Starting out? Starting over? Our Fresh Start program offers some special products to help you build/re-build credit as well as begin a savings plan.
Take control of your finances. Start with these first steps. To learn more about special loan products for rebuilding credit. To learn about our savings products and our special Savings Builder certificate.
We offer multiple links for various money management resources. Visit Tools for a full list. Remember, we are here for you too. If you would like to meet with someone to help you get started, contact Shellee Atwood at 907-228-6757.
- Set Goals
Commit them in writing! Are you considering buying a new car? Maybe a home? What about vacation, sending the kids to college, or retirement? Plan to meet your goals. Take your financial future into your own hands and begin the process now.
- Build a Budget
Your budget is an important part of your financial plan. It will take effort. You will need to be honest with yourself. Where are you spending? Where can you cut back? How much can you save? Identify your wants vs. your needs. View and print a basic budget form, or establish your budget using OnTrack, a secure online budgeting tool.
- Payoff Debt
Start paying off your debt. There are several ways to start making headway. Start with low balance debt that can be paid off quickly; or start with high interest rate debt. Consolidation may be an option too. Make a list of all your debts, include balances, payments and interest rates, and then choose your method for reducing your debt. If you aren’t sure, our loan staff can help you with choices.
- Build an Emergency Fund
Wouldn’t it be great if you had money saved the next time you really need it for a large expense?
A basic savings account or a Savings Builder certificate is a good start. When you build up a balance, move some to a longer term share certificate or a money market account to earn higher dividends (interest).
- Check out Your Current Credit Report
Check out your free credit report from all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax and
Transunion) at www.annualcreditreport.com
If you want to know your score, you will have to pay a fee. Looking at your credit reports periodically is important. Identity theft is a growing problem and can be discovered when you check your credit report. Verifying correct information on your credit report can help improve your score if something has been reported in error.
- Build a Stable Credit History
Perhaps you have had some credit trouble in the past. If you are ready to put your credit in order, here are ten tips on improving your score:
1. Stop using your credit cards.
2. Get a copy of your credit report.
You can’t begin repairing your credit until you know exactly what you need to work on.
3. Clean up your credit report.
If your credit report contains incorrect information, you have the right to have it removed.
4. Get current on past due accounts.
Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score.
5. Don’t apply for more credit.
As long as your credit is in repair mode, you should avoid making any more applications for credit.
6. Keep accounts with balances open.
Closing accounts may adversely affect your credit.
7. Call your creditors.
Right now they’re certainly the last people you want to talk to, but you’d be surprised at the help you might receive.
8. Pay off debts.
You will have to start paying off your debts to improve your credit situation.
9. Get help.
If you are overwhelmed by your credit situation, seek professional assistance. We have partnered with Balance Financial Fitness Program. Call them today at 888-456-2227 and tell them you are TFCU member. Or visit them online at https://www.balancepro.net/ .
Your credit wasn’t damaged overnight, but each new month with on-time payments will begins improving your score.