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    Vacation Tip: Pack your credit card!

    Last updated 27 days ago

    Passport? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Sun block? Check. Credit Card?

    With schools out and warm weather here, vacation season is in full swing! Whether you’re traveling abroad or staying stateside, opt for carrying a credit card instead of cash. It will help you relax and enjoy your vacation more knowing should your wallet get stolen you are protected against unauthorized purchases on your credit card. Most credit cards offer zero-liability, which means you pay nothing if your credit card is used fraudulently. If your credit card does not offer zero liability you are protected by federal law. Specifically, the Fair Credit Billing Act offers you protection against fraudulent purchases and you will not be liable for more than $50. Don’t lose sleep over the process of disputing fraudulent purchases, it’s actually quite simple.

    Now imagine if your wallet full of cash had been stolen?! It would be a different story and your vacation could be ruined.

    Another great thing is that most credit card companies offer real-time fraud monitoring. They will monitor for unusual activity on your credit card, charges may be put on hold, and you will be notified as soon as possible to confirm the purchases on your account. That’s why it’s important to tell your credit card company about your travel plans, especially if you’re traveling abroad. They could mistake your legitimate vacation purchases for a thief’s shopping spree and shut down your card if unable to contact you.

    We know there’s a good chance you will need cash while on vacation. But you can limit the damage from a stolen wallet if you carry only the cash you need for the day and plan to make most purchases with a credit card. Don’t have a credit card? At Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union we help you make smart financial choices. Check out our low-rate, zero-liability VISA® Platinum Credit Card, and take us on vacation with you!

    For more ways to protect your money while on vacation click here.

    Why your credit score is important and how to improve it.

    Last updated 2 months ago

    The most common use for your credit score is to help lenders determine your creditworthiness when deciding to approve you for credit, such as a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage. Your credit score is determined by different factors in your borrowing activities, so it’s a pretty good indicator of how likely you are to repay debt. A higher score means you are less of a risk and will increase the chances that you get approved and receive favorable rates/terms when you apply for credit.

     

    Did you know lenders are not the only ones checking your credit score?

     A low credit score could impede you from renting an apartment, receiving cell phone service or utilities, getting lower insurance premiums, and in some cases getting hired for a job. You can begin to see how a credit score impacts much more than your financial life.

     

    The good news is that you can improve your credit score!

    Keep in mind that raising your credit score is a bit like losing weight: it takes time and there is no quick-fix. In fact, quick-fix efforts can backfire. The best advice is to manage credit responsibly over time. Check out these tips below to help you get started:

     

    · Pay your bills on time.
    Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on your credit score.

     

    · If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.
    The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your credit score.

     

    · Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit”.
    High outstanding debt can affect a credit score.

     

    · Don't close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score.

     

    · Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems.
    Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your credit score in the long term.

     

    · Note that it's OK to request and check your own credit report.
    This won't affect your score. Reviewing your reports ensures that the information on all of your credit reports is correct and up to date, and may even help you catch signs of identity theft early.  You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company. To order your reports go to www.annualcreditreport.com.

     

    ·Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
    Don't open accounts just to have a better credit mix or to increase your available credit - it probably won't raise your credit score and could actually backfire by lowering it.

     

    · Have credit cards - but manage them responsibly.
    In general, having credit cards and installment loans (and making timely payments) will raise your credit score. Someone with no credit cards, for example, tends to be higher risk than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly.

    At Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union our goal is help members make better financial choices and become MoneyStrong.  Have no credit or a low credit score? Our VISA® Credit Card options can help you build and rebuild credit and get you on the path towards financial success. For more information, email eMemberServices@jdcu.com, call (978) 452-5001, or visit a branch near you.

    Invest In Your Future

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Saving is an important part of managing your finances. People who “pay themselves first” by saving are making a smart decision. They know their future is worth more than having the latest cell phone or spending one night at a concert. By setting money aside each week into a savings plan, you are setting yourself up for a brighter future and are prepared for life events and unexpected financial emergencies.

    Another great thing about saving is that the money doesn’t just sit there. It actually works for you by collecting interest and adding to your savings without you having to do a thing. As that money increases from interest and additional deposits, you’ll be able to invest in other savings products that earn you even more money. This gives you the financial power to create the future you want.

    So, if you haven’t put any money away for the future yet, today is a great day to get started.

    First-Time Home Buyer

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Looking to buy your first home? Buying a house, especially for the first time, can be both an exciting and a scary process. It’s important to make sure that you are prepared before you sign on the dotted line.

    It makes sense to attend a homebuyer seminar where you can pick up tips on searching for a home, financing the purchase, and even maintaining your soon-to-be home. You may even pick up a few discounts on appraisals, home improvement products, and closing costs!

    So, if you are interested in buying your first home, this is a great way to get started.

    Learn More About Consumer Loan Products

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Consumer loan products are a financial service that almost everyone will need at some point in their lives. That’s why it’s important to do your homework on these products so that you can make well-informed decisions when the time comes to get one for yourself. Follow these links to learn more:

    For more information on consumer loan products, call Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union of Lowell at (978) 452-5001.

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