SIU Credit Union Blog

Tag: credit (page 1 of 3)

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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First Job? Here’s How to Set Your Finances Up for Life

Landing that first job means having a regular influx of cash, but steady work alone doesn’t guarantee financial health. Here’s how to build the foundation for lifetime financial security.

Get on budget

It truly doesn’t pay to wing it. Budgeting is the most effective way to get and keep finances on track. Just add up your monthly income and subtract expenses such as student loans, rent, clothing, and entertainment. This gives you a basic financial snapshot. If the numbers look shaky, adjust by cutting unnecessary expenses or adding extra work hours. Using a mobile budget app such as Mint or Level Money can make this process almost effortless.

Establish goals

Financial goals act as a road map toward your dreams. Maybe you’d like your own home or apartment, an exciting vacation or a new car. Highly effective goals are often referred to as “S.M.A.R.T.”: They should be specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding and time-framed. Continue reading

Find out your credit score – for free!

What’s your credit score? Find out for free

Your credit score shouldn’t be a mystery. That’s why SIU Credit Union has teamed up with NerdWallet to bring you a free weekly credit score, detailed credit report and credit monitoring.  Sign up, free here.


Why should you think about your credit score? More money in your pocket

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5 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

A brand new year provides the perfect opportunity to make meaningful life changes, including improved financial wellness. These five financial resolutions can help get your year off to a promising start.

1. Get on budget

Resolutions - Get on budget

Take charge of your finances by creating a budget. Start by calculating after-tax income and subtracting fixed monthly expenses. Then allocate portions of the remaining income for savings, important goals and a few things that just make you happy. If this sounds complicated, relax; today’s user-friendly budget apps can take a lot of the pain out of the process. To further simplify money matters, consider setting up automatic bill pay, an automatic savings plan and separate savings accounts for specific goals.

2. Build an emergency fund

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