09 Apr

What Does Your Credit Score Say about You?

Whether you are looking to buy a car, refinance a mortgage or rent an apartment for the first time, your credit score can tell a lot about your financial history.

Your FICO® score is a number formulated based on your credit history. It helps lenders evaluate your credit risk. Several factors go into your score, including payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history and types of credit used.

What’s a Good Credit Score?

Your FICO score is rated on a scale of 300-850. You want a high score, because a good credit rating can help you obtain better rates on all of the major purchases that life brings, including a car, home and credit cards.

To improve your credit score, follow these tips:

  1. Keep current on all your payments. This is the biggest thing you can do to boost your credit score. Be sure to pay your bills on time each and every month.
  2. Avoid closing old accounts. It diminishes your total credit available and can raise your credit utilization ratio.
  3. Don’t open new accounts. This can look like you plan to borrow a lot of money, which could stretch your finances too thin.
  4. Settle all fines and tickets. An outstanding library fine or parking ticket can reduce your score if a collection agency gets involved
  5. Check your credit report for errors. Your credit score is based on the information included in your credit report, so it pays to review it for inaccuracies. Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. Your credit score is also available for an additional charge. Simply go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

For more information on how Navigator Credit Union can help you with your financial needs, call 228-475-7300 or visit www.navigatorcu.org for more information.

Website not belonging to this organization is provided for information only. No endorsement is implied.
09 Apr

Hey Baby Boomers! We’re Here for You

At Navigator Credit Union, we make it our mission to serve your financial needs at every age and stage of life. If you belong to the baby boom generation (those born from 1946 to 1964), then you’re in good company.

While every credit union’s membership is different, research suggests that more than 40% of credit union members are baby boomers.* It’s fitting that many baby boomers have made credit unions their financial home, because this generation has a history of seeking alternatives to traditional ideas and institutions (such as big banking).

Credit union membership is appealing and empowering, because credit unions work for people – not for profits – and members have a say in how the credit union is run.

Financial Solutions Off the Beaten Path

Baby boomers’ financial plans may include borrowing, saving and investing – but not necessarily in that order. They may manage multiple goals with creative and unconventional financial planning, from saving for retirement and paying for college tuition to refinancing a mortgage or taking a new career path. Navigator is tuned in to your unique goals, and we’re ready with a lineup of products and services that are flexible to fit your needs.

Loans from credit unions – for your lifestyle. We offer competitive rates on home mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans and personal loans to help you get where you need to be. Our refinancing options can help you pay off a first or second home or vehicle faster, and/or lower your monthly payments so you can focus on other financial goals.

Best savings plan – for the unexpected. Our savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts help keep your emergency funds afloat. Building up emergency savings is particularly important if you juggle multiple responsibilities – perhaps caring for aging parents or providing financial support to adult children.

Insurance – for your changing needs. Our insurance representatives can review your homeowners, auto and life insurance coverage in light of the moving pieces in your life – teenage drivers, home improvements, divorce/remarriage, empty nest, etc.

Investing – ask a financial advisor. Our financial advisors can help you plan your portfolio for a brighter future, whether that means supporting a comfortable retirement or continuing to work. And even though retirement is a top goal for many baby boomers, we understand that this generation won’t be retiring to the proverbial rocking chair anytime soon!

Banking online or at a branch. You don’t have to be 20-something to keep up with online and mobile banking services. In fact, online banking is becoming uniformly popular across all age groups, according to a survey of Internet users.** When you want the convenience of fast, friendly in-branch service or access to free ATMs, Navigator has you covered. Call 228-475-7300 to learn more about what we have to offer, or visit www.navigatorcu.org.

* Source: Credit Union Times, Dec. 1, 2010.
** Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, Generations Online in 2010.