Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

How much you earn and how much you spend are both important numbers in your financial life. But there's another number with an impact on your financial security: your credit score. Your credit score is a three-digit number the credit union and other lenders use to decide if you qualify for loans and credit cards at the most favorable terms. The higher your score, the better your chance of getting the best rate available - saving you money. Insurance companies also may use credit scores in their risk/rate calculation, and landlords may use it to decide whether or not you will be a tenant who promptly pays the rent.

Because the credit union and other lenders want you to pay us back, your credit score is based on a formula or algorithm that is used to predict how likely it is you will make your loan or credit card payment on time. There are numerous scoring models, but a majority of them consider your payment history, how many credit cards you use, how long you've had accounts open, the types of accounts you have and how often you apply for new credit.

If you have a low credit score, it will take time to raise it. Be wary of any credit-repair outfits promising a quick fix. Usually, about 70 percent of your score is based on whether you pay your bills on time, so that's a good place to start. The models also take into account how much credit you use, versus your credit limit. This credit utilization ratio rewards those with low balances. Resist the urge to open new credit card accounts, no matter how good a deal it seems at the time. Unless you are paying fees, don't close the credit card account you've had the longest.

It's also a good idea to check your credit report regularly. Your credit report is a summary of your credit history and any errors on it could be affecting your score. You are entitled to a free copy from the three major credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Order online from, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.


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The Hotlines number is (704) 375-0221.

Debit and Credit Card Travel Notice

Because of the frequency of fraudulent transactions from certain areas, there are some geographical restrictions in place with our card processor.

Please notify us if you intend to travel out of the country so that we can notify the card processor and hopefully prevent any problems.