score comes from the information in your credit reports, which list your credit accounts and your payment history. Those reports do include some employer information, but it’s used only to make sure account data is matched to the right person, says Rod Griffin, director of public education for credit bureau Experian.

Don’t look for a bump in your score just because you get a new job with a great salary.

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Skip-a-Pay: Free Cash Flow With A Summertime Break From Your Loan Payment

Q: Summer always puts a big strain on my budget. There are so many extra expenses! I’ve been looking for a way to get through these months without racking up a huge credit card bill, and one option I’m considering is skip-a-pay. What do I need to know about this program?

A: Summertime brings loads of expenses that can bust any budget. There are family vacations that put a serious strain on your wallet, costly camp fees for the kids and dozens of other expenses that may not always be part of your usual financial planning.

Many people wonder how they’ll get through these months. Fortunately, SIU Credit Union offers an exclusive break from your loan payments during this costly time of year. Now that sounds like a dream vacation!

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One for the Money: Financing Your First Car

Are you thinking about how you’re going to pay for your first car? You could get it:

  • As a gift or hand-me-down within your family
  • With cash you earned from your job
  • With an interest-free loan from your parents

But what if none of these options is open to you? You could get a loan. Here’s how:

Step 1: Save for a down payment

Save for a down payment

It’s sometimes possible to finance 100% of a vehicle purchase. But why not save money in the long run by making a down payment?

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